X

Archive for News

Social Media News Roundup: January ’17 Week 4

Social Media News Roundup January Week 4 2017
Seven days is a long time in the world of social media. Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest news stories over the past week.
Study shows that middle-aged people spend more time on social media than Millennials

Until now the word “Millennial” has for some unknown reason, had negative connotations. Regardless of the fact that it just refers to a group of people currently between 18-24, it has been widely adopted as a derogatory term, suggesting that those lot are narcissistic technophiles. Because they practically live on the internet, right?

Well, thanks to a recent report by Nielson which looked at users in the US, we now know that Generation X (currently 35-49 years old) are actually the ones who spend the most time on social media, averaging 39 more minutes a week than their young counterparts.

Facebook’s latest update could result in users seeing more longer videos

Facebook looks determined to further hone in on the video-viewing habits of users by changing the way it ranks longer videos in News Feed. According to an announcement on Thursday, professionals realised that percentage completion should be weighed more heavily on longer videos as completing viewing of a longer video is a bigger commitment than a shorter one.

The change will roll out gradually and is considered a routine improvement to Facebook. The update is intended to alleviate instances of longer videos being unfairly penalised for low view percentage rates. Users are unlikely to see a significant change in news feed distribution but those who watch more longer videos are likely to see an increase in their appearance, while some shorter videos may appear less often.

Twitter is replacing Moments with a new Explore section on Android and iOS

As part of Twitter’s new streamlined interface for its Android and iOS apps, the Moments tab will be replaced with a new Explore section. The announcement was made officially on the social network’s blog on Thursday, however users have been reporting instances of testing the feature for a while now. According to Twitter, the motivation for the change is to help amalgamate live-streams, search, trends and Moments feature.

Social Media News Roundup: January ’17 Week 3

Social Media News Roundup January Week 3 2017
A week is a long time in the digital age. Here’s our roundup of some of the biggest social media news stories of the past seven days
Instagram live lands in the UK

Instagram users in the UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Canada are now able to make use of live video broadcasting via Instagram’s Stories feature. Live for Instagram was first announced back in November 2016 but until now has not been available to users in the UK.

Instagram live videos appear in the top Stories slider on the Instagram app. They are available only while the user is broadcasting and disappear immediately.

Users get first glimpse at LinkedIn redesign

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is currently undergoing a big makeover. The new homepage is intended to have a fresh and clean design that enables ease of navigation for users. Business Insider offered a first-glance look in this report.

Among the biggest updates is the top bar where common actions are now far more prominent. Messaging has also received an overhaul in an attempt to encourage conversation between connections. Profiles too have received a major face-lift, looking noticeably sleeker, more easily-digestible and closer to that of the mobile app.

Facebook is opening its first startup incubator in Paris

Facebook is building a huge startup space in a former train station built in 1929 in Paris. Known as Station F, the space will play host to 1,000 startups across 34,000m2 of space over a six monthly rotation of ten to fifteen startups.

Facebook will help each startup develop their business with the help of their network of experts and experienced professionals. They have already picked some of their first intake, including Karos, which helps with carpooling and The Fabulous, a science-based health app.

Following campaigning, a redhead emoji could be on the cards

Following a high-profile, persistent social media campaign, Apple are hosting a Unicode Technical Committee meeting to discuss the introduction of a redhead emoji character. One online petition organised in Scotland gained no less that 20,000 signatures.

Apple emojis have become far more diverse in recent years. There are already six different skin tones available with a selection of different hair styles, but no redhead option. The man who tabled proposal is Jeremy Burge, founder of Emojipedia. He had this to say:

“The lack of a redhead emoji has been the most frequent complaint from users in the past three months… This document aims to move the discussion forward on how this can be addressed.”

Unicode 10.0 is just months away from release. Therefore a redhead emoji would likely only appear at the earliest in 2018.

Finally, Sir Patrick Stewart is set to play smiley poop in The Emoji Movie

Critically acclaimed actor Sir Patrick Stewart has been named to play poop in the upcoming Emoji Movie by Sony Pictures Animation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Emoji Movie is due to be released on August 4th and “introduces a secret world inside smartphones’ messaging apps called Textopolis, a bustling city where all emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user.”

A teaser trailer for the movie was largely mocked on social media, receiving three times as many negative reactions as positive ones. Will Sir Patrick’s performance stink? Would that necessarily be a bad thing? Only time will tell.

Facebook research looks to allow people to communicate via brain waves

Facebook wants to read your brain waves
Facebook may be investing in futuristic technology that uses neuroimaging and electrophysiological data to let humans communicate via brain waves.

Last year Facebook created an uber-secretive research division named Building 8. Headed up by ex-Google Advanced Technology and Projects Group Executive Regina Dugan. Its vision is to developing innovative consumer hardware products that advance their ultimate aim of connecting the world. A worthy assignment, granted - but what specifically are these products they speak of?

