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#SongbirdStories: The Rest From The Nest of #SocialMedia

The weekend has rolled right back around again, and what better way to reflect upon the weary week than with a round up of some the smaller stories we hadn't mentioned.

Facebook's pre-Christmas Charm Offensive to Woo Retailers 

Tech Times
Facebook probably wouldn't be your first your of call for shopping online. The social media site is looking to change that with a move towards e-commerce right before the festive season. In an attempt to make shopping that little bit more convenient and hassle-free, they are testing a virtual store window that takes the form of a 'Shop' tab as well as a dedicated 'Shopping News' feature. Facebook hopes the page will allow users to "easily discover, share and purchase products" in one single place. Not the company's first step towards e-commerce, Facebook is already undergoing improvements to include in-app purchases directly through retailers' pages.

Twitter to Cut up to 350 Jobs Under Command of Jack Dorsey 

Since Jack Dorsey took over once again as Twitter CEO a week ago, there have been some major movements in the Twitter camp. To their employees, most concerning of all is likely to be the announced job cuts of up to 8% in a bid to re-energise the team and develop their speed of service. The layoffs are most likely to come from the engineering and product departments in an effort to "organize around the company’s top product priorities and drive efficiencies." Despite this, the engineering team will still be the largest sector of the company. It is thought that Twitter's growth problem is partially to blame, as the company is gaining less and less active monthly users than its competitors.

Tumblr to Recycle Usernames 

The Verge
A Tumblr support page has revealed that a recent ploy to cull inactive accounts on the site has led to old URLs becoming available to new users. The microblogging platform has sent out emails to users that have been inactive for over two years in order to establish who is still using their accounts frequently. Those that do not respond and reactivate their accounts will find that their content is still available but their URLs may have been snagged. The news follows Yahoo's 2013 decision to reset inactive user IDs.

Snapchat Says Goodbye to its Snap Channel 

Sky News
Snapchat has called time on their original content channel possibly due to a lack of engagement with users. The channel was closed at the end of last month for an apparent revamp but sources are now reporting that the feature has been scrapped. This looks likely to affect the jobs of up to 15 employees who worked on the venture. While their original content may have disappeared, Snapchat's Discover feature will still include partners such as Vice, Cosmopolitan, MTV and Sky News.

Zuckerberg Defends His Connectivity Plans 

Business Insider
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has stood up to the critics of his Internet.org plan to bring universal internet access to the world. The social media mogul's initiative - which has recently been renamed 'Free Basics' and strives to bring access to websites such as Facebook and Wikipedia to developing countries - has come under fire from critics for potentially upsetting the concept of net neutrality.

Zuckerberg defended the project as "one of the fundamental challenges of our generation", and cited research that suggest that web access can help those in poverty. "Net neutrality is not in conflict with working to get more people connected," said the CEO. "These two principles — universal connectivity and net neutrality — can and must coexist. To give more people access to the internet, it is useful to offer some service for free. If someone can’t afford to pay for connectivity, it is always better to have some access than none at all."

Corgi Popularity Rises Thanks to Social Media 

Business Insider
Yes, you read that right. The Queen's favourite pet is seeing a rise in popularity due to the attention they are receiving on social media sites such as YouTube. Corgis were named as a vulnerable breed earlier this year after the number registered in 2014 fell to just 274. However, it seems these sites are showcasing the likeability of these dogs and have led to an increase of 54%. Sites such as Instagram are creating stars of pets, with one UK corgi having over 10,000 followers. Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said that "celebrity dog ownership" influences dog choices, but also the ability to view dogs "who are celebrities in their own right".

Eradicate Bad 'Memories' With Facebook 

On Tuesday Facebook launched controls that allow you to remove those unwanted memories from your timeline. To do so, visit your 'On this day' page, hit 'Preferences' and you can filter out specific people or dates you'd rather not be reminded of. Now that ex-partner of yours and your anniversary need only exist in the comfortable confinement of your suppressed memories.

Audi Instagram to Build the Brand's Visual Identity 

The Drum
German car maker Audi are expanding their digital marketing by taking a greater focus on Instagram in order to better communicate their brand story. The app, alongside Twitter and Facebook, makes up their core social networking strategy, and already has 22.5k followers for the UK page alone.

Audi Instagram to Build the Brand's Visual Identity Not satisfied with those figures, digital communications manager Emma Page has teased "exciting plans for the end of the year". She believes that progression on social media sites such as Instagram will see greater ROI in the future due to their organic reach as opposed to traditional paid advertising. The company will also test the effectiveness of Snapchat and Twitter's live streaming service Periscope next year.

Social Media Silences Fox Cull

Hackney Gazette
After previous attempts to protect Hackney's deer from a fox infestation failed, the council organised a planned cull of the animal in one of its parks. However due to an uproar on social media by horrified protesters the extermination plan has been postponed. Within a few hours of the council stating their violent intentions, a change.org petition was set up and has since amassed around 7,500 supporters.

PETA spokeswoman Sascha Camilli claims the cull would be pointless anyway, as more foxes will simply replace those killed.There are believed to be 10,000 urban foxes living in London which pose a "severe health risk" to the deer in the capital's parks. A representative of the RSPCA said that there was no evidence that the foxes pose a risk or either deer or humans.

Twitter announces Amplify expansion

Twitter's Amplify ad program is making itself easier and more accessible to both publishers and advertisers by opening up the freedoms between the two. As reported by TechCrunch, advertisers no longer need to work with a specific publisher, and instead they can choose a content category that will allow for automatic pre-rolling of their ads by relevant publishers. The expansion means that publishers also have a financial incentive to share their video clips on Twitter. Companies involved in the program include Sports Illustrated, Fox and MTV. The new and improved program is currently in beta testing.

SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF

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#SongbirdStories: The Rest From The Nest of #SocialMedia Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, October 17, 2015 Rating: 5

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