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Are Instagram stories competitive copying?

8 months ago
Matt
by Matt

sc v ig

In the past fortnight we have seen yet another significant move in a continuous game of social media chess.

In the battle to reign victorious as king of the platforms, Instagram announced the release of ‘stories’ – a feature almost identical to that of its rival, Snapchat, which allows users to share photos and videos in a slideshow format for their followers to see.

It seems that to be better isn’t always to be creative or different, sometimes taking a winning formula from one of your opponents, and implementing it as your own will also do the trick!

There are plenty of ways to look at this move from Instagram. Is it competitive? Is it desperate? Or is it simply necessary in an industry where the ‘if it isn’t broke don’t fix it’ cliché doesn’t apply?

From Instagram’s perspective I think the perceived benefits of introducing stories were just too big to ignore, regardless of whether it looked desperate or unoriginal. Instagram stories have already been lapped up by brands and celebrities, who boast substantial followings, while offering another interesting feature to the average Instagram user that could potentially attract them away from Snapchat.

“Snapchat deserves all the credit for stories feature”

 

 

It seems even Instagram CEO, Kevin Stystrom, is under no illusion that Instagram’s update is more or less an identical copy of Snapchat.

In a recent interview with Tech Crunch, the Instagram CEO said that Snapchat deserved “all the credit” for stories, before insisting; “This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.”

instagram story

Instagram users can doodle on images using a paintbrush tool, exactly like Snapchat. Users will also be able to add text to the bottom of images and videos, exactly like Snapchat. Content uploaded to a user’s story will then only be accessible for 24 hours before expiring; you guessed it, exactly like Snapchat. In fact, the only feature Snapchat still holds as its own are filters – for now anyway.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow for the photo-messaging platform, which has enjoyed substantial growth in recent times.  Snapchat will undoubtedly see Instagram’s decision to adopt stories as underhand, especially as it seems almost no attempt has been made to develop or tweak the concept.

Instagram has shown that they are willing to ‘play dirty’ even if it is a well-intentioned update made to improve user experience. Somehow I don’t think the ‘deserved credit’ will be much of a consolation for Snapchat’s producers.

Instagram has taken an important piece from Snapchat’s board, as they push harder than ever for the social media checkmate.

 

Image source: [1] [2]

Twitter: @MattLong1994

 


OMG – you won’t believe this!

9 months ago
natalie
by natalie

Clickbait. We’ve all fallen for it. And now Facebook has declared war on it.

Facebook’s research team announced last week that users will be seeing fewer clickbait stories in their News Feeds as it cracks down even further on misleading content and spam.

The new system will identify phrases that are commonly used in clickbait headlines and links posted from or shared from Pages or domains that consistently post clickbait headlines will appear lower in the News Feed.

So, what is clickbait? And when is it an issue to those of us working in the media industry?

Facebook defines clickbait as a headline that withholds information required to understand what the content of the article is and if it exaggerates the article to create misleading expectations for the reader.

Having been accused in the past of using clickbait to lure readers, Buzzfeed’s editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, believes the practice of clickbait is often misunderstood and incorrectly labelled.

Smith says, “The best way to ensure your readers won’t choose to share a story or a post is to trick them.”  He added, “Anyone who has spent the last 20 years online knows the specific disgust that comes with a headline that doesn’t deliver on its promise.”

He argues that clickbait headlines might be able to trick a user into loading the content but that increasingly angry readers would never share it, therefore arguing his case that Buzzfeed doesn’t indulge in the practice of clickbait.

Crafting the perfect headline and attracting people to your content is a skill. Journalism and the online world have long relied on curiosity to create interest in a story. However, whilst it’s tempting, it’s important that your headlines – whether they’re for social media posts, video titles, blog posts, e-shots – don’t become exaggerated and manipulative or misleading.

You might get people clicking on your content but chances are, they’ll soon realise it doesn’t bear any resemblance to the headline and click straight off – thus negating the whole point of using clickbait in the first place.

By the way, if you haven’t clicked off this article already in anger at the clickbait headline, make sure you read my previous post – it will leave you stunned!

