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#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than we have ever been and have access to information 24-7, but are social media sites actually making us more withdrawn from people and the real world?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


Add friends on Snapchat easier with ‘Snapcodes’

Have you noticed something different about your Snapchat ghost? Well, Snapchat has introduced a QR-type scanner to make finding and adding friends even easier. While in the app, users take a photo of a friend or favourite brands ghost, which features a unique ‘code’, then simply tap the screen to add!


Millions of Snapchatters worldwide have been taking advantage of the new feature, so this month, the app has made it even easier to share and personalise unique Snapcodes by offering downloadable vector files and branding guidelines. They can be found on Snapchat’s website.

To get you started, here’s our top three favourite brands on Snapchat:

Taco Bell:

We LOVE Taco Bell…well, tacos. We also love its social media. The brand is one of a only a few to fully embrace the platform and use it successfully to build an engaged audience. By using the app to exclusively reintroduce its very popular Beefy Crush Burrito, Taco Bell cemented its relationship with current consumers, while appealing to a new customer base by using an innovative channel. Hoorah!

The brand took its Snapchat escapades one step further this year and launched a fun and interactive Valentine’s Day campaign, offering TB-themed pun-tastic virtual greeting cards.


With the help of TB, users could then personalise the e-cards to send to their nearest and dearest. Cool, huh?

Michael Kors:

Now, you might not have thought a brand like MK would use Snapchat. Are millennials its target audience? Judging by its prices, probably not. Does Snapchat exude luxury? Hmm, we’re not sure it does. But the proof is in the pudding. MK has been going all out on social media and is actually one of the only luxury fashion brands that truly gets what social’s all about.

Following this year’s New York Fashion Week, the brand announced its presence on Snapchat. It used the app’s ‘stories’ feature to release an array of exclusive, behind-the-scenes content, and funnily enough, the reason behind moving to this new, interactive platform was in fact to engage with a younger audience. They may not be their target audience now, but by catching the attention of its next generation consumers, on a channel they love, MK was able to start building relationships for future fruition. Smart move!


This is a great example of using influencers to help you gain traction with your content and also build brand credibility. The online ordering takeaway service used Snapchat’s ‘stories’ feature also, but instead shared a sequence of divine photos that lead users to vouchers and promotion codes. In tandem, the brand welcomed Snapchat artist Michael Platco to help boost its campaign through a ‘snap a food doodle’ competition, while sharing some fun and engaging content.


Happy snapping!

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by Kalli Soteriou


A Social Media Agency’s Monday Round-Up – 20th October – Snapchat ads, Ebola toy, Facebook coding reward

Here’s a quick round up of some of the Social Media news you may have missed today!

Snapchat Advertisements


Snapchat began it’s first slew of advertising this weekend, making it the latest social media app to add this monetising effort to their service. The ads  won’t show up in your normal feed of snaps, where it would normally be your friends names instead the adverts will be in the ‘recent updates’ section. The adverts will be in the feed until you view them, or until 24 hours is up, so you don’t even have to view the adverts. Snapchat have fairly obviously claimed that they are running the adverts as an attempt to make more money to provide the Snapchat community with more exciting features and products.

You’ll also be glad to hear that Snapchat will not be using your personal data to target it’s advertisements as so many other sites and apps do.

Ebola toys sell out


An American toy company has ran out of stock of one of their current biggest sellers, Ebola themed toys. These toys include a plushie of the virus as well as a fake novelty ebola petri dish. These toys have obviously been selling because of the prominence of Ebola in the news at the moment. They describe the toys as a ‘uniquely contagious’ gift, and clearly they are. The company says they are not worried at the moment about any backlash from the range, and in fact they think that the range teaches people about Ebola, and that it is educational. They say: “People are buying it to talk about it and if we ever felt it was being used inappropriately, we would reconsider it.”

Facebook coding rewards double

Facebook has doubled the award given out to people who find bugs in their code. This is a new incentive, probably brought about because of some of the major security flaws seen in apps and sites reported by the media recently. Facebook said that they had carried out some recent audits in which they found and fixed some flaws themselves, but their hoping that code experts will be able to find harder to find flaws for which they will now be handsomely rewarded. One of the fixes that they’ve been working on is coupons that don’t expire. Now wouldn’t that be nice!



