Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Twitter, Facebook, Google and Snapchat – just in case you missed them…

social media

#1 Twitter rumoured to relax 140-character limit by excluding photos and links
By The Telegraph:

  • The social media company is making a major shift in how it counts characters in posts, giving users more freedom to compose longer messages
  • The change could happen in the next two weeks, although the decision isn’t yet public
  • Links currently take up 23 characters, even after Twitter automatically shortens them. The company declined to comment

#2 Facebook introduces interactive Live Video map
By The Drum:

  • Facebook has begun the roll-out of a global interactive map designed to visualise the location of live video feeds from strangers around the world, marking the latest move by Facebook to put video at the heart of its business
  • A clickable screen allows browsers to choose from a live ranking of the most highly rated feeds on a left-hand column or travel the planet by clicking on a random blue dot from others around the world
  • It is intended to improve navigation and search by enabling people to more readily source content from new broadcasters, without having to directly follow that individual person or group

#3 Twitter is introducing a Periscope live-streaming button in its mobile apps
By TechCrunch:

  • Twitter is fighting back in the streaming war with an integration between Periscope, its live-streaming platform and the Twitter mobile apps
  • As part of a gradual rollout, a small number of Twitter for Android users have a ‘Go Live’ button alongside existing media options, such as record video or attach image, when they create a tweet
  • Those with the app already installed on their phone are directed to Periscope when they click the button, all others are sent to the app store where they can download the live-streaming app
  • Beyond redirecting users to another app with this integration, it’ll be interesting to see if Twitter explores a more seamless, straight-to-broadcast, option inside the Twitter app in the future — because Facebook is already doing that

#4 Google’s latest app, Spaces, aims to simplify group sharing
By The Verge:

  • The company has announced Spaces, an app for Android, iOS, and the web that’s designed to make it easier to share in group conversations without hopping between apps to copy and paste links
  • Spaces comes with built-in Google Search, YouTube and Chrome, looking partly like an everyday messaging app, but also sees some influence from Google+
  • The app’s search feature lets you pull up previous images, videos and comments that have been sent along

#5 Facebook testing tool that lets users reply to comments using videos
By The Drum:

  • Video commenting is being tested in several countries on Facebook’s iOs and Android apps as well as in-browser
  • Select users have been served notifications highlighting the new feature and are being given the option to click the camera icon to add video comments
  • Facebook has confirmed that video comments won’t autoplay and will appear in exactly the same way on the platform, as videos published via status updates currently do
  • The move is part of Facebook’s aggressive video strategy, which it has been giving greater focus to of late with the roll out of real-time streaming service Live, tweaking its algorithm to favour live videos, pushing them to the top of newsfeeds

#6 Snapchat called out over skin-lightening selfie filters
By The Drum:

  • Snapchat has found itself at the heart of social media criticism over its use of the Coachella skin tone lightening filter, which reportedly ‘whitewashes’ facial features to give those with darker skin a lighter complexion
  • This has sparked criticism from some who believe it reinforces stereotypical notions of beauty
  • Such concerns haven’t dented the popularity of the filter, as many share their pre and post filter looks on social media



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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr – just in case you missed them…

social media

#1 New report finds young users aren’t fans of targeted social ads
By Econsultancy:

  • New study by Harris Poll for Lithium Technologies reveal marketers that are using targeted social ads to reach members of these groups may be shooting themselves in the foot
  • Out of 2,000 consumers, 74% took issue with marketers targeting their social feeds and 56% said they were cutting back or stopping use of social platforms because of these ads
  • Facebook grew its ad sales by a whopping 57% in the first quarter of 2016

#2 Pinterest brings back affiliate links
By Business Insider:

  • Pinterest is bringing back the top way that its users make money from the site, affiliate links, which gave Pinners a cut of the sale when other users bought one of the products that they had posted
  • Pinterest says it decided to bring affiliate capabilities back because it has strengthened its spam technology enough to weed out bad behaviour and it wants to reward its users
  • Pinterest depends on its users to create all the content that it can sell ads between, so it needs people willing to put a lot of time into its platform, and the company admits that it wasn’t doing enough to support the people it relied on

#3 Facebook trialling music video product to rival YouTube
By The Drum:

