Social Media News of the Week – Snapchat Spectacles Craze, Instagram Stories and much more

We have plenty of social media news this week form all the big platforms. Stay ahead of the game!

Exciting news from Snapchat

downloadSnapchat  spread the US in the last weeks with bot vending machines that look like minions. They sell Spectacles glasses that allow you to film and take photos, and which are integrated with Snapchat (see a short review here). They cost 125 US dollars. Well, these funny vending machines work like pop-up stores, changing their location  every day. Smart marketing strategy!

To use them, you have to sync Spectacles via Bluetooth with your phone which will automatically record your videos in your Snapchat Memories tab and then , you can go in and post them to your Snapchat. Reportedly, the camera quality is comparable to the smartphone integrated camera quality and it can record up to 100 snaps. This seems to be quite enough for the avid Snapchat user.

A lot of skeptics wait to see the same fail as in the case of Google glasses, but there is one huge difference between the Google powered gear and Spectacles: Google was a heads up display whereas Spectacles is a Go Pro style wearable camera. By the way, it very much looks like Snapchat turned into a camera hardware company cold Snap Inc rather than a social platform.

Snapchat is also testing background filters, i.e. filters that will apply to the surroundings rather than to the face of the protagonist, which could potentially make it a fun platform for those less willing to put themselves out there. They are also making rewind and fast-forward possible for content in stories, as well as sharing someone else’s snap with a press of a button to up to 300 people.

As a conclusion, the competition with Instagram, as well as the drop down in view-counts as a consequence of removing the auto-play feature has made Snapchat work harder to improve user experience and community engagement.

Instagram improving Stories and playing with  live streaming

Instagram has introduced three big new features for Stories:

  • links for download-1verified users only. Stories will come up with a button on the bottom of the image saying “see more” to which you can attach a link to a website, video or more;
  • mentions, you can mention up to 10 people, the mentions are tap-able and appear on top of the image;
  • boomerang is accessible with a swipe in stories, but you still need the app if you want to use it in your normal feed.

Actually, Instagram is making huge efforts to improve the new and booming Stories feature on their platform, as one fifth of its users already use it, adding up to 100 mil daily users for Stories.

Instagram is also playing with a new live video feature that, rumor has it, is going to be called Go Insta, and a disappearing photo feature in direct messages. See more …

YouTube

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  • brand new tools for comment sections – pin, show hearts, channel owner is highlighted in conversations, blocking words and phrases, designate moderators,
  • they came out with HDR (high dynamic resolution) support to improve video quality. See more…

Facebook

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  • sponsored Messages announcement is a bit worrying as we should be expecting more spam coming our way. Nonetheless, Facebook will allow sponsored messages only if you had an open messenger stream with the advertiser before. I am skeptical about this and believe this is only an incremental step to a new flood of sponsored content, but who can blame them? See more…
  • Facebook has also integrated Prisma live streaming, a feature that is only available for iPhone users with 6s and newer versions that apparently have the necessary processing power. If you don’t know Prisma yet, is a photo/video editing app that has very distinguishable artsy filters that can now be applied on live video streaming. See more…
  • they have also sneaked in a new “Jobs” tab on Facebook Pages. Is this a sign that they are starting to compete with LinkedIn?

Other news

Pinterest is simplifying their messages board. You can find out all about it here.

LinkedIn has announced sponsored direct messages rolled out for all its users.

Whatsapp is now allowing GIFs. See more…

Google calendar and Gmail tweaks to improve mobile user experience. See news from Google here…

 

 

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