31st May 2016

Tweet, tweet freedom…

Digital specialists and social media addicts rejoice – Twitter has announced that it will allow longer tweets by removing photos and usernames from the character limit.

I, for one, am excited about the well overdue update. There’s nothing more frustrating than coming up with bang on the character limit copy only to have to get rid of -8 characters that you, quite frankly, liked where they were in the first place, to accommodate a great gif. Well – not anymore!

The move got me thinking about other digital apps and how they too could improve their offering, so I have compiled some thoughts below.

SNAPCHAT

The app loved by millennials everywhere has stormed the app store and well and truly become a go-to for sharing amusing snippets of daily life with family and friends.

Snapchat officially launched in 2011, but arguably has only gained major popularity within the last few years, with 10 million people in the UK now using the app daily. As such, brands are increasingly looking into ways to monopolise the app and captivate an online audience outside of traditional social channels.

The issue? A brand could provide the most watchable story in the world but, so far, there is no tangible way to measure results. Sure, you can count replays, replies and who took screenshots but in terms of overall reach, how long someone has spent viewing your snaps and the general impression the campaign has made, there is no way to access this data as of yet.

Even if it was a paid for feature, having a screen of figures or a drop down option to evaluate the success of stories would be a god send for digital marketers and brands.

INSTAGRAM

Oh Instagram, my happy place and number one tool of procrastination – can you do any wrong? Er, yes in this case. Despite being used by well over 400 million people and sitting proudly in the top ten most used social media sites globally, clickable hyperlinks cannot be included in posts.

But, what if I want to link people to my recent blog post, cries every aspiring fashion blogger wearing a Fedora hat and camel coat? Sadly, you can’t at this present moment.

Savvy Insta users have found a detour around this, as hyperlinks do show up in bios. The downside of this is a dissatisfying user journey as this can be somewhat of a wild goose chase.

For speedier viewing and a smoother process overall, including clickable hyperlinks in individual posts is a no brainer.

FACEBOOK

No blog with heated conversation about social media would be complete without the ‘F’ word. I am of course talking about Facebook (plot twist, I know.)

Facebook has many a great feature from a digital marketing perspective; accurate ad targeting and the ability to pre schedule posts being two favourites.

However, despite the 20% text rule for Facebook ads recently being updated to be more ‘relaxed’, there are still restrictions in place. When uploading an ad with too much text, Facebook courteously provides a warning that there may be too much copy within the ad. Once this has been amended and the ad goes live, there is still every chance it will run for a while and then be disproved down the line and taken down with no warning – not so courteous! The easiest option is to have no copy at all but this isn’t always feasible.

The solutions? Let brands include whatever amount of text they like in their ads (the good ones know that text laden images look spammy) or, bring in a more accurate, predictable measuring tool to quash frustration and unnecessary knockbacks from the Facebook ad team.

Now, excuse me – I’m off to upload a funny cat gif with zero (well, less) restraints, what a time to be alive!