This week on The Socialscape:
Twitter Chronological Timeline
Okay so this chronological timeline thing is something that literally a gazillion of you have asked for, and it is finally back…but not on the app you were hoping. Twitter is bringing back the chronological feed. In a series of tweets, Twitter announced that they will be testing multiple features that will essentially give users the ability to toggle between two timelines: one chronological, and the other showing the “best” tweets first. Right now, Twitter’s feed kinda works like Instagram’s where it will show you the tweets that it thinks will interest you the most based on your likes, your retweets, and what’s getting a lot of engagement. This would allegedly give us control over when we want to scroll that old fashioned chronological timeline and when we want to let Twitter decide what we see first. This is currently in a testing phase so check your preferences, this miracle feature may be closer than you think.
Instagram GIFs in DMs
This one is a quickie, and we all love a good quickie… I already spoke about this on this month’s Eyes Update which, for those of you who are new to me, is a monthly Instagram-specific video addressing news, updates, features, etc. So check that out if you missed it, but to reiterate, Instagram has fully launched GIFs in DMs. Nothing special about it, just let’s us send GIFs through DMs. Cool.
Instagram Native Re-share Feature?
Here’s a good one, reports came out this week saying that Instagram is developing a reshare button that will allow users to “ReGram” posts to their feed. A few days later, Instagram came out saying “NOPE, WE’RE NOT EVEN CONSIDERING THAT.” But let’s explore that for a sec… What if they did give us a ReGram feature? Would that be useful? Well, for meme accounts or niche profiles that focus on resharing content, that could be great. But for the normal user, it really wouldn’t make much sense. Resharing content is actually contradictory to what Instagram really is. The whole point of Instagram is to give a glimpse into your personal world; to show you how things look from perspective. ReGramming would literally ruin Instagram, and Kevin Systrom, one of the founders of Instagram, has been on record saying that they debate the resharing thing all the time, but they always decide it would ruin feeds and profiles altogether. HOWEVER, I don’t want to see ReGramming on feeds and profiles…I wanna see a ReGramming feature incorporated in Stories. THAT would be interesting. As of today, you can only reshare a Story if you are tagged in it, and even that is new to most people. That said, and playing into Instagram’s latest obsession of “connecting people to new creators,” I think being able to reshare Stories to your own Story would be a great way to connect people to new accounts. This would push users to get more creative with their Stories to increase their chance of being reshared. In addition, Stories have a finite lifespan of 24 hours, so it’s not like the resharing would get excessive and clog up a feed or change the overall appearance or anything like that. In fact, now that I really think about it, ReGramming Stories looks like it might even be the next move for Instagram…and I’m gunna go on record saying that we may see it coming down the line. Fingers crossed!
Snapchat Picture Shopping on Amazon
Do you use Snapchat? They’re losing users every month, and I gotta admit, I probably check it once a week just to see a couple drunk videos of my friends. But even so, this new feature they’re rolling out looks interesting… Snapchat has started a partnership with Amazon, who is continuing on their global takeover mission, and released a feature that allows Snapchat users to “shop by Snap.” All you gotta do is open your Snapchat camera, aim it at a barcode or the product itself, hold a finger on the screen like you would to use the Shazam feature, and an Amazon pop-up card will give you information on that product or one as similar as possible. From there, you click to open that product page in Amazon’s app or through their website, and the rest is business as usual. This is interesting specifically to the flip community out there as being able to look up live listed prices on the spot is VERY helpful when trying to decide if something is worth the investment or not. To me, I’ll probably never use this feature BUT it is a very rare partnership for Amazon which why I find it very interesting. Overall, I see this as a good move on Snapchat’s part, but I don’t think it will be a real difference-maker when it comes to taking back some market share from Instagram especially when IG just launched a Shopping tab on their Explore feed AND is rumored to be developing a standalone shopping app… *shrug*
IG Hashtag Selector
It seems like right when you figure out the newest IG feature, they throw another one in your face. If you hate that, you’re gunna hate this… Instagram is testing and prototyping a handful of new features, the first being a Hashtag Selector. Everybody hate seeing hashtags in captions or in comments. They’re ugly and we all know why they’re there, including Instagram. So, they are allegedly looking into giving hashtags their own space to live on posts. Looking at some screenshots from Jane Machun Wong, a super fire mobile researcher whom I love and appreciate, hashtags may be searched for and added in a similar fashion to how we add a location to our posts now. This would get the hashtags out of the way while still allowing them to do their job. Instagram has declined to comment on this feature.
IG Choose Locations
In addition, Instagram may be working on a prototype for another feature called Choose Locations. This would give users the ability to choose in which countries a post or story will be visible. In theory, this would let us have one feed for our American followers, another feed for our foreign followers…the possibilities are endless. The percentage of people or businesses this would be useful for is super small, but for the celebrities and large corporations who reach international markets, this would be a game-changer.
IG Story Highlight Sticker
Remember when I was talking about how cool it would be to be able to ReGram somebody’s story on your story? Well we may be getting closer… Instagram is officially testing Story Highlight stickers. This would allow users to share Highlights from other users on their own Story for their own followers to see. As I mentioned earlier, this would be a great way to incentivize creatives to create more shareable content and save it as a Highlight for all to share.
IG Quiz Sticker
Lastly, Instagram has developed a prototype for something called Quiz stickers. You know the Questions sticker that we got a few months ago? Or the Poll sticker we got shortly before that? This is just another sticker in the same category. Instead of posting a question and waiting for answers or votes, a user can post a question and then provide multiple choice answers for their audience to pick from. Upon selecting an answer, the viewer will be immediately told if they guessed the correct answer. This is cool, not a huge deal, just another cool way for us to interact with each other via Story Stickers.
As always, guys, thanks for giving me your time. Don’t forget to Follow, Subscribe, Like, Comment, and DM me for friendship and stuff.