Happy Holidays All,
What an exciting week in the social media world! Below learn more about Instagram’s latest attempts at gaining traction over Snapchat, Facebook’s new Live Moments and Live Audio services, and the rebirth of Vine.
Up until now, we’ve steered clear of sharing stories on Instagram in favor of Snapchat, but the latest Instagram update may make us change our tune! This week Instagram announced that users can now record Instagram Stories hands-free. We love Snapchat, but one of our biggest issues with the app is that you need to keep your finger on the photo button in order to record a video. Though fiddling with our iPhone’s settings provides a makeshift, and inconvenient solution, we’ve always wished that there was an easier way to record stories as the lack of a hands-free recording option prevents people from experimenting with more creative snaps. This makes Instagram’s latest announcement even more exciting, as users no longer need to press and hold to record video. In addition to hands-free recording, Instagram Stories are also adding stickers, making Instagram’s offerings more closely aligned with Snapchat’s. It will be interesting to see if these new updates will lead to more users sharing and viewing Instagram Stories and if Instagram’s latest update will impact Snapchat use.
This week Facebook announced a new Live Moments feature! Facebook Moments help connect users to important events as they happen in real time. Starting this week, live moments will appear at the top of users’ newsfeeds. Facebook is using holiday-themed moments to kick-off the new service, announcing their hopes that moments will help, “Give people ways to connect and share with friends during holidays and events; Help people discover fun and interesting cultural moments; [and] Celebrate moments in history that continue to make the world more open and connected.” This update seems similar to offerings from Snapchat and Instagram, as many social media providers have been revamping their approaches to experiencing events in real time. What do you think?
Did you hear the news? After working to increase the popularity of Live Videos on Facebook, the social media site recently announced efforts to launch “Live Audio.” Similar to a radio broadcast or a podcast, Live Audio gives users another way to connect in real-time, with some noting that Live Audio may be a good alternative to Live Video in situations where users have a bad internet connection. It also lowers the barrier to entry/participation as those that are nervous about being filmed live can feel more comfortable in a more conversational setting with less pressure to look “put-together.” Audiobooks and podcasts (like my personal favorite, Serial) have seen an increase in popularity lately, and Live Audio could be a way for publishers to capitalize on this trend and create their own Facebook-exclusive content. As of posting, only a few Facebook partners are able to use Live Audio, but more are expected to join with time.
As we reported back in October, Twitter announced that it was shutting down the video-sharing app, Vine. Some users rejoiced, some users cried, and at the end of the day Vine was viewed simply as another social media platform that was unable to keep up with current trends and changing user expectations. That’s why we were surprised to learn this week that Vine had announced that they won’t be disappearing completely after all, and users will still be able to create the looping videos the app is known for. Starting in January, the Vine app will morph into Vine Camera. Vine Camera will record six second long videos that users will be able to share over Twitter or save to their phones. So to be clear, while the Vine app is disappearing, Vine Camera will still allow users to continue to make vines, and all of the vines that were previously shared on the Vine app will live on via the vine.co website.