This Week in Social: October 24 – 28

Welcome to This Week in Social. This week we discuss the end of Vine, Facebook helping users celebrate Halloween, Twitter’s troubles and how social media is working to be kinder. Enjoy and let us know what you think in the comments!

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#RIPVine: Twitter Ends Vido Sharing App

It’s a sad week for Viners. On Friday, Twitter announced that they will be pulling the plug on the platform in the next few months. The app, which was popular with teens, allowed users to share six-second long videos that played on autoloop. This format was revolutionary when Vine launched in 2012. At that time, Instagram was only sharing photos and Snapchat was just coming onto the scene. YouTube’s popularity made it clear that social media users were interested in video, and Vine was one of the first platforms that let users really dive into the medium. But with time, other platforms began harnessing Vine: Vine failed to remain popular after Instagram started sharing videos in June 2013. As The New York Times’ Mike Isaac put it, “I was told many times by people inside of Twitter that Vine never recovered from Instagram’s video launch a few years back. That threat of stealing users and market share was real, and it worked.” With apps like Instagram and Snapchat leading the charge on video innovation, users that once found large followings on Vine like Shawn Mendes and Logan Paul spread their wings and gained followers on other platforms as well. Once the Vine stars were gone, it was even harder to keep users coming back to Vine. But Vine fans, don’t fret. For now all Vines currently posted will stay online at the Vine website, but sometime in the coming months users will no longer be able to create new Vines and the app will disappear. So the Vine website will sort of become a museum filled with 6 second long videos from 2012-2016…kinda cool. Let’s take a moment to sit back, relax, and look back on the most popular Vine accounts and some of the most popular Vines!

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Facebook Gets Spooky 

October 31st is almost here, and Facebook is helping users get in the spooky spirit. From now through Halloween, Facebook users are able to wear “masks” when they use Facebook Live. The masks, which make users look like skeletons, witches, and jack-o-lanterns, are surprisingly similar to Snapchat’s Lenses. As of now, it appears that Facebook Live’s mask feature will run until Halloween, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook used this mask feature in other capacities.

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Twitter Struggles Lead to Lay-Offs

It’s been no secret that social media giant Twitter has been struggling these past few months. As of Thursday, Twitter announced that it plans on cutting 9% of its workforce in an attempt to make up for less than satisfactory revenue growth. 9 percent represents about 350 employees. Looking towards 2017, most of the staffing changes at Twitter focus on their sales, partnerships, and marketing departments. Many cuts were made in the Vine department. We reported a few weeks ago that several companies were rumored to be interested in buying the SM platform, but now that Salesforce has expressed that it is no longer interested in the deal, there doesn’t appear to be a company that is especially interested in going in on the deal. In order to turn things around in 2017, Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey hopes that the company’s recent jump into livestreaming will help Twitter stand out as more than just a social media platform.

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Social Media Gets Kinder

It’s no secret that users on social media can be brutal. Many teens and tweens on Instagram and Twitter are the victims of cyber bullying. Recently, both platforms launched updates that help users that are bullied or insulted by others.  Instagram also started an initiative to help users that may be considering self-harm. The new function allows users to anonymously reach out to users that posts a photo that suggests that they are considering harming themselves. If an Instagram follows notices that a user has posted concerning content, they can anonymously hit a new button that sends the user a message: “Someone saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we’d like to help.” Instagram then gives the user the option to call a friend for support, connect with a helpline, or see a list of tips to help deal with depression. Additionally, Twitter recently announced that next month it will be taking bigger steps to help take down the trolls that use the site to share upsetting content. These are huge steps for social media platforms, let’s make social a more loving place!!

Honorable Mentions: