This week in social media Twitter rolls out a new character count, offers new ways to show support and goes live with #TNF, Instagram introduces save draft and YouTube announces Community.
After hinting at the changes earlier in the year, Twitter have finally confirmed the changes to their character count. Rolling out now photos, videos, GIFs, polls and Quote Tweets will no longer count towards your 140 characters. For most Twitter fans, including businesses and brands this is a great change allowing more flexibility to get your message across without having to get creative with your spelling and abbreviations.
Twitter has introduced new features to show support options in search and better manage customer’s expectations. When activated, businesses can now add “Provides support” to account info and this will be visible to customers in suggestions, when they @mention a business in a tweet or when looking for a business in direct messages. Hours of availability can also now be added to your profile (without having to include it in your bio) so you can manage your customer’s expectations of when you are most likely to respond quickly. The new features are available to all and can be activated in the Customer Support settings page. The only current criteria is that you must enable the setting to receive Direct Messages from anyone.
Twitter Live Stream NFL
Twitter users enjoyed the first live streaming of an NFL game. Using the Hashtag #TNF to promote Thursday night football before and during the game, Twitter gathered 2.1 million viewers. Whilst this is still significantly less than the TV audience of over 25 million viewers it was still impressive for a first broadcast and highlights Twitter’s continuing focus on “live”.
Following testing earlier this year Instagram have introduced a “Save Draft” option for when you are working on a post. As long you have included a caption, tagged someone or added your location to your photo, you now get a “Save Draft” option when you use the back button. Saved drafts will appear under your images in your Library for you to open and edit. The option is in the latest update and is available to all users on iOS and Android and is a very welcome addition for all Instagrammers.
It isn’t always obvious that YouTube are a social platform but this is set to change with the announcement of YouTube Community in BETA. The new Community tab gives creators a new way to engage through “text, live videos, images, animated GIFs, and more”. Viewers can see posts in their Subscription feeds on their phones and can opt in to receive notifications. YouTube have worked alongside creators to develop Community and have launched it in BETA with those the same chosen creators. New features and functions and the inclusion of more creators have been promised for the coming months. Is YouTube taking on other platforms with a new way to be social?