A Facebook live stream of a gunman attacking a Christchurch mosque, killing 49 people, has been widely seen on social media, with some news websites also posting clips of the violence.
The incident once again highlights how platforms deal with such content.
While Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube raced to remove it, they failed to stop it being shared.
It raises questions about who is sharing it and why but, perhaps more importantly, how these platforms are dealing with the threat of far-right extremism.
49 dead in mosque attacks
What is known about the suspects?
Many members of the public have taken to Twitter to express shock and anger at the fact that the video is still in circulation on lots of platforms, with others pleading for people to stop sharing it.
One pointed out: “That is what the terrorist wanted.”
What was shared?
The video, which shows a first-person view of the killings, has been widely circulated.
About 10 to 20 minutes before the attack in New Zealand, someone posted on the /pol/section of 8chan, an anarchist alt-right message board. The post included links to the suspect’s Facebook page, where he stated he would be live-streaming and published a rambling and hate-filled document
Before opening fire, the suspect urged viewers to subscribe to PewDiePie’s YouTube channel. PewDiePie later said on Twitter he was “absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person”
The attacks were live-streamed on Facebook and shared widely on other social media platforms, such as YouTube and Twitter
People continue to report seeing the video, despite the firms acting pretty swiftly to remove the original and copies, and copies are still being uploaded to YouTube, faster than it can remove them.
Several Australian media outlets broadcast some of the footage, as did other newspapers around the world
Ryan Mac, a BuzzFeed technology reporter, has created a timeline of where he has seen the video, including it being shared from a verified Twitter account with 694,000 followers. He claims it has been up for two hours
What is the response of the social media companies?
All of the social media firms have sent heartfelt sympathy to the victims of the mass shootings, reiterating that they act quickly to remove inappropriate content.
Facebook said: “New Zealand Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the live-stream commenced and we removed both the shooter’s Facebook account and the video.
“We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware. We will continue working directly with New Zealand Police as their response and investigation continues.”
And in a tweet, YouTube said “our hearts are broken”, adding it was “working vigilantly” to remove any violent footage.
In terms of what they have done historically to combat the threat of far-right extremists, their approach has been more chequered.
Twitter acted to remove alt-right accounts in December 2017. Previously it has removed and then reinstated the account of Richard Spencer, an American white nationalist who popularised the term “alternative right”.
Facebook, which suspended Mr Spencer’s account in April 2018, admitted at the time that it was difficult to distinguish between hate speech and legitimate political speech.
49 dead in New Zealand mosque attacks
Agonising wait for victims’ families
UK mosque security to be discussed
This month, YouTube was accused of being either incompetent or irresponsible for its handling of a video promoting the banned Neo-Nazi group, National Action.
British MP Yvette Cooper said the video-streaming platform had repeatedly promised to block it, only for it to reappear on the service.
What needs to happen next?
Dr Ciaran Gillespie, a political scientist from Surrey University, thinks the problem goes far deeper than a video, shocking as that content has been.
“It is not just a question about broadcasting a massacre live. The social media platforms raced to close that down and there is not much they can do about it being shared because of the nature of the platform, but the bigger question is the stuff that goes before it,” he said.
As a political researcher, he uses YouTube “a lot” and says that he is often recommended far-right content.
“There is oceans of this content on YouTube and there is no way of estimating how much. YouTube has dealt well with the threat posed by Islamic radicalisation, because this is seen as clearly not legitimate, but the same pressure does not exist to remove far-right content, even though it poses a similar threat.
“There will be more calls for YouTube to stop promoting racist and far-right channels and content.”
His views are echoed by Dr Bharath Ganesh, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute.
“Taking down the video is obviously the right thing to do, but social media sites have allowed far-right organisations a place for discussion and there has been no consistent or integrated approach to dealing with it.
“There has been a tendency to err on the side of freedom of speech, even when it is obvious that some people are spreading toxic and violent ideologies.”
