This is the official class blog of Journalism 4270/5330.001, the strategic social media class of the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas. All content is student (or instructor) generated, and opinions are our own. Comments are welcome and encouraged.
All throughout our class in strategic social media, we have made mentions of Storify and how great a website it is for curated social media stories. But from my experience, it’s not that great. It’s very easy to use but nobody ever reads them. Storify stories are just not popular in the mainstream.
They just seem to be popular to professors and academics who use it to teach students. It’s not that great of a tool to use if you’re trying to gain an audience. It hasn’t gained any considerable amount of traction.
And to make Storify even more obsolete, Twitter has a very similar and I’d say more visible way to do what Storify tried to do. Twitter has a feature that is called ‘Moments’. It’s a feature that lets you create curated stories that are powered by Tweets.
Twitter curates news and makes them into moments that can be seen in the moments tab on the website or in the app. So Twitter curates stories on the whole platform that you can see and Twitter also lets you create your own curated stories that you can post as moments too.
These moments that you create on Twitter can also be a way to promote your threads and conversations that you make in Twitter as well.
So, Facebook has begun to update its mobile application in several countries with a new feature called, Facebook Stories. This new feature allows users to post photos and videos that can be viewed up to two times by an individual user and will disappear 24 hours after being posted. Facebook has been testing this feature for some time. Back in July, Facebook tested a feature similar to Stories called Quick Updates. However, the Stories feature sounds fairly similar to another app’s feature… oh yeah, Instagram Stories.
Instagram’s Stories feature allows its users to post photos and videos that can be view until a 24-hour time period has passed. The app originated in 2010 as a social media network that specialized in the sharing of photos. It then added the Stories feature in August 2016. Unfortunately, this sounds familiar to another app’s feature as well, Snapchat. Snapchat is recognized as the originator of the feature known as Stories. This particular feature, having user-generated disappear after 24 hours, is the entire premise of Snapchat.
Fascinatingly, Instagram has had substantial success since the integration of the Stories feature. The views and posts to Stories on Snapchat dropped by 15 percent, and sometimes up to 40 percent, while views and posts to Instagram Stories grew at alarming rates. Another shocking discovery is the number of downloads for Snapchat’s app plummeted on the launch date for Instagram’s Stories, which dropped into 11th place. Although Snapchat is still popular, by being in the top 25, it has taken a hit.
Now, it is not unknown for social media platforms to adopt features from one another. Interestingly enough, Instagram has done this before. It did this by implementing a 15-second video recording/editing feature. This feature was added to oppose, the video leader at the time, Vine. If you did not know, Facebook owns Instagram. Although Instagram found success from appropriating other apps’ features does not mean Facebook will have the same success.
Facebook is missing a large point, Uses and Gratifications Theory. The theory states users are active participants in the communication process by actively selecting specific media content to consume according to their needs. This means that individuals choose to use certain apps for certain purposes. Facebook’s demographic is moving toward an older audience who are sentimental and believe in the long-term. Therefore, they are not going to find much use out of an app that is the “now” or here today and gone tomorrow. It is Millennials, or 17 to 26-year-olds, who live within the fleeting moment. So, I do not see a reason for Facebook implementing this new feature if their user demographic does not use the app for the gratification of living in the moment. There is no such thing as a one-stop hub for social media.
Of all brands, my favorite is Snapchat without question. They are innovative, game-changing, and have managed to give other social media channels scrambling to catch up. I raced to find a pair of Specs when they started selling their first photography merchandise. Within the next week, Snapchat’s official company Snap Inc. will go public. While some aren’t so sure of their success, I am excited to see how this plays out.
Snapchat has become a staple to social media but it’s still extremely new. Snapchat has only been around for six years. With the upcoming opportunity to buy shares, let’s take a look at the history of Snapchat in the last half-decade:
Launches as PicaBoo
Renamed Snapchat and launches on Android and Apple.
Snapchat Stories are introduced changing the motives on the app from interpersonal communication to mass-communication with an audience.
Smartfilters come into play which includes temperature, date, and time.
Video capabilities are introduced.
Users can chat with text with other people.
Geofilters are introduced into the app. People can travel the nation and show all of their friends where they are with these unique stickers on their photos.
Lenses are introduced where people can wear fun and ever-changing masks on their pictures. (e.g. the dog face, rainbow face, etc.)
The Discover section is integrated where news and media outlets begin to publish content to the public.
On-Demand Filters become available for sale, where anyone can design a filter and place it on a location for a price.
Chat is updated and features a plethora of new emojis, voice and video calling, and stickers.
Bitmoji is integrated into the app where people can use emojis that look like them into the app.
Memories are introduced where people can look back on any of their saved snaps that are saved via cloud.
Spectacles go on sale to the public making this the first hardware that the Specs Inc. has ever sold. Specs are sunglasses that sync directly to the app and record your surrounding from your perspective. The product is exclusively released in a vending machine that travels the country.
Spectacles go on sale online to the public.
The Specs Inc. company goes public this week and as soon as I figure out how stocks work, I’m investing. Snapchat has had such a rich history in such a short time.