Social Media Rundown: Twitter Daily Active Users; Unsend Facebook Messages; New Facebook Fact-Checking Partner; Facebook Turns 15

As the lowest-scoring Super Bowl game in history played out in Atlanta, viewers got a little bored and turned to social media to make fun of Adam Levine’s lackluster halftime performance and the oddly familiar pattern of his tank top.  And one Fox News anchor took to Twitter to boast about her beautifully made queso dish, not thinking she’d become a viral sensation.

Considering Super Bowl ads were costing brands some $5.2 million for a :30 spot, hopefully the slow game meant viewers who stuck around for the full game were also paying more attention to the ads. Maybe not, but there were some good Super Bowl commercials this year. You can see my top five Super Bowl ads on my blog.

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Discloses Daily Active User Count for First Time (Axios). Twitter has 126 million daily active users — 60 million fewer than Snapchat, and less than a tenth of Facebook’s main app. Twitter also reported it has 321 million monthly active users, down from 330 million a year ago.
  • You Can Now Unsend Your Facebook Messages If You’re Quick Enough (Mashable). You now have a 10-minute window to delete sent Facebook messages.
  • Facebook Adds New Fact-Checking Partner (Axios). Shortly after Snopes, one of the first online fact-checking websites, announced it is reevaluating its relationship with Facebook, the social network has added Lead Stories as a new fact-checking partner that specializes in hoax debunking as well as fact-checking.
  • Happy Birthday, Facebook! These Are the 10 Most Important Moments in Your Not-So-Great Relationship with the News Industry (NiemanLab) The sub-heading to this article says a lot about where the company stands today: Why only 10 on its 15th birthday? Recently, we discovered an error in our internal metrics that may have overstated the number of items on this list. We are very sorry for anyone affected; we take any mistake seriously. Also, be sure to check out the special birthday video for Facebook from The New York Times.

Learn:

  • How to Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences: The Complete Guide (Hootsuite). Facebook Lookalike Audiences are used to reach people similar to your current customers, offering more value on ad spend. Read on to learn all about this Facebook Ads tool.
  • 7 Proven Tactics to Boost Your Customer Engagement on Social Media (Social Bakers). See how learning about your audience, replying to messages, and showing brand personality can help you establish a connection with your community and encourage brand engagement.

Chart of the Week:

Instagram Engagement: Everything You Need to Know [Exclusive Stats] (Social Bakers). Instagram maintains higher user engagement as compared to Twitter and Facebook.

Instagram engagement chart from Socialbakers.
Instagram might not have the biggest audience size or the highest activity volume, but it is clearly the most engaging.
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Social Media Rundown: Original Tweeter Tag; Record-Setting Fine Against Facebook; Proactively Closing Nefarious Facebook Pages

Some interesting news out this week in the world of social media. First up: An op-ed in the New York Times describes Twitter as “the epicenter of a nonstop information war.” That description couldn’t be more accurate and the piece is worth a full read.

Also in Twitter news, the company is testing an ‘original tweeter’ tag to make it easier to tell who started a thread. Should be helpful.

And what week would be complete without some scandalous Facebook news? This time around, it seems the company may finally have to pay a price for its privacy practices related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal — by way of a record-setting FTC fine.

Finally, be sure to check out the learn section and the Chart of the Week to learn the secrets behind news feed algorithms, managing a Facebook Live, and a look at worldwide social media use.

Social Media News:

  • Opinion: Never Tweet (The New York Times). Twitter “is the epicenter of a nonstop information war, an almost comically undermanaged gladiatorial arena where activists and disinformation artists and politicians and marketers gather to target and influence the wider media world.” I’d say that is a pretty accurate description these days.
  • Twitter Testing ‘Original Tweeter’ Tag to Distinguish Who Started a Thread (TechCrunch). The new feature makes it easier to find posts from the original tweeter within a thread, but may also help curb abuse on the platform.
  • U.S. Regulators Have Met to Discuss Imposing a Record-Setting Fine Against Facebook for Privacy Violations (The Washington Post). The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly considering a “record-setting” fine as the result of its investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The penalty is expected to be much larger than the $22.5 million fine on Google in 2012.
  • Facebook Warns Groups and Pages It Could Proactively Shut Them down for Being Fake News Networks (Fortune). The move is designed to keep page managers from skirting Facebook bans by using pages they already manage to re-post the content Facebook removed from their shuttered pages and groups. The move comes one week after it announced the removal of 364 pages that originated in Russia and were engaged in “coordinated, inauthentic behavior.” Here’s the announcement from the Facebook Newsroom.

