Friday Social: Twitter’s Timelines, InstaAds and Haiyan Relief

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Our #FridaySocial is a weekly round-up of the key social media news stories from the previous seven days. Tweet us your thoughts – @Umpf and @Allllliiiii

1. Twitter’s launches Custom Timelines

twitterTwitter has this week launched the new Custom Timelines feature. According to Twitter, Custom Timelines give the user more control over how tweets are delivered and organised on the social media site.

Users can create a personalised Timeline by adding, either manually or using the API, tweets that they find interesting and relevant to whatever topic the Timeline might relate to. Custom Timelines are public, and can easily be embedded on websites as well. Twitter Music has created an example Timeline of currently trending Superstars to get you started – view it here.

2. Social media helps Typhoon Haiyan relief effort

According to New Scientist and MicroMappers, social media is being used to provide a wealth of information aiming to help the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort. Volunteers are trawling social media sites looking for updates about who needs help and where they are in order to create a map and send aid workers to the areas most in need.

MicroMappers, which aims to support disaster relief ‘with a single click’, says that this is the first time that social media has been used to aid a rescue efforts in this way. Anyone can become a MicroMappers volunteer and help to provide information and help by assessing tweets and images to rate the scale of destruction – to join in, visit the website.

3. Instagram launches first ads

Following its announcement that adverts would soon be included in users’ feeds, Instagram has launched its very first advertisement with Michael Kors. The ad appeared in-feed, as any normal Instagram photo of a cat, your dinner or hot dogs/legs would.

Stats uncovered by Nitrogram reveal that the ad was shown to a select demographic of Instagram users, outside of Michael Kors’ current followers in the US. Nitrogram revealed that the image received more than 218,000 likes within 18 hours, a 370% increase on non-promoted figures, and a huge 33,000 follower jump. It’s not all good news however, as 20% of comments left under the image were negative. Who will be next up to trial InstaAds?

4. Twitter opens advertising for UK small biz

Twitter has finally opened Twitter Ads up to small UK businesses, very shortly after its IPO. Previously Twitter Ads has only been opentwitter 2 to businesses based in the US with only select large businesses based elsewhere allowed to promote on the site.

Now, Twitter says that ‘if you can Tweet, you can advertise on Twitter’. Ravi Narasimhan, a Twitter product manager, said: “All you need is a Twitter account and a credit card. You’re in control of your ads, the audience you want to reach, and of course your budget. Best of all, you will only be charged when people follow your Promoted Account or retweet, reply, favourite or click on your Promoted Tweets. You are never charged for your organic Twitter activity”.

I’ve already been offered the chance to gain more followers by promoting my account – have you used Twitter Ads in the UK yet?

5. Snapchat turns down Facebook

Snapchat has reportedly turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook this week. According to the Wall Street Journal, sources say that Facebook recently made the offer but was turned down as Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel is holding out for a better valuation in 2014. A Facebook spokesperson told Mashable that ‘we don’t comment on rumors and speculation’ while Snapchat did not respond to a request for comment.