Facebook revamps News Feed to prioritise live videos
Facebook has altered its News Feed algorithm to give preference to live videos, explaining that users are now spending three times longer watching live video in comparison to an archived stream. The new concept aims to seamlessly unite live video and your timeline together cough Persicope cough. Some publishers have already welcomed the news - Huffington Post has said it will live streaming election coverage on Facebook instead of its website because that way it's easier to interact with its correspondents. Additionally, brands who have previously said they’re more likely to use Periscope when live streaming may be swayed over now Facebook automatically pushes these videos to the top. RIP Periscope? RIP my data allowance!
Facebook Messenger partners with Spotify
Remember the days when Facebook Messenger was used purely as a messaging platform? These days you can use it to order an Uber, chat to brands directly and now, share your awful taste in music. iOS and Android users can now share songs, artists or playlists that they are listening to by selecting the Spotify option in the ‘more’ section on Messenger. Once your friend taps the link, they’ll be ferried over to Spotify where they can cast judgment. Instead of sending screenshots or typing out song names (what a chore!), it aims to inspire deep conversations about music, boosting engagement for both Spotify and Messenger.
WhatsApp introduces support for document sharing
With over one billion monthly active users, WhatsApp is the big daddy of colloquial messaging, however on a professional basis it lacked a key functionality. So, last week, WhatsApp added a document sharing feature; it currently only recognises PDF files - great for e-tickets and scans - but it also lets you link to download files from iCloud and Dropbox. The move demonstrates WhatsApp's plans to monetize the service in a business environment.
Instagram blocks deep linking in bios
If you had a link to your Snapchat in your Instagram bio, like many celebrities and 13-year-old girls, it’s not going work anymore. That’s because Instagram is ‘flexing its platform muscle’ and getting rid of deep links to Snapchat and Telegram within the app. Instagram spokesperson stated that it is “not the way our platform was intended to be used. Other types of links are still allowed.” That’s good news if you want to share links to blogs, websites and YouTube pages but not such good news for Telegram, who shared their thoughts via Twitter:
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) March 2, 2016
This is going to seriously affect my Snapchat following, don’t worry guys – we’ll stay strong together X.
Facebook’s photo-sharing Moments app now supports video too
Introduced last June, Facebook's Moments app was an easier way to share photos with friends and family. Now, a new update has widened Moments’ scope to include video sharing. Alongside the news of the new video feature, Facebook took the opportunity to share the success of Moments, with a whopping 400 million photos shared since its launch. Legend has it that before the days of Facebooking, Tweetering and Snapchatting, people shared moments face to face. It’s probably just a myth.
Snapchat reaches eight billion views per day
Eight billion. Eight. Billion. To break that down for you, that’s more than the population of Earth... and four times more than video-views-per-day figures that Snapchat released last May. It’s a big number. With its eight billion video views a day tally, Snapchat matches, at least on paper, Facebook's daily video views. Snapchat also revealed that its 100 million daily users are spending an average of 30 minutes each day on the platform, with over half of new joiners being over the age of 25. Snapchat was unavailable to comment on their success; we can only assume that they're too busy projectile vomiting rainbows.
11th March: Snapchat Day
Snapchat is teaming up with Major League Baseball to launch the first ever Snapchat Day (yes, really). Usually, MLB policies forbids the use of social media during regular and postseason but this year, Snapchat Day will see content broadcast from players and teams for all to see. This multi-year partnership will see the app cover a series of games and events throughout the series and users can even add individual teams for exclusive behind-the-scenes footage. Snapchat will benefit from ad revenue the partnership content pulls in, and MLB will attract a younger fan base. I’m personally holding out hope for a Snapchat Day public holiday.
LinkedIn launches targeting ad feature
LinkedIn now allows businesses to target ads to specific companies that they’re actually trying to reach, by running native ads through Sponsored updates or Sponsored InMail campaigns. The feature, aptly named ‘Account targeting’, allows marketers to provide a list of up to 30,000 companies they wish to target. LinkedIn then completes the nitty-gritty checks to see which of those are amongst the 8 million companies using LinkedIn before targeting their pages, on top of matching certain criteria such as seniority. According to Lindsey Edwards, senior product manager for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, there have been promising results so far, with customers investing increasing amounts.
Apple finally joins Twitter
About time, guys! As of last week, you can now communicate with Apple on Twitter, by using their new customer service handle @AppleSupport. The account, which seeks to “provide tips, tricks and helpful information when you need it most”, racked up an enviable 24,000 followers within two hours. Although Apple has dabbled in Twitter handles before for specific products like iTunes and Apple Music, their new strategy highlights the importance of using as many channels for customer service as possible. Time to bombard @AppleSupport with all the questions I’m too lazy to Google.