This month was an interesting one in the world of social media, Twitter rolled out new updates and Google held its annual IO conference. Here are four of the major updates that happened in May, and my take on how they affect brands and users alike.
IF TWITTER AND VIBER HAD A BABY
A new app has surfaced, called Talkshow, and has been dubbed the lovechild of Twitter and Viber. The app basically presents a platform for people to text publically, like a live open forum. A person can host a “talk-show” just like the ones we see on TV. This individual can decide the topic of the conversation and people join to give their opinions. Users can interact through various ways, from posting videos to sending GIFs to even co-hosting an ongoing session. So how could brands use Talkshow? It just brings them one step closer to their consumers. By hosting forums like the infamous Reddit AMAs (Ask Me Anything), brands can show their commitment to open dialogue with their audiences. It allows them to get instant feedback on their service or product. In this world of open communication, barriers between brands and their users are breaking down and Talkshow could be just one way of fostering brand love.
TWITTER WANTS YOU TO CONNECT AND FACEBOOK WANTS YOU TO DISCOVER
Twitter rolled out a “connect” tab, following in the footsteps of other major platforms such as Instagram. This tab will suggest accounts to follow based on their preferences, likes or accounts you currently follow, among others. Moreover, the app will offer an explanation as to why these suggestions are there. Finding accounts on Twitter and knowing who to follow has never been easy, however this new option will make it easier for brands to get exposure. Based on their target audience preferences, the connect tab will ensure that brands will show up as an account to connect with. Also, joining the exploration realm is Facebook with its new discovery tab added to the groups’ option to make it easier for users to find what they are looking for. Whether you’re looking for good restaurants in town, fitness tips or parenting advice, the discover tab will show you available groups relevant to what you are looking for.
MORE FROM TWITTER
Brand managers rejoice. Twitter has really stepped up its game this month by announcing that it will eliminate media and replies from the 140-character limitations. This is very helpful for business and brands as most of their tweets incorporate both which leaves very limited place for description. So you can say goodbye to any restrictions that you’ve faced in the past while posting from your brands’ page. According to HubSpot, tweets with images received 18% more clickthroughs, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets, so this is an important step in ensuring that content on Twitter is more engaging.
GOOGLE IO CONFERENCE RINGS IN THE FUTURE
Google held its annual conference the Google IO 2016 and announced some pretty cool updates. Some of the most interesting developments included the introduction of the Google Assistant app and a new product called Instant Apps. The search giant showed their commitment to grow their VPA capabilities with the Google Assistant app. Backed by their natural language processing proficiency, Assistant is meant to help you with everyday tasks, putting Google in more direct competition with Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. In his keynote, Google CEO Sundar Pichai described it as such: “We think of it as a conversational assistant, we want users to have an ongoing, two-way dialogue with Google … to help you get things done in your real world.” However, one of the most interesting updates is Instant Apps, which allows users to use an app without having to download it. How is this beneficial exactly? For users, it means that you don’t have to worry about downloading multiple apps to consume different types of content, saving you time and space on your phone. This is not necessarily a bad thing on the brand side. It gives consumers a taste of what the app is like, which could convert to a download. For now it’s only available on Android, but it would be interesting to see how Google will be tracking usage of this and whether they’ll be sharing this information with developers. You can check out how it works below:
This sums up the month of May, catch me next month in this space to stay up to date with the major news in social media.