Image source


My mentoring journey so far…

9 months ago
lina
by lina

 

Martin Luther King once said, “Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” Especially in our industry, our focus should always be putting others first whether it’s our clients, the team or supporting young people in the city.

Around eight months ago, I joined the Birmingham Professional Services mentoring scheme, not only to be mentored by a professional but to also support a young person through monthly mentoring sessions. Needless to say, it’s been very rewarding so far. Read my Q&A that was featured on BPS here:

 8ad2ab394bf5746e7cc8a263bf441cb1

What made you want to be a mentor/mentee?

I have always been interested in the idea of being a mentor/mentee and when I heard about the BPS mentoring scheme, I was keen to get involved.

I was drawn to being a mentor as I liked the idea of supporting a young individual – whether it was through career goals, personal development or simply being a friend. Being a mentor to a young person in the city was a way that I could show my support to the next generation of young talent and even learn a thing or two from them.

I wanted to be a mentee to develop my own career and have someone to talk to outside of work, who could offer me advice and support based on their own experiences and challenges that they have faced.

Have you been in a mentoring relationship before?

No, but it’s something I have always been interested in. BPS provides a great platform for young professionals in the city to connect with like-minded individuals, giving them the chance to increase their skills and inspire others in the workforce and across Birmingham.

How has your mentor helped/supported/inspired you?

My mentor is really supportive and has given me some great advice on personal development so far. She’s definitely an inspiration to me and has made me think more about what I want to achieve over the next five to 10 years, and what steps I need to take to get there.

How have you found being a mentor?

At first, I wasn’t really sure what I could offer to a young person at my age but having my own mentor gave me a little more perspective. I approached my first session with my mentee as if I was meeting a new friend for a coffee. We got along really well and I felt like I had known her for ages.

Being a mentor is being that person that they can talk to about work ups and downs, life in general but also having a laugh, which really helps when you’re having a tough day! I was able to offer general career advice as well as advice around key areas/skills that my mentee wanted to focus on.

It has given me a sense of fulfilment and highlighted just how important it is to actually take time out from sitting at my desk. I found that it has not only helped me support a young person in setting their own objectives moving forward, but it has also made me believe in myself more and my ability as a working professional.

What would you say to anyone still deciding whether to sign up as a mentor/mentee?

I would say don’t be afraid to try both! I think some people shy away from it as they may see it as a huge commitment to add to their workload but it’s definitely worthwhile.

Being a mentor will increase your confidence, help your own career development and improve skills such as management and leadership. In turn, you will gain recognition for your skills and experience.

Being a mentee means that you can gain practical advice and support from someone in the city who is passionate about their career and wants to help you find your own path and support you on your journey. It’s also a great opportunity to develop your communication skills, establish a sense of direction and meet new people in the city.

 

There are some really exciting opportunities in Birmingham and I am really enjoying being both a mentor and a mentee. I am definitely glad I signed up!

Find out more about the BPS mentoring scheme here – http://bpsbirmingham.co.uk/future/mentoring/


More campaigns like this is #WhatIReallyReallyWant

10 months ago

by Jo Sheridan

My childhood was all about the Spice Girls; from plastering my bedroom walls with posters and stickers, to actually taking on the role of ginger spice in my school play – complete with orange spray paint in my hair.

But the new version of ‘Wannabe’ is more than just a 90s throwback, with The Global Goals reinventing the original ‘girl power’ hit as part of a United Nations initiative. Promoting the goal of gender equality, the new-look video has already become a viral sensation – clocking up over 270,000 YouTube views in 24 hours and over 15K retweets of the original post.

Using the #WhatIReallyReallyWant hashtag, the campaign asks you to share a photo of yourself holding up what YOU really, really want for girls and women… covering everything from equal pay, and education for all, to ending violence. Responses will be passed to world leaders at the United Nations in September, giving each and every person who gets involved the chance to help drive change.

