Social Media

An Edit Button for Twitter? It Might Happen in 2017

editWhile Twitter made a lot of different changes during 2016 one of the main criticisms by users was the fact that they didn’t make changes on highly requested items, such as an edit button that would allow users to make changes to tweets after these had been posted. Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey decided to start the new year by asking users what they want to see on Twitter. Of course the edit button was one of the main things to come up as usual. What is new, is Dorsey’s response to the idea.

 

In responses to several different Tweets about the edit button, Dorsey asked further questions about what users would like to get from this button and whether they wanted long term editing or just short term. He suggested that the edit button was something that he had been thinking a lot about and talked about perhaps allowing a short window of time for editing or a revision history for edits done later on. This makes it seem like Twitter is taking the possibility of this update seriously.

 

This has of course caused a great deal of excitement among Twitter users just because this is something that they have been asking for regularly. Users have stated that the edit button is necessary to help fix grammar and spelling mistakes and also for clarifying information that may get misconstrued while trying to stay within the 140-character limit. At this time, users are able to delete tweets, but often this is a bit of a hassle for a misspelled word.  

 

Now that Dorsey has admitted that the edit feature is something the site is beginning to consider, many people are starting to get excited over the idea. Some are theorizing that Twitter might be more open to user suggestions due to a disappointing year in 2016. With low user growth and job cuts within the company, it is clear that Twitter has been looking for changes. The edit button just might be a good one to add as it is a feature that competitors including Instagram and Facebook already have.  

Facebook’s Messenger Update Seems Ready to Challenge Snapchat

facebook messengerFacebook recently made the decision to add some great new features to Facebook Messenger which allow people to communicate using pictures complete with stickers, filters, and more. This new update adds many features similar to those popular on Snapchat including masks and filters that can be used for pictures or for video as well. Unlike Snapchat, the pictures and videos that are sent don’t have any kind of time limit, so people can view them however they want.

 

With the new update to Facebook Messenger, users can add masks, effects, stickers, and frames on their photos and videos captured with the in-app camera. To use the new camera features, users just have to open the app and tap the camera button. This will then show you the different types of items that can be used on the photo that you’ll be taking. The new update also makes it so that users can draw on images and add their own text.

 

Prior to this update, Facebook Messenger did have a camera feature, but this was one that was fairly plain and boring. Facebook has now added a camera that offers all of the frills and editing features that have been proven successful in other platforms like Snapchat. They hope that by adding these items they’ll be able to encourage people to spend more time sharing videos and pictures with each other through Facebook Messenger.

 

The update represents a part of one of Facebook’s recent goals which is to make Messenger something that exists in real time and is a lot more visual than it has been. This new update also makes it so that Messenger can compete more directly with Snapchat and other applications. Some are already claiming that Facebook’s new messenger update helps to make it better than Snapchat since Facebook’s version allows users to place text and stickers before a picture is even taken, making it easier to line up items in the picture and streamlining the process of creating and sharing these items. This update is definitely one that brings Facebook into a space to compete with Snapchat more easily.

Instagram’s New Update Includes Stickers and More

emojiInstagram released a new update recently which added several new features. With the new update, users will now be able to add stickers to their pictures including ones that can provide context for a picture. They also have new hands free filming and the ability to move text around and to add multiple lines of text for further flexibility. These new changes are important for helping Instagram to stay competitive.

 

One of the biggest parts of this update is the addition of stickers that you can add to your images. This is much like Snapchat’s stickers, except that on Instagram you’ll actually be able to add multiple stickers to the same image. This will allow users to add all the different types of stickers that they want to make it so that their images look just the way they want them too.  Most of the stickers offered right now are holiday themed stickers, but in the future, stickers could include a range of different designs.

 

While some of the different types of stickers that are offered are more like emoji, there are some stickers that are meant to be used to add context to your image. These stickers allow you to add current weather, time, and even your location to the image that you are editing so that you can provide further context or even share with your friends how cold it is getting. These allow you to really enhance the value of a picture that you are sending out into the world.

