Instagram adds Vine-like video clips

Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo sharing app, has added support for video clips of up to 15 seconds long in a clear effort to steal some of Vine’s thunder. The update includes a selection of filter effects specifically for video and some simple features for editing clips.

This opens up a lot of new possibilities for marketers using Instagram, as 15 seconds provides much more space for creativity compared to the 6 seconds offered by vine, so no doubt we’ll start to see mini-ads on the platform over the coming weeks. A key advantage Instagram has over Vine is its existing user base of 130 million active users, which instantly makes it an intriguing proposition for digital marketing.

What kind of impact the update will have on Vine’s prospects is hard to say, but we’ll be surprised if anybody’s still talking about Vine this time next year

Infographics getting easier and cheaper to produce

Infographics have been a huge hit in the PR industry over the past year or two because they tend to perform well in digital media and often get a high level of viral distribution. But the problem is that they can be expensive to produce. It’s great to support a survey/stats based story with an infographic, but often the cost of getting it designed can sometimes far exceed the budget for the activity.

At Harvard we’ve been using some new tools to create professional looking infographics for our clients without needing a graphic designer. Here’s an example of an infographic we created this week to support a survey-led story for our client Reconnix.

We built it using Infogr.am which provides templates that you  populate with your own data, text and images. We’re also fans of Piktochart, which offers a much broader range of graphically rich templates.

While it’s great to have unique, creative, and brilliantly designed infographics, sometimes the time and budget simply isn’t available, and these tools mean we can quickly produce infographics at low cost to add an extra dimension to stories.

New legal guidelines for social media

We’ve all read the seemingly ridiculous news stories about drunk students being hauled in front of the courts for posting ill-advised jokes on Twitter and Facebook. The Director of Public Prosecutions has clearly decided that prosecuting people for saying stupid things on the internet is not sustainable and accordingly released an updated set of guidelines for such situations.

Although the guidelines themselves are quite lengthy, the guiding principles appear to be to focus on prosecuting only those cases which are in the public interest, such those which involve a credible threat of violence, harassment or stalking, rather than those involving posts which are simply in poor taste.

The Independent has a more detailed overview of this story.

Snippets

What if your Twitter account got Tourette Syndrome?

A nice thoughtful piece on finding meaning in memes.

Remember last year? Yeah, that was great.

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