Learn:

  • A Marketer’s Guide to Decoding Social Media Algorithms in 2019 (Buffer). Here’s a good look at all the major social media platforms, that is, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Read the post or listen to the podcast.
Signals that affect Facebook News Feed content rankings.
There’s a lot to consider when crafting a Facebook post.
  • 5 Steps to Your First Facebook Live (The Social Shake-Up). If you’re planning to do a Facebook Live broadcast soon, here’s a quick and easy checklist to run through before you go live.

Social Media Chart of the Week:

Number of Social Media Users Worldwide from 2010 to 2021 (In Billions) (Statista). We’re getting close to 3 billion social media users worldwide.

Number of social media users worldwide from 2010 to 2021.
In just a couple years, some 3 billion people will be using some form of social media.

Thanks for reading! Did I miss anything? Please share in the comments or hit me up on Twitter: @eric_wheeler.

Social Media Rundown: Facebook Relaunches Search Ads; Government User Data Requests; Instagram ‘Creator Accounts’; Google+ to Officially Die

A relatively quite week in the world of social media. But two news items stick out. The first is the potential launch of Instagram ‘creator accounts’ for supporting social media influencers on the platform. The news isn’t Earth-shattering, but it goes to show just how important influencer marketing has become — it’s now fully part of Instagram’s business model.

The second big story is the end of Google+ after the search giant disclosed its second major bug in just three months. Again, not huge news as most anyone who’s used Google+ can attest that the social networking site was not only a social media ghost town, but also was riddled with spam, NSFW content, and was just generally difficult to use and understand. The bigger story is the data leak; if you still have a Google+ account, it’d be wise to shut it down immediately.

Be sure to check out the lean section for some simple live video tips and an interesting experiment with Twitter threads.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Relaunches Search Ads to Offset Slowing Revenue (TechCrunch). Facebook is testing ads in its search results and Marketplace, directly competing with Google’s AdWords. The ads will be “repurposed News Feed ads featuring a headline, image, copy text and a link in the static image or carousel format that can point users to external websites.”
  • Twitter Says Governments Are Ramping up Their Demands for User Data (TechCrunch). According to Twitter, the company received 6,904 government requests for information on 16,882 accounts. Twitter turned over at least some data in 56 percent of cases. Most demands came from Russia and Turkey.
  • Instagram Will Offer Special Features to Influencers with New ‘Creator Accounts’ (Mashable). The app is testing “creator accounts,” which would add new analytics and messaging features geared toward influencers and other power users of the photo-sharing app.
  • Google to Close Google+ Social Network After Disclosing Second Bug in 3 Months (The Washington Times). After years of failure, Google is finally pulling the plug on its social networking site. A recent bug leaked the private information of 52.5 million Google+ users to developers, including their names, birth dates and email addresses, among other data. Time to make sure your Google+ account is closed; if you ever had one in the first place.

Learn:

  • 13 Live Video Marketing Strategies, Hacks and Tips (The Social Shake-Up). If you’ve ever considered doing a Facebook Live or other live stream event, this post is for you. From strategy and how to keep your broadcasts engaging to logistics and what gear you need, this post has it all.
  • Can Twitter Threads Increase Reach, Engagement, and Referral Traffic? An Experiment (Buffer). This is an interesting experiment that showed Twitter threads (a series of connected Tweets sent from one account) do in fact increase reach and engagement, but do not improve referral traffic. My takeaway is that it is worth trying if you just want to create awareness or drum up enthusiasm for a particular cause, event, or hashtag. For example, a Twitter thread could be used to remind your followers about the start of an online event by sharing the name and time of the event followed by what participants can expect and maybe a quote or two from the first couple speakers.

Chart of the Week:

Instagram’s Rise to 1 Billion Monthly Active Users (QuickSprout). I think this chart speaks for itself. Click the image for “10 Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2019.”

Instagram reached 1 billion monthly active users in June of 2018.
Instagram has grown steadily since 2010 and shows no sign of slowing down.

Did I miss some major social media news this week? Be sure to let me know in the comments. 

Social Media Rundown: Facebook Data Privacy Saga; Giuliani Gets Pranked on Twitter; YouTube’s Story Feature Expands

As Trump’s cybersecurity adviser, you’d think he’d have some grasp of how the internet works.

