#LEGSIT, Twitter’s Building Ad Network, And Facebook Town Hall In This Week’s Friday Download
March 31, 2017
By FTI Consulting
After nine months of negotiations, a Supreme Court case, votes, rallies and protests, it has been done. Donald Tusk was given the famous letter, and Article 50 was triggered. In other news, Twitter increased the character limit and introduced advertising to Periscope, and Facebook rolled out Town Hall in the US.
Last September, Twitter pared back on its strict character count by discarding anything that wasn’t plain text or emoji from its limit, leaving more room for users to include visually rich content like images and videos in their updates. Yesterday, the platform further relaxed its hallmark brevity by announcing it will no longer count usernames toward the 140 character limit.
The update means @ replies will no longer occupy space in a user’s tweet, making it easier to @ or reply to several people at once without running out of space. It will be a welcome change for brands, but will it deliver the impact the platform needs?
Striking Whilst The Iron’s Hot
Last week we reported that a number of brands are pulling ads from YouTube after concerns about placement with extremist content. Striking whilst the iron’s hot, Twitter decided to announce this week that it will be adding advertising to Periscope posts, touting that the ads will be placed predictably and only with high-quality publishers that the marketers choose.
Twitter’s VP said marketers will have “complete control” over where their messages appear. It’s a big promise to make, particularly when Periscope users have previously posted live feeds of violent protests and crimes. However, the social media company has a program to work directly with certain publishers – like media organisations and influencers – and if it goes well, this might be just the thing Twitter needs to win market share in a digital-ad market dominated by Facebook and Google.
If, like me, you find your school friends’ ill-informed political rants on Facebook, at best, mildly amusing, and at worst, highly irritating – then you may want to stop reading. Facebook rolled out its new Town Hall feature to all users in the US this week. The feature allows users to follow and contact their local, state and federal government representatives, and reminds them about upcoming elections.
Mark Zuckerberg recently said that “building a civically-engaged community means building new tools to help people engage in a thoughtful way”; Town Hall appears to be the kind of tool he was talking about. Clearly, representatives’ contact details are available elsewhere online, but we think that this increased accessibility is potentially quite significant. Up until now, digital activism could be criticised for being little more than clicking the like button or retweeting a news story. So if Town Hall gives people a voice, Facebook might just help the people be heard.
Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon met on Monday to discuss Brexit and the potential of Scotland leaving the UK, but the Daily Mail was accused of being more interested in comparing their legs than their ideas. A front page analysis of the legs of the two most powerful women in the UK resulted in the inevitable Twitter backlash, with #Legsit and #EverydaySexism trending for much of the week. Corbyn, Cameron, Gove and Johnson even found themselves pasted into an alternative front page for a #Legsit comparison of their own.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting LLP, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals, members or employees.
FTI’s digital practice in EMEA operates as a centre of excellence for digital communications within the firm and is staffed by a team of practitioners with industry experience of consumer, corporate and financial communications. The team runs an active portfolio of multi-sector brands and partners with FTI’s teams and clients to provide a wide range of online reputation management services.