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Sep03

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!

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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

Aug24

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – On Soundcloud & Heston Blumenthal spying

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The Soundcloud service On Soundcloud turns one today! The partnership program allows users of Soundcloud to make money from their work and uploads in the US. They said in a blog post:

“What started as a select group of 20 partners representing 2,000 labels has grown to over 600 representing over 25,000 labels, many of them independent.”

They say that in their first year they’ve paired up some big name brands with soundcloud creators to create great working partnerships. They have also signed upcoming artists to the service who will also get money for their contributions.

Find out more here: https://blog.soundcloud.com/2015/08/21/on-soundcloud-turns-one/

Fails

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A little creepy Heston. Heston Blumethal has announced that he will be googling his patrons in order to get an insight into their food likes and dislikes. The slightly unnerving plan means that when people call up for a reservation they will likely be googled by the restaurant team and their preferences noted. This is all for his Fat Duck restaurant, where apparently he had already been doing to keep a record of regular diners preferences. He also consulted with Derren Brown to find out how to find the right information from his guests without them being too aware of what he’s doing.

So this if the government spying on you wasn’t enough, then now you know Heston Blumenthal is too.

 

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by Helen Stirling

Aug17

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 17th August – Teen Choice Awards on Twitter and #bloggerBlackmail

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Teen choice awards were popular on Twitter during the show with the hashtag #TeenChoiceAwards trending for the duration of the show. The most popular moments during the show came when Fifth Harmony won the #ChoiceSummerSong award for their single Work It and the second most poular moment of the night came when Little Mix performed at the bash. Overall the most talked about celebrities were One Direction, 5SOS and Fifth Harmony. There was lots of behind the scenes action shared in the run up to the event with Rita Ora taking over the Billboard Twitter account.

There were 2.1 million tweets about the event in total. Impressive!

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Recently trending hashtag #BloggerBlackmail has brought up some heated conversation around bloggers and the freebies they receive. The argument surrounds a blogger who asked to visit a bakery in return for a review on her blog. She was then upset when she visited said bakery and only received a package of 4 macarons and 4 marshmallows and a beverage of her choice. She then thought it appropriate to then instead ask for £100 worth of products for free otherwise she may not write a review or according to the bakery hinted that she would give them a bad review. To be honest she did do just that, she posted some unflattering images of the products on her instagram and she even self proclaims how good her photographs normally are. In her ‘side of the story’ blog she does admit that she was just initially angry she didn’t get her £100 of goods and so she posted the pictures in haste and has no deleted them.

Really I’m not sure the bakery really needed to name and shame and similarly I don’t think the blogger should really have expected to have the items for free, nor should she have had the cheek to ask for that much free stuff. It seems it’s all just a misunderstanding but Twitter seems to have got a kick out of it.

See for yourself here: https://twitter.com/TweetsFromASMA/status/633293196253089792 

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by Helen Stirling

Aug14

Likes and Fails – 14th August – Target troll and photo-shopped body image

It’s that time of the day where Likes and Fails keeps you occupied for a couple of minutes, before you realise you only have half an hour left of work!

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We love it when a brand or company does something a bit different with their social media, and it looks like Target got a helping hand from an internet vigilante this week after their new gender neutral policy was announced. A bit of background, Target announced that it would be removing gender labels on a selection of clothing from their kids line. This has angered some people, for reasons unknown. Although this image may help to explain:

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Anyway, one so called vigilante decided to take matters in to their own hands after they noticed that some people were deciding to boycott Target because of the gender tag removals, and they went to town with their responses. This was only after they’d set up their own page, making them look like an official Target customer service rep, well to the less Facebook savvy anyway. This vigilante changed their avatar to the Target logo and also changed their name to Ask ForHelp. Mr ForHelp replied to no less than 50 commenters and you can see some of the witty responses below.

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Fails 

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A woman has done another of those things where she gets graphic designers around the world to make her look ‘beautiful’ to the people of their country. It’s as if she thinks we’ve all forgotten that this article happens once a blummin’ month. I suppose she needs press for some reason, but I can’t figure out what it is. Oh hold on, it looks like it’s PR for Superdrug. So anyway we can all delight in some terrible photoshopping skills which were very likely created by the same person and not by different designers all around the world as claimed. In case you’re interested here is a link to the photos involved in the article, clearly aimed at all the online news sites across the web.

