Facebook Debuts Augmented Reality Camera: This Week in Social Media

social media research

This post is a great summary of current events in social media. Enjoy!

Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news.

To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention.

What’s New This Week

Facebook Releases Augmented Reality Camera Effects Platform: Facebook officially released the Camera Effects Platform at its annual F8 Conference for developers this week. The new Camera Effect Platform “turns smartphone cameras into the first AR platform” and provides “an opportunity for artists and developers to create effects for the Facebook camera.” With this new platform, Facebook introduced two new tools, Frame Studio, a web-based tool that “allows anyone with a profile or Page to design frames for use on profile pictures or in the new Facebook camera,” and AR Studio, which “enables artists and developers to build their own AR experiences such as animated frames, masks, and interactive effects that respond to motion, interactions during Live broadcasts, or third-party data.”

Facebook's new Camera Effect Platform turns smartphone cameras into the first AR platform and provides an opportunity for artists and developers to create effects for the Facebook camera.

Facebook’s new Camera Effects Platform turns smartphone cameras into the first AR platform and provides an opportunity for artists and developers to create effects for the Facebook camera.

Frame Studio is now available to all users on desktop browsers. All frames must be submitted for Facebook’s approval prior to being featured in the Facebook camera. Facebook cautions that frames “must follow Facebook’s guidelines and cannot include logos or trademarks unless pre-approved by Facebook.”

AR Studio is currently “in closed beta” with a select group of partners; however, developers can apply online to participate as well. In the meantime, Facebook released two new effects for Live video as part of the AR Studio beta program. These include a “This or That” effect, which allows live broadcasters to select from two options posed to viewers, and a new integration with Giphy.

Twitter Rolls Out In-stream Video Ads: Twitter advertisers “can now run In-Stream Video Ads to align with videos… from Amplify partners, including top TV networks, major sports leagues, major publishing houses and magazines, and professional news outlets.” These new video ad units include both pre-roll and mid-roll ads and have been proven to get a message “in front of a larger target audience.” In-stream video ads are currently available in the U.S. and are expected to roll out “more widely in the year ahead.”

YouTube Opens Mobile Live Streaming to Smaller Accounts: TechCrunch reports that the ability to live stream directly to a YouTube channel from a phone was previously restricted to accounts with 10,000 or more subscribers. However, a YouTube support page on mobile live streaming reveals that this capability is now available to smaller channels with more than 1,000 subscribers. Facebook notes that these accounts must also be verified and free of any live-stream restrictions within a certain time limit to be granted the ability to broadcast live from a phone.

Facebook Launched New Social VR Platform, Facebook Spaces, in Beta: Facebook introduced Facebook Spaces, “a new VR app where you hang out with friends in a fun, interactive virtual environment as if you were in the same room.” With Facebook Spaces, users can create a personalized avatar; connect with other users; share photos, videos, and experiences; and much more within a virtual 360-degree space.

Facebook introduced Facebook Spaces, a new VR app where you hang out with friends in a fun, interactive virtual environment as if you were in the same room.

Facebook introduced Facebook Spaces, a new VR app where you hang out with friends in a fun, interactive virtual environment as if you were in the same room.

Facebook Spaces is currently in beta and only available for Oculus Rift and Touch. Facebook plans to add new features as more users provide feedback and continue exploring “what makes social VR experiences most meaningful.”

Our Take on Top News This Week

In this week’s show from Friday, April 21, 2017, Michael Stelzner and guests discuss the top news in social media. Topics include a new way to broadcast live from a desktop (6:38), the newly launched Facebook Camera Effects Platform and Facebook Spaces (18:12), and the latest updates coming to Facebook Messenger (43:22). Subscribe to future shows here.

More News to Note

Snapchat Introduces World Lenses: Snapchat launched World Lenses, a “new way to use Lenses… that can paint the world around you with new 3D experiences.” Snapchat users can now place new AR-like cards and stickers onto any scene captured with their mobile device and “virtually interact with 3D graphics that look like they were anchored to, and blended with, the real world.”

Facebook Expands Integrations and Partnerships for Workplace: Facebook announced new integrations and partnerships to its enterprise communication tool, Workplace by Facebook, that will improve and simplify day-to-day workflows, ensure regulatory compliance, and enable richer communication using live video within the platform.

Facebook announced several new integrations and partnerships within its Workplace by Facebook team communications tool.

Facebook announced several new integrations and partnerships within its Workplace by Facebook team communications tool.

With this update, it will be “easier to share, preview and organize files, documents, and work with customer records” and collaborate inside Workplace with leading file storage, productivity, and CRM solutions such as OneDrive, Office, Salesforce, and more. Workplace customers can now build custom bots with its new bot platform partners like Converse and Pullstring and better comply with industry regulations and manage business risk with the help of leading cloud compliance, e-discovery, and data loss prevention providers such as Disco and Netskope within the platform. Facebook also rolled out “support for streaming Live into Workplace… [that makes] it possible for their customers to stream fully-featured video meetings directly to Workplace.”

Facebook Debuts New Tools and Bots for Messenger: Facebook introduced “a new suite of tools that gives you the ability to build richer experiences, get discovered, and extend the conversational, visual and social capabilities of your bots” with its new “Messenger 2.0” rollout. Facebook launched the Discover tab, a “new surface to help people intuitively browse and find the best bots, places, and businesses in Messenger.” Discover currently has categories such as Entertainment, News, Food & Drink, Finance, and more to come.

Discover is rolling out to a “small number” of users in the U.S. this week but is expected to “gradually” roll out to all users over time. Facebook invites bot developers to submit their own tools for the Discover tab and encourages businesses to make sure their information on Messenger is up to date and accurate.

Facebook introduced a new suite of tools within its Messenger 2.0 rollout.

Facebook introduced a new suite of tools within its Messenger 2.0 rollout.

Along with this update, Facebook will roll out chat extensions that “contextually bring a bot into a conversation and collaborate on creating shopping lists, ordering food, splitting payments, sharing music and other new and existing use cases.” For example, Spotify will soon launch a new chat extension for Facebook Messenger that “lets friends discover and share music directly in their chats.” Facebook also rolled out parametric Messenger Codes, which allow companies to “generate multiple Messenger Codes for their bot and see which ones are being scanned the most.”

Facebook Launches Automated Insights for Analytics: “Using advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence,” Facebook Analytics can now automatically surface insights in the dashboard such as shifts in purchase behavior over time or engagement across multiple cities that allow admins to “easily identify where to dig deeper and determine a plan of action.” Facebook also rolled out customizable dashboards where page admins can “quickly pin [their] most important reports in one place… and [see] everything at a glance.”

Facebook Analytics can now automatically surface insights in the dashboard that allow admins to easily identify where to dig deeper and determine a plan of action.

Facebook Analytics automatically surfaces insights in the dashboard that allow admins to easily identify where to dig deeper and determine a plan of action.

Google Unveils New Home Page and Enhancements for Analytics: Google introduced “additional enhancements designed to help [site owners] make better data-driven decisions based on a deeper understanding of [their] users” and a new landing page for Google Analytics. The new home page for Google Analytics now features “an overview of key aspects” of an organization’s online presence such as snippets from a curated set of Google Analytics reports framed with “helpful questions” and the ability to surface more details. Google also offers a new Discover page where users can find useful products, tools, and features to help monitor and manage an account.

Google introduced enhancements and a new landing page for Google Analytics.

Google introduced enhancements and a new landing page for Google Analytics.

Instagram Rolls Out Collections for Saved Posts: Instagram now allows users to organize their saved posts into collections where they can be accessed at any time. Instagram’s new saved collections are completely private and available on the updated version of the Instagram app for iOS and Android.

Instagram rolled out private collections for saved posts.

Instagram rolled out private collections for saved posts.

Instagram Offers Offline Mode Functionality on Android: Instagram announced that it has “built support for using most of its features without Internet access” on Android and is “exploring” the option of releasing an iOS version as well. With this new feature, Instagram users “in developing nations where data is either too expensive for everyone to afford or there aren’t omnipresent or stable data connections” can now see Instagram content that was previously loaded in their feed, as well as leave comments, like posts, save media, or unfollow people – “all of which will go through when they reconnect.”

Facebook Expands and Updates Integrations With Giphy: As part of the beta release of AR Studio on the new Facebook Camera Effects Platform mentioned above, Giphy introduced Giphy Live for Facebook Live and Giphy Thoughts for the Facebook camera. VentureBeat reports that a “magic wand icon within the Facebook Camera… [presents] the Giphy Live ticker at the top of the screen… [where broadcasters can] select a topic to find an appropriate GIF” for their Facebook Live videos. With the new Giphy Thoughts effect, Facebook camera users can “add a thought bubble to highlight what a person, animal, or object is ‘thinking’” within the photo.

Facebook has also expanded Giphy’s Messenger chat features such that “GIFs can be more natively integrated right into conversations.” Users can select from six styles of GIFs that can be added to their chats. These latest updates and integrations are now available to all Facebook Messenger users.

Facebook rolls out three new updates and integrations with Giphy.

Facebook rolls out three new updates and integrations with Giphy.

