Spark Bites: Gifs in Google+ and More!

The Digital Doc is back with your weekly fix of social media news.


  • Facebook’s efforts to own the verb ‘Live’ are paying off. The platform says one-fifth of the videos shared on its network are now Live videos. It’s also seen the Live broadcasting daily watch time grow 4X in the past year.
  • When Live launched in 2015, FB realized that 75 percent of users were high school or college kids. Live was a chance to attract the youth demographic and original-content sharing Facebook was losing to Snapchat.
  • Although there have been objectionable content issues, FB seems to believe it can solve the rest of the content quality and safety issues over time.



  • The company recently announced a new way for brands to engage fans through live video. It will now let them create their own “custom hearts” for use in Periscope videos. The custom heart will appear alongside the typically-shown multi-colored hearts. The hope is that this will encourage users to tap (ie ‘like’)  more frequently, therefore increasing engagement.  



  • Instagram is attempting (and succeeding) to one-up Snapchat Stories by rolling out a new and improved Instagram Direct feature. You’ll now be able to send temporary replies to friends’ Stories inside an ongoing conversation.
  • Instagram Stories hit 200 million daily active users, which surpassed Snapchat’s 158 million count.



  • Android users are the fastest growing group on Pinterest.  The pinning platform is taking note and has created these app shortcuts for Android 7.1 or higher:
    • Lens – discover ideas inspired by anything you point your camera at
    • Explore – see which ideas are trending today
    • Saved – jump right to that recipe or any other idea you saved
    • Search – type in a search to find ideas on Pinterest

The shortcuts will be available for iPhone later this month.






  • YouTube Tv is now live! The new feature has launched in the nation’s largest metro areas—New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and Philadelphia—with more U.S. markets coming soon. A YouTube TV membership is only $35/month, less than half the average cost of cable, and there are no commitments; you can cancel anytime. Any takers?


Email Marketing:

  • According to a study released by Clutch, Social media, website design, and email marketing ranked as the marketing channels most likely to earn increased investment for small businesses.
    • Social garnered the top spot with 58% of SMBs eager to increase advertising budgets on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
    • Web site design followed closely behind social with 56% of respondents planning to invest in their business portal.
    • 39% of small business owners plan to spend more money on email marketing.
    • Over 80% of of small business email marketers asserted that email marketing is very important to the overall growth of their business, and 30% further attribute a quarter of their revenue or more to email marketing.



  • All your burning questions about optimal hashtag usage across Insta, Twitter, and FB, right here! To sum it up, hashtag best practice is as follows:
    • Twitter – 1 hashtag, 18 characters (followed by 3 characters)
    • Instagram – 9-12 hashtags, 21-24 characters
    • Facebook – 1 hashtag, 6 characters

If this week’s updates didn’t quite satisfy your craving, give us a shout. We’ve got the hook-up you need.