Social Media

News about your favorite social media sites and those up and coming social media sites you are going to want to pay attention to.  Yes, we talk about changes, improvements and the opposite of improvement for all the major social outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and more.  There are also lots of new social sites connecting our world in new and exciting ways that we want to bring to your attention.  Some are groundbreaking and some build on existing social platforms to make them work in ways the original developer maybe never intended.  Social media has changed our world and its connectivity overall so we thought it deserved its own section.

Why Snapchat Should Be Part of Your Brand

Posted by on 12:04 pm in Homepage, Social Media, Website News | 0 comments

Why Snapchat Should Be Part of Your Brand

  By now just about everyone has seen someone take an awkward photo of themselves in public and think, “Why?” Social media and millennials are the perfect mixture. Businesses probably already utilize Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks to either promote or provide newsworthy updates to their following, however, a majority probably haven’t had the time to take advantage of Snapchat. Snapchat provides its own hidden gems that other social networks cannot do, which is why it should definitely be considered when expanding your brand image.   What is Snapchat?   Snapchat is undoubtedly one of the most popular used apps right now, with its unprecedented amount of funding it receives, Snapchat is constantly being updated and improving its craft. At the moment it sets itself apart from other social media platforms in several unique ways: Snapchat provides raw, exclusive content. Nothing can be archived Able to have time elapsed video and photo sharing Allows for creativity to blossom. For example, Geo Filters and doodling. Secret QR Code feature for adding friends (Also, allows selfies to be the “Snapchat Ghost” in the QR Code. Use your logo if you are a business) Here is mine featuring me drinking coffee this morning. Imagine how many users are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram right now, people seem to ignore the fact that Snapchat is right up there with them in the ranks of not only popularity but amount of users as well. Companies unknowingly have a huge amount of potential to reach their following and promote their image with Snapchat.   Reach the Younger Demographic   Without a doubt Snapchat is dominated by millennials. In fact, according to an article by CNET, research firm ComScore discovered that 18-24 aged users make up 45% of all Snapchat users. Almost doubling the percentage for any other social network, for that age group. There is no question if the younger market is in your business niche, definitely have a swipe at utilizing Snapchat. Think about this, there really hasn’t been a concrete way to market yourself with Snapchat, the opportunities are endless. Considering Snapchat has not been around for not even half a decade, it still is viewed as trendy by many. Businesses who have Snapchat, will appeal much more with the younger generation. Today’s youth perceive those who have the app as cool. TIP: Take a screenshot of your QR Code and promote it on other social media platforms to gain your following. Your loyal followers will definitely add the account.   Special Sales and Discounts   Probably the most popular way to use Snapchat from a business perspective is to offer discounts to your customers. Since the app only allows for posts to be up for 24 hours, followers will know there is a limited time to take action. Also, it gives them a little extra motivation to stay updated on the latest from any business.   Coverage of Events   Is your company doing something exciting? In my opinion, Snapchat’s best feature is being able to provide live, authentic action of whatever is going on. Whether your employees are doing community service or there is a special unveiling, there is a bit of a connection that one feels when viewing a Snapchat. The more you engage with your following, the greater chance of connecting with them.   Previewing the Future   Hinting...

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8 Tips to Market Yourself the Right Way on Instagram