Facebook Admins Report Drop in Page Likes: Facebook Security removed a number of “inauthentic likes and comments that appear to come from [spam] accounts located in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and a number of other countries” from Facebook. Because of this action, Facebook expects that “99% of impacted Pages with more than 10,000 likes will see a drop of less than 3%” in their likes and other activities. Facebook is working to “prevent this network of spammers from reaching its end goal of sending inauthentic material to large numbers of people” and will continue developing and improving its spam detection technology and resources in the future.

Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following

Facebook Tests Groups Tab for Pages: Facebook is testing a new feature that makes it easier for select brand pages to link to or add a new tab for groups. By linking the two, page admins can direct users to an “official group instead of one of the many fan groups” that may be created for a company, organization, or program. Adweek reports that this new feature has only been released to “about 2 percent of Pages” and Facebook plans a broader expansion in June.

Facebook Improves 360 Video Experience: Facebook unveiled “a new technique… [it] is using to improve the watching experience for 360 videos.” With the help of machine learning to predict where a viewer will look next, Facebook can reduce the number of pixels that must be rendered at any one time in a 360 video and avoid the “unpleasantness of turning your head in VR only to see a blurry scene” in a process called dynamic streaming. Facebook provided more details on this new approach on the Facebook Code blog.

Facebook Tests Color-coordinated Link Previews for Articles: Adweek reports that Facebook “appears to be matching the background colors of their links with the images included in the posts” seen on the Facebook iOS app and mobile website. Facebook has confirmed that it’s currently testing “multiple design updates in News Feed” as a way “to make Facebook a more visual and engaging place to have conversations” but hasn’t confirmed any other details about this feature.

LinkedIn Announces Upcoming Privacy Policies and User Agreements Changes: LinkedIn updated its terms and conditions, including the company privacy policies and user agreements to allow “certain third-party services” to access LinkedIn users’ profiles, productivity and communication tools, new authorship tools, and more. In a post shared on its company blog, LinkedIn expects these updates to take effect on June 7, 2017.

Google Tests New Job Platform Called Hire for Recruiters: The Next Web reports that Google is quietly testing a new project called Hire “to tackle the task of managing job applications for recruiters.” This new tool is currently being used by a small group of companies to accept applications for open positions. Google hasn’t confirmed any details about this new product.

Google quietly tests Hire to help recruiters tackle the task of managing job applications.

Google quietly tests Hire to help recruiters tackle the task of managing job applications.

Some Interesting Studies to Note:

Instagram Influencer Marketing Is a $1 Billion Industry: According to projections from influencer marketing company Mediakix, Instagram influencer marketing is currently worth an estimated $1 billion and could easily grow to $2 billion by 2019. The company notes that “lack of transparency and reported metrics with regards to advertiser spend mean that there’s no official tally on the size of the Instagram influencer market.” To estimate how much money advertisers have spent on Instagram influencer marketing, Mediakix tracked the number of sponsored Instagram posts over a year and weighed it against the platform’s current annual growth.

The Value of Influencer Content 2017: Using survey data from 207 marketers across a variety of industries and their agencies, Linqia issued a new report on the value of influencer content and how companies are integrating it into their marketing plans. The findings reveal that 86% of those surveyed include influencer marketing in their content marketing strategies and 57% say influencer content actually performs better than professionally produced assets. However, marketers spend an average of 2.6 times more for professionally produced content than they would if they simply worked directly with influencers to create the same asset.

Top Non-game Apps by Downloads and Revenue Worldwide: New research from app analytics company Sensor Tower reveals that Facebook owns four out of the five most downloaded apps around the globe in Q1 2017. These include WhatsApp, the flagship Facebook app, Messenger, and Instagram, in order. Ranked fifth on the list of the most downloaded apps is Snapchat.

What do you think of Facebook’s new augmented reality tools? Have you checked out the new Facebook Spaces? Please share your comments below.

Facebook Debuts Augmented Reality Camera and other social media news for Apr. 22, 2017.

Facebook Debuts Augmented Reality Camera and other social media news for Apr. 22, 2017.


Source: Facebook Debuts Augmented Reality Camera: This Week in Social Media

How to Research Your Competitors on Instagram

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Are you trying to make a difference on Instagram? Here’s a great article from Social Media Examiner on researching your competitors. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to the feed on Social Media Examiner – great content!

Wondering what your competitors are up to on Instagram?

Looking for an enterprise-level tool to compare their marketing efforts to yours?

Researching how your competitors market on Instagram can help you find new ways to reach your shared customer base.

In this article, you’ll discover how to research your competitors on Instagram.

How to Research Your Competitors on Instagram by Hiral Rana on Social Media Examiner.

How to Research Your Competitors on Instagram by Hiral Rana on Social Media Examiner.

Disclaimer: This article discusses a tool that is costly and more suited to mid-sized and larger businesses. Social Media Examiner does not endorse this or any other product, tool or service mentioned in the articles we publish, nor were we, in any way, incentivized to produce this content.

#1: Identify Industry-Wide Trending Topics and Hashtags

To create an effective social media marketing strategy, start by listening to what’s going on in your niche. These insights can help you pinpoint the most prevalent issues or concerns in your industry and then craft your messaging accordingly. When you’re always listening, you can jump on trends before your competitors.

Talkwalker lets you do in-depth research on what everyone is buzzing about. Log in to Talkwalker and click the Analytics tab (the gateway to all of the social media insights you’ll ever need). In the image below, I burrowed into Channels > Instagram and selected Chanel as an example. You can do the same for your competitors.

Go to Channels and then Instagram to start researching your competitors with Talkwalker.

In Talkwalker, go to Channels > Instagram to start researching your competitors.

Click on Themes to get an idea of the rising, fading, and new themes in your industry. Think of this as a type of keyword research. You’ll want to build a decent-sized list of words around which you can create content.

On Talkwalker's Analytics tab, click Themes to see popular industry themes.

On Talkwalker’s Analytics tab, click Themes to see popular industry themes.

Filter by hashtag to see the top Instagram hashtags related to this brand.

To view popular Instagram hashtags with Talkwalker, filter by themes.

To view popular Instagram hashtags with Talkwalker, filter by themes.

If you click on a hashtag (#GabrielleChanel, for example), you can get more in-depth information about it.

Click an Instagram hashtag to see more detailed information in Talkwalker.

Click an Instagram hashtag in Talkwalker to see more detailed information.

Scroll down to the most engaging posts based on this hashtag to help pinpoint hot topics. You can also check Most Engaging Posts to see related hashtags.

Scroll down to the most engaging Instagram posts to see which topics are resonating.

Scroll down to the most engaging Instagram posts to see which topics are resonating.

More importantly, you can view the sentiments around these hashtags. Click one of the sentiments in the pie chart to view more data.

View more detailed information about hashtag sentiment in Talkwalker.

View more detailed information about hashtag sentiment in Talkwalker.

These insights into popular hashtags and topics will inform your Instagram messaging to help you gain an advantage over your competition.

#2: Analyze Individual Competitor Instagram Posting Tactics

In addition to tracking trends and hot issues in your industry, you also need to know how well your competition is performing on Instagram. Talkwalker lets you compare your Instagram activity to your competitors’.

Let’s take Coach, for example. The graph below is Coach’s Instagram activity for a one-week period. The graph lets you see how many times the company posted each day during that period.

Talkwalker shows a brand's Instagram activity for the past week.

Talkwalker shows your competitor’s Instagram activity for the past week.

Click on a date to see the posts and how much engagement (likes and comments) they received. You can also sort results by other metrics such as potential reach.

Below the graph, Talkwalker ranks the most engaging posts over the selected timeframe.

You can also see the brand's most engaging Instagram posts for the past week.

You can also see your competitor’s most engaging Instagram posts for the past week.

Take a deeper look into your competitor’s most successful content. What are they doing well? What’s helping them attain high levels of engagement? For each mention, you’ll find a link to take you to the post on Instagram. There you can view the comments and find out what’s resonating with their audience.

Take a look at Talkwalker’s virality map to see how your competitor’s posts spread across countries.

Talkwalker's virality map shows how posts spread across the globe.

Talkwalker’s virality map shows how posts spread across the globe.

You can also view your competitor’s top influencers.

Talkwalker identifies a brand's top influencers on Instagram.

Talkwalker identifies a brand’s top influencers on Instagram.

Looking at your competitors’ brand advocates and Instagram content can help inform the direction of your campaigns going forward.

#3: Examine Engagement Metrics for Shared Audience Segments

Crafting successful brand messaging requires research and optimization. Talkwalker helps you identify optimal topics and times to post based on the probability to earn likes and comments.

Let’s use Dior as an example. The graph below lets you see how active they were on Instagram over a specified timeframe. This type of data can inform which days and times are best for reaching a certain demographic.

Viewing a brand's daily activity in Talkwalker can help you determine the best days and times to reach a particular audience.

Viewing your competitor’s daily activity in Talkwalker can help you determine the best days and times to reach a particular audience.

You can also analyze your competitor’s messaging on a more granular level. For instance, suppose you want to analyze how all of Dior’s English-speaking Instagram followers engage with the brand. At the top of the menu, choose Open Filters. Then select the filters you want to apply.