Now social media companies need to “take the threat posed by these ideologies much more seriously”, he added.
“It may mean creating a special category for right-wing extremism, recognising that it has global reach and global networks.”
Neither under-estimate the enormity of the task, especially as many of the exponents of far-right views are adept at, what Dr Gillespie calls, “legitimate controversy”.
“People will discuss the threat posed by Islam and acknowledge it is contentious but point out that it is legitimate to discuss,” he said.
These grey areas are going to be extremely difficult for the social media firms to tackle, they say, but after the tragedy unfolding in New Zealand, many believe they must try harder.
Some celebs rarely post a bikini pic, while others lean the hell into being nude AF. Just wait until you see these celebs who bared it all on Instagram. And we mean topless, bottom-less, and even full-on nude. Hot? Definitely. Aggressive? Maybe. But you gotta love their confidence.
Kourt threw every stitch of clothing to the wind while posing nude for GQ Mexico(seemingly in some swanky AF LA penthouse with a serious view). The photo series features her in a wedgie-defying thong/tank top onesie and a turtleneck with her bare butt to camera.
Apart from a little whipped cream, Bella Thorne is basically naked in this adorable behind the scenes clip. Don’t worry, though, she’s wearing a bra and a bathing suit bottom underneath.
3The Kardashian/Jenner Sisters
The whole Kardashian/Jenner crew stripped down to their lingerie for Halloween, borrowing wings and underwear from Victoria’s Secret. Collectively, the sisters showed off a lot of skin as they strutted around in their looks.
Kim showed off her incredible body on Instagram in what must be the tiniest bikini ever made. The mom of three also rocked the same bikini a few days ago, but this pic is the one that really got people’s attention.
Gaga took to Instagram to share a few scandalous pics. The shots, taken by photographer Eli Russell Linnetz, show the singer with large blonde hair, putting on stockings. Who knew getting dressed could look so good?
Bella is known for her fun dressing room selfies. How does this girl always manage to look so damn glam, even when she’s in the process of getting ready?! She captions this pinktastic pic, “Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow.”
Unlike Kim Kardashian, Drake Bell, and all your other favorite naked celebrities, makeup artist James Charles posted his nude totally by accident. And even though it wasn’t posted on Insta, I had to add this hilarious mishap to the list.
Yesterday, the influencer updated his Story with some major booty. He quickly deleted the post and in its place, posted a selfie captioned “sorry to all 10,000 of you that saw that LMAO oopsies!”
Later, he took to Twitter to laugh with his fans about it. “I ACCIDENTALLY JUST POSTED A NUDE ON MY SNAPCHAT STORY AT LEAST MY BODY LOOKED AMAZING LMAOOO I’M DELETING MY ACCOUNT BYE.” He later added, “damn I should’ve facetuned my butt first.”
Honestly, he should have left it! That pic was 🔥.
Bella Thorne makes it onto this list twice! In what started out as a seemingly feminist Twitter post, Bella wasted no time getting to the point, writing, “I could write a whole post talking about feminism and why I should be allowed to post this pic. But f*ck it here’s my side boob.” Love the bluntness, Bella.
While working on a top secret photo shoot in Mexico, Bella took some time to get nakey for the gram. She posed on the beach in an obnoxiously oversized hat and a barely-there g-string. Honestly, I’m just concerned about where all that sand ended up.
While Kendall Jenner is notorious for going braless in public all the time, she’s also been known to share plenty of suggestive (and always topless) pics on Instagram. This one was captioned, “Playing dress up.” Dress up, dress down, same difference 😉
Drake Bell posted a ~quite~ nude pic to his Instagram in promotion of his sexual music video for “Rewind.” (Warning: watch only if you want your childhood to be ruined forever.) After posting that picture on Instagram, however, Drake started trending on Twitter… but for a different reason. Apparently some hackers found even more undisclosed nudes of Drake and were sharing them around the Internet. Drake has yet to comment on this.
