WordPress launches FB Instant Articles plug-in
Brands and bloggers who run WordPress sites will be massively excited by the news that there is now a plug-in to turn blog posts into Facebook Instant Articles.
Instant Articles is Facebook’s way of delivering the fastest mobile content, which was originally limited to the world’s biggest publishers on Facebook. However, having proven itself a popular option, it’s now opened up to everyone who can call themselves a publisher.
The catch with Instant Articles (there has to be one) is that the content is published on Facebook, so the reader doesn’t have to visit the brand site or blog to read the story.
However, there are opportunities to monetize the content with advertising and given the enormous reach potential offered by Facebook, this appears to be an open goal for publishers of original content.
Facebook will have an approval process in place for Instant content, to ensure certain standards are met.
Twitter gets descriptive
In a bid to increase accessibility and visibility of individual tweets, twitter is now allowing the option of adding descriptive alt-text about all photos posted on the social platform.
Originally designed to be an aid to the visually impaired, this will also have spin-off benefits for brands wanting greater search visibility for their tweets.
Alt-text data is one of the elements used by Google to match relevant content to user requests. As such, description text could provide new insights and data for tweets.
Further, the character limit for image alt-text is a mighty 420 characters, well beyond the traditional 140 characters allowed for a tweet.
Snapchat moves to boost messaging
Snapchat is moving swiftly to capitalise on its booming popularity with a raft of changes to make it an all-consuming messaging app, along the lines of Facebook’s Messenger or WhatsApp.
The chat section of the app now lets users send stickers, photos, video and start voice calls to their contacts.
To start a chat, users swipe right on their contacts as they did before to be presented with a range of options.
An additional feature is that users can receive video calls but choose not to show themselves, via a service called ‘watch’.
Windows 10 to feature universal apps
The new Windows 10 operating system for Android will feature universal Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps.
This means one version of the app will adapt between phone, tablet and desktop and will provide additional features to increase use of the hugely popular apps on the Android network.
Buzzfeed gets into DIY
Buzzfeed is tapping into the booming DIY market with the launch of a new channel, Nifty.
The channel launched less than a month ago on Facebook and is already racking up the views with its short instructional videos on subjects such as ‘How to maximise kitchen drawer space’ and ‘How to hide a router’.
This is Buzzfeed’s second offshoot into a niche interest area following on the enormous success of Tasty, its cooking channel. Tasty has 48million Facebook likes and had 1billion views for its films in December alone.