In social media this week Instagram go monochromatic, Facebook tweaks its News Feed algorithm (again), Twitter carry the Olympic flame and we revisit Twitters birthday celebrations.
Some users this week have noticed a distinctly different Instagram raising the question of whether Instagram are considering a move to black and white. The new look is monochromatic, much simpler and even the icons have received a make over and have been made thinner and devoid of colour.
The traditional Instagram camera actually looks like a camera (rather than just a circle in a box) and the user profile is an icon rather than your profile picture. The changes could be seen as a good thing as a flatter background allows a user to focus on the images themselves rather than a background clash.
The digital chatter so far doesn’t appear that complimentary with a general consensus that it is ugly, boring and flat. Instagram have confirmed to Mashable that this is only a test stating that “We often test new experiences with a small percentage of the global community. This is a design test only.” It will be interesting to see if it is ever updated for all users.
Facebook are always striving to make your News Feed more relevant for you and they have made further changes to their News Feed ranking to take into account the amount of time that someone spends reading or watching content that they click on. The longer you and others spend reading a story, whether it is spent on an Instant Article or an article in the mobile web browser, the more likely you are to see similar in your News Feed.
Facebook are also conscious, however, that their users like to see a variety of posts from different publishers and the changes will also reduce how often you see several posts in a row from the same source.
The roll out is happening now and will continue over the coming weeks. Realistically it should only effect your pages if your content isn’t relevant to your audience or if your past content hasn’t always been well received. As always, making sure that your content is the right type of content and understanding your audience so that you know what appeals will increase your chances of appearing in the News Feed. When you get it right the changes should mean that your new content is more likely to appear where you need it.
As Olympics fever starts to gather across the world fans can turn to Twitter to follow the flame as it travels from Olympia, Greece to Rio de Janeiro. With the @OlympicFlame Twitter account followers can track the 12,000 runners across the globe with Vines and exclusive live footage via Periscope along the way.
It has been around a while but balloons appearing in a recent Twitter visit reminded us about this fun animation. Since last summer Twitter asked you to add your birthday to your account. Whilst you may never be too old for birthday balloons, you can control how much others see and can protect your year of birth to hide how old (or young) you are.
Anyone who visits your profile on your birthday will be met by floating balloons to remind them its your birthday. Whilst “sharing these personal celebrations” may be Twitter’s way of collecting more information about you to sell as part of its advertising feature, it is still pretty cool!
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