The latest chapter in the Facebook data privacy saga reveals even more questionable business practices and leadership at the social media giant. I doubt anyone is surprised at this point, but I do find it fascinating how Facebook and its leaders keep digging themselves into an ever-deepening hole. Facebook continues to dominate the social media news cycle while companies like Snap and YouTube keep rolling out new features to try and stay relevant. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani seems to have no idea how the internet works, which is curious seeing as how he is Trump’s cybersecurity adviser.

In this week’s learn section, you can learn about the differences between Google Ads and Facebook Ads and also learn how to boost your Facebook ad relevancy score.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Used People’s Data to Favor Certain Partners and Punish Rivals, Documents Show (The New York Times). The Facebook data privacy saga continues on. In this chapter, unredacted documents show Facebook used data it collected on users to favor certain partners and punish rivals. The documents further illustrate how Facebook executives treated data as the company’s most valuable resource. Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg “were intimately involved in decisions aimed at benefiting the social network above all else and keeping users as engaged as possible on the site, according to emails that were part of the document trove.” You can go deeper with this story with the Axios AM newsletter.
  • Rudy Giuliani Is Trump’s Cybersecurity Adviser. He Might Want a Refresher (The Washington Post). Always remember to double check your tweets for possible typos, or in the case of Giuliani, to make sure you’ve added spaces between all your sentences. When text is butted up against a period without a space, Twitter assumes it’s a link and well, hyperlinks it. Click through to see his tweets. Direct quote from Giuliani: “Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message.” He clearly doesn’t understand how the internet works.
  • YouTube Is Rolling out Its Instagram-Like Stories Feature to More Creators (The Verge). YouTube Stories last for seven days on the mobile app, appearing for both subscribers and non-subscribers, and they’ll show up in YouTube’s “Up Next” sidebar beside a video. “The focus for YouTube Stories, which was first announced in November 2017, seems to be on community engagement and channel promotion more than day-to-day life updates.”

Learn:

  • Demystifying Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads (Angelic Digital via Medium). It’s basically a difference between paid social and paid search, but this short blog post gives a nice breakdown of the key differences.
  • 6 Ways to Achieve High Relevance Scores in Facebook Ads (Socialnomics). Higher ad relevance scores will lead to lower costs and better ad visibility leading. This article breaks down what the Facebook ad relevance score is, how it’s calculated, and ways to achieve a higher score.

Chart of the Week:

Social Platforms: Active Global Accounts (From Hootsuite’s Social MediaTrends Report 2019).

Social Platforms: Active Global Accounts
Facebook continues to dominate in the global monthly active user category.

Social Media Rundown: Facebook’s Data Dilemma; the Rise of Instagram Stories; A Twitter Edit Button?

FRONTLINE: The Facebook Dilemma
Watch the two-part series “The Facebook Dilemma” on PBS.

The New York Times published a rather scathing look inside the ongoing crisis at Facebook driven by privacy issues and the spread of disinformation. Although I haven’t read the full piece yet (it is quite long), it’s clear it takes particular aim at CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg for their negligence in allowing the company to get into this mess in the first place. If you find the NYT story of interesting, be sure to also watch the two-part documentary from PBS’s Frontline “The Facebook Dilemma.”

Instagram Stories have not only grown at an incredible pace (see chart below), it has also shown success in other ways, like the million-dollar business of designing people’s Stories. Some surprising news came from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey regarding a possible edit button for tweets. What might such an edit button look like? How many times could you edit a tweet? And for how long after it’s sent? That’s what the folks at Twitter need to figure out as they decide whether or not to roll out such a feature.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the Learn section for tips on building thought leadership and how to maximize your videos shared on social media.

Social Media News:

  • Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis (The New York Times). This is a long read that I’m planning to take on this weekend, but the key point is that both CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg bear direct responsibility for the company’s woes: “Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view. At critical moments over the last three years, they were distracted by personal projects, and passed off security and policy decisions to subordinates, according to current and former executives.” On Sandberg: “While Mr. Zuckerberg has conducted a public apology tour in the last year, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook’s critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation.” So, Facebook is not exactly showing expertise in crisis communication. If you do read the full piece, be sure to also read Facebook’s response.
  • Facebook and “The Data Dilemma” (PBS Frontline). Speaking of Facebook, this is a nice video overview of what Facebook knows about you, and how it knows it – from the use of “shadow profiles,” to the main ways Facebook tracks you on the web, even when you’re not on Facebook. This is a companion video to the much longer two-part investigation of Facebook’s privacy controversy that you should definitely watch. It’s also on YouTube.
  • Designing People’s Instagram Stories Is Now a Million-Dollar Business (Fast Company). With 11 million users, at a rate of 100,000 app downloads per day, Unfold, the Instagram story template app, is set to bring in $2.6 million in revenue for 2018.
  • Dorsey Says Twitter Is Thinking About an Edit Button to Fix Typos in Tweets (The Next Web). Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company has to carefully consider use cases for the edit button before making it a reality – and it could potentially be tooled to help fix typos. In my opinion, this would be the biggest change in the company’s history; even bigger than increasing the character count to 280.
  • LinkedIn Expects Media Biz to Bring in $2 Billion in 2018 (Axios). LinkedIn’s increased ad revenue can be attributed to higher user engagement on the site, driven by recent changes to pages and the LinkedIn news feed.

