Introducing a Simpler Twitter

Twitter is introducing a fresher look with a new interface, making the platform feel lighter, faster, and easier to use. After receiving feedback and ideas from their fans, they've kept the things they love and took a new approach to fix the things they don't. And no, you still can't edit tweets. 

The improved design revamps the Twitter timeline by turning the previous square profile pictures into circles and reduces the tabs at the bottom of the app for less clutter and easier browsing. Additionally, a new navigation sidebar will now contain a user's profile, additional accounts, settings, and privacy – all in one place.

Twitter also changed the interaction buttons on tweets to "avoid confusion for new users." The 'reply' button is now a more recognizable message bubble instead of the original arrow icon. 

Also included in the update:

  • Links to articles and websites now open in Safari’s viewer in the Twitter app so you can easily access accounts on websites you’re already signed into.
  • Tweets now update instantly with reply, Retweet, and like counts so you can see conversations as they’re happening – live. (Mobile only)
  • Additional accessibility choices such as increased color contrast and the option to always open supported links in Safari Reader view. (iOS only)

Here's the new look:

Of course, the update doesn't come without a little distaste from Twitter users. Some are claiming that the circular icon are visually unappealing on the timeline. Others expressed that the new icons are restrictive to profiles that use text, logos, or QR codes for an avatar. 

What do you think about Twitter's new look? Let us know in the comments below! 

Facebook Lets You Add More Than Just Photos to Albums

Facebook is updating its photo album feature this month that will allow users to add videos, check-ins and text, apart from the usual photos.

Now, users can organize their memories into one place, essentially a feature that lets you create a digital scrapbook of all kinds of media. Facebook described the purpose of the update to TechCrunch, writing “Gone on a surf trip recently? Share videos of you tacking your waves, your check-in at the pier, a photo of your board and more – in a single album.”

Along with the new update to Albums, Facebook integrated an option to follow (or unfollow) your friend's albums. This feature allows users to see everything added to an album through notifications (that can be turned on and off,) just in case the updates on their news feeds. 

Similar to the iPhone's "Photos" and Google's "Photos," users can invite their friends to add their own content to share with the group. Users can also mark an album as a favorite, which lists the assortment directly on your profile page. 

The Albums update has already rolled out for desktop and Android users, but iOS users will see have to wait for theirs. Stay tuned! 

Twitter Direct Messages: Add Buttons to Drive Action

Need a way to create a better customer service experience on Twitter?

The company is rolling out a new feature that will allow businesses to attach buttons inside their direct message conversations. The buttons are designed to encourage followers to take actions -- like composing a tweet, visiting their website, or following the businesses' Twitter account, among other things. 

Up to three buttons can be attached to direct messages and they can be used to open any web URL, including links to other features on Twitter. Businesses can also customize the call-to-action text on a button, including the use of emojis. 

A few businesses are already getting creative with these buttons. For example, Focus Features has a bot that tweets movie trailers and they added buttons to their direct messages for users to buy movie tickets, join the company’s rewards program, or get connected to a human in order to get customer service questions answers. For their new movie The Beguilded, the bot is inviting users to play a trivia game to get more excited about the release and encourage them to share their score on Twitter. 

The feature is one of several improvements Twitter has made to its Direct Messaging experience, which includes Direct Message Cards, welcome messages, quick replies, location sharing, and more. 

Businesses can access the new feature via Twitter’s developer API.

Does your business use Twitter bots for direct messaging? Have you tried adding CTA buttons? Let us know in the comments! 

4 Tips For Better Facebook Video Engagement

Facebook videos have become an important and powerful medium for both people and businesses. With over 100 million hours of video being watched every day, now's the time to take a closer look at Facebook video and how to use them to engage more fans. Here are a few tips and practices for better video engagement on Facebook:

1. Find the audience for your videos

People are more likely to pay attention to content that's relevant to their interests. Consider the options that Facebook has to help you share your videos to your to the most relevant audience.

Once your video is uploaded, there's an option in the lower-left corner to set your Preferred Audience (before you publish). This allows you to reach people based on their interests and the Pages they've liked. Another helpful feature is the Audience Restrictions option, which allows your to limit who sees your videos. 

