Another week filled with updates and announcements. Here is our roundup of the biggest social media news this week:
Zuckerberg and his team at Facebook have been hard at work; announcing a series of new features and updates to the social media platform at the annual F8 Developer Conference this week.
Facebook is opening up the chat app to third-party integrations, turning Messenger into a kind of stand alone platform. It will be a communications hub, which will allow users to do so much more than just message. Developers will also have access to analytics, to understand how their apps are performing within the platform. With access to all of these apps from within the Messenger platform, it is clear that Facebook is still focusing on keeping users on the social media platform for longer. We are intrigued to see if users will truly make use of these features.
Not only has Facebook enhanced the social experience on Messenger, it has announced updates to the platform which will effect B2C interaction, too. The social media giant has announced that users will be able to directly communicate with shops and other companies through the platform.
For example, after purchasing something from a company’s website, users can choose to receive updates and communication with said company through Messenger. Users can opt to receive order confirmations and shipping status updates. What is more, will be able to make basic actions like modifying, tracking or returning an order. Users can then interact with businesses and all of these interactions take place within the chat thread stream with which we are all familiar. This could potentially be a huge step for social customer service.
Zuckerberg announced the future of video on the social media platform. Facebook unveiled spherical videos within the timeline. These are immersive, 360-degree videos, which have been shot with multiple cameras. Impressive, yes, but we wonder what relevance this will have for the everyday user. Is this just an entertaining gimmick?
Somewhat surprising that it hasn’t already conquered this feature, Facebook is challenging YouTubes dominance over video, as it has now made it possible for users to embed Facebook videos, anywhere in the web. When logged into their Facebook account, users will be able to comment on these videos embedded into websites, as though commenting within the social media platform itself, the content will be duplicated within the platform on the Facebook shared story.
Move over Meerkat, Twitter’s Periscope is stealing the limelight this week. Shortly after the launch of Meerkat, social media giant Twitter steps into the ring. Firstly, perhaps controversially, blocking Meerkat from accessing its social graph, and then launching its own live streaming service.
Just like Meerkat, Periscope is a live streaming app which streams directly into your Twitter feed, to your followers. However, there are a few differences worth taking note of. Periscope is owned by Twitter; when you begin a stream your followers are notified, so they can join in the moment. It can also be used to stream private broadcasts, allowing users to invite selected followers to view.
It remains to be seen where this new wave of live-streaming apps is heading. They are by no means the first of their kind, but will they last? How will they be used?
Instagram releases ‘Layout’
Not to be left behind, this week, the photo sharing platform Instagram announced a new app which has a number of useful features. It is the 3rd stand-alone app that Instagram has released since it was taken over by Facebook, after Bolt and Hyperlapse. Instagram tends to release features as stand-alone apps, as it values the simplicity of the main app’s feed as a draw for the majority of its users.
This new app is a quick and easy way to either drag-and-drop a handful of photos from your photostream, or take photos directly within the app, and create professional-looking collages of your images. All neat and ready to share across various social networks (Twitter excluded, of course). Its functions allow you to flip the orientation of an image, create combinations of images, and it has a photo-booth feature which allows users to take rapid-fire pictures.
It is interesting to see that Instagram is following in the footsteps of Facebook, who own the photo-sharing app. Expanding into stand-alone apps, rather than sticking within the original feed.
Twitter’s ‘Quality Filter’
Following a comment made by the CEO of Twitter that he felt their approach to handling abuse was not up-to-scratch, we have seen a slow trickle of updates which seem to be tackling this flaw in the platform. This filter removes tweets which Twitter deems abusive from a user’s feed. Twitter hasn’t officially announced this just yet, but a number of verified users have been greeted with the option to activate the quality filter upon opening the Twitter app.
What the filter does is to remove tweets mentioning users (@reply) from their notifications. The tweets are not actually deleted, they will still be in the timeline. However, it stops the victim being notified. This week’s release of the ‘quality filter’ is yet another step towards cracking down on harassment, which we feel is a positive step towards tackling the darker sides of social media such as abuse.
Have you come across any other social media news this week? What are your thoughts on this weeks roundup? Let us know in the comments below.