Social Media News in July
Social Media News in July

Social Media News in July

Pokémon Go mania, disappearing Instagrams, and Snaps that hang around. Read on for the run-down of social media news in July.

8th August 2016

Pokémon Go mania, disappearing Instagrams, and Snaps that hang around. Read on for the run-down of social media news in July.

Facebook

July saw Facebook Messenger joining Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube in the 1 billion users club. Sure, this has a lot to do with them forcing mobile users to join, but they did it. Now 10 percent of all VOIP calls are via Messenger, 17 billion photos are sent on the platform per month, along with 1 billion messages sent between people and businesses. As community managers we know what an important customer service tool Messenger has become, with many people preferring to send businesses a Facebook message rather than pick up the phone.

Is connectivity now a human right? Mark Zuckerberg thinks so. Today 2.7 billion people – around a third of the world’s population – have internet access, so Facebook has released a plan to connect more people in remote areas. July saw the first test flight of Aquila, a solar-powered drone that can be used to beam connectivity down to people in the hardest-to-reach places on earth, and also OpenCellular – an open source hardware and software project aiming to bring affordable wireless access to remote areas.

In less progressive Facebook news, the company’s latest diversity report shows improvement measured in baby steps. They blame the minute increases in women and minorities on a “pipeline problem” AKA a lack of qualified applicants. Hmmmm.

Twitter

Twitter experienced only slight user growth in Q2, then a questionnaire about the platform showed most respondents “didn’t know or simply misunderstood” what it was for. They’ve made a couple of ads to show what Twitter does for those who are confused in the hope of fuelling some growth.

Twitter is another company that could put its money where its mouth is in the diversity stakes. CEO Jack Dorsey joined Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson and ReCode’s Peter Kafka onstage at the Code Conference. Dorsey donned a Twitter branded #StayWoke shirt and touched on making the platform safer, but a good place to start with his #StayWoke goals would be to have a workforce with more than 3 percent black/latino employees and maybe someone other than a white man as head of diversity.

Instagram

Platform features are slowly morphing into each other; the latest being Instagram’s adoption of a Snapchat-style (ok, pretty much exactly Snapchat) feature called Stories. The feature allows users to add text and illustrations to photos and videos that will disappear after 24 hours. The photos present as a timed slide-show just like Snapchat.

 

Snapchat

Perhaps the world has gone topsy-turvy… Instagram content has started disappearing, but now Snapchat content remains. Snapchat’s new addition is Memories – a way to save snaps for later viewing and sharing.

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go mania is in full swing! Since the initial release on July 6 the augmented reality game has been downloaded 100 million times, no doubt by plenty of people who are new to the franchise which started in the 90s. A month since launch it’s already sprouted a Yelp filter for restaurants with Pokéstops nearby, has brought people together in the truest sense of social media, and has become a way for kids with autism and Asperger’s to engage with their environment and people around them.

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