11 Dec Spark Bites: Social Media Upgrades Keep Coming
This has been a big week for social networks. There have been major upgrades, redesigns, integrations, you name it! While some social media apps overlook basic household maintenance, others show us their humane side. Read on to find out more!
- In a bid to beat tween-focused competitors like Snapchat, Facebook has launched “Messenger Kids,” a text/video chat app exclusively for children. One huge USP of the app is that kids needn’t sign up for an account at all and parents have control over their friend list. The social network also has special safety filters in place to prevent kids from sharing inappropriate content. Whether these efforts pay off and the app gains popularity remains to be seen.
- Facebook has always taken a strong stand against pre-roll ads on videos. However, after the launch of its (YouTube-esque) Watch platform, the social giant is now testing pre-roll ads on it. With this move, Watch may level the playing field with YouTube.
- Keeping with annual tradition, Twitter released its list of most retweeted tweets from the past year. While most of the top 10 were around natural disasters and politics, the most retweeted post, at 3.6 million, was Carter Wilkinson asking Wendy for free chicken nuggets. Coming in second was Barack Obama’s tweet quoting Nelson Mandela with reference to the supremacist rally in Virginia.
- Instagram has, yet again, picked up a thing or two from Snapchat. The platform now allows you to permanently store your Stories as an archive. That’s not all though – you’ll also be able to create highlights from these past stories. These highlights will appear in a separate tab on your profile which your friends can browse through anytime.
- After implementing cross-posting for Stories, Instagram now allows cross-syncing of your Instagram contacts into Messenger. This is a purely opt-in feature and only syncs those contacts with whom you have a mutual Follow relationship. We think this is a pretty neat move as it filters out all the spammers.
- It’s time to tip our hats to Instagram because of its commendable effort to create awareness against animal abuse. The social app’s latest update generates a popup warning for users searching or clicking on hashtags such as #koalaselfie, #elephantride, #dolphinkiss, etc. The warning reads “Animal abuse and the sale of endangered animals or their parts is not allowed on Instagram. You are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment.” Now that’s what we call taking proactive measures.
- Snapchat released an update last week with a major redesign. The Discover pages now have a scrolling layout that separates the “social from the media.” This means the friend discovery is separate from the media discovery. The content of Discover pages will, expectedly, be tailored to individual user interests.
- Evidently, the update also makes Snapchat smarter. The app can now analyze which friends you tend to talk to at certain times of the day. It will reorder your friend list to show you specific friends higher up, depending on the time of the day. The app seems to be pulling out all the stops to regain its lost userbase.
- Pinterest is finally jumping on the Messenger-integration bandwagon. The social network launched not one, but two integrated tools: a Messenger Bot and a chat extension. The bot allows you to discover new pins when you’re looking for recommendations. The chat extension, on the other hand, lets you easily share pins with friends on Messenger and also browse related pins without leaving the chat. We so approve!
- LinkedIn is so busy saving the professional world that it forgot to renew its SSL certificate. The SSL expiry led to LinkedIn being abruptly inaccessible in the U.S., U.K. and Canada on December 3, 2017. Users who were already logged into the network were left with an insecure connection. Looks like the social network needs professional help with its housekeeping!
Bonus Update: Google
- Google has gotten into the gifting spirit in a very real sense. It’s giving away 6 months of free Netflix subscriptions to people who have recently bought a Google Pixelbook or a Samsung Chromebook Pro/Plus. Merry Google, everyone!
That brings us to the end of this week’s Spark Bites. We hear you – we’ll be back with more social media tidbits soon! In the meantime, feast your eyes on our social media marketing work so far.