 

Since users of social media have shifted to focus on communication through different types of images, social media sites like Instagram are changing their features to help make this a lot easier. Of course in this particular update Instagram added a few other features as well, including one that allows you to record video hands free. Rather than holding down the record button the app now allows you to just press to start recording and then press again to stop. They have also made it so that users are able to add multiple lines of text and arrange these as they want around their photos. All these new features are meant to benefit users and keep them more engaged.

New Facebook Update Makes It Easy to Add Color to Text-Only Statuses

facebook colorsThis week Facebook launched a new feature to add color options that can show up behind text-only posts. With their new update, some people are going to begin seeing a lot more colorful posts appearing on their news feed as their friends share statuses with new color schemes. The idea of this new color addition is that these colors will help to make text only posts more visually appealing.

 

For now, the update is only going out to Android users, but soon the feature will be released to iOS and web browsers as well. Users who have access to the new feature will be able to write their posts as they always did, but they will notice a color menu appearing under the box that they can type their post into. By selecting one of these colors or color gradients, the user will be able to have this color background appear with their post.

 

While the feature will not work with links, pictures, or videos, it does open up a wide range of options for those who are posting text-only statuses. Users will be able to select from a range of colors including the standard white as well as yellow, yellow orange gradient, red orange, green blue gradient, pink purple gradient, and grey. Facebook’s purpose is to make it so that text-only statuses don’t end up getting lost in the sea of links and videos that are being shared on Facebook.

 

Beyond just keeping these statuses from getting lost, Facebook is probably hoping to make it so that users are more interested in posting text-only content on their site. Over the last several years, they have seen a significant decrease in the number of original sharing posts that have appeared on their site. Since many users like to use Facebook as a way of keeping track of what their friends are doing, encouraging these kinds of posts rather than viral videos and news shares just makes sense. Whether the colored text-only posts significantly increase the number of posts like this remains to be seen.

Twitter Finally Launches Internal Live Video

live video streaming While Twitter was early to start on the development of live streaming within their social media platform, they just now have integrated this live video into Twitter itself. Twitter users can now broadcast live video directly from Twitter without installing Periscope or even having a Periscope account. This new update puts Twitter’s live video feature within Twitter in a way that makes it much more convenient to Twitter users.

 

In the past, there was some reluctance toward live streaming on Twitter as the process was over complicated. Users had to install the Periscope app and use this app to create live streaming videos. These would be shown on Twitter as well, but people watching the broadcasts couldn’t interact with the video. The new update changes this to make it so that Twitter users create live videos directly from Twitter.

 

One of the big changes with the update that rolled out earlier this week was not only to make it so that the video could be streamed live directly from Twitter, but also that viewers of the video would be able to interact with it more. Members of the audience can now respond to the video by making comments and sharing emoji. Tweets containing live streams may also be retweeted and shared making them a whole lot more versatile.

 

By adding this live streaming to their platform, Twitter is finally joining other social media sites in real competition for the live video market. Despite their head start with the acquisition of Periscope, the app was losing momentum long before the new update. This is because other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram released live video updates that made the live video streaming an internal feature that was easier to work with. Now that Twitter has integrated Periscope within its own app, they may be able to become more competitive in this area once again.

Facebook’s New Feature Allows Users to Create Their Own Frames

frameIn a new move last week, Facebook decided to release an update that would allow users to actually start making their own frames for pictures and videos displayed on the social media site. While custom frames have been available on other social media sites before now, Facebook is just now starting to allow people to create their own frames. Facebook has created frames in the past that users can add to their pictures, but for the first time Facebook is handing over the reins to the users on the site. For now, the feature is only available in some countries.

