Social round-up: Facebook reaction buttons, Snapchat geo filters and Telegram is coming

In social media this week: Facebook launches reaction buttons, canvas ads and plans live video-streaming, Snapchat adds geo filters and Telegram hits 100 million users.

Facebook reaction buttons generate a smiley

As mentioned in a previous social media round-up, we knew that 5 additional reaction buttons on Facebook would hit our screens soon. On Wednesday last week, they finally did, bringing a new way of reacting to content on Facebook.

These reaction buttons are apparently the culmination of a year of research and hard work. Facebook users around the globe were surveyed and asked what they thought was missing alongside the Like button. The aim was to bring together a set of responses which were universally recognised. How they will play for marketers in terms of reporting and analysis will be interesting.

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Facebook’s new ad offering

Slightly overshadowed by the new Facebook reaction buttons, Facebook is also rolling out a new ad format named Canvas. The format is primarily targeted at the mobile platform and, with 934 million out of the 1.04 billion daily active users accessing Facebook through mobile, this probably makes sense.

So, what are the features of this new ad offering?

Well Canvas is a native, fully immersive full-screen ad player with features such as “slideshows, descriptions, videos and a scrollable, interactive interface”. The ads also load up to 10 times faster than standard mobile web, which is sure to draw in businesses far and wide looking advertise with Facebook.

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Snapchat launches geo filters

Snapchat has now made geo filters available to the masses. “On Demand” filters, as they’re also known, will be available for anyone to use. The way they work is quite simple; first you design your filter and upload it into Snapchat, then you decide on the geographic area you want your filter to be useable (which can be anywhere from 20,000 to 5,000,000 square ft) and, finally, you decide how long they last, ranging from 1 hour to a whole month. Once reviewed, the filter is then ready to be set live for your specified date and time.

This new on-demand filter option is perfect for upcoming parties or weddings and smaller businesses looking to promote an event they are holding. Allowing all Snapchat users to create their own filters shows the intent and potential Snapchat has to pull in some serious revenue.

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Live video to hit Facebook very soon

It looks like Twitter’s Periscope will have a big rival in the coming months as Facebook have started to roll out their live video offering. Facebook started testing live video streaming in December, but it was only available for celebrities and a small number of verified accounts.

Now, after debuting this new feature for iPhone users in the US, Facebook has hinted that a wider release will follow in the coming weeks for both Apple and Android users.

The way it work is very similar to Periscope. There is a view count to see how many of your friends have tuned in and they will be able to comment live on the video with stream comments. As well as this, when your video is finished it will be posted automatically on your news feed for playback (an option you can switch off).

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Telegram hits 100 million users and is still growing

Many may not have heard of Telegram, messaging app, but if it continues to grow at the rate that its founder Pavel Durov claims, then it may well pose a threat to the likes of Whatsapp and Messenger.

Speaking at The Mobile World Congress, Durov announced that the relatively fresh-faced app is now pulling in over 350,000 new users every day and sending an astonishing 18 billion messages.

The app has been linked in the media to terrorist activities, largely due to its encryption, which makes it completely private (something which founder Durov believes strongly in). Durov also wants no ads or subscription fees, so exactly how he plans to monetize the app, we’re not sure.

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