The first week on 2016 on social

From 20,000 people watching a puddle, to the news that Twitter might increase character count to 10,000 - a look at the first week of 2016 on social.

2016 came in with a bang, with the first working week being a very busy one for those in the world of social media, with almost 20,000 people watching a puddle.

#DrummondPuddleWatch

Possibly one of the most British things to happen of all times, the live streaming of a very large puddle (our director of social media and PR did predict Periscope would be big in 2016!) was actually started by a creative agency and led to a whopping amount of views as internet users watched people try to cross the very large puddle in Newcastle.

A ‘slippery when wet’ sign and someone trying to get across in a lilo were among the highlights of the live stream, with brands such as Star Wars, Dominos and ASOS all jumping on (in?) the puddle bandwagon.

This shows just how important live streaming will be over the next year – and how even the most random thing can catch the attention of the public!

Twitter 10k

And soon there could be even more room on social to debate such videos and stunts, following Twitter’s announcement that it could increase its character limit from 140 to 10,000 (so, just a wee bit of a change!).

Many greeted this move with dismay – believing that this would make the traditionally short-form platform more like Facebook.

The pro of upping the character count is, of course, that it makes it easier to get your view across without having to cut the characters down to the bare bones and without having to send several ‘1/3’ messages if you’ve something longer to say.

The downside? Friends and brands could start to post full blog-length posts instead of succinct messages, clogging up timelines which, let’s face it, can already be very busy.

Of course, consumers will have to press to view more of the post, but unless the first line is amazing, I feel like not many brands will capture the attention in the way they might do in a single sentence.

Think of the best brand tweets you’ve seen over the past few years. Most of them have been short and sweet – and I believe that even if Twitter does go ahead with increasing the character count, the best and most memorable posts of 2016 and beyond will remain short.

Facebook Messenger

One other interesting move that has come out of the first week of 2016 was the news that Facebook Messenger has reached 800,000 users.

It has been hinted that this will be a big year for Messenger, with Facebook’s Vice President of Messaging Products David Marcus saying that they are looking into how business and services will be able to interact with customers, including buying goods and having instant customer service.

With more and more people turning to social media for customer service, this could be a great way to bring everything together in a seamless manner.

Overall, in a week that is usually a ‘quiet one’ after the Christmas holidays, these three moves in the world of social shows that there is no rest online – 2016 is set to be a year of relentless change.

By Ishbel Macleod