Tag Archives: Social Media

Like Instagram? Like Tweetdeck? Then You Need ‘Picdeck’ In Your Life

While Instagram is a predominately mobile based service, there are a few desktop applications that add value or enhance the user experience. Obviously there is Instagram.com, the official website for Instagram that allows you to view your feed as if it were on your phone, as well as letting you leave comments and like photos. And of course there is SocialSafe, which allows you to back up your Instagrams and use the Insights feature to see which of your photos are the most popular, and discover more about your use of filters.

But now a new desktop app is tracking the same approach to Instagram as Tweetdeck did to Twitter.

Picdeck allows you to set your own columns of feeds on a web-based dashboard, based on either users or hashtags, as well as your own feed as you’d normally see it within the app (or on the desktop version). All you need to do is to go to Picdeck.co and sign in with your Instagram login ID, then start creating feeds!

picdeck for instagram

As you’ll see, the aesthetic is very similar to other social media dashboards such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, so it should be comfortably familiar for most people. Picdeck does however lack the posting functionality that is a hallmark of the aforementioned social media dashboards, nor does Picdeck allow you to add more than one account (giving you multiple instances of ‘My Feed’.

These features may well appear in the fullness of time, and it’s worth pointing out that Picdeck is the product of a one-day hack-day project by London-based company Marvel. So given more development time, this could easily go a lot further, and according to The Verge, Marvel already has plans to add location-based columns and other features.

Have you used Picdeck? What are your first thoughts? Comment below, let us know!

How To Back Up Your Instagram Hyperlapse Videos

Instagram has just released Hyperlapse – a standalone app allowing you to create simple time-lapse videos – and with SocialSafe you can back these up to your own library, along with any comments and likes.

Hyperlapse is pretty much as simple as point, shoot, share, except you get to choose the speed at which the movie plays. Aside from the variable clip speed, the only other frill is the automated video stabilisation that should hopefully avert any motion sickness you might encounter from particularly shaky camera work. If you choose to share the video in Instagram, then you can add as filters as you would with any other Instagram video.

In a blog post announcing the new app, Instagram said: “We designed Hyperlapse to be as simple as possible.”

There’s no need to sign up either.  Once you’ve recorded your clip and chosen the speed (you can choose from 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 10x, or 12x), the video is saved to your camera roll and you then have option to share it to Facebook or Instagram. So there’s no need to worry about building up your followers/friends on a new platform.

Want to see Hyperlapse in action?

20 Creative Hyperlapses From Instagram’s New App

What this also means is that if you publish your videos to Instagram, you can back up Hyperlapse videos with SocialSafe! Just as existing Instagram photos and videos can be downloaded to your SocialSafe library, any Hyperlapse videos you publish to Instagram will also be backed up – along with the comments and likes.

If you’re using our Instagram companion app ‘Likes’ (available in the app store – only for iOS at this moment), you’ll also be able to save to your iPhone any Hyperlapse videos from other users that you have liked on Instagram.

You can back up your own Instagram account, as well as your content from a number of other social networks, by downloading the SocialSafe desktop app.

Celebrities Taking On #ALSIceBucketChallenge Raise Millions For Charity

Earlier this year the world of social media came under fire for ease with which it allowed the #neknomination drinking challenge to spread. Critics said it promoted reckless and irresponsible drinking, and this was sadly proven correct by several deaths due to instances of accelerated and excessive consumption of alcohol in acts of one-upmanship.

However, this month we are seeing the same social mechanism of publicly nominating friends and peers put to an altogether better use in the form of the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. ALS is a form of motor neurone disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads, and then to make a donation to the ALS Association.

The viral spread is one again achieved by nominating other participants once you have been covered in icy water. As well as having deep pockets, celebrities also have an unfathomably large social reach, especially when combining their audiences.

