Twitter Launches Moments, its Curated News Experience

The highly-anticipated feature may be the biggest change since Twitter added images to tweets. With Moments, the micro-blogging site hopes to have found the cure for its slow user growth. The new tab pulls in and curates content around real-time events, including autoplay videos and photos. The key selling point is that the feature will be available to anyone, regardless of whether they are logged in to Twitter. This will help Twitter simplify its value proposition for hesitant non-users, with the ultimate goal of reaching new would-be users.

New Data Suggests Social Media Brings Out the Best in Us

Social media isn’t just another way to communicate—it’s an emotional roller coaster. Signing onto Twitter or Facebook means being bombarded with news articles, gossip, advice, daily musings, and earth-shattering life events. And research has shown that, often, it makes us feel terrible. However, a recent study is pointing out that positive emotions associated with social media and positive posts on social media outweigh the negative ones. It found that negative content spread faster than positive content—but positive content was shared more and ultimately reached a larger audience.

Three Brands That Rock at Content

“For starters, we have to put culture and context above product shots and brand messaging. And the end result needs to support a customer content need. Be it bite-sized humor, actionable information, entertaining storytelling, or just pretty pictures, it needs to provide a value to the customer. If your current content is simply telling the customer about your great content–it’s back to the drawing board. To help marketers transition to a more effective approach, we’ve identified three basic steps that will put them in the publisher’s mindset. For each step, we’ve singled out a brand that is successfully creating great content around their products, not about their products. Let’s take a closer look at each of these brands as they relate to the steps below.”

Instagram Passes 400m Users

Instagram, with its Kardashian selfies, retro filters and endless stream of images of meals, has reached 400 million active users, the company has announced. Facebook’s photo and video-sharing app has added 100 million users in the last nine months, with three-quarters now based outside the US. In terms of active mobile users, Instagram still lags behind its parent company’s 1.3 billion, as well as Facebook-owned apps WhatsApp (900m) and Facebook Messenger (700m). But it remains ahead of Twitter’s 316 million monthly active users.

How to Think Visually Using Visual Analogies

(Note: This is fantastic article for any of you who may be designing graphic content)

Most research in cognitive science explores how we see things but little research is done on how we understand what we see. Understanding is the ultimate test of how good your visualization is. So how can you make people understand? Show something familiar and analogize. If you know nothing else about visualization but pick the right analogy you are more than half way there. This is what a professional designer does – and there is no substitute for analogies. This is fantastic article for any of you who may be designing graphic content. Let’s start simple and abstract.

On Instagram and Other Social Media, Redefining ‘User Engagement’

The New York Times discussed the legal ambiguity when brands use consumer content culled from personal social media accounts to promote their products. According to the article, most of the companies featured seek permission to use customer photos on their social accounts and websites, but even this is done in an informal comment/hashtag format. Companies generally use these photos to both cut marketing costs and promote user engagement – especially since consumers have more control than ever over the advertising they’re exposed to – but in the quest to take full advantage of the sharing-centric quality of social media, all entities must make sure they’re adhering to intellectual property law.

Social Media Use by Retirees Triples in 10 Years

Social media usage among Americans aged 65 and older has more than tripled since 2010. Today, 35% of Americans in that age group report using social media, compared with just 2% in 2005 and 11% in 2010, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C.

3 Resources to Help You Get Smart about Your Social Media Content Strategy

This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will show you: (1) How to avoid the trap social media networks want you to fall in (2) How to invest your time on social media in a smart way (3) How to create social proof for your products and services that is independent of any one social media network. As you work your way through the material below,think of the following lessons as a mini social media content strategy course.