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  • February 24, 2017
  • By Mark Gandey
  • Comments Off on Social Media News Roundup: February ‘17 Week 4
  • in News

Social Media News Roundup: February ‘17 Week 4

social media news february 2017 week 4
Hardly an hour goes by without something happening in the world of social media. In our social media news roundup we look at the best stories from the past seven days.
Facebook continues Snapchat feature-pinching tirade with WhatsApp Status

Hardly a week goes by without Facebook repackaging one of Snapchat’s features as their own. This one was no exception. This time it is on the part of their messaging subsidiary app, WhatsApp. The major new feature is marketed as a substantial update to the originl text-only “status” feature - the one where users would have statuses along the lines of “out to lunch” or “busy” beside their profile.

WhatsApp Status is very much in the vein of Instagram Stories - which itself is an almost identical clone of Snapchat Stories. For this reason, the features will come as no suprise. WhatsApp Status lets users take photos, add stickers, text, drawings, and shares them to their contacts for 24 hours after which time they dissapear.

Twitter makes direct messaging with brands more personal

Twitter are attempting to make connecting with brands via direct messaging more personal with the addition of custom profiles. This means that when a user reaches out, businesses no longer have to respond with just their company name and can instead insert that of a customer service agent along with their photo. They believe this will help users feel more at ease knowing that they are talking to a person and not a bot.

Custom profiles are currently available through Twitter’s Direct Message API, which is currently in private beta - but verified brands can be whitelisted by filling out this form.

Instagram rolls out multiple photo uploads

Instagram have rolled out a major update in the shape of multiple photo uploads. For the first time users are able to post slideshows of up to 10 pictures. Multi-picture posts have been available to ads partners in the past and have now been rolled out to the public. Users can swipe left and right to flick between photos, however comments and likes will apply to the post as a whole.

Multiple photo uploads are available on Instagram version 10.9 for iOS and Android. Full details of how to post a slideshow are included in this article by the Telegraph.

User bags herself Instagram cruise dream job

Do you remember that incredible paid-internship that Royal Caribbean International were advertising for? In case you’ve forgotten, the chosen intern would have the opportunity to sail around the world for three weeks, snap three Instagram photos a day and get paid £3,000 for the privilege their work.

Well, after 75,000 applications the position has been filled by one Ciara Flynn, a tour guide from Dublin. She was chosen by judges after she submitted a photo of two young monks in Kathmandu. Congratulations Ciara - it’s safe to say almost every social media manager in the UK is incredibly jealous proud of you right now.

  • February 17, 2017
  • By Mark Gandey
  • Comments Off on Social Media News Roundup: February ’17 Week 3
  • in News

Social Media News Roundup: February ’17 Week 3

Social media news roundup february 2017 week 3
Week three of February has been a busy week for social media news. We’ve compiled the biggest news stories of the past seven days into one handy summary article.
Mark Zuckerberg posts 6,500 word manifesto

Mark Zuckerberg has posted a 6,500 word statement on his page reminiscent of a state of the union address. It reads as a riposte to recent criticisms of the social network and growing anti-globalization sentiment. It also makes a number of statements about the measures that Facebook can take in addressing and tackling a wide range of global issues including terrorism and inequality, with a view to building global community.

“Facebook stands for bringing us closer together and building a global community. When we began, this idea was not controversial. Yet now, across the world there are peple left behind by globalization, and movements for withdrawing from global connection.”

Zuckerberg recently denied that he would be running for President of the United States. His statement does not make any direct references to current devisive policies, rather focuses on vague references to empowering global connection and decreasing polarization. Read it here.

Facebook announces the introduction of job postings

Facebook is now muscling into the territory of LinkedIn with the introduction of features that enable job postings and applications from within the social network. The new feature was announced this week on the official blog and began rolling out to businesses in the USA and Canada. Simplicity seems to be the aim of the game here, as Facebook look to make the process of filling vacant roles as simple as possible.

“It's easy for Page admins to create a job post, track applications and communicate directly with applicants. After posting a job, Page admins will be able to review applications and contact applicants on Messenger, all on mobile and all in one place… The experience is simple for applicants, too. Job posts may appear in their News Feed, in the new bookmark for jobs, and alongside other posts on business Pages. ”

Facebook continue to make no secret of the fact that they intend to develop a multi-faceted service that limits the amount of time users have to spend on other networks/webpages.

Twitter begins temporarily restricting tweet reach for abusive users

Twitter has begun temporarily restricting the reach of tweets by users who have been flagged as potentially abusive. The new anti-abuse measure restricts tweets so that they can only be viewed by their direct followers. The change was spotted by BuzzFeed and has been described as being reminiscent of a “time out”. Flagged users are greeted with the same message, as shown below.

Twitter restricted tweet reach message

Recruiters complain about LinkedIn’s “confusing” redesign

A number of recruitment professionals have spoken up against LinkedIn’s new redesign, complaining that it has had an adverse effect on the way that members use free and premium service search functions. One user has even decided to start a petition urging the the company to restore perceived lost features, including the ability to tag connections on free accounts, radius area search for premium accounts and the ability to use ‘AND’ and ‘NOT’ in Boolean searches.

Facebook page pays homage to the boyfriends of Instagram

A hilarious Facebook page is paying homage to the boyfriends and partners on whose shoulders falls the responsibility to take those so-called ‘candid’ Instagram photos. Boyfriends of Instagram currently stands at nearly 31.5k likes and popularity is growing at a substantial rate.

