social media round up_

social media round up_ gifs on instagram, an app to die for and united kingdom douze points

addicted to love_

Earlier this month, The Globe and Mail published a report highlighting the ways in which we are becoming increasingly dependent on our smartphones. One suggestion in the report has caused some consternation with Instagrammers… The article claims that the picture sharing app withholds likes from its less active users, drip feeding them to ensure they come back again and again for a hit of gratification.

The report suggests that Instagram has realised users are more likely to revisit their posts and check up on how many little red hearts they have totted up, if they trickle through the notifications. Instagram Chief Technology Officer has publically denied the accusation, putting the delays down to a simple case of lag.


never die alone_

The clock’s just hit 6pm, you’re on the train home and you realise you’ve forgotten to charge your phone’s battery for the long journey ahead. Do you:
A) Sleep
B) Read the day’s ground-breaking news stories
C) Talk to a stranger
If you’ve answered C then you’re in luck thanks to a new app called ‘Die With Me’. The online chat app only allows users to communicate with one another once their battery is below 5% charge.

Invented as a means of ‘doing something positive with low battery’ the app plays on life’s ‘spur of the moment’ decisions. The aim is to get people to connect in real life before their phones are drained and switch themselves off.

Rather morbidly, whenever a user’s phone dies a message in the chatroom pops up with their name followed by the phrase “HAS DIED”.



GIFs have arrived at instagram_

You heard us right! GIF stickers are now a thing on Instagram Stories.

In an update that was rolled out this week, users now have the option to decorate their stories with flying cheeseburgers, sparkly avocados and even Morgan Freeman’s face… and there are thousands to choose from thanks to Giphy integration.

It’s yet another blow to Snapchat however with Instagram essentially copying the snap happy upstart, who added animated stickers to its app last year.

Instagram is now also teasing yet another update with the option to upload photos and videos of any size to stories *Siren team gets landscape photos at the ready*.

If you want to post a regular GIF to your feed, Giphy offers these top tips on how to do so. Ready…steady…get GIF-ing!


Ben-to or Ben-to not. there is no try_

We may not have mentioned it, but here at Siren, Andrew and Stacey are ever so slightly obsessed with the Eurovision Song Contest. For most of you, no doubt, it’s just one TV extravaganza on a Saturday evening in May, but for die-hard fans it’s a whole season of national finals each out-doing one another in the Europop stakes (just you wait until we introduce you all to the joys of Melodifestivalen).

We’ve told you about San Marino’s plans for this year’s contest in Lisbon, now it’s the turn of Blighty. This week the BBC released the six songs competing to represent the UK on YouTube, and for the first time in decades, all the songs are great! In only a couple of days they’ve notched up thousands of views. One song is well out in front in terms of views, L may indicate she’s on course to win the golden ticket to Portugal.

We’ll be at the Brighton Dome on Wednesday 7th February to see who wins, stay tuned to our Instagram feed for photos and stories. Or watch live on BBC Two at 7.30pm.