social media

10 Things in Digital: August

This blog post is by Hannah Brennan from our digital and social team.

Whether you spent August on a deckchair or at your desk, it would be hard not to hear about (or see for yourself) the many updates social networks made this month. We’ve rounded up some of the biggest and best as well as some social content we loved. Here’s what you need to know:
Platform news

War of the stories
There is no such thing as a new idea. Or that’s at least what Instagram has been saying as it hit the news for stealing one of Snapchat’s best known features – ‘Stories’. Giving Instagram users the opportunity to stitch their (arguably more beautiful) images and videos together has proven to be very successful, most notably for brands that already have a hefty Instagram following. Interestingly, Nike generated a whopping 800,000 views in 24 hours for an Instagram Story, whereas on Snapchat, their top performing video has only ever achieved up to 66,000 views.

Privacy backlash
The messaging app used by 1 billion people each month made a controversial change last month involving data sharing. Unless you’ve opted out, WhatsApp will be using your data to improve Facebook ads and allow brands to message users.

The new messaging button
One of the key platform developments last month was Twitter’s new DM button; which brands can now add to their website. Similar to ‘click here to follow’ the badge gives web traffic an easy way to direct message businesses through Twitter.

A growing toolbox
The Instagram toolbox is growing, as it adds 3 new features to help its 200,000 advertisers to stand out. Businesses in Australia, New Zealand and the US see the introduction of ‘Business Profiles’, ‘Insights’ and ‘Promote’, making it simpler for brands to reach their buyers – and if it is a success, this is set to be rolled out across the globe by the end of the year.

If you haven’t heard of Lifestage, you’re probably old
Old enough to drink in the US? Then sorry, you’re too old for Facebook’s new ‘Lifestage’ app. With a very simple interface, this new app, currently in beta testing in the US, targets video-loving teens, allowing them to create videos from their recent images to share with their school network. Facebook, however, doesn’t have a brilliant track record with standalone apps, having shut down Poke, Slingshot, Paper and Notify in recent years… so watch this space.

Music to your ears?
If you haven’t already updated your Facebook settings this month, things could start getting a bit noisy. Facebook has announced it will be testing videos that will automatically play in your feed with the sound turned on. At present they are muted, but this functionality will be tested amongst a small group of users alongside the use of video replies as a way for commenting on posts.

Getting in the groove
Facebook acquired start-up Eyegroove, an interactive music app which allows users to upload 19 second, fan-made videos onto a social platform. It has been argued that the purchase was mainly based on reeling in the talent, rather than the company, but could result in some new ideas and changes being implemented through Facebook in the not-so distant future.

And some things we loved…

Tesco’s Wonderwall eulogy… for a worm
In a successful attempt at customer engagement, Tesco wrote a humorous ‘Wonderwall’ inspired poem in response to a dead worm found inside a customer’s cucumber. The post went viral, pulling in thousands of shares and likes on social media, and goes to show that taking to social media to turn around a customer complaint can truly pay off.

A GIF we couldn’t stop watching
The annual #NationalBurgerDay came around again on the 25th August featuring a Reddit GIF that’s sure to make you hungry – slow motion burgers. It’s also offers a fantastic behind-the-scenes of camera work with food – we recommend you watch it a few times though…

Going for gold
49 million viewers turned to Snapchat to watch the Olympics in Rio, showcasing compilations of video snippets of the sporting action and crowd reaction. For a company barely alive during the last games, it’s incredible to see the influence the app has established and a reminder of the power Snapchat has as a social platform.