 

If you are in Colombia, Mexico, Taiwan, the UK, or Ireland, you may already be able to create frames for the pictures that you post on Facebook. The new feature makes it so that you can choose from dozens of profile frames or even use a special feature to create your own frames to go around your pictures. These frames will be ones that you can share with others who use the social media site as well so in time a vast selection of frames will be available.

 

While the tool is sure to be fun for normal users who want to create exciting frames to share with their friends, the main target of this tool is actually businesses and people who are planning special events like weddings and parties. The frames will allow related pictures and videos to go together in a completely new way or add advertisement to a standard photo. The application of this new feature should be very helpful for certain individuals.

 

One concern about these different types of frames is that some of these might break Facebook policies. However, Facebook is already on top of this. While frames can be shared with others, they must first be submitted for approval. Facebook will then check them to make sure that they adhere to Facebook terms before they are allowed to go live. The company will also be able to take down frames identified as inappropriate after they’ve been posted. The custom frame feature is not coming to the U.S. just yet, but hopefully we’ll see this feature sometime soon.

Facebook Adds Instant Games to Messenger to Get People More Interested in Using Messenger

pac-manOne of the newest updates for Facebook was one that added some great new games to Facebook’s Messenger app. While Facebook experimented in the past with some basketball and soccer games, they have now extended this so that there are 17 games to choose from. Through Messenger, friends can challenge each other to games and see if they can beat each other’s scores. This offers Facebook users with a new way to interact through social media.

 

The new games come as part of the newest version of the Messenger app which people can download now. The update has been rolled out to people in 30 countries already and should go out to others soon. Among the great games that people can play with their friends are classic games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders. These different arcade games make it easy for Facebook users to compete with their friends to get the best score.

 

Facebook initially rolled out two basic games in March to discover if people would be interested in games like these within the Messenger app. The soccer and basketball mini games that appeared at this time, were played more than a billion times, making it clear that games like these were a success. While Facebook currently has launched 17 different games for users to try out, they plan on adding different games in the future to keep things interesting.

 

To play games with your friends using the Messenger app, you simply have to open an existing conversation that you have with them or start a new one. If you have the new version of messenger, you’ll notice a game controller icon below where you type messages. Click on this to select a game and type a message to go with it. You can also do this in a group message to challenge multiple friends. While you are playing these games video and voice calls are available as well, so that you can further interact while playing these games.

 

Facebook’s interesting new update is already gaining popularity as people start to test out all of these new games. It will be interesting to see how this new type of interaction works for Facebook and whether this will be something that people enjoy doing with friends or if it becomes an unnecessary annoyance.

Twitter Takes a Stand Against Online Abuse

twitterIt is no secret that Twitter is a platform that has been experiencing a lot of problems with online abuse. A lot of recent data has come out showing just how badly this problem has started to effect Twitter users. In many cases, this causes Twitter users to leave the platform entirely.  In response to these problems, Twitter has started to roll out an anti-harassment update that will hopefully be the first step to getting control of this situation.

 

Twitter’s new update influences a few specific pieces of Twitter. Centered on the fact that many users said that abuse coming to them through notifications was the most disheartening, Twitter has updated its “mute” feature. While this feature previously made it so that specific accounts could be muted to specific users, it has now been extended so that users can select keywords and phrases that they don’t want to see in their notifications. This does not remove these items from the news feed yet, but does limit personal attacks. It also provides a way for users to drop out of ongoing conversations where they have been tagged.

 

Another update has been made directly to the way that tweets can be reported as abusive. Twitter is working to make this process much simpler by allowing users to choose from a few options to further elaborate on why a post is abusive. They have also trained their support teams to help them deal with harassment reports in a quicker and more sensitive way. The goal is to make the process of reporting tweets faster and more friendly.

 

Twitter’s new update is just one step toward getting control of abuse that happens over this platform. This social media site faces a common problem that comes from allowing open discourse and free speech while trying to avoid creating a hostile environment for everyone. The goal of this update is to help to make Twitter a much more welcoming platform. While they don’t expect major changes to come as a result of this first update, they are hoping that it will be the first step to much bigger changes.