2. Highlight key moments in your copy

Facebook recommends “pulling out a key quote or moment from the video as the text component of your post” in order to set up the expectations of what will be seen in the video. This is a great way to grab people's attention as they scroll through their News Feed. Check out these examples:

3. Keep mobile in mind

With more than 92% of Facebook users using the platform on their mobile every day, it's important that your video format is suited to mobile, such as a vertical or square video. If you want people to watch the end of your video, recent studies have proved that creating short videos of 15 seconds or less can significantly drive up video completions. 

4. Tell your story without sound

Many Facebook users still watch videos with sound off, so consider adding captions to help people better understand your video, otherwise, you're likely to lose that viewer. When you're uploading your video to Facebook, there's an option to upload a SRT file of your caption or add them manually by editing the video.  

3 Instagram Apps to Enhance Your Content

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Over 1 million advertisers worldwide use Instagram to share their stories and drive business results. This means more competition, and sometimes, less attention. Here are a few tools that can help your business stand out with creative content:

1. Layout

Layout is an app made by Instagram that lets you combine, flip and mirror multiple photos into a single image for a fun take on your photos. Choose photos from your camera roll or use the built-in Photo Booth and pick the layout you like best. The app is available for both iOS and Android users. A few features include:

* Re-mix up to 9 of your photos at a time to create fun, personalized layouts.
* Use the Faces tab to quickly find photos with people in them. 
* Capture the moment in Photo Booth mode with quick, spontaneous shots. 
* Save your layouts to your camera roll and share them seamlessly to Instagram or other networks.
* Easily see the last 30 photos you've selected in the Recents tab. 
* Pair your layouts with Instagram's filters and creative tools afterwards to make them stand out even more. 

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2. Hyperlapse

With Hyperlaspe, you can create smooth time lapse videos to share with your followers. The in-app stabilization technology lets you capture non-shaky videos that was previously impossible without a tripod. A few features include:

* Shoot handheld time lapse videos in motion— while you're walking, running, jumping or falling.
* Smooth out your video for cinematic quality with automatic stabilization. 
* Speed up your hyperlapse to be up to 12 times the speed.
* Share your videos seamlessly on Instagram and Facebook or save them to your camera roll to share anywhere, anytime.
* Start filming immediately with a simple design that gets out of the way of your creativity

3. Boomerang

Boomerang is another great tool made by Instagram that lets users create captivating mini videos that loop back and forth. Boomerangs require movement, whether that's an object or a person is totally up to you. Tap the button once and the app will shoot a burst of 10 photos that turns into an awesome mini-video! Some features include:

* Take mini videos of your life and yourself using the front and back facing camera. 
* There's just one button! The app takes 10 photos and stitches them together, speeds up the video and smooths out any bumps, then loops it back and forth.
* Share your videos on Instagram and Facebook right from the app, or share them later from your camera roll.

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Know Your Audience: Top Social Network Demographics (Infographic)

Knowing your audience is the key to developing and executing a social media strategy that will deliver results and create meaningful relationships.

What are the demographics? Where do they hang out online? 

These are questions you need to answer to help you create irresistible content that grabs their attention and inspires them to connect, converse and engage with you and your brand. 

The team at Trackx have created this new infographic which provides an overview of some of the key audience stats for all the major social platforms. Social media is all about the people. Now, it's time for you to take part in the conversation. 

 

 

 

Introducing Facebook Frame Studio

Facebook Frame Studio lets developers around the world create and upload simple, static overlaid image filters and digital frames to an image that appears in the Facebook camera. The tool, similar to Snapchat filters, gives your friends, family, and fans a new way to show creativity, enhance an image and show people what they are doing. 

Image: TechCrunch

Image: TechCrunch

For now, everyone has access to creating and submitting Facebook frames using Frame Studio. You even have the ability to target your frame by adding a location, setting a start and end date, and including keywords. Once approved, your frame will appear in the Facebook camera or in Profile frames for use. 

Image: Facebook

Image: Facebook

If your business is interested in creating their own branded Facebook frame, you'll need to create your design in software like Photoshop. You can create one or several designs to place throughout the frame. Once your design is ready, open the Facebook Camera Effects home page. Click Create a Frame in the upper-right corner to open the Frame Studio tool.

The next step is to upload your design and place it on the blank canvas, where you'll have the ability to click and drag the corners to scale to your desired size. On the next page, you'll name your frame and select the owner. Choose a name that's clear and concise, as friends and followers will be able to search for your frame effect by name. Then choose the owner of the frame (either personal or business). 

The last section will require you to choose who sees your frame and scheduling. This can be set by place, landmark, or point of interest. Choose a start and end date for when your frame will be available and submit. Once approved, your friends and followers will be able to use it. 

