Friday Social: #WorldCup Hashflags, WhatsApp Cookery Lessons and the @CIA

Ellie Hallsworth

June 13th, 2014

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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. #WorldCup hashflags

BRAZILIOOO! The World Cup kicked off this week and, with Twitter’s latest unlocked features, it’s now easier to keep up with all the action, on and off the pitch. Follow this link to choose your supporting side and discover new custom #WorldCup features and follow all the matches, players, coaches and more.

Also back in the mix are Twitter’s hashflags, an instant hit in the 2010 tournament, that allow users to embed flag emoticons into their tweets. To raise your hashflag, tweet ‘#’ followed by your country’s three letter country code and your flag will appear.

2. Facebook answers reach questions

Facebook has released a statement addressing its decreasing organic reach, explaining that there are two main reasons for the decreasing reach figures: the sheer amount of content that is uploaded to the platform daily (on average, there are around 1,500 stories that could appear in a user’s News Feed each log in). The second reason is to do with the restructuring of the News Feed and its move to show a user “the content that’s most relevant to them” using a ranking algorithm that looks at thousands of factors relative to each person.

Read the full statement from Facebook here.

3. WhatsApp cookery lessons

Mayonnaise brand Hellman’s has introduced a new app especially for its Brazilian market: WhatsCook is a live recipe service that lets users chat with real chefs or an expert cooking team and learn how to prepare meals in real-time using the WhatsApp messaging service. Making use of all WhatsApp’s features, the recipe service will also help users with photos, mini-videos and voice messages; the sound of an incoming message will also serve as an alert to take something out of the oven. WhatsCook-01-500x281

4. Swarm introduces ads

Lipton_Pure_Leaf_Swarm_PBA_2

A month after Foursquare launched its spin-off app, Swarm, it has now begun to monetise by selling ads on the platform to be delivered to users after they check in. So far the ads are set to be used by a number of brands, including Pepsi, P&G, Hennessy and Volvo.

Interestingly, the company’s chief revenue officer Steven Rosenblatt has also hinted that a new tool coming up in the Swarm app called “plans” (through which users can tell their friends what they are thinking of doing later) might be an interesting place for advertisers to run a promotion.

5. CIA on Twitter

Joining the company of North Korea (@uriminzok_engl), Pope Francis (@Pontifex) and The British Monarchy (@BritishMonarchy), The CIA (@CIA) became another unlikely account to join Twitter. And it seems the highly secretive US spy organisation even has a sense of humour…

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