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Pin to your heart’s content!

If you’re a Pinterest lover, this update is for you!

Many an hour can be spent on Pinterest, scrolling through delightful photography, pinning to your various boards. Have you ever flipped back to your profile to look at those boards, and be met with a mess of pins, some perhaps not fitting your ‘Pinterest aesthetic’?

Never fear, as after releasing the update for sections within boards back in November, Pinterest are also adding the ability to archive old boards, reorder sections, and rearrange Pins on a board.

This means that if you have the desire to, you can organise your boards so they appear exactly how you want them. I think this will mostly appeal to social media influencers who rely on Pinterest as a stream of traffic, and creatives who use Pinterest as a mood board platform. I also see how useful the archive option will be. Imagine if you’d been planning an event and pinning lots of images in relation to that. Once the event is over, you can archive the board, sending a signal to Pinterest that you’re finished with this area of interest. This will then actually stop you seeing related pins in your feed related to that archived board.

These features are rolling out to users as we speak on both desktop and mobile. Happy pinning!

Facebook steps into the smart speaker market

Have you heard of Facebook’s Portal device? There have been lots of rumours around this new product, thought to be a pair of video chatting devices, marking the way forward for Facebook to enter the smart speaker market.

It’s thought that this pair of devices will be voice activated and use facial recognition technology to identify the user. This singles out Facebook’s new products from the other smart speakers on the market as the likes of Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod all rely on voice commands alone.

The points to consider when thinking about this device is, how will integrate with your social media presence, and how will it affect your Facebook experience. Many Facebook users are already weary of how much data is being collected and used for ad targeting through Facebook, so I believe that this could be a hurdle Facebook has to cross upon launch. It’s one thing knowing that your phone is collecting data on you, it’s another buying a specific device to listen to your every command within your home.

I’ll be waiting to see how Facebook markets this and what the reception from prospective buyers is.

The Snapchat redesign is going down well…

Last week the Snapchat redesign rolled out to the masses, and people were not happy. In the past, the best way to describe Snapchat’s layout was as follows:

  • A central screen where you can take photos or videos to then post as a story or send to specific friends.
  • Swipe to the left and you would have seen all of your current direct messages with friends, as well as unopened snaps.
  • Swipe to the right and you would have seen all of your friends stories, celebrities stories that you follow, as well as the Discovery tab.

Now, the Snapchat is like this:

  • A central screen to take photos or videos, the same as the old design.
  • Swipe to the left and you see everything from your friends. This includes Stories and direct messages – a part of the new interface users are calling messy.
  • Swipe to the right and you get to the discovery tab. This contains Snaps from celebrities you may follow, as well as Stories from publishers.

The idea of the new update is to keep everything from your friends in one easy to reach section, however, many are finding the new layout confusing, messy, as I said early, and are taking to social media to express their dislike. One tweet asking Snapchat to reverse the update has received over 1.4 million retweets.

That’s a lot.

I believe that this update from Snapchat is an effort to keep attracting new users to the platform, as well as keeping it fresh and new for current users. We all know that Stories are becoming a default for every social media network, even Google is hopping on this bandwagon. Therefore, Snapchat needs to work hard to keep their audience engaged and ensure all their eggs aren’t in one basket feature wise.

Comparing the new Discovery tab and Instagram Stories, I can see the appeal of Snapchat over Instagram. On Instagram, watching Stories can become quite tiresome if you follow more than 100 people or so, and there’s no easy way to quickly watch Stories from just your friends. By Snapchat giving users the option of friends or influencers, I think this is a good move and will actually work well for the end user. Perhaps creators will see a drop in numbers to begin with, but I think the overall user experience will be better.