Conner GalwayIt’s Monday, which means that it’s time for another Social Update, although this one is coming to you closer to Tuesday morning, and for that I blame Brian’s crew over at HackerNest. I was minding my own business, wrapping up a class that I was teaching at BrainStation when Brian popped into my classroom and pointed out the 50+ people and coolers of beer in the common area. Who am I to turn down such an offer?

It turns out that the HackerNest crew throws some of the best connected meetups in the city for people in programming, development, systems and UI/UX (even better: no gurus). If you’re in the tech game and want to meet like-minded people, I recommend checking them out.

Now, onto the Update:

By far the most interesting new ad units are coming out of Snapchat right now, and this week is no different.
Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 11.09.01 PM

They just launched their new in-stream Discover ad with a very limited run of advertisers, and it’s really good. The unit is a sponsored Discover Story, which means that it appears in both the new Discover Row, and the nearly-extinct Discover Page. The story itself requires the user to tap to move through it, or swipe up to watch/read more, which is a massive departure from most ads which force the user to watch at least a portion of the content before moving on. The big deal here is that a major social platform just launched an ad unit that is voluntary to watch, allows users to self-determine their view time, and demands that the advertisers create legitimately interesting content in order to get any sort of return on their spend. That’s awesome, and so far the ads are too.

Next up, we’ve got Twitter, who (fresh of the heels of their new/old CEO announcement) is introducing a new stuff fast & furiously.

First, they have Polls. This is a 2 option question tweet that goes out in the form of a regular tweet. Followers can click one or the other to reply, and their answer gets recorded, but not their individual user data. No word yet on what the question ask-er gets to see, but I’m guessing geo, and other aggregated user data. Facebook pools weren’t great, so I’m not holding by breath for this one, but it’s good to see Twitter guys trying something to spice up the feed.


Next, they’re opening the Moments toolkit up to us regular-folks. Soon (or already, by now) we’ll be able to create our own Moments to be tweeted, shared and embed across the internet. This is a big deal, because it may be Twitter’s big chance to capture the best parts of their platform and get people excited about it again. I’ve done a bit of playing around with the Moments embed, and it’s as beautiful as it is easy to use. The feed is seamlessly responsive and creates a living, breathing feed of the most relevant visual content right on your site. I’m not sure that Moments is the Twitter-salvation, but it sure will make for some cool stuff on the internet while it tries.

Of course, when something cool happens it’s because there’s an ad unit behind it. Twitter Moments are now able to be promoted to the top of the Moments guide, which is a new tab within your Twitter app (if you don’t have the tab yet, don’t worry – neither do I).

The first promoted Moment that we’re missing out on is MGM’s movie “Creed”, and it will appear much like promoted trends do right now: At or near the top of a live stream of what’s happening along with a small subscript that calls out its promoted status.


That’s it for this week. See something that I missed? Call me out by tweeting at @JunctionYVR.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll leave you with this thought:

I feel like I’ve been having the same conversation for 7 years.
First, it was: “The internet isn’t a real thing – it’s just a computer-fad that kids are using”
Then: “Facebook is just for college kids”
Next: “No one will ever take Instagram seriously”
And now: “No grown ups will ever use Snapchat for anything more than checking on their kids”

Was this your first time here? If: yes, then: welcome! Want to know more about the Social Update? Check out my intro post here, which also has lots of social gems of its own.