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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Monday Round-up – 13th October – 114 yr old joins Facebook, The Snappening & Right to be forgotten in the UK

Here is all the news you may have missed over the weekend from the world of Social Media!

114 Year Old Joins Facebook

anna stoehr

A woman has recently joined Facebook at 133 years of age, though she just had her 114th Birthday this weekend. The woman, Anna Stoehr, had to lie about her age to join the website, she was forced to knock 15 years off of her age and claim that she was 99 years old to join the site. The oldest year of birth that could be selected was 1905, and Anna was born in 1900. She has had a recent interest in technology after she befriended a man who works for the US mobile network Verizon who has been teaching her the ins and outs of modern technology. This man was the same man who just sold a smartphone to her 85 year old son! She now has an iPad which she uses to FaceTime relatives and friends around the world as well as keeping up with them on Facebook!

The Snappening


You’ve probably already heard about the latest photo ‘leak’ scandal, but there have been a few updates since it was first announced. This latest leak concerns Snapchat users and in particular users that have used a third party app called Snap Save. Users that use this third party app which saves Snapchats that they’ve received, are the targets of this hack. Though now there are some claims as to the legitimacy of the leak, with some saying that any of the images they have seen in regard to this hack, of reportedly over 200,000 photos, have been images that have been available on the web for a long period of time. So some are calling it a staged fake leak, which I assume was created with the intention of widespread media coverage, which unsurprisingly worked. Coverage for these supposedly leaked photos was given on the usual suspects, 4Chan, Reddit and AnonIb.

UK is responsible for 1/10 Right to be Forgotten requests


Google has revealed that over one tenth of requests to be forgotten on the search engine comes from the UK. Since the ruling came into effect in May this year, nearly 500,000 links have been removed from search results. Some of those asking for links to be removed are a priest who was accused of sexual assault as well as a media professional who wanted links to some embarrassing articles removed. Some of the largest number of link removals were taken from Facebook with 3,353 and YouTube at 2,392. Probably people trying to forget about all those incredible lip-syncing videos they made when they were internet-naive.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 1st October – Jeff Goldblum Lightbulbs & Snapchat Spam

Here are today’s Likes and Fails with Jeff Goldblum in the greatest lightbulb advert ever, and Snapchat being compromised with spammy weight loss adverts.


Today’s Like is for the greatest advert ever committed to film and the internet. It start Jeff Goldblum as an attractive celebrity with good lighting. Sounds about right, Jeff Goldblum is a fox, everyone already knows that. The strange thing is that he’s advertising lightbulbs, but the advert really works. It’s funny, unrealistic, I mean who thinks that Jeff Goldblum actually looks bad with bad lighting, and it has a tour around Jeff Goldblum’s actual* abode. You get the chance to see his music/hot tub room, along with how he works his lightbulbs, with the help of his lighting servant.

This is seriously the greatest thing I’ve seen on YouTube in quite a while, not just because it stars Jeff Goldblum, but because now I really want to go and buy some of those lightbulbs, so it obviously does what it’s supposed too.

*Probably not his actual abode. 


im not as drunk as ilook

Snapchat have suffered another security breach of sorts, with people being the subject of weight loss spam messages. Some users’ personal accounts have been hijacked to send out the weight loss messages, though Snapchat claims there has been no hack. Users have been affected in several different countries but there is no clear number of how many users have been affected. Snapchat claims that this time the user credentials have been found elsewhere online and are not to do with any sort of hack. In a statement they said, ”We have seen evidence that hackers who have access to a trove of credentials leaked from other websites, have started using them to gain access to Snapchat accounts,”. They have recommended that all users use a complex and difficult to guess password to prevent their accounts being targeted.

At the start of this year Snapchat was compromised with a huge breach of privacy, where over 4 million usernames and phone numbers were leaked from the app and posted online. The site that released them censored the last two digits of the phone numbers as it claimed it was only attempting to show the vulnerability and security flaws of Snapchat, rather than gaining anything from the data leak.


