Summer 2016 is panning out to be the hottest summer on record yet, the Summer Olympics in Rio are in full swing, and everyone we know is suddenly practicing their politics in anticipation of the upcoming elections. In case you’ve been soaking up the last bit of summer sun and haven’t been on top of your social media game, we’ve gathered what’s been going on in this fast paced world so you can keep those toes in the sand.
Earlier in July, Snapchat introduced Memories: a place to store saved Snaps and Stories, while cutting out the middleman of a camera roll. This comes as a big change to the app that has grown its massive following on the premise of disappearing content. Users have agreed that the draw to Snapchat has historically been the unpolished, unedited, random content it produces. These changes hold a possibility of a fundamental shift back to perfectly polished content, which diverges from the app’s original intent. The big question is how Snapchat is going to keep its original mysterious appeal as it embarks on a more traditional direction.
While Snapchat is looking to reach “older” audiences by implementing more traditional aspects of social media like advertising and enduring content, Instagram is attempting to increase relevance to the younger generation by rolling out Instagram Stories. In a classic case of copy-cat, Instagram’s new ephemeral space on the app allows users to cobble together video and photos that disappear after 24 hours. Sound familiar? Many homegrown Snapchat stars have already started utilizing the platform, with brands sponsoring content on their feeds. Sounds like a lucrative opportunity: Instagram has almost double the amount of Snapchat’s 150 million daily active users. We’ll have to watch this one.
Social media’s unprecedented presence at the RNC and DNC
Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook played a bigger role in both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this year than ever before. It’s now official: social media is redefining how we get our news. Stories breaking on Twitter before national news, live streaming of major political events on Facebook Live, and millions of users engaged in conversations make social media the new media darling. Move over Fox and CNN, Facebook could very well be our main news source by the next election.
Facebook Messenger makes a milestone
One billion people now use Facebook’s Messenger app every month. Along with that news, the platform announced that Instant Articles are now available for Messenger on Android, and soon to be on iOS.
Facebook has also increased the time limit on Facebook Live from two hours to four, and viewers can now hide comments during live feeds by simply swiping right.