Learn:

  • How to Use Social Media to Build Thought Leadership (Social Media Today). From sharing quality content and knowing your audience to providing original research and building a professional profile, this is a nice listicle of how to position yourself or your brand as a thought leader.
  • How to Maximize the Exposure of Your Videos: A Strategic Plan (Social Media Examiner). This blog post has a list of five ways to post, promote, and distribute videos more effectively.

Chart of the Week:

We Analyzed 15,000 Instagram Stories from 200 of the World’s Top Brands (Buffer). 400 million people around the world use Instagram Stories on a daily basis (with that number rapidly growing). Click the image for more stats and strategic insight into Instagram Stories.

Growth of the Stories Format from 2014-2018.
As Snapchat’s growth has been nearly stagnant for the past three years, Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp have seen explosive growth.

What are the top social media news stories and learnings that I missed this week?

Social Media Rundown: Pivot to Video? Not So Fast; Facebook Hack; Russian Trolls Influence Brexit

Facebook thumbs up.
Even as Facebook executives were insisting that video consumption was skyrocketing, it was becoming clear that some of the metrics the company had used to calculate time spent on videos were wrong.

Not a lot happening in the world of social media this week; just the usual: shady Facebook news, data breaches, and more revelations on Russia’s influence on the Brexit referendum. For the learning section, I’ve stumbled upon two articles about using video to engage with your online audiences — check it out!

Social Media News:

  • Did Facebook’s Faulty Data Push News Publishers to Make Terrible Decisions on Video? (NiemanLab). Publishers’ “pivot to video” was driven largely by a belief that if Facebook was seeing users, in massive numbers, shift to video from text, the trend must be real. Perhaps we’re not actually in the midst of a video revolution.
  • Facebook’s Latest Hack Was by Spammers Who Just Wanted Money (Mashable). Facebook’s latest hack had the information of 29 million users scraped, but apparently by scammers wanting financial gain, rather than for political or ideological purposes.
  • Russian Trolls Sent Thousands of Pro-Leave Messages on Day of Brexit Referendum, Twitter Data Reveals (The Telegraph). The day of the Brexit vote, Russia mobilized an army of trolls, which at one stage included 3,800 accounts. The fake accounts Tweeted out 1,102 posts with the hashtag #ReasonsToLeaveEU. Now, how will Twitter prevent this from happening again?

Learn:

  • Twitter Has Renewed Its Live Video Push & Here’s What You Need to Know (TopRank Marketing). Once the dominate player in live video, Twitter fell to the likes of Facebook, YouTube, and even LinkedIn. This blog post has a few things to consider before jumping into live Twitter video.
  • 4 Ways to Use LinkedIn Video for Your Business (Social Media Examiner). Speaking of video, this article has some solid ideas on how you can use native LinkedIn video to engage with your audience.

Social Media Rundown: Teens Flee Facebook; Twitter Bans Teens; Use Instagram Stories Like a Teen

Not a whole lot of major social media news this week, but it’s definitely worth pointing out the recent Pew Research survey that shows just how quickly teens are fleeing Facebook for other social media platforms. I wonder, as these teens get older will they start using Facebook more frequently?

YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens.
Facebook is losing the teen audience at a quicker than thought pace.

Also, Snap’s CEO Evan Spiegel defends his platform and Twitter has started completely banning some of its youngest users.

This week’s learn section has some cool tips on using GIFs in Instagram Stories and how to be a real social media marketer using the power of Google Analytics. Read on to learn with me.