Sadly, we don’t really know. That’s the issue with top secret research facilities. They do tend to be rather… well, secretive. Anybody who was ever a fan of 90s zombie horror can tell you that. However, several recent job postings suggest that they are working to make Mark Zuckerberg’s previously cited dream of communicating via brain waves a reality.

One such job posting seeks a Brain-Computer Interface Engineer with a Ph.D. in neuroscience (or similar) and at least three years experience working with “brain-computer interface technologies or other applications or machine learning methods to neuroimaging and/or electrophysiological data”. Another seeks a Neural Imaging Engineer with a Ph.D. in Physics (or similar) to “design and evaluate novel neural imaging methods based on optical, RF, ultrasound, or other entirely non-invasive approaches”.

Wait, seriously, what?

In layman’s terms (if such technology can actually be described in layman’s terms), neuroimaging technology seeks to scan, understand and discern what is happening in the brain, specifically through brain waves. Previous technology has made use of headbands to measure brain waves activity. While there is no way of telling exactly what methods Facebook will use and the kind of product that they will eventually create, they are likely to build on previous known technology.

The creation of such a product is likely to be a long time coming. Nevertheless it would represent a major breakthrough in computing and would elevate Facebook, already the uncontested leader in social networking, to the top of the world of science and technology.

This may just the tip of the iceberg for groundbreaking, innovative research projects to come out of Umbrella Corp. Sorry, did I say Umbrella? I meant Building 8. Clearly.

Snapchat Introduces Enhanced Goal-based Bidding for Ads

Snapchat goal-based bidding ads

Snapchat have begun giving advertisers a greater variety of options for how they bid on ads via its API. The new upgrade is called goal-based bidding and makes use of machine learning technology in order to allow users to make ads more relevant to their own goals.

In a move that shows they are serious about competing in the world of social media advertising, Snapchat have begun making use of a new machine learning technique that determines which users are most likely to engage with ads on the app. The new feature, reported by AdAge, is called goal-based bidding and allows advertisers more control when buying ads.

Through it advertisers will be able to set campaign goals beyond ad views by bidding on engagement. According to a spokesperson for Snapchat, advertisers can determine how much they value a swipe on their ad and the network will automatically optimise delivery to a “subset of the advertiser’s target audience that has a propensity to swipe.”

Although the upgrade is a minor one in the grand scheme of things, is nevertheless looks to be something of a key signifier for the app’s ambitions when it comes to paid investment by marketers. No doubt it also comes in response to the news that average ad views on Snapchat currently only stand at fewer than 3 seconds. This is certainly a cause for concern if they are truly looking to stand up against Facebook who have been on something of an offensive against them throughout this year.

Goal-based bidding will be available to advertisers that buy through the still nascent ads API. Snapchat also look set to offer a wider variety of “goals” to users beyond swipes, in-line with campaign objectives. These are likely to be similar to what we see on other major social networks, for example app-installs and e-commerce conversions.

Christmas Social Media Tools to Help Keep You Sane Until New Year

Christmas Social Media Tools

Just because Christmas is a great opportunity for marketing doesn't make it an easy time for social media managers. On the contrary, it’s all too easy to get so wrapped-up (if you’ll pardon the pun) in the preparation that you overlook vital parts of your strategy. These Christmas social media tools could help give you some much needed assistance.

A lot of the time mistakes in social media marketing strategies don’t come as a result of poor planning, they occur within the execution of the strategy itself. Whether they manifest as formatting errors or come in the shape of missed deadlines or overlooked posts, avoidable strategy issues can spell the difference between success and failure. And the most frustrating thing? They are almost always totally avoidable.

Things always get a lot busier around Christmas. Having a meticulously organised plan is integral to getting the results you desire. But they can only take effect if you stick to them. When things get busy success is all about adaptability and proper time management.

These Christmas social media tools will help you keep on track and ensure you don’t totally lose it before the new year comes around.

Buffer

Buffer is one of the best examples of social media management software and is the top choice of many industry professionals. It allows you to organise and manage profiles across various social networks, create custom posting schedules, design and share content, view rich reports and analytics and better understand the strengths (and weaknesses) of your strategy.

As far Christmas social media tools go, Buffer is great as it allows you to streamline your posting process and better manage your time. It also offers an app which means you can make use of your time on the go too. The free version has limited features - make use of the free trial over Christmas to see how much it helps you before you invest.

Everypost

Any social media marketer who makes use of Everypost will be able to see that it was designed with simplicity in mind. It allows you to connect all of your social media accounts across different networks including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest. It has a simple interface that empowers you to build unique visual content from a variety of sources.