  • February 10, 2017
  • By Mark Gandey
  • Comments Off on Social Media News Roundup: February ‘17 Week 2
  • in News

Social Media News Roundup: February ‘17 Week 2

Social Media News Roundup Week 2 February 2017
Hardly a day goes by without something happening in the world of social media. Every week we take a look back at some of the biggest social media news stories of the past seven days.
Facebook introduces new weather forecast feature

Facebook hab announced the roll-out of a new feature that puts a full local weather forecast directly within it’s mobile app and desktop site. The social network have confirmed the new feature has launced to around 95 percent of its global user base this week. The new feature is described as an expansion of its earlier “weather greetings”, short informational weather updates that appeared at the top of your feed in the morning.

The new Facebook Weather section is powered by data from Weather.com. It is available via the “more” menu on the mobile app and direct from News Feed on the desktop site. It offers exactly the kind of data that you would expect from a weather app; a full week’s weather forecast. It also features a cartoon-style header that is reactive to the current forecast.

Investors mistake little-known startup for Snapchat

Shares in a little-known video chat and online dating service provider have almost doubled in the past few days because investors mistook it for Snap Inc - the creator of popular social network Snapchat. The amount of daily Snapchat users grew to an average of 158 million at the end of December 2016.

The name of the little-known startup is Snap Interactive. It seems that investors were incredibly eager to invest in the first public offering of Snap Inc, who last week said it had filed for an initial public offering of $3bn. This resulted in shares of Snap Interactive growing by 164 percent.

Twitter announces new measures to tackle harassment and abuse

On Tuesday Twitter announced expansions to it’s efforts to protect users form abuse and harrassment. These include the prioritising of safer search results and the collapsing of potentially abusive, low-quality search results. Twitter have also outlined intentions to identify, suspend and stop the creation of new accounts by those who have been permanently suspended.

  • February 3, 2017
  • By Mark Gandey
  • Comments Off on Social Media News Roundup: February ’17 Week 1
  • in News

Social Media News Roundup: February ’17 Week 1

Social media news February
We’re only a few days into February and already it’s starting to look like a big month for social media news. Here are some of the biggest stories.
Facebook celebrates Friends Day with a strange video on a day which isn’t Friends Day

Facebook have released a feature where a strange alien-humanoid-robot-thing made of reaction emojis and pictures of best friends, who aren’t really best friends at all, dances for you on a video. It’s been made all the more confusing by apparently celebrating “Friends Day” - however the offical day marked as Friendship Day occurs in June or August.

Many users have taken to social networking to voice their distress. Many people have said that the photos used aren’t of friends at all but distant relatives and acquaintances that they had been meaning to un-friend for quite some time.

Back in 2015 Mark Zuckerberg posted about Friends Day, citing that it was Facebook’s birthday - but the day wasn’t about them at all, it was about friendship. And because it’s not about them at all, they are obviously allowed to change the date of a official day recognised by the United Nations. We look forward to Christmas when it occurs next Tuesday.

Stastics in Snapchat’s IPO filing show a massive drop in growth after Instagram Stories

According to statistics in Snap’s filed IPO, the introduction of Instagram Stories is likely to have contributed somewhat to a slowing in growth rates of 82% for Snapchat. Although other factors were present for the drop at the end of Q3 2016, such as technical errors and the rise of international competitor Snow, marketers and analysers are pointing fingers to Instagram.

At the time of the drop Snap were also introducing Memories, a feature which saves users’ content within the app. This has been cited as a bandwidth-sensitive feature so it is likely to have also contributed to the slowing-down of growth rates. However, a quick glance at the IPO shows that Snap may indirectly highlight Stories…

“There are many factors that could negatively affect user retention, growth and engagement, including if… users increasingly engage with competing products instead of ours [and] our competitors may mimic our products and therefore harm our user engagement and growth.”

Instagram tests multi-photo galleries/posts

Some sponsored Instagram posts have made use of posting multiple pictures for some time. Now it looks like the average user will soon have access to this function. Members of the Instagram Android Beta Program Have reveled that the latest beta allows users to enable multi-photo selection with a long-press on the first photo.

The feature has been confirmed by The Verge who mentioned that it may have cropped up a little earlier then the social network intended, as attempts to publish albums currently results in an error message. They reached out to Instagram for more information on when it could be expected, but a spokesperson declined to comment.

  • January 27, 2017
  • By Mark Gandey
  • Comments Off on Social Media News Roundup: January ’17 Week 4
  • in 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.

  • January 20, 2017
  • By Mark Gandey
  • Comments Off on Social Media News Roundup: January ’17 Week 3
  • in News

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.

  • January 12, 2017
  • By Mark Gandey
  • Comments Off on Facebook research looks to allow people to communicate via brain waves
  • in News, Social Media, Technology

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.

  • December 30, 2016
  • By Mark Gandey
  • Comments Off on Snapchat Introduces Enhanced Goal-based Bidding for Ads
  • in News, Social Media

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.

  • December 15, 2016
  • By Mark Gandey
  • Comments Off on Christmas Social Media Tools to Help Keep You Sane Until New Year
  • in News

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.

  • December 13, 2016
  • By Mark Gandey
  • Comments Off on The First Ever Facebook Live 360 Broadcast
  • in News, Social Media

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.”

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