Posted by on 12:32 pm in Homepage, Social Media | 0 comments

8 Tips to Market Yourself the Right Way on Instagram

Instagram currently has 150 million monthly active users and 16 billion photos on the free photography app. However, Instagram has come a long way since its launch in November 2010. In its early stages, Instagram, and its users, were trying to figure out what the app’s identity was. What was its purpose? It soon became apparent that Instagram didn’t have an identity, but rather something that is completely transparent for each and every user that adds a filter to their latest post. Now Instagram is becoming an incredible marketing tool for both people and businesses alike. Whether an Instagrammer uses their profile as a selfie machine, picture book for your travels, or a DIY blog, the app is becoming as important of a social network than Facebook or LinkedIn. There are a few tips you should be following if you are representing a brand or marketing your personal brand on Instagram. Employers and customers alike can use your account as a portal to who you are and the brand you represent. Whether it’s your personal or professional account, these tips should benefit your Instagram with more likes and more followers. 1. Allow people to know the person behind the camera People like following interesting accounts, but they need to know who they’re following and why your account should be important to them. Make sure your profile picture and bio are authentic to who you are. Your image should either be a great picture of yourself or a logo of the brand you are representing. Spend time on your bio to ensure an instant connection with your audience. Expert tip: Make sure that your Facebook or business’s website link is featured in the bio, as well. 2. Create a niched community that reflects who you are Is your Instagram used for traveling? Follow travel accounts and double-tap their pictures. Do you use it for your business? Find local, national, and international businesses that are similar to your company and build a relationship with them by commenting and asking questions. In order to get quality followers you must create a like-minded community that is interested in what you are posting. 3. Don’t be selfish, get those fingers tapping! Instagram is a two-way street. You can’t expect engagement if all you do is scroll through your homepage at 2 a.m. Instead of being selfish, waiting for likes to roll in, be nice! As stated above, liking people’s pictures is great, but go the extra step by commenting and interacting with the pictures you come across. Not only will you get more engagement from that account owner, but others will see your name much easier when it is in the comments rather than in a slew of hundreds of likes. This can draw attention to your account, which results in follows and likes. 4. To hashtag or not to hashtag, that is the question. Much like Twitter, hashtags are helpful when taken in low doses. Participating in hashtags like #TBT and #FBF are always fun, but steer away from hashtags that are used in Instagram daily contests. Examples: #DailyInsta, #Instagood, #DogsofInstagram, etc. etc. These may generate some follows, but they are from spam bots that can quickly clog up your comments. 5. Create your own content. A hashtag can quickly become a distinct logo that is specific for your brand. If you are a business or company, create a unique...

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Facebook is Creating a Smaller World With New Facebook Lite App

Posted by on 9:30 am in Homepage, Social Media | Comments Off on Facebook is Creating a Smaller World With New Facebook Lite App

Facebook is Creating a Smaller World With New Facebook Lite App

Last Thursday, Facebook launched their highly anticipated app, Facebook Lite. It has all the basic features that the flagship Facebook app has, but it runs on less than 1 MB of data. For some perspective, the traditional Facebook app takes up 25 MB. It will be accessible across all network conditions, specifically extending to developing countries with poor internet connection.  Vijay Shankar, the product manager for Facebook Lite, stated that Facebook’s core experiences like News Feed, status updates, photos, and notifications are all accessible through Lite. However, users will not be able to watch videos or use location tracking. Essentially, Facebook Lite is the key to open the doorway to the non-westernized world. According to the Telecommunication Development Bureau, 95% of the world’s population has access to 2G internet. As you can imagine, Facebook has now tapped into a completely new market. The app is currently available to android users in Asia, and in the coming weeks Facebook Lite will be accessible in places such as Latin America, Europe, and parts of Africa. With the “Lite” app, Facebook has the potential to reach over 5 billion people. 5 billion. With this news, I have some questions that I am hoping will be answered in the coming weeks as Facebook Lite is released to more countries. Will Facebook channel its former self in order to save data? Remember when Facebook looked like this? It was a simpler time, that’s for sure. Simpler times also meant much less space on your device, whether that was your desktop or your mobile device. Granted the website above was the desktop layout for several years, the app has had some significant changes, as well. With only 1 MB of data for Facebook Lite, I am curious whether or not Facebook will channel its younger self and provide a basic layout compared to the extremely sophisticated one we have now. Will these profiles have a cover photo, or just a profile picture? Can you view a Facebook Lite profile from the Facebook app? There are so many questions about this foreign app, and I can’t wait to learn more information as it is released and modified. How will Facebook integrate itself into the cultures of developing countries? In America and Western Europe, Facebook and other social media outlets are apart of our culture and daily routine. However, that is not the case for several of the areas that Facebook is now targeting. How will Facebook make a lasting imprint in these countries to ensure they become loyal users to the social media site? The creators of Facebook are going to have to tailor the app to people in Latin America or Africa or Eastern Europe so that each individual can have a unique experience that pertains to them. They aren’t going to want to see memes and stories with titles like “He walked into a store, you won’t believe what happens when he walks out”. It will be interesting to see how Facebook ensures that Facebook Lite’s newsfeeds doesn’t become cluttered with junk. There is already chatter that companies have been trying to buy advertising for the new app. Although it is inevitable that advertisements will appear on Facebook Lite, I hope Facebook will be smart in their marketing tactics. Much like tailoring the app to each person, the advertising must be local and unique, as well. No one likes...

