Introducing Instagram Hyperlapse

Instagram Hyperlapse

On Tuesday, the ever popular Instagram platform rolled out an incredible new app called Hyperlapse.

Essentially, the new app speeds up and stabilizes long videos into shorter, time-lapsed shorts. Available for iPhone users in the Apple Store, this app is very easy to use — just shoot a video within the platform and the app will do the rest! The new time-lapsed videos are automatically saved to your camera roll (if you choose) and are able to be shared across varying social platforms.

Here are a few examples:

#hyperlapse buenos aires.

A post shared by Emiliano Elias (@eliase) on

Creating with #hyperlapse is going to be a lot of fun. Well played @instagram #ants

A post shared by Jake Hiller (@jmayerhiller) on

Tell us: Have you tried the Hyperlapse yet?

— Samantha

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Instagram Adds New Editing Tools

Instagram Editing Tools

If you’re like the rest of the human population, you’re probably on Instagram everyday 🙂 Well, good news for the platform’s users: new photo editing tools.

Earlier this week, the popular image sharing social platform rolled out a new set of tools to help edit photos even more, including the ability to change an image’s contrast, warmth, saturation and more. With many IG users already turning to additional apps to help edit pics, it only makes sense for the platform to provide its users with tools they really want and need.

Instagram stated, “You take a photo to capture a moment, but often what you see in the photograph doesn’t feel the same as what you remember. From brightening up a photo of your dinner party to better capturing the warmth of a sunset portrait, these new creative tools help you bring out and share the beauty of the moment as you remember it—right inside the same simple Instagram you already know.”

Although it may not seem like a drastic change in the application, for many this means cutting out the middle man — or other editing apps like the popular VSCO Cam. Similar to how IG added video capabilities after Vine was launched through Twitter, this new addition will make many folks happy and consequently, continuous use of the platform.

Have you tried the new IG photo editing tools yet?

— Samantha

Facebook Knows What You’re Watching & Hearing

Facebook Feelings App

As of Wednesday, Facebook launched a new opt-in audio recognition feature to their platform that can identify songs and TV shows that you’re listening to or watching, then help push the content into a post to share with friends.

Although this new app is technically part of Facebook’s recent “Feelings” feature (see photo below) and makes it easier to share what one is listening to or watching, it also allows Facebook to collect data from its fans at an even faster rate. For example, if the tool is turned on but the user decides not the share the post, Facebook still keeps the data. As there have been 5 billion “Feelings” posts in the last year, this new addition will only help the growing platform obtain more and more information about its users.

Facebook Feelings App

Sound scary? It should to a certain extent. Although Facebook has noted that no actual audio will be recorded, nor will your information be shared to company servers or be monetized, it is a creative way to allow fans to share more — and not just with their close friends. As a tip, always be aware of how much information you’re providing others.

This will be a slower roll-out for all users, but keep an eye out for the new tool coming soon!

— Samantha

Facebook Introduces Paper iPhone App

Paper on Facebook

Ready to have your mind blown?

Just this morning, Facebook made a HUGE announcement. Introducing Paper, the newest iPhone app that’s more than a simple news outlet. Instead, it makes a user rethink Facebook with a horizontally scrolling screen of news articles, friend updates and more — a completely new way of sharing and telling stories.

The new app doesn’t include many buttons. Instead, users will need to get used to a completely different set of gestures that make navigating that much simpler. Not only that, but fans will be able to make every post, photo or news article full-screen, adding another lovely level of aesthetics. Although many have made references to the already popular Flipboard, Paper seems to do similar functions but so much more!

The interface for reading news will stay very similar to how such content is presented currently on the platform. Cards that resemble Twitter make it easy to consume new information, but if you’re used to a feed of quick tweets, this may be a bit hard to get used to. Looking to share content? A user will be able to post to Paper, therefore on Facebook, in a brand new, one-of-a-kind composition screen.  If you’re interested in checking it out, Paper will be available for download on iPhones (in the US only) on February 3rd.