Filter your results in Talkwalker to zero in on a particular audience segment.

Filter your results in Talkwalker to zero in on a particular audience segment.

Filtering the data will give you a better feel for how involved these followers are with the brand. It’s a great way to pinpoint a single, focused demographic and their interests. You can then use these insights to optimize your own posts.

Click the Performance tab to get an overview of mentions, engagement, and reach for the brand over a given timeframe.

Talkwalker's Performance tab shows mentions, engagement, and reach over time.

Talkwalker’s Performance tab shows mentions, engagement, and reach over time.

Talkwalker lets you put your competition under a microscope and learn how each post generates a particular reaction. From every post your competitor makes, you can get a better idea of how to tweak your own posts for optimal engagement.

#4: Compare Share of Voice

Establishing your company’s and competitors’ “share of voice” (share of the conversation) across Instagram will help you put your brand messaging in perspective. Typically you’ll examine these metrics over a longer timeframe to judge the overall success of a campaign.

For example, let’s look at a comparison of Dior, Chanel, and Coach over a 30-day period. The chart below shows each company’s share of the conversation in relation to brand-consumer interactions. Chanel clearly has a significant share of voice over the other two brands.

Compare brands in Talkwalker to see their share of the conversation on Instagram.

Compare brands in Talkwalker to see their share of the conversation on Instagram.

You can look at each brand’s most frequently used hashtags.

Compare the most frequently used hashtags for different brands.

Compare the most frequently used hashtags for different brands.

Talkwalker also provides a map to let you see where the mentions are coming from geographically.

See where mentions are coming from on this Talkwalker map.

See where mentions are coming from on this Talkwalker map.

Assessing your share of voice in the marketing landscape gives you an idea of where you stand in relation to the competition. This metric can be a key indicator that you need to improve how you relate to your target audience. But take the findings with a grain of salt.

In Conclusion

Incorporating visual-based Instagram into your marketing is all about showcasing your messaging through photos, videos, infographics, or memes while avoiding hard sales pitches. Use the tips above to gain insights that will help you stay ahead of the competition.

What do you think? Have you tried Talkwalker? How do you gather insights about your competitors on Instagram? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

How to Research Your Competitors on Instagram by Hiral Rana on Social Media Examiner.

How to Research Your Competitors on Instagram by Hiral Rana on Social Media Examiner.


Source: How to Research Your Competitors on Instagram

Facebook News Feed Changes, Snapchat Updates, and Facebook Group Discoveries

social media research

Today’s post is another pearl of wisdom from Social Media Examiner. I’ll remind you again to subscribe to their feed if you don’t already! Enjoy!


Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media.

On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore Facebook news feed changes, Snapchat updates with Carlos Gil, Facebook group discoveries, and other breaking social media marketing news of the week!

Watch the Social Media Morning Talk Show

If you’re new to the show, click on the green “Watch replay” button here and sign in or register to watch our latest episode from Friday, May 12, 2017.

For this week’s top stories, you’ll find timestamps below that allow you to fast-forward in the replay above.

Facebook Reduces Low-Quality Links and Misleading Ads in the News Feed: Facebook is updating the news feed algorithm “so people see fewer posts and ads in News Feed that link to… low-quality web page experiences” and spammy ads. With this update, Facebook reviewed “hundreds of thousands of web pages linked to from Facebook” and identified which contain “little substantive content and have a large number of disruptive, shocking or malicious ads.” Links to these types of low-quality web pages will now “show up lower in people’s feeds and may not be eligible to be an ad.” The goal is to feature fewer misleading posts and more informative posts in the news feed. (6:45)

Facebook reduces low-quality web page experiences and misleading ads in the News Feed.

Facebook reduces low-quality web page experiences and misleading ads in the news feed.

Facebook notes that these changes will roll out “gradually over the coming months.” Publishers that do not produce the type of “low-quality landing page experience” referenced in Facebook’s Newsroom site may see a small increase in traffic, while publishers who do ought to expect a decline in traffic.

Snap Inc. Releases Q1 2017 Earnings Report: Snap Inc. posted its first quarterly earnings since going public in early March. The company reported that its daily active user (DAUs) base grew to 166 million in Q1 2017. Although this is a 36% increase year-over-year, it’s only a 5% gain when compared to its 158 million DAUs in Q4 2016. TechCrunch reports that “Snap added just 3 million new users in North America in Q1… [and] added 3 million in Europe.” Snap Inc. added just 1 million users for the “rest of the world.” (10:27)

Snapchat Rolls Out Limitless Snaps and Other New Tools: Snapchat rolled out four new creative tools this week. These new features include the option to remove the 10-second time limit and allow your videos to loop indefinitely until the viewer is ready to move to the next snap, and a new “infinity” timer setting for photos sent in stories or chats, which allow “the recipient to enjoy your Snap as long as they’d like.” Snapchat also rolled out a new Magic Eraser tool, which enables users to “select and remove objects from [their] Snaps,” and the ability to draw with emojis. (13:40)

Facebook Offers Hidden Group Functionality: Facebook features several quick shortcuts in groups that allow users to quickly start a live video, create a poll, sell something, and more from the status update or post bar at the top of the page. This feature is available in both the mobile and desktop versions of the Facebook site. (30:40)


Facebook offers several quick shortcuts in groups.

Facebook Debuts “Latest Conversations” Feature: “Facebook is rolling out a new feature called ‘Latest Conversations’ in its search results that will show the most recent public posts about timely topics that a lot of people across its network are discussing.” This new section of the news feed is rolling out to Facebook’s mobile users but isn’t currently available on the web version of the site.

Facebook Introduces Offline Conversion Optimization to Lead Ads: Facebook introduced a new Offline Conversion solution that enables marketers to optimize existing lead ad campaigns based on offline performance data. Marketing Land reports that this new solution allows advertisers “to track conversion activity through the sales cycle and map it back to specific campaigns and lead ads… create Lookalike Audiences of lead ad segments using Custom Audiences, retarget lead customers with upsells or new products or sequence ads based on where users are in the [sales] funnel.”

Facebook introduced a new Offline Conversion solution that enables marketers to optimize existing lead ad campaigns based on offline performance data.

Facebook introduced a new Offline Conversion solution that enables marketers to optimize existing lead ad campaigns based on offline performance data.

Facebook Tests “Topics to Follow” Feature: Facebook is testing a new Topics to Follow section, which allows users “to subscribe directly to topics in News Feed so they can see more stories about topics they like.” In addition to following specific pages, testers can “swipe through a range of themes like Theater, Horror Movies or Photography” and find posts around each area of interest.

Google Adds Nearby Event Feature to Search: Google updated its app and mobile web experience “to help web searchers more easily find things to do – like concerts, art exhibits, lectures, festivals, meetups, sporting events, and more – which are happening nearby, either now or in the future.” The new feature is currently only available in the U.S. for the mobile web and the Google app for both iOS and Android devices.

Google updated its app and mobile web experience to help web searchers more easily find things happening nearby, either now or in the future.

Google updated its app and mobile web experience to help web searchers more easily find things happening nearby, either now or in the future.

Google Announces New 360-Degree Cameras for Creating Street View Images: Google is integrating “Street View ready” certification standards within 20 new 360-degree cameras that are coming to the market in 2017. Google announced that all of the cameras meet “one of four new ‘Street View ready’ standards,” which gives businesses “the flexibility to choose the best way to upload imagery based on [their] interests.”

Google is integrating Street View ready certification standards within twenty new 360-degree cameras that are coming to the market in 2017.

Google is integrating Street View ready certification standards within 20 new 360-degree cameras that are coming to the market in 2017.

Amazon Rolls Out the Echo Show: “Amazon unveiled the Echo Show, a WiFi-enabled home device with a seven-inch screen that is the newest addition to its Alexa-powered Echo range of home hubs that plays media and responds to voice commands.” This new device can be pre-ordered through Amazon now and will be shipped from June 28; however, it’s currently only available in the U.S.

Amazon Adds Free Voice Calling to Echo Speakers: “Along with the launch of its touchscreen-equipped Echo Show, Amazon is introducing a free voice calling and voice messaging service that you can use to chat with other Echo users.” Echo users can now use their device to call or message anyone with a supported Echo device or the Alexa app on their phone for free.

Instagram Launches Fully Functional Web App: Instagram now allows mobile users to upload photos and publish new posts via the web. In a move aimed at expanding Instagram’s global usage, the company added “core features of the main app, including photo sharing and a lightweight version of the Explore tab” to its mobile website. Although TechCrunch reports that “there’s still no posting [images and videos] from the desktop site,” CNET shares step-by-step instructions on how to post to Instagram from your computer browser.

Periscope Now Allows Android Users to Broadcast Live 360 Video: Periscope shared in a tweet that Android users can now broadcast live 360-degree video. This functionality was previously limited to users broadcasting on iOS or through Periscope Producer. Now anyone with the updated version of the iOS or Android app can broadcast in 360 degrees. Periscope also notes that users can also watch Periscope 360 video on all web browsers except Safari.

