Posts Tagged ‘Instagram’

Social Media Update: Reels, Live Shopping and Snap Camera

September 7, 2020

In this blog post our digital guru, Alma Brosnan, brings us some recent recent developments from the world of social media that you might find interesting and might just work for you and your business!

Changes with Instagram: Reels

One thing that always stands true for Facebook is that they want to be the king in the space of social media and yet again they have duplicated another social media platform into one of their own.

In August, Instagram (which is owned by the social media giant) introduced ‘Reels’ onto the platform, which are short 15 second video clips that can have a musical background…

Sound familiar to anyone? (It’s not so long ago when they literally copied all of the very cool, fun functionality from SnapChat to wrestle young users over to them).

This is Facebook’s attempt to compete with TikTok, the popular short-form video creation app which is especially popular with Gen Z and has garnered more attention from the older generation during the year.

Reels - Social Media Consultancy

The timing of releasing Reels has been perfect by Instagram as President Donald Trump is getting closer to banning TikTok in the United States as a national security threat, and with this popular TikTokers might move to Reels to keep their audience and momentum going.

However, Reels may seem like TikTok but does not have the same functionality and ease of use of the popular app.

Click here for an article from the New York Times that goes through the differences between Reels and TikTok, and TikTok comes out the winner, so we’ll see what happens if Trump goes through on his threat to ban TikTok on September 20th.

The United States wanting to ban a social media platform from another country – that idea is a whole other debate!

Changes with Facebook: Desktop and “Live Shopping”

Have you noticed the new change to Facebook on the desktop version?

From September 1st, the “New” Facebook design was rolled out to everyone. It’s an update to the interface that is now placing a bigger emphasis on Stories, Groups and Events, with the traditional News feed still appearing in the middle of the page, but users have easier access to the above-mentioned activities.

You can also choose to have a “dark mode” as some users prefer to use on their mobile devices but this is usable on the desktop version too.

Facebook changes, Social media consultancy

During Covid-19 and the lockdown periods, Facebook have begun to put a lot more effort in their Facebook and Instagram Shop offerings.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift to online shopping has rapidly accelerated, with an estimated 85% of people worldwide now shopping online.

To quote them:: “We want to make shopping easier for people and empower anyone, from an entrepreneur to the largest brand, to use our apps to connect with customers and grow their business. That’s why we’re creating new ways for people to shop on our apps and providing tools to help businesses sell online

With these new tools, they have now added new customisation features, messaging tools and new insights to help measure results.

A cool new tool introduced with all of these features is “Live Shopping”.

The user hosting the live video will be able to tag the product they’re speaking about which will enable the users watching the video to purchase the product directly.

Changes to Snapchat: Clever integration tool for Zoom 

Sick of Zoom meetings? We’ve all been in at least two Zoom calls a week since lockdown and they’ve varied from professional business meetings to quizzes with families at the weekend.

Snap Camera - Social Media Consultancy, Fuzion Communications

Now as the boredom of those kicks in, we have a fun way to jazz up all your Zoom calls from now on! You can download the Snap Camera from Snapchat as a desktop program and play around with all the different filters to make your calls more entertaining.

That’s it from me until next time … 

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing team providing Social Media Consultancy and Training services at Fuzion Communications from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Instagram – Reactions and new features during COVID19

April 28, 2020

Instagram Innovation

Have you noticed an uptake in live videos across social media?

With all our constant Zooming, Housepartying and Skyping, everyone is getting much more comfortable communicating through video.

Any time you log into Instagram you’re pretty much guaranteed to see at least one business account, celebrity or influencer broadcasting live to their followers. This is a great time to reach a captive audience especially as activity on the social media platforms has increased.

Instagram has now added the ability for users to watch live videos from desktop, which is a huge move for them considering how they’ve stuck to ‘mobile-only‘ features the last couple of years. The really useful aspect to viewing Instagram live videos on desktop is that now businesses will have a URL to cross-promote on their other social platforms to boost viewership of their live video.

Instagram have now added more tools as stickers on Stories to help businesses during these times, including gift cards, food orders, fundraisers and challenges. These will allow businesses that have been impacted by limited availability or shutdowns to continue to generate income at this time.

Businesses can share a new gift card, food order, and fundraiser stickers in Stories and on their profiles. When you see gift cards or food orders, you can tap to make your purchase through our partner’s site.”

The gift card function is a great option for all businesses to build on their brand loyalty and encourage engagement with their customers.

The food order stickers run through third-party delivery businesses such as Deliveroo & Uber Eats, which can be very useful for those food businesses already using those services.

Challenges are another fun sticker Instagram has introduced recently to keep up with all the engagement around real-life challenges happening between their users. Using this sticker allows you to browse the other challenges that are currently popular on the app and also to tag the friends you want to challenge.

