Monthly Roundup Blog – October

Caitlin Genoe - 03/11/2016 - 4 mins read - Social Technology

In true October fashion, it’s been a spooky month! We’ve seen plenty of excitement building around Halloween. Social platforms and news channels alike have blew up with hysteria over the dreaded “Killer Clowns” and there are plenty of creepy videos. We finally found out who fell victim to Negan in The Waking Dead and we need some time to recover emotionally! So to take your mind off the horror of the month, here’s your need to know social news for October…  

1. Is Twitter in danger?

It’s been a tough month for Twitter. Bloomberg News released a report and it appears that the platform is ready to cut several jobs. Twitter has had an influx of bad news recently, and these job losses are just adding to the list. However, it’s not yet been confirmed, and Twitter themselves have not made any comments on this

2. The case of the Snapchat copy-cats

Over the past few months we have seen many other social platforms and apps introduce features which are suspiciously similar, if not direct knock-offs of Snapchat. This month has been no different, with Facebook releasing the ‘Messenger Day’ feature in Poland and Australia. The aim of the feature is to allow users to take part in “social storytelling” and works through Facebook messenger. Much like Snapchat, users can take pictures or create images with coloured backgrounds use stickers to describe how they are feeling or express themselves – similar to the option when writing a status.

But it doesn’t stop there! Only a few days ago, it appears Facebook is testing another Snapchat style feature, this time in their main app. As expected, it has many of the same attributes such as adding effects and filters to photo and video, only lasting 24 hours and can be posted to the News Feed or sent privately. The feature is currently only being tested in Ireland and doesn’t have a name yet…so watch this space!

We can’t let Facebook take all the heat though. This month it’s been said Giphy’s GIFs could become a whole lot more like Snapchat, along with WhatsApp introducing similar creative tools. Phew - we can’t keep up!

3. Instagram test Live Video

In other news, this month it seems Instagram has been testing live video. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as we know their parent company Facebook is investing more into developing video, and it seems this may also be an aim for Instagram.

It looks like the live video feature includes a “Go Insta!” button and an option to schedule. Instagram is really stepping up the game with their recent introduction of ‘Stories’ and perhaps now live video. With live video available on Facebook and on Twitter through Periscope, it’s encouraging to see Instagram take on the live element too. If this goes ahead, we can see it catching on with many users.

4. Vine shutting down

R.I.P Vine! The 6 second wonder app owned by Twitter will be shutting down over the course of the next few months. The original intent for the app was to allow people to take little snippet videos of their life, in a similar way a tweet does. However, it soon took off as a place for young creatives to make comedy skits, art pieces and more, to the point where Vine even had its own stars just like YouTube. Vine allowed users to experiment with the 6 seconds they had to record, and it offered a new, fresh platform for users whether they were creating, or just viewing.

Unfortunately, while Vine initially stirred up excitement, it wasn’t able to keep up this momentum. Vine was only managed by a small team, and it seems while culturally they were successful, they struggled to make profit or grow user numbers. Excitement around the app started to fade, and while other apps were introducing new features and adapting, Vine wasn’t able to keep up. Another struggle was being up against apps like Snapchat with their 10 second maximum video limit and influencers building an audience there, or Instagram and their introduction of video.

It’s a shame to see the platform shut down, however personally, as a user it was easy to lose interest very quickly. With Twitter having problems of their own, will we see more ripple effects?

Vine’s founder Rus Yusupov isn’t too happy… 🙈

Other October Honourable Mentions:

Facebook Halloween ‘reactions’:

Snapchat to create “original shows”?

Twitter replace ‘Moments’ for ‘Explore’ tab test:

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