This week on The Socialscape:
INSTAGRAM VERIFICATION APPLICATION (Australia Only)
Let me start by saying that this is the biggest non-story of the year so far. Instagram is testing a verification request form, which is EXACTLY like the one they already have for Facebook pages. Testing in Australia only, you basically just submit your name along with a photo ID of yourself and the reason you feel you need your account to be verified. The requests are then reviewed and either verified or denied. Everybody wants that blue check mark to solidify their status in society, but IG has always been mysterious about how to get one. Typically you gotta go through an agency of some sort, and there are even stories of people paying up to $15,000 on the black market for verification, so instead of doing that, now we have this... I'm telling you right now, this isn't gunna do anything for most people. Sure there will be some borderline verifiable people like maybe mayors or company CEOs who will get a check due to this process, but for the typical influencer or casual user this will not get you that magic check mark. That said, who this could be very useful for is small businesses who just need that extra stamp of authentication. Otherwise, I really don't think this will change much for most people, but hey, if you're in Australia right now, please hit me up and let me know what your experience has been!
INSTAGRAM STATUS INDICATOR
Ever send a DM and want to strangle somebody because you know they're always on Instagram and they're definitely ignoring you? Now you can catch em red handed. IG has introduced a status indicator so you know whether or not somebody is online. This comes in the form of a little green dot next to their avi at the DMs inbox or when sharing a post. You can control whether or not people see your activity status by going into your settings and switching it on or off, but if you turn yours off, you can't see if others are online either...so they got us there.
YOUTUBE's NEW EXPLORE TAB
in what seems to be a response to instagram's release of IGTV, YouTube is testing out an Explore tab on 1% of iPhone mobile apps. With a sample size that small, chances are you won't see it during this testing phase, but it could be interesting. YouTube has always based their viewing suggestions on what you've viewed in the past. This Explore tab would present you with content from accounts you may have never seen, instead of just more videos from accounts you already watch. I'm gunnamake a bold claim here and say that I think this is actually a bigger deal that IGTV itself... This will give YouTube creators a way to be introduced to new viewers which has been a struggle up until now. So wassup Instagram? Your move...
For those who still consume pornography the traditional way, this may come as a shock to you, but women are selling nudes on Snapchat and being paid via Snapcash. originally introduced as a way to pay your friends back for drinks or meals or whatever, the adult industry did what it does and took advantage. Well, that's about to change as Snapchat is dropping the Snapcash feature on August 30th. Don't fret, there are plenty of alternatives like Venmo, Cash App and even the OG PayPal, so you can still pay for pleasure mobiley if you so choose.
FB/IG SUSPENDING UNDERAGE USERS
Next up, Facebook/Instagram, which we all know basically act as one entity, are cracking down on underage users...kinda. An undercover report from the UK has exposed that Facebook account reviewers were instructed to turn a blind eye when they came across an account belonging to somebody who appeared to be under the age of 13, which is the minimum age requirement to have a Facebook or IG account. Following the report, Facebook has said that they've strengthened their policy to suspend accounts suspected of age fraud. This is actually interesting for a couple reasons: 1. because it shows us that Facebook and Instagram recognize building brand loyalty at a young age is SO important, they're willing to go against their own laws. and 2. because this should (keyword should) make user data more specific, which will aid in how your Facebook/IG ads perform. For example, if your ad is geared towards getting people to your 18+ event but it's being seen by 11-year-olds claiming to be 19...that's gunna be wasted clicks for ya. Obviously, we don't know how many accounts there are, but if it is any significant amount, this could definitely affect ad performance going forward for the better.