Monthly Archives: January 2017

Facebook Launching Custom Frames That Appear Similar to Snapchat Geofilters

Facebook Launching Custom Frames

Facebook is constantly launching new features to keep its users interested and hooked. However, its recent feature ‘Custom Frames’ seems to be borrowed from the Snapchat Geofilters concept.

According to DigitalTrends.com,Facebook now lets users create their own frames, which are like graphics that can be overlaid on images and videos. Users of photo editing apps such as PhotoShop and PicsArt should be very familiar with the concept of overlaying.

The new feature can be accessed via the in-app camera effects platform. Facebook’s existing feature ‘Profile Frames’ has been upgraded by adding special effects that can be downloaded and customised by users to create new backgrounds for their pictures.

The new feature is currently undergoing testing in some countries like UK, Ireland, and eventually, the U.S.

How Does It Work?

Facebook Launching Custom Frames

Create Your Designs

Right now, there are a few ready-made templates, but users in the countries listed above and a few others have been assigned the fun task of creating frames with design tools in PNG format. The frames are saved with a transparent background. This allows them to be used smoothly in the overlaying process.

Facebook Launching Custom Frames

Upload them to Facebook

After creating frames, they are uploaded unto Facebook. The frames are previewed to get an idea of what they would look like in various sizes, for example: portrait, landscape, square, etc. Basically, this is how you know the type of frame that fits different screen orientations.

Include Details about Your Design

Users also fill out details about their frames before submitting them to be reviewed. The reviewing process can take up to a week.

Get Approval and Track Your Creations

Once you get an approval, your creations become active and available to others for their videos and photos. One amazing thing about this is that you actually get to see the stats on how popular (or not) your designs are with Facebook users.

The Question on People’s Minds

Considering how similar this new Facebook feature is to Snapchat Geofilters, we’re all curious as to whether or not it will be launched successfully,and how well Facebook users will catch up on the new trend.Well, if some really unique frames were created, it would definitely give Facebook an edge over its competitors. The new ‘Custom Frames’ feature also appears to be intended for use by more than one individual,considering several people can use uploaded frames. Either way, it’s likely to be a huge hit amongst Facebook users.

Facebook Launching Custom Frames

Google’s Shift to Mobile-First: Mobile Moments That Matter

Google index mobile first

The world has gradually become a mobile-first world. This is evidenced even in our simple routines where the first thing we pick when we wake up is a mobile phone. Many people are using their phones more than they do their computers. Google has seen this trend and has shifted to prioritise mobile results.

Google in November 2016 announced that when it comes to search results index, they will be putting mobile first. This means that the mobile version of your website will be regarded as the primary one for search rankings. Prior to now, to rank your website, Google looked only at the desktop version of your website but now will be looking at the mobile version instead. It will be looking at its content, structure, links and relevance to visitors.

How does this affect you? You might ask.

If you have a website, your site is likely to have a separate mobile version, not have a mobile site at all or be a responsive site that is optimised for both a computer and a mobile device.

For websites that have separate versions, the drawback here is that if the desktop version is the one with better content and structure, Google will not see it. The crawlers will only go through the mobile site and not the desktop one. If your website is like this, you need to update and upgrade the mobile version of your website. It should have the same content and user relevance and experience that the desktop version has to offer.

If your website is desktop only and has no mobile version, it will have lower search engine rankings. The Google crawlers after all search through all websites not just the mobile ones.

For users with responsive websites, the shift mobile first indexing has more or less no effect on them. Such websites are mobile friendly as they already have a content and structure that display and work well on a mobile device

Mobile First Indexing

What should you do?

To ensure that Google’s mobile-first indexing is working to your favour, you should:

  1. Make your website friendly and responsive if it not already
  2. Create content that is best for mobile. If you have both mobile and desktop versions of your website, you do not need to duplicate all the information on the desktop into the mobile version, just get a way to better communicate the same message in a way best suited for mobiles

There are a few other things such as ensuring a good user experience when your website is viewed on a mobile device but doing these two basic things will help your website get the mobile-first advantage.