Facebook Closes Oculus Story Studio Division: In an announcement on the Oculus blog, the company shared that Facebook is shutting down its cinematic VR division, Oculus Story Studio. TechCrunch reports that Facebook’s Oculus will now be focusing its efforts on investing in, rather than creating, virtual reality.

Pinterest Rolls Out New Functionality for Lens Beta: Pinterest Lens beta can now identify more objects at once and read QR codes. Pinterest also expanded its “speedy” app shortcuts that were initially rolled out for Android to iOS users.

Pinterest Lens Bet can now identify more objects at once.

Pinterest Lens beta can now identify more objects at once.

YouTube Launches New Slate of Exclusive Ad-Supported Shows: YouTube announced plans to launch seven new “star-studded shows” that are “premiering exclusively on YouTube” and will be fully ad-supported. These shows will be free to watch globally and are expected to debut “beginning later this year.”

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Facebook News Feed Changes, Snapchat Updates and Facebook Group Discoveries and other social media news for May. 13, 2017.

Facebook News Feed Changes, Snapchat Updates and Facebook Group Discoveries and other social media news for May 13, 2017.


Source: Facebook News Feed Changes, Snapchat Updates, and Facebook Group Discoveries

How to Join, Participate In and Host Twitter Chats Like A Pro

How to Join, Participate In and Host Twitter Chats Like A Pro

If you haven’t participated in a Twitter chat yet, then you are missing out on something.

Twitter chats provide a remarkable opportunity for marketers to expand their social circle, increase their customer knowledge and create brand awareness at the same time.

As you may already know, Twitter chats involve various participants talking about a common subject using a designated hashtag. Twitter chats are moderated by a host and take place for a specific time duration.

With over 300 million active users, Twitter is certainly a force to be reckoned with. According to experts, by using Twitter chats, marketers can drastically boost the overall reach of their brand.

But don’t worry if you haven’t participated in any Twitter chats before. In this post, I’ll advise you how to host, join or participate in Twitter chats like a pro.

Let’s get started!

How do I join a Twitter chat?

Before simply jumping into a Twitter chat, take a second to sit back and observe what’s going on to make the most of it. Think of it as a relationship. Take it slow.

Start by identifying upcoming or ongoing Twitter chats that are related to your industry or niche. Make a list and prioritize those that will give you more exposure as a brand.

Take advantage of platforms like Twubs, Chat Salad and The Chat Diary to keep up with which chats are taking place on any given day. These platforms will put the hard yards into finding relevant Twitter chats for you. They will find them and then alert you about them shortly before they kick off so that you can then decide if you wish to take part.

Alternatively, the Twitter advanced search option can help you look for not just people or tweets, but upcoming chats as well. In the ‘words’ section of the advanced search feature, you can provide phrases like ‘tweetchat’, ‘Twitter chat’, etc. Additionally, you can provide keywords that are related to your industry.

Furthermore, in the ‘people’ section, you can look for tweets that belong to a certain account. This will help you identify upcoming chats in no time.

Next, spend a bit of time observing people interacting with each other in the chat to get familiar with the other participants.

There will be a few individuals that stand out during the chat. It is always constructive to follow key participants (as long as they stand out for the right reasons!). You can always retweet their content or show your support while interacting with them.

Be mindful that while Twitter chats are not the place to promote your business or brand directly, your Twitter profile should be up to date and ready to impress. Pin a tweet to the top of your page about your business or brand. Needless to say, your profile needs to create a strong impression, so make sure your bio reads well and profile image is up to date.

How to participate in a Twitter chat

Now that you are all prepped up, it’s time to start actively participating in your Twitter chat of choice.

No one starts a Twitter chat out of the blue. Most of the hosts (or company accounts) inform their audience about their chat at least a week or two before the designated date. You can use this pre-chat time as an opportunity to interact with the hosts about their aims and agenda. They will certainly appreciate your interest and you won’t be a stranger once the chat begins.

During the chat, you should make an effort to get to know other participants. If it’s a Q&A session, then you can come up with some thoughtful questions for the guests. Alternatively, if it is an open discussion, then you can casually interact with other participants.

Always use a participant’s handle when you’re in one-on-one communication. Be open to new ideas, and try not to say anything that could be construed as rude or offensive. Maintain a neutral tone and try to stay on topic.

Provide factual content: often, people make the rookie mistake of simply putting their subjective opinion out there without providing any facts to back it up. Don’t be vague – provide well-researched evidence to support your point of view.

You can also use infographics or other visual aids with your tweets.

If appropriate, you can always provide your own resources or blog URLs to strengthen your content. It will help other participants gain new information regarding the subject and help you create a lasting impression on others.

Note down the names of key influencers during the chat. After getting to know them, you can set up a Twitter list to keep in touch with these key participants.

Sometimes people think that the conversation is over as soon as the Twitter chat ends, but you shouldn’t let all those new contacts get away! When the chat ends, congratulate the host and the organizers for a great chat or event, and scan back through the chat to check out any tools, resources and points you may have missed.

When it comes to social media, a single ‘like’ or ‘retweet’ can go a long way. The organizers will appreciate your support and probably keep you posted about other upcoming events.

How to host a Twitter chat

After you’ve participated in a few Twitter chats, you can step it up a bit and host a chat as well.

While joining a Twitter chat can help you meet new people with similar interests, hosting a successful chat can significantly boost your brand image on social media.

Come up with a topic after doing a bit of research into emerging industry trends. Pick either a futuristic subject or one that is currently creating headlines. It will attract more participants and boost the overall impact of your chat.

After you come up with a topic, check that it hasn’t already been the focus of a Twitter chat. There is no point in choosing a topic where the debate has been done and dusted.

Next, create your own hashtag for your Twitter chat.

Picking the right hashtag can be tricky – try to make it short (since it will be appended to every tweet), clear and simple. Ideally, it will be able to relate back to your business or perhaps even branded to you or your company.

You should know your motive behind hosting your chat and your hashtag should reflect this. Consider this advice on how to use hashtags on social media to come up with a meaningful one.

Since you’ve already participated in a few Twitter chats, you should have a pretty decent idea of who you want to invite to your chat. Before coming up with the date and time of your chat, speak to a few influential people and check their availability.

Be patient and give it time if they take a while to get back to you. Having experts on your Twitter chat can do wonders to boost its reach to a whole new level.

Something to note in terms of timing is that Twitter engagement for brands is usually higher on weekends. That said, there are times when people prefer having a chat on weekdays as well.

Most of the time, Wednesdays and Fridays are considered ideal.

Also, keep your time zone in mind when designating a time. Ideally, you should mention your time zone to avoid any confusion.

Tweet about your chat to generate buzz at least 2-3 weeks before it occurs and let others know about the topic, hashtag, time and so forth. Ask your friends and followers to share it, and cross-promote the invitation across Facebook and Instagram.

To attract more participants, you can also use visual aids to make your tweets more interesting. Make sure your images go well with the overall tone of your brand and the topic, and use GIFs if appropriate to grab your audience’s attention.

A day or two before the chat, you’ll need to go over everything to make sure you’re ready to rock ‘n roll.

This means not just anticipating what questions or perspectives you may encounter, but knowing how you plan to moderate discussion, especially if things go awry.

Feel free to set house rules to help the participants and the guests interact successfully with each other.

Keep your resources, links and data ready. This will help you save time during the chat.

Lastly, pick a social media listening tool like Socialert to help you measure your hashtag’s reach, impact and influence. Storify is a straightforward, effective way to create a recap of each chat.

As a host, it is your duty to wrap up the chat in a thoughtful way, and thank all the guests and participants for being there.

You should never conclude the chat in a bittersweet manner. Be a responsible host by saying the last word or creating a compelling story via Twitter Moments about the concluded Twitter chat.

Additionally, you can write a blog post about it and tweet it to your audience. Feel free to let others know what they missed out on and why they should participate in your next Twitter chat.


The number one thing to remember in joining, participating in or hosting Twitter chats is that it’s not the right forum to shamelessly promote yourself or your brand.

The goal of all Twitter chats is to spread useful information regarding the designated topic and increase engagement between like-minded people.

They’re not the place for a hard sell, but when used strategically, can definitely elevate your digital marketing game to a whole new level.

Guest Author: Along with social media marketing Pankaj Narang is determined to shape his ideas into perfect products. CoFounder of Socialert, he believes in coming up with engaging tools to redefine the face of social media marketing. You can check his blog here.

The post How to Join, Participate In and Host Twitter Chats Like A Pro appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.


Source: How to Join, Participate In and Host Twitter Chats Like A Pro

How to Promote Your Blog Posts Using Social Media: A Guide for Marketers

social media how to

Today’s post comes from Social Media Examiner – a great blog full of great information. If you haven’t already subscribed, please do!

Do you want more social traffic to your blog posts?

Wondering how to tailor your blog post shares for each network?

Properly sharing your blog posts via your social media channels will help deliver a steady stream of visitors to your blog.

In this article, you’ll discover how to successfully cross-promote your blog posts on top social media platforms.

How to Promote Your Blog Posts Using Social Media: A Guide for Marketers by Melanie Tamble on Social Media Examiner.