Everypost allows social media managers to rework their business flow to save themselves time and energy. It offers a free version with limited features with four other pricing plans depending on your business needs. Give it a go over Christmas to see how much it improves your workflow.

Later

Later is a simple app that allows you to schedule and manage your Instagram marketing. Instagram is fast becoming an integral part of social media marketing strategies - so as far as Christmas social media tools go, Later is a really useful tool. It is has been made to allow you to organise and schedule your visual content, so it could be great for ecommerce and product-focused users, and businesses who engage with visual content.

Hootsuite & TweetDeck

Worthy mention for the two staples of social media scheduling. Hootsuite is one of the best known pieces of social media marketing software around allowing you to link, manage, post, schedule and analyse. In reality, it requires you invest in a paid plan to get the most out of it. Tweetdeck is the staple post scheduler for Twitter. As Christmas social media tools that allow you to save time and streamline your posting strategy, they are both no-brainers.

The First Ever Facebook Live 360 Broadcast

Facebook Live 360 Broadcast National Geographic

Facebook have announced the introduction of Facebook Live 360 degree video, with the first published 360 Live stream scheduled to be broadcast on the National Geographic Facebook page at 20:00 Greenwich Mean Time.

Yesterday, in a post on Facebook Media Centre, the launch of Live 360 was announced by product manager Supratik Lahiri and software engineer Chetan Gupta. The announcement brings the social networking giant into the running for what is likely to be the next big thing in social media development. YouTube recently rolled out 4K 360 live broadcasting - so it's unsurprising to see Facebook aren’t far behind.

Unlike YouTube, Facebook's attempts appear to more user-friendly. While all users are currently able to stream in 360 on YouTube to do so requires special encoder software. Facebook look set to make 360 live broadcasting easily accessible to normal profiles from a mobile device without the need of access to external software. The function will be rolled out to Facebook’s Live API next year before being rolled out to pages and users over time.

As yet users are currently unable to view Live 360 videos through VR headsets, however replays can be viewed through them. According to Techcrunch there is currently no support for 4K resolution - but this is something that Facebook is considering.

The first Facebook Live 360 broadcast

According to Facebook the first Live 360 broadcast will come direct from the Mars Desert Research Station facility in Utah on the National Geographic Facebook page at 12pm PT (20:00 GMT). This is how Facebook describes the feature and the aims of the stream:

“We’re excited to combine these two formats with Live 360 video. Live 360 transports people into new experiences - right as they happen… People around the world will be able to discover and explore this video on Facebook.”

Facebook Adds Snapchat-esque Geo-filters

Facebook Snapchat Style Update

Facebook has continued its tirade into casual plagiarism by releasing another feature reminiscent of Snapchat’s lenses and filters. Facebook’s new Camera Effects Platform will allow users to add what they are calling "frames" - custom image geo-filters.

Facebook have been on something of a feature poaching tirade in recent months, and for the large part Snapchat have been the victims. Most recently these have come in the guise of an updated in-app camera offering Snapchat-esque filters, Snapchat-esque filters in Facebook Live and even an attempt to buy the Asian Snapchat clone Snow. Although the offer was rejected, it was yet another example of Facebook taking on Snapchat and shows just how serious they are.

Facebook’s Camera Effects Platform has one thing that separates it from Snapchat’s filters. Whereas those of the latter are pre-approved by the network, those of Facebook are community created and submitted by people and pages for approval.

The process seems simple enough - you create a geo-filter that surrounds the subject of a photo and has some connection with an event or location, Facebook approves it and others in the area can use it too. Although Facebook have made use of photo frames for users’ profile pictures since 2015, this is the first time they have allowed users to create their own.

According to information acquired by TechCrunch, Camera Effects Platform will initially be open to users in Mexico, Colombia, Taiwan, the UK, and Ireland, as “they’re where the profile frames have been used the most to date.”

How do I create a frame?

Custom photo frames for Facebook could prove popular with local businesses, especially bars, restaurants and venues during events who make use of user-generated content as part of their marketing strategy.  If you want to create one and make sure it get’s approved by Facebook, check out this handy online guide. Full details on guidelines for frames will soon be available on Facebook’s help centre.

Facebook Express Wifi Launched in India

Facebook Express Wifi launched in India

Facebook’s Internet.org has launched a new service in India in a bid to connect those in currently under-served areas. Express Wifi works alongside local businesses to offer affordable access to the internet.

This isn’t the first attempt Zuckerberg has made at trying to take advantage of parts of the global population that are still offline. Facebook’s Free Basics program, born from Internet.org and originally launched in February, was effectively banned not long afterwards. Much to Mark’s dismay, regulating authorities and indeed a large proportion of protesters, were not best pleased by the restrictive nature of the app.

