This year has run away with us and December is already here. A lot has happened in the world of social media in November, and before we retreat to the Christmas party frenzy that is December, we bring you our social media news.
TWITTER FINALLY WENT FOR 280 CHARACTERS
Testing started in September with a few selected accounts and had us divided in our office – some of us were jealous of those users as others insisted that 140 characters was enough to express ourselves.
And then it finally happened, last month Twitter extended its 280 character limit to all users. The end of an era, some might say, and the truth is that this is likely the biggest change the social network has implemented since its creation in 2006.
The internet went to town on this and here are our favourite celebratory tweets:
Twitter claims the change will allow people from different cultures to express themselves in one single tweet, adding that users tweeting in Chinese, Japanese and Korean will remain at the original limit, as writing in those languages uses fewer characters.
280 characters is not everyone’s thing though, as some users were quick to point out:
TWITTER TO REMOVE THE BLUE TICK FROM ACCOUNTS THAT DON’T FOLLOW ITS RULES
After finding themselves in the middle of a controversy involving a Twitter-verified white supremacy account, the social media platform is now removing the blue badges from users who violate their community guidelines. Items on the list of reasons why an account could lose their verified status include promoting hate, self harm or to others, violence or dangerous behaviour or even publishing shocking or disturbing images.
Twitter shared on their blog post that the verification process is currently on hold while they review it, and that they hold the right remove accounts’ verification.
But what effect does the blue tick have on accounts? Although the verified badges were given out as a way to prove that a person is actually who they say they are, users tend to see it as an endorsement from the platform. Twitter holds the blame here, adding “This perception became worse when we opened up verification for public submissions and verified people who we in no way endorse.”
As a result of this move, some accounts have already lost their badges. Previously verified accounts may not be eligible to have badges restored.
BROADCASTING LIVE ON INSTAGRAM: YOUR FRIENDS CAN NOW REQUEST TO JOIN YOU
In an effort to make Live videos more interactive on the platform, Instagram now allows users to request to join their friends’ Live videos.
When watching a friend’s live video, ‘grammers can ask to jump in by tapping the Request button in the comments section. Once accepted, there is still a moment to prepare before going live – at this point, the screen divides into two (either horizontally or vertically, depending on the orientation you’re watching the video).
For now, only one person at a time can be added to a Live video – and to add someone else, you’ll need to remove that first person. After the broadcast is finished, you can either publish it to your Stories or discard it.
YOU CAN NOW POST CONTENT ON INSTAGRAM STORIES THAT IS OLDER THAN 24 HOURS – AND SHARE IT TO FACEBOOK STORIES
We’ve been wanting this for a while and it’s finally here. Instagram’s recent update now allows users to post content created at any time to its Stories, even if it’s older than 24 hours – so now you don’t have to come up with creative ways to work around this restriction.
When adding an older picture or video to Stories, it will come with a new label stating the date it was originally created. As usual, you will have the option to resize, rotate and move the stamp, or even bin it.
The updates don’t stop there! In a bid to make Facebook Stories relevant, users are now able to cross-post their Instagram Stories to Facebook. The new feature will save time when posting on both channels, as now it’s no longer necessary to save your Stories to your phone and then upload and publish them elsewhere. Let’s see if this gets Facebook Stories off the ground then…
FACEBOOK LAUNCHES NEW APP AND WEBSITE FOR CONTENT CREATORS
Facebook recently rolled out new tools that promise to make it easier for creators to produce original videos, broadcast live and engage with their communities.
The first one is the Facebook Creator App, which brings some features of the social network like page administration, posting and managing, into a dedicated interface. Users can stream and create videos with custom settings, adding interactable stickers as well as intros and outros. In addition, its community tab allows direct communication with fans and collaborators, and a unified inbox centralises comments from Facebook and Instagram, and messages from Messenger.
Adding to the offer, the social media giant also launched a Facebook for Creators page, featuring resources to inspire and help creators produce unique videos, attract fans and increase their reach and presence on social networks. “We are excited to see creators using these tools to share videos, interact with their followers and grow their communities on Facebook,” the company said in their official blog.
PINTEREST MAKES ITS SEARCHES MORE INTELLIGENT
Pinterest rolled out new features in November that aim to change the way users shop on the platform.
Starting with ‘Lens Your Look’, a new tool that allows users to use images to search instead of text, making it easier to find products seen on boards on the platform. With this feature, you can snap a picture of a denim jacket and pair it with the search term “autumn fashion” to receive as a result new ideas of looks or even items that match your request. This comes as a response to the high number of pins related to fashion since the platform’s creation – out of 100 billion pins, 16 billion were connected to the topic.
Also new from November is Pinterest’s take on QR codes – Pincodes. These customised QR codes can be created by any business account and displayed on packaging, advertising pieces or at point of sale. Users can scan the Pincode by opening their camera on the Pinterest app. This will give them access to curated ideas on the platform inspired by what they are seeing in real life – this could be boards, Pins or products.
Bridging the gap between inspiration and action, Pinterest hopes to make trade easier within the application.