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Pinterest’s Buyable Pin no surprise, so what’s next?

Posted by on 9:30 am in Homepage, Social Media | Comments Off on Pinterest’s Buyable Pin no surprise, so what’s next?

Pinterest’s Buyable Pin no surprise, so what’s next?

Earlier this week Pinterest announced that it will soon be rolling out its latest feature: buyable pins. This is perhaps the most wonderful and dangerous thing to happen to me since my student ID was hooked up to my parents’ checking account in college. For years, buyable pins have been the number one request from Pinners, and now our dreams have come true. We all knew this day would come and now that it’s here, I can’t help but wonder: what’s next? Now that Pinterest has taken a head-first dive into the world of ecommerce, I’ve made some predictions about what this social media power-house will do next… and what I’d like to see happen. 1. Giving Amazon a run for its money By creating buyable pins, Pinterest stepped into Amazon’s territory – the third-party online marketplace. Josh Constine at TechCrunch reported that Pinterest’s latest buying feature will include a button that allows a Pinner to add items to an Amazon Wishlist. Undoubtedly a handy feature, but what’s the point when I can simply pin it and come back to buy the item on Pinterest later? I am curious to see how the relationship between these two online giants will develop in the coming weeks. 2. Sponsored Buyable Pins We’ve got sponsored pins now, and we’re getting buyable pins soon. It can only be a matter of time until the two become one. Pinterest’s GM of Monetization Tim Kendall told TechCrunch in an article published June 2nd, 2015 that “This isn’t an ad offering, it’s an experience for pinners.” However, he went on to explain that though it isn’t an advertising opportunity yet, they hope to offer that at some point. 3. Expanding its own Ecommerce I have already compared Pinterest to Amazon in this post, but I will do it again. Amazon is not only a third-person marketplace, but now sells its own goods as well – the Amazon Kindle, for example. I wonder if Pinterest will do the same in the future, and if so, what their goods will be. Perhaps a sturdy waste bin for failed Pinterest craft ideas.   4. Shopping Lists I’ll soon be able to buy items right off Pinterest, but if you’re like me, you have a voice in your head that says you can always find it cheaper somewhere else. I’d like Pinterest to give me the ability to create a shopping list from things I see on Pinterest, so I can compare prices and take advantage of deals in physical stores. I imagine this feature would look something like Google’s Keep app, but built into Pinterest.   So there you have it, my hopes, dreams and visions for the future of one of my favorite social media companies. Happy...

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In-App Dating? GetReal

Posted by on 9:48 am in Internet News, Just For Fun, Social Media, Software News | Comments Off on In-App Dating? GetReal