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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Monday round-up – 15th September – Facebook campaign to find attackers, Snapchat settles dispute & Facebook tries out self-deleting messages

Here we are with a quick round-up of some of the news stories you may have missed over the weekend.

A Schoolgirl has set up a Facebook campaign to find the men who attacked her


A girl from Scarborough was beaten up in an unprovoked attack on her walk home from a meal out. Three men called at her, she ignored them and walked fatser, and then the men pushed her against a wall which made her nose bleed and gave her a fat lip, as well as then kicking her in the back when she was on the floor. This horrendous attack has now been shared on Facebook with pictures of the girls injuries and alongside appeals to find the cowardly men who did this to her. The posting has been shared over 3,000 times as of posting and hopefully it will help to find these horrible men so they get what they deserve.
Snapchat settles dispute
Snapchat have quietly settle an issue with a founding memeber, whilst everyone was busy getting excited, or not excited about the new iPhone 6 announcement. Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy have now acknowledged that a guy called Frank Brown (a friend from college), was crucial in the invention and creation of Snapchat. This settlement came just a fortnight after Snapchat was valued at £6 billion. Originally Mr Brown was suing the company for $800 million dollars, but the details of the settlement have been kept private, so no one knows whether he actually made the original  amount.
Facebook tries out self-deleting messages 


Facebook is desperately copying Snapchat these days and they’re currently trying out another feature related to their favourite app. They’re thinking of adding a feature which will allow users to schedule the automatic deletion of their posts. The option is said to be being explored after interest from Facebook users for such a feature. Posts that have been shared with a scheduled delete time cannot be shared by other users, though comments and likes will be available. This is not the first time Facebook has attempted to emulate Snapchat. In June this year they launched a new app called Slingshot which basically is a Snapchat copycat, the only main difference is that you have to send an image to open one that you received. Let’s hope they get over this Snapchat obsession soon and work on something more important like their annoying ‘Top Stories’ feed.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 20th August – Snapchat Discovery & Secret app to be removed

Good morning, we’re here to bring you the hottest and the not-test in Social Media today. Today we’re looking at Sanpchat’s expansion plans as well as a Brazilian judge’s agenda to get Secret removed from Google and Apple app stores as well as all phones!



Snapchat is looking to expand their app’s offering. Currently the app has no way of generating revenue, so the first option one may think of is to introduce advertising to the app, which is one of the avenues that Snapchat will be exploring, but there are other plans too. The rumours are that Snapchat want to introduce a sort of ‘snap news’ to the app. The service is apparently to be called Snapchat Discovery and would allow users to read daily editions of publications as well as look at pictures and video clips associated with the stories by holding down on the images like you normally would in the app. The company has apparently been in talks with dozens of online content providers, with publications such as the Mail Online in talks to provide content on the app.

If Snapchat were to link up with other content poviders it would definitely make it more appealing to advertisers. The Snapchat Discovery feature will likely be the first feature of the app to offer ‘sponsored’ stories, another opportunity for brands to promote themselves and their advertisements.

This is a good move for the company which has now been running for 3 years and continues to grow it’s user base everyday. It will likely offer the app it’s first revenue, and help to build the company up even more.



 A Brazilian judge has ruled that Apple and Google must remove the app Secret from all of their local devices and app stores. The judge was reportedly pushed too far by one case where bullying and intimidation had been happening on the app and the only way to solve this was to order Apple and Google to remove the app locally. The app is usually used to anonymously share gossip, or personal thoughts without them linking to yourself.

If Apple and Google don’t agree to remove the app then they will penalized by the Brazilian court for around $9,000 a day, that’s not a load of money in terms of the amount of revenue these companies make, but it may be easier in the long run if the just remove the app from local app stores and phones to remove themselves from the charges.

The request is definitely one that the two companies can fulfill, they’ve removed apps from their respective stores before and they can technically pull or block software that is installed on their gadgets. Though this is only usually used if the there is a malware outbreak.