Social Media News:

  • Teens are Breaking Up with Facebook Faster Than We Thought, Says Study (Mashable). YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are now more popular among younger users than Facebook.
  • Snap Is No Facebook, and Spiegel Insists He Wants It That Way (Wired). Facebook’s Instagram is projected to surpass one billion users this year, while Snapchat has 191 million daily users. Its stock price is half what it was in February, when it redesigned the app. Further, Facebook seems to just wait for new Snapchat features to roll out and then copy them.
  • Why Twitter Started Banning Some of Its Youngest Users (Gizmodo). The minimum age to use Twitter is 13, though it doesn’t require users enter a birth date when signing up. If a user later enters a birthday indicating they were under 13 when they began tweeting, it presents a problem.

Learn:

  • 7 Creative Ways to Use GIFs on Instagram Stories (Later). Read this one if you’re on Instagram and want to use Stories like a pro (and impress all your teenage followers). In all seriousness, I’m on Instagram everyday (both personally and professionally) and I learned a few things from this helpful article. Did you know you can pin GIFs to appear at a certain point in a video? Or that you can actually create your own branded GIFs?
  • How to Use Google Analytics for Social Media: A Beginner’s Guide (Sprout Social). This article gets into the nitty gritty of how to use Google Analytics to create, optimize, and improve your social media marketing strategies.

Lastly, a little GDPR humor:

Tweet about GDPR.
A nice jab at all the companies sending emails regarding their updated privacy policies in light of GDPR.

The Social Media Rundown: Southwest for the PR Win, Zuck Confesses

Southwest Airlines has made a big splash through stellar customer service once again. Recently, when a customer paid for Wi-Fi only to find out she couldn’t get her game to stream, Southwest made it up to her in a big way. Instead of the typical “Sorry to hear you’re frustrated. Please DM us with details,” tweet coming from most any other airline, a guy named Mike at Southwest live-tweeted the second half of the Xavier vs. Florida State tourney game. Now perhaps Mike was just trying to work in some March Madness viewing into his work day, but either way, this landed Southwest some fantastic PR.

Southwest Airlines recently live-tweeted an NCAA Men's Tournament game.

Social Media News:

  • Mark Zuckerberg says he’s ‘open’ to testifying to Congress, fixes will cost ‘many millions’ and he ‘feels really bad’ (Recode). Zuckerberg admits Facebook may have made mistakes in opening up its network so much a decade ago. Also, here’s a nice summary of the whole Cambridge Analytica debacle.
  • The Atlantic’s new family section is built for the post-news feed era (Digiday). Another publisher creates a Facebook group. This is an indication of The Atlantic’s recent push to connect directly with readers as it looks to grow revenue by boosting subscriptions.
  • Another Social Network is Here. What Exactly Is It? (Marketing & Growth Hacking). I don’t normally share news of a new social networking site or app on the market as they’re usually unable to compete with Facebook. But this one is interesting because it’s entirely audio-based. Can you imagine people walking around sending voice memos to their public profiles all day? I can’t, but this aligns with the recent boom in podcasts. People would rather listen then read.
  • Instagram will show more recent posts due to algorithm backlash (TechCrunch). This should be a welcome change to anyone using the platform.

Learn:

  • Twitter Timeline Algorithm Explained. This post not only has a thorough breakdown of the Twitter algorithm, it’s also full of solid tips for increasing your reach. From using hashtags strategically to how to promote tweets, this post has it all.
  • 5 Instagram Pro Tips You Probably Didn’t Know About. I use Instagram everyday, and almost all of these tips were new to me. You can hide Stories from people, delete sent direct messages, and add gradient text coloring in Stories. The one I knew about is probably the most important: You can turn on post notifications from people and business accounts.

What’s the big news to you this week? What have you learned?

Introducing: The Weekly Social Media Rundown

It’s been a long, unnecessary hiatus from writing in my blog. And well, I guess I got tired of seeing Puppymonkeybaby as my most recent blog post. So here I present you with a few social media news items worthy of your precious time.

I share the following as part of a weekly social media newsletter I send out internally at NEJM Group, as part of my role as Content Engagement Manager. My goal with the newsletter is to share a few of the most important news items of the past week (the ‘Social Media News’ section) and to also provide a few educational items (the ‘Learn’ section) so we can all be better social media marketers. If you have thoughts on the listed items or if you know of some big news I may have missed, please let me know in the comments.

Read the full blog post on Buffer.
A practical quote from the Buffer App blog post, “The New Facebook Algorithm: Secrets Behind How It Works and What You Can Do To Succeed.”