20 years down the line, it’s clear that girl power lives on, with a host of celebrities backing the campaign. Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm, aka Posh, Baby and Sporty, have all come out in support of the cause, seemingly honoured that it was their 1996 hit that inspired the video. With other celebrities including Tanya Burr, Emma Watson and Jamie Oliver getting involved too, it will be a while before this one is disappearing from your news feed.

#WhatIReallyReallyWantBut the response to the campaign has not been all singing into hairbrushes, with many taking to social media to criticise it for not delivering on the exact thing it aims to: gender equality.

With key messages being ending violence against girls and providing quality education for all girls, some people have asked the question – what about boys? Surely a campaign that is all about gender equality should be exactly that, equal focus on both genders.

Despite any negative comments, there’s no denying that this campaign has successfully brought important global issues to the forefront of everyone’s minds, in a way that people can’t help but get involved with.

So join the movement, and share #WhatIReallyReallyWant.


A week of exits as told by social media

10 months ago
Jake Malbasa
by Jake Malbasa

My grandad always used to speak in proverbs. ‘A lot can happen in a week’, ‘Be very careful when placing your trust in others’ ‘I’ll die before England win a major tournament’. Words I dismissed as a child, but now words I repeat as my own.

In the space of a week, England has well and truly turned its back on Europe. Seventeen million people voted to leave the EU last Thursday, and then on Monday, 11 more staged what must have been a Brexit protest on a French football pitch. Expert opinion and punditry is everywhere, but what did the general public make of it? Here’s the social media stats following a hectic week of angry typing:

EU referendum tweets from the polls opening – David Cameron resigning: 6.4 million

Tweets per minute during David Cameron’s resignation: 13,300

England vs Iceland tweets on day of game: 4.8 million (15x Iceland’s population)

Tweets per minute following final whistle: 135,000

I suppose there’s some solace to be found in slightly more people reacting to the referendum than to the football, and the day of the EU results saw a 72% increase in Twitter activity to that of a regular day. However the Google data suggests people may still have been doing some rather important, yet belated fact finding:

brex que

 

If it’s disheartening that people were still asking what the EU is a day after voting to leave it, the England football trends were more comical:

Goog Eng

The last thing to round up is those very clever and satirical internet-ers that have somehow managed to make us laugh, despite it all. Here’s a few (Don’t worry, there isn’t any of those hilarious parody petitions in there…)

matt dean

But the winner, unfortunately, is this unlikely pair:

joe hart


As one paper folds, another one opens

10 months ago
natalie
by natalie

24-cover

Not too long ago, I wrote a blog post about the UK’s new national newspaper, New Day. Just nine weeks after it launched, the paper quite literally folded, with circulation at a measly 40,000 rather than the predicted 200,000.

Now, I don’t want to curse this in the same way, but it appears that another publisher has taken the brave move to launch a newspaper despite ever-declining print figures.

Priced at 40p, the paper – called 24 – is published by Carlisle-based CN Group with 95% of its content, including news, lifestyle, features, celebrity gossip and puzzles, provided by the Press Association.

The difference this time around is that the paper has been specifically designed for the north as an alternative to the “south-dominated” national press. Its circulation will stretch from Preston in the south to Lockerbie in the north and Workington in the west to Hexham in the east.

CN Group’s editorial director, David Helliwell, is reported to have told the BBC that 24 readers will get “a great mix of all the best national news and sport content that is around, added with a northern flavour”. He adds: “There is so much that happens in the UK that only a fraction of it gets into our newspapers and it can be very south-dominated”.

I agree that newspapers tend to be quite biased towards the south but haven’t publishers learned their lesson from the disaster that was New Day? Only time will tell.


In or out? Will the media decide the outcome of the EU referendum?

11 months ago

by Ruth Pipkin

UK EU flag

With just nine days to go until Britain hits the polling stations, both the Vote Leave and Stronger In Europe campaigns have been overshadowed by accusations of scaremongering and reliance on unsubstantiated ‘facts’.

So where should any undecided voters turn to for unbiased critique and impartial commentary? The media? Not likely.

