In social media news this week, Facebook rolls out changes to Messenger including Photo Magic and links to Uber, and further rolls out live streaming, Pinterest introduces alerts for reduced price pins, and Buffer purchases Respondly.
Facebook have recently announced that they are testing Transportation on Messenger. Linking up with Uber as their first partner, Transportation allows a user to request a ride from within a conversation so there is no need to use a different app. Transportation is available to select US users in certain locations but Facebook have promised that more countries and further transportation partners will be available soon.
In a further move to make Messenger both more powerful and user friendly, Facebook has made Photo Magic available to more users. Photo Magic allows users to share photos much more easily by recognising your Facebook friends in the photos and creating a group thread with just two taps. You then have an option to send the photo to the friends it has identified, also meaning that you can share the photo privately. The roll out is available to everyone outside of Canada and the EU so isn’t available in the UK yet.
Other changes to Messenger, which are now available in the UK, are options to customise your conversations using emojis, colours, nicknames and snow globe effects. And for all you Frozen and Star Wars fans, you can also download new themed sticker packs for free!
Facebook Live Streaming
Whilst Live hasn’t been made available to all users yet, Facebook have rolled it out further. In what is arguably a move to strengthen its position against competitors such as Periscope and Meerkat, Live now allows all verified pages to live stream using Facebook for iOS. Users can also choose to subscribe to receive a notification next time the Page goes live increasing the accessibility and reach.
Live is still being tested before roll out to all users but with video becoming increasingly important across social media and with some live Facebook broadcasts reaching up to 1 million viewers, it’s the next step to consolidate Facebook’s leading position.
Buffer and Respondly
In a recent move, Buffer announced it’s acquisition of Respondly. A full launch has been promised for January, but in the meantime Buffer have confirmed that it will remain a stand alone app and have also confirmed a name change to Respond.
More details will follow over the coming month but Buffer see the acquisition as a step towards building the essential media tool. Buffer users will be able to use Buffer for social media marketing, analytics and account management, Respond for social media customer service and brand monitoring and Pablo for image creation across all content.
In its latest update Pinterest will notify users when a buyable Pin drops in price. As long as the Pin is buyable and it has been saved to your board, Pinterest will send a notification to let you know that the price has dropped allowing you to buy it direct from the app at the reduced price.
Unfortunately as it applies to buyable pins, the feature is only available in the US so bargain hunters in the UK will have to go elsewhere for now.