How to Promote Your Blog Posts Using Social Media: A Guide for Marketers by Melanie Tamble on Social Media Examiner.

What Is Social Media Cross-Promotion?

To effectively cross-promote your blog posts, you can’t simply broadcast the same message on each social network; you need to tailor your message to fit each platform and audience.

For example, if you’re promoting a new blog post, you may need to address your Facebook friends in a different way than your business contacts on LinkedIn. On Twitter, you’re restricted to 140 characters, so you have to keep your message short and simple. On Pinterest, your image is the primary way to draw attention.

Each social network offers different options for promoting your content. The number of characters allowed differs and image sizes vary. You might add hashtags to turn posts into searchable content or add @ handles to connect directly with your followers.

How communities interact with various formats also differs. For example, using multiple hashtags works well for Twitter and Instagram, but using them on Facebook or LinkedIn won’t necessarily produce the same results.

When promoting your blog, tailor your posts for each social network.

When promoting your blog, tailor your posts for each social network.

Here’s a look at five top social networks and how to promote your blog posts to appeal to each community.

#1: Share It on Facebook

Facebook lets you promote your blog post on your profile and pages, and in groups.

Facebook posts can contain up to 10,000 characters, but only the first 480 characters are visible in the timeline; the rest are hidden behind the See More link. So put the essence of your message into the first 480 characters. Keep in mind, too, that Facebook posts with fewer than 50 characters have shown to be more engaging than longer posts.

This Facebook post is fewer than 480 characters, so all of the text will be shown in the news feed.

This Facebook post is fewer than 480 characters, so all of the text will be shown in the news feed.

Posts with images work best on Facebook. When you share your blog post, consider uploading an image and putting your link in the text field instead of using the automatic link preview post. This trick can help increase the reach of your Facebook post.

Plus, Facebook will upload those images automatically to your Facebook album so all of your blog images with links will be available in one place for your community to access.

When sharing your blog posts on Facebook, upload an image and add your link to the text field.

When sharing your blog posts on Facebook, upload an image and add your link to the text field.

Be sure to add a personal and engaging comment and invite readers to share their opinion. And although hashtags can turn posts into searchable content, they don’t work well for engagement on Facebook.

The best times to post on Facebook are from 1 to 4 PM, 6 to 10 PM, and on weekends.

The best frequency for posting on Facebook is once a day. Share your blog post once for initial promotion. Share it on your profile, your page, and in groups, but at different times and with different text. Reshare your evergreen blog posts every 2 to 3 months on your profile and mix them with other valuable content.

#2: Tweet It on Twitter

Twitter was the first social network to introduce hashtags and @ handles for better search and networking options. The platform recently made changes to the 140-character limit to give posts a little more space. Although Twitter is stretching its 140-character limit, it remains at its core a short message service.

Tweets with fewer than 140 characters work best. To get more retweets, be sure to include images and links.

Include links and images in your tweets for better engagement.

Include links and images in your tweets for better engagement.

If you add up to four hashtags, it will make your tweets more searchable for trending keywords and will generate more reactions. Include @ handles if you want to give credit to or message specific Twitter accounts.

Including hashtags in your tweets will improve discoverability.

Including hashtags in your tweets will improve discoverability.

Adding a call to action can improve your results. For example, ask for retweets, help, or for users to follow you.

The best times to post on Twitter are 8 to 10 AM, 11 AM to 1 PM, and after work from 4 to 7 PM.

The lifespan of a tweet is about 18 minutes, so it’s helpful to share your blog post on Twitter more than once on different days and at different times. Share it up to four times for your initial promotion, and then slow down to a weekly and then monthly frequency. Post your evergreen content every 2 to 3 months, but always mix your posts with curated content and other relevant content and retweets.

#3: Post It on LinkedIn

LinkedIn lets you post on your profile, on company and showcase pages, and in groups. You can also republish your blog posts on LinkedIn Pulse or SlideShare.

On your company page, your update can contain around 600 characters. Any text beyond the first 150 or so characters will be truncated and readers will need to click See More to view the complete post.

You have to click See More to see the rest of this LinkedIn post.

Users have to click See More to see the rest of this LinkedIn post.

Sharing your blog post with an image and link works best on LinkedIn. Make your text personal and engaging. Ask questions or encourage readers to interact with your post.

How-to and list posts tend to generate the most post views, likes, comments, and shares on LinkedIn.

Posing a question to users can encourage interaction on LinkedIn.

Posing questions to users can encourage interaction on LinkedIn.

The best times to post on LinkedIn are 8 to 10 AM and 4 to 6 PM.

Share your blog post once for the initial promotion. Repeat your post once a week, and then reduce that rate to every 2 to 3 months on your LinkedIn profile, but not on your page.

Post to your company page and/or your showcase page depending on your content, but do so at different times or days. Share your blog content in appropriate groups, but use different text depending on the group and target audience, and post on different days and times.

You can also republish your blog content on LinkedIn Pulse and publish it as a document on SlideShare; both are powerful high-traffic networks for business audiences.

#4: Pin It on Pinterest

On Pinterest, the image is the most important part of your pin. Use the description to convey what the pin is about. Pinterest gives you 500 characters to describe and comment on your images. You can collect your images in albums to sort them by topic or brand, and post images of any size.

Use the pin description to provide context to your image.

Use the pin description to provide context to your image.

To help convince users to click, keep your descriptions between 150 and 300 characters. Include searchable keywords as hashtags in the description for your image.

To promote your blog posts, always add a link to your pin descriptions to increase clicks to your site, because users can click on the pin to actually travel to your site.

Add calls to action (e.g., Repin, Read More, Learn More, or even Buy Now) in your description to encourage followers to engage.

Including a call to action in your pin description can encourage interaction.

Including a call to action in your pin description can encourage interaction.

The best times to post on Pinterest are from 12 to 2 PM and 7 to 10 PM. Also post on weekends.

Share the featured image of your blog post on Pinterest for your initial promotion. Then post all shareable images from your post gallery successively over the following days and weeks. This tactic allows you to reshare your blog post with different visual elements.

#5: Show It on Instagram

Instagram presents images in a single stream. The lifetime of an image post on Instagram is much shorter than on Pinterest. Most interaction takes place within the first few hours of posting.

Instagram provides a unique square size for images, which is 1080 x 1080 pixels. Captions can be up to 2,200 characters, of which only the first three lines are displayed in the news feed. (If the first paragraph is less than three lines, Instagram will cut off at the end of that paragraph.) To expand a truncated post, users have to click the More link.

Try to communicate the essence of your Instagram post in the first 155 characters.

Convey the main points of your Instagram post in the first 155 characters.

Convey the main points of your Instagram post in the first 155 characters.

Hashtags are important on Instagram, and many captions consist of hashtags only. Use the keywords of your blog post as hashtags so that as many Instagram users as possible can find your post. You can add up to 30 hashtags.

Instagram doesn’t display clickable links, but you can add a URL in your caption or point users to the URL in your profile to drive followers to your blog.

In the caption, point users to the blog post link in your Instagram bio.

In the caption, point users to the blog post link in your Instagram profile.

The best times to post on Instagram are midday and in the evening after work.

To promote your blog post on Instagram, start by sharing your featured image. Then over the following days and weeks, share other images from your blog post gallery to use different visuals to promote it.


Cross-promoting your content on social media can help drive traffic to your blog. However, if you push out the same message to all of your networks, you’ll miss opportunities for outreach and engagement.

Instead, you need to tailor your posts to each network and audience. In most cases, you don’t have to make major changes; a slightly different approach can greatly improve your results.

What do you think? Do you promote your blog posts on multiple social media channels? How do you alter your posts for each platform and audience? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

How to Promote Your Blog Posts Using Social Media: A Guide for Marketers by Melanie Tamble on Social Media Examiner.

How to Promote Your Blog Posts Using Social Media: A Guide for Marketers by Melanie Tamble on Social Media Examiner.


Source: How to Promote Your Blog Posts Using Social Media: A Guide for Marketers

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It

Today’s post is from Hootsuite’s blog. I answer a lot of questions on Facebook’s Pixels – how to insert them, what to do with the information, etc. This article explains Facebook Pixels very clearly. Enjoy and be sure to visit Hootsuite’s blog for more educational content!


If you’re using Facebook ads—or you plan to use them in the future—there’s one key tool you should start using right away to get the most out of your social ad budget: the Facebook pixel.

What is a Facebook pixel?

A Facebook pixel is code that you place on your website. It helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads based on collected data, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to qualified leads—people who have already taken some kind of action on your website.

It works by placing and triggering cookies to track users as they interact with your website and your Facebook ads.


Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to turn Facebook traffic into sales in four simple steps using Hootsuite.

Benefits of using a Facebook pixel

There are several ways you can use data collected from Facebook pixel tracking to refine your Facebook advertising strategy.

Track conversions

The Facebook pixel allows you to monitor how people interact with your website after viewing your Facebook ad.

You can even track customers across their devices so you know, for example, if people tend to see your ads on mobile but switch to a desktop before making a purchase—or maybe it’s the other way around. This information can help you refine your ad strategy and calculate your return on investment.


