Social Web Update 29.10.28
My weekly annotated summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.
Love The Numbers
Instagram has displaced Snapchat by a slim margin as the preferred platform among all teens according to Piper Jaffray’s ‘Taking Stock With Teens’ Fall survey of 8,600 U.S. teens between the ages of 14—18. For other takeaways about teen behaviour and purchasing patterns (e.g. Nike still tops in sportswear and streetwear, 1990s logo brands gaining momentum, and European luxury brands “seeing an uptick”) PJ’s infographic gives a free summary.
Messenger was revamped last week to simplify the user’s experience by removing some of the clutter, according to 9to5 Mac: “Messenger 4 has simplified its navigation, revamping the entire bottom tab menu. It starts with one-to-one and group conversations, which are now combined into a single Chats tab. The company is also adding a new Camera button on the top right of this menu to let users easily share photos and videos to your friends and family. You’ll also have revamped People and Discover tabs which are self-explanatory . . .But that’s not all, Messenger 4 will also bring in new ways to personalize conversations with custom nicknames, emojis, and chat colors. This includes the ability to create a really incredible OLED dark mode with custom chat bubble colors.”
Trying to catch up with Snapchat and Instagram, Messaging app WhatsApp will finally let you add stickers to your messages. They’re helping users get started by at the same time “launching sticker packs created by our designers at WhatsApp and a selection of stickers from other artists.” At the same time, they providing “support for third-party sticker packs to allow designers and developers around the world to create stickers for WhatsApp.”
The multi-player live streaming entertainment platform favored by gamers, announced changes last week meant to ensure “streamers aren’t a sidequest.” Josh Constine summarizes the major changes and tests in TechCrunch, chief among them “Squad Streaming feature that lets up to four people broadcast at once in split-screen that will test with select streamers later this year. There’s also a new Twitch Sings game built-in partnership with Rock Band-creator Harmonix . . . And Twitch broadcasters can now use Snapchat’s augmented reality lenses thanks to the new Snap Camera desktop app and accompanying Twitch extension launching today.”
Facebook made number of changes last week intended to facilitate adding music to Facebook posts including allowing your musics to be added to Stories and the News Feed. On its blog, Facebook says “We’re launching Music on Facebook Stories, expanding Lip Sync Live, and soon will be making it possible to add songs to your Profile.” The point being, perhaps, to recapture the sense of creativity that used to enliven FB posts before young people turned to Instagram and Snapchat to fulfill their inner creator.
Proving more evidence to support my last comment above, and consistent with the music theme, Facebook is also “building a standalone product where users can record and share videos of themselves lip syncing or dancing to popular songs.”
Snapchat has hooked up with celeb-backed Hooked — a producer of serialized “chat-fiction” for smartphones — to launch a five-chapter sci-fi mystery thriller called ‘Dark Matter’ set in present-day Silicon Valley and premiering on Hooked’s Publisher Story found on Snapchat’s Discover Page. Variety reports that “The multimedia series, produced for Snapchat’s vertical orientation, blends the chat-fiction format — presented as a text-messaging thread — with custom illustrations and a voiceover.”