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Facebook Tests New Options to Add Motion Effects to Still Images in Feed



Facebook is testing some new visual effects options for still images posted to News Feed, which add simulated, video-like movement to your pictures.

Facebook visual effects for still images

As you can see in these screenshots, shared by social media expert Matt Navarra, the new options provide two sets of visual effects tools for your still image uploads:

  • ‘Layout’ provides different presentation styles for multi-image posts (which Facebook started rolling out back in July)
  • ‘Motion’ adds basic movement to your images

When you apply a motion option, it then creates a new type of image, which zooms or focuses like a video.

It’s similar to the ‘Animate’ option that Facebook added for Stories posts back in April, which provides the same types of options in Facebook Stories frames. Facebook also added simulated 3D for still image uploads in February, providing another way to add another, moving element to your still pictures.

The logic is that users are more likely to engage with moving content, like video, as opposed to still images, and in order to keep more people posting, and more people scrolling through, Facebook’s looking to provide more eye-catching, engaging tools like this to maximize user interest.

The effects themselves are fairly basic, but they could be worth considering, and they could also provide another element for brand Pages to consider in their product visuals and other uploads – provided they don’t get overused and start to look tacky.

But they’re not available to all users as yet. Some users have access to the new visual tools, but they don’t appear to be widely available at this stage. We’ve asked Facebook for confirmation on the roll out, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

It’s another consideration for your still image uploads, which could add a little extra to your feed. It’s not ground-breaking or game-changing in any way, but another handy option that could help boost engagement.


Twitter Expands Content Recommendations, Showing Users More Tweets from Profiles They Don’t Follow



Twitter Expands Content Recommendations, Showing Users More Tweets from Profiles They Don’t Follow

Suddenly seeing a heap more random accounts appear in your Twitter feed?

This is why – today, Twitter ramped up its tweet recommendations for a heap more users.

So you’re going to see more tweets in your feed based on things like:

  • Interests based on tweet activity
  • Topics you follow
  • Tweets you’ve engaged with
  • Tweets people in your network like
  • People followed by people you follow

There’s a heap of expanded exposure potential here, and Twitter, in an effort to juice engagement, is looking to keep people in the app for as long as possible, which, ideally, these recommendations will facilitate.

It’s similar to how Facebook and Instagram are now showing you more AI-based content recommendations, which stems from TikTok, and its focus on highlighting the most relevant content to each user, which is not directly tied to your own social graph.

There was a time when your social graph was the defining factor, which gave Facebook a huge advantage, but now, there’s been a bigger shift towards entertainment over social interaction, which expands the potential to show each user more interesting content, from a much broader range of sources.

Conceptually it makes sense, but it’s largely reliant on the platform algorithms being actually good at showing you the best content, based on your interests. TikTok is very good at this, hooking into your expressed likes and dislikes based on your viewing history.

Twitter, however, not so much.

In my experience, Twitter’s recommended topics are always pretty far off, and even within those topics, the tweets it highlights tend to also be off-topic, uninteresting, and even just weird a lot of the time.

Right now, Twitter seems convinced that I’m interested in ‘AirBnB’, ‘beauty Influencers’ and ‘Blink 182’. I’m not interested in any of these things, which I’ve tried to tell Twitter’s algorithms by selecting the ‘Not interested in this topic’ option – yet every time I re-open the app, they’re on my Explore page once again.

It could be worse – last month it was showing me ‘Peanuts’ comics, so I had Charlie Brown’s massive head staring back at me every time I tapped over to the Explore tab.

Again, I’ve directly told Twitter that I’m not interested, but it keeps showing them to me, while today, after this new announcement, this is what my feed currently looks like:

And they just keep coming – every time I scroll back to the top, another 20 tweets are in my feed, with 80% being recommendations.

Look, this is probably a short-term push, and maybe it helps people discover new users to follow, and helps Twitter boost engagement. But again, if you’re seeing a heap more recommendations, this is why.

Hopefully, the feedback will help Twitter refine its topic and content streams.  

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