SO MOnday: 21st March 2016


Abbey Torrance and Emma Saddleton round up the best social and mobile news from the past week... including Boaty McBoatface, Instagram's algorithms, and Pinterest's video ads...

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#NameOurShip sees the public help name an official Research Ship…


NERC, the UK’s National Environmental Research Council, chose to take to Twitter to let the public help name their latest £200m arctic research ship due to set sail in 2019 to study ice sheets, ocean currents and marine life.

Whilst many esteemed names were chosen as potential options (RRS David Attenborough; RRS Ada Lovelace; RRS Sir Ranulph Fiennes) the frontrunner based on public votes is currently “RRS Boaty McBoatface”.

The naming campaign lives through the hashtag #NameOurShip and the site can be found here until 16th April. Along with David, Ada and Ranulph, other names include Usain Boat, Ice Ice Baby and Pingu.

Pinterest is testing video ads

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Having considered it for months, Pinterest are now testing their new video offering, bringing a new ad format to sit amongst users’ traditional pins. Visually similar to normal pins, the pins will have an autoplay function within users’ feeds, with promoted video pins to follow later in the year.

Users can spend months on the site planning up to a moment or event (Pinterest say there are 116m wedding pins alone) so the move to up the ad offering hopes to give brands the opportunity to embed themselves early on in the planning cycle. The opportunity will be more natural for some brands over others, but it will be interesting to see how this shapes up in the coming months, and which brands will lead the way.

Instagram is switching to an algorithmic timeline

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Following on from other platforms, Instagram have announced that they will be switching from a chronological timeline to a front page that will make it easier for users to keep up to date with the images and content that is most relevant to them:

If your [favourite] musician shares a video from last night’s concert, it will be waiting for you when you wake up, no matter how many accounts you follow or what time zone you live in. And when your best friend posts a photo of her new puppy, you won’t miss it.”

Instagram have not reported if the change will be optional, as it was when Twitter brought in their similar change in February, though latest reports suggest that most have continued with this new status quo. Brands will now face the same challenges of relevancy and usefulness when wanting to reach consumers.

With Instagram a staple of many lives (apparently even helping to make your food taste better?), becoming a star on social will take some new thinking.

social media news boaty Instagram pinterest
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