Here’s an example of the #ALSIceBucketChallenge, courtesy of Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, who nominates actor Tim Robbins, music legend Bruce Springsteen, and – at the behest of his young daughters – Niall Horan from 1Direction, before being drenched in freezing water:

When celebrities start challenging each other publicly on social media, the content will inevitably have a viral spread reaching far and wide. So it should come as no surprise to hear that as of August 18th, the #ALSIceBucketChallenge had raised $15.6m (in the US) since July 29th.

To give you an idea of how much of an impact the social media campaign has had on the ALS Associations fundraising efforts, the amount received in the same period last year was less than $50,000.

As well as creating one of the platforms enabling the challenge to spread so effectively, Mark Zuckerberg was also just one of many tech leaders to find themselves beneath a bucket of icy water. The Facebook founder went on to nominate Bill Gates, who took an amusingly engineered approach to his own drenching.

There are plenty of amusing videos appearing each day from film stars, chart-toppers, sporting heroes and business leaders alike. Which #ALSIceBucketChallenge has been your favourite? Comment below, let us know…

Twitter Experiment Displays Other Users’ Favourites In Your Timeline

Twitter is experimenting with a new feature on the timeline, however users don’t  appear to be best  pleased with it so far. This latest tweak is to do with Favourites, and it essentially treats them in a similar way to retweets, as far as the main timeline is concerned.

Users have now reported seeing tweets in their timeline that users they follow have favourited, or further separated still, popular tweets from accounts that other users follow.

As the example above shows, Peter Kafka is seeing content on his timeline that he didn’t ask for, but is being shown purely on the basis of other users’ actions, while TheNextWeb’s Martin Bryant captured a much more ironic example of Twitter’s latest feature experiment:

The new feature – if implemented across the board – might change the way we use Favourites. Retweets are an intentional act of broadcasting other users’ content to your own followers, whereas Favourites are a way of marking things for your own personal reflection or posterity. When the things you mark for later attention are broadcast to your followers it puts an entirely different spin on things, as people researching topics will often favourite tweets/links to content that are completely against their beliefs or position.

With social networks most changes to the norm are generally met with a certain degree of discontent or mistrust, and this latest experiment from Twitter appears to be no different. While the company is yet to comment on the most recent changes, it did release a statement last year that does provide an overview on how Twitter goes about conducting its product experiments.

Have you experienced any of Twitter’s feature experiments? What are your thoughts on seeing other people’s favourited tweets in your timeline? Leave a comment below with your views.

Financial Conduct Authority Says Firms Should Keep Offline Records

New guidelines published by the Financial Conduct Authority have specified the importance of keeping a record of social media communications and interactions. Many industries have their own rules and regulations regarding the appropriate use of social media, and what systems companies and operators should have in place in terms of records keeping.

This new release from the FCA details some of the pitfalls of using social media to communicate with customers, and offers advisory remarks based on the different formats and norms of various social networks. On the subject of record keeping, we’d like to reproduce two of the points from the FCA document:

2.23 We remind firms of their obligations to have an adequate system in place to sign off digital media communications. This sign-off should be by a person of appropriate competence and seniority within the organisation.

2.24 Firms should also keep adequate records of any significant communications. As well as helping to protect consumers, these records enable the firm to deal effectively with any subsequent claims or complaints. Firms should not rely on digital media channels to maintain records, as they will not have control over this: social media in particular may
refresh content from time to time, with the consequent deletion of older material.

The important point to pick up on here is that firms “should not rely on digital media channels to maintain records, as they will not have control over this”. When you don’t hold the data yourself, you can never be 100% certain that nothing will happen to it, or that the ones holding the data won’t change the accessibility or ease of use.

Only by owning your own copy of the content you post  – and any subsequent interactions  – can you be fully in control of your data. SocialSafe is one such application that allows social media users to download, store, search and do more with their own copy of all the things they have said on their social networks.

Even if there are no legally binding regulations that apply to your business or industry, the FCA’s document is well worth taking a look at as it contains plenty of useful advice that can be heeded by any business, or indeed any individual. Click here to view the Financial Conduct Authority’s Guidance Consultation for Social Media and Customer Communications.

