This month Snapchat and Instagram are still trying to outdo one another, Twitter implements a feature their users have been suggesting for years, and Facebook implements a new status feature in their mission of finding new ways to get their users to share self made content.
A mere 4 years ago the world woke to a Twitter scandal involving Harry Styles, a former member of the very popular teen band, One Direction. Long story short, dear Harry had liked a tweet, a sexually explicit tweet which millions of tween girls then saw through his popular twitter account. For those who are unaware of how liking tweets works on Twitter, ‘liked’ tweets are saved to your profile under a section appropriately titled ‘Likes’.
User’s in the past have often liked tweets in order to save them for later, especially tweets that feature linked articles that users don’t have time to read then and there. To assist the user experience, Twitter has implemented a feature that users have been requesting for quite some time: a way to save posts for later, without it being publicly visible. However this update isn’t aimed to control saucy scandals, twitter realised that some users felt uncomfortable saving a tweet by liking it, especially if the content was sensitive, such as coverage of a tragic event.
So if you’re looking to be socially sensitive or secretly saucy online, the new Twitter Bookmark feature is the perfect addition to your Twitter perousing.
The battle for social dominance continues with Snapchat taking up arms against Instagram by fighting fire with fire, in other words, Snapchat is trialing two updates which are alarmingly similar to features that Instagram Stories have been using since 2016.
The first update is the ability to record video content ‘hands-free’. Previously, to record video on Snapchat users would be required to hold down the record button until they decided to end filming. Instagram has had this feature since December 2016, however in defence of Snapchat, Instagram only allows a 15 second recording time, while Snapchat allows its users a generous 60 seconds of hands-free video recording.
The second ‘been there, done that’ update is the introduction of tagging users in Snapchat Stories – something Instagram introduced back in November of 2016.
To use access this feature, users can @tag a user by writing their Snapchat username on any snap.
When other users view Snaps with @tags, they can swipe up to get more details on the person tagged, such as their bitmoji, their Snapcode, and an add user button.
In 1967, two studies led to the theory that communication is 55% body language, 38% tone of voice, and only 7% based on the actual words we say. Facebook status updates, along with email and tweets suffer from not being able to communicate body language and tone of voice, often leading to miscommunication. Facebook’s new update aims to encourage more original and personal content from users, while improving the issues of miscommunication. As the latest in an ever growing list of features to express oneself in status updates, Facebook is trialling voice clips as status updates. The new feature is currently only testing within India, which is the perfect testing ground due to the hundreds of local languages, and lack of keyboard capabilities for using the languages – at present only a handful of the local languages are available on Google’s Gboard or any other digital keyboard.
Instagram’s new update incorporates Instagram links, such as hashtags and user handles into Instagram bios. The Instagram Press website released a statement stating that ‘with hashtag and profile links in your bio, you can express yourself and your interests right in your profile’ which is a win for both users and a win for arguably the most creative platform of the big 4 social sites.
The update has the potential to assist users to continue gaining followers and finding new accounts to obsess over which helps Instagram avoid becoming stagnant to current users, ensuring that they return to the app regularly.
Furthermore, live links in bios encourage users to dive a little deeper into content discovery. For example, let’s say that Oprah’s Instagram features the hashtag #FruitInHats (yes, it’s a real hashtag with 4 public posts – you should check it out), you can bet your fresh produce that users will be clicking on that hashtag because it is of interest to Oprah, leading to content discovery.
With this update, Instagram has ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ down to a social media artform.
Will you be adding hashtags into your Instagram bio or trialling voice clips once they become available globally?