Facebook users pump down the volume
So, it turns out the next big thing for online video might not be VR after all. The most popular video format on Facebook? Silent. Digiday reported as many as 85% of Facebook video views happen with the sound off. Additionally, they found KPIs such as brand lift and intent to purchase were not impacted by the users’ sound preference. Charlie Chaplin rerun, anyone?

Twitter confirms new character counts
While we caught this news leaked last week, Twitter kept us on the edge of our seats for seven days before confirming they ARE in fact removing media and links from the character count (cue jumps for joy from community managers!). And get this – they’re eliminating @handles from character strikes as well, and you’ll no longer need to include a full stop (.@handle) before tweeting @ someone for your whole following to see. For the self-loving Tweeters out there, you’ll now be able to RT and quote your own tweets. Enjoy reading more AND tweeting more, everyone!

Video ads on Facebook now visible…off Facebook
Have your videos seen (not heard) everywhere! Advertisers using video on Facebook can now increase reach by 10% thanks to the rollout of video ads on third-party websites. Facebook’s introduction of pre, mid and post-roll video content to the Facebook Audience Network means third-party sites including Daily Mail Online and USA Today will now display video ads as an extension of the ad buy (assuming a brand opts in).

‘Go Live’ button for Periscope and Twitter released on Android
Twitter is testing a ‘go live’ button that enables Android users to live broadcast on Periscope directly from the Twitter app. It’s currently only available to a select few, but Twitter said in a statement that all users would eventually have access to the service, making cross-platform promotion simpler and more seamless.

Is Vine falling out of favour?
Silent films are in. Short films are out. As such, short-form video platform, Vine, is struggling to retain users and influencers, and it was recently documented that thousands are abandoning the channel in favour of longer-form video platforms. In fact, 52% of users with more than 15,000 followers have officially signed off since January. Influencer Esa Fung, who had 50,000 Vine followers by 2013, said he was planning to focus on Facebook and YouTube despite the fact it meant more work. “Facebook and YouTube have much larger scale than Vine, so you can reach more people and make the most money there”, he said. Earn on, Esa, we don’t blame you!

Adidas Originals gets original on Snapchat
Adidas has given kicks and snaps a whole new meaning. Originals, Adidas’ lifestyle brand, launched its Snapchat channel last Friday and has been using it to tease items from its top-secret collaborations. The story featured musician Pharrell Williams flashing the first glimpse of his purple “HU” NMD kicks, and 4,000 users have already taken screenshots of the image. While other sportswear brands are using non-athlete celebrities, such as Puma with Kylie Jenner, their content has mostly consisted of ‘behind-the-scenes’ fodder. Adidas has taken it one fancy-footed step further by relying on influencers themselves to launch products and represent the brand.

Adidas Originals Snapchat

Paramount is launching a Ninja Turtle chatbot on Kik
80’s kids, take a seat – the TMNT are ditching their nunchucks for smartphones. To promote the upcoming film, Out of the Shadows, Paramount Pictures is launching a full-blown TMNT Kik campaign. The experience begins with a conversation between users and Michelangelo about pizza (what else?). It then takes the user to fellow bandana-wearing ninja, Donatello. Along the way, the conversation gets tossed back and forth between all four turtles, and users receive GIFs and links to the trailer for the new movie. The bot was created alongside professional content creators, so you can expect heaps of ‘cowabungas’, ‘dudes’ and ‘righteousness’.

Teenage Turtles

Snapchat gets slammed for its ‘whitewashing’ lens

Snapchat is being roasted once again for using a skin-specific face lens. Its new lens, dubbed the ‘pretty filter’ by users, creates a ‘whitewash’ effect – lightening the skin, enlarging the eyes, and thinning the jaw. Basically, it makes you Barbie. The launch came just one month after Snapchat introduced the Bob Marley lens, which also attracted harsh criticism. Many users have reacted negatively to the new lens, with one claiming to be ‘very disturbed’ by what it did to his face.

We Are Social takes #VividIdeas event to Periscope
To wrap up this Wrap-up, we can’t help but count down to our highly-anticipated Vivid Ideas event, Data-Driven Storytelling, which is now less than a week away. Please tune in to Twitter or Periscope via @WeAreSocialAU next Tuesday (31 May) at 8:30 am AEST. We invite you to ask questions, make comments or just enjoy the live-streamed conversation. See you next week!