It’s been a busy week in the marketing world, here’s what has caught our eye!
Twitter plans to increase the number of characters in tweets from 140 to 280 for the majority of users. The new limit will not apply to tweets written in Japanese, Chinese and Korean which can convey more information in a single character. The move follows a trial among a small group of users which started in September in response to criticism that it was not easy enough to tweet. The change is part of Twitter’s plan to attract new users and increase growth. When the change was announced, many criticised it, pointing out changes they would rather see, such as a crackdown on hate crime and bots, and the introduction of a chronological timeline and edit function. The site currently has 330 million active users. This compares with 800 million for Instagram and more than 2 billion users for Facebook.
The man responsible for helping to make Facebook the dominant force in social media has spoken of his concerns it has on society. Sean Parker, Facebook’s founding president, unloaded his worries and criticisms of the network, saying he had no idea what he was doing at the time of its creation. Speaking on stage to Mike Allen from Axios, Mr Parker said: “The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible? That means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever.”
The company behind Snapchat has taken a $40m (£30m) hit to its finances after its video-recording sunglasses failed to sell as well as hoped. Snap launched Spectacles in September 2016, originally selling them only through pop-up vending machines. Pressing a button on the glasses records a short video that can be shared on the Snapchat messaging app. But on Tuesday the company revealed costs of $40m (£30m) due to “excess inventory” and cancelled orders.
LinkedIn, the social network for professionals that was acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion, has rolled out the latest product in its deepening relationship with its owner. The two are unveiling Resume Assistant, a resume builder in Microsoft Word that will be powered by data from LinkedIn — letting you import information about yourself and the companies that you have worked for into your Word document, tapping into some algorithms and artificial intelligence to help suggest wording and other items to help fill out your experience.
Flickr, the once Yahoo-owned photo-sharing site that’s now a part of Verizon, is getting out of the photo book printing business, and is shutting down the feature that allowed users to turn photos into professional-quality wall art. In an email sent to users this week, Flickr said that it was turning over photo books to publishing service Blurb as of October 16, 2017, but the wall art service was simply being terminated. An older internet brand, Flickr over the years has suffered from a lack of attention and resources, while other companies began stepping up their efforts in the photo-hosting and photo-sharing space, including Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon, among others.