What has your been experience like with Facebook's new tools? Have you tried out Stories or Frame Studio? Let us know in the comments below! 

3 Examples of Successful Instagram Stories Ads

Back in March, Instagram launched a new way for brands to target and reach audiences across the app's 600 million users. Instagram Stories ads appear between stories as users swipe through, offering them an immersive, full-screen experience. 

With the rapid growth of Stories, companies are taking advantage of these new ad tools to drive sales, showcase products, and gain awareness of their brand. Here are 3 examples of how brands are using Instagram Story Ads:

Fido

Fido, a wireless carrier in Canada, used Instagram Stories ads to help launch their new 'Fido Roam' service; a way keep travelers connected while they're abroad. The initial campaign featured a highly-immersive video that they wanted to get in front of 'travel hungry millennials.' 

Instagram says Fido researched the most effective creative elements of the campaign with AdParlor's Intelligence Tags Technology, giving them more insight into the best background colors and images to use to boost performance.

From Instagram

From Instagram

Red Bull

To promote their 'Flying Illusion Show', Red Bull used Instagram Stories ads to run a video campaign featuring striking visuals and exciting breakdancers. With the new ad platform, they were able to target cities in Germany to reach as many people as possible.

From Instagram

From Instagram

Target

For those who use the more static route, still-photos can be very effective. Target used Instagram Stories ads to show the image of a board game, its name, and the price. The ad is quick and to the point, and the image is attention-grabbing enough to create product awareness and get users to look up the item after the ad disappears. 

Have you tried to create your own Instagram Story Ad? Was it successful? Let us know in the comments below! 

Facebook Messenger: Destination Ads

Messenger gives your business a fast and convenient way for people to get in touch to schedule appointments, ask questions about your products and services and more.

There are two types of Facebook Messenger ads:

  1. Facebook Messenger as a destination
  2. Facebook Messenger as a placement

Today, we'll talk about Facebook Messenger as a destination.

Messenger as a Destination

Destination ads appear in the newsfeed with the same look and feel as a regular ad. When clicked on, your image, video or slideshow ad and CTA button will directly open up a Messenger thread. People will then see a copy of your ad + message text and are required to send a message to the business to start the conversation.

Get Started

Note: You cannot use Instagram as a placement option when selecting Messenger as a destination

  1. Go to ads creation in Ads Manager or Power Editor
  2. Choose Traffic or Conversions objective (Note: Traffic may appear as Send people to your website for some advertisers)
  3. Choose your campaign name and click Continue
  4. Choose your audience, budget and placement.
  5. At the ad level, choose your format. You can choose Carousel, Single Image, Single Video or Slideshow format
  6. Choose the Page you want to connect
  7. Choose Messenger as your destination
  8. Choose a welcome message. When people click on your ad, they will automatically be directed to Messenger and receive a copy of your ad and the welcome message.
  9. After you've reviewed your ad, click Place Order

How to Use Messenger Ads

Facebook reported that more than one in two people say they’re more likely to shop with a business they can message, and 67% of people expect to message businesses more in the next two years. This is where destination ads can help overcome any barriers that may restrict your customer from making a purchase. 

  • Promote your new offerings: Use your ad to promote new or seasonal offerings and engage your customers in a personal real-time conversation. 
  • Offer a discount: Use destination ads that open a Messenger conversation as a unique way to provide a coupon code and a personalized experience for your customers.

Check out the graphic below. These numbers show us that as marketers, we have an opportunity to tap into a massive channel to help grow our business and customer service. 

16 Video Marketing Statistics You Need to Know

In today's fast-paced world, video marketing is one of the few types of visual content that provides the value, relevance and flexibility consumers want.

With the rise of video content, businesses are looking to take advantage of this opportunity to better connect with consumers, engage with them and convert them to paying customers. It is also a great tool for businesses and professionals to showcase their brand, vision, products and services for maximum outreach. 

Last year, Facebook announced that its video viewership doubled from 4 billion daily views to 8 billion daily views. These staggering numbers go to show why video is becoming a critical component of every company's marketing strategy. 

In a recent study, Vidyard analyzed video data from over 500 businesses and over 250,000 videos, so marketers like us, can compare ourselves to the average or the best-in-class video marketers. Read on to find out how businesses are leveraging video:

This infographic originally appeared on Vidyard

This infographic originally appeared on Vidyard