360-degree photos and more updates from Facebook, Twitter


13 Jun 360-degree photos and more updates from Facebook, Twitter

Last week, we woke up to the news that Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest had been hacked by OurMine. The perpetuators claimed that Mark was re-using passwords, which made it easy for them to access his account. Unknown to many, his LinkedIn was among the 117 million accounts that were compromised in 2012, but security is a story for another day.

Today, I explore the latest positive developments from Mark’s baby Facebook and ‘rivals’ Twitter.


There’s no doubt that user generated content is one of the main drivers of Facebook’s success, without which the platform’s existence is threatened. The developers at Menlo Park take user experience seriously hence the restriction, on how much text an advertiser can use in their visuals, to not more than 20%. Until recently, adverts were rejected if they exceeded the limit, to the frustration of some brands which thought they could tell a better story with more text in the ad visuals.

The social media giant ended months of speculation by admitting that they were testing ads that do not conform to the 20% text limit. I have personally seen some adverts, which would otherwise be rejected, running to completion. But before you pop champagne, there’s a catch – text concentration will negatively impact the reach of an advert and increase cost.

Text density is now ranked from Ok, Low, Medium, to High. Adverts with high text concentration will reach few users, let alone become visible in user feeds. So an advertiser will be looking at lower reach, impressions and no or limited conversion, if they cannot let go of text. It is now incumbent upon you, the advertiser, to decide what is important for your brand.


Like elsewhere in the world, Twitter is the second most popular platform in Uganda. Ugandans on Twitter are attracted to the micro blogging site because of its character limit which fosters more ‘meaningful’ conversations, among other benefits. The platform continues to encounter a lot of pressure from competition like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn which offer a user the freedom to speak their mind, if word character count is to go by. Some micro bloggers have criticised the company for not responding to what they call changing times. It seems their complaints were heard loud and clear because the developers have finally caved in.

Although the text limit has remained untouched, Twitter is rolling out an update that will enable users to do more. @names in replies, media attachments like photos, GIFs, videos and polls will no longer count toward the 140 characters. In addition, new tweets that begin with a username will reach all followers without the need for the “.@”  convention. If you haven’t got this update yet, just be patient as it is being rolled out to all accounts.


For the first time, you can now share 360 photos on Facebook. With just a phone camera, 360 photo app or 360-degree camera, you can take a panaroma and post it in a way you would an ordinary picture. Facebook will then convert it to a 360 photo that your customers and friends can explore by tapping and dragging the photo in the News Feed. Virtual reality is also supported for uploads.

By John Ssenkeezi