Bella Hadid shares plenty of pics on Instagram of her perfectly angled face, but this Instagram pic with fellow Victoria’s Secret model Kendall Jenner, is all about friendship and celebrating women! Butts FTW.
Bad girl Ri Ri takes everything to the next level with this post on Instagram. Bleach blond hair, blue shadow, orange nails, and baring ~almost~ everything, Rihanna sure knows how to make a statement.
Ashley is not one to shy away from nude pics, and she always slays in every single one she takes. She captioned this pic: “All I have to say is – Thank You @PrabalGurung! Thank you for your desire to create clothes for ALL women.”
In this dressing room Instagram post, Bella poses ~completely~ nude. But I mean, we all know Bella can rock anything.
This sexy shot lives on Kim’s Insta in promotion of her fragrance, KKW Body, which came out this May. And get this: the bottle is, indeed, in the actual shape of her body.
With this post (and many scandalous new outfits), Ariel Winter looks like she’s finally breaking free from her child star phase.
Seriously can’t get enough of this picture, or Amy’s caption: “Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, sexy, disgusting, flawless, woman.” To say that’s a caption to be remembered is an understatement.
Rita Ora stripped it all down in this sexy Instagram shoot by the sunset. Perfectly entitled, “Sundaze.”
Selena Gomez took everything off for the cover of her “Revival” album, which was so dreamy. When she posted it to Instagram, she got so much fan love 💕💕
Okay, John Legend may not have posted this picture himself, but Chrissy Teigen apparently couldn’t resist. P.S. They’re so cute!
For a V Magazine photoshoot, Chronicles of Narnia star Tommy Dorfman stood completely bare in front of a New York City, street-facing window. In his post caption, he made it very clear: “I was, in fact, naked in front of a window on mercer street thanks to @vmagazine.”
Emily loves sharing barely covered nipple pics on her Instagram feed. But this full body shot flies to the top as one of her sexiest moments for sure.
Just last year, Britney Spears posted this sexy pic on Instagram. Fans went wild, and you
Twitter has this week shared its annual round-up of the most tweeted about topics, politicians, celebrities and more, providing a range of insights into the key trends of the year, and what’s of most interest to Twitter users.
First off, on topics – the most discussed movements of 2018 were as follows:
Those likely come as little surprise – each of these movements also saw significant media coverage, showing that Twitter generally reflects the key movements of the time. The amount of related on-platform discussion underlines that Twitter remains a hugely relevant cultural force, with many of these topics first gaining significant momentum via tweet.
Next up – political figures:
It will be absolutely no surprise to anyone that US President Donald Trump tops this list. Trump’s polarizing personality and policy approach has both his supporters and opponents regularly engaging – if nothing else, Trump has definitely awakened more political awareness across the spectrum.
Interesting, too, to note how few comparative mentions US Vice President Mike Pence has seen.
Meanwhile, on celebrities, the ‘most tweeted’ list is particularly interesting:
South Korean pop band BTS tops the list, beating out Kanye West, LeBron James and Beyonce. In fact, the top 10 highlights the broader rise of Asian pop musicians, with BTS, EXO and Jimin all making the list. Twitter does have around 5 million users in South Korea, but its the global interest in this new wave of pop stars that’s fueled their popularity.
The same is also reflected in the most tweeted about musicians listing.
Next up is athletes, with LeBron James’ move to LA pushing his mentions to the top:
In 2018 movies, it was Black Panther that sparked the most tweets, beating out The Avengers: Infinity War.
And for TV shows, Saturday Night Live came out on top, beating the return of Roseanne (and the ensuing controversy around comments made by star Rosie O’Donnell).
As noted, the lists provide some interesting insight into not only the key trends of 2018, but also the focus areas of Twitter’s audience. Most of these are fairly obvious, but some are likely less so, and that could help in your targeting moving forward, providing a better understanding of who and what’s of interest on the platform.
