Bowling into the Easter break with a wave of new features and releases from the social media giants, Facebook and Twitter. Here is the low down for this week:
Facebook’s launches video app, Riff
Just a few short weeks after Facebook’s F8 conference, we find out that Facebook had yet another trick up its sleeve.
Facebook is slowly creeping into the world of video and this new app is more of a leap than the tentative steps that the platform has taken previously.
Released yesterday, the app is not just any video app; it is a social, collaborative, looping video app. Users log into the app using their Facebook details, and then follow a four step process.
Firstly, the user is prompted to label the video with a hashtag, they are then able to record up to 20 seconds of video. Now for the twist: when you are ready, you publish your clip, and all of your Facebook friends who also have the app will receive a notification. These users can then elect to append their own 20 second video onto your video, which they then publish, and then their friends will receive a notification, and so on. Such is the collaborative nature of Riff.
We think it’s exciting to see that Twitter’s domination videos, with Vine and Periscope, is being challenged. Many people are speculating that this is a method of engineering a viral video, but can viral videos really be curated? Let us know your thoughts.
This one is a twist on an old classic – the Facebook photo album. Many parents already use social media to post photos and updates of their kids. This new feature makes it a little easier to have control over these photos. It allows parents to create shared photo albums of their children which other approved family members or guardians can add to, and parents can strictly control who can see the photo and how the children are tagged.
To create a scrapbook, parents must have their child listed as a family member in their relationship information. If parents don’t want to tag their child’s name on Facebook they can choose to use a nickname or initials. Other family members who have permission to upload photos into the album will also be able to use this same tag.
Is this a good way to tackle privacy issues for posting pictures of your children on social media?
Facebook is improving Events
Facebook has announced an exciting update to its Events feature. Now, users can subscribe
to be notified when specific pages (of their choosing) release new events. All Facebook pages have a new “Events subscribe” button, listed on the page’s events section, just beneath an event’s ‘Like’ button. Subscribing to a page’s Events means users will receive notifications whenever the business or group behind the page is hosting a new event in your area. Users can manage which events they have subscribed to in their dashboard.
This is great news for both users and pages alike, as users will not have to regularly check pages for events – increased visibility and publicity for event holders, and reducing the dreaded fear of missing out for users. Facebook’s has been criticised in the past due to the fact that updates only surface in certain users’ feeds, unless advertisers pay for them to reach a wider audience, meaning that, for example, a user who liked a bands page could easily miss out on an update about an upcoming gig, we think this provides a solution to get around this, levelling the playing field.
Twitter ads are going to be displayed on your profile
Twitter has announced that ads will soon be placed within your profile – meaning that, amongst any tweets, photos, retweets, etc, that you may have posted, there will also be promoted tweets. So, if you decide to browse a friend’s twitter feed, you’ll encounter a targeted Twitter ad lurking a few tweets into their stream.
It will be clear that these are not that user’s tweets, as the ads will be separated by a small bumped that creates a break in the stream, and they will be entitled ‘Suggested by Twitter’.
This could mean big things for Twitter’s ads and reach. Primarily, these ads will only be seen by users that are logged in to the service, however, with Twitter and Google’s new partnership, and talks of Tweets being displayed in Google search, therefore these ads could reach beyond just Twitter’s user base.
For now, these ads won’t be displayed on verified accounts, and it is speculated that this is in part for sponsorship reasons. Given that there is no option to disable these ads appearing on your profile, how do you feel about ad content being displayed within your stream?
Earlier this week, Twitter launched Curator, a new search and filtering tool designed for media publishers. This new tool allows users to fine tune searches to find, filter and display tweets based on very narrow criteria, therefore allowing the user to wade through the hordes of data on Twitter’s network (including videos from Vine and live streams from Periscope), and highlight the most relevant content for their needs.
This tool has the potential to allow users to identify potential trends before most standard users have picked up on them. Whilst there are many filtering tools out there for Twitter already, the functions of Curator are very indepth; users can filter tweets (and videos) by a range of factors, such as keywords and negative keywords, handles, location, language, time zone, follower count, verified, number of RTs or favourites, and more.
So far, the new tool is only available for media organisations, but as with most updates, it is rumoured to be rolled out to all users in future.