It’s been a fairly quiet few weeks from the social community. With the main developer conferences happening earlier this month, the latest social news has already been announced for the near future. Tech has taken the lead in the news with a certain Chinese telecommunications company becoming a main talking point within the digital world. Plus a new addition to the Apple ecosystem. But first, let’s go over a significant update from the leading social media channel at the moment.
Instagram make changes to IGTV
Rotational video has finally arrived to Instagram. The long awaited update went live on 23rd May, with content creators excited by the change from its strictly vertical viewing format. There is truly power in the people as Instagram admit, after receiving constant feedback from its users, it decided to update the app to allow landscape functionality. Along with the update it had this to say in a blog post:
“We realise this is an evolution from where IGTV started — we believe it’s the right change for viewers and creators. In many ways, opening IGTV to more than just vertical videos is similar to when we opened Instagram to more than just square photos in 2015. It enabled creativity to flourish and engagement to rise — and we believe the same will happen again with IGTV.”
The landscape video support will allow content creators to easily transfer their YouTube videos onto Insta. Creating less hassle for creators who have recently had to go through the painstaking process of resizing their content taking into account the original vertical viewing functionality. IGTV didn’t take off the way they would have liked it to, with engagement on the feature surprisingly low. This could have been down to its viewing format so the change may see Instagram become potential competitors to YouTube. With the audience YT has, it would take an awful lot for IG to take its crown, but the recent update is a step in the right direction.
It’ll be interesting to see how much of a boost this update will give IG in respect to its view count on IGTV. It’s definitely a progressive step but it could come with its own issues. For example if the viewing rate increases, it won't be long until users start asking for the functionality to be monetized. With the rise of paid content increasing and Instagram taking more income across its platform, users will begin to take responsibility for the attraction they bring to the app. Content creators could start to request money in return for time the viewers consume their content on the app (similar to YT).
No wei out
The past few weeks has seen tech giant, Huawei, in the headlines, but for all the wrong reasons. The 2nd largest phone manufacturer in the world has found themselves being rejected from every angle at the moment, as they attempt to build on their flawed reputation. Huawei’s stature outside of Asia is very quickly deteriorating following on from Donald Trump's trade ban on the chinese tech company.
Tension between the US and China has been brewing for close to 18 months so the recent actions from Trump have been expected for a while now. The recent turmoil Huawei has faced couldn't have come at a worse time either, as they began to finally break into the mobile phone market outside of Asia, becoming real competitors to major US players like Apple.
Huawei was added to a list of non-tradable companies the US refuses to work alongside without having a licence. Following this trade ban, Google acted pretty sharply by blocking future compatibility for Huawei devices. Meaning the use of Android and Google features like Youtube and the Google Play Store could be at risk of being unavailable to the Chinese tech company. Huawei were given a 90 day period from 20th May for the ban to come into place. After this period current and future devices won't receive any further updates from Google. Losing functionality on apps like YouTube and Google Maps will be a massive hit for Huawei users outside of Asia as these are key features. Not being able to update the software will also create security flaws. The basic stock version will still be available but for a flagship phone manufacture this won’t be acceptable for its users considering its price point.
In response to the ban, Huawei have announced that it will roll out its new home grown operating system in June. We’re yet to know the capabilities of the OS at the moment. It will be interesting to see how it’s existing users take to the new interface. Many Huawei owners have been left frustrated by the announcement, which will inevitably show in its future sales.
Nice work, Apple.
Apple have answered your prayers. What is it, you may ask; A phone with a better battery life? Or maybe it’s tech updates to allow users more freedom? How about stronger charging cables? Nope, not quite…the US tech giant have released a new iPod touch this week. That’s far from the news you wanted to hear, right?!
The new device looks like an identical twin to the previous 2015 model, which was the last iPod touch to be released. Funnily enough, the 2015 model was a modest upgrade to the 2013 model. Putting Apple’s current lack of innovation to question.
Apple wouldn’t be at the top of the tech ladder without putting profitability as a main priority. However, users are starting to see through the tech company and are not seeing a huge change in the new devices it’s releasing.
The iPod was such an iconic gadget in Apple’s early years, representing the brands philosophy. The device was an integral figure in putting Apple on top of the technology pedestal. However, after the initial hype of the device and the rise of features and capabilities in smartphones, the iPod became a shy figure in Apple’s ecosystem. Therefore, when the news dropped that there would be a new iPod touch, it left many Apple users and tech enthusiasts scratching their heads and asking “Why though?”.
The recent announcement is a current indication of where Apple is in the tech world at the moment. Falling behind many other brands when it comes to innovation, with the branding and ecosystem helping them cling on to their major player status in the tech world.