Twitter has also provided regional trend reports for Australia, Canada, India and the UK, if you’re looking for more specific insights from your region. Definitely worth a look to get a better understanding of your target market.
Instagram has added a new option that will enable users to restrict the audience for their Instagram Stories content. Now, if you want to share your Instagram Stories in a more private group, you can, which could encourage users to more freely – and regularly – share quick updates.
Instagram Stories private sharing
the new option enables users to create lists of specific groups of friends, which will then appear as sharing options when you go to send your Stories
This means you no longer have to share all your Stories with everyone, which, as noted, could open up the option for more use.
As per Instagram:
“Only you can see your close friends list and no one can request to be added, so you can feel comfortable adjusting it at any time. When you share to Stories, you’ll see the option to share with just the people on your close friends list. If someone has added you to their list, you will see a green badge when you’re viewing their stories. You’ll also see a green ring around their profile photo in the Stories tray.”
The option moves in line with broader social media trends towards more private sharing. The top messaging apps now have more users than the top social networks, and an increasing amount of engagement is now occurring via messages and within private groups. That’s why Facebook’s been working hard to find new ways to monetize Messenger and WhatsApp, and to put increased emphasis on group usage – as social media, in general, has evolved, people have become more aware of the potential negative aspects of sharing everything with everyone online, and most have sought to pull back.
On Instagram specifically, private sharing has been steadily on the rise – around half of all Instagram users now also use the platform’s messaging options, while previous reports have shown that 85% of the messages shared on the platform are distributed to the same three friends, underlining the desire for more intimate sharing.
Instagram’s been working for some time to cater to this – social media code hacker Jane Wong spotted the option to share Stories with specific friends in development back in June, while the platform has also been working on its ‘Friends Lists’ feature for more than a year, with The Verge first reporting on it in June 2017.
Instagram friends lists
Really, given the trends and development, it’s somewhat surprising that it’s taken this long for Instagram to launch it, but the logic of the option is fairly clear. Now you can separate your audiences and feel more free to share whatever you like, which is an option that will no doubt be welcomed by many.
From a marketing perspective, the addition could provide value by giving brands a way to share their posts with specific lists of users based on content relevance (promotions with specific audiences based on list segmentation), or maybe for exclusive groups and offers. That is, if the tool is available for business profiles (waiting on confirmation). But if it is, there are new options to consider.
Instagram ‘Close Friends’s is being rolled out from today in the latest version of the app.
Instagram is one of the most important and most powerful marketing channels of our time. It is great for content marketing and paid advertising and, at the same time, for communication and customer service. It has the capacity to drive great engagement and better-than-average return on investment for a marketer, brand or agency.
Instagram has been growing since it was first launched eight years ago. As we can see from the following graph shared with us by Statista , the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network reached a milestone of 1 billion monthly users in June.
This is an impressive number and, when it comes to marketing, impressive numbers are great. It means that you have access to a huge audience worldwide and, at the same time, due to this channel’s nature, you have access to a dedicated and engaged audience.
As a consequence, we need to constantly stay updated with all of Instagram’s latest developments and, of course, the trends that govern it. This is why, with this article, I am going to shed some light upon the most popular trends that are expected to rule Instagram marketing in 2019.
Also, I questioned some of my peers regarding this issue and, fortunately, I received a series of answers from marketers and professionals regarding their expectations for 2019.
IGTV will be a big player
Announced and launched in June, IGTV is the new video platform dedicated exclusively to mobile users. Unlike YouTube and other videostreaming platforms, IGTV is dedicated to vertical video playback and, therefore, suitable for marketers and content producers that are addressing a mobile only audience.
Why vertical? Instagram wants to encourage people to create video content but, at the same time, to do it exclusively for mobile. We already know that people are more likely to use their mobile devices in a vertical position, hence the type of video.
Are brands using IGTV already? Chipotle was one of the first companies to create and distribute a video on Instagram.
