Should Instagram maintain its original engagement model?


I have been looking for a third party software in order to manager an Instagram account and plan some posts beforehand. I thought it would be easy to find but actually, apart from some apps like Instarepost or similar, there isn’t much on the market to help community management on Instagram. I contacted the company I work with to do social media monitoring and they send me an interesting reply:

At this time, uploading via the Instagram API is not possible. We got in touch with them to ask whether this would change, but we received the following reply:

“Instagram is about your life on the go – we hope to encourage photos from within the app. However, in the future we may give whitelist access to individual apps on a case by case basis. We want to fight spam & low quality photos. Once we allow uploading from other sources, it’s harder to control what comes into the Instagram ecosystem. All this being said, we’re working on ways to ensure users have a consistent and high-quality experience on our platform.”

I find it very interesting to see how Instagram sticks to their original business model without giving in to the desktop/laptop management temptation. This was for instance a decision Vine went for but it made them lose some of their uniqueness. Vine used to be a spontaneous app where really creative people would experiment and challenge their abilities within the pretty strict limitations of the app. That’s what made Vines very unique. Since they allowed uploads of basically any six seconds videos, they did make it easier for the users to be present in the Vine community but they completely killed their original engagement model. I still believe that making any six second video doesn’t mean making a Vine. But this is what almost the entire Vine community has become.

From what I read on Uplifted, Instagram are taking this very seriously. In Instagram’s continued quest to remain an exclusively mobile app, they are now penalizing users of third-party apps, such as Gramblr.  Gramblr still works great for posting pre-edited photos, but with a catch.  Instagram is now disabling hashtags on accounts that have used Gramblr in the past, sometimes even for just one photo. Businesses and individuals who wish to accumulate followers should stick to posting strictly from the sanctioned instagram app.

Latergram might just be the next big thing in social media management.  The app, which bills itself as the way to “schedule and manage your Instagram posts” promises to do just that and more. Still in beta version.

Have another alternative? I’d love to know!

What the “EU Tweets of the Week” teach us about the rewarding effect on social media


A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to hear Kasper Peter‘s presentation about the EU Tweets of the Week, a creative product by viEUws, an online media organisation providing an analysis of EU policy developments. I found it very interesting to hear what is behind this product which has gained quite some success in the Eurobubble as you can also see from their increase in Twitter followership in the past 3 months.

Cattura
source: Twittercounter

In my opinion, their success is partly due to their grasp of the “rewarding effect of social media” and because the product goes straight to the point and targets a very specific group of people: professionals in the bubble.

We often discuss about the topic being rewarding on social media. Giving your audience a reason to come back, being engaging, interactive and interested in your content. The EU Tweets of the Week is one of the best example I have seen of the embodiment of this principle. Apart from collecting suggestions under the hashtag #EUtweets, the guys behind the scene are also monitoring the entire Brussels twittersphere and choosing the best comments directly related to the most important events happening each week.

“People are trying to be on the tweets of the week” said Kasper, and I agree with him. I can see a trend in trying to be more breaking news and more engaging on key political issues in the Brussels twittersphere. I can’t say that this is  because of the EU Tweets of the Week but certainly I can see people interested in trying to “make it there.”

I think the same applies to Jimmy Kimmel‘s Celebrities Read Mean Tweets. The rationale behind this is “be mean to celebrities and you might end up in one of the biggest TV shows in America.”

I understand in the (Euro)bubble the rationale is a bit more limited, like “talk cleverly about EU policy making and you might make it to a moderately viewed Vimeo-hosted 3 minutes show targeting exclusively a limited circle of professionals” but hey, that’s actually what all we want in the bubble.

Keep up the good work.

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10 terms to help you decipher ’social media speak’

I’m happy to republish a very interesting piece written by my colleague @AmyJColgan who is a Social Media Analyst at DG COMM in the European Commission. This post was originally published in Waltzing Matilda blog.

Social media, like any field, comes with its own vocabulary. I don’t mean RT and PM and YOLO (LOLCATZ!), but the words people working in an industry use to describe the job they do. These words, specially coined to fit a very specific purpose, are sometimes helpful and often maddening, if you’ve got strong feelings about, you know, grammar and meaning. (My favourite example of business speak was being asked by someone to “travel the idea and revert to me by COB.” What was wrong with “think about it and get back to me by the end of the day”? Only he could tell you. But then you might not understand the answer. It’s a vicious circle.)
But leaving that calmly to one side, it’s certainly useful to be able to decipher the vocabulary if you’re venturing into a new world, and as social media is rapidly becoming part of more and more people’s jobs within international/organisational communications, we thought that it might be useful to provide a basic lexicon for 10 social media terms that you may often find yourself hearing and using.

Community Management

This is what used to be called moderation, but with a little more… love… thrown in. Continue reading “10 terms to help you decipher ’social media speak’”

Does social networking make us less social?

Mike Elgan raised an interesting issue on his Google Plus account recently. See below:

Our waiter at a side walk restaurant in Florence last night (I don’t recall his name, sadly), believes that social networks are making us all less social. He said that over his years as a waiter, people have become more obsessed with checking their social networking feeds and less polite. When they come into the restaurant, the first thing they say is: “do you have WiFi?,” rather than “hello.” Then they sit there with their faces in their phones instead of talking. Is it true? Do social networks make us less social?

Capture

The post  received over 165 plusses and 80 comments, demonstrating how the issue is very interesting to people.

I think the definition of being social has to be revised, meaning that the offline and online aspects of this activity have to be merged. Is somebody who is very socially active online not a sociable person?
Probably yes, within the current most accepted definition. Continue reading “Does social networking make us less social?”