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The Week In Social: Hashtags, Snapchat redesign, and 240 Characters

Following hashtags on Instagram

Would you skip the middle-task of following users that post your favorite cat photos if you could follow #catsofinstagram directly? A U.K. Instagram user spotted that very feature this week. Rather than following a large set of niche content creators, you may soon see the option to follow a hashtag. The ability to hone in on a subject without the need to follow specific people could cause a shift in how influencers operate. As well, Instagram will need to build protections to prevent poor advertisers from spamming popular hashtags with unrelated services.


Read more at The Next Web

Augmented Reality creating new markets

Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, and Augmented Reality are all coming on strong. However, as ARKit and ARCore are introduced, millions of users will suddenly have the ability to access AR with the devices they already own. AR can be applied to social advertising, product demonstrations, user help and more. Businesses, likewise, should be watching to see how to best incorporate AR into their near-term plans to get the most out of the emerging tech.

Read more at Adweek

Twitter Promote Mode

If insights and analytics are not your thing, Twitter has a feature for you. For $99 a month, Promote Mode will automatically amplify your tweets. The feature has been in private testing for months. Twitter reports as many as 30K additional impressions, and 300 additional followers per month. The program is best suited for pages and accounts with fewer than 2,000 followers. New programs for more popular pages will follow soon.

Read more at Digital Trends

Snapchat to be redesigned

Snapchat has not had an easy year. CEO Evan Spiegel is pulling out all of the stops to bring new users to the platform. The bold announcement this week: Snapchat will redesign their user interface. Snapchat’s nontraditional navigation became intuitive for young users, while older users simply gave up. The strategy aims to again draw new users to the platform, and rescue Snap from an ever-declining stock price.

Read more at TechCrunch

No limits on Instagram Stories

Requiring Instagram Stories pics to be less than 24 hours old is so 2016. Sure, the time limit is a leftover from when Instagram took the Stories concept from Snapchat. However, Stories have evolved beyond being just about the day. Content creators can add any content they like from their phones or from bookmarked images in their browsers. Instagram will add a date-stamp to older images, but users can easily remove it.

Read more at Digital Trends

A Messenger plugin for your site

Brands can soon bring Facebook Messenger onto their owned sites. The program launched in a closed beta this week. If successful, brands will be able to add a Messenger API to their .com sites, and carry conversations with visitors over web, mobile and anywhere Facebook can be accessed. The feature will place Facebook in competition with multiple virtual & chat assistants in the marketplace. Facebook promises the experience to be feature-rich, but will also cement Facebook as an essential partner in a brand’s ecosystem.

Read more at TechCrunch

280 Characters

It happened. The art of getting your message across in 140 elegant characters will soon go the way of the Dodo. Twitter has doubled the maximum character count to 280. The change will hopefully reduce tweet storms and voraciously poor grammar. Twitter reports only 5% of users went over the 140 character limit during the beta. Conversely, the new numbers haven’t yet had the chance to become a norm. We’ll wait to see how the Twitterverse adapts.

Read more at Engadget bought for $1B enables 15 second videos of lip-syncing, dancing or acting out skits to popular songs. The app has made a big impact with Generation Z, with some profiles boasting more than 18 million followers. The platform itself has over 215 million users, and it was purchased this week for between 800M and 1B by Beijing Bytedance Technology. BBT is chiefly known for a news headline app called Toutiao which incorporates news from 20 media outlets.

Read more at Business Insider


What if you could automatically scrape Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for UGC of your product, then use that content for advertising? Photoslurp is an app that aims to do exactly that. The SaaS offering has received more than $800K in funding. A proprietary set of algorithms will scan social platforms for your brand-related hashtags and content. It discards inappropriate content, and creates a dashboard of UGC ready for advertising. It is yet unclear how permission will be secured from the content creators.


Read more at TechCrunch