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A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 3rd September – Instagram new features & Taylor Swift music video controversy


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Instagram have some awesome new updates which make the platform even more kick ass than before. You can now share posts that you see on Instagram as messages! Just tap the arrow under the photo to send it via an Instagram Direct message. You can carry on the conversation by sending text, photos and videos and add other people to the message to create a group conversation. these group conversations can now be named too to keep all your convos organised. These updates come soon after Instagram changed their editing tools to allow rectangular images with borders to fit in to the square feed. Without having to use a third party app!


Taylor Swift has been criticised by Social media users and other critics for her most recent music video and how it appears to have racist overtones. The music video shows a Hollywood movie being shot in an undisclosed African location with Taylor as the lead actress. The video has been accused of portraying an “African colonial fantasy” due to it’s almost entirely white cast. Lauren Duca, from the Huffington Post, said: “Instead of the cultural appropriation that has become almost status quo in today’s pop music, Swift has opted for the bolder option of actually just embodying the political exploitation of a region and its people.” Some pretty damning words. It does seem odd that Taylor would travel to Africa and not ensure a realistic portrayal of Africa by hiring black actors for her video. Taylor has batted away the criticism by announcing that all proceeds from the video will be donated to African Parks Foundation of America. She so far has not spoke out about the criticism and others on Twitter have been quick to leap to her defence.


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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – Kristen Bell surprises Frozen fan and woman shakes off the haters on instagram.


Kristen Bell, actress and all around lovely person has now given us another reason to think she’s one of the loveliest people on the planet. She heard about a little girl called Avery who is suffering with an inoperable brain tumour and decided to do something wonderful for her. Kristen is famous for voicing Anna from the all time biggest Disney film, Frozen, and 6 year old Avery is a big fan of said film. Kristen sent a recorded message to the little girl in character as Princess Anna praising her for how good and brave she’d been. She also said that her sister, Queen Elsa, had decided to crown her an honorary princess of Arendelle, which is where Anna and Elsa live and rule. To make the message extra personal she mentioned Avery’s favourite toy, Hoppy Jumpy, her bunny. Her reaction to the call is completely adorable and hopefully brightened her day. It’s always great when celebrities take the time to give back to those who need it.



People can be so mean. Especially on Social Media. A woman has been forced to defend herself online after cruel commenters bashed her weight loss journey. Some were saying they didn’t believe that she’d actually lost that amount of weight and that she was lying about it in her photographs. Many said it was definitely not her because she didn’t have any stretch marks or excess skin from her weight loss. Definite fail.

So obviously, she proved that it was her by posting a photograph of her excess stomach skin which she had been ashamed of until that point. Many were appreciative of her sharing the picture saying that it was very honest and open of her and that it was helping them on their own weight loss journeys.

The woman has since been surprised that her story has gone viral, but glad that her bravery in showing her skin has affected people in a way she had never imagined. As Taylor Swift says, Haters gonna hate, hate, hate.


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by Helen Stirling


Instagram to take over Twitter?

This might be a huge sweeping statement but, for me, Twitter just ain’t what it used to be. Consumer engagement is definitely harder to achieve, particularly as Twitter has become ridiculously saturated by brands fighting for attention, and it certainly isn’t something brands can just assume they will get if they share good content.

Being relevant and topical has a big part to play in whether or not your audience finds your content useful and interesting enough to share with their friends. And people don’t just share anything. Would you want to promote content that isn’t cool or fun with the risk of being seen as such? Well, Instagram’s latest update takes all of this into account and although Twitter might not be getting you the interaction you want, the image-sharing platform seems to have taken a leaf out their book to make discovering and sharing content easier.


With more than 70 million photos and videos shared via its channel each day, Instagram has totally reimagined its Explore tab highlighting content discovery as a key part of the social channel’s experience. By tapping into hashtags, users and places to capture and communicate key moments, Instagram has made it easier to peruse the vast amount of visual content it boasts.

