Instagram introduces ‘poll’ stickers and other creative tools in Stories

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Instagram has introduced a Poll Sticker in its Stories offering to further boost engagement on a feature that is already being used by 250 million users daily. Polls can be added to Stories just like any other sticker — by dragging and dropping it on the post. Once you pull the sticker, you can customize the two-option poll. It could be a simple Yes-No poll or any other options you wish to offer your followers. People viewing the Story can tap and vote, and view the poll results in real-time — similar to Twitter Polls.

Announcing the new feature on its blog, Instagram stated, “Whether you’re trying to plan tomorrow’s outfit, choosing which class to take or figuring out where to go for dinner, now it’s easy to share a two-option poll right in your story. After you’ve taken a photo or video for your story, select the “poll” sticker and place it anywhere you’d like — you can write out your own question and even customize the poll choices.”

Instagram Stories PollIf you wish to view the results of your poll, you can swipe up to open the viewers list for that part of your Story. It will throw up the number of votes received by each option as well as handles of those who voted in the poll. You can also check who voted for which option. “That way, you’ll be able to compare votes from the friends and followers whose opinions you trust most. And just like your story, your poll and its results will disappear after 24 hours,” Instagram added. ALSO READ: Instagram launches new tools and Kindness stickers for ‘Wellbeing’ of its users

Instagram-Stories-ToolsAlong with Polls, the photo-sharing platform has also introduced two new tools in the form of a a color picker for text, and brushes and an alignment tool for text and stickers. This will help users make their posts more “creative” reckons the Facebook-owned app. When you choose a color for your text or drawing tool, you’ll see a new eyedropper icon in the bottom left. You can select a color from your photo/video and apply it to the text.

The new tools are available on the updated Instagram app on Android and iOS. However, iOS gets an additional “alignment” that will allow users to ensure that their text and stickers are placed at the center of their picture-posts. It is not clear when Instagram will roll out this tool on Android. ALSO READ: Instagram Stories turns one: Here’s everything you need to know

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Facebook Unveils New Community Help, Safety Check, Donation and Non-Profit Partnership Tools

The new Facebook features for November 2016 include community help, safety check, an expanded fundraiser features, and nonprofit partnerships.

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) recently unveiled some new tools as part of its Live featureat the social network’s first Social Good Forum held on 17 November in New York.

The new tools include community help, safety check, an expanded fundraiser features, and nonprofit partnerships.

New Facebook Features for November 2016

Naomi Gleit, VP Social Good at Facebook, said the new tools are designed to “empower our community to do more good in the world and help keep them safe.”

Gleit detailed the updates and new features in a post on the official Facebook News blog:

  • Community Help, a new feature that lets you ask for or offer help, including shelter, food and supplies after a natural disaster
  • Safety Check, a simple way to let friends and family know you’re okay during a crisis, will now be triggered entirely by our community, not Facebook
  • Expanding Fundraisers so people can raise money for more than 750,000 nonprofits and add a donate button to Live videos and posts
  • Nonprofit partnerships with Movember this month and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Giving Tuesday

Mark Zuckerberg added in a related video post that ultimately the motivation for creating these tools is threefold. It is to try to prevent bad things from happening. It is to try to help out when something bad is happening. And finally, it is to provide ongoing help after something bad has happened.

Small businesses can leverage Facebook’s new tools to do more social good themselves, including fundraise on behalf of U.S.-based 501(c)3 nonprofits to help out those in need, donate or collect donations for worthy causes like women’s health, and more.

“We’re inspired by how much good comes from connecting on Facebook but we know we can do more,” Gleit stressed in the Newsroom post.

Image: Facebook

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12+ Pinterest Apps and Tools for Pinning While Mobile

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12 Pinterest Apps for Mobile

If you want to post to Pinterest from your smartphone or tablet, you first need to download an app to your mobile device.

iPhone and iPad – The granddaddy Pinterest mobile app of them all is the Pinterest iPhone app.  There used to be a separate iPad app, but now it has been combined into a single iOS app that can also be used on the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch.

