There have been big changes in the ever-developing world of social media this week, with both Snapchat and Facebook making internal revisions to their structure.
In that respect, here’s what hit the headlines this week.
Snapchat Survives Instagram Stories
It’s been a tense few months for social media start up Snapchat, as the picture sharing platform Instagram looked to rival its ‘Stories’ feature by including one of its own.
In August of this year, Instagram rolled out its own, almost identical story feature, and while Snapchat may have weathered the storm, it doesn’t appear as though it’s been left unscathed.
Since its launch, Instagram stories have reportedly reached 200 million daily users, whereas Snapchat stories only recently reached the same amount since its launch in 2011. It appears as though users have embraced Instagram’s version much more than originally predicted.
Social media stars have also reported a drop in Snapchat story views, with many stating that the removal of the popular ‘auto-advance’ feature (which automatically linked stories together so that the play in succession) as the reason for the drop.
However, Instagram have embraced the feature and it appears as though many who mourned its removal have migrated toward Instagram’s version as a replacement.
Having said this, Snapchat has reported an increase in time spent using the app, with a reported average time of 24 minutes compared to the 19 minutes seen soon after Instagram’s story launch.
While much of Generation Z have remained loyal to Snapchat, there is a question looming as to whether the niche platform is sustainable long term.
Snaps Stay Visible
It appears as though Snapchat are making changes to their original format in an attempt to keep up with competition, as they’ve announced that the original ’10 seconds before it disappears’ rule is to be done away with.
As it stands, when two people are interacting within the application, their pictures, or snaps as they’re known, immediately vanish after ten seconds.
However, following the changes, a new infinity icon will allow those users to replay an image or video as many times as they like before one of them exits the conversation.
Following the end of the conversation, these images and videos will disappear in line with the previous policy.
Is Interactive Video The Future?
Videos have arguably always been the pinnacle of engaging media, however one problem has always held it back: the lack of interaction available.
Since the beginning of time, users have only ever been able to pause, play, stop and rewind their videos. However, as technology has continued to develop, the foundations of film have been built upon and interactive videos are making their way to the forefront of the market.
Combining video and user input, consumers will have the ability to define their own journey, answer questions, complete forms and buy products without having to leave their original window.
While we have a while to go before this streamlined version of the online experience hits the market, its focus on user experience has already started making waves within the industry. Big brands such as Warner Bros, and the UK Resuscitation Council have already embraced interactive videos as part of their advertising campaigns.
Just this week, it was reported that 92 per cent of those who’ve used interactive video as part of an advertising campaign, found it to be an effective tool for their business. So, while the experience may be few and far between at the moment, expect to be interacting with advertisements a lot more in the near future.
Facebook Says No To Spam
On Wednesday, social media giant Facebook announced changes to its news algorithm in an attempt to clamp down on spam.
Organic pages that link to spam will be curtailed, while ads linking to low quality material will be blocked from approval to begin with.
The changes come as Facebook vowed to take more responsibility for what’s shared on the site after complaints over unregulated material being seen by users.
More changes are scheduled as owners look to stop the spread of ‘fake news’ and the sharing of inappropriate content.
It appears as though this week has seen some important changes to social media platforms, alongside developments in how we see and interact with our online usage.
With so many calling for more responsible social sharing, it’ll be interesting to see just how much more influence media platforms will have on how we digest and process world news. Only time will tell.