Figures published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in May revealed that the national press were biased towards Brexit during coverage of the first two months of campaigning. 45% of 928 referendum articles it studied were in favour of leaving while 27% supported the remain camp.  19% were categorised as “mixed or undecided” and 9% were classified as “adopting no position”.

EU referendum2

As the Independent reports, the media landscape has changed dramatically since the last EU referendum in 1975. With newspaper circulation dwindling, today’s voters are just as likely to keep up to date on politics via Buzzfeed or the Huffington Post as they are by watching BBC News or reading a daily paper. However, the role of the national daily press is still considerable – not least because it tends to set the agenda for broadcast media – and with 75% of adults relying on TV for their daily news fix, broadcast is holding onto its influence.

Television and radio in the UK have an obligation to be impartial and, in theory, must give both campaigns equal coverage. However, it’s hard to miss the frequent debate surrounding media bias, not least tabloid accusations surrounding the BBC’s and its coverage of the EU.

Social media has become the battleground of choice for political parties – particularly when seeking to engage with new and younger voters. Early on in the EU campaigns it was reported that both sides were favouring Facebook as their medium of choice for reaching out.

Facebook EU

At the time of writing, Britain Stronger in Europe had amassed  471,112 likes on Facebook, with  Vote Leave at 482,885. Not much to give away a potential result there, but the tactical campaigning has potentially had a considerable impact in generating new votes. It has been suggested that the voter registration website crash last week was, in part, a result of a targeted Facebook campaign funded by the remain camp, which encouraged voter sign-ups to anyone over the age of 17.

The New Statesman reported that, on the last Friday before applications for registration closed, Facebook ran an advert linking directly to the voter registration site for 24 hours. 186,000 people applied to register that day, of which around 120,000 were under the age of 34. The total registrations were almost double that of the days preceding.

The Telegraph’s analysis of the impact of extending the voter registration deadline, as a result of the crash, pointed to this resulting in a potential 30,000 extra votes for Remain. With most experts in agreement that younger voters are more likely to vote to stay in the EU, could social media have played the biggest role in shaping the result?

 


Event season is upon us – top tips to stay one step ahead

11 months ago
lina
by lina

Rewired is in full swing this month with several client events taking place, including supporting and managing three Business in the Community Gala Dinners. We all know planning one event can prove challenging, let alone organising several events all in one month.

event_calender

Here are my five top tips to keep front of mind whilst managing any event.
Plan, plan and plan some more
Months ahead of the event, pull together a timing plan of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done by and whose responsibility it is to complete the activity. Sit down with your client and team and talk it through to make sure everyone is clear on what they are doing. This will ensure you keep to deadlines and give yourself plenty of time to complete tasks.

Regular meetings and conference calls
Set aside some time once a week to run through the latest activity and next steps with your client. It’s much easier to run through and progress activity. It also helps to build a relationship with the client! If it’s an ad-hoc project, the client is more likely to consider you next year if you’ve already built up a good relationship with them.

Logistics
A few months before the event, make sure you have thought about all the logistics such as decor, entertainment, audio visual, catering, and health and safety, just to name a few. Do your research to find the best suppliers that tie in with your client’s requirements and budget. Remember to keep a database of all the suppliers you have used – they will come in handy for future events.

Venue visits/liaison

Visit the venue several times to familiarise yourself with the space. Make a list of items you need to check before your visit and be clear on what the venue will be providing and what may incur additional costs for the client. One week before the event, call the events manager and run through the schedule for the day to ensure everything is in hand and tie up any outstanding activity.

Promotion

In order to get the right people to the event, make sure you have an extensive invite list and that invitations are sent out a month in advance – don’t forget to follow up with a call or email two weeks before. Depending on whether it’s an open event or invitation only, encourage people to spread the word across social media channels.

 

You’ve been planning for months on end and when the big day finally arrives, it’s natural to feel panicked. Arrive early, allow enough time for rehearsals, sound checks and a thorough staff brief beforehand – the rest will just fall into place.