Android — If you have a device on an Android platform, you will need to download an Android app in order for Pinterest to work.  Although you will not have the same functionality with the Pinterest Android app as you do with the iOS app, each allows  you to pin your pictures, which is the important part.

Pinterest Pin It Button makes pinning easier and greatly improves the functionality of iPhone and Android apps. Just go to the goodies page and drag it to your toolbar. (There are several apps for Pinterest all with this same or a similar name and different functionality, so follow the link to get this one.)

Just today Pinterest announced that it had made its Pin It button available in a number of website-specific mobile apps.    Those apps include:  Behance, Brit+Co, Etsy, Fotopedia, Jetsetter, Modcloth, Snapguide, TED, The North Face, and Zulily.  You have to have switched to the “new” Pinterest look with it’s larger pins, to be able to see these pins.

Windows phones — There’s no official Pinterest app for Windows phones, but one third-party Pinterest app, Scrapbook for Pinterest, is available. It seems to function well, but has the disadvantage of carrying ads or requiring subscription fees. However, if you have a Windows Phone, this may be the only way to be mobile with your Pinterest page currently.  Scrapbook works with Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.5.

pinterest apps

PinHog for Pinterest lets you be mobile, but allows you to minimize extra data charges while you are browsing the Web for pins. Check it out in the Google Play store.  This unique Pinterest app allows you not only to browse while offline, but it also lets you schedule when you would like to pin items to your board.

PinReach is designed to let you know how well you are influencing others. It provides you with a “Klout” score to inform you about trends and let you know when your influence is waning, you know, before it is gone.

PinPuff lets you track trends and analyze how your Pinterest account is doing. PinPuff also calculates the monetary value of your Pins and what kind of traffic they are generating for you.

Snapito is for you if you prefer surfing the Web and taking screenshots for your Pinterest page. this app gives you a variety of easy ways to pin screenshots to your page, including a Pinterest Bookmarklet that lets you do this from your iPhone.

Wallo Pinterest allows you to use your mobile wallpaper to discover new images and travel destinations.  You can pin things from your Android Live wallpaper, on Android devices.

Reachli (formerly Pinerly) has a user-friendly dashboard interface. It keeps you updated on your pin schedule, helps you locate like-minded users, and unfollow groups.

Wisestamp, while not a Pinterest-specific app, lets you add a follow button for your Pinterest account to the bottom of your emails. It features your latest pins.

pinterest apps

Pin4Ever lets you create a backup of your pins on your Android or any storage device by using the Pinterest backup app. They have a simple signup process shown in the screenshot above.

Finally, be sure to check out our Pinterest Start Guide for Small Businesses.  And if you already know how to use Pinterest, you might be interested in Pinterest analytics tools to tell how much traffic is going to your site.

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20 Time Saving Social Media Apps and Tools You Should Be Using

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Success in today’s world relies more and more each day on our ability to navigate and utilize social media. But as addicting as using social media can be, there are still only 24 hours in each day. Social media might help you generate leads and referrals, but it’s not the only thing that pays your bills.

To make sure you’re getting the most benefit possible from social media, without compromising your ability to get your other work done, check out the following time saving social media apps and tools:

1. Flipboard

You’ve probably heard of Flipboard and its content generation capabilities. But not only does this tool help you make magazine-style compilations of the content that’s most likely to interest your audience, it can also be used to view up to 12 social media accounts at once.

2. Twibble

If you find yourself struggling to keep your social profiles pre-loaded with interesting content, you need Twibble. This is one of the social media apps that allows you to automatically tweet new content from a specific RSS feed – including the photo and introduction text.

3. ScheduGram

While Instagram has yet to release the API capabilities other social media tools require to manage profiles from a central dashboard, ScheduGram allows you to schedule posts from within Instagram’s backend. It’s a must-have if this visual network represents a big part of your social media strategy.

