The week in social: Instagram business profiles, Twitter Connect, and Vine on Windows
08 May 2016
The week in social
Vine now available on Windows 10
Vine has just released a new bespoke app for the Windows 10 platform. It allows users to to watch Vine videos even if they don’t have an account. The playback on this new app happens back to back, as opposed to looping Vines as someone might when they keep a specific Vine within the app window, but users can mouse over or touch the screen if they want to do that instead. Vines can also be created and uploaded through the app.
More information on Vine Blog.
Facebook updates Android app with a focus on Live
Facebook has just started rolling out more widely a major change in its Android app, one that replaces the Messenger feature with a button for Live videos, placed in the center of the top navigation bar. When a user taps the button, a perpetually scrolling listing of videos now appears, served out via Facebook’s algorithm, a combination of content based on a user’s preferences and actions, and whatever else is timely and popular at the moment. A guide feature is also now available, which provides a list of topics to help sort videos by, such as Funny, Politics, Food, and more.
Read more on Mashable.
Instagram is testing out new Business Profiles
Instagram has been quietly testing a new Business Profile that functions very similarly to the profiles of everyday users, but with a few key changes. Chief among these is a contact button, that functions as a separate CTA to the follow button right next to it. This allows a Business Profile user to have the website link in their bio feature another digital destination. In addition, Business Profiles can feature directions to their business in the form of a location listing in the bio, and the Profile itself can be categorized for ease of understanding what the business offers. There is no official timetable for the wide-release of these profiles, and it is likely that it’s been tested to see how much the new CTAs are used by the Instagram audience.
Read more on TechCrunch.
LinkedIn testing a version of instant-load articles
LinkedIn is reportedly in talks with publishers to create a platform similar to Facebook Instant Articles, whereby links clicks by specific content creators on the platform load quickly and more effectively, and feel more like native content from LinkedIn, in an effort to keep users on the service for longer periods of time. LinkedIn did not confirm whether or not they were in fact looking to implement this service, but it a statement to BuzzFeed News they confirmed that they are looking for new ways to work with publishers.
More information on Engadget.
Facebook is testing disappearing messages
Through its Messenger app, Facebook is apparently quietly testing a feature to let users create ephemeral, or disappearing messages on the service. A Twitter account that reports on Facebook app changes called @iOSAppChanges provided screenshots of the new feature, and it shows the Messenger app notifying the user that the messages sent will disappear within 15 minutes. It remains to be seen when they will be launched as an official feature, but the code for it was already included in the latest app update that took place on April 21st, it is just not available for regular users to activate.
More information on VentureBeat.
YouTube is going to create an online TV service
A new service that is likely to be called Unplugged has been in the workings at YouTube ever since 2012. The service would be a paid subscription where users could choose a bundle of TV channels that would be streamed over the internet, as opposed to traditional cable services that use a TV line and a cable box, or similar device. Reports say that the service could launch as early as 2017, but many key content providers have not signed on to partner with YouTube as of yet. There will potentially be a series of “skinny bundles” that include 15 to 30 channels, as more and more consumers are finding TV packages with hundreds of channels to be less appealing.
More information on Bloomberg.
Twitter adds new features to Mac app
The Twitter app for Mac has just recently been updated to feature a host of more recently introduced features. Chief among these are Moments, Polls, and GIF search. Polls last for 24 hours, and allow for a maximum of two choices. GIF search allows users to easily integrate GIFs into their tweets, with the feature being powered by Giphy and Riffsy. Moments is one of Twitter’s biggest feature introductions in the last year, and it allows users to follow trends stories through a series of curated multimedia Twitter content.
Read more on The Next Web.
Instagram beta testing videos in carousel ads
Along with a few key publishers such as Taco Bell, Macy’s, ASOS, and Airbnb, Instagram is testing videos in its carousel ads, the format that allows users to scroll to the right to see additional images with an ad as part of a series to create more context around the product or service that is being promoted. Instagram also noted that the format would become more widely available within the coming weeks. As it stands, the carousel ad format can contain between 3-5 pieces of content, and the maximum length for a video will be 60 seconds, similar to what it has been for advertisers for a long time, but a newly allowed length for video creation by general users.
Read more on Social Times.
Periscope is testing ways to save broadcasts forever
One common complaint by users of live streaming services is that content created through them disappears immediately or can only be saved for a short period of time, 24 hours presently being the limit on Periscope. That is set to change however, with an open public beta that Periscope is conducting. When creating a broadcast, if the broadcaster users the hashtag #save in their title, the service will test saving that broadcast perpetually. It is yet to be announced when this feature will be out of beta, but other options do exist for saving broadcasts, such as saving the video to a local device camera roll.
More information on The Next Web.
Twitter debuts brand new “Connect” tab
Twitter has debuted a new feature in an effort to make it easier for users to connect with the accounts they might be interested in. Displayed as a new button to tap on the top lefthand corner of the user interface, the “Connect” tab provides a list of accounts to follow based on the user’s current follow list, and also bring the “find friends” feature to the top of that list. Additional criteria for suggestions in the “Connect” tab include tweets that a user has liked, accounts that are popular in the local area, and current events happening.
More information on Twitter Blog.