My Five #309

It’s a social media heavy My Five this week with new Twitter features, an example of how to not use social media, and more bad news for Facebook.

You are reading: My Five #309

Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Will.

1. Improving engagement on Twitter

As is the case with most social media platforms Twitter is constantly developing new features and updates to improve usability and increase their overall number of users. This week Twitter has been testing new features amongst their employees that aim to encourage interactions and conversations on the platform.

These are some of the new features that could be coming to your timeline soon.

Ice Breakers

In an attempt to prompt new conversations, Twitter has begun testing new ‘ice breakers’ which allow users to pose a question to their audience in an attempt to further drive engagement. The new design allows users to pin an ‘ice breaker’ question to the top of their profile to indicate to their followers that they want to talk about something specific.

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Ice breakers could prove to be an extremely useful tool for brands and marketers as it gives them the opportunity to engage in discussions with their followers/customers. Brands could use the potential new feature to start a conversation about new products, events, or just industry related news and gain valuable insight from their customers.

Status Indicators

Twitter has also been experimenting with a new status indicator prompt that allows users to share what they are doing through a one-line summary on their profile. A lot of users currently make the most of their display names to indicate whether they are attending an event or to jump on search-related hashtags. Having the option to include a status on a profile will allow users to make sure their followers are up to date with what they are doing while reducing the need for users to keep changing their display name.

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Active Indicators

Another new feature Twitter is working on is an active status indicator that allows users to know when someone is active on the platform. This is very similar to the indicator used by Facebook Messenger and LinkedIn that display when someone is online. Again this could potentially lead to more conversations and an increase in engagement as you are more likely to reach out to someone if you know if they are online and there is a possibility of getting an instant reply.

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It’s important to remember that these features are only in testing and there is no more information on when, or whether, they are going to be implemented.

2. DPDon’t mention our customer service

Twitter provides the perfect place for brands’ customer service departments to deal with issues quickly and speak directly to their customers to resolve an issue. However, if your customer service department isn’t 100% Twitter can quickly become a cruel and lonely place.

DPD is a company who get quite a few complaints about their service via the social platform, so how have they decided to deal with them? By running and hiding.

Instead of dealing with their problems face on or engaging with their customers to help get their issues resolved smoothly, the courier service has decided to stop replying to complaints via Twitter altogether. Unsurprisingly this has caused quite a negative backlash from Twitter users who now have even less of a chance of getting their queries dealt with.

If you do have an issue when using DPD’s services then your chances of getting a prompt reply are now rather slim. Unless you speak to them ‘nicely’ of course!

3. More trouble for Facebook

Sticking to the social media theme it’s time to move away from Twitter to their biggest rival Facebook. 2018 hasn’t been the best of years for the social network with their stock dropping by approximately 20%, causing a loss in value or $120 billion following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Well, it seems their problems haven’t stopped following the data breach as they have been fined £500,000 this week by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

While this sounds like a large figure, in reality, it’s only a drop in the ocean for a company the size of Facebook, however, it is significant as it is the maximum possible punishment the ICO is allowed to deliver. ‘Luckily’ for Facebook, the breach took place between 2007 and 2014 meaning it was not an infringement of GDPR which would have resulted in a much more significant fine for the social network.

4. Goal to planet Earth!

The amount of plastic entering our oceans is rising at an alarming rate with an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic currently ending up in the oceans each year!!

British photographer Mandy Barker has decided to highlight the impact of this by combining her two loves, photography and football. In her latest project PENALTY, Mandy aims to create awareness around the issues of marine pollution by focusing on football, a global symbol that can relate to audiences worldwide. The idea behind the project was to collect footballs that had been washed up on beaches across the globe to portray the current issue with debris in our ocean. Within 4 months 992 football were collected from 144 beaches across 41 different countries around the world.

These footballs were used to create 4 staggering images that show the balls collected from different locations around the world. Additionally, 32 individual images were created to display a timeline of the different footballs from their predicted ages. The images provide a shocking insight into the issue of ocean pollution and act as a stern reminder that it is everyone’s responsibility to look after our planet.    

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5. Starbucks opens its first sign-language store

Earlier this week Starbucks took a step closer to improving the accessibility of its stores by opening its first sign-language store in the US. All employees in the store can take orders placed using American Sign Language (ASL), something that only certain workers in other stores are able to do. The store also has a sign of the week feature on a chalkboard to help spread awareness and teach other customers basic ASL. Additionally, customers can place their orders through digital notepads with two-way keywords that allow for back and forth typed conversation between customers and employees.

The opening of this store shows that Starbucks is taking big steps in the right direction to make its stores accessible and inclusive for all customers. Well done Starbucks!


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