The “explore posts” section is still alive and kicking, but it is now complemented by trending tags and places. A much more powerful search capability makes finding the content everyone is loving right now much simpler and helps brands and users tap into trending events and conversations both near you and worldwide in real-time – increasing relevance and, potentially, engagement numbers.

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(Source: Instagram)


A second major update to Instagram’s search will leave holiday makers or soon to be travellers reaching for their smartphones. With the new Places search, you can immerse yourself in any location on the planet. Explore your next holiday destination or follow a music festival to feel like you’re actually there! It also allows you to explore beyond your feed through ‘Top Search’ where you can search people, places and tags at once.

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(Source: Instagram)

The update is only available in the U.S for now on iOS and Android, but it will probably be rolled out on a wider scale soon.

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by Kalli Soteriou


Instagram débuts brand new cleaner layout.

Instagram have updated their look on both their desktop and mobile versions. The new layout provides a cleaner and flatter view of your istagram posts. It removes the borders from around images and the change is more noticeable on the desktop version where the image grid has been reduced from 5 images across to just 3. This allows the images to be larger and makes them more of a focal point. The montage grid at the top of the desktop page has also been removed which allows for more focus on the individual and their page. The profile image now displays as a circle as opposed the square image it was before.

It is a much more subtle and modern layout than its predecessor and it works well at linking the app closely with the desktop version. The roll out of the layout change has started today, and all users are expected to have it by the end of the week.

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by Helen Stirling


#Me – has social media turned us into a self-obsessed nation?

Social media has revolutionised the way we communicate. Photos, gifs, news snippets, videos and statuses dominate our social feeds, encouraging us to interact and share our experiences in a flooded digital arena. We are now more connected than we have ever been and have access to information 24-7, but are social media sites actually making us more withdrawn from people and the real world? We are less interested in others – except when it comes to finding out what people this about us. We love a ‘selfie’ – reinforced by the fact it’s now been added to the Oxford Dictionary; it’s as if being ‘closer’ to other people is making us less social and more ‘me, me, me’!

To be honest, the pure nature of social media seems egocentric to me. Yes we can share useful information, check out what our favourite brands are up to and essentially ‘socialise’ with others. But if you take a moment to scroll through your feed, what will you see? My bet is selfies, food porn and pretty much any single thing your friends or followers are doing or thinking (often sharing waaaaay too much information; we’ve all got one or two of those mates, right?). People go out of their way to document their lives on social. This is prolific in visual platforms like Instagram or Snapchat which have, in my opinion, been created off the back of our desire to habitually share self-orientated information.

Now, taking the occasional “selfie” does not automatically make you a narcissist. It’s completely normal to want to share a new hair cut or exciting trip with your friends. But recent studies have found that users who avidly share self-focussed content are more likely to display some sort of psychological disorder. A recent article from Psychology Today showed that ‘both narcissism and self-objectification were associated with spending more time on social networking sites’.

But I do wonder, have we always been this vain but just never had the means of displaying it publicly? Unsurprisingly, Psychology Today found that narcissism levels have been rising for decades. In general, social media channels encourage self-promotion, as users generate all of the content. But it also boosts self esteem. Can you recall that feeling when someone you admire engages with you on Twitter? I certainly can and it’s great! Sure, there’s nothing wrong with seeking others’ approval – a healthy personal identity depends on paying careful attention to what others think of us.

Let’s not forget that we are encouraged to interact with others content – Facebook lets you like and share; Twitter is more about the Favourite and Retweet – we just choose not to unless it resonates with us. Working with brands like Superdry, we know how important engagement is and so avoid overly sales focussed messaging. Selfies and the like are our own sales messages. We like to self-promote and compete with others. Hmm…doesn’t seem like a new phenomenon to me!

I do think that we have in general day-today life become more self-obsessed. We are trying to become a healthier nation. We know sugar is very, very bad for us. And we love going to the gym (and telling or showing everyone that we are pumping iron). But who do we really have to blame for that? Advertisers? The media? Or ourselves?