Using Social Media to Predict Elections May Be a New Trend

social mediaAfter the surprising results of the election on Tuesday, many people were blindsided as the results were quite different from those predicted by traditional polls before the election. With this stunning turn of events, many have started to question the validity of traditional polls, turning instead to different ways of predicting upcoming results in elections. Some are suggesting that social media could be the best way to predict elections in the future.

 

Prior to the election, several articles came out suggesting that Trump would actually make a stunning win in the election. These articles used evidence gathered from different sources all connected to social media. In one case, a professor said that an algorithm he created predicted a win by Donald Trump. This algorithm utilized data available from Twitter that showed what people were talking about prior to the election. He had used this algorithm before with 95% accuracy to predict the 2013 Australian federal election and the 2015 Queensland election.

 

In another example, an artificial intelligence system predicted that Trump would win the election as well. This particular AI system takes a wide number of data points from Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to create predictions on who will win. Earlier in the election process, the system was able to predict correctly the results of the presidential primaries. Since 2004 when this AI system was created, the system was able to predict the last three U.S. presidential elections. Now has correctly predicted this one as well.

 

There has been a great deal of success with just using social media alone as a predictor of who will win the election. While polls failed miserably at predicting the results of the election, other systems were able to predict the results by comparing the number of pro-Trump and pro-Clinton tweets in the months leading up to the election. There are some small failings in this kind of a predictor since computers are not always best at judging whether a tweet is for or against a specific candidate. Still there was much more success in predicting Tuesday’s election this way than through polling.

 

Analysts monitoring social media were able to predict the outcome of the election months in advance, while polls were still predicting an easy win for Hillary Clinton. Their data suggested that those who were responding to the polls may not be answering truthfully when confronted by a stranger on the phone. While these people may not have claimed to be voting for Trump or may have refused to answer polls, on social media they were able to speak their mind. This evidence suggests that in the future, social media may actually be the place to start when attempting to predict elections.

Looking to the Effects of Social Media in the Wake of Election Results

american flagAfter an unexpected win by Donald Trump in this year’s election, many people are starting to look into the way that social media played a role. Trump was a candidate with an undeniably large social media presence from the beginning. He received the most attention for his interactions on Twitter, but he was also present on other social media sites during his campaign. Reports from those tracking the campaign show that many supporters were able to find each other through social media and to follow campaigns through Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat.

 

Information after election day now shows us how social media has changed the way that people follow the election results and how they enter the discussion on candidates through social media. One of the key sites for election day interactions was Twitter. Between the start of election day and 3am the next day when Trump claimed his victory Twitter saw more than 75 million tweets that were related to the election. This is up from 2012, when there were only around 31 million tweets that were related to that election. It is clear from these statistics alone that more people are turning to social media when it comes to coverage of important events.

 

In a study that was conducted on how social media actually changes people’s opinions on a political subject, it was clear that social media can do more than just get people interacting with one another. The study discovered that 20% of social media users said they had changed an opinion about a social or political issue because of something they saw on social media.  Additionally, 17% reported that social media had changed their view on a political candidate. In the majority of cases, the view had changed for the worse rather than for the better.

 

Many people worry about the way that social media can effect discourse on different political subjects just because of the format of social media itself. Some argue that there is no room for educated and civil discourse when social media users are communicating in memes and in 140 character bursts. The interactions between people on either side of the political spectrum within social media, appear in general to be negative interactions that degrade quickly to name calling. There is also concern that social media gets people to focus more on scandals rather than on the policies of the candidates.

 

One thing is certain, social media appears to make political opinions and interactions much more present in people’s everyday life, making it harder for people to avoid looking at the different sides of the argument. Candidates and average citizens alike have the ability to interact in completely new ways throughout this discussion. Whether this is beneficial or problematic for political discourse in our country remains to be seen.