Struggling With Facebook Live? Learn From NPR!

If you’re a fan of National Public Radio, you know that they are constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to the use of technology to tell a story and to share content. NPR was one of the first publishers to go all-in with Facebook Live, Facebook’s real-time broadcasting platform. And, since they jumped in early, they learned a lot through trial and error, which means you can learn from their mistakes with their new Facebook Live guide.

From the NPR Training blog:

Since we jumped into Facebook Live, NPR has created more than 1,375 videos. We’ve broadcast from 23 states and 19 countries. And we’ve learned a few things along the way that we think you might find helpful.

If you’re considering using Facebook Live for your organization or business, there are some fantastic tips here. They even recommend particular pieces of equipment for optimal broadcast audio.

Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments.

Vine – Shutting Down Soon

Sad news, folks.

Vine, my favorite video platform, has announced that they are “discontinuing the mobile app“, which is an another way of saying that they’re shutting down the service.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ve gotten oddly weird and repetitive on Vine as of late, with a particular focus on 80s action star Jean-Claude Van Damme. I’m going to miss being able to post silly short form videos with perfect loops!

Vine Videos Are Now Longer. Here’s Why It’s Great.

Example of new Vine format - featuring Aaron Chewning

UPDATE (10/27/16): Vine has just announced that they are shutting down the service. *sad emoji*

Recently, social media platform Vine announced that they would be giving select users the ability to post long form videos. Of course, average users of the service – myself included – were leery, because the 6.5 second looping format was what made the platform unique.

After reviewing how this new feature would be implemented and considering why the change was made in the first place, I’ve decided that it’s a wise move.

Here’s why:

  • The implementation doesn’t detract from the original 6.5 second Vine format. That’s huge, because once you’ve established a solid user base, you certainly don’t want to take away from a format that works.
  • They’re creating more options for their “creators”. Vine has a robust community of content creators and giving them exclusive access to a new feature is always a good idea, in my opinion.
  • They’re keeping viewers on their app / platform. Clearly, they listened to their community and were paying attention to the behaviors of some of their creators that were using Vine as a means of teasing out longer form videos. These users had very little choice but to send viewers to YouTube, where their longer creative videos could be viewed. Now, the viewers can stay put. More viewing time + clicks to view = marketing value for sponsors.

What do you think about the new Vine options? Like them or hate them? Let me know in the comments.



Poking on Facebook – and other Hidden Features

Remember when you could ‘poke’ your friends on Facebook? This was one of the original, unique engagement opportunities on Facebook. Bet you didn’t know that the poke feature is still available. (It is.)

I rediscovered the ‘poke’ and other hidden Facebook features from a great article on They mention the hard-to-find bookmarking feature, live games in Messenger, and more:

There’s a Hidden Basketball Game in Messenger

Chess not your thing? Don’t worry, there’s another game you can play in Messenger — basketball! To activate this, you just need to send a basketball emoji to someone, tap it in the chat window, and the game will start. You’ll find more details on the game here.


Thoughts About Twitter’s 10,000 Character Limit Idea

By now, you’ve heard that Twitter is considering the possibility of increasing their current 140 character limit to 10,000. Jack Dorsey, the co-founder & CEO of Twitter, has weighed in on this potential update.

The responses to his tweet are numerous. Here’s a sampling.

And finally, this.

It’s entirely possible that this is some clever way of gathering people’s opinions about Twitter. Also, it’s a great way to stoke user passions about the service.

Ultimately, I don’t see Twitter changing their core service that drastically. In my opinion, this will end up being a move similar to Facebook Video in that they are trying to keep people on their service as opposed to sending them away to YouTube. So, I imagine this as an extension / feature similar to how Slack implements posts. To the user, they’ll see an enhanced version of a Twitter Card, encouraging people to click and read more.

Of course, I could be wrong.

How do you think Twitter will implement this new feature? Tell me in the comments!