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Vine app: porn flubs, ads, creative uses multiply

Twitter’s Vine app continues to have a rough time, but as the creative uses multiply, the novel tool is proving to be not only fun but useful, and soon to be a marketing staple in any business’ arsenal.

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Vine app launch continues to be rocky

Twitter’s first standalone product, the Vine app launched last Thursday to some substantial technical glitches that allowed users to sign into accounts that weren’t theirs, followed by criticism that it only launched in iTunes, ignoring Android users, and of course, the talk of the town is the rampant porn on the app.

The sticking point for many users is the challenge that most social networks have: porn. Some are calling the problem “rampant,” and analysts are questioning the shelf life of the app in light of a pornographic video being featured as an “Editor’s Pick” this morning on the Vine app, whic a Twitter spokesperson has said was a “human error,” issuing an apology for the error.

Apple has removed the app from their “Featured” section due to the unresolved porn issues, and some speculate that despite offering flagging mechanisms for users, the app could already be in trouble in light of the “500px” app removed completely from the App Store last week as it was too easy to search it for inappropriate materials.

WE still think Vine is the best thing since sliced bread

Twitter’s Vine app has had a rough first few days, but bad user behavior and technical glitches aside, some pretty creative uses are emerging and while some are calling them “ads” as they feature branded content or visual depictions behind the scenes of companies, we would call it simply “social media.”

There is something novel, something fun, something interesting that Vine has because (a) it auto-plays the looped animated gif, (b) it defaults to mute, thank goodness, and (c) it hits the sweet spot in between photo sharing and video sharing, so despite criticism, it’s looking good to us!

vine download itunes

See nothing but Vine app updates in real time

Over the weekend, several websites launched to show people what was happening on Vine in real time, each with a unique perspective, but none of which are filtered, so inappropriate updates are included.

  1. VineRoulette – VineRoulette describes itself as a “full-screen visualization of short videos posted around the world with Vine.” What we LIKE about the site is that you can hover over different videos and play which ones you want instead of waiting to load one at a time, and what we DON’T LIKE about it is that it is extremely resource heavy and really slowed down our computers, but it would be fun for parties or conferences.
  2. VinesMap – VinesMap prompts you to “see where Vines are being posted in real-time on a map,” which is pretty novel. We LIKE that you can see where clusters of activity are, but what we DON’T LIKE is that it is not automatically muted (neither is VineRoulette), which is annoying.
  3. vinepeekour favorite, Vinepeek “shows you newly posted Vines in realtime,” warning that the stream is unmoderated. It offers one video at a time, and what we LIKE is that it is the easiest to navigate and actually get to the tweet of the three, making it the most accessible, and what we DON’T LIKE is that there’s no back button, so if you miss something you wanted to click on, you’re out of luck.

Vine is going to be a hit

We predict that like Twitter, Vine will be a hit. It will be used, abused, and ignored as novelty by some, but it will certainly be fun for personal use, but great for business use to do instructional videos, behind-the-scenes shots, product shots, and more in an effort to humanize any brand. We forecast that when the Android app is released, Vine will become a mainstream staple.

13 creative uses for the Vine app:

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

Social Media

Facebook releases Hotline as yet another Clubhouse competitor

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As yet another app emerges to try and take some of Clubhouse’s success, Facebook Hotline adds a slightly more formal video chat component to the game.

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Woman forming hands into heart shape at laptop hosting live video chat, similar to Facebook's new app Hotline

Facebook is at it again and launching its own version of another app. This time, the company has launched Hotline, which looks like a cross between Instagram Live and Clubhouse.

Facebook’s Hotline is the company’s attempt at competing with Clubhouse, the audio-based social media app, which was released on iOS in March 2020. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported Facebook had already begun working on building its own version of the app. Erik Hazzard, who joined Facebook in 2017 after the company acquired his tbh app, is leading the project.

The app was created by the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team, Facebook’s experimental development division, and it’s already in beta testing online. To access it, you can use the web-based application through the platform’s website to join the waitlist and “Host a Show”. However, you will need to sign in using your Twitter account to do so.

Unlike Clubhouse, Hotline lets users also chat through video and not just audio alone. The product is more like a formal Q&A and recording platform. Its features allow people to live stream and hold Q&A sessions with their audiences similar to Instagram Live. And, audience members can ask questions by using text or audio.

Also, what makes Hotline a little more formal than Clubhouse is that it automatically records conversations. According to TechCrunch, hosts receive both a video and audio recording of the event. With a guaranteed recording feature, the Q&A sessions will stray away from the casual vibes of Clubhouse.