Free Basics would have been a wholly free-to-use (surprising, no?) internet service provided by Facebook, intended to give access to under-served areas. However, because of its nature it only allowed access to a limited number of websites. It was therefore deemed to put too much power in the hands of the social network and be opposed to principles of net neutrality.

While we remain impartial, we can certainly understand the standpoint of India’s Telecoms Regulation. Free Basics essentially took advantage of certain areas by splitting internet users into those with access and those with access to only what Facebook considers worthy. And it's not unlike Facebook to try and remould the internet around themselves - most of their updates have been intended to limit the amount of time users are forced to spend off of the network, and they certainly don’t make it easy for their competitors.

Facebook Express Wifi

Unlike Free Basics, Express Wifi offers data packs that aren’t restricted. Because Facebook don’t get their way by choosing what users can and can’t view, it does come at a price - albeit a small price. Although we don’t know for certain what this is, the whole point is affordable access for those who currently have none, working with local ISPs, operators and retailers.

Instagram Live Video & Ephemeral Direct Messaging

Instagram Live Video Update

As one half of a two-part major update, Instagram live video capabilities have begun rolling out with an ephemeral twist on Stories to users globally. The new feature comes alongside yet another Snapchat-esque addition that allows users to send disappearing photos and videos as direct messages.

The announcement of Instagram live video was made in a post on the official Instagram Blog. More detailed information about how to use these new features has also been added to the Instagram Help Center, giving users simple step-by-step instructions on how to use Instagram live video and share ephemeral content on Instagram Direct.

The fact that live video would soon be coming to Instagram was originally hinted at by CEO Kevin Systrom at the beginning of the month. At that point, little indication was given as to how long users would have to wait before these features arrived; apparently far less time than expected.

Instagram has been steadily adding more and more features that resemble those on rival network Snapchat for the past few months. These have likely been a bid to entice more Snapchat users (typically young adults and teenagers) away and onto Instagram. The image sharing network has experienced major growth in the past year, but a larger percentage of this growth has been outside the US where younger users are clinging desperately to its rival.

Instagram have this to say about the update - we have added a few personal translations to it in bold brackets to give you a better idea of what might be going on:

    “In August, we introduced Instagram Stories as a way to share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile [and to steal back all those pesky kids from our nemeses over at Snap]. We’ve seen stories open up a new side of what people share on Instagram [because they can’t be bothered to switch to Snapchat anymore when the same features are already there for them], and now over 100 million people use it every day [so our takeover has, so far, been fruitful]... you’ll soon have two more ways to share freely and in the moment.”

Joking aside, Instagram are following the tide of the most successful social networks in expanding their video capabilities and embracing live content - something that has experienced major growth in popularity throughout 2016.

In this day and age, key social networks have to ensure they envisage and expand with user’s developing preferences. Facebook has taken this to a new level this year; barely a day goes by when they aren’t trialing a new potential feature. Unlike Twitter who only recently discovered what QR codes are.

Twitter Introduces User-specific QR Codes

Twitter Introduces QR Codes

Twitter has now introduced QR codes for its iOS and Android apps, and as yet, nobody is entirely sure why. Very much in the same vein of Snapchat, the new feature allows users to directly follow users by scanning QR codes linked to their profiles.

The new feature is a very simple concept, especially when you consider that it is one that Snapchat have been making use of for quite a long time now. It was announced yesterday in a tweet by Brittany Forks, a designer at Twitter.

The new feature seems to be confirmation that Twitter are more than content to join in on the latest social media craze of ‘doing what Snapchat do’. You don’t have to look far to see that many social networks have been adopting this model, most notably with Instagram adding their finite Stories feature. Not that we are knocking stories - on the contrary, we believe they can be a great tool for building your strategy and expanding your content. Check out our Instagram Stories how-to guide here.

Twitter’s QR codes have been slightly less well received than similar expansions on Snapchat’s models. The reason for this seems fairly simple. They are, for all intents and purposes, rather hidden away. On iOS they can be found by navigating to your profile, tapping the gear icon and then “QR code”. On Android the path is slightly different - navigate to either the “...” menu on your profile.

Obviously the encouragement is for users to share their QR code elsewhere and limit the amount of investment it takes by others to follow them. The issue is that in order to make use of them this user has to return to the same place in order to bring up the QR code scanner. So it could potentially be easier to just search for the user and follow them manually.

QR codes are widely used as a tool to follow users on Snapchat. They are also available on Messenger but not at all popular - which is likely to be the case for Twitter too, simply because users have been fine without them so far.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 13

Contact us

Get in touch and claim your FREE proposal today

Just want to have a chat?

Phone: 02392 819051
Address: Unit 3, 373/375 Old Commercial Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 4QG