Did you step away from the computer for a coffee? Swing around to the supermarket to grab the week’s groceries? Get your daily dose of 8 hours’ sleep?
You then probably missed that Instagram hit 700 million followers, Facebook announced work on an augmented reality camera and/or that FaceApp is the app you need right now.
It’s ok though, our eyes stayed glued to the screen and we are here to bring you up to speed on the all the big announcements that you need to know in social media.
Having launched just seven years ago, Instagram reached 700 million followers as of 26 April. For those of you who are not mathematically inclined, that’s 100 million followers each year and they show no signs of slowing down.
It was only nine months ago that the network hit the 500 million milestone. Six months is how long it took them to get 600 million. Four is how long it took them to 700 million.
The implementation of a raft of new features like Instagram Stories and Direct are seen as drivers of this rapid growth. In fact, Instagram Stories reached 200 million daily active users earlier this month eclipsing the 161 million reported total daily users of Snap Inc.
The highly anticipated F8 conference from the undisputed social network champion, Facebook, took place in late April. Some of the key take outs from the conference:
· The road ahead isn’t paved with gold. The road ahead isn’t even real. As predicted, augmented reality took front and centre at the conference, with Mark Zuckerberg acknowledging its ability to cause a tectonic shift in marketing i.e. imagine PokemonGo monetised. The first step here has come in the form of a beta camera effect which can turn 2D to the 3D within your camera view.
· Never happy with just a slice of the pie, Facebook Spaces brings virtual reality closer to the mass market, showcasing clear advertorial and consumer capabilities with interactive, 360 camera functional, environments.
· Helping the little guy. The network is introducing a ‘Smart Reply’ function which allows brands to use AI to interact with their social community for frequently asked questions.
Other exciting updates include the teasing of enhanced Facebook Analytics which will make it easier to show the consumer path to purchase for clients, and a big investment towards Messenger business bots.
The Dark Ages
How often do you check your phone? Once? Twice? Five times a minute? The commute to work these days seems to be a wave of faceless people, as our noses stay buried in the smart phone. Is this the future to be? Maybe not.
An American study revealed that those aged 12-17 are taking more and more time away from their screens, with nearly 60 per cent taking a break at some point. Over half said their breaks last about a week or even longer.
On the flip side, 35 per cent said that they NEVER take a break…*sad face*
Facebook has begun testing a revamped news feed that is made up of content from brands that you would likely to be interested in. This would be an add-on for users, and complement the existing news feed. They say anyway.
After the successful launch of Instagram stories, Facebook launched their own version. Initial reception has not been positive, as many critics point out the platform’s copycat behaviour. Until recently, Snapchat was the undisputed king of disappearing stories. Further, the user base isn’t as focused to the younger demographic as Instagram and Snapchat which means it may struggle to garner traction.
Want to see what you look like as an older woman? What about as a man? FaceApp is the free iPhone app that is making the rounds, with 700,000 people reportedly downloading it daily across the world. It is the number one app in Australia and 20 other countries at the moment (at the time of writing). Go check it out – freaky!