In-App Dating? GetReal

Smartphone dating applications have become the new norm when it comes to meeting new people. While you can still walk up to strangers at a coffee shop or bar and get to know them in person, that particular form of spontaneity has gone by the wayside thanks to apps like Tinder and Grindr. I mean, why should you actually talk to someone when you can left- or right-swipe their profiles to see if they’re interested? Being rejected via social media applications is so much less traumatizing than in person, right? I’m not sold either way, but a new app wants you to get real about meeting new people. GetReal is a recently launched iOS app that wants users to spend less time messaging through apps and more time in each others’ company. Similar to Tinder, it’s a location-based networking app that connects you to the people in your vicinity. However, there is no in-app interaction and pre-meeting conversation other than the request to meet. Here’s how it works: When you open the app, it shows you everyone on GetReal in your surrounding area. After checking out the various user profiles consisting of one photo and a short status, you can send a meeting request through a pin-drop map feature to pinpoint the location and have the option of adding a short message. The requested person has half an hour to accept, decline, or defer your invite. Then you meet them in person and start a conversation that way. All communication on the app is limited to the meet up requests; there is no chat or messaging function. If you’re a little iffy about meeting a stranger, GetReal allows users to link their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles to the app so you can see if you have any mutual connections. The app also keeps track of how many people you’ve invited to meet, how many people are available in your location, and any people you have muted, which we’re assuming is a way to block people. GetReal isn’t limited to screening potential dates; the main goal is just to help people meet in person. Whether you’re networking, in a new city, want to meet people in your neighborhood or while traveling, want to expand your circle of friends, etc., GetReal wants to help users meet up in person. A group of 200 beta testers in San Francisco and New York tech industries found the app can be used for anything; they have been using the app for everything from recruiting to tech talks to growing their networks. The app creator, Arnaud Meunier thinks the recent inflation of apps and social media sites like Tinder, Facebook, and Twitter, and our reliance on virtual conversations (messaging, texting, & emails) are destroying our ability to communicate. We don’t talk anymore. GetReal wants to bring a little more serendipity and spontaneity back in our lives instead of prescreening everyone we meet through profiles, statuses, and photos. GetReal isn’t the first app of it’s kind to be making waves in the virtual connection pool. A U.K. dating app, rendeevoo (Ha. Rendezvous. We see what you did there, you clever Brits, you) has a similar platform, except it’s specifically for dating purposes. Neither app attempts to match users based on personalities, interests, or the like;...

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T, You Should Really Clear Your History

Posted by on 12:15 pm in Internet News, Social Media | Comments Off on R-E-S-P-E-C-T, You Should Really Clear Your History

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, You Should Really Clear Your History

Ok, not the greatest adaptation of the song. You just have to sing it real quick and it works! So we have all seen what happens when a tweet is taken out of context or personal pictures are stolen by hackers. Those affected have to work to reinforce their image while keeping their cool and not saying anything to further aggravate the public. This isn’t just for celebrities. Public image is hugely important in today’s world for everyone from college graduates to company CEOs. It can make or break a person and even a company. And with everyone being connected on social media today, it makes it even easier to unintentionally tarnish that image. Well, now there is an app called Clear that goes through your social media history on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, flagging posts that contain inappropriate content, using IBM’s supercomputer and an algorithm. What constitutes “inappropriate content” on the app? Well, the obvious profanity, but Clear also flags post containing words like “gay” or “women,” that might be offensive to those respective groups, depending on what was originally said.. The app works to flag these posts because if taken out of context, they can be very offensive. Clear was invented by Ethan Czahor, a man who made headlines of his own not too long ago. Czahor was hired as the chief technology officer in Jeb Bush’s political campaign, but after a history of offensive tweets and blog posts were brought to light, he resigned 36 hours later. Not the greatest thing to happen to him that year. Now Czahor wants to help the future generation of professionals who share almost everything online. “Every millennial is now entering the workforce… and everything that they’ve said online for the last 10 years is still there, and that’s a new thing for this generation”. Czahor hopes to help others avoid falling into the same situation he did. The development team is working to improve the algorithm for finding inappropriate content, and to also recognize pictures and videos that might be compromising. As a soon-to-be college graduate I have heard the lecture from parents and teachers about watching what you put online, but you don’t always catch everything. I am currently on the waiting list for this app, and hopefully it will be worth the...

