Latest in Social - October

Latest in Social - October

18th October 2018 in Social media

It can be hard to keep up with all the latest social media updates and features. So, here at Applied, we thought we’d put together a monthly blog which compiles everything in one place.

In this update of our ‘Latest in Social’ blog, we take a look at the final farewell to Google+, and the latest features on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Here goes:


Google+ launched way back in 2011 and never really took off from there. As Google’s fourth foray into social media, Google+ was launched to rival to Facebook but aimed to offer users more by giving them transparency on who you share your posts with and how you interact with them.

But the latest news of Google+ shutting down was met with a sigh of relief by marketers everywhere (including ourselves) who only really published onto the platform in the hope that it might improve rankings in local Google search and Google My Business listings.

But what are the reasons for Google pulling the plug?

  • Low Engagement: As with any social media network, Google+ has its true fans but Google did admit that 90% of Google+ user sessions lasted less than 5 seconds - shocking for a platform that was created to be a Facebook competitor.
  • Data Breach: During a security audit Google discovered that a range of failings lead to the profiles of up to 500,000 Google+ account users being affected. Data such as name, email, address, occupation, gender and age was leaked and Google is unable to confirm which users were specifically impacted.

Although there’s no evidence to prove that the leaked data was misused, it’s still one of the main reasons why Google+ will shut down.

With shutdown aimed to be completed over the next 10 months (so by the end of next August). We are into the final months of Google+.



Portal and Portal+

Facebook has just released two new devices called the Portal and Portal+. Designed for video chat, these devices come complete with smart cameras which move to follow the action, touchscreen display and microphones.

With Alexa built in, Portal allows you to ask a question, set a timer, write a shopping list and more.

You can also use Portal to call any of your Facebook friends through messenger with the device also supporting group calls of up to 7 people. Snapchat inspired AR effects are also available on the device.

For those privacy-conscious users, Facebook lets you disable the camera and microphone with a single tap. The device also comes with a camera cover to give you peace of mind.

Retailing for $199 (Portal) and $349 (Portal+), will you be getting your hands on one?



In the last month, big news has come from Instagram - not in terms of app updates but from the CEO.

In a statement, Instagram CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom announced that both he and fellow co-founder Mike Krieger were stepping down due to tensions about the future direction of the company.

As reported by Bloomberg, Systrom and Kreiger were frustrated with the day-to-day involvement of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and claim that Facebook has become reliant on the Instagram app for overall growth.

Systron said “Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team. We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter,”

“We’re planning on leaving Instagram to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.”


Visual Search

Amazon and Snapchat have teamed up to test a new camera feature which lets users search and shop products on Amazon from Snapchat itself.

Users will be able to point their camera at a physical product or barcode and press and hold on the camera screen to get started. When the item or barcode is recognized an Amazon card will appear on the screen, surfacing a link for that product or similar within Amazon.

Users will be able to tap on the selected item within the Amazon app or website, purchase items or just keep browsing.

Amazon has said that they’ll be slowly rolling out this feature, so keep an eye out.

Snap Originals

Earlier this week, Snapchat launched a series of vertically shot original video shows under its own brand in an attempt to spark growth.

Going by the name of Snap Originals, these 6 new self-produced shows included a comedy, mystery thriller and docuseries which are all scheduled for release over the next few months.

What you need to know:

  • Each episode averages about 5 minutes in length with new episodes premiering daily. Users can enable notifications which alert them when the latest episode is available.
  • Each episode features a 6-second ad that airs 2-3 times and for all those wondering, no you can’t skip these ads.
  • Users can find and watch these Snap Originals from the Discover tab (a left swipe from camera screen) or via search.


Last but not least, over to Twitter who have finally brought back the chronological timelines more than two years after they phased them out.

Users are now allowed to opt out of ‘curated’ timelines, Within these ‘curated’ timelines top tweets are shown in an algorithm above recent tweets which are displayed chronologically. While users have always had the ability to turn off that function it was somewhat limited.

After receiving a lot of user feedback regarding this feature, Twitter has restored the ability for users to see their feeds in their chronological glory.

So there you go, October’s ‘Latest in Social’ update done! We’ll see you back here same time next month for the latest updates.

In the meantime, if you’re looking into how social media can benefit your business and are in need of some help or advice, contact the team here or give us a call on 01484 30 20 10.

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