Why Are You Seeing So Many Random Videos In Your Facebook News Feed?

Have you noticed an increase in the number of videos that you’re seeing in your Facebook News Feed lately? Well there’s an explanation for that based on your own behaviour and those pesky ol’ Facebook algorithms that seem to polarise audiences.

You should be aware of Facebook’s auto-play function, introduced last year, that starts playing videos (admittedly silently) regardless of whether or not you’ve clicked on them. The algorithm detects when you pause your scrolling to watch them, and will then deliver even more videos. This was confirmed in June by Facebook’s Product Manager, Brett Welch:

People who tend to watch more videos in their News Feed should expect to see more videos near the top of their Feed. Conversely, people who tend to skip over videos without watching them should expect to see fewer videos.

However, these subtle tweaks to the News Feed algorithm that determine the frequency and type of content that is served up in your News Feed can be subject to abuse and exploitation.

Mashable’s Annie Colbert describes the situation as a “sneaky viral video spam problem“. Her article looks at the example of a handful of pages with nothing in common sharing the same irrelevant viral video content (without the appropriate rights to license the footage, incidentally), purely to get their pages into more and more people’s News Feeds by virtue of the fact that the video itself has proven to be popular elsewhere.

So what can we do to avoid seeing ‘spam’ videos appearing in our News Feeds? Well, short of not watching any videos in an attempt to adjust Facebook’s algorithmic  measure of us, it seems as though we’ll just have to be patient while Facebook works on ironing out these creases.

How To View Instagrams From Your Desktop

One feature within SocialSafe that you might not be aware of, is to do with photos. You can jump to the original image on the social network it was posted to with just one click.

When viewing any of the photos backed up in your SocialSafe library, you should be used to clicking on the thumbnail to see the larger view of the photo, as well as any comments, tags and likes. One thing you may not have noticed is the ‘View original’ button (highlighted in red) just beneath the large view of each photo:

view instagram photos on your pc or mac

Clicking on ‘View original’ will open up a browser window (or tab) and take you to the social network where the original image was posted. This short video shows you how this feature works with Instagram photos, but the same principle applies for any photos backed up in your SocialSafe library:

One way you might want to utilise this functionality is by combining it with the Flashback feature. When you’re shown your most popular photo from today’s date in previous years, you might want to remind your friends of it. By clicking on ‘View original’ you can jump straight to that image on whichever network it was posted on, and you could then comment on it again, or reshare it so that your friends or those who are tagged in it get a reminder of the great memories you’ve created together.

There are many other reasons why being able to jump back to the original photos online could be useful, and we’re sure you’ll find your own! This is just one of the ways we try to enhance your experience of using SocialSafe and enjoying your content, and we’ve got plenty more to come!

Which Social Media Records Did The #WorldCup Final Break?

Given the amount of people who actively use social media, and the amount of people to whom football is more or less a religion, it should be of little surprise to hear that Sunday’s World Cup Final broke Facebook and Twitter records.

Germany’s extra time victory over Argentina managed to elicit 280m interactions on Facebook (posts, comments or likes) from fans and observers across the globe. That figure eclipsed the record for the most Facebook interactions for an event, which had been set at 245m by the 2013 Super Bowl.

A new record was also set for the most tweets-per-minute, which peaked on Sunday at 618,725 and comfortably broke the record set earlier in the week when the hosts Brazil were annihilated 7-1 by eventual world champions Germany (580,106 tweets-per-minute). However the Germany vs. Brazil game still retains the record for the most tweets in a game, (36.6m), with only 32.1m tweets being posted during the World Cup final.

They were two very different games, with the record-setting Germany vs. Brazil game descending into the viral sharing of memes before half an hour had even been played, while the Germany vs. Argentina final was a much more tense affair during which people may have been less inclined to aver their gaze from the match to a second screen.

