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Weekly Mashup: Facebook's Moving Profile Pics, Twitter To Up Its Character Count  & More

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Facebook Profile Pics Come To Life

I’ve always been envious of Harry Potter’s moving pictures magic. Yes, I am aware you can purchase digital frames, but they’re just not the same.

On a similar note, Facebook has announced it is a testing a new mobile feature called profile videos, which will let users replace their static profile pic with 7-second video loops. GIFS are not an option at this time.

Users can watch the clips only when visiting someone’s profile page. Videos will not play in the News Feed. Additionally, audio will only play in full-view mode or when someone taps the video. Users can upload a video to Facebook or take a profile video directly via the feature.

Facebook said it designed this new feature so users can let their creativity and personality shine through. “Profile pictures are not just static portraits. They represent what’s going in your life right now and what’s important to you, and we want to give people the tools to better express themselves in this way,” Facebook stated in its official Newsroom blog.  



In its blog, Facebook made another important mobile announcement. Eventually, users will be able to set temporary profile pictures that revert to previous photos after a specified amount of time.

For example, if you want to celebrate your wedding anniversary or show off your school pride for an upcoming game, you can set a temporary profile picture and schedule it to change once the event has passed.

140 Is The Loneliest Number

Or at least it could be soon. Twitter is looking to expand its 140-character limit. While opening up more opportunities for users to post long-form content and brands to better explain their offerings, this move could potentially hurt Twitter’s reputation and dichotomize its avid user base.

140 Plus, as interim CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey has coined it, coincides with Twitter removing its 140-character limit on direct messages about a month ago.

Yes, I admit, 140 characters just sometimes isn’t enough to post your social tome or tirade of the day, but lifting its oft inconvenient character cap stifles Twitter users’ unique voice.

Brevity has become a hallmark of Twitter content. Concise breaking news, pithy wit and succinct sales pitches can be consumed in seconds. If we wanted to read a 500-word narrative about what our friends made for dinner, we’d go to Facebook.

One more caveat: While Twitter's talented group of writers and marketers are crying in the corner, Twitter's trolls are peeing their pants with excitement.

Increasing its character limit provides Twitter’s most vehement trolls and self-righteous misanthropists the freedom to bitch and moan even more, thus giving media outlets even more contentious fodder to divide the people. Not every tweet is newsworthy, or even news! But that’s an entirely different rant for a time when I have more caffeine in me.

Let's all pray to the social media gods that Twitter won't open this new feature to ALL users. It's in the best interest of the entire world.  

Yelp For People

Who doesn’t love to leave to an impassioned review of a restaurant with lousy service? Well, pretty soon you’ll be able to leave one for your beastly ex-boss, that presumptuous door-to-door vacuum salesman that never got the hint, and even your lothario of an ex-boyfriend. Yelp for people — named Peeple — will allow you to do just that.

Of course, that’s not exactly what the founders had in mind. Co-founder Julia Cordray, a mother of two, wanted a place where people could review others so she would know who to trust with her kiddos. The two female founders said they just “want to spread love and positivity.”

Fair enough, but just like that hotly anticipated dislike button on Facebook, I have a feeling Peeple may do more harm than good.  

The app is expected to launch in late November. You must be 21 years of ago and have a registered Facebook account to create an account. You must also confirm you know the person you are reviewing in one of three categories: professional, personal or romantic. Profanity, sexism and exposing private health conditions is prohibited. Users also have the freedom to report false statements and contest reviews.

Sounds like Peeple is going to spread as much love and positivity as Donald Trump...

In Other News

Twitter Gets Its Shopping On: Expect to see more buy buttons populating Twitter. The social media network is expanding its service with commerce platforms Shopify, Bigcommerce and Demandware, and popular retail brands like Best Buy. More and more merchants are looking to directly sell their products and services to social media users. Why? The Twitter Buy Button provides retailers with more opportunities to engage with consumers and drive sales — aka, drunk, impulse buying.

Twitter’s buy buttons first premiered last September.

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