March for many was the countdown to Easter and an overindulgent chocolate weekend. For some in social media, however, it was a month where which egg they received was the least of their priorities. Here are 5 things myself and Tunafish Media witnessed in the land of social media last month.
1. #DeleteFacebook actually happened
You must have given up all news and media for Lent if you haven’t been aware of Facebook’s data privacy issues, the most recent relating to Cambridge Analytica. The platform has been accused of numerous security and privacy breaches in the past, and perhaps the biggest one to date linked to the US presidential elections. A whistleblower once linked to a former Trump advisor has caused Mark Zuckerberg to face standing in front of Congress and #DeleteFacebook to trend with numerous accounts to being deleted. Along with user profiles many public facing brands including Playboy, Mozilla and ComerzBank chose to exit Facebook and many celebrities including Annie Mac, Will Ferrell has spoken out about their lack of trust and dismay with the platform. Will this trend carry on or will Facebook remain king of social?
2. Snapchat playing Instagram at their own tricks
For some time Instagram has been accused of taking many features Snapchat is synonymous for and using them on its own platform. It now looks like the original disposable media platform is playing its rival at its own game. Snapchat’s latest trialled feature will allow users to tag other users in posts. Rumoured that the tagged user won’t receive a notification and there will not be an autofill feature for their handle, it is a little different, but essentially the same. If successful, which feature will Snapchat ‘borrow’ next?
3. Instagram becomes Instashop
Tackling un-clickable links and limits in where URLs can be placed, in March Instagram released an update making in-app shopping that much easier. Replacing product code tags and the ‘click the link in our bio’ captions, users can now ‘tap to view products’ and be directed to buy. Pretty Little Thing, M&S, Topman and Jacamo are just some of the many retailers already utilising the new feature. A rollout in favour of brands, this will also see changes in influencer and sponsorship marketing where third-party accounts are seen to promote products and brands. Making shopping that much easier, how long until McDonald’s lets you order a Big Mac via this feature?
4. Twitter and LinkedIn follow Facebook and Google
With the no advertising regulations in place for cryptocurrency and it’s rising popularity (there is now a chip shop in Chorlton, Beech Road Chippy, where bitcoin is accepted), in the interest of their communities Facebook, Google and now Twitter and LinkedIn are blocking adverts of this nature. Unsure of what investing in this new uncertain form of currency can lead to, to keep users on their platforms safe, more advertising platforms are taking this stance. And it is having an effect. When Twitter announced they will be blocking all ads for the currency, Bitcoin’s stock share dropped and concerns began. Wanting to protect their communities, could this trend of blocking uncertain industries become more widespread?
5. Vero the new hero?
Everyone loves Instagram, including my Mum but not everyone loves its algorithm. Including my Mum. Earlier this year Vero came to our attention for boasting an algorithm of a ‘Truly Social Network’ where posts are in chronological order, a feed missed by users of Instagram as well as brands and influencers. Users of Vero are also given greater control of what makes up their feed, another feature taking on the annoyance of the Instagram feed. The Facebook-owned platform may be feeling threatened as subscriptions soar and brands and artists including GQ, Oliver Spence and Banks publish their content on the platform. Interestingly, a feature of Vero that allows users to buy items from posts has had a similar style roll out on Instagram, mentioned earlier in this blog. Could this be Instagram showing signs of worry, or just confirming their title as the copycat platform?