The All Spark

Amazon has launched their own social media network. It's called Spark and is currently only available for Prime members. It's a shopping focused channel that will add another dimension to user reviews and recommendations on the shopping giant's site. Users can tag their photos and videos with products that they've purchased on Amazon. Similar to Instagram, Pinterest and recently Facebook, this allows brands to push sponsored content to the networks users via influencers and bloggers, something that was recently banned on Amazon reviews. It's a bold move, and one that could take hold in a number of niches. The ability to shop seamlessly with your Amazon login could make the network extremely profitable. Whether this shopping-based network can attract and hold the attention of the millions in its potential reach remains to be seen...

Social Media. Limited

Instagram has moved from a network where people would post anything and everything they thought looked pretty, to a severely curated highlight reel of people's lives. In order to bring some reality back into the flow, Instagram has had to find a new way to share your personal thoughts, opinions, photos and videos with only your closest friends. 'Favourites' is the new feature that will keep Instagram growing rapidly, even if it is behind the scenes. This is a fantastic feature, as long as it does not remove from the usual posting and turn Instagram into  a private network. With the desire to show-off as strong as ever on the network, restraining from posting your best angles publicly seems unlikely. We always say that social doesn't mean everyone, and this is a perfect demonstration of Instagram understanding their user-base and adapting accordingly.

Dirty Bones, Clean Posts

London restaurant Dirty Bones is here to help take social media food porn to the next level. You thought your friend who chose a table based on lighting was fussy? Or the one who gets up to walk around to your side for a better angle was embarrassing? How would you feel if they brought out a portable LED camera light, multi device charger, clip-on wide angle lens and a tripod selfie stick? That's precisely what's inside the 'Instagram Pack' available to diners who'd like to capture the perfect shot of their cocktails and food. Soho has always been cool... we're not sure being this 'extra' will add to that. 

News New News

Unfortunately, Facebook has become a major source of news for the general public. We say unfortunately because news outlets often spew out so many articles, that once you read a few, Facebook's algorithms will fill up your feed with click-bait, sensationalist articles, and gossip. I (Rikki) recently unliked The Independent as I couldn't view one article without my feed being overtaken by more and more. It's this echo chamber that has exacerbated and justified the narrow minded views of many. Now Facebook has plans to make users pay to view news served via Instant Articles. This furthers Facebook's closed loop plan, which pulls people away from the wide web and into Facebook's own network. Reading 10 stories before users are guided towards a subscription offer is the current plan. Through a medium where people are used to receiving succinct news for free, we're not sure this model will work. Check back in October for a follow up! 

Anti-Social - The Bad Side Of Social Media.

Anti-social: A regular feature on the not-so-great things we spot in the world of social media. A young woman was arrested in Saudi Arabia for wearing a skirt and crop top. She was filmed for a series of videos posted to Snapchat. Walking through a historic fort and playing with sand in the dunes was all that took place. The video sparked incredible outrage on social channels, with many calling for her arrest and claiming that without arrest this behaviour would spread. This story however has a happy ending as she was released without charge - an unexpected outcome from such a conservative and brutal kingdom.