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Is Experimenting With A Way To Show You Even More Breaking News Tweets (Buzzfeed News). A new, algorithmically curated timeline of news tweets may soon be shown at the top of your feed.
  • Snapchat Launches ‘True Crime/Uncovered’ Series From Condé Nast Entertainment (Variety). As much as I love Snapchat, I have my doubts that a five-minute long TV show in a vertical, mobile-only presentation will be successful. But then again, Snapchat’s numbers continue to surprise me. For example, NBC News’ “Stay Tuned” is apparently getting 33 million viewers per month.
  • After Facebook news-feed changes, publishers look hopefully to Pinterest (Digiday). The online scrapbooking platform represented nearly 8 percent of publishers’ social traffic in the second half of 2017, up from 4.5 percent in the first half of 2016.

Learn:

  • The New Facebook Algorithm: Secrets Behind How It Works and What You Can Do To Succeed (Buffer App). This blog post breaks down the recent news feed changes as explained in a recent webinar hosted by Facebook. The news feed algorithm is broken down into four main components: inventory, signals, predictions, and overall score.
  • How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Better Visibility (Social Media Examiner). If you need to spruce up your personal LinkedIn profile, this is a great rundown of everything you need to know to make it happen.

Is Peach the next big social networking app? Or is it already seeing a slow, painful death?

 

peach-app
“Peach is a refreshingly fun and simple way to keep up with friends and be yourself.” -Apple Store description.

 

Peach, the private social networking app loaded with innovative features, but lacking in usability and a large user base, may already be a thing of the past, according to recent headlines.

Peach officially launched eight days ago.

You read that right. Peach launched a mere eight days ago and its potential is already in question. Is the online world really that consumed (and satisfied) with only a handful of social networking mainstays (namely Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) that an innovative, exciting new app can’t penetrate the market? Sadly, it’s getting increasingly difficult for a new social networking service to compete with the big guys. Peach has my attention, and the potential contend with the heavy hitters, but can it rise to the challenge?

It’s been awhile since a new social networking site or app has really caught my eye. Draw Something was more of a mobile game than a social networking app, but it definitely roped me in due to its incredibly addictive attributes.

Path, the social networking app that set a limit of only 50 friends you could connect with, came and went before I even had a chance to write about it.

Pinterest definitely won me over, even triggering a blog post about the visual bookmarking tool being a ‘game changer.’

Ello was apparently all the rave for a few short months about a year ago. I was an early adopter of Ello, but never really saw its benefits. With nothing particularly innovative or unique about it, I stopped using Ello just about as soon as I signed up. It’s still in service, but is anyone talking about it? Have you Ello’d lately?

I never wrote about Snapchat, but we all know the success the disappearing messaging app has seen. Snapchat is so popular that it’s now entering its “mom moment” of social networking sites—when an app or service becomes so popular that even your mom starts using it.

Maybe I’m not too good at this whole trend-spotting thing. Of the services mentioned above, Pinterest is the only social networking site that has had real lasting power. Pinterest is growing, and I still find myself browsing through hundreds of pins nearly every day.

Starting a new online social networking service is a difficult task. Just barely into its second week of operation, Peach is already seeing a flood of naysayers. A recent blog post on Social Media Today suggests Peach won’t stick, but that existing social networking power houses should adopt some of its features. A Mashable article suggests the ‘week-old social network named Peach may already be over,’ and that Facebook should buy it up.

One thing most who have used Peach love is how innovative it is. Its ‘magic words’ feature allows you to type in certain words or phrases that prompts a special action to include in your post. It’s a fun addition and one that most people would love to see integrated with Facebook and Twitter. Magic words include typing things such as “gif” to search for an animated gif within the app to easily and seamlessly include in your post. Typing “draw” gives you the ability to make a quick sketch to include with your post. Typing “weather” brings up current conditions, “here” adds your location, “goodmorning” prompts the time of day along with a couple emojis, and so on.

Peach is getting a ton of coverage for such a young start up, but unless it finds a way to dramatically grow its user base and greatly improve its ease of use, it’ll end up as a mere footnote in social media history (or a social media ghost town of sorts). Lastly, Peach must continue to innovate. It’s what helped Peach make a splash in the first place and it will need to keep giving users more in order to stay alive and relevant.

What are your thoughts? Will Peach last? Are you on Peach? Add me! Peach username: @eric_wheeler

Further reading:

Eric Wheeler is a social media specialist based in Massachusetts. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and his Master of Science degree in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University. He is currently taking Northwestern University’s Social Marketing Specialization MOOC offered by Coursera. Follow Eric on Twitter and Instagram.