Path, Twitter Cards and Instagram, and Facebook apps

I am cramming three topics into this quick blog.  I wanted to write about all three but didn’t want to spam out three posts back to back.  And, as it goes in the social media world – If I waited a week to post one of these it might not be relevant any longer.

Thus, here is your jam-packed threesome of social media topics on my mind for this fine Sunday morning in early May.

Path users can no longer “find friends” using Facebook within the app

I saw this article this morning while doing my very early morning “what’s going on out there?” twitter surf.   I am not surprised by any means.  Facebook hates things that they deem spam, or anything that comes off unclean to their users.path  They probably felt a little taken advantage of that they allowed Path to have this functionality and then family and friends of Path users were bombarded with invites, thanks to Facebook giving the “OK.”  Or so it seemed.  Facebook likes blocking things (see: Vine).  The social media war continues to get weird.

Instagram’s lack of Twitter Cards really sucks

I find this so annoying as a constant user of both Twitter and Instagram, and as one who has used Instagram for several brands from a business angle as well.   Instagram is to get that very visual content out there as a beautiful, pleasing connection with your fans.  You don’t want to just put the same photos in there that you put on other social platforms.  instagram However, you utilize other social platforms to basically ‘promote’ your Instagram posts and presence.  Now, Facebook does own it, so it obviously fully integrates on there pretty seamlessly.  I understand that Instagram was hoping this would drive more visitation to their Instagram site itself.  I get why they’re doing it.  All it did was annoy me and cause me to take in less Instagram content.

Again, the social media war drags on.

But when I am scanning my Twitter feed and see an Instagram link now, I honestly don’t even want to look at it.  I don’t want to click out and go to another website/app to see your picture.  I want to see it right there, and quickly consume it, like we used to.  I previously got most of my Instagram content from Twitter.  That all being said, I find myself using Instagram less and less.  Brands as we move forward might need to find new ways to get that content out there and not just rely on Twitter, just in case there are other people out there that hate those two extra steps now to get to your photo.  From first hand experience, once Twitter Cards went away, the brands I had on Instagram saw less activity from putting an Instagram photo out there on Twitter.  So…

The other side of this argument is from the people that use Instagram a TON, even more than Twitter.  They couldn’t care less about any of this.  For those people, this is no big deal at all.  For the Twitter-first user like me, this is a nuisance.

Are Facebook apps dying?  Or are they already dead?

I am only speaking from first hand experience managing and creating several Facebook apps for a couple different brands over the last few years.  I am not going off any article or stats that might have ‘made my mind up for me.’  So, these are just my thoughts as I’ve seen them evolve over the last 2 years.

People are really straying away from clicking on Facebook apps.  Users barely ever go to a brand’s actual page/timeline.  They consume from the newsfeed.  So, a post here and there or a sponsored story or marketplace ad will see a spike in traffic to the app, but overall it will most likely be pretty stale.

The apps themselves are more or less web pages that live within Facebook, on your brand’s page.  That just doesn’t seem that cool anymore.  People want things right there in front of them, seamless.  Not a page within a page that sometimes (God forbid) are even like-gated just to get in and see what the hell it is. Facebook-like-gate Like-gating.  So I seriously have to “sign-up” to get your status updates just so I can see this one Facebook app, or enter to win this one thing?  Real cool.

The new timeline changes will be altering the way they’re displaying anyway.  So, Facebook might already be on to this.  There will no longer be big boxes to click on.   Waiting on the verdict on that one…

Apps just aren’t cool anymore.  I said it a few sentences ago.  They are sooo 2011.

Agree with me?  Think I’m nuts?  I love to hear it.  Holler.


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