Sadly as a current Android user, I’ll have to wait to see what Paper does — unless I can quickly borrow a friend’s phone next week! Until then, I’m happy that Facebook is getting closer to finding a solution for its stand-alone apps. With mobile becoming more and more popular with users, I believe that this is the only way to go in order to be successful!

Tell us: Will you be downloading Paper on February 3rd?

— Samantha

Vine Turns 1 & Celebrates Best Videos of the Year

A Year on Vine

It’s crazy to think that a whole year has passed since Vine was introduced to the world.

For those who are unfamiliar, Vine is a mobile application where users can create six-second videos, with the ability to start and stop recording as many times as they want. In January 2013, Vine was acquired by Twitter and made big news as people and brands could now easily express themselves through another medium.

Although competitor Instagram introduced video capabilities in June 2013, Vine has remained popular. Today, it celebrates its first anniversary. To get the party started, check out Vine’s 200 video compilation totaling 18 minutes, including funny clips from fans, as well as videos from President Obama and Justin Bieber.

We picked out a few of our faves:

Tell us: Which is your favorite vine video from 2013?

— Samantha

Three Ways Brands Successfully Use Vine

When Instagram introduced their video feature, many thought Vine would soon be on its way out. While Instagram may have the advantage when it comes to number of users, we still see great opportunity with Vine, especially for brands. Vine offers a fantastic platform for brands to connect with their audience in a whole new way. Below, we have highlighted three such ways brands are successfully tapping into their Vine following.

1) Announcing New Products

New product promotion is always incredibly important to a brand. After all, whats the point of developing the latest and greatest if nobody knows about it? Here are two examples from Twitter and Puma of how to effectively promote a new product in six seconds:

2) Behind the Scenes

People love seeing behind the scenes footage. Whether it’s from the Super Bowl or the Grammys, audiences love exclusive material that the average consumer might not get. Here is a Vine from a Kate Spade fashion shoot and one from an XBOX event:

3) Straight Up Entertainment

One of the best ways to succeed in social media is simply create content people want to share. Regardless of topic, the more people linking your content, the bigger audience you reach. Here is a cool video from Urban Outfitters on glow-in-the-dark body paint and another one from Oreo, who may have just revolutionized your ice coffee:

-Mike & Samantha

Top Social Platforms Among Teens

We recently brought you an article on a 13-year-old claiming that none of the kids her age used Facebook. It got us wondering: If teens don’t use Facebook, what are they using? According to this chart by Statista, Facebook is still the top dog when it comes to teens, despite what our friendly 13-year-old said.

2013_08_16_Social_Teens-1People say that Facebook is losing its younger audience, but looking at numbers like this, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The drop from #1 Facebook to #2 Twitter, is huge. Sure, this data is looking at 2011 to 2012, and the numbers from 2012 to 2013 may be slightly different, but Facebook has a long way to fall before we start talking about any other platforms taking over.

We do agree that many teens are converting to the latest and greatest platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat, but Facebook has such a lead over other competitors that something drastic will have to happen before we ever see a new #1. The ability for one platform to cater to teens and adults alike is no easy task. Teens will always try and distance themselves from their parents and social media is no different. We agree that teens seem to be trending away from Facebook, but we also believe Facebook is here to stay. Even though teen usage numbers may decrease, we don’t think it will be by much or for very long. Ultimately, we would not be surprised to see them figure out a way to bring those teen users back, stronger than ever.

-Mike & Samantha

Facebook Releases New User Data

facebook-rolling-in-cash

We had recently done a piece on how Facebook is getting ready to sell video advertisements on their platform. In order to create some hype among advertisers, Facebook released some recent user data for the U.S. and UK. Get ready for this:

More than 128 million people in the U.S. visit Facebook at least once a day. That’s a third of the population! Also, in the UK, about 24 million people visit the social media website everyday.

Of course these numbers are pretty staggering on their own, but another important thing to take away from this announcement, is that this is one of the first times Facebook has released regional data. This is significant to TV advertisers, who rely heavily on those breakdowns. Facebook is trying to show all the advertisers out there just how many people they can reach on a daily basis.

