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Facebook-owned Instagram launched a new feature just before Halloween, making its photo sharing application a direct competitor to Snapchat and Twitter’s recently launched Moments tab. As seen by the 400 million Instagram users in the United States, Instagram’s video channel now showcases the best of the best videos from users around a specific event. Similarly to Snapchat, Instagram staff curate the video channel.
“It will be interesting to see how Facebook (via Instagram) continues to attack Snapchat’s unique ability to share images instantly and send fleeting photos, something that no other social media app has managed to imitate. As now seen on both Twitter’s Moments and Instagram’s video tab, everyone either wants a piece of Snapchat or is busy building Snapchat-like features. As video becomes more and more integral and mainstream in organic user content and in advertisements from brands, it’s no wonder every major player is trying to get a piece of the pie. The next logical step for Instagram’s new tab is to integrate advertising into the mix, which both Snapchat and Twitter’s Moments have successfully done. Ever since Facebook failed to acquire Snapchat in 2013, it seemed like only a matter of time before they tried to capitalize on its success. With 100 million active users daily, should Snapchat be worried about the biggest player in the space encroaching on them? Only time will tell.” – Alyssa Kaden
November 3, 2015 marked a key milestone in Twitter’s history, as the golden stars that once represented favorites, “a sharp clarion of approval” have been changed to hearts, a symbol of love and affirmation. While this change is seemingly small, it could have tremendous implications on Twitter’s long-term success. Conforming to the addition of hearts, Twitter is now in some ways becoming too similar to Instagram and Periscope. You can “love” content on those two platforms and now Twitter has become a platform where you can also “love” content. Now that they are “just like everyone else,” this heart attack could lead to an identity crisis for Twitter. What was once an important arena for breaking news – where a favorite was as good as a thank you, and promoted quality content – is slowly turning into a superficial platform.
“My heart breaks for Twitter. Among the platforms I use on a regular basis, Twitter is my shining star, but it seems to be going dim as of today. I liked the favorite button because it meant “Good job!” or “Thanks for sharing!” It encouraged quality, informative, shareable content, which is why Twitter rose to prominence as a news source to begin with. In addition, there’s something to be said for the psychology of “liking” something as opposed to giving it a favorite. When I favorite something, it’s mostly to bookmark content for later, or to give a thumbs up. Now, having to “like” content, I find myself overthinking if I like something and if giving someone a like is too much. The change is too right-brained for a left-brained medium. My prediction is that Twitter will see a sharp decline in engagement metrics, since liking or loving content doesn’t seem like the appropriate response to, say, an FDA approval. This “heart transplant” may prove fatal.”– Max Wollner
A group of Amsterdam researchers built a search engine prototype that uses emoji icons to look up ever-popular Internet animal videos. Called Emoji2Video, the search engine was created to show how emojis can be used to give a dense, easy-to-understand representation of what’s happening in images and videos — something that you can comprehend no matter what language you speak, or whether or not you can read. Visitors to the site can click on one or more emojis from a curated list of 385, which then pull in relevant videos from YouTube. Emojis were created in Japan in the 1990s and have gotten increasingly popular in recent years. The icons are used so frequently that some online services already let users search via emojis: Microsoft’s Bing search engine will accept emoji queries, while Yelp will let you search for businesses by typing in, say, a chicken emoji rather than the word “chicken.”
“Emoji2Video is one of many recent digital/social media platforms and campaigns that showcase the value and influence of visual communication. When it comes to complex or often “boring” health topics or calls to action (CTAs), we should look to tap into visual assets like emojis to better tell a story or communicate a message that can resonate with a diverse target audience.”– Julie Colletti