Another interesting fact came from Facebook, with the social network revealing that the top five countries participating in the global interactions were the USA, Brazil, ArgentinaGermany and Indonesia. It’s a little surprising that the two countries battling it out in the World Cup final were not the top two countries in terms of Facebook activity, although as stated, it’s reasonable to assume that both the Argentinians and the Germans would be glued to the match itself, rather than posting to social networks.

Were you active on social media during the football World Cup? What were your favourite moments from Brazil 2014? There many memorable tweets, posts and viral memes doing the rounds, and it must be said that social media really did provide a supplementary layer and subplot to what was already a fantastic global occasion.

If you have a particular favourite social media moment from Brazil 2014 then please link to it in the comments section below.

VIDEO GUIDE: Search Your Instagram Captions, Comments, Tags and #Hashtags

One of the cool things you can do when you download your Instagram photos to SocialSafe is to search through them by keyword or hashtag. When viewing your Instagrams within SocialSafe you can click on the Search box on the left hand side of the top bar and enter the word, name or phrase you’d like to find.

Here’s a very short video showing you how to Search Your Instagram Captions, Tags and #Hashtags:

Any photos containing your chosen search term will be displayed. Hovering over an image will show you how many comments, tags and/or likes it has, and clicking on the image will open it up in a larger view, where you will be able to see the caption, any comments, who has liked your photo and any tags associated with it.

You can also change the date range [not demonstrated in this video] to only show you images from any of the preset time periods (eg Last 7 Days, Last 30 Days, Last Year etc), or set your own custom date range.

For more tutorial videos, including how to print your Instagrams as PDFs, please refer to the SocialSafe YouTube Channel where the other aspects and functionality of the SocialSafe application are covered in greater detail.

Facebook Controls Your News Feed In Attempt To Manipulate Your Mood

The much fabled Facebook News Feed algorithm sees to it that we are shown stories that Facebook thinks we will engage with, or that will be of significant interest to us. To add to the irritation of users, we are also shown Suggested Posts and adverts that take the place of posts from people who we’re actually friends with.

However, it’s one thing being second guessed for the sake of not being overwhelmed with potentially irrelevant or humdrum content, but it’s something else entirely to have the content of your News Feed manipulated to see if it can elicit certain emotional reactions from you. And that’s exactly what has been going on at Facebook.

It has recently come to light that Facebook had manipulated the emotions of hundreds of thousands of users by what was shown in their respective News Feeds. An experiment conducted in 2012 saw nearly 700,000 users’ News Feeds skewed to be happier or sadder than normal, in an attempt to see if an ‘emotional contagion’ could be affected.

The results showed that emotion can indeed spread across the network, evidenced by the fact that users who had been presented with a manipulated Facebook News Feed went on to post updates of their own that reflected the mood of the ones they had been shown.

Users were understandably annoyed to find out that Facebook had been using them as psychological guinea-pigs without their knowledge or consent. While not necessarily illegal, what Facebook has done could be considered immoral, and even those involved in conducting the research – such as Susan Fiske, Professor of Psychology at Princeton University – had their reservations:

“…the level of outrage that appears to be happening suggests that maybe it shouldn’t have been done… I’m still thinking about it and I’m a little creeped out too.”

However,  Adam Kramer – a member of Facebook’s Core Data Science Team and co-author of the study – has defended the experiment:

“The reason we did this research is because we care about the emotional impact of Facebook and the people that use our product… We felt that it was important to investigate the common worry that seeing friends post positive content leads to people feeling negative or left out. At the same time, we were concerned that exposure to friends’ negativity might lead people to avoid visiting Facebook. We didn’t clearly state our motivations in the paper.”

How do you feel about Facebook’s experiment? While there is the obvious ethical issue surrounding the manipulation of people’s moods, there is a case to argue that Facebook had the interests of its wider audience at heart, and telling people that they were to be the subject of such an experiment could bias the outcome. If you have a view on this story, please feel free to let us know your opinion by leaving a comment below.