Friday Social: Snapchat Discovery, Group DMs & #Snowmageddon2015

Ellie Hallsworth

January 30th, 2015

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Our #FridaySocial is a weekly round-up of the key social media news stories from the previous seven days. Let us know your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter – @Umpf / @EllieHallsworth

1. Twitter gears up for election

Twitter has introduced an even more focused form of geo-targeted ads, meaning that advertisers are now able to direct their tweets at users in specific postcodes.

Specifically in time for the UK general election in May, this new feature will enable politicians to target swing seats. In a blog post Gordon MacMillan, editorial manager of Twitter UK, wrote: “For political parties fighting on a national and constituency level, such exact targeting is another useful tool in the campaigning arsenal.”

Twitter identifies three areas in which the new system could bring benefits; to respond to local issues, raise the profile of candidates and convey local messages.

2. Snapchat Discovery

This week, Snapchat introduced its latest experiment with branded content: ‘Discovery’. Within its current app format will sit a new portal for branded editorial content curated by a range of media partners, including National Geographic, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, ESPN and others.

Snapchat said: “Snapchat Discover is a new way to explore Stories from different editorial teams. It’s the result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first.”

The deal makes complete sense for the publishers involved, many of whom are looking for new ways to put their content in front of younger users. True to the nature of the platform, the editions refresh after 24 hours.

3. Group DMs

This week Twitter introduced group messages on Twitter, allowing its users to speak privately in a group of up to 20 people, share tweets, pics, links and emoji. In a blog post, Twitter said group messages would provide “more options for how and with whom you communicate on Twitter”.

As well as this update, users will also be able to film, edit and share video clips of up to 30 seconds in length.

4. #Snowmageddon2015

In cool data vis news: as Blizzard Juno took over north-eastern parts of America, Twitter users were taking to the platform to discuss the snowfall. Created on web mapping tool CartoDB and tracking geo-targeted tweets mentioning #Juno, #Snowmageddon2015, #Juno2015, #BlizzardOf2015 and #blizzard, we are able to see how the conversation played out over time.

datavisSee the animated map here.

5. WhatsApp Share Button

A few sites that have experimented with encouraging users to share their content on WhatsApp have been reporting big results. First Buzzfeed said iPhone users are clicking their WhatsApp share button more than Twitter’s. Then sports site FTW reported similar with WhatsApp getting 18% of share clicks (compared to 13% for Twitter, 34% for Facebook and 35% for email).

WhatsApp sharing is currently supported by iOS and Android.

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