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Talk Social: 17 January, 2017

Facebook’s reality show

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With virtual reality THE most talked about development of the year and the format that brands big and small are looking at, Facebook has asked the public about their attitudes to donning a headset and escaping reality.

When asked ‘what are you interested in using VR for?’, the most popular response was viewing holiday locations or hotels before booking (65 per cent).

This was followed by viewing products in a shop without having to visit (60 per cent); record moments in life to relive later (59 per cent); hang out with family and friends who live far away (59 per cent) and connect with colleagues who work remotely (54 per cent).

The company has also conducted a study into people’s ability to engage and connect in VR.

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YouTube launches ‘super chat’ on live streams

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Live streaming is taking over every corner of social, so it was only a matter of time before there were ways to monetise it.

Step forward YouTube, which has announced the introduction of ‘super chat’ – where you pay to have your comment at the top of the thread for the duration of a live stream.

When you select ‘super chat’ a timer appears to show how long the pinned comment will remain in its prominent position. Depending on how much is invested, this could be two minutes (for $5) up to five hours (at a cost of $500).

This has great potential for brands to issue a call to action during a live stream. It also has the potential to create the next generation of YouTubers able to make a living from their videos.

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Why video views are down on Facebook

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This explosion in live and recorded video across social channels has had a natural repercussion. Views are down across the board as people simply don’t have the spare time to watch everything that is in their feeds.

This is affecting the big boys every bit as much as the smaller brands which are producing videos.

Last year, the Telegraph group was getting more than 10 million views a month on its Facebook channel, now that is down to 5 million. Similarly, six months ago The Sun was getting an average of 250,000 views per video, now that total is down to barely 100,000.

“There’s an explosion of content and finite time,” said Nic Newman, from Reuters. “As soon as everyone gets involved, the rate goes down and Facebook can’t sustain it. Many publishers will be trading off with what they are doing in Facebook Live.”

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Now you can search and snap

 

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Snapchat is taking the first step towards search functionality by introducing a search bar into its app.

The photo sharing app is capitalising on its massive social appeal by broadening what it can offer users. However, search is stopping short of making suggestions of who to follow for the moment.

However, as Snapchat moves towards mainstream positioning (if it isn’t there already) it is likely to beef up its search function, in order to keep users on the app for longer, boosting the money it can charge advertisers as a result.

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WhatsApp not secure, claim researchers

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A study has unearthed a potential security flaw in WhatsApp that could see its billions of archived messages open to be read by Facebook and governments.

The ‘back door’ to WhatsApp was discovered by American researchers at Berkeley University. Facebook – which owns WhatsApp – has denied the claims.

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