Image credit

 

 

 


How sport lights up social media

11 months ago

by Jo Sheridan

From Leicester winning the Premier League against the odds, to this summer’s Euros and the Rio Olympics, sport is one topic that everyone seems to be talking about at the moment.

But whilst the conversation continues offline, key sporting moments are globally becoming some of the most exciting moments of activity on social media.

Rewind to 2nd May this year, and a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge became the moment that Leicester City Football Club secured its champions status. As press and media went to work, it was more than just Jamie Vardy having a party, with 5.5 million tweets sent to celebrate the news.

With the official club tweet becoming one of the most retweeted sporting tweets in Twitter history, plus the news that there were as many tweets mentioning the word ‘party’ as there were on New Year’s Eve, social media gave Leicester even more of a reason to be proud.

Leicester City champions Twitter stats

So if Leicester can dominate Twitter by winning the English league, what happens when a sporting event takes the global stage? Take the World Cup in 2014, and a staggering 672 million tweets were sent throughout the duration of the 1 month tournament.

32.1 million people reached for Twitter to talk through the final that saw Germany lift the trophy, but it was another of the champions’ games that took the crown for the most tweeted match. It’s not every day that a team slots 7 goals past Brazil, so it’s unsurprising that Germany’s 7-1 victory took the Twittersphere by storm – 35.6 million tweets about just 90 minutes of football.

Across the pond, the Superbowl is another major sporting event taking over Twitter. Whilst the number of tweets for SB50 did decrease from the record-breaking 24.8 million set the previous year, Twitter’s clever heat map shows just how the conversation lit up the states during the game.

lightsup

It’s not just football that gets people tweeting. With the Rio Olympics set to open on 5th August, four years ago it was the turn of London 2012 to take the Twitter stage. More than 150 million tweets were sent overall, including 80,000 tweets per minute as Usain Bolt took gold in the 200m final. Away from the thrill of Olympic sport, the opening and closing ceremonies also see a spike in Twitter conversation – including that Spice Girls reunion inspiring 116,000 tweets per minute.

So with Euro 2016 starting in just 3 weeks, will you be one of the millions tweeting your way through the tournament?

 

 

@lisaaao


Sorry seems to be the hardest word

11 months ago
natalie
by natalie

The newspaper LATEST NEWS with the headline CRISIS AVERTED  and coffee

In life, it’s inevitable that something at some point will go wrong. And sometimes it’s our fault. And sometimes we need to say sorry to make it all alright again. It’s the same in business – people make mistakes which can’t always be controlled and these mistakes can be devastating to a brand. What can be controlled however is the way in which the business deals with that mistake once it’s happened.

I’m talking specifically about Old Trafford being evacuated last weekend after a bomb-like device was found in a toilet in the stadium just minutes before Manchester United were due on the pitch.

The device was left there following a training exercise by Security Search Management & Solutions Ltd (SSMS).

What followed, after the media furore had subsided, was an unexpected heartfelt apology from the security company responsible for planting the device. The company’s owner, Chris Reid, said in a statement that he was “absolutely gutted” that his mistake had caused such disruption saying: “The mistake is entirely mine, I have to take full responsibility. To say I’m sorry doesn’t seem adequate.”

Reid has been subsequently praised for the way he handled the situation and both PRs and journalists have taken to Twitter to express their admiration for his honesty and sincerity.

That’s not to say that fans and club owners aren’t still angry but from a general public point of view, Reid’s human approach to the crisis has paid off well for his reputation.

For every good response in a crisis, there are plenty of bad ones. Here are my top three examples of when spokespeople should have consulted their PR person before speaking…

  1. BP and the oil spill – CEO, Tony Hayward tells reporters that he’d like his life back – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTdKa9eWNFw
  2. Protein World’s CEO and that ‘Bikini Body Ready’ ad – http://www.prweek.com/article/1349929/protein-world-brings-banned-body-shaming-ad-us
  3. Ex-CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch and his response to only employing models to work in his stores – http://elitedaily.com/humor/the-10-most-ridiculous-things-mike-jeffries-ceo-of-abercrombie-fitch-has-said/

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