Pixel tracking data allows you to show targeted ads to people who have already visited your site. You can choose to get really granular here—for example, you can show people an ad for the exact product that they abandoned in a shopping cart or added to a wishlist on your website.

This capability is why you should create a Facebook pixel now, even if you’re not using Facebook ads yet—so you have retargeting capabilities from your very first Facebook ad.

Create lookalike audiences

Facebook can use its targeting data to help you build a lookalike audience of people who have similar likes, interests, and demographics to people who are already interacting with your website, helping you expand your potential customer base.

Run effective ads

Using a Facebook pixel can make your ads more effective by improving the quality of the ads you run, and by improving the targeting of the people who see them.

In addition to improving your ads based on tracking their effectiveness, you can use Facebook pixel data to ensure your ads are seen by the people who are most likely to take your desired action.

For some examples of companies using the Facebook pixel effectively, check out our post 5 Surprising Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Ads.

How to use a Facebook pixel

You can use Facebook pixel tracking to collect data on two different kinds of events: a set of nine standard events that Facebook has predefined, or custom conversions that you set up yourself. An “event” is simply a specified action that a visitor takes on your website.

Standard events

The nine standard Facebook pixel events for which you can simply copy and paste standard Facebook event code are:

View content: Someone lands on a page on your website.
Search: Someone uses the search function to look for something on your site.
Add to cart: Someone adds a product to their shopping cart on your site.
Add to wishlist: Someone adds a product to a wishlist on your site.
Initiate checkout: Someone starts the checkout process to buy something from your site.
Add payment info: Someone enters their payment information in the purchase process on your website.
Make purchase: Someone completes a purchase on your website.
Lead: Someone signs up for a trial or otherwise identifies themselves as a lead on your site.
Complete registration: Someone completes a registration form on your site, such as for a subscription product.

Custom conversions

You can use custom conversion events in place of standard events, or to collect more details than Facebook pixel standard events can provide.

Custom conversions use URL rules based on specific URLS or URL keywords. So, for example, you could use Facebook pixel tracking to record views of a specific category of merchandise on your website, instead of tracking views of all content using the “view content” standard event—perhaps to separate dog owners from cat owners based on which sections of your pet supply website they viewed.

Before you can use Facebook pixel custom conversions, you’ll need to help Facebook understand the details of the conversion event you want to track. To do so, head to your Facebook Ads Manager, then go to Custom Conversions and click Create Custom Conversion to define your custom conversion event using URL rules.

You can also create Facebook pixel custom events by adding more details to standard events using additional bits of code called parameters. These allow you to customize the standard events based on:

How much a conversion event is worth
Product name, category, or ID
The number of items someone adds to their shopping cart
A specific search string
The status of a registration

How to create a Facebook pixel and add it your website

Now that you know what you can track, and why you would want to do so, it’s time to create your pixel and put it to work on your website.

Step 1: Create your pixel

1. From your Facebook Ads Manager, click the hamburger icon (≡) and choose Pixels.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

2. Click Create a Pixel.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

3. Name your pixel, accept the terms, and click Next. When choosing the pixel’s name, keep in mind that you only get one pixel for each ad account, so the name should represent your business, rather than a specific campaign.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

Step 2: Add the pixel code to your website

To put the pixel to work gathering information on your website, you now need to install some code on your webpages. There are two ways to do this depending on the tools you have incorporated into your website. We’ll use the copy-and-paste method here. The other option is to use an integration or tag manager.

1. Click Copy and Paste the Code.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

2. Copy and paste the pixel base code into the header code of your website—that is, post it after the tag but before the tag. You need to paste it into every single page, or into your template if you’re using one. When you’re finished, click Next.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

3. Copy the appropriate event code based on the actions you want to track on your website. For custom conversion code, click Custom Event. This Facebook help article can help you figure out which type of setup is best for you: basic, recommended, or advanced.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

4. Paste the event code in the appropriate location on your webpage based on the action you want to track. It should go just below the tag for a new page that opens as a result of the tracked action (like a thank you page). Or, you can attach the code to specific HTML elements like buttons that trigger actions within a page. When you’re done, click Next.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

Step 3: Confirm your Facebook pixel is working

Before you start relying on the data from your Facebook pixel, you should confirm that it’s working properly.

1. Download the Facebook Pixel Helper extension for Google Chrome.

2. Visit the page where you have installed the Facebook pixel. If the extension finds the pixel, the icon will turn blue, and a popup will indicate how many pixels are found on the page. The popup will also tell you if your pixel is working properly. If not, it will provide error information so you can make corrections.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Facebook for Developers.

Note: The current Facebook pixel combines two older pixel versions: the conversion tracking pixel and custom audience pixel. Facebook discontinued the conversion tracking pixel on February 17, 2017. If you were using the Facebook conversion pixel, you’ll need to switch over to the new Facebook pixel. You can learn how to do so in this Facebook business help article. If you were using the old custom audience pixel, these instructions for Facebook pixels explain how to upgrade to the new version.

Get the most out of your Facebook ad budget with AdEspresso by Hootsuite or Hootsuite Ads. Both are powerful options that make it easy to create, manage, and optimize campaigns.

Learn More

The post The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.


Source: The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It

Instagram Zoom: How to Get the Most From Instagram’s New Feature (Plus Inspiration From 10 Awesome Brands)


Is your demographic on Instagram? If so, and you are using Instagram, this is a great primer on using one of the features – Zoom. Very cool! Although the examples are not bookish, your creative side will help you think of similar examples for your work, I’m sure!


Over the past six months, Instagram has released some exciting updates, from a new logo to longer videos and even a new way to share everyday moments with Instagram Stories.

Recently, Instagram announced another interesting (and long-awaited) feature: the ability to zoom in on photos and videos.

Instagram users can now pinch photos and videos to zoom in and take a closer look. This update has been released for iPhone users and Instagram says this update will be rolling out to Android over the coming weeks, too.

As with any new feature, this opens up a ton of opportunity and some more flexibility with the types of content we can create on Instagram.

We decided to dive in at the deep end and take a look at how this feature works, what brands are already doing with zoom, and how you can use it as well.

Let’s get started.

How to Zoom on Instagram

To zoom on Instagram you simply need to pinch the screen.

The pinch to zoom expression has been a feature on Facebook, Twitter, and many other apps for a while now, and it’s also a common practice within the iPhone camera roll, so it feels like a natural expression for Instagram’s users to adopt.

Here’s a quick example of Instagram zoom in action from PetaPixel:

When you pinch to zoom, the photo or video expands in a lightbox and moves out of the original frame to take over the rest of your screen.

Instagram images are still uploaded at around 1080px in width, so if you zoom in too far the content may look a little grainy. Here’s a quick breakdown of the sizes Instagram uploads photos at:

Square Image: 1080px in width by 1080px in height
Vertical Image: 1080px in width by 1350px in height
Horizontal Image: 1080px in width by 566px in height

(Here’s more info on ideal image sizes for Instagram and all other social networks.)

Why zoom opens up new content opportunities

As marketers, we’re always on the lookout for new ways to create and share engaging content with our audience, and Instagram’s zoom feature provides a great opportunity to do just that.

Zoom allows us to get a little creative with our content and also makes Instagram posts a little more interactive. Instead of simply viewing an image or watching a video, users can now zoom around and choose to focus in on certain aspects of our posts.

Some content will naturally entice users to zoom; a beautiful beach scene or a shot of a well-known landmark may pique curiosity, for example. But in most cases, we’ll need to give users a reason to take a closer look at our content. Zooming can be a way to enhance your Instagram content, create fun competitions and games and also encourage Instagrammers to pause and take a moment to engage with your posts.

Here’s a quick look at how 10 brands have already started to use Instagram’s zoom feature within their content.

10 Examples of brands using Zoom

Note: We’ve tried to illustrate how the zoom feature looks with each example. If you’d like to check them out on Instagram, we’ve linked to each post in the accompanying descriptions. Click on each link from a mobile device, open it in the Instagram app and then pinch and zoom across the screen.

1. British Airways


British Airways shared this lovely photo of Berlin as a way to start a discussion around city breaks in the German city. By zooming in, users can check out some of Berlin’s most popular sights and landmarks.

The airline also made good use of the caption to encourage zooming:

#Zoom in for a closer look. Where will your next #CityBreak be? Whether it’s iconic #sights, the buzz of a traditional market or the best in local cuisine, city breaks are one of our favourite journeys.

2. Bud Light


Bud Light turned to Instagram to reveal the flavor of one of their new beverages. Using clever copywriting in the caption “Our new flavor is just a pinch away,” the brand encouraged users to zoom in and discover their new flavor.

3. Primark


Primark used Instagram’s zoom feature to showcase its latest product releases. By zooming in, Instagram users can scan through the products and take a closer look. This was a fun and unique way to let followers check out their latest stock and made great use of Instagram’s newest feature.

4. BMW España


In this Instagram post, BMW shared a photo of a driver at the wheel of their new M4 model. The caption asks, “How fast is our #BMWM4 going through the circuit? #Zoom to guess.”