4. IFTTT

IFTTT takes lifestyle and tech integration to a whole new level. From tweeting your favorite SoundCloud tracks to getting an email every time the White House photographer posts to Instagram, the possibilities are endless with this system of formulas based on the simple structure of “If that, then that.”

5. SpoutSocial

SproutSocial is one of the social media apps that allows you to tailor your social media experience towards interacting with and analyzing customers and clients. In particular, check out the tool’s recommended-to-follow list and social follower cleanup features.

6. Edgar

Though a little pricey by some standards, Edgar allows you to set routines for republishing your past content. It sorts your content into categories that can each be set on a different schedule, making it a great way to ensure you get the maximum possible value out of all your past content.

7. Hootsuite

One of the more well known social media management options, Hootsuite has earned a spot on this list. This is one of the popular social media apps that allows you to connect with over 35 popular social networks and publish content from over 80 apps straight from the app’s central dashboard.

8. BuzzSumo

A new leader in web-based analytics, this app saves users hours of time identifying the hot new stories in their industries in order to inform their content creation efforts. Essentially, BuzzSumo offers a quantitative answer to the question of which content pieces are most popular on a particular topic at any given time.

9. Social Count

As simple as its name, Social Count enables you to find the most shared content on the Internet. Once you enter the URL, the tool will rank content shared for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Use this tool to curate content for your own social profiles or to decide what content pieces to create next for your brand.

10. Narrow.io

The Narrow.io app helps you build a targeted community of engaged users on Twitter. To do so, it identifies users who are talking about the topics that are most relevant to your brand, making sure that you only follow those users that are likely to be interested in you and your business.

11. Buffer

Another one of the popular social media apps, Buffer lets you schedule your social media posts with ease. Of particular interest is its pre-loading feature, which lets you set a posting schedule and then load posts that’ll be automatically sent out to your profiles.

12. Social Oomph

An app that allows you to schedule posts and follow those who follow you, the brilliance of Social Oomphcomes from its ability to help you manage your messages and avoid wasting time sorting through the crushing amount of spam you’ll find on many social networks.

13. Dlvr.it

Similar to Buffer, this tool allows you to schedule and pre-load your social media messages. However, while Buffer requires some hands-on time up front, Dlvr.it works well for those that want a “set it and forget it” tool.

14. Zapier

For those interested in app integration and automation to the extreme, this is your answer. Zapierfunctions the same way IFTTT does, but allows integration between apps many people haven’t even heard of yet.

15. PostPlanner

In addition to its clean RSS feed automation and custom audience targeting, PostPlanner offers many features that set it apart, including its “post link as image” feature or its status idea engine.

16. SumAll

As the name states, SumAll is one of your best bets when it comes to seeing everything social on one dashboard. SumAll allows you to take a CEO-type look at all your social accounts, with space for everything from Facebook and Twitter to FitBit and Shopify.

17. SocialRank

One of the best social media apps for analyzing Twitter and Instagram followers, SocialRank has started getting some attention from some pretty big names. Recently, the Red Cross announced that it has used the software to drive followers to nearby blood drives.

18. PicMonkey

This simple image editing program easily transforms pictures for use on your favorite social sites. Going beyond the ability to simply edit photos, one of my favorite features of PicMonkey is the option to use your images to make a collage. After creation, one click posts it to your feeds.

19. PageModo

If you’re interested in building a brand on Facebook, give PageModo a try. This app gives your Facebook page an extreme makeover, paying special attention to the cover photo space and the overall functionality of the page.

20. Flare

Don’t make your website readers do extra work to share your content. A good social sharing toolbar makes disseminating your content easy, and Flare by Filament.io is the best of the bunch.

Managing all of your different social media accounts can take a lot of time, but these 20 apps take some of the sting out of the process. Give them a try and start saving time that’s better spent on your higher priority tasks.

What social media apps do you use?

Image: Flipboard

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