  • Facebook is testing a music video product, Slideshow, that allows users to share photos and videos, now with accompanying music from Warner Music Group
  • This year has seen Facebook bolster efforts to host video and music content within its walls, as Zuckerberg announced in the company’s earnings call: “We’re at the beginning of a golden age of online video”
  • In December last year Facebook announced a partnership with music service, Deezer, in a deal that will allow the social network giant to integrate music sharing into the news feed

#4 Zuckerberg denies Facebook news bias
By The Drum:

  • Mark Zuckerberg has spoken out against allegations that Facebook suppressed right-wing news stories from its Trending Topics section, and has invited leading conservatives to discuss the matter in the near future
  • The Facebook chief took to the platform last week to say his company had found “no evidence” that claims made by former employees to Gizmodo around the social network’s censorship policies were true
  • The move to address the issue follows on from a letter sent to Facebook by senior senate republican John Thume, requesting Zuckerberg reveal the processes by which Facebook selects content for its Trending news bar by the end of this month

#5 Tumblr invites users to play around with experimental features with Labs addition
By The Drum:

  • Tumblr has invited its 110m registered users to play around with a variety of experimental features still in beta testing in a bid to iron out any kinks before the changes are enacted for real
  • Amongst the initial batch of features available for testing are graphs displaying posts’ re-blogs, advanced scheduling options for queue posts and the ability to colour coordinate posts with an individual’s Tumblr theme
  • These amount to a little more than tinkering around the edges of the existing Tumblr interface, however, those hoping for a more extensive overhaul of the micro-blogging platform have to wait a while yet

#6 Facebook, YouTube and Twitter sued for ‘failure to remove homophobic content’
By The Telegraph:

  • France’s largest anti-racism group, its Jewish students’ union and a gay rights movement are suing three social media networks for failing to remove racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic content
  • The groups found 586 examples of such content and only 4% of this hate content was removed on Twitter, 7% on YouTube and 34% on Facebook



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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Twitter – just in case you missed them…

social media

#1 Instagram pilots dedicated brand pages with direct contact button
By The Drum:

  • Instagram is piloting a number of updates that will let companies build dedicated brand pages complete with a contact button for users to get in touch by email or obtain directions
  • Built along similar lines to Facebook Pages, the profiles will be categorised by type and utilise the familiar blue tick verification system, pilfered by Facebook from Twitter several years ago, to add a degree of trust
  • However, the system is only being trialled amongst a limited subset of users for now and companies are limited to engaging directly with the public via likes, comments and links

#2 Snapchat users paying up to thousands for custom filters to celebrate life events
By The Guardian:

  • Snapchat is offering to tailor its social media service for specific users so that they can celebrate a special event e.g. prom, birthday or a wedding on the service in their own unique way and tied to where the event is taking place
  • Businesses are piling in too and Snapchat appears to have found a way to earn revenue directly from everyday users by getting them to pay to create their own content
  • Snapchat confirmed that weddings, events and local business ads are the most popular on-demand geo-filters so far

#3 LinkedIn in talks with major publishers to launch Facebook-like Instant Articles feature
By The Drum:

  • LinkedIn is attempting to strengthen its news offering and is reportedly in talks with a number of major media outlets to introduce new publishing features to dramatically boost page loading times for articles
  • LinkedIn has increasingly worked to position itself as a leading platform for business news and in doing so purchased Pulse, a news reader that is now embedded into its main platform
  • If publishers were to partner for the Instant Articles-style feature, the site would significantly strengthen its reputation as a go-to source for business news

#4 Yubl social media app overtakes Skype, Pinterest and LinkedIn in UK App Store rankings
By Mirror.co.uk:

  • A new app called Yubl has claimed fourth position in Apple‘s UK ranking of free social networking apps, just 10 weeks after launching on the App Store
  • Yubl users can create animated and interactive posts by combining text, stickers, video, photos “buttons” and then share their posts with groups of friends
  • The app won’t carry intrusive advertising now or in the future, the company said

#5 Twitter launches Connect tab to help you find accounts to follow
By The Verge:

  • Twitter is revamping its tabs at the top of your feed today by launching Connect, a new feature aimed at helping you figure out which accounts to follow
  • The Connect tab will pull together follow recommendations based on where you’re located, who you already follow and major events happening on Twitter
  • As Twitter continues to fail to appeal to a mainstream audience, Connect is likely an attempt to make it easier for users to figure out what to do when they’re on Twitter

#6 Snapchat invites UK users to share an election selfie with ‘I voted’ filters
By The Drum:

