Twitter Client For Your Browser – TicknTalk

TehneyatWritten by Tehneyat who currently resides in London, United Kingdom from where she is blogging for Mindjumpers. You can follow Tehneyat on Twitter @tehneyat.


Twitter Client For Your Browser - TicknTalk

I was recently recommended to try out a Twitter client for my browser, TicknTalk. It has three features:

1) Overview of top links of what has been retweeted on Twitter (allows you to stay on top of trending links – and not necessarily only topics).

2) Overview of your profile, your followers, the people you follow and your timeline.

3) Finds the most popular links/tweets for the website you are currently on (brilliant if you are doing research/want to know what’s being said about an organisation or company and are on their website!).

TicknTalk basically does for me what the actual Twitter page does, ie it lists the tweets in your timeline, allows you to view people’s profiles and tweets if you click on their name/profile and should in my honest opinion have a prettier interface. I normally use Tweetdeck, go directly to Twitter’s website or access Twitter from my iPhone (love how easy it is to swap back and forth between links, profiles, direct messages and lists). The problem here is that TicknTalk opens up in a sidebar and takes up too much space in the web browser. If you drag the sidebar so its margin becomes more narrow (so you have more space in your browser), it cuts off the most important thing I would use TicknTalk for, which is number 3 as mentioned above.

It’s a great feature to be able to see what the top links that are being retweeted on Twitter are, especially if you are trying to keep up with what links are trending (rather than just topics). I see this feature as being valuable for marketers to see what type of links are trending, and for everyday Twitter users to keep up with the down low. However, the two features that makes TicknTalk stand out, and the only reason I would use it would be for point 3. It is absolutely brilliant that you can, while surfing the web, see the most popular links on the site you are on (gives you a quicker overview of what’s trending on that site), as well as find the most popular links/tweets for that website on Twitter to see what people are saying about it.

These features are of great value and addition to what’s already out there of Twitter clients, but the interface and the lack of opportunity to personalize it (by adjusting margins to match your browser for example) was a major ‘oh no’ moment for me. I know that TicknTalk has just rolled out on Facebook recently, and because I think it’s a great product, here are three key recommendations to the TicknTalk team:

1) make it easier to customise the TicknTalk sidebar in own browser (for example, so you can select which of the 3 features you want to use/see.

2) allow users to adjust background and font colour.

3) develop a drop-down which can act as a plug-in in the web browser where you can, again, select which of the 3 features you want to use from TicknTalk.

I am curious to see how TicknTalk will develop and adjust as it gets more users. Definitely try it out, and let me know what you think,  or even better, let the TicknTalk team know what you think. Cheers.


Instagram’s New Algorithm – What You Need to Know

IMG_8423Nearly 6 years after its initial release and 400 million users later, Instagram is fast-approaching the ad-supported dominance of Facebook. Last week, it introduced its very own algorithm, following in the footsteps of Twitter and its parent company Facebook. Whether this is an enhancement is debatable and many seem to be divided on the matter as it stands. It begins with co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom explaining that “on average, people miss about 70% of the posts in their Instagram feed”, which may be alarming to some.

 

Twitter jumped onto the algorithm bandwagon only last month and has received its own amount of backlash from it. The fear that it will destroy live-tweeting and the key reason people love twitter is amongst the concerns. Of course, users tend to prefer what they’re used to on social networks and aren’t very welcoming to change, so this may pass.

Facebook’s introduction of its algorithm, which was due to extraordinary growth, was a much-needed overhaul of the News Feed. The fact that Facebook is bigger than the largest country on earth makes it almost essential for it to filter out unwanted posts and let its users receive the most relevant content. The question now is, does Instagram need it too?

Facebook Instant Articles was also released last year, which is a great way for Facebook to avoid the standard embedded browser mechanics that so many apps rely on. This allows users to view news more fluently by delivering a more native user experience. It also coincided with the release of the Apple News app, which has recently opened its doors to all publishers. The fact that developers are now realising the public’s thirst for news makes things extremely well-timed for the ever-growing amount of algorithms social is seeing. We need news, whether it be world news or friend news, and we need it fast – even if we missed it being posted.

 

What This Means for Brands

From a brand perspective, it is unquestionably going to become more complicated to market on Instagram. There are many visual-based brands that invest a great deal of money into Instagram to be able to reach a specific audience or age group. One example is brands paying influencers to promote their product, which has ultimately made it possible for those influencers to make a living by monetising their audience on the platform. This is achieved with a combination of brand sponsorships from companies, product promotion and follower reach. So how will it affect their livelihood? Companies will be much more demanding when it comes to requesting the influencer’s actual reach once it’s available, which will very likely decrease the amount that influencers are paid. This, in translation, means that influencers could ultimately be forced to take a pay cut with the introduction of this algorithm.

In layman’s terms, brands will be required to pay for their posts to reach their fans. This is especially true if the posts have little engagement, which exactly replicates Facebook’s model as Instagram takes its big brother’s handy advice. A key question here is, will the quality of posts increase due to content ‘needing’ engagement to push through?

Additionally, until now, brands have been supplied with little to no data on their Instagram channels. With this algorithm and a clear business objective from Facebook to increase ad turnover on Instagram, the company knows that advertisers expect something in return. The exchange is a classic eyeballs and actions for paid budgets and to prove delivery of reach and actions, Facebook will need to provide data and show that brands are getting their money’s worth.

 

Implications & Considerations

As general guidance, it may be efficient to stop thinking about news feeds as stories. A profile is a story and will probably always remain that way, but a news feed is a different beast altogether. With the algorithm, your followers might see some of your posts in their feed but far from all, making feed storytelling pretty much impossible. The challenge is to create a valuable brand presence on social that is recognizable without the context of other content.

Another discussion point is how Instagram profiles compare to Facebook profiles for brands. Facebook Pages made it easier to separate personal and brand pages, but Instagram has yet to do such a thing. Will we see something similar in the future? If so, it is sure to bring a great deal more features from Facebook to Instagram, which is undeniably the path we’re on with the two companies. Another thing to start considering is whether Instagram will eventually suppress almost all organic ads, like Facebook does. After all, having an algorithm like this can undeniably camouflage the real reason followers are missing so many posts.

Overall, Instagram is rapidly growing to greater capacities, users are posting more and we ultimately live in an algorithmic world as far as social is concerned. And as Instagram ads are managed through Facebook, they are extremely easy to target to a specific audience, which appealingly makes use of Facebook’s limitless data. These will undoubtedly merge together to form one giant supply of data and algorithms will most likely do the same. So it could be Facebook’s existing model that Instagram slowly turns into. Simply put, like father, like son.