More on Buzzfeed

 

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by Helen Stirling

Aug06

A Social Media Agency’s Likes & Fails – Facebook live & #TubeStrike

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Facebook live 

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So yesterday Facebook released a blog detailing their newest feature. As part of their ‘Mentions’ feature, which allows Celebrities and influencers to interact and reach their fans, they have added a new ‘live’ feature which allows celebrities to live stream to their fans, one may think this sounds a little like Periscope, but don’t worry this is a totally original Facebook idea. (Ahem). The feature is available for all blue badge verified Facebook users, and it looks as if Facebook have got some big name celebrities on board to help promote the new feature. Such as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Serena Williams among others. The live broadcasts, once ended, are still viewable on the celebrities page, so don’t worry you can still catch up if you miss them live!

See the announcement here.

Fails

#TubeStrike

The tube strikes are happening AGAIN in London, and everyone on Social Media has something to say about it. Even Facebook has got in on the action by prompting some users to post about the Tube Strike. Most users = not thrilled about this. In fact there was probably more moaning about Facebook telling people to talk about tube strikes than there was about tube strikes themselves. The tube strikes have affected pretty much every londoner, which means that socal media has turned nto a big moany mess. You can keep up with the full on moany/sweary tweets with this awesome microsite we spotted earlier: http://tubestrike.impero.wtf/ . Also please feel free to enjoy some of the whiny messages below and enjoy the y day Twitter collectively lost it’s shit about underground trains.

 

 

 

 

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by Helen Stirling

Jul27

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

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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.

Fails

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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

Jul14

A Social Media Agency’s Likes and Fails – 14th July – Comic Con success & Apple Pay release

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Twitter comiccon stats

It’s safe to say that Comic con in San Diego was a huge success. Fandoms were in their element as stars of different TV shows and film franchises hung out together and took photographs, people got into their costumes and cosplay, and the world of comics and films was celebrated. The twitter stats have been released showing the reach of the convention. The world was captivated by the release of new film trailers for all big upcoming franchise blockbusters. The story peaked around the release of new Star Wars film and their panel, the release of their themed emojis, as well as excitement surrounding the new Hunger Games: MockingJay part 2  teaser releases and again their panels. Jennifer Lawrence, star of the Hunger Games franchise was the most tweeted about celebrity during the whole event.

So excited to announce my very own #StarWarsEmoji#Phasma pic.twitter.com/vpZwKiLxLa

— Gwendoline Christie (@lovegwendoline) July 11, 2015

 

Fails

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Apple Pay has launched in the UK! That’s the good news. The bad news is that it isn’t as widely available as you may think. A few of the biggest UK banks support it, but a few of the biggest banks don’t. The banks available are: American Express, First Direct, HSBC, Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Ulster Bank. Stores you can you use it in are, Apple, of course.

Only joking you can also use it in Boots, BP, Costa, KFC, Lidl, M&S, McDonalds, Nandos, Post Office, Starbucks, Waitrose and Subway, among a few more, and more being added in the future.

For now though, you can definitely buy food and toiletries with it! We look forward to seeing Apple Pay add more to their offering.

 

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by Helen Stirling

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

Jun10

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

May26

Periscope arrives on Android

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It’s finally here fellow android users! Periscope launches on the Google Play store today.

The app initially launched 2 months ago for iOS, with huge fanfare and it reached 1 million downloads in 10 days. Now after lots of tweaking and polishing it has made it’s way to android devices. The new android version has all the functionality of the iOS version but also with some added perks. These perks are a ‘return to broadcast’ version, which allows you to return to a stream after you’ve exited to do something else on your phone.

When you open Periscope on android you will be given a list of streams happening right now on the app from people that you’re following. It will also suggest that you follow everyone that you follow on Twitter to keep on top of updates on the app. If there is nothing happening when you go on the app, you can swipe right and it will have a list of broadcasts going on around the world right at that second. The app will also give you a list of the most popular users of the app, which is not always reliable, as some users try to rig the system. Finally you can view your own profile and search for users by name.

The big difference between the app on Android and the app on iOS is the way that you start a broadcast. On the android app you start a broadcast by pressing a big red button on the broadcast screens whereas on iOS you use the central tab. Overall though the app is much the same and as easy to use as the iOS version. We’re just mostly excited that it’s finally here for android!

 

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by Helen Stirling