  • Voters were encouraged to share election day selfies via a series of filters designed to show they had paid a visit to their local polling station
  • In 2014, the Electoral Commission had to issue a warning against voting booth selfies, for fear of voters posting them on social media and threatening the secrecy of the ballot

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Facebook, LinkedIn, Periscope, Snapchat and Twitter – just in case you missed them…

social media

#1 Facebook is building another camera app
By The Guardian:

  • Facebook is reported to be building a standalone camera app – its fourth attempt to do so
  • The app will make it easy for users to jump between still photography, video recording and live video streaming, all presented through a Snapchat-style camera-first view
  • The app is intended to combat a decline in personal image and video sharing on the site, as well as prompt greater use of the company’s Live Video feature

#2 LinkedIn’s revenue up 35% in Q1
By SocialTimes:

  • LinkedIn reported first-quarter 2016 revenue of $861 million, up 35 percent compared with the year-earlier period
  • Marketing Solutions, including advertising, brought in $154 million, up 29 percent compared with the first quarter of 2015

#3 Twitter adds function to report multiple abusive tweets at same time
By The Guardian:

  • Previously, users had to manually report each abusive tweet individually, filling out the required report repeatedly
  • It follows the introduction of muting, blocking and reporting tools and recently the addition of a “quality filter”, which is designed to automatically screen out abusive language from a user’s notifications

#4 Periscope launches Sketching, improved viewer stats for streams
By SocialTimes:

  • Periscope launched the latest version of its iOS application, which includes the sketching feature originally revealed earlier this month
  • The sketching feature allows users to draw pictures on their live streams, which disappear after a few seconds
  • Periscope now provides improved viewer statistics for completed streams, including a graph that displays how the live viewer count changed over the course of a broadcast that also marks the time when a stream received its peak viewership

#5 Talkshow, the latest viral app
By Mashable:

  • A new text messaging app called Talkshow became the next big social platform on Tuesday for its concept: like “texting in public”
  • The iOS-only app lets users host message-based “Talkshows” about various topics, from sports and politics to TV and music
  • People notify followers when a Talkshow is live, encouraging anyone who’s watching to send messages, post reactions and GIFs or even join in as a co-host

#6 Snapchat confirms that 10 billion videos are being watched daily
By Marketing Land:

  • Snapchat users are watching 10 billion videos a day, up from 8 billion two months ago
  • The boom in video activity is mainly due to Snapchat’s “Stories” feature, which enables content creators to share photos and videos of their lives from within the previous 24 hours
  • Note that on Snapchat, a view is counted as soon as someone starts watching a snap, which means that if the person doesn’t complete the whole video, it’s still counted

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Facebook and Twitter – just in case you missed them…

social media

#1 Facebook’s news algorithm changing… Again
By The Guardian:

  • This time the site wants to make sure users are getting more of the content they actually spend time reading or watching
  • It is believed this change is a result of Facebook’s access to more data on user behaviour off the site, which will help to create the metrics needed
  • This change follows a series of tweaks the platform has made to ensure article consumption is experienced in a positive way in an attempt to keep users on the site

#2 Twitter’s location tagging extended to Yelp
By The Drum:

  • Previously geo-tagging was provided solely by Foursquare, however, Twitter has announced an integration with Yelp in the UK and Japan
  • Yelp gives users more detailed information in their tags and allows business owners to reach out to potential customers through Twitter following a Yelp geo-tag
  • This has already rolled out in Germany and France

#3 Facebook to become a payments mechanism
By The Independent:

  • Facebook plans to join the likes of Samsung, Apple and Android to offer a payments service to its users
  • The social network already has 1.6bn regular users so will already have a strong stake in the ground when it comes to rolling out the service
  • It is possible that Facebook would have a massive advantage in this field as it would know much more about customers than any bank would, and be able to make more informed decisions on possible credit risk
  • Facebook would have access to shopping preferences and recent locations, much more information than the average bank ever knows about its customers

#4 Twitter has its first new business chief in China
By USA Today:

  • Despite being banned in mainland China since 2009, Twitter is looking for further advertising growth in the country
  • Twitter opened a Hong Kong office in 2009 and has begun engaging with advertisers, content providers and influencers in China

#5 Facebook backdoor revealed by “friendly” hacker
By TechRadar:

  • A white hat hacker has been rewarded for finding a potential issue that allowed staff usernames and passwords to be extracted
  • The issue has since been fixed and Facebook has reiterated that it was not user’s personal data at risk

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