Weekly Social Media Round-Up

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Our weekly round-up of the new developments and innovations in social media.

Social Media Platforms Are Becoming Too Complicated

Branding agency Siegel+Gale included a social media section in their sixth annual simplicity index, a survey of 1,200 consumers that measures perceived simplicity of interactions with brands.

According to the report, most people use social media to connect with friends and family, with older users finding social platforms more complex than younger generations. The survey results also indicated that Facebook and Pinterest were platforms use most by consumers as a discovery tool; however, Pinterest makes the process of discovery simple. [via Adweek]

Impact: The ranking of social networks is useful in determining which networks will be most efficient in achieving client goals.

Hands-On with Facebook’s Notify App

Facebook has launched a new push notification app that allows users to follow breaking news and entertainment updates from selected sources.

Though Notify won’t feature any ads for now, there are certainly opportunities to offer sponsored suggestions for accounts to follow. As long as Facebook can get enough of its 1.55 billion users on Notify to justify the work publishers are putting in to produce content there, it could create the real-time, urgent, high-signal information channel the News Feed could never be. [via TechCrunch]

Impact: This is quite clearly a bid to compete with Twitter’s real-time newsfeed backed by Facebook’s powerful marketing capabilities.

“ScratchReel” .Gifs from Twitter

Twitter added .gif support a few months ago but they’ve just introduced a new form of .gif called a “ScratchReel” that allows the viewer to rewind and fast-forward a .gif by dragging your mouse over it.

The feature is possible thanks to a startup called SnappyTV, which Twitter acquired in June 2014. SnappyTV essentially lets organizations take live broadcasts and chop them up, remix them, and employ fun video tricks so the clips are more popular on social media. Twitter’s example used a live broadcast of a surfer to show off ScratchReels, but you can imagine any number of big-name brands turning commercials into interactive advertisements. [via TechCrunch]

Impact: Last week we wrote about a feature incubated by one of Twitter’s low-key acquisitions. Perhaps the struggling social network has a few more tricks to share before the end of the year.

Pinterest and Facebook Take Big Data to Another Level

In collaboration with members of the Berkeley Vision and Learning Center, Pinterest uses deep machine learning to learn image features based on their richly annotated dataset of billions of Pins. Those features are then used to create a similarity score between any two images. The result is that if you see a lamp you love in a pin of a living room, you can select the lamp, and search for other similar lamps — as well as where to buy them. [via Forbes]

Impact: As algorithms grow more intelligent, so does social networks’ potential to monetize their content.

Dizzying Ride for Tech Start-Ups May Be Over

And so it goes.

…there are signs of growing unease over the dizzying valuations of some of the most richly priced private companies. The latest sign has emerged with one such favorite, Snapchat, being discounted 25 percent by one of its more recent investors, Fidelity, the mutual fund giant. Another start-up, Dropbox, the widely used file storage service, was devalued by the giant asset manager BlackRock this year. The funds’ markdowns may tap the brakes on a fast-growing market. Investors, in the hopes of getting a piece of the next Facebook or Google, have been pouring billions of dollars into young private companies. [via the New York Times]

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