5. FedEx


I’m a huge fan of FedEx’s Instagram feed. They use the platform to show FedEx’s delivery drivers, vans, and planes out delivering parcels and giving followers a behind the scenes glimpse of how their parcels arrive. In this example, FedEx gave followers a view out of a plane window and allowed them to zoom in on the sunset and a view of another FedEx plane.

6. General Electric


General Electric shared this photo from Pulitzer prize-winning photographer, Vincent Laforet. It features a bird’s-eye view of GE’s Tier 4 locomotive as it snakes along the Transit Test Track at the Transportation Technology Center.

In the caption, GE asks Instagrammer’s to take a closer look and asks: “How many rail cars can you spot?”

7. Reyka Vodka


Icelandic brand, Reyka Vodka, used zoom to celebrate some of its country’s most famous landmarks. The beautifully put-together illustration features a small map of Iceland, which when zoomed, reveals the landmarks and one of Reyka’s branded bottles.

To encourage users to zoom, Reyka turned to the 🔍 emoji and also used the hashtag #instazoom.

8. The Cheesecake Factory


The Cheesecake Factory used zoom as a way to turn an Instagram post into an interactive game. The post features 12 images of various desserts available at the Cheesecake Factory and asks viewers which cheesecake is featured twice. By zooming, users can take an up-close look at each cake and see which one features more than once.

9. Noosa yogurt


Noosa Yogurt used zoom to reveal the words hidden within a speech bubble. This post is captioned, “What do cows say when they play hide-and-seek? Hint: pinch and zoom to find out.”

10. MorningStar Farms


Instagram also allows you to zoom in on video content and this example from MorningStar Farms is one of the first I’ve seen where the brand encourages the user to zoom on a video. The video itself is a short animation of the crop growing up from a seed, and it’s captioned: “Zoom in to see how a something small can make a big impact. Like this small seed.”

How to use zoom in your content: 3 best practices

As the above examples illustrate, zooming can be a really fun, creative way to make your Instagram content stand out. But how can you use it in your day-to-day social media schedule? Here are some early thoughts:

1. Use it sparingly

New features tend to be overused at the beginning, and if every post you share asks users to zoom in, the novelty may wear off. However, when used sparingly, it feels like zoom will be a great tool to have in your arsenal.

Be sure to experiment with various types of posts, like some of the examples above, and use your creativity. But be careful not to overuse this feature and instead only use it in special instances.

2. Give your followers a reason to zoom

“With the zoom feature, there needs to be some inherent reason to look at an image closer to discover something, but that action of discovery still needs to connect to the brands messaging in some way or it’ll just feel like a gimmick,” Steve O’Connell, ecd and partner at Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners, explained to AdWeek.

When it comes to planning the types of content you’d like to encourage users to zoom on, give clear thought to the “why” behind it. Why will a user want to zoom? How can we entice them to stop scrolling their feed and spend some time with our content?

3. Stay on brand

Jumping on the latest trends and updates can occasionally lead to content that goes off brand and moves away from a business’ overall social media strategy. The FedEx post included in the list above is a great example of staying true to your brand. FedEx’s Instagram is built around taking followers on a journey and sharing how their parcels go from A to B. If FedEx were to jump into a scavenger hunt with a parcel hidden somewhere in the post, this probably wouldn’t feel true to their brand.

Over to you

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this much anticipated Instagram feature. Have you used zoom much to get a closer look at any photos or videos on Instagram?

I’d also love to discuss the opportunities their feature presents to brands as well. Have you created any content specifically with zoom in mind? Are there any more great examples of brands using zoom that we have missed?

Feel free to jump in the comments and I’d be excited to chat with you there.

Source: Instagram Zoom: How to Get the Most From Instagram’s New Feature (Plus Inspiration From 10 Awesome Brands)

Now You Can See Your Goodreads Friends’ Updates – Right in Kindle for iOS (U.S. Members)


Ed Note: Since I’m Canadian, I can’t see this feature. For those of you in the US – can you? And what do you think of it?

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge”
Are you a Kindle reader? We have more good news for you! Today, we’re introducing Goodreads Updates inside Kindle for iOS. Seeing and discussing what your friends are reading is now just one tap away in the same app where you read your books.Books, Books, and More Books!With Goodreads Updates in Kindle for iOS, you can see your friends’ latest updates about books they are reading and want to read, reviews and ratings of books they’ve read, quotes that were significant to them in the books they’re reading, and more.Want additional ideas on books to read? (And why wouldn’t you?!) Right underneath each update, you’ll also see the other books your friend has added to that same shelf. For example, if your friend just marked a new book as “Want to Read,” you’ll see and can quickly swipe through the other books she wants to read. It’s all designed for serendipity – helping you find more delightful moments when you discover a book you might have missed, or are reminded of a book you’ve been meaning to read.

Spark a Discussion with Likes and CommentsNotice a friend has started reading one of your favorite books? Like it and let her know. Use the comments to ask questions, share a different perspective, or have a “you too?” moment with your friends.

Instantly Start ReadingWe often hear from Goodreads members that learning about new books from friends is one of the top ways they discover new books to read. Has a book your friend is reading caught your interest? With one tap you can download a free sample…and then just start reading. ☺Tip: When using Kindle for iOS, remember that you can’t buy books directly inside the app. Here’s a handy reminder on how to buy Kindle books on your iPhone or iPad:1) Open the Kindle Store in Safari (http://amazon.com/Kindle-eBooks). Better yet – save it as a bookmark on your home screen.2) Search for your book3) Tap “Buy now with 1-click”I want to use it now! How do I get it?1) Download the latest version of the free Kindle for iOS app.2) If you haven’t already, link your Goodreads account to the app by going to Settings in the app. Alternatively, click here to go to Goodreads.com, and scroll to the Amazon section to connect your accounts. 3) Open up the app and click on “goodreads” in the top navigation bar to see your Goodreads Updates.Didn’t you just add some other new Goodreads + Kindle features last month?Yes! This is the latest in a series of new features making reading with Kindle even better for Goodreads members. Check out Auto-Updates on Kindle for iOS and Kindle Notes & Highlights on Goodreads—stay tuned for more to come.How does this work with the Goodreads app?Both apps work in harmony with each other. Just as we’ve done with Kindle E-readers and Fire tablets, we’re bringing the Goodreads features most closely associated with reading right into the Kindle for iOS experience. When you want to use more of the rich set of features Goodreads has to offer, just open up the Goodreads iOS app. Remember that to access Goodreads features on Kindle for iOS, Kindle E-readers, and Fire tablets, you need to link your Goodreads account to Amazon. To do this on Goodreads.com, click here and scroll to the Amazon section.How do I control what my friends see from me in their Goodreads Updates?As always, you have full control over what you share on Goodreads. Books, quotes, reviews and other items only appear if you decide to share them. And any time you want to double check what you have shared, you can go to your Goodreads profile on the Goodreads apps or on Goodreads.com. You can find more information here.When will Goodreads Updates be available for Kindle for iOS users outside the U.S.?We will announce additional marketplaces as we roll them out. Currently, Goodreads Updates is available for U.S. customers who have an Amazon.com account and have linked their Goodreads and Amazon accounts. (You can link them here.)When will Goodreads be integrated into Kindle for Android?

Source: Now You Can See Your Goodreads Friends’ Updates – Right in Kindle for iOS (U.S. Members)

Facebook to Change News Feed to Focus on Friends and Family: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Are you looking for more information on Facebook – what’s new? This article should keep you going with new ideas for a while! Enjoy!

Source: Facebook to Change News Feed to Focus on Friends and Family: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

The goal of Facebook’s News Feed is to show people the stories that are most relevant to them. That’s no small task when you have over 1.65 billion people to keep happy and over 1,500 stories per day to prioritize for each of those individual users. Now, Facebook has announced one of their most significant News Feed shuffles.

On Wednesday, Facebook shared that the News Feed algorithm is going to shift so that it will more favorably promote content posted by the friends and family of users.

These changes are likely to mean that content posted by brands and publishers will show up less prominently in News Feeds. In the announcement, the company explained their priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.

Back in April 2015, Facebook made a similar algorithm update trying to ensure that stories posted directly by the friends you care about will be higher up in News Feed, so you are less likely to miss them. But based on feedback, Facebook understands that people are still worried about missing important updates from the friends.

This update is likely to affect all types of content posted by brands and publishers, including links, videos, live videos and photos. Facebook said it anticipates that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for many Pages who’s traffic comes directly through Page posts.

The update will have less of an impact, however, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it. Links or Page content shared by friends or content your friends interact with frequently will still appear higher in the feed.

For example, the post from my personal Facebook account (on the right below) would be more likely to appear above the post from Buffer’s Page (on the left) in the News Feed:


What do users expect from the News Feed?

Facebook’s success is built on getting people the stories that matter to them most.

To help make sure you don’t miss the friends and family posts you are likely to care about, Facebook try to put those posts toward the top of your News Feed. The News Feed learns and adapts over time based on the content you interact with the most, too. For example, if you tend to like photos from your sister, they’ll start putting her posts closer to the top of your feed so you won’t miss what she posted while you were away.