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by Kalli Soteriou


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 24th February – 6 year old boy gets Facebook party & Feminist banning on Instagram

Here are today’s Likes and Fails!


A mother was so upset after she arranged a Birthday party for her 6 year old with autism and no children showed up she turned to Facebook. She had invited 16 children from her son’s class, but no kids, or realistically none of their parents took them to the party. Naturally you don’t want your child to spend their sixth Birthday alone so a mother posted in a local community group urging anyone who could come by that day to celebrate her boy’s birthday with him and boy did they turn up. Eventually 16 kids showed up to the party and not only that the local services, like the police and the firemen showed up and let the boy try out the fire truck. They even brought him lots of toys for presents.


See Facebook isn’t always bad.


An Instagram account called ‘feminists on Tinder has been removed and suspended and feminists are not happy about it. Th account shares messages that a female Tinder user has had with male users on the site about feminism. The account does not violate guidelines but has been removed from the site twice. bviously a lot of people wanted to know why the account had been banned and started the hashtag #wewillnotbesilenced to help discover Instagrams reasoning and also to hopefully get the account reinstated. For some reason Instagram has not yet commented. Clearly not all about equal rights. What a big fat fail.


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by Helen Stirling


The Beard Olympics launch


The beard is very much back in fashion. The hipsters have owned it, and now the every-man is getting on board, there’s no denying it, the beard is well a truly the male fashion statement of the moment.

So with that in mind we’re excited to introduce to you the beardy app you’ve been waiting for, The Beard Olympics! A sort of Tinder for beards, or perhaps a ‘rate my beard’ style app, it allows you to vote for the best beards of Instagram with the most popular winning the beard Olympics. It doesn’t officially launch until tomorrow so we’re giving you that sneak peek now.

The Beard Olympics follows up the other extremely successful app, created for Christmas which allowed users to log in via their Twitter account and find out whether they were on Santa’s naughty or nice list by the amount of times they’d sworn on Twitter over the last year. The results could then be shared to Twitter or Facebook which lead to the app being shared thousands of times.

The creator, Daniel Benzie said about creating the app: “The first thing I did was use the excellent Instagram API to begin pulling in any photos with the hashtagBeard. After this I wrote a small JS library which interfaces with the SQL database using Ajax to pull out records and randomly order them so that the user may play.” “Each card is weighted with an equal amount of plays so no particular card has a better chance than any other of ‘winning’.”

The great thing about the beardy app is the quick way it loads beardy photos from Instagram really quickly for easy voting, and if you notice a photo not of a beard in your comparison then you can simply report the photo and it will be removed from the game after 3 reportings.

There’s a section on the page where you can see the current top position beard, and all it’s runner up beards, which aren’t nearly as majestic. There is also a ‘worst beards’ section which houses all the crap facial hair of Instagram. Really, it should just house 20 pictures of Justin Bieber back when he attempted to grow facial hair, and look manly, that was hilarious.

As the great Ron Swanson once said: “Facial hair should be full, thick and square.  Nothing sculpted.  If you have to sculpt it, that probably means you can’t grow it.”

You can visit the app here:

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 26th January – Lovely Facebook note & Twitter annoyed at Instagram

Here we are with today’s Likes and Fails!



A cute story has been making the rounds on the internet today, and the story goes like this. A young mother called Sammie was travelling on a long train journey with her 3 year old son, and they were about half way to Plymouth when a man dropped a note on her tray table as he got off the train in Bristol. Sammie read the note, her son was asleep on her lap s she couldn’t get up, but it called her a credit to her generation. He was impressed that she’d taught her little boy such great manners and included a fiver in the note as a gesture of goodwill and so she could buy herself a drink. Sammie di as any 23 year old would and posted up a picture of the note on Facebook and it was instantly shared again and again, she says that she wanted the man to spot the post so that she could say thank you for the note that made her day. But really, there’s little point of that happening, thought it is a great gesture of goodwill and makes a cheerful little story.



