What once was said in a paragraph—or 140 characters—is now being summed up in a meme or GIF.
Twitter is joining the ranks of other social media platforms in embracing the popularity of visual content and the changes in how we communicate online.
On Thursday, the social media platform announced that it’s rolling out a GIF-search feature:
In a company blog post, Twitter explained how the search will work:
Whenever you’re composing a Tweet or Direct Message, you can search and browse the GIF library. So if you’re looking for the perfect cat yawn or dance move
to express exactly how you feel, just click the new GIF button. You can search by keyword, or browse categories of different reactions like Happy Dance,
Mic Drop, or YOLO.
The search is powered by partners Giphy and Riffsy, and plays off the growing popularity of looping images.
“Last year, people on Twitter shared over 100 million GIFs—expressing everything from their mood, to an amazing dunk, to their favorite dance move from a music video,” Twitter said.
There are many ways to boost content marketing and PR
strategies with GIFs. Brand managers can
learn more about using them here.
Facebook opens Instant Articles to all
Facebook already offers GIFs on both timelines and in messages, but brand managers can now use the platform to take advantage of visual content trends
through brand journalism.
On Wednesday, the social media network announced via a blog post that its
publishing feature, Instant Articles, will be available to all publishers in April:
Facebook’s goal is to connect people to the stories, posts, videos or photos that matter most to them. Opening up Instant Articles will allow any publisher
to tell great stories, that load quickly, to people all over the world. With Instant Articles, they can do this while retaining control over the
experience, their ads and their data.
Not only do Facebook’s Instant Articles load 10 times faster than other content, but the feature also enables brand managers to showcase brand journalism
through images and videos.
The design of Instant Articles is highly visual, featuring high resolution photos users can zoom into and tilt to view, as well as autoplay video and
Facebook introduced the feature in May 2015 and now boasts 100
partnerships with publishers. The New York Times, National Geographic and The Washington Post joined in the early stages of Instant
articles—and the Post announced in September that it would make
100 percent of its content available through the feature
Instant Articles live on Facebook, enabling users to read brand journalism posts without leaving the platform. Forbes broke down the feature’s
revenue model and publisher choices:
Publishers in the program have the option to either sell or embed advertisements in their articles and keep 100% of the revenue, or let Facebook sell ads,
with the social media company taking about a 30% cut. Facebook shares data with the publishers about their readers, but allows publishers to use their own
analytics systems and third-party providers to track traffic. The program to a certain degree leaves publishers at the mercy of Facebook’s algorithm, which
frequently changes and determines which posts and content users see in their feeds. However, the feature is attractive to many publishers who are
struggling to monetize content on mobile.
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Instagram introduces stronger security
As digital communications become increasingly visual, social media platforms are battling data breaches through better security measures.
On Thursday, an Instagram spokesman told Wired that it was
rolling out a two-factor authentication system. Wired explained how it will work for the app’s users:
When you opt in to the two-factor system, first you’ll need to give Instagram your phone number. Then whenever you enter your username and password, you’ll
get texted a string of additional digits. Pop that single-use code into Instagram, and you’re in. So if a hacker has your password and username, but not
your phone, they can’t crack into your account.
that the authentication measure can help influential Instagram users who act as brand ambassadors—as well as social media managers:
If a hacker gets access to your Instagram account, they could delete your photos, attack your friends, and spam the feed with ecommerce products and scam
For the average users, this can be annoying, and without special treatment, recovering the account can be extremely tough. For celebrities, getting hacked
could scare away followers, squandering promotional opportunities. And for brands, it can screw up their reputation with the public and hurt sales.
The new feature will be introduced to users slowly, and it is unknown whether it will hit iOS or Android devices first.