When Following Someone Gets Creepy

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LinkedIn tells you when someone has viewed your profile – or when you view someone’s profile.  The latter might seem useful. The former might make you feel a bit creepy.

I wrote earlier about how people are informed when you do a screenshot of someone’s Instagram photo.

And now, Facebook’s new “Stories” update also does notifications. When you watch a friend’s Story that friend will know you’re watching.  A “Story” exists for 24 hours and is comprised of one or more photos or short videos and Stories works this way on platforms that supports them like Snapchat and Instagram).

Facebook really wants you to be interactive with the database of photos, text and video you and your friends have uploaded. It has been copying some of Snapchat’s features. Snapchat is popular (but much smaller than Facebook) for its more private messaging.

Facebook’s algorithms aren’t smart enough to keep Stories (which are designed to be an unfiltered you  in the moment) away from everyone who is your “friend.”

I think most users of all these social services enjoy the relative anonymity that allows them to look through at least partial profiles without  “friending,” liking” or doing anything that reveals your identity or “creeping.”

I often see in my LinkedIn feed that someone looked at my profile (maybe a recruiter or friend of a friend). It piques my curiosity. Who is this?  I’d like to see their profile, but I don’t because my look will be communicated to that person.

Is it creepy to look at profiles of people you don’t know? Should people be notified when their content is view by someone they don’t follow or haven’t accepted as a friend?

Thoughts?

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Snapchat Before It Disappears

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Like film reviewers who have to watch films they are not interested in seeing, social media consultants have to get into social networks that don’t interest them, but may interest their clients. Snapchat is one of those for me.

It is a social network for sending photos and videos that “disappear” shortly after viewing. If you are one of the millions who don’t have an account, then you’re not one of its 100 million daily users.  It is very popular with college students.

It’s a network that can’t be ignored by companies because it surpasses Facebook numbers with its 10 billion daily video views.

One of the oddities of Snapchat is that getting followers is not the main goal. Its appeal is that it seems to develop deeper personal connections with users through its image/video storytelling.

Some companies jumped right in but many companies (and individuals) still don’t see the appeal. After all, don’t you want your message to have a long, useful shelf life and NOT disappear?

Actually, brands like Disney have taken advantage of “disappearing” promos and teasers that encourage and a rapid response/engagement. Quick, before it disappears!  and build brand awareness. The digital “limited time offer.”

The first time I opened the app, I did not find it at all intuitive. How do I do this “snap?” Define “story”Lenses? How do I find people to follow and share content with? Where are the suggestions and discovery tools? I checked out a few guides but that will only get you going. Creating a strategy is much further down the road.

I have only worked with two clients who tried it. One stopped using it after a few months. The other is still “experimenting.”

You might also look at some free tools like GhostCodes which helps with the discovery aspect. Though I believe that should be natively baked into an app, others will say that Snapchat is not all about finding new followers and being the “most popular” (a natural tendency of all of us) is not the rel goal.

Snapchat is evolving. It was released in 2011 and three years ago they added “Stories” which are visual montages that are not private but blasted out to friends. They added channels which are curated streams of content from known publishers like CNN and BuzzFeed, and Live Stories which are ones curated by Snapchat, mostly from big events like the Oscars.

As those TV commercials for medications say, ask your social media consultant if Snapchat is right for you.