The first person to host a Q&A live stream on Hotline is real-estate investor Nick Huber, who is the type of “expert” Facebook is hoping to attract to its platform.

“With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and BARS, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community,” the spokesperson added.

According to a Reuters article, the app doesn’t have any audience size limits, hosts can remove questions they don’t want to answer, and Facebook is moderating inappropriate content during its early days.

An app for mobile devices isn’t available yet, but if you want to check it out, you can visit Hotline’s website.

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Social Media

Brace yourselves: Facebook has re-opened political advertising space

(SOCIAL MEDIA) After a break due to misinformation in the past election, Facebook is once again allowing political advertising slots on their platform – with some caveats.

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Facebook open on phone in a wallet case, open for political advertising again.

After a months-long ban on political ads due to misinformation and other inappropriate behavior following the election in November, Facebook is planning to resume providing space for political advertising.

Starting on Thursday, March 4th, advertisers were able to buy spots for ads that comprise politics, what Facebook categorizes as “social issues”, and other potentially charged topics previously prohibited by the social media platform.

The history of the ban is complicated, and its existence was predicated on a profound distrust between political parties and mainstream news. In the wake of the 2016 election and illicit advertising activity that muddied the proverbial waters, Facebook had what some would view as a clear moral obligation to prevent similar sediment from clouding future elections.

Facebook delivered on that obligation by removing political advertising from their platform prior to Election Day, a decision that would stand fast in the tumultuous months to follow. And, while Facebook did temporarily suspend the ban in Georgia during the senate proceedings, political advertisements nevertheless remained absent from the platform in large until last week.

The removal of the ban does have some accompanying caveats—namely the identification process. Unlike before, advertisers will have to go to great lengths to confirm their identities prior to launching ads. Those ads will most likely also need to come from domestic agencies given Facebook’s diligent removal of foreign and malicious campaigns in the prior years.

The moral debate regarding social media advertising—particularly on Facebook—is a deeply nuanced and divided one. Some argue that, by removing political advertising across the board, Facebook has simply limited access for “good actors” and cleared the way for illegitimate claims.

Facebook’s response to this is simply that they didn’t understand fully the role ads would play in the electoral process, and that allowing those ads back will allow them to learn more going forward.

Either way, political advertising spots are now open on Facebook, and the overall public perception seems controversial enough to warrant keeping an eye on the progression of this decision. It wouldn’t be entirely unexpected for Facebook to revoke access to these advertisements again—or limit further their range and scope—in the coming months and years.

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Social Media

Twitter to start charging users? Here’s what you need to know

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media is trending toward the subscription based model, especially as the pandemic pushes ad revenue down. What does this mean for Twitter users?

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Twitter and other social media apps open on a phone being held in a hand. Will they go to a paid option subscription model?

In an attempt to become less dependent on advertising, Twitter Inc. announced that it will be considering developing a subscription product, as well as other paid options. Here’s the scoop:

  • The ideas for paid Twitter that are being tossed around include tipping creators, the ability to pay users you follow for exclusive content, charging for use of the TweetDeck, features like “undo send”, and profile customization options and more.
  • While Twitter has thought about moving towards paid for years, the pandemic has pushed them to do it – plus activist investors want to see accelerated growth.
  • The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted ads, though Twitter’s ad market is significantly smaller than Facebook and other competitors.
  • The platform’s user base in the U.S. is its most valuable market, and that market is plateauing – essentially, Twitter can’t depend on new American users joining to make money anymore.
  • The company tried user “tips” in the past with its live video service Periscope (RIP), which has now become a popular business model for other companies – and which we will most likely see again with paid Twitter.
  • And yes, they will ALWAYS take a cut of any money being poured into the app, no matter who it’s intended for.

This announcement comes at a time where other social media platforms, such as TikTok and Clubhouse, are also moving towards paid options.

My hot take: Is it important – especially during a pandemic – to make sure that creators are receiving fair compensation for the content that we as users consume? Yes, 100%. Pay people for their work. And in the realm of social media, pictures, memes, and opinions are in fact work. Don’t get it twisted.

Does this shift also symbolize a deviation from the unpaid, egalitarian social media that we’ve all learned to use, consume, and love over the last decade? It sure does.

My irritation stems not from the fact that creators will probably see more return on their work in the future. Or on the principal of free social media for all. It stems from sheer greediness of the social media giants. Facebook, Twitter, and their counterparts are already filthy rich. Like, dumb rich. And guess what: Even though Twitter has been free so far, it’s creators and users alike that have been generating wealth for the company.

So why do they want even more now?

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