The Orange Peel – Orange Line’s Social Media Round-up
In the ever evolving world of social media, the past month has once again provided us with platform and app launches, product releases and the odd social media fail.
Here’s our round-up of just a few of the biggest stories from the past two months:
Real-time video streaming has been a huge topic of conversation, with two apps leading the way. First up came the announcement on 14th March that the (still in beta) app Periscope had been acquired by Twitter. The acquisition apparently took place in January for a reported price of almost US$100 million.
The deal took place prior to the launch of Meerkat, another live-streaming app which hit 120,000 users in its first two weeks, and then went crazy in mid-March at this year’s SXSW conference with users growing by an estimated 30-40% per day.
Finally, not to be outdone by the ‘talk of the town’ Meerkat, Twitter then launched Periscope giving Twitter users a way to easily share real-time video broadcasts with their followers. The tussle is now on to see which app emerges as the favourite for brands and end-users.
Video is something most of the major social platforms are investing a lot of cash and resource towards and it has been a growing priority and topic of discussion for the past year. Whilst Twitter and Meerkat were fighting for user loyalty in the real-time streaming space, Facebook announced the launch of Riff, a video app that one user starts, and their friends can view it and add their very own additions.
Aside from launching Riff, Facebook also made a few big changes to Messenger. It released a payments feature first so users can send money to their friends with no fees involved. Users can connect a Visa or Mastercard debit card as the payment method. The functionality was built completely by Facebook and is currently only available in the USA.
Perhaps most significantly for Messenger, was the announcement at Facebook’s F8 conference that the platform will now give users the opportunity to develop content using third-party tools and to talk with brands directly instead of emailing them.
The platform will therefore be an important future customer service tool for brands including the delivery of receipts, shipping details, and even to make amends to existing orders. The lucky last thing for Messenger was the news that Facebook had launched a web interface Messenger.com, where users can simply view their Facebook messages and chats.
In addition, Facebook announced in late April that they are tweaking their News Feed algorithm, with the key change being that content from friends will be given priority at the expense of brand pages. It is crucial that brands must have well planned, relevant and strong content strategies to ensure the best chance of consistent engagements and position within fan News Feeds.
Following on from the launch of their new ad format Carousel, Instagram has added a couple of new features including the standalone app Layout giving users the option to create photo collages of their images.
Brands such as Victoria’s Secret and Sephora were amongst the first to use Layout just days after it launched. Instagram then also added a couple of new photo-editing tools Color and Fade plus a Post Notifications feature.
Once the feature is switched on users receive a notification when their favourite accounts publish a new piece of content. Perhaps the most exciting news to come from Instagram was new filters and Emoji hashtags! The release was announced via a blog post from the platform.
YouTube has revealed that it’s launching a paid subscription option for users who don’t want to see any ads when using the platform. Anyone who uploads and creates content won’t be able to access the service. The service is rumoured to launch mid-year.
Lucky last in our news round-up is the recent social fail by supermarket giant Woolworths. The brand launched their Anzac Day “Fresh in our Memories” website on 14th April with users given options including sharing their personal memories of war veterans and to create a social profile picture.
The campaign was hammered online with people accusing Woolworths of insensitivity and exploitation, plus also received a call from Senator Michael Ronaldson demanding it pull the campaign immediately.
Woolworths stopped the campaign and then narrowly missed a $50,000 fine for using the word Anzac without permission. The campaign led to many conversations around the timing and relevancy for brands leveraging national events and celebrations with both campaigns and social content.
Images sourced from: Time.com, The Next Web and Mumbrella.