Welcome to another edition of the Outpost monthly round up, a snapshot of the latest digital, social and advertising news from around the world. While we may only be a few days into April, here at Dane Mill we’re preparing for a busy month in the world of social, with important updates all coming out of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat recently.
If you’re not already up to speed on channel updates however, don’t worry – we’ve got your back. Why not have a read of our April editorial where we take a look at some of the predicted trends for digital this year? You can also see a great piece from AdWeek on the best of branded April Fool’s day, which we’ve linked to at the end of this article.
Facebook continues its all-out assault on Snapchat with Stories
First came Facebook filters in back in March 2016, allowing users to add effects to their faces much like Snapchat’s ‘lenses’ feature. Shortly after in April, Messenger profiles were updated with scannable QR codes, with disappearing messages following in May. Next came ‘Stories’ on Instagram in August – a near identical clone of the Snapchat story format. And in another timely dent to Snapchat’s millennial momentum, Facebook is now rolling out Stories too, offering its 1.65 billion users a redesigned in-app camera and a specific stories content area which features at the top of the News Feed.
In a near comedic press release, Connor Hayes, Facebook Product Manager commented that, “The Instagram community has shown us that it can be fun to share things that disappear after a day.” Nothing to do with Snapchat’s product genius, then. You know what they say; imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Twitter usernames no longer included in character count
In a landscape of unfettered social media networks, Twitter’s individuality and succinctness is refreshing. It can also be very annoying, especially when it comes to character count.
Back in August 2016, Twitter bowed to consumer pressure and increased the direct message character count from 140 to 10,000, and short after in September another exception was made for images, video and other media. Amongst the in-feed tug of war between Facebook and Snapchat, Twitter must fight to remain relevant and viable. That’s why the next time you reply to someone on Twitter, their latest update means you’ll have more room to do it.
The company recently announced that usernames will no longer count toward your Tweet’s 140 characters, with the handle of the recipient now appearing above the Tweet text rather than within the Tweet itself. “It’s now easier to follow a conversation, so you can focus on what a discussion is about, and who is having it. Also, with all 140 characters for your replies, you have more room to participate in group conversations”, says Sasank Reddy, Twitter Product Manager.
One for the road. Check out AdWeek’s April Fool’s Day 2017 Best of Brand Hoaxes.