“If you’re still not on IGTV, it’s time to hop on the train,” said Plannable’s Vlad Callus. “When thinking about the upcoming trends in Instagram marketing I believe IGTV and Instagram Stories are on the top of the list. IGTV will become the new YouTube in three to five years, and if you’re joining now, you will catch the big wave.”
Other big brands are on IGTV, as well. SocialChain is producing and distributing a regular podcast. All of its episodes are also being filmed and, afterward, published on IGTV, as well as vertical content. This is a great example of a company that adapts quickly to the latest trends in social media and acts accordingly.
While short-form videos were already available on Instagram, the new IGTV channel allows users and marketers to opt for long form content, which, in the long run, may prove more beneficial to their strategies.
“We’re going to see a rise in long-form content,” said Spendesk inbound marketing manager Patrick Whatman. “That’s intentional on the part of Facebook: It brought in IGTV specifically to let people go long. The rationale is sound, too: It knows that teens and young people love watching vloggers on YouTube. It also knows that these same people love watching videos on their phones. So, in direct competition with YouTube, it built a format that lets these vloggers create videos for the vertical screen—the same screen that young people love to watch on the bus or in the car.”
He added, “Instagram will find ways to incentivize businesses to use IGTV, and businesses will respond. And these long-form videos will then be clipped to use in Stories and in the feed.”
Micro-brands will dominate the platform
If you look at how Instagram has evolved over time and continues to, you will notice something quite unique to this platform. Being a true social channel, Instagram favors micro-brand marketing and, in fact, we see quite an explosion of small companies and brands on the platform.
Instagram favors interaction and storytelling, and it is quite different from other news-oriented social media platforms. This is why it has become one of the best content distribution channels for micro-brands.
“I think this mass of micro brands with massively efficient marketing are, in aggregate, having a much bigger impact than anyone thinks,” Scott Belskywrote. “Using hyper-targeted marketing, just-in-time manufacturing and social media, these brands find and engage their audience wherever they may be.”
One of the most successful micro-brands that was able to grow almost overnight thanks to Instagram is MVMT, a crowdfunded fashion watch designer. Instagram was a great choice, considering that it delivered a two times higher engagement rate and 75 percent stronger brand awareness and brand recall than other platforms.
“Instagram was not only able to integrate seamlessly into our day-to-day ad management by combining placements, but it also improved cost per action by 20 percent” said Steven Dinelli, ad manager at MVMT.
There are also a lot of companies and brands that act just like media companies. They have created and maintained large communities of followers and fans with whom they share their successes and news.
One of these brands is @Dunk, a basketball community that creates high engagement, thus attracting millions of followers. Its success depends on this huge community, but also on the quality of content it promotes via Instagram.
Stories ads—a new kind of vertical advertising
Instagram Stories has become one of the most important parts of the platform since its launch. It’s great for day to day users and perfect for advertisers that need to communicate straight-to-the-heart messages to their audiences. With Stories ads, you are able to insert your banners between the slides of other people’s stories and do it quite effectively, since this paid option allows for full screen banners.
Keep in mind, however, that in order for your ads to convert and give you a great ROI, they should be top-notch in terms of design, look and feel. They should also be highly targeted and in line with what the audience wants to see, hear or buy.
“Instagram Stories users will no doubt have already seen ads showing up between their friends’ latest updates,” Whatman said. “The platform has worked hard to make Stories a key feature—it sits right there at the top of the feed, and you’ll see more links to Stories as you scroll through the feed. Now that users are comfortable with and enjoy using Stories, businesses will inevitably take advantage and use this valuable real estate. We expect to see more ads appearing, and with more targeting. In other words, if you’ve been doing some online shopping, expect to see those same products showing up in your Instagram Stories.”
Data from Socialbakers shows that businesses are leveraging Instagram for advertising more than ever before. The share of Instagram ad placements is clearly on the rise, reaching 43 percent in March. This means that out of all of the ads that marketers launched on Facebook and Instagram, almost one-half were run on the latter.
