In social media this week, Twitter introduces more messaging features for businesses and closes Vine, Hype is launched, Pinterest announces three new Pins to promote and Facebook introduces masks and Halloween reactions.
Twitter has introduced new features to improve and optimise customer service. Firstly businesses can set up welcome messages which are triggered by actions on websites, apps or Twitter. Customers don’t have to initiate contact as businesses can make first contact with the ability to create different welcome messages relevant to the trigger. The messages allow for automation or users can choose to deal with a human. At the same time, Twitter are also introducing Quick Replies which can be included in the welcome message. These are multiple choice options making it easier for customers to get quick responses without the necessity of speaking to an actual agent. So, for example, customers could choose to track an order, ask a question or speak to an agent if they prefer all from within the initial message. The new features are rolling out this week and available through selected partners.
On Oct 27th, just 4 years after its purchase for a reported $30 million, Twitter announced that they will be discontinuing the Vine app in the coming months. The app hasn’t been switched off yet but will be phased out. Vines can still be accessed and Twitter have confirmed that the website will remain online. Further news will be released before any changes are made to either the app or the website. Dedicated Viners have been scathing about the decision.
In a strange twist to the closure of Vine, Vine co-founders Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll launched Hype, a new live broadcast app for iOS with an Android version coming soon. Similar to other live offerings like Periscope and Facebook Live, your followers receive notification when you start a new live stream and viewers can comment and interact with the broadcast including adding sparkles when they like something (think Periscope hearts). A key difference to its competitors is that you can include photos from your picture roll during a broadcast to show a mix of live and static media all against a themed background. Given the domination of Facebook Live and Periscope, it’s a brave step to enter the live broadcast market when others like Meerkat have failed to survive. Whether or not Hype can entice users away from its established competition remains to be seen.
Three new types of Promoted Pins have been promised by Pinterest. Firstly they have introduced One-tap Pins which allow Pinners to jump directly to a site to find out more about the featured product. Only a few partners have been testing the one-tap Pins but they are starting to appear on Pinterest (look for the Pins with a white arrow in a black circle at the bottom right). Secondly, Video Pins are also available. These Pins play within Pinterest without the need to leave and view the video on an external site and related Pins can be displayed underneath to showcase some of the products in the video. Thirdly Pinterest have also announced App Pins which link directly to the store for the app to be down loaded. The US and the UK have access to Promoted Pins and Pinterest have promised that they will be available in other countries soon.
Starting in time for Halloween, Facebook launched masks in Facebook Live and users in the UK, US and New Zealand could add a Halloween mask whilst streaming their broadcasts. A selection of masks are still available after Halloween with other seasonal masks being introduced. The masks work very similarly to Snapchat but have the added benefit of being Live which Snapchat haven’t yet achieved. Masks are being rolled out to Android and more countries in the coming months. At the same time, Facebook also introduced new Halloween themed reactions. No other themed reactions have been announced but with Christmas only a few weeks away we could see more reactions soon.