It’s time for another round of Imitation versus Innovation; where we explore who’s breaking tech ground with new social media concepts and who simply relies on existing methods. If you haven’t read this before, feel free to check out Imitation vs Innovation vol. 1 on our blog.
Twitter Engage to Reach Influencers
Twitter has just released Twitter Engage, a brand new Twitter app that allows celebrities, creators and public figures to better connect with fans and influencers. It provides analytics, similar to the information available on Twitter analytics, just in app form, and enables users to monitor things like important followers, mentions and general statistics. It’s currently only available in the United States.
Facebook’s New Personal Organiser
Ok, so this might be a bit of a stretch, but Facebook has just updated its Messenger service to include services like Favourites (the people who you chat to the most), birthday notifications and an Active Now feature, which shows you who’s available online in real time.[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@MediaVision”]#NewsTip: Instagram reached 500 million users in June, with more than 300 million active users daily.[/tweetthis]
Longer Videos on Twitter
Instagram was the first app to increase its video creation time, with Twitter now following closely behind. From June 2016, Twitter now allows longer videos to be uploaded directly to the platform. Previously only 30 second videos were allowed, now you can tweet videos up to 140 seconds long! Very clever Twitter, very clever.
I personally love this feature as now I’ll be able to share snaps directly in Twitter. Why would I want to do that?
- I can express myself in video via Twitter.
- Because snap links don’t play in Twitter, meaning users have been missing out on the videos I make.
- I can share snaps as a promo to my Snapchat channel.
Upload videos to Twitter directly from within the tweet.
Longer Videos on Vine
Because Twitter owns Vine, they are also rolling out this feature on the platform. Currently, a select group of Vine creators are able to share up to 140 seconds of video on Vine. This will roll out to everyone else over the course of this year.
Instagram Algorithm Now Live
Yip, the dreaded Instagram algorithm is now live. Just like Facebook, your image feed has now been curated to list, what they perceive to be, your accounts of interest first. It’s not that easy to tell how they’ve done it. To see if yours is live, check the time on an image – what time was it published? Your top photo might say 19 hours ago and then next image, 1 hour ago.
Broadcast Live from YouTube
While YouTube has offered live streaming on the platform since 2011, they are rolling out the feature for all users from June 2016. YouTube will allow users to broadcast/live stream from their mobiles wherever they are. Developed for mobile, users can rely on all the regular features of YouTube through their YouTube app. They will start rolling the feature out with a number of influencers, and move to general users in a few months.
“Snapcodes” for Facebook
Okay, so it’s not exactly snapcodes, but it’s the same principle. You can now send people your Facebook page using a simple Facebook QR code. Personally, I don’t really see the point because if you’re driving traffic from your website, you will have the direct link there. On the upside, it could be a handy ‘digital business card’ for you to keep on your mobile. Share it with new business contacts that you meet off-the-cuff. Find it in your Page’s Messages inbox. Scroll to the bottom and click the information icon for your code to show:
Facebook Page Handles
Your Facebook page now also has a handle. Yip! Go to your Facebook page and underneath the page title, you will see the handle for your page. Facebook claims this will make it easier for people to find your business as you will simply be able to tell them what your page handle is, much like Twitter. Personally I find it interesting that Facebook is making it easier for us to share our business pages when they stifle the reach so much. So they want people to follow, but not for the followers to see our content? Mysterious.
Snap Chat One Handed Zoom
Yes Snapchat, yes! For far too long smartphone lovers have had to struggle zooming in with two hands. From this May, Snapchat has updated their software to allow users to zoom in while recording, with one hand. But how you ask? In order to record on Snapchat you have to hold your finger down on the record button. If you slide your finger up (and off) then surely it will stop the recording function? Not anymore! As long as you don’t break the contact point, you will be able to zoom in.
Why does this matter? Because sometimes when you’re capturing a moment, you really need to zoom in to catch the detail. A number plate, billboard sign, a bird carrying a snake – whatever! It helps capture the focus point in your video.
So thank you Snapchat, thank you.
Drop the Full Stop
Your Twitter timeline is about to get even busier. In years gone by, we’ve been required to use the ‘.@MrsYou’ convention in order for tweets to be seen by all our followers. Failing to do this used to result in a tweet being directly sent to the person whose name started the tweet (in this case, @MrsYou). Twitter has announced that they will no longer be using this convention and any tweet starting with an @ sign will be shown to all your followers.
360 Photos on Facebook
360 video creation has barely gotten off the ground and already Facebook is jumping on the image creation. This June Facebook launched 360 photos, which transforms static 2D panoramic photographs into interactive 360 degree landscapes. Now users can capture their surroundings in 360 form. Here’s how:
When you take a panoramic photograph you start from one side and pan to the other, capturing the landscape in one even line. Now you’re able to capture the entire space that surrounds you, share the image and allow others to see exactly where you are.
Planning on travelling? Now you can publish 360 images of the secret, magical places you visit. Think inside the Vatican, St Peter’s Basilica, the National Gallery in London or from the top of the Eiffel tower. If there’s a tiger sneaking up behind you in the jungle, everyone will be able to see it now! Facebook now allows you to capture your entire environment, and share it with those you left behind at home.
This is a good development for users to improve their sharing experience, as well as for Facebook to improve its engagement rate, something they have struggled with in recent times.
User Directory for Snapchat
Ok so this isn’t really a development by Snapchat but it is for Snapchat. Finding users can be pretty tricky on the world famous micro video maker, which is why Ghost Codes is such a win. It’s not perfect, but it’s a help. Ghost Codes is an app that allows you to log in with your SnapChat and find other like-minded users or topics that you’re interested in, which is something you can’t currently do direct from SnapChat. It’s like a directory of users, which makes curating your interests a lot easier.
More Than 140 Characters on Twitter
I’ve personally always liked the 140 character feature of Twitter. It 100% forces you to be creative, write short copy and express a single point, or two, in one tweet. BUT…and its a big but…it’s very difficult to do that plus add a link and an image. Then it feels like you have 10 characters to say something!
After years of sticking to their guns, Twitter has FINALLY decided to stop punishing us when we want include images. From the middle of this year onwards, we will now have 140 characters for text, and images will no longer be subtracted from the designated 140 characters. Unfortunately, links will still count against the total number of characters.
This is a great development. Engagement is important for platforms, and when brands only get to make half a point due to space constraints, it compromises the quality of the message. This new development will allow brands to write better quality messages and not have to compromise on what they’re trying to say.
“Say gud bi 2 Tweets lyk dis in da near fucha…”
As usual, the most important thing is to select channels that work for you and your brand. Do not try to keep up with all of them because this will lead to mediocre content. Choose a select few, master them, and do it well.