Friday Social: Pinterest Places, Burberry Events and Twitter GIFs

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

1. Facebook’s Slingshot

Following its accidental premature launch earlier this month, Facebook has officially launched its Snapchat competitor Slingshot.

Slingshot allows users (who don’t need a Facebook account to sign up – your account is linked to your mobile number) to send self-destructing photo and video messages up to 15 seconds long, but with a catch – to ‘unlock’ a message you’ve received, you have to send one in reply. Joey Flynn, design lead, told Mashable: “What we found is that you don’t feel the need to respond immediately. It’s more [like], I want to share what I’m up to whenever I can, and then they’re going to feel almost no pressure to share back whatever they’re doing because it’s a shared experience”.

Unlike Snapchat, users won’t receive an alert if a screenshot is taken of their message – one of the key reasons that users are unlikely to desert Snapchat for Slingshot.

2. Twitter Heat Map Shows World Cup Excitement

Maps created by Twitter and CartoDB have revealed how World Cup excitement is spreading across the world. For example, World Cupaccording to the @TwitterData handle, 8.9 million tweets were sent during this week’s Mexico vs. Brazil match.

The maps can be viewed online here, and show how tweets erupt across countries during matches

 

3. Burberry Launches Twitter Calendar Invites

Fashion brand Burberry, known for its forward-thinking social media strategy, has just launched Twitter-based calendar invites.

Using the Twitter Cards feature, Burberry has been tweeting invitations to its runway shows and, when an interested user clicks on the invitation, a notification will pop up asking if you want to add the event to your calendar – it currently works with Outlook, Google Calendar and Apple’s iCalendar (and any other calendar that uses ICS files). Invitations also include a message from Burberry’s chief creative and CEO.

4. Twitter Allows GIFs

Twitter now allows support for GIFs – finally! The social media site announced in a tweet on Wednesday that the format was now supported (although not yet on TweetDeck), and of course Twitter was quick to test it out:

https://twitter.com/benparr/statuses/479314589033570305

5. Pinterest Launches Place Search

tumblr_inline_n72phag0Sw1s1gqllPinterest has once-again improved its once-lacklustre search engine, this time making improvements to its Place Search so that it’s easier to pin to a Place Board. According to Pinterest’s Engineering Blog, this change is aiming to help make the site’s search smarter and faster.

Now, rather than focusing on two inputs – the ‘what’ and the ‘where’ – there’s just one intuitive search box. The new search is powered by Twofishes, written by Foursquare – Foursquare is Pinterest’s primary place data provider.