Friday Social – Instagram, Snapchat and Vine updates & more

  • Social Media

Our #FridaySocial is a weekly round-up of the key social media news stories from the previous seven days. Let us know your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter – @Umpf /@TomScott1

1. Instagram Algorithm

If you use the explore tab on Instagram, you may have noticed a dramatic change in the images being displayed. Whereas before the explore tab seemed to show only the most popular images being shared at the time, the app will now present photos that your personal connections have liked from other users. This should help you to grow your network of connections and also discover imagery which is more relevant to you. The crucial thing to consider here is the implication for brands, previously there was no way of organically increasing the reach of posts, but now users can see brand posts that connections of connections have liked, without having to be directly engaged with that brand in the first instance.

2.Vine Website update

You now no longer need a Vine account in order to browse the website, making it a similar experience to using YouTube. Users can now create playlists, see trends, recommendations and create dedicated channels, bringing many of the mobile apps current features on to the web. The move should help drive traffic to the site and maybe help boost Twitters ailing share price which has been linked to a drop off in new user sign ups.

3. Snapchat unveils major new features

Those of you who have the application installed should have received a message from Team Snapchat on Wednesday (01 May) detailing the new features which have been included in the latest update.

These are no small tweaks and they may go some way to explaining why the company turned down a $3billion offer from Facebook earlier in 2014. Presumably they have had major upgrades in development for some time and are of the belief that the best is yet to come and subsequently the value of the company will grow even further. As well as a general freshening up of the overall look, you can now instant message with your connections by swiping right on their names. Once inside the chat you can share text, videos and images, crucially if you are both online at the same time you can video chat.

4. Swarm checks-in

Foursquare is taking the unusual step of separating its app in to two platforms, Foursquare will be used predominately for search and recommendations and Swarm will take up the check-in element to allow you to boast about places you have been to and see where your friends are.

Foursquare said: “We built Swarm because you’ve told us how often you still have to text your friends: “where are you?” and “what you up to later?” We wanted to build a quick way for you to know these two things for all of your friends. With Swarm, you can easily see which of your friends are out nearby, figure out who is up for grabbing a drink later, and share what you’re up to (faster and more easily than you can in Foursquare today).”

“Swarm is for people who want the fastest and easiest way to connect with their friends. Foursquare is for explorers who want to know about the best spots, and to share what they’ve found with others.”

5. Manchester City Launches Digital Sticker Album

“Got, got, swap”, words from the playgrounds of the last several decades as football fans across the country battled to complete their sticker albums. Manchester City, no stranger to digital initiatives has launched its own online version, fans will be able to collect and trade digital stickers, in the form of images and animations, there will also be competitions to win exclusive prizes.

Diego Gigliani, director of marketing, media and fan developments at Manchester City FC, said: “Football sticker have a special place in the hearts of football fans around the world. Through partnering with 2Stic, we are now able to take this much loved pastime and enable City fans to share and connect with one another across multiple continents and devices.”

6. Disney tries to buy Buzzfeed

Disney has reportedly done a U-turn in their attempt to buy Buzzfeed after a reported price of $1 billion was quoted. The company already has a large roster of intellectual property, including Pixar, Marvel and Lucas Film.

BuzzFeed launched in 2006 and now has more than 400 employees worldwide, the website is said to regularly attract over 100 million unique users a month, making it popular with advertisers. Both companies refused to comment on the story and Disney has since gone on to purchase Maker Studios in a $500 million deal.