It can be useful for businesses to use this function if they have a fundraising challenge they want to promote amongst their followers.

The social media platforms continue to innovate and stay up to date and relevant by their ability to respond to customers requirements, trends and changing circumstances – Instagram have done well here with their latest innovations.

Alma Brosnan Social Media Consultant, Fuzion CommunicationsAlma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing team providing Social Media Consultancy and Training services at Fuzion Communications from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Listening and doing nothing

October 11, 2017

Donald Trump - Twitter

Right now, we are living in an ever increasingly strange era.

A bright orange barely human is in charge of the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and seemingly quite anxious to have a go at using it.

His counterpart in the East – with equally baffling hair – is egging him on and approximately 7 billion people are at the mercy of their moods. This will go down as the dumbest period of human life on earth, or at very least, as the dumbest period of untethered “leadership” in the developed world. 

On a somewhat lighter (but connected) note, both Twitter and Instagram have made some small but significant changes to their platforms recently, in an attempt to improve users’ experiences making them easier and faster to use. 

As users of social media for the past ten or so years, we should be ok with ongoing updates where features that we know and love are “updated” (i.e. removed or positioned elsewhere on the platform, in an non-linear manner – yes, I’m looking at you Facebook for all the things that you’ve done to the time-line. #smt). 

As recently as June 2017, Grace Kim, Twitter’s head of research and design said “…with lots of feedback and ideas from you, we’re refreshing our product… We listened closely and kept what you love. And for the things you didn’t, we took a new approach to fix and make better,”. 

But its quite apparent that these companies are not listening to their users. 

In this turbulent time, where people carrying swastika flags, can declare themselves NOT nazis, (note – we are deliberately not giving these words the respect of Uppercase first letter) and use Twitter to publish messages of hate and violence, where threats of sexual violence can be made against people for “offences” such as not shaving their legs, or wanting to be referred to as she/her or he/his, where people can be called offensive terms by the president (he doesn’t a capital “P” either!) of the USA for taking a knee protest, neither changing profile pictures to circles nor increasing the character limit to #280 was not on anyone’s agenda. 

Mike Monteiro has been an outspoken member of the Twitter community asking for DT’s removal for repeatedly touting the terms of service of Twitter, writing on Medium he says “DT has been violating Twitter’s “rules” for years. Calling out individuals, entire ethnic groups, dog whistling his violent white supremacist base, taking on a Gold Star family, a US judge of Mexican heritage, retweeting a gif of Hillary Clinton being attacked, going after journalists. This is hardly acceptable behaviour for a regular human being, much less a US President. Twitter has, rightfully albeit slowly, banned other users for similar behaviour. 

Monteiro intelligently and correctly has spent considerable amount of time and effort engaging with @Jack and @Biz (Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO & Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter) highlighting the many instances of misuse of their platform by extremists (I’m including DT in that description…) and what should be done with them, according to their own Terms of Service.

By the levels of engagement between them, they clearly see what he’s saying, but they aren’t listening or are deliberately choosing not to do anything having listened. If they were, there would be less hoo-haa about #280 (which, lets face it, just makes Twitter a rubbish Facebook) and more about ensuring that users behaviour on Twitter was appropriate, respectful and not warmongering. 

In a similar manner, Instagram recently updated its app, allowing users greater functionality (to use multiple images in a single post, landscape and portrait modes, and, errr,  stickers, similar to Snapchat – you know those annoying floral headdresses and bunny rabbit noses? Yeah, those!!).

Some of the updates have been great – threaded comments, the previously mentioned multiple images per post, and Instagram Stories, but there is one simple thing that users have been crying out for, and that is a chronological order of posts. 

Clearly Instagram, much like Twitter, is a commercial endeavour, not some sort of altruistic venture, and its algorithm is built so that the advertising (which thankfully has become less invasive in recent months) is aimed at the correct target audiences, but forcing users into a system that they have clearly expressed as not being something that they want, is a sign that a company is clearly not listening to its user base. 

Perhaps the numbers won’t fall, perhaps we have all become immune to asking for something from a service, and never getting it, but surely that’s a strange set of behaviours to adhere to!

What does any of this to do with design?

Well, everything we do in Fuzion Communications is a reaction to a briefing from our clients.

They tell us what they need and what they want, and we take it from there. Design is a heavy mix of solution providing, communications and creativity, and as designers a huge part of our process is listening to our clients to provide them with creative work, that satisfies their brief. 

Ultimately, our design comes from listening.  

Phew…that’s off my chest!

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj - FuzionJonathan

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj leads the Graphic Design Department in Fuzion with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland 

 


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