What we're saying

TALK SOCIAL: MON 18 NOV 2013

1. twitter rolls out custom timeline

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twitter’s new custom timeline – which comes just a week after the platform went public – allows users to organise tweets around hashtags, hot topics, events; whatever they chose. These curated tweets can the be embedded into websites and shared with other social channels.

The update undoubtedly will give users a greater sense of ownership of the platform, and for brands, it creates a real opportunity to capture and build on conversations. It will help to boost engagement and will make evaluation of social campaigns clearer and easier.

And alongside the new picture and video preview function, the update positions twitter as a real rival to Storify when it comes to creating visually appealing content – increasingly important when telling a brand story.

Managed through Tweet Deck, the update will be rolled out to all users in the coming weeks and a full how to is here.

2. twitter now running pre-roll advertisements

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Another update from twitter, this time one aiming to satisfy its advertisers, rather than users. In the US, the platform has ramped up its advertising unit, running ads from American Express, followed by video snippets from Fox TV.

Instagram faced a backlash when they launch their first ad at the start of the month; time will tell whether the increased ads on twitter are perceived to compromise the user experience.

Read more here.

3. Pinterest opens up its API up to retailers, allowing them to embed pins directly onto their sites

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Retailers are now able to embed their most popular pins on the onto the homepage of their websites. From here, Pinterest users can re-pin and favourite them and the popular pins will update according to interaction, in real time. Partnering with Pinterest’s API *Apllication Programming Interface is free, and although uptake has been slow, brands already on board include Disney, Walmart and Random House.

This is a great tool to encourage interaction and social sharing. The American chain Target are using the functionality creatively – displaying top pins rather than an error page when a customers searches for an item that is no longer available.

The ‘Top Pins’ API is the first of four that Pinterest will be rolling out over the next week – hoping that exposure on big brands’ sites will bring on new users – so it really is one to watch.

Read more here.

4. Justin Bieber backed selfie app launches

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This month saw the the launch of yet another photo sharing app, competing for a share of Instagrams’s 150 million engaged users. ‘Shots of Me’ is an entire social network dedicated to selfies. Like Snapchat and Snapkidz, photos can only be taken using the app and while you can like the images, you can comment only by direct messaging – a feature that aims to combat trolling.

While there’s no direct advantage for brands, it’s worth a mention as it’s a great demonstration of the popularity of photo sharing and the shift toward documenting our lives online.

Read more here.

5. Instlike app hacks 100,000 users Instagram profiles

 

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Are you one of the 100,000 Instagram users who signed up to Instlike? The app, which promised new likes and favourites for free (in exchange for your Instagram username and password) has been unveiled by security firm Symantec as a scam. They are advising users to delete the app from their devices.

While Symantec note, “It’s interesting to see what length people will go to in order to get Likes in their photos,”  the scam serves as a reminder to brands that quality engagement and likes should happen organically – and can’t be bought.

Read more here.

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