So we’ll have to wait and see if the companies remove the app, pay up or instead contest the ruling, which seems likely in the circumstances.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Monday Round-Up – 18th August – ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Facebook Satire Tag, Twitter Experiments, Snapchat Popularity

Good morning ladies and gents, I’m sure you’ve had a lovely weekend, so much so that you didn’t even pay attention to the Social-goings on. So here we are to save the day and let you know what’s been happening.

ALS Ice bucket challenge

So the ALS ice bucket challenge dtarted popping up last week, but on over the weekend has it truly gone viral. Celebrities everywhere are flocking to pour a bucket of ice water over their heads in the name of charity, or in some cases exhibitionism. The idea is very similar to that of the extremely popular no make-up selfie trend which took Facebook and the internet by storm earlier this year, and ended up raising over £3 million for Cancer Research UK.

This latest trend was started by Pete Frates, a college baseball player, who has ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease) to try and raise money for the ALS association and awareness of the disease. Since that initial posting, the trend has been passed on after people nominate their friends to create a short video of ice water being poured over their heads. Celebrities have also got involved, including people like Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham, Justin Beiber, and even the big man himself, Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook to flag satirical articles


Facebook are clearly worried that the world is getting more and more gullible (a word that isn’t in the dictionary). People are getting fooled time and time again by articles from the Onion and other satirical sites, so much so that Facebook have been testing out a ‘satire’ tag under the articles that are posted to Facebook. Apparently Facebook have been testing this feature for over a month; though so far it’s only been spotted on The Onion articles and there is no word yet on whether it will appear under other sites” articles. Facebook originally implemented the tag because they were getting feedback from users who wanted a clearer way to distinguish between real and satirical articles.

Twitter experiment


Recently, you may or may not have noticed that Twitter has been quietly throwing in different things into your timeline. The newest tinkering by Twitter now makes it so you see tweets that others have favourited. A lot of people think that this is ridiculous and at the moment I tend to agree. Someone on Twitter made the point that showing users these tweets is basically just the same as a retweet, and I don’t know about you but I don’t favourite things because I particularly want other people to see them.

Twitter could be going to far with their tinkering, at the moment they’re focusing too much on the core features and is changing them into features people don’t like. There should be more of a focus on how people use the service and how they can improve that experience. There have also been rumours of a Facebook style algorithm being used on Twitter, but I can imagine the outcry now if this was the case, it would mean that users would not see every update from people the follow and that would change the whole dynamic of Twitter.

Snapchat popularity among young adults doubles in  9 months

snapchat rise graph

Snapchat’s popularity among 18-24 year olds has doubled since last November, making it equally as popular as the Twitter app for users in this age range. The most popular app is still Facebook with a massive 75% of 18-24 year olds using it, and the second most popular is phot-sharing app Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook.

Snapchat’s popularity continues to rise in older age ranges as well, 25-34 year olds and 35+ are seeing a growth, all though a lot slower than in the younger age range.

All hail the self-destructing picture/video app; Facebook are trying to get their own version of Snapchat to take off with Slingshot and Bolt, but so far they’re failing to match the success of Snapchat.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Round-Up – 11th August – Buzzfeed £30m funding, BBC Weather App, Bolt Aus launch & Pinterest messaging

Here is a quick round-up of what you may have missed in the Social Media world over the weekend!

Buzzfeed gain $50 million in new funding


 Buzzfeed have raised £30m of new funding from a venture capital firm called Andreessen Horowitz, who are well known for their investments in large social companies, such as Facebook, Skype, Pinterest, Twitter and Foursquare. The investment comes from the company who see Buzzfeed as an emerging “preeminent media company”. This new strand of funding takes the total funding amount up to $96.3m since 2008. Buzzfeed is definitely the site of the moment with over 150 million monthly visitors, and a new valuation of $850m; this new investment should help them work on their online video section, a place of interest for the company, as well as an in-house incubator for tech start-ups. Whatever they use the investment for, it’s clear to see that Buzzfeed’s growth doesn’t show many signs of slowing.

