Mixed news for Snapchat
Snapchat's perception as an important app for young people has come under scrutiny over the last week. In comScore's 2017 US Mobile App Report, Snapchat is notably absent on the most essential apps for 18- to 34-year-olds. Facebook (29%) and Instagram (11%) both feature in the top 10, with Amazon at number one (35%).
But it's not all bad news. While 18-34 year olds may be able to live without Snapchat, that doesn't mean it's not actually being used. In a separate study from eMarketer last week looking at usage rates of social media platforms by teens and young adults, it was reported that Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are running roughly in parallel in the US and UK. The report also stated that teens were leaving Facebook for Snapchat and Instagram and, in fact, eMarketer believes Snapchat will be bigger than both Facebook and Instagram in the 12- to 17-year-old and 18- to 24-year-old categories by the end of the year.
Facebook boosts Camera with new features
Despite a lukewarm response to its Stories feature, Facebook isn't willing to accept defeat and has added a bunch of new features to make it more appealing. Facebook Camera, which lets you share to Facebook Stories, Direct messaging and the News Feed, has had a host of Instagram and Snapchat inspired updates. Camera now allows you to go 'Live' and play around with creative effects like filters, shoot two second GIFs and use those slightly annoying full-screen text posts on coloured background via the camera. Facebook will be hoping changes like these encourage its teen users to stick around.
WhatsApp imitates Facebook with flashier Status updates
They're a collaborative bunch at Facebook HQ. While Facebook has been imitating Instagram, WhatsApp is taking inspiration Facebook. The messaging app has rolled out Status updates on a colourful image background. Status debuted as a text-only feature, then grew to include photos and videos. Now, users can choose a font, background colour, and even add links.
Snapchat extends verified accounts to influencers
Snapchat introduced Official Stories in 2015 for big name celebs, and now the platform is extending the privilege to influencers. An Official Stories account is similar to a verified account on Instagram and Twitter and means that selected influencer profiles will be featured when Snap users search for specific areas of interest. Marie Cravens, influencer and partnerships manager at We Are Social commented on the move:
“Snapchat-only stars have expressed irritation with its neglect of them for a while now and have been leaving in droves for Instagram Stories.”... “Snapchat is finally trying to woo them back and show [its] appreciation.”
Happy birthday hashtag!
It's been 10 whole years since the hashtag appeared on Twitter, and the platform has kindly shared a blog post to show how it's become "one of the most recognisable and widely used symbols of our time". Initially the brainwave of Chris Messina, the hashtag has since dramatically evolved, helping spark social movements and global conversations. It's not a stretch to say it's changed the way we communicate. Happy birthday hashtag, here's to another 10 years.