WE ARE SOCIAL: WEDNESDAY WRAP-UP #230
Snapchat is all grown up and it wants to be taken seriously, dammit! Not only will it look after you when you feel the insatiable desire to swap your face with another person/dog/creepy celebrity tabloid shot, it will now allow you to show friends you care by sharing a GIF of your own face mid-conversation and demand someone speak to you via Snapchat when you’re not even chatting to them. And if you couldn’t say it all in emojis or English, now you have Stickers to add to your palette (and replace all emotions…). The platform has officially gone from cute, fun kid to experimental teenager in one single update.
Instagram believes in our attention spans
If you have trouble paying attention to something for 15 seconds, Instagram’s new 60-second videos will surely melt your mind. But if you’re one of those video-hungry suckers responsible for the 40 percent spike in video views over the last six months, you’re in luck! Brands will no longer have to pay for that extra 45 seconds of content, and us plebs will be able to take advantage of it, too. Finally, another platform to share your full Sun Salutation with the world! Then, don’t forget to call your friend on “SnapPhone” and tell them about it…
TV-quality live videos are coming to Facebook
In other video news, Live video on Facebook is about to get a Facelift. The social media giant is partnering with several publishers to start providing high-quality live videos. Previously, live video on Facebook was recorded using smartphone and tablet cameras, whereas major publishers will soon be able to upload professionally-recorded content straight from their control rooms.
Already, various publishers ranging from news outlets to pro sports teams have embraced Facebook live streaming. This change could go a long way towards helping Facebook persuade more TV networks to deliver their video content on the platform.
Facebook’s new insight tool delivers more targeted ads
Another day, another Facebook tool. With three million advertisers fighting for the attention of more than a billion Facebook users, it was only a matter of time before they released a tool to let brands create more competitive campaigns. Delivery Insights will help brands understand how their promotions are performing in Facebook’s ads auction and eliminate the guesswork – instead pairing ads with the right users based on price, intent and quality.
Twitter confirms character limit and introduces Stickers
Despite murmurs around the water cooler of a 10,000-character limit on Twitter, Jack Dorsey, CEO, squashed rumours once and for all:
“It’s staying. It’s a good constraint for us. It allows for of-the-moment brevity.” Good. At least that’ll keep Kanye on a short leash…for now.
Elsewhere in the Twittersphere, the company wants to know whether or not you like stickers. Burning question, I know. Twitter is considering a new product it’s calling “Stickers” that would let you add images to photos before Tweeting them out. Perhaps more interestingly, Twitter says the feature will let you “see how other users from around the world have edited the same photo” and will also “suggest photos that you can edit and post to participate in trending conversations and breaking news.” Snapchat vs. Twitter sticker-off, anyone?
Periscope broadcasts 200 million streams in its first year
Another social celebration is in order! This weekend, Periscope celebrated its one-year anniversary by revisiting some of its favourite broadcasts that have been on the service. And what a year it’s been. The platform has gone from being a little-known startup to rising to prominence within Twitter’s ranks. In addition to reaching 200 million broadcasts, it was also revealed that 110 years’ worth of live video is watched per day, which represents a 91 percent increase from last August. Periscope’s launch in March 2015 came just as its main competitor at the time, Meerkat (who?), started to gain traction at SxSW. Fast forward to a year later – Meerkat has pivoted, and the live video market continues to grow with the introduction of Facebook Live and, soon, YouTube Connect. Stay strong, Periscope.
YouTube Connect live-streaming app to take on Periscope
It’s all heating up in the world of streaming, hey? Google has quietly been building a new live-streaming app called YouTube Connect in an effort to take on Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live. YouTube Connect has much of the same functionality that you’d expect – chat and tagging features and a news feed that features the latest clips from your friends or those that you’ve subscribed to on YouTube. No doubt YouTube Connect comes around after talk of the platform losing a bit of its luster against growing competitors. It’s hardly ground-breaking stuff, but always good to have a healthy bit of competition.
Snapchat buys Bitstrips for $100 million
In another effort to make Snaps actual masterpieces, Snapchat has purchased Bitstrips – the service behind those funny DIY comic strips. Bitstrips lets users create comics starring themselves and their friends, and they have made almost every aspect – from clothing to facial hair – personalisable.
You can put yourself into all sorts of unusual comic strip situations, and add the avatars of any friends who also use the service. Whilst it is currently not known what Snapchat may have planned for Bitstrips, I believe it can only end in world domination…one selfie at a time.
Tumblr is finally bringing comments back
Tumblr users, rejoice! Your platform is again an open forum per the announcement that they are restoring one of their most-missed features – replies to posts. The company scrapped the reply feature in November and users were not happy. However, in a bid to heal the wounds, Tumblr has not only brought back the feature, but also upgraded it. Now, the functionality is more conversational than ever, with authors able to reply to their own post. This is much more innovative than the previous version, which was essentially just a straightforward comments section. The upgraded feature now allows the author to be more involved, whether it be fending off negative comments or joining in on the banter.
In case you missed it, Twitter celebrated its 10th birthday last week, and We Are Social never passes up an opportunity to celebrate! As a result, we created happybirdday.wearesocial.com, a globally-led interactive digital microsite that showcases 100 of the decade’s biggest stories as told by Tweets. With moments ranging from #BringBackOurGirls and Peace for Paris, to ‘God’s’ first tweet and Miley Cyrus’s ‘free the nipple’ post, Twitter truly covered it all, and we felt the need to, too. Spoiler alert: we also celebrated some of our agency’s own history, such as the first Tweets from our co-founders and the agency itself. #humblebrag
Our Sydney team also went ahead and called out a few of their favourites, which you can view here. The site will be chirping all year long, so feel free to jump in on the digital party!