Social Media Frontiers


Snapchat Introduces Our Story Feature

Photo Messaging App Takes Step Towards Profits

Snapchat has been pushing forward at a breakneck pace this year. Following investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer’s decision to invest in the ephemeral photo and text messaging service at a valuation of around $10 billion earlier this week, the service has introduced a new ‘Our Story’ feature to the app.

Despite having no revenue as of yet, the decision by one of Silicon Valley’s biggest venture capital firms puts Snapchat among the most valuable apps on the market – making their decision to reject a $3 billion buy-out by Facebook last year as highly prescient and validating predictions made earlier this year.

snapchat our story world cup

MSN Messenger: In Memorium

Saying Goodbye To Earliest Chat Client After 15 Years

It seems strange that the Internet and its services are now old enough for people to start feeling nostalgic about it. As the madeleine cake and tea are to Proust’s narrator in In Search of Lost Time, so too is the distinctive dial-up tone to a whole generation of the earliest users of the Internet.

Now one more aspect of that world has disappeared forever, gone the way of Ask Jeeves and GeoCities. MSN Messenger (known as Windows Live Messenger from 2006) was one of the first online instant messaging services, the means by which an era of children and young adults loved, played, and made and broke friendships. The unofficial rules and etiquette surrounding its use were a precursor to the intricate mores which inform modern social media, and no history of online interaction is complete without it.

msn messenger icon

Secret Reacts To Security Breach

Loophole Allows Friends To See Your Deepest Darkest Secrets

You know that friend who always tells you that they can keep a secret, until you realise that they’ve been telling you everyone else’s? The kind of things that people confide in confessional app Secret range from admissions of affairs to declarations of love for pets, all wholly anonymously – or at least so they thought.
The company has been forced to overhaul its security procedures after white-hat hacking company Rhino Security Labs alerted those in charge of a loophole in the app’s system which made it possible to identify what a specific friend had posted on the app.

The ‘hack’ was hardly even that. When you install Secret, the app pulls info from your contacts list and Facebook to create a list of your ‘friends’ in the app. To maintain anonymity, you won’t see any of these friends’ secrets until you have at least ten. What Rhino Security did was create a new Secret account along with ten dummy email addresses, then add the person they wanted to follow as a friend. Since the app didn’t realise that ten of Rhino’s ‘friends’ were fake, it would show you secrets posted by the real person you added. With a little automation, the company was able to spy on the secrets of as many people as they wanted.


Facebook Responds To Customer Backlash

Don't Shoot The Messenger

There’s been plenty of backlash against Facebook’s recent decision to split its messaging function off from the main site for mobile users; those wishing to check their Feed and message friends must now use two separate apps.

Plenty have objected to this on the grounds of convenience – for an organisation that wants to be the centre of your social life, it seems counter-intuitive to take up more space than necessary on your home screen.

facebook messenger permissions


Social Media In 2014: Passion Or Obsession?

Children Of A Social Age Online

Social Media has barged its way into modern day society with little subtlety, but it has given a great deal to our culture, as we can now communicate with distant friends easily, connect with new ones, and voice our opinions online in a relatively free manner. It has become a passion for most people, and it is hard to imagine how society would correctly function without the help of social networking platforms. However, there are some detriments both to the culture in which we live in and the individuals using social media, as it can easily become too prominent in day-to-day life.

social media consumption

Canada Gets Snarky With Russia On Twitter

North Atlantic Tweety Organisation

International diplomacy is serious business. Countless crises are defused, disputes resolved, even lives saved, by the sensitive and intelligent handling of the delicate balance of power between nations.

Or, of course, you can send passive-aggressive messages over Twitter – the route which Canada chose to go down. The usually amiable state of moose and ice hockey tweeted at Russia via its @CanadaNATO account, usually a source of fairly staid news regarding international politics and inoffensive photos of displays by the Canadian Air Force and the like, to remind them of where exactly their territory lies in the wake of Putin’s incursions into Ukraine.

canada russia twitter

The Ice Bucket Challenge sparks a global franchise

First it was ice, now its rice....and rubble too!

It seems like the #IceBucketChallenge is everywhere you look these days and every social media site you log on to with every other conversation you overhear being about who they had nominated next for a good old soaking- in the name of charity of course.