Twitter Makes Cuts — Goodbye Employees and RIP Vine
This was not a good week for Twitter. Although the company recently announced that they exceeded Q3 earnings expectations, they also announced that they’d be cutting 9% of their workforce. This equates to around 350 people in their sales and marketing departments, as the company says it’s aiming to “continue to fully fund our highest priorities.” Twitter also announced that four years after buying Vine for $30 million, they’d be shutting the 6-second video hub down. Although the app was an important step in the evolution of social, it could no longer compete with the rapid growth of video sharing on both Instagram and Snapchat.
Why do we care?
Both of these cuts confirm something we already knew — that Twitter is struggling to keep up with Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat when it comes to growth. Although Twitter is making strides in repositioning itself as a news app, it’s still struggling to keep users’ attention. When brands are deciding where to invest their advertising dollars, they’ll want to focus their money on the platforms that more and more people are spending time on — and for now, that isn’t Twitter.
Facebook Rolls Out Animated Lenses
It’s not really a surprise anymore that many social platforms are beginning to overlap in features. The latest — animated lenses. While we’re used to seeing them on Snapchat, Facebook recently introduced them (called “masks” on the platform) for its Live component, as well as Mentions for verified users. Right now, users have access to Halloween-style masks, but expect to see them change periodically. You know, kind of like they do on Snapchat.
Why do we care?
Facebook’s really trying to prove that it can be a one-stop-shop for your Internet needs. While this is just part of the platform’s latest push to drive users to use Live, it’s a fun addition that’s already proven popular (at least on Snapchat) that could actually pique interest.
75% of all Internet Traffic To Come from Mobile in 2016
According to a study from Zenith, 75% of global internet access is predicted to come from mobile this year. In 2012, that number was a mere 40%. Spain is currently leading in mobile internet usage, at 85%, and China and the US follow close behind. The study also predicts that 60% of online advertising will be done on mobile by 2018 — currently that number is 52%.
Why do we care?
Mobile internet usage continues to grow, and (as if it hasn’t already) mobile will completely dominate desktop use in the years to come. Being mobile-first is no longer simply a best practice — it’s imperative for reaching three quarters of your potential customers.
Those Platform Updates You’ve Been Missing
TWITTER STOPS COUNTING HANDLES AGAINST CHARACTER LIMIT
In less dramatic Twitter-related news, the platform is testing no longer counting handles against the 140-character limit. Though only a select group of users have access to the update at the moment, we can expect handles to go the way of images and videos soon — out of the way of what people actually want to say.
Why do we care?
When responding to their customers on Twitter, brands will be able to say more than they could have before, since they don’t have to worry about the first 15 or so characters being automatically gone. This is also another in a long stream of Twitter updates aimed to make the platform easier to use. Now if only they could take links out of the character count, too.
WHO’S DOING COOL STUFF?
For such a popular platform, Snapchat’s organic metrics tools have always been difficult to keep track of. But Topshop is using screenshots from users that view the fashion company’s organic Stories to tailor its content. Compared to the Topshop blog which delivers more editorial content, the brand’s snaps focus more on new products available to buy. And every Friday, a team of personal shoppers assembles weekend outfits to feature. The result? A ninety percent completion rate — and plenty of fans using screenshots on their phone as a reference in stores. But Topshop hopes to take the link between phone to store further with a Snapchat landing page on its website where users can shop items from its daily story.
With Halloween’s arrival, plenty of brands are obviously looking to capitalize on the holiday. But WD-40 is changing it up. The brand’s special Haunted Door app addresses the problem of wanting to keep your doors appropriately creaky for the spookiest day of the year and quiet for the rest. Simply choose a sound via the mobile app, activate and hide the device in a doorknob sleeve. The motion-sensitive app will respond to the door closing and opening — perfect for greeting trick-or-treaters. And if you look closely at the app’s logo, the details that make up the larger picture include household items that WD-40 can help with.