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A Hykoo For You

Posted by on 10:55 am in Internet News, Just For Fun, Social Media, Software News | Comments Off on A Hykoo For You

A Hykoo For You

“Twelve second story Showing your world in motion Do not call me bro” -Daiva Jarasius, AC writer Poetry wasn’t my strong suit in seventh grade and it still isn’t today so Always Current writer Daiva Jarasius wrote a haiku about Hykoo for today’s post. For those of you who aren’t familiar with haikus, this isn’t the most informational post but if you want to learn about Hykoo, read on. If you’ve ever wanted to make short videos from your phone, there’s another new app for that! Hykoo is an app that allows users to create 12 second videos on their phones through a combination of video clips and text with a variety of filters to complement the video. Now, with all the other video creating and sharing platforms out there today, why is something like Hykoo a novelty? We found a couple possible answers to that question. What sets Hykoo apart from the rest of the video creation mobile apps out there today, including Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, and more, is how the video is shot. Hykoo, pronounced like and influenced by the poetry style “haiku,” is very structured in it’s format. Similar to the poetry, there are three clips that are three seconds, three seconds, and six seconds long (though technically, it should be five, seven, five, or at least three, six, three, but we aren’t filing a complaint just yet). The video has to be shot in those segments; you can’t shoot all 12 seconds in one sitting because the idea behind Hykoo is you’re sharing a story, and stories often have more than one part. Each clip has some text on it to give the video context. Gary Krieg, one of the founders of the app, explained, “So much of the context of why someone is making and sharing a piece of content lives outside of the image itself, so our format allows that information to travel together.” Unlike Instagram, Vine and Snapchat videos, you can save drafts of these videos until they’re completed and ready to share. Hykoos are shareable on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and through email or text so the rest of the world can see your story. Hykoo is an independent startup created by Krieg, the former head of production for ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, Yoni Bloch, founder of interactive video service Interlude, and Jane Rosenthal, a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. The app will officially launch with this years Tribeca Film Festival. As of right now, Hykoo is only available on iOS devices, but the founders are planning to launch a version for Android devices as well. Other changes they’re looking to make include increased interactivity with hykoos. Check out my first Hykoo below....

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Tinder + Instagram: A Match Made In Heaven

Posted by on 2:04 pm in Internet News, Social Media | Comments Off on Tinder + Instagram: A Match Made In Heaven

Tinder + Instagram: A Match Made In Heaven

Tinder, the popular smartphone-based matchmaking app, rolled out some new features in the last few days, mostly linking Tinder profiles with other social media pages. The intended goal is to help users get more connected, of course. Tinder President Sean Rad said, “If we can provide our users with more relevant information for each connection, we can take them halfway there in terms of getting a conversation going.” As far as we knew, that was never a problem for Tinder users (there’s some explicit language here)…. The primary change is the connection of users’ profiles to their Instagram accounts. The new feature will display your last few dozen Instagram images within your Tinder profile, with the ability to visit your profile on Instagram with just a tap of the screen. Though we haven’t done enough research to be sure, we think this feature makes Tinder the first service of its kind that allows you to assess potential partners based strictly on diet and coffee shop culture. The update will also include more Facebook information – previously Tinder would show common “interests” (i.e. the pages you’ve “liked” on Facebook, a barometer for relationship success if ever there was one), you will now be able to see all the pages a user liked. This, while no less superficial, is at least a more complete profile as far as social media is concerned. Really, the interesting part is that you can now see mutual Facebook friends through the Tinder app – this could help you avoid some seriously awkward situations, and gives you an extra way to deem someone worthy of your time (they’re friends with those guys? Ugh, left-swipe). The Instagram connection is the one in all the headlines, but these changes honestly seem way more important. These changes will be applied to all versions of Tinder, so don’t worry, free users. You may not be able to take back that unfortunate left-swipe that haunts you late at night, but now it won’t take Tinder Plus fill the hole in your heart from that love that died before it had a chance to...