Facebook research has also shown that, after friends and family, people have two other strong expectations when they come to News Feed:

The News Feed should inform. People expect the stories in their feed to be meaningful to them — and we have learned over time that people value stories that they consider informative. Something that one person finds informative or interesting may be different from what another person finds informative or interesting — this could be a post about a current event, a story about your favorite celebrity, a piece of local news, or a recipe. Facebook’s algorithm is always trying to better understand what is interesting and informative to you personally, so those stories appear higher up in your feed.
The News Feed should entertain. Facebook also found that people enjoy their feeds as a source of entertainment. For some people, that’s following a celebrity or athlete; for others,  it’s watching Live videos and sharing funny photos with their friends. Again, the company’s News Feed algorithm tries to understand and predict what posts on Facebook you find entertaining to make sure you don’t miss out on those.

The makeup of a successful social network (and why this update is essential for Facebook)

Despite its venture into publishing and partnerships with large news and entertainment brands, at its heart, Facebook is still a place for friends. And without solidifying our connections with those closest to us, Facebook could face struggles to keep its 1.65 billion monthly active users coming back.

To understand the inner-workings of social networks and what makes us keep using them, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology studied networks like Friendster and Myspace with the goal of figuring out what factors can be detrimental to a social network.

As explained over at Wired:

They found that when the time and effort (the costs) associated with being a member of a social network outweigh the benefits, then a decline in users becomes likely. If one person leaves, their friends become more likely to leave and as more people leave, this can lead to a cascading collapse in membership.

Networks like Friendster and Myspace were the Facebook of their day. Both had tens, and eventually hundreds, of millions of registered users, but what the study found is that the bonds between users weren’t particularly strong. Many users had very few close connections, and it appears there’s a direct correlation between how connected we feel to our friends and family and our affiliation with each network.

If Facebook users are worried about missing important updates from the people they care about most, then their affiliation with the network could begin to decline as they find other ways to stay connected. And once user begins to leave, or become un-engaged, it could have a waterfall effect on the network. David Garcia, a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, explains:

“First the users in the outer cores start to leave, lowering the benefits of inner cores, cascading through the network towards the core users, and thus unraveling.”

You can see how a social network unravels in the below graphic (Friendster is used in the image):

For Facebook, the News Feed is the most integral part of their product to make us feel connected with those we care about. And as such, it’s important for Facebook to keep the content we want to see the most at the top of the feed.

How will this update impact business Pages?

The changes will affect all types of content posted by Pages, including links, videos, live videos and photos.

In their “News Feed Values” shared alongside this announcement, Facebook made it clear that content from friends and family will come first. And the company also highlighted the importance of authentic communication and being inclusive of all perspectives and view points without favoring specific kinds of sources — or ideas.

We expect that this update may cause organic post reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages. The impact will vary for every page and will greatly depend on the composition of your audience or the way in which your content is shared on Facebook. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts.

As with all Facebook algorithm updates, it may take a little time to determine exactly what will continue to work and how to increase organic reach (though Facebook feels like it’s shifting more towards a pay-to-play market for businesses). 

One tactic that could become increasingly important is the amplification of brand content. With Facebook favoring content shared by users rather than Pages, it feels essential to find new and innovative ways to encourage your audience to share your content directly to Facebook. Ensuring your content is discoverable away for the Facebook News Feed could be another key play as well.

It also feels important to keep a focus on what people are looking for from the News Feed. As mentioned earlier, aside from friends and family, Facebook users turn to the News Feed to be informed and entertained. With those goals in mind, it’s worth thinking about how the content you create for Facebook can satisfy those desires.

Over to you

In their announcement, Facebook says their work is “only 1 percent finished” so it feels like there are plenty more twists and turns ahead for the News Feed.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this update and how it may affect the way you use Facebook and the types of content your share? Please feel free to leave a comment below and I’m excited to continue the conversation with you. 

Longer Tweets Are Coming: All You Need to Know About Twitter’s 140 Character Update

Do you struggle a bit with Twitter? There are significant changes coming – I hope you enjoy this article on the changes that you likely already see and how to use them! 

Twitter is about to make a big change to the way tweets work.

From today, it’s reported that Twitter is cutting back on what types of content will use up its 140-character limit.

It’s expected that @names in replies, media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) and quoted Tweets will no longer be counted against the valuable 140 characters that make up a tweet. This allows for richer public conversations that are easier to follow on Twitter and ensures people can attach media to tweets without sacrificing the characters they have to express themselves.

Twitter first announced this update back in May but didn’t quite confirm a date when these changes would reach Twitter’s 300m+ users. However, The Verge has now confirmed it’s expected these updates could be launched today (September 19th).

Editor’s note: At the time of publishing, these updates aren’t live. We’ll add a note here when they’re publicly available to all Twitter users 🙂


What’s changing? Full details on Twitter’s 140 character update

This update has been much anticipated by many Twitter users and on their blog, Twitter shared the full details of what’s changing:

Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.
Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!
Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.
Goodbye, [email protected]: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the [email protected]” convention, which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.) If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.


How will ‘new’ tweets be displayed

The diagram below, shared by Twitter on their dev blog, shows the high-level change to Tweets:


This diagram shows that when displayed to users, @mentions, URLs and media will all appear outside of the tweet itself, leaving a full 140 characters to play with when composing the text for your tweet.

Also, when a tweet is posted in reply to another account, the name will be displayed in a format similar to below graphic, giving the feel of a threaded conversation (when a Tweet is in reply to multiple people, the name of the person whom the author is directly replying to should be prioritized):


5 Ways to Make Full Use of Twitter’s 140 Characters

1. Provide more context in replies

One huge benefit of this update is the fact that user @names will no longer count against your 140 characters. Now, whenever you start a tweet in reply to another user, you still have room to say everything you wanted to in your tweet, without having to consider the length of their Twitter handle.

This opens up more space to provide additional details that previously may have taken a couple of tweets. For example, if you’re responding to a customer service question, you could share your reply in 140 characters, but also add a GIF saying “Thanks for reaching out” or a screencast video to further explain how to fix their support issue.

2. Utilize visuals more often

Visuals are a great way to stand out on Twitter. Studies have shown that visual and media attachments on tweets are a big factor in boosting engagement and retweets. One study by Twitter found that photos average a 35% boost in Retweets and videos get a 28% boost:

However, until now, it’s been tricky to convey the message you’d like in your tweet text and also include a media attachment in 140 characters.

When these changes are rolled out, Twitter users will be able to utilize the full 140 characters to share their copy and still include media, without infringing on that limit. For marketers, this means more opportunity to include stunning visuals, videos, product demos, and more within our tweets. For customer support teams, it also provides the chance to share additional content such as screenshots and screencasts to help customers with their support tickets.

3. No more need for the [email protected] to begin tweets

These changes bring an end to a long-standing Twitter peculiarity where tweets that began with usernames were visible only to users who followed both the person tweeting and the person named. This lead to many users beginning conversations or tweets that mention other users with a ‘.’ before the @name, for example:


This quirk has always been a little confusing for some of Twitter’s users, both new and old. And Jack Dorsey hopes this change will help to make Twitter a bit easier to grasp: “Unfortunately those rules are hidden, and then they find out later,” Dorsey said to The Verge. “So then they have to learn this weird syntax that kind of looks janky. So we want to take that away first and foremost to remove some of the confusing aspects of the service.”

4. Quote yourself to share longer thoughts

It’s become fairly common to break up a tweet into a couple of sections to fully elaborate and share thoughts. However, with Twitter’s quote option, you can share two tweets that are intertwined and easy to follow – meaning users won’t have to scroll in the timeline of visit your profile to see the first part of your tweet. This gives you 280 characters to play with.

How does it work? Simply share your first tweet, and then quote that tweet and add the rest of your message in the 140 characters available to you in the second tweet.

5. Opportunity for better conversation

Twitter, at its heart, is all about conversation and connecting with others. One of the most important factors in this update is that we now have the opportunity for better conversation on the platform. With usernames not counting against character counts, we can fully embrace the 140 characters available to us to express ourselves.

Previously, having a conversation with two or more participants could become a little difficult as usernames could take up anywhere from 5-20+ characters, leaving little room to get your thoughts across.

In an interview about these changes and how they’ll benefit conversations on Twitter, Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, told The Verge:

“Generally, we want to make sure we’re encouraging a whole lot more conversations on Twitter. This is the most notable change we’ve made in recent times around conversation in particular, and around giving people the full expressiveness of the 140 characters. I’m excited to see even more dialog because of this.”

How this update affects Buffer

Here at Buffer, we’re keen to ensure everything works as it should when Twitter roll these changes out. The updates have a significant impact on tweets, and we’re working to have these changes in place when Twitter open these character count adjustments up to the public.

Over to you

It’s incredibly exciting to see these changes come to Twitter and I can’t wait to see how everyone begins to make the most of their 140 characters alongside all the great media-based content that’s shared on Twitter.

I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on these updates in the comments below: What are you most excited about? Will these changes affect how you use Twitter? I’d love to continue the conversation with you. 

Source: Longer Tweets Are Coming: All You Need to Know About Twitter’s 140 Character Update