First off, we’ll start with the big news of the month.
February might be the shortest month, but it hasn’t stopped the ever-changing world of social media giving us something to share with you.
Whether you Keep up with the Kardashian/Jenners or simply refuse, there is no escaping them. The youngest of the brood Kylie has broken records this month by welcoming her new born baby girl to the Instagram world. This post is officially the most liked picture ever on Instagram with over 17 million likes, this beats Ronaldo’s and Beyonce’s baby posts which were the previous champions.
It’s here again – the time of the year when Emojipedia release the teaser for the new Emojis. They will be treating us to over 150 new Emojis, how these are going to fit on the keyboard…we will leave up to them. Red heads your time has finally come, look out for ginger, curly and bald hairstyle choices, a lab coat, bagel, toilet paper and a tooth. And no, still no Yorkshire Pudding emoji – maybe in 2019?
And probably the biggest social media news of the month is the release of ‘Vero’. A new social media platform that reached three million downloads almost overnight. It has positioned itself as the ‘new Instagram’, with promises of a chronological news feed and NO adverts (everything we’ve been dreaming about!) Although there’s a catch, no adverts mean we have to pay for the privilege of the service. Vero has promised their first lucky members free use when the app starts charging. Despite the initial technical difficulties and the privacy concerns, the concept does seem to meet our social media needs. The big question is, will we all decide to move together? And are we willing to pay to be on social media? We can be sure that the move, or the staying put, will be led by celebrities.
Now for new features…
Instagram kicked off the month with their ‘Text screen’ update, which allows us to add a text only screen to our stories. This is the first time Instagram has officially allowed us to post without including an image – this could give brands an opportunity to create more of a narrative within stories and people can use this function to write a ‘status’ rather than posting a picture.
Last month Instagram introduced their new GIF feature on their stories, and it took a whole two minutes for a brand to jump on this and use it to promote themselves. Oreo provided followers with branded GIFs especially for Valentine’s Day, they shared a unique name on their story and all you had to do to find them was put ‘xoxoreo’ in the GIF search bar.
We assumed it would be ridiculously expensive to make your own GIFS, however @butlikemaybe, New York based cartoonist/Instafamous/influencer, has also produced her own series of GIFS.
Facebook are in the process of releasing a new feature, allowing users to write a status in a list form – a list of what? We have no idea. It’s their attempt to encourage people to post more personal content.
After last month’s change in algorithms, Facebook have promised we will see more personal posts rather than brands and advertising. However, there is one problem with this – people don’t post on Facebook anymore. And we’re not sure giving us a few bullet points will encourage us to reveal anything to our old school friends, you’re more likely to see Nan’s shopping list making its way into your feed.
Snapchat seem to be pressing that ‘self-destruct’ button once again, this time they have redesigned the app to make it as difficult as possible for people to use. Over a million people have signed the petition to revert back to the old Snapchat (yes over a million people care THAT much). But the brand’s response was more ‘get used to it’ than taking their customers thoughts on board. RIP Snapchat.
The big trending events this month were Pancake Day closely followed by Valentine’s Day. Along with all the generic recipe posts, gift inspiration and offers filling our feeds we did stumble across something different. Innocent being their usual fun, silly selves posted an alternative Pancake Day post showcasing their ‘Pancake Art’ – no it wasn’t unicorns and celebrities’ portraits as pancakes, it was just pancakes on art – genius! Boohoo decided to share the love on Valentine’s Day with a selection of £1 giveaways that were hidden on the website. They didn’t make it easy either, the £1 treats were almost impossible to find – you ended up browsing the whole Boohoo site as you searched – how sneaky of them.
The good and the not so good
We hate to see this brand in our not so good category but here it is. Oreo have released their new app ‘The Oreo Quest’ where users aim to collect as many virtual cookies as possible. To earn these cookies you must crack the clues and scan real objects in your environment (although it still works when you scan Google images). It’s great to see brands creating fun, techy alternatives for entering competitions, and when you’ve got as much money as Oreo, why not? However, it’s a lot of work for such small prizes and winning a weird illustration/ ‘sticker’ or a branded wallpaper isn’t enough to reward the user. The only top prizes to be won are a Samsung Galaxy J7 (yes just one) and a trip to Google’s headquarters in California followed by several £5 Google vouchers as smaller prizes.
This month we’re skipping straight past the good to the odd. This might be Social Review but you NEED to see this new social inspired TV ad for Jerusalem’s tourist board. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiVOqHHMGo4Yes the subtle bars at the top make it look like an Instagram story. Yes they have used a ‘boomerang’ effect. Yes it’s… on TV? Odd. It just shows how people are already thinking about how good their holiday will look on Instagram, and if this place is really for you measured by the Instagrammable moments available *horrible realisation of the world we now live in*.