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Twitter Trend: #Discover Dies

Posted by on 3:11 pm in Internet News, Social Media | Comments Off on Twitter Trend: #Discover Dies

Twitter Trend: #Discover Dies

Earlier this week, Twitter released an update to it’s mobile app for iOS and Android doing away with the #Discover tab and initiating a new Trend feature. Thank you, Twitter gods.   Twitter introduced the oddity that is Discover in 2011 as a way to piece together news stories, top tweets, trends, events and more. It was the love child of quality content and popular topics that fell short of the mark when Twitter increased in popularity. Discover just couldn’t keep up with the onslaught of tweets and trends compared to Twitter home feeds. Users who were unfamiliar with trending topics also had trouble gauging what the topic was and why it was a big deal because, unlike Facebook’s Trending Topics, Discover didn’t include a summary or explanation. The new layout for Trends has them situated under the search icon instead of their own tab on the lower navigation menu. When users search for something on Twitter, a list under the search bar appears with local, national, and global trending topics and hashtags. The number of tweets about these topics is listed and users can click on a trend to see what it’s about and what tweeters have to say about it. The idea behind the new trend summary blurbs is to clarify the actual topic of conversation but it doesn’t add clarification as to why something is trending. You still have to put your faith in other Twitter users for that. Or go to Google like the rest of us, because they still haven’t adequately explained to me why #1DisFinallyFreeFromModest is important. What does that mean? Were they held captive by an organization that appreciates loose-fit jeans? How unfortunate.   Right now, the Trend update is available for mobile devices throughout the US. Twitter plans on expanding the update globally soon and is currently experimenting with updates to the...

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Snapchat’s Back, All Right

Posted by on 12:51 pm in Internet News, Just For Fun, Social Media | Comments Off on Snapchat’s Back, All Right

Snapchat’s Back, All Right

It’s not like it ever disappeared, but we thoroughly enjoy pop cultural references (#TBT to the Backstreet Boys glory days) and felt it was fitting. Anyways, Snapchat came out with some new updates earlier this week and they are as follows: Friend Emojis Friend emojis replace Snapchat’s Best Friends list. The new feature categorizes your Snapchat friendships with emoticons so you both know where you stand in your snapship. Here’s how Buzzfeed broke it down for us: For those of you who need more information on how these emojis are defining your snapships, please turn your attention to this example of Snapchat’s new system, using the one and only Queen Bey. Also, major props to Josh Constine from TechCrunch for explaining this new concept to us via his Snapchat Story (you’re the real MVP) and bringing this graphic into our lives. The new friend emojis come at a somewhat controversial time for the app users. The Best Friends lists, that you had no option to hide, caused a recent controversy among the pre-teen and teenage demographic when Snapchat removed it. How are you supposed to know if “bae”* is loyal if you can’t check up on who he/she is snapchatting? *It causes me physical pain to use that word. MAKE IT STOP, WORLD. Well, Snapchat removed the feature a couple of weeks ago, only to come out with this alternative method of ranking and defining your Snapchat relationship. Only now you are the only person who can see the emojis on your incoming snap screen. Looks like users are back to the drawing board when it comes to cyberstalking friends on Snapchat. Low-Light Camera Another new feature for Snapchat is the low-light camera. Snapchat’s camera had subpar lighting abilities for dark resolution pictures compared to other apps using cameras. The crescent moon icon at the top of your camera screen fixes that problem. You can turn it on or off to adjust for the dim lighting by brightening the resolution, making Snapchat more usable for concerts, parties, and other night-life adventures. Please snap responsibly. Needs Love List This is a list of snapchat users and friends that you used to snapchat frequently, but haven’t snapped in a while. Snapchat created a list of your friends that need some love from you because the cats just aren’t cutting it these days. All in all, we think Snapchats new features are going to bring some changes to how users go about Snapchatting. I for one am making it a new personal goal to keep my fire emojis blazing day in and day out. We’ll see how long the streak can last.   Update: This post was edited at 2:40 p.m. CST to correct the spelling of Josh Constine’s last...

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