November 17, 2017
Facebook’s latest standalone app is putting all of users’ event-based interaction in one place. Facebook Local lets users find nearby events recommended by their friends, strengthening the platform’s association with real-world socialising. Could this be an attempt to take down the likes of Yelp and Foursquare?
Your Facebook profile may soon resemble the enchanted paintings decking the halls of Hogwarts. Facebook is developing reactive profile pics that can smile or wink in reaction to a user’s friends liking their posts. The process is animated, but half of people who saw them thought the reaction was genuine. Magical.
This week a plug-in took the Twittersphere by storm. The additional software made Donald Trump’s tweets look as though they were written in crayon by a child. This made the current Twitter feud with Kim Jong-Un particularly funny. The visual effect highlights how seriously users would normally take posts from official accounts. Should we be questioning rule by tweet?
Twitter is trying out a new look for Twitter Moments, the curated feed of most-viewed tweets on the platform. Changes include vertical scrolling, which make Moments less of a collage and more of a traditional feed. After the scandal of Russian exploitation of the micro-blogging platform, is Twitter trying to go back to simpler times?
Snapchat opened a store in Shoreditch earlier this week, selling spare pairs of Snapchat Spectacles at the original price of £130. After a year of disappointing growth, it’s not surprising that Snap is trying to reduce its losses by selling off the extra hardware. But considering Spectacles’ poor performance earlier this year, maybe Snap doesn’t have 20/20 vision on this.
Over the next few weeks, users of Instagram will be able to post photos to Stories using mobile web. Insta is aiming to bring more features to users with limited access to data, particularly those in the developing world. This is a market Snapchat hasn’t found much success in yet, and now Insta is trying to beat them to the punch.
In an historic poll this Wednesday, Australians voted to endorse same sex marriage. The non-binding vote was 61.6% in favour, and many voters of course shared the moment on social media. The celebration quickly spread worldwide… you know what they say, ‘love is all you need’.
Twitter has removed the ‘blue tick’ verification badge from the profiles of far-right activists. Among them is Jason Kessler, whose verified status was criticised last week for seemingly validating his racist views. Twitter is reassessing the verification scheme, but for now is taking the blue tick from users who do not respect their new guidelines. But is this turning verification into a prize for good behaviour?
In recent years John Lewis has been king of the Christmas ads, and this year is no exception. This festive season a child befriends Moz (the monster under his bed) just in time to exchange some thoughtful gifts. It was the most shared Christmas ad on Facebook and YouTube in the 24 hours following its launch, beating even M&S’s Paddington Bear! But advertising professionals were sceptical… It goes to show that great buzz on social media doesn’t just come from professional approval.