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Archive for the ‘updates’ Category

Jun24

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.

Explore

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)

Search

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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 11.53.27
(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

Jun17

Twitter vs Facebook – battle of the UX

Twitter and Facebook have been battling it out for years to win and retain users. This is becoming even more of a struggle as other social sites, like Instagram and Pinterest, which host strong visual content, are growing much quicker and are much more popular. Constant updates and new features help to keep users interested and make the experience as seamless as possible, and both social channels have promised exactly that with their newest upgrades.

Welcome (finally) video autoplay on Twitter. I don’t know about you guys, but this really makes me happy. Like really, really happy.

Gone are the days of having to tap, tap, tap to view a video. Native videos, Vines and Gifs (ERMAHGERD!!!!) will now being to play automatically – helping to keep track of what is being shared instantly. So, once you tap the video, the sound will turn on and the video will play in expanded view. You can also turn the video to landscape mode, where the sound will autoplay and the video will expand to fill the screen. Amazeballs!

You can even change the settings on how you would prefer the video to play. If you liked the old way of doing things you can revert to click-to-play, otherwise you could choose to simply have the videos autoplay only when connected to wifi. Twitter has been super clever and even included an autoplay opt out when you have low bandwidth or somewhere sunning yourself where there’s high data rates so performance isn’t affected and you don’t get charged out your backside to view.

For advertisers this is the big ticket to more social love. It’s a mega improvement to how branded rich media content will be displayed and interacted with. Videos will appear in a larger, more media-friendly format in timelines. During a test run, Twitter found that people engaged with this new video format at a much higher rate, and brands have also seen improved performance in terms of cost-per-views, which is lower, and increased video recall by fans.

Twitter has started rolling out this update to everyone as of yesterday afternoon on Twitter for iOS and twitter.com. As usual, Android users have to wait a little longer. Soz!

Now, over to Facebook, who has launched another partner app to help improve image sharing with friends. Hold on, isn’t that what Instagram and WhatsApp is for? Well, Moments promises a quick way to exchange photos with friends through syncing photos with the app and with friends. It groups photos on your phone based on when they were taken. It even uses facial recognition technology to identify which friends are in them easily – no more tagging! Can I get a hell yeah?!

Unfortunately, the app is only currently available in the US, but it will be rolled out to other countries soon. If you can’t wait, here’s a short clip that Facebook has put together to show how it works:

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by Kalli Soteriou

Jun15

Facebook updates News Feed to bring more relevant content

Facebook ‘News Feeds’ have been supplying us with the content we love (and, lets be honest, hate) since 2004. Traditionally, the way the feed displays information is based on engagement, so the more likes/comments/shares a post has will determine how frequently it appears in someone’s newsfeed. But Facebook has made an interesting change to the way its content will be displayed as a result of its latest findings.

From research, Facebook has found that these typical engagement measures don’t always tell the whole story about whether a particular piece of content is meaningful. Just because someone didn’t complete an action after seeing a piece of content, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t resonate with them in some way. There are times when people want to see information but may not necessarily want to comment or like it. So as a result, Facebook is updating its News Feed ranking to factor in a new ‘signal’ – time spent viewing a story.

Think about a particularly sensitive story. You might spend 10 minutes reading the article, but because of its nature you don’t like or comment on it. Does this mean that it wasn’t interesting to you? Of course not! It’s just not something you feel comfortable commenting on. But surely it’s not as simple as just measuring the number of seconds you spend reading each story to determine whether that content meant something to you? Facebook has factored in that there will be those spending a while on content simply because their internet connection is slow, but in general, will assume that if people spend ‘significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that the content was relevant to them’. As a result, you may start to see like posts surface higher up in your feed.

Facebook has started rolling this out and will continue over the next few weeks. Worried about what this might mean for Pages? Not to worry, they don’t expect to see any real changes in distribution as a result.

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by Kalli Soteriou

Jun09

Twitter makes conversations easier to follow

So, does anyone remember the Twitter update that made it easier to engage with and follow conversations in the home timeline? Well, they’ve only gone and done it again, but with the tweet page.

Twitter announced last night on its blog that the update is said to make it easier to get involved in conversations. Tweets that have sparked lots of replies needn’t be the bane of your life anymore! Conversations will now be grouped together, with some of the most interesting replies appearing right underneath the original tweet. And if your content surfaces at the top of the conversation, it’s because you are awesome! No, really, if the original Tweeter has engaged with your reply, Twitter will favour it and bump it up the ranks.

The new feature is currently being rolled out to all users on twitter.com today, but won’t be applied to mobile apps for a little while, standard.

 

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by Kalli Soteriou