Twitter is acting like a  bit of a moody child at the moment, it seems their a bit jealous of their one time friend Instagram. Twitter has reportedly been telling their blue tick verified users to stop posting pictures through Instagram and instead posting them natively through Twitter. Twitter now offers filters on their own app, and have been pushing this fact in the hopes that people will start using the photo option on their app. They’ve been notifying people via notifications in-app, when wanting to link to an Instagram post. This push could be something to do with the fact that Instagram recently announced that they have now got over 300 million users which means they’ve overtaken Twitter for the first time who have 271 million users. Instagrams growth has been really impressive and they’re focussing on continuing that even further. They’ve recently decided to offer ‘badges’ to verified users, much like the Twitter blue tick. Looks like Twitter is a little upset that Instagram might be stealing their crown

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 22nd January – WhatsApp Web App & Picattoo

Here we are, it’s today’s Likes and Fails!



WhatsApp has finally launched a web app, after many calls for it from fans of the messaging app. The messaging app is extremely popular, having over 400 million users world wide, and was last year purchased by Facebook for $19 billion. So the new web app has launched, currently only on Google Chrome’s browser, but there is expected to be updates for other browsers soon. Check it out in all it’s shiny new glory here: On the screen you’ll see a QR code (who knew people still wanted to use those?!) you’re supposed to scan this QR code with the app on your phone and then you’ll be linked up to the web service. I should just note here that apparently the iOS app is not yet compatible with this so all you Apple users will have to hold your horses. However, Android, Windows Phone and eve Blackberry users can chat away already.

Their official announcement said: “Today, for the first time, millions of you will have the ability to use WhatsApp on your web browser. Our web client is simply an extension of your phone: the web browser mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device — this means all of your messages still live on your phone.”



Have you ever thought, ‘Oh my gosh I love this Instagram photo so much I wish I could print it on my body!’, well, wish granted. A new service called ‘Picattoo’ allows you to send 12 of your favourite Instagram images to them and they’ll send them to you in temporary tattoo form. Yes seriously. Now maybe this might be a fun idea for hen parties and stag dos, or like for tweenagers, but I have literally no other person in mind who might like this.

So, yeah, it seems like a bit of a lazy business idea too if you ask me, I mean you could buy a sheet of ‘temporary tattoo paper’ and run it through your printer and do it yourself for seemingly half the price (Thanks, Amazon!).

If you still want some check them out here:

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 22nd December – Instagram news – updates and purges

The big day is edging ever closer. The day of eating, drinking and being merry. So in the run up we’re giving you the last of the big news in Social Media. Today it’s all about Instagram.

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Instagram news, there’s been a new update and this time there’s new filters! Hooray! There’s a whole new 5 filters which will fulfill your Instagram filtering needs. The service hasn’t added new filters in over two years so it’s a welcome addition. Along with the new addition which are called things like ‘Crema’ and ‘Perpetua’ which instantly makes me think of Bridget Jones’s Diary, they have added the option to reorganise the features so that your favourite filters can appear first for ease of use.

The filter tray itself has actually been improved with mini previews showing you what your photo may look like with that specific filter applied. Look at this, just in time for all those Christmas selfies we’ll be taking!

So all in all a busy week for the filter photo sharing app.


Instapurge. Instagram announced last week that they would be deleting thousands of spam accounts which drastically changed the amount of followers some users had on the app. Those majorly affected included some well known faces, such as Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, and all the rest of the Kardashians. There is a handy guide to who lost the most followers, who lost the highest percentage and all the averages. 

The person who lost the most followers, after Instagram themselves, turned out to be Justin Bieber who lost over 3 and a half million followers. This also meant that Kim Kardashian, who lost just over 1 million, took the crown as the most followed Instagrammer in the world. There was one account which lost an insane 99.9% of their followers, and went from 3 million to 8. Though this account can now not be accessed.

There were some users that were clearly so embarrassed that they had lost so many followers, hinting that they were perhaps paid for, that they decided to quit the whole app/network. Who knows where they will get their next filter fix?

You can see all the statistics here:

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by Helen Stirling