The Social Shoutout! Twitter limits, Facebook payments and more…

By November 9, 2017Stories

Curious what’s new on your social media this week? We’ve got all the details. From iPhone X reviews to Facebook’s newest feature, this week’s features aren’t to be missed.

Christmas came early for Twitter Users
Twitter’s feeling generous this year, as the company have decided to double all users character limits.

The social network has killed off the 140-character limit and given all users 280 characters per tweet to play with. But is it the present we all wanted under our tree this year?

Testing the new limit in October with a small number of users, Twitter saw mixed opinions. After the initial excitement, statistics show that users quickly reverted back to their old ways, with only 5% using the extra characters.

Our recent Twitter poll shows a nearly even split between those for and against the change, with 48% voting that the new character limit is a game changer and 52% believing we should have stuck to 140.

Like we do with the ugly Christmas jumper our great-aunt buys us every year, we’ll give the 280 limit a chance. It might not be what we wanted, but it can come in handy. And you never know, we might end up loving it.

But that’s not all that’s new on Twitter this week…

Promote Mode

The social network has officially launched its first ad subscription tool called ‘Promote Mode’ as a public beta. The tool allows you to automatically promote your Tweets and profile to expand your audience and attract new followers.

Promote Mode is a mobile feature which can be accessed through the Twitter app’s menu drawer. There, users can see how many followers they’ve gained, the number of people who saw their tweets, and who visited their profile. On desktop, these figures can be accessed using software ‘Social Sprout’.

Twitter began testing the tool as an invite-only feature in July, but it will now be available to the general public in the USA and UK for £79 a month.

Users will be able to reach thousands of non-followers and steadily grow their audience every month, without creating or managing campaigns. You’ll still have to put in some work though; user’s tweets will still need to be informative or witty enough to convince people to hit the follow button.

Snapchat say the R-word

On Tuesday, Snapchat voiced plans to redesign their app to attract more users.

The Company said they will be spending the rest of the year restyling the app, attempting to create a more user-friendly interface with a greater focus on content.

Older users have expressed concerns that Snapchat is difficult to understand and hard to use, but does Snapchat risk offending their current users by changing their current design?

Not necessarily, as the popular app is looking to improve features that the younger generation loves too. 2018 will see Snapchat make it possible for users to create their own lenses and filters!

Gone are the days of the dog filter. It’s time to get technical.

iPhone X – Is it worth the money?

Last Friday, fans were seen queuing at Apple stores around the country waiting to get their hands on the newest iPhone. But for an eye-watering £999, is the iPhone X worth the crippling credit card debt?

A lot of the features Apple promised, have exceeded expectations. The new handset is both water and dust resistant, it can charge wirelessly and it unlocks using Face ID. Well for that price, we’d expect nothing less. But buyers are already starting to see some major issues.

Apple has warned users that the new OLED screens might encounter problems. The screen’s TrueTone technology may suffer from loss of accurate colour and hue when looked at from an angle, with bright images being completely burned from the screen. Users have also complained the lack of a home button means they can’t screenshot.

Don’t worry though, because we’ve got your back! We did some research and found the easiest way to screenshot on the new handset is to press the volume up and lock button at the same time. You’re welcome.

UK Facebook Messenger add a Payment option

Facebook is collaborating with the country’s top banks and credit card firms to launch Messenger Payments.

The new feature will allow people to ask for, and send money to one another, in a quick and easy way. It also uses ‘M’ suggestions, which pop up in any messenger conversation where ‘payments’ are mentioned.

In the US, the feature has been available for over 2 years and has been very successful, allowing users to easily split restaurant bills, pay babysitters and send gifts.

UK banks launched a similar app ‘Paym’ 3 years ago, which didn’t appear to make any real impact. However, the new Facebook feature should be more appealing as every messenger user can use it instantly. There’s no need to download a new App or create new logins and passwords. All you do is register your card details, and away you go!

By Amelia French, Northumbria University