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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!

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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.

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Social Media

Why Trump’s lawsuit against social media still matters

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Former President Trump snagged headlines for suing every large social media platform, and it has gone quiet, but it still deeply matters.

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It was splashed across headlines everywhere in July: Former President Trump filed a lawsuit against social media platforms that he claims unrightfully banned him during and after the fallout of the January 6th capitol riots. The headlines ran for about a week or so and then fell off the radar as other, fresher, just-as-juicy news headlines captured the media’s eye.

Many of us were left wondering what that was all about and if anything ever became of it. For even more of us, it probably passed out of our minds completely. Lack of public awareness for these things is common after the initial media blitz fades.

Lawsuits like these in the US can take months, if not years between newsworthy milestones. The most recent news I could find as of this publishing is from August 24, 2021, on Yahoo! News from the Washington Examiner discussing the Trump camp’s request for a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit.

This particular suit shouldn’t be left to fade from memory in the shadows though, and here’s why:

In the past few years, world powers have been reigning in regulations on social media and internet commerce. The US is actually a little behind the curve. Trump may have unwittingly given us a source of momentum to get with the times.

In the European Union, they have the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), widely acknowledged to be one of the toughest and most thorough privacy laws in the world, a bold title. China just passed its own pair of laws in the past four months: The Data Security Law, which took effect on Sept. 1, and The Personal Information Law, set to take effect November 1st. The pair is poised to give the GDPR a run for its money for that title.

Meanwhile, in the US, Congress has been occupied with other things and, while there are five bills that took aim at tech monopoly currently on the table and a few CEOs had to answer some questions, little actual movement or progress has been made on making similar privacy protections a thing in the United States.

Trump’s lawsuit, while labeled by many as a toothless public relations move, may actually create momentum needed to push regulation of tech and social media forward in the US. The merits of the case are weak and ultimately the legislation that would give it teeth doesn’t exist yet.

You can’t hold tech companies accountable to a standard that doesn’t properly exist in law.

However, high profile attention and someone willing to continue to make noise and bring attention back to the subject, one of Trump’s strongest talents, could be “just what the doctor ordered” to inspire Congress to make internet user rights and data privacy a priority in the US, finally.

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Social Media

Even solopreneurs are doing live commerce online – it’s not just QVC’s game anymore

(SOCIAL MEDIA) When you think of watching a show and buying things in real time, it invokes thoughts of QVC, but social media video has changed all that.

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After the year everyone has had, one wouldn’t be remiss in thinking that humanity wants a break from live streaming. They would, however, be wrong: Live online commerce – a method of conversion first normalized in China – is the next evolution of the ubiquitous e-commerce experience, which means it’s something you’ll want on your radar.

Chinese company, Alibaba first live streamed on an e-commerce site in 2016, allowing buyers to watch, interact with, and buy from sellers from the comfort of their homes. In 2020, that same strategy netted Alibaba $7.5 billion in presale revenue – and it only took 30 minutes, according to McKinsey Digital.

But, though western audiences have proven a desire to be just as involved with sellers during the buying process, live commerce hasn’t taken off here the way it has elsewhere. If e-commerce merchants want to maximize their returns in the next few years, that needs to change.

McKinsey Digital points out a couple of different benefits for organizations using live commerce, the main one being an influx in traffic. Live streaming events break the buying experience mold, and consumers love being surprised. You can expect that prospective buyers who wouldn’t necessarily visit your store under normal circumstances would find value in attending a live event.

Live events also keep people on your site for longer, resulting in richer conversion opportunities.

The sense of urgency inherent in in-person shopping doesn’t always translate to online markets, but having a stream showing decreasing inventory or limited-availability items being sold inspires people to act expeditiously rather than sitting on a loaded cart–something that can kill an e-commerce conversion as quickly as it starts one.

There are a ton of different ways to incorporate live events into your e-commerce campaigns. Virtual auctions are popular, as are markets in which individual sellers take buyers through inventory. However, the live event could be tangentially related–or even just something impressive running in parallel with the sale–and still bring in a swell of revenue.

Screen fatigue is real, and there isn’t a true substitute for a brick-and-mortar experience when done correctly. But if you have an e-commerce shop that isn’t utilizing some form of live entertainment–even just to bring in new buyers–you’re going to want to try this strategy soon.

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LinkedIn is nixing Stories this month (LinkedIn had Stories!?)

(SOCIAL MEDIA) LinkedIn tried to be like the cool kids and launched “Stories,” but the video feature is being shelved and “reimagined.” Ok.

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Creating the next big thing is essential for social networks to stay relevant, continue growing, and avoid shutting down. Sometimes, this leads to businesses trying to ride along with the success of another app’s latest feature and creating their cloned version. While the logic of recreating something already working makes sense, the results aren’t universal.

This time around, LinkedIn is saying goodbye to its short-lived Snapchat-like video product, Stories. In a company post, LinkedIn says it’s removing its Stories experience by the end of September.

Why is LinkedIn retiring Stories?

According to a post by Senior Director of Product at LinkedIn Liz Li, “[LinkedIn] introduced Stories last year as a fun and casual way to share quick video updates.”

After some testing and feedback, they learned this is not what users wanted. Seems like they could have beta tested with users and heard the same thing, but I digress.

“In developing Stories, we assumed people wouldn’t want informal videos attached to their profile, and that ephemerality would reduce barriers that people feel about posting. Turns out, you want to create lasting videos that tell your professional story in a more personal way and that showcase both your personality and expertise,” said Li.

What does this mean for users?

Starting on September 30, 2021, users will no longer be able to create Stories for Pages. If you’ve already planned to have an image or video ads run in-between Stories, they will now appear on the LinkedIn feed instead. For those who used Campaign Manager to promote or sponsor a Story directly from your Page, the company says “these paid Stories will not appear in the LinkedIn feed”, and the user will need to recreate the ad in Campaign Manager.

What’s next for LinkedIn?

According to Li, LinkedIn is taking what it learned from its finding to “evolve the Stories format into a reimagined video experience across LinkedIn that’s even richer and more conversational.” It plans on doing so by using mixed media and the creative tools of Stories.

“As we reimagine what is next, we’re focusing on how we can provide you with a short-form, rich interactive video format that is unique to our platform and that better helps you reach and engage your audiences on LinkedIn. We’re always excited to try out new things and learn as we go, and will continue to share updates along the way,” the company said.

Although Stories didn’t work well for LinkedIn as they hoped, one thing is for sure. LinkedIn isn’t giving up on some form of interactive video, and we can only hope they “reimagine” something unique that keeps users coming back for more.

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