Our #FridaySocial is a weekly round-up of the key social media news stories from the previous seven days.
1. Facebook to end sponsored stories
Facebook has been tinkering with its advertising options over the previous six months and now Sponsored Stories are the latest marketing tool to be phased out. This style of promotion works by using existing connections to a page and pushing posts in to the feeds of those who aren’t connected but their friends are, for instance if I liked the Umpf page, a sponsored Umpf post could then appear in one of my friends timelines. A spokesperson for Facebook explained that they will no longer be available as a standalone unit, this insinuates that some similar functions of a sponsored story will be added in to the latest advertising options.
“As announced in June of last year, we’re bringing the best of Sponsored Stories — social context — to all ads. Since this update makes Sponsored Stories redundant, we will no longer offer them as a stand-alone ad unit for marketers. Social context will continue to appear with all ads where eligible. Our social advertising honors the audience that people choose, so nobody will see information in social context for an ad that they couldn’t already see.”
2. Security conscious Snapchat
After the recent security scare at Snapchat caused by the leaking of over 4 million accounts and phone numbers, you can now unlink your number from your username. Updating the app on your iOS or Android device should provide you with this new feature. A step in a more secure direction.
3. Vine for Web launched
Vine has launched on the web, allowing its users similar functionality to the mobile app such as liking, commenting and sharing videos, they have also added in the functionality to view videos in full screen mode.
Whilst it is similar to the mobile Vine experience, you cannot create videos on PC using a webcam, which keeps content creation purely on mobile devices. Users can expect more features in the future, a spokesperson for Twitter and Vine said:
“This release is just a first step toward bringing you a richer, more enjoyable web experience; we look forward to introducing more improvements in 2014.”
4. Michael Bay’s feels the unforgiving nature of the internet
The internet can be a cruel place if it captures you making a mistake, even worse if you happen to be a well-known public figure. Director Michael Bay suffered an autocue malfunction at a recent trade show, causing him to lose his place whilst presenting a new curved TV on behalf of Samsung. Claiming that he would have to “wing it” Michael Bay’s nerves then got the better of him as fell into a silence before walking completely off stage.
As you can imagine the good people of the internet took it upon themselves to be sympathetic to Michael, or not! You can see some of the reaction here.
5. Twitter Co-Founder launches social search engine Jelly
Are you ready for this jelly? Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, full name Christopher Isaac Stone has launched a question and answer style social media search engine.
The idea behind the mobile app is straightforward, users can ask questions to other users via the medium of pictures, for instance I could snap the Umpf logo and ask my followers what it was, in the hope someone would be able to provide an answer.
The limitations of asking a single question to a single group of connections in the hope of an answer have been criticised, but Stone is confident the app will build empathy and users will enjoy helping out others, it is certainly ambitious. Biz Stone elaborated on the concept,
“Beyond being a very useful search engine, like I said before, it creates this circle of empathy, where people realize that ‘Oh, there’s other people who need my help and I can actually help them and they’ll feel good about it and they’ll get trained to thinking about helping other people. And, maybe that’ll even jump outside of the app and just into the real world and they’ll start looking around and helping people and wouldn’t that be great?”
6. Singapore recognises Bitcoin as taxable currency
The volatile virtual currency Bitcoin which has rocketed in value over the previous couple of months has been recognised as a taxable currency in Singapore. Whilst many countries have disregarded it, Singapore has laid down the law with regards to the purchase of non-virtual items. Businesses will be taxed if they buy and sell the currency and for online sales of items such as digital film downloads. We will have to wait and see if other countries now decide to follow the lead of Singapore.
7. BBC to stream 6 HD quality channels for Winter Olympics
The BBC was heralded for its outstanding coverage of the London 2012 Olympics, utilising web streaming technology to allow access to every event happening during the Olympics. It was no small feat, but it is one they are about to repeat with similar levels of coverage at the Sochi Winter Olympics which start in February.
The BBC’s in-house built platform claims to reduce the time delay in delivering video to your device as well as auto refreshing content and streams which will adjust to size and quality depending on your connection.
8. And finally
Feeling the nostalgic need to re-live 2013’s best social media moments, have a browse of our
“Best Social Media Campaigns 2013” blog, it might inspire you!
PR & social media, with a bit more