BBC Weather app is extremely popular

bbc weather

We Brits do sure love the weather. The BBC have revealed that their popular app, ‘BBC Weather’, which shows weather forecasts and lets you save favourite locations, gets a whopping 19,000 downloads everyday! These downloads have lead it to become the fastest growing BBC app of all time, with 8 million downloads since it’s launch last year.

Bolt launches in Australia


Bolt, the new Snapchat style app from Instagram has now officially launched in Australia, being the latest country in a somewhat slow roll out to get access to the app. This could be due to trademarking issues with the app’s name, where an existing app called Bolt is fighting for it’s name rights, this could further explain why it hasn’t yet rolled out in it’s homeland, America, yet.

Pinterest launch messaging

Pinterest launched a brand new messaging service at the end of last week, which allows users to take interaction to the next level. The new feature allows you to send pins to others and reply to those pins with either a message or a pin back.

This new feature is available on the mobile apps, it does also work on the desktop sites but is currently in need of some work, as notifications don’t yet work on the site but instead send an email notification.  This new feature is an exciting step forward for Pinterest which could prove to be very useful for users, especially those collaborating on a creative project.

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by Helen Stirling


A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 30th July – A look into Bolt & Blue Sky Hostel Facebook argument

Here are our Likes and Fails for today, Bolt has officially launched! But only in New Zealand, South Africa and Singapore, though it looks promising. Also a hilarious customer service thread for a Glasgow Hostel went rather awry on Facebook.


Bolt has now been released, but the catch is, you have to be in Singapore, New Zealand or South Africa to install the app. The app works in a similar way to Snapchat, the very popular photo-messaging service but features a slightly different interface.

bolt 1

The app asks for you to take a selfie to sign up and your phone number, but currently this is just to verify you’re in one of the launch countries. The app opens straight on the camera, and works even quicker than Snapchat as you simply hit the friends face that you want to send it to, and their face works as the shutter button, so it sends straight away. Simple. Though what about editing, well you just pre-edit the photo before you take the snap. The editing tools are slightly different to it’s competitor, there are no drawing tools in Bolt but you can still add text to photos.

What is especially handy is that if you just want a quick conversation, and don’t want to reply with pictures every time, you can just write text on the image that was sent to you and can send it back. Another feature that differs from Snapchat is that the photos don’t auto-destruct, the user can decide when to delete them simply by swiping them away.

It’s an interesting first few countries for the app to launch to, especially as the app was created in the US and arguably would have the biggest market there. There is the possibility that they haven’t initially launched in the US because of the copyright/trademark issues I was talking about yesterday. Once these have been sorted and agreed I’m sure the app will launch in the US, plus they must be fairly confident that they can keep the app name if they’ve decided to launch with the name – even in other countries.


All I can say is that I’m excited to see it in the flesh when it’s released, from what I can see it looks a lot more intuitive than Snapchat, and I like the look of the interface. I think as soon as the muscle memory of Snapchat wears off this will be a great replacement app. I’ll just have to hope that contacts will migrate to the app; though it is always hard for an app to compete against a very dominant leader in the market with a huge user base, especially when predominantly, the apps do the same thing.

Credit to TheNextWeb for their demo of Bolt.


What should have been a simple customer service issue, has turned into a rather amusing long comment conversation on Facebook. The conversation began when a woman called Lou wrote about her rather bad stay at a guesthouse called the Blue Sky Hostel in Glasgow, which she had stayed in to attend the Commonwealth games.

glasgow hostel review

She posted a review on their Facebook page giving the hostel one star and saying it was the worst hostel she had ever stayed in. She then pointed out a list of things wrong with the hotel and said that the whole place was a health hazard. Well, the owner of the hostel wasn’t having any of this and instead of going the usual customer service route of apologizing and trying to make it better, the owner Todd instead had a go at the woman, even going as far as to call her a retard.

 glasgow hostel review2

Well, you can guess what happened next, there was a massive back and forth in the comments section and people joined the thread to keep getting notifications from the fiasco, some posting pictures of MJ eating Popcorn, to signify that it was spectacle worth watching.

You should really go and read the whole thing it’s magnificent.

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by Helen Stirling