At $66.3 billion estimated to go towards TV ads this year, or 39% of all advertising spent in the U.S., there is some serious money to be made by Facebook. Although these daily user number are no doubt impressive, advertising analysts would like to see more granularity before they can really put a value on Facebook’s reach. For the first time ever, researchers say the average time spent on digital media will surpass TV viewing this year.

We can all see where  TV advertising is going and it is no surprise that Facebook is on the forefront. Sure there will be some backlash from user over having video ads in their newsfeed, but after seeing the potential revenues for Facebook in this new field, we expect to see them take TV advertising head-on.

-Mike & Samantha

Teens No Longer Interested in Facebook

gty_teen_computer_ll_110927_wg

Leave it to a 13 year-old to tell us how things really are. In this article, I’m 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook, on Mashable.com, Ruby Karp explains how teens now see Facebook. It is no secret that Facebook has been losing part of its youngest demographic. They have been making up for these loses with additions from the older generations, but as we all know, without the youth on-board, Facebook’s future is not looking so bright. We are really impressed how Ruby was able to explain Facebook’s problems in such simple terms. For example:

Part of the reason Facebook is losing my generation’s attention is the fact that there are other networks now. When I was 10, I wasn’t old enough to have a Facebook. But a magical thing called Instagram had just come out … and our parents had no idea there was an age limit. Rapidly, all my friends got Instagrams.

We think this is an often overlooked fact. People seem to forget that when Facebook came out, the teens of today were not allowed to have accounts. Of course, when a teen is told they can’t have something, it makes them want it even more. However, now that this group is old enough to have a Facebook account, they have already moved on to the latest and coolest platform, as Ruby explains:

Now, when we are old enough to get Facebook, we don’t want it. By the time we could have Facebooks, we were already obsessed with Instagram. Facebook was just this thing all our parents seemed to have.

Facebook is now so popular with the parents, and even grandparents, of today that kids don’t want to be involved. Besides the obvious fact that what parents do is never “cool”, teens are afraid of the Big Brother effect Facebook can have. With people constantly sharing and over-sharing every aspect of their lives on Facebook, it is only a matter of time before a teen’s parent or grandparent sees something they shouldn’t have. Ruby perfectly sums that up by saying:

All of our parents and parents’ friends have Facebooks. It’s not just the fact that I occasionally get wall posts like, “Hello sweetie pie!” But my friends post photos that get me in trouble with those parents. 

Imagine your own teenage years if your parents could see your every move online, pretty scary thought huh? No matter what they are doing, innocent or not, no teenager wants their parents in on every aspect of their lives, and if not having a Facebook account can help keep that secrecy, the choice is obvious.

The final topic that Ruby brings up is Facebook’s ever-changing interface:

Look at something like Twitter, where it’s four buttons — people like the “simple” design better. In the end, Facebook has been trying too hard. Teens hate it when people try too hard; it pushes them away. It’s like if my mom told me not to do something — I immediately need to do it. When she forces something on me, I really don’t want to do it. 

We all get annoyed when Facebook updates their platform and overhauls the user interface. Just like Ruby said, we like simple and we like familiar.  Every time Facebook makes you relearn how to use their platform, it turns people off and forces them to other, more simple, platforms.

Will Facebook figure out a way to win back the teens? We think they probably will. You don’t get to where Facebook is without being able to adapt and solve problems. It will be very interesting to see how they do it, and what tactics they will use. Social media is built on trends, and nowhere is trending more important than with teenagers.

-Mike & Samantha

Better Facebook Posts in 10 Easy Steps

One of the most common mistakes businesses make on Facebook, is underestimating they strategy needed for a successful post. In order to achieve a truly engaging post, a business needs to do a certain amount of research and understand the best practices involved for each post. The infographic below, created by Shortstack, highlights 10 simple, but effective, ways you can improve your Facebook status updates.

facebook-status-update-infographic

 

-Mike & Samantha