Looking forward to 2019, we see three areas that will continue to trend with brand marketers, simply because they perform well.
Influencer marketing: Influencer marketing on Instagram, when done correctly, earns the most engagement for businesses. Working with the right influencers can help brands reach new audiences, generate high-quality leads and dramatically boost ROI. The key will remain choosing the right influencer to help you to engage with your existing audience in a relevant and authentic way and also extend your reach to new undiscovered audiences with whom your brand will resonate. Influencer marketing took off in 2018, but we believe that’s it’s really still day one in terms of the value it can bring to brands.
Video ads: Studies predict that video will account for 81 percent of all internet traffic by 2021, and this trend is very visible on social media, with the success of video and live video across platforms like Instagram. Media publishers and sports-focused sites, such as ESPN and the National Basketball Association, have already seen increased engagement with their video content on Instagram, and moving into 2019, we predict that we will see more and more video ads from brands on Instagram.
Format types: We also predict that brands will leverage even more format types on Instagram. “2018 has really been the year of Instagram Stories, and we see brands getting more and more engagement specifically with the Stories format,” Socialbakers CEO Yuval Ben-Itzhak said. “Looking to next year, we will see brands using with more engagement-based content instead of just promotional posts.”
Ecommerce shops—from one simple button
While Instagram is not yet a platform that offers native ecommerce features, you can say that it’s at list ecommerce friendly. There are a lot of shopping features already in place, and we expect more developments in this area in the future.
The easiest and most effective way to sell items on Instagram is via shoppable posts, which are available for single static images and Stories.
These posts are designated with a little shopping bag icon that appears on one corner of the screen. When a user sees this icon, he or she is able to tap in and access details on the product. Instagram opens up a new page within the application where they can see even more details. By tapping on the Shop Nowbutton, the users are taken straight to the product page on the seller’s website, where they can actually make the purchase.
Since Instagram is a social media channel based upon visuals, its shoppable posts allow you to increase sales and market your products effectively.
“One other thing that already changed for part of the industry but is going to spread to more and more brands is the tone of voice in communication,” said @lelograms owner Tammy Joanna. “You want it as informal as your Instagram community needs it to be. Being more like a person than a brand is what gets people commenting, interacting, engaging.”
Joanna added, “2019 is going to be a lot about the offline of the online—the things that happen online need to have a correspondent in the physical world. Like installations and pop-ups—something you give to a limited amount of lucky people that will create content that finds its way back online. Followers need to see a validation of your online coolness in the real world, and just good delivery of quality products to their door is not going to cut it in 2019. Putting some soul into the brand, though, will go the extra mile.
There are many features you can use in order to test your sales on Instagram. You can use the above mentioned shoppable posts and, at the same time, you can tag products in Stories. Since every audience is different, we recommend testing several features and settling for the one that fits your strategy and overall goals.
Engagement features: Spend more time on Instagram
There are a lot of features available on Instagram that will make marketers’ lives easier, including questions, the emoji slider and, of course, polls, which are a great gateway to interaction, brand awareness and influence gain.
“We’ve already witnessed brands taking advantage of the questions sticker on Instagram Stories, but I think we’re going to see these businesses take it to a whole new level in 2019,” said CanIRank communities and social media marketing associate Jessica Nath. “It’s a fun way to open direct conversations with your followers. Learn what interests them by literally just asking. Have them share stories, quotes, recipes, insights and more with you and your audience. This is a simple feature with so much potential to increase brand loyalty and engagement.”
Social media is a key ingredient in today’s marketing strategies, regardless of industry, brand or company. Instagram is one of the most popular social media channels and, as a consequence, it has become essential in the great scheme of things—a platform that cannot be disregarded by any marketer.
In order to be effective as a marketer on Instagram, you need to be up to date with the latest trends that define this channel.