It has been a big week for the world’s most popular social media platforms. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat have announced new features that are either already live or are currently in beta. Here is a recap on everything you need to know about the new features to enhance your online user experience.
Twitter Announced 5 New Features at The Twitter Flight Developer Conference in San Francisco on October 21, 2015
1. Launched Beta Test for Native Ads
Long overdue, Twitter has launched their beta test for native ads on the platform. Native advertising functions as natural content but they are actually sponsored ads. As a result, users have a harder time noticing if the content they are viewing is from accounts they’ve followed or if it’s a sponsored ad. Native Ads create a better overall user experience and a better return on investment for developers. Developers will have access to more than 170 buyers on the MoPub Marketplace that will connect their applications to thousands of third-party advertisers. Developers will also be able to run native ads from direct advertisers that they’ve partnered with as well as promotional ads on other applications they may have created.
Our native video solution empowers any developer to monetize with native video ads just like those on Twitter https://t.co/ywy3aqYyM4
— Twitter Flight (@Flight) October 21, 2015
2. Launched Twitter Publish to Show Off Embedded Tweets
The mobile and desktop responsive Twitter Publish creates a new design-friendly and easy way for media companies to package Twitter’s content. “We … know that you need a powerful visual storytelling tool to truly engage your users, so we’ve built an embedded grid which displays your curated content in a rich, responsive, media-forward format,” Twitter wrote in a blog post.
It makes sense since “embedded tweets produce over 1 billion unique visitors every month,” says Product manager, Michael Ducker. Ducker goes on to say, “You can now embed Twitter polls and Twitter moments into websites as well.”
3. Launched Two Option Polling Feature
Twitter launched a two-option polling feature that lets viewers vote and see results real time. The feature can be used on mobile and desktop as well.
— Twitter (@twitter) October 21, 2015
4. Announced New Partnerships for Twitter Fabric
Twitter’s Mobile Development Platform, Twitter Fabric, announced their new partnerships with Stripe, Amazon Web Services, and Optimizely. The new integrations, along with Nuance, Appsee, GameAnalytics, Mapbox, and PubNub partnerships to be rolled out in the near future, will help developers build better and faster applications.
Fastlane, a continuous deployment and integration tool, has also been integrated into Fabric. Fastlane will still remain as an open source to provide users a way to better streamline the work needed to get their application published.
5. Launched Twitter Gnip Engagement and Audience APIs
Gnip Engagement and Audience APIs now give insight into reach and impressions for tweets. The Audience API can show you a demographic and behavior breakdown of your viewers. The Engagement API analyzes interactions and organic content. Twitter went even further and partnered with Techstars accelerator to provide users free access to Gnip’s data sources.
— Twitter Flight (@Flight) October 21, 2015
Instagram Launches 1-Second Looping Video Stand Alone App, Boomerang
Boomerang is a stand-alone application with four buttons: a button to create your video, a button upload a pre-recorded video, a button to share the video to Instagram, and a button to share the video to Facebook (owner of Instagram). The video feature lets you a capture a rapid-fire series of 10 photos and transform it into a one-second GIF-like looping video.
Facebook Launches “Instant Articles” to Decrease Loading Times
Originally it would take approximately 8 seconds to load an article within Facebook’s application. Facebook’s “Instant Articles” will now load your article within a fraction of a second. A decrease in the speed when loading articles will now increase article intake for readers. It also has a cool feature that allows you to zoom anywhere you want within the article, even if it is a video. You can tilt your phone any which way and your article will simultaneously move with it. This feature is currently active for iOS users and in beta for Android.
Snapchat Rolls Out New Set of Self-Animations
Every day Snapchat rolls out new animated selfie features. This week included a ducky shower cap in a bubbly bath, laser eyes, and a queen’s crown. Although they are pretty cool animations, nothing beats the vomiting rainbow of bacon.