For the fourth instalment of his possibly never-ending segment, Boyd Neil returns to profile four new social media disruptions to keep track of—all in the span of…you guessed it…four weeks.
Like the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club, things on social keep being ripped apart and rebuilt (likely with greater success than my pitiful team). Four weeks have seen four disruptive moves that make social web watching so much fun . . and complex.
Launched in late February, Meerkat is an iOS app available on iTunes for broadcasting live video on Twitter. As Techcrunch reports:

At any moment, you can start a broadcast of yourself on Meerkat, which trigger’s a tweet of the link to your stream and a notification to any of your Twitter followers who use its app. Anyone can tune in on the web or through Meerkat, and chime in with comments that are sent as Twitter @ replies. When you’re done, your video disappears unless you save it to your phone.

Its strengths? Linked to Twitter, Meerkat doesn’t need you to build a new community and it is dead easy to use. The downsides? Will live video broadcasting catch on?
Instagram Pimping Its Ride
You could spend all day ferreting out moves by social platforms to wring more ad revenue out of companies.
Instagram for one continues to snuggle up to advertisers through some slick changes to how they can snag eyeballs and engagement. It was only a few months ago that it added video ads. Now Instagram is offering Carousel ads. These let people viewing an ad “swipe left to see additional images and link to a website of the brand’s choice”. This latter linking feature was a hurdle for many companies who didn’t see the value in Instagram without an e-commerce functionality.
Nobody is saying Google+ is about to be scrubbed any time soon, but the troubled platform will soon be split into ‘photo’ and ‘stream’ services, with Hangouts moving outside the Google+ shell. In an interview, Google’s Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of products, confirmed that “Hangouts will live on as a standalone product as the company reorganizes around photos and communications.” What exactly ‘reorganizes’ means to the Google+ name or platform as we know it isn’t so apparent.
As a non-user of the messaging app Snapchat, two recent changes don’t mean a lot to me but may to you. (Being something of a cynic, I assume there is some kind of monetization play behind each.)
Snapchat now lets you record video while listening to music without interrupting it. Explains The Verge:

Snapchat has finally figured out how to integrate music with its service. Thanks to an update currently rolling out on iOS, Snapchat users can record video while still playing music on their phones. Previously when you pressed record, any music playing would automatically pause, an issue that still plagues Instagram, Vine, and even the default video camera on the iPhone. Snapchat’s update will let you record music from any music app, and reduces the need for a second audio source to record music from.

It also launched Discover in January. Discover is like a snappy version of Flipboard. News and feature content including photos and videos are posted in an ‘Edition’. You “tap to open an edition, swipe left to browse Snaps, or swipe up on a Snap for more. Each channel brings you something uniquea wonderful daily surprise!”
SXSW is coming up next week so expect another unruly month of dislocation and great leaps forward.
This post was originally published by Boyd Neil on his personal website on March 10, 2015.