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Oct28

A Social Media Agency’s Weekly News Roundup – Monday October 28th 2013

1. Twitter has had a test run of its floatation on the stock market, trying it out to avoid a flop similar to that of Facebook last year.

The ‘mock market’ launch by the New York Stock Exchange on Saturday was rolled out in order to try and avoid a repeat of Facebook’s launch on the rival Nasdaq exchange.

The New York Stock Exchange regularly does systems testing at weekends, but this was the first time it had run a test for an initial public offering (IPO).

2. Instagram has began its advert roll-out across the platform, but not as we would have expected it. The adverts will appear in users’ timelines as a normal post, but with a ‘sponsored’ banner across the top of the image.

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If you’re not a fan of having ads clogging up your news feed, you’re not the only one, and thankfully there is an option to hide them using the more button.

3. The Pope has had an absolute stormer on Twitter, amassing over 10 million followers. He tweeted his thanks on Saturday, after he reached the milestone following. It’s good news for the Vatican as well, who are looking to spread the word of the gospel through social media.

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4. YouTube is reportedly looking to launch a Spotify-esque subscription service, which will be predominantly aimed at mobile users.

Similar to Spotify, it will offer people the option to watch videos for free with adverts, or they will be able to pay $10 per month in order to watch ad-free videos.

According toBillboard, both the free and paid versions of the service will allow unlimited access to the music on YouTube, but the premium service could also include the ability to stream full albums, as well as cache music for offline listening.

5. Pinterest has seen its value increase by more than 50%, to a whopping £2.3bn, following a round of fundraising. Pinterest said it plans to use the new funds to further expand internationally and develop its mobile services.

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by Iona St Joseph

Dec06

Social Media News – Myspace is back.

This morning I got my email inviting me to the new MySpace. Needless to say I’ve been experimenting with it most of day and I’m now going to give you the low down. I don’t think the best way to judge it is in comparison of its old self so this will be a fresh look at it.

First Impressions:

Incredible design, they must’ve paid an excessive amount for this site design. It has a side scrolling theme to it, so whether you are on the discover tab, home feed or on a profile they all move sideways instead of your conventional up and down. Your main navigational bar is situated at the bottom of the page, this gives you links to your profile, homepage and discover tabs. This also allows you access to your music controls. Hover over the controls and you get access to more music controls such as playlists and mixes, I will mention this more later.

Design:

The design is fantastic on this site, I think the navigation isn’t completely intuitive, but the navigation bar at the bottom is really good and I like the integration of the music player. The big brash search function is slightly gimmicky, but I personally really like it. Type to search is fantastic and I like the fact that it shows your results in categories (such as artist, song, video and people) beneath your terms, handy to find what you’re looking for easily. The side scroll works nicely on profiles, showing a feed of what a person has been doing recently. Using the side scroll on the discover tab is again a nice way to browse, but I found a broken link on one article, and the display of articles sometimes looked sparse.  I think it is a very visually pleasing site, with a slight lack of ease of navigation, but overall a very interesting original design.

 Functionality:

So today there were a few technical glitches I encountered. When trying to load pages it would occasionally take me to a technical issues page, I figure I’ll let it pass as it’s only just started, but it should really be sorted quickly. Navigating around the site took me a while to get used to but the fantastic feature of just ‘start typing to search’ really helps. It’s a nice way to quickly navigate, if you know what you’re searching for. As well as the navigation bar at the bottom of the page, there is a little box at the top left of the pages which displays a profile picture, when on a profile page, and then a list of options which show different sections of a page, which if it is an artist page lets you select songs, albums, events and videos. On the discover page this box hosts options such as trending, people, music, mixes, videos and radio.

So, using it as a social network; I believe, much like the original advert for new MySpace originally stated, that this is a site for music. It makes me think of Spotify but a bit more social, and free. I can’t see this site being used regularly for status updates or photograph albums. It’s more a place for listening to music, keeping playlists and sharing that info with your friends. It seems that the option for status updates and photos, is more of a feature on the side, there is not much emphasis on either of these things.

Music:

This is easily the best thing about the new site. I really like the layout of the music player at the bottom of the screen, the option to add ‘mixes’ is very similar to Spotify’s playlist, but is nevertheless a great option for a free music site. I also love that they added the queue option to the music player as well. When you listen to songs it instantly posts an update to your feed about what you’ve been listening to, however, if you, like me have some guilty pleasures, you can set your listens to private. You do this by hovering over your player, and then in the top right corner it says public, click this and it’ll change to private. Another option of MySpace’s music is radio. Think Last.FM style, you can search for a station by genre, artist or song and it will play similar songs. It seems as if there is no skip limit either which is great. So far I have found the music section and options on the site to be fantastic, there are only a few songs/artists that I couldn’t find. Mostly Beatles songs.  Overall I am really impressed with the music features on the new site, if nothing else has persuaded you to have a look this should.

Should I use it (TL;DR):

If you’re looking for the new big thing in social networking, I’m not sure this is it. However, I believe the site has a very strong model for music and music sharing, if anything I would say it is more of a competitor for sites like Last.FM and companies like Spotify. The availability of free music is astounding and so far there seems to be no limitations that compromise that. If you’re a big music fan and listen to music regularly I highly recommend you sign up. 

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by Helen Stirling