Blog : Digital



We gauged public opinion on the recent revelation that Instagram now allows users to see when their friends were last active. Find out what our followers thought of this new feature.

Instagram stayed rather quiet over the weekend, as they gently rolled out a new update which focuses on increased visibility of users. With new social media platforms popping up fast – you would wonder how much more can be added to increase visibility even further?

Well Instagram has found a way – presenting the ‘Last Active’ feature.

Instagram now allows your friends and followers to track when you last used Instagram. When sending stories or direct messages, you’ll notice that beside their username, in grey writing you can now see when they were last active – the times are very precise, ranging from “active now”, “active 32 minutes ago” to “active yesterday”.

This won’t be a ground-breaking update for you if you use Facebook messenger or Whatsapp, as you should be used to that by now. However, this adds Instagram to the list of places where other people can monitor your activity heavily.

If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling Instagram as a de-stressor throughout the day, but don’t quite have the brain power to respond to your messages, we have good news. You can deactivate this feature easily to ensure that others (like your boss) can’t track your usage and send those nagging “Get back to work” or “I know you’re online…?” messages.

Step 1: Open your settings via the three little dots in the top right-hand corner

Step 2: Scroll down to “Show Activity Status”

Step 3: Click on the toggle to ensure that you have freedom to scroll, without feeling obligated to respond to messages immediately.

Voila! – you’re now free to live a semi-private life through Instagram again – sharing only what you choose to share, which likely doesn’t include your low-key addiction to scrolling.


How do you feel about Instagram’s new updates?

Instagram Poll

We asked our Instagram followers if they were aware of this new update, and 50% of our followers had no idea that Instagram was sharing their activity with others. Of those who had already heard about the update, 100%* of them had found out via friends/websites or blogs – no one found out through Instagram’s own news or social media pages.

This introduces the argument that new features like this one should be heavily advertised

to ensure users are aware of changes. It also poses the idea that new features like this one should automatically be inactive when updated, and Instagram should prompt us to turn it on if we wish.

We asked our followers if they would have chosen to share their visibility had they had the

choice; 69% of people voted asking for more space, disagreeing with this new feature. Researching further the 39% of followers who didn’t mind sharing their visibility, we found that this correlated with a higher follower count, as well as those accounts using Instagram as a business or blogger.

With more updates to come in 2018, we found this insight very interesting. Instagram seems to be verging towards more of a marketing platform – allowing for marketers, brands and businesses to seamlessly merge onto users feeds without much evidence. This is good news for businesses, but could increase the scepticism for casual users who enjoy Instagram as an escape from the marketing stance that Facebook displays.

Stay tuned for future Instagram advances and find out what they could mean for you and your business.

*This figure was correct as of 3pm 23/01/2018



2017 was certainly a year of development in the digital sphere in terms of hardware and software. As a marketer, it is vital to be aware of new technological innovations and how new tools will impact the relationships between a brand and the consumer.

2018 will mark a more pronounced shift in the world of digital marketing and with more advancements brings more pressure for companies to adapt to this ever-evolving landscape or risk being left at the bottom of the theoretical ‘digital dump’. The public are now seeking more integrated experiences and this year, emerging technologies opens new doors for brands whilst also presenting renewed challenges.

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Twitter has doubled its character limit, allowing us to share even more of our thoughts with the world through the micro-blogging site.[i] The 280-character upgrade has – as always- created some mixed feelings with the public, with many confused as to why an ‘edit’ function wasn’t created first.

Twitter announced in September 2017 that it was testing out a longer character limit, allowing users to express their thoughts using double the amount of characters they are used to. Interestingly, an analysis of the focus group who tested out the new feature, showed that only 5% of the tweets sent by the group were longer than the standard 140 characters.[ii]

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Our newest member to the team, Laura Scott is getting us up to speed with all things Instagram, as we enjoy the glorious sunshine:

Instagram released its newest feature on Tuesday, allowing users to search for a location and view a collection of publicly posted images and videos from that place. The new features allow users to jump into any location of their choice and explore what Instagram users in that location were doing at that time.

The new feature comes at the beginning of a bright and sunny week in the city, so the Belfast story has been full of picnics in Botanic, ice lollies at Belfast Zoo and al fresco beers at Bullitt. If you’ve been keeping an eye on the new feature, you may have even spotted some afternoon frisbee throwing at Cranmore Park by the Rumour Mill and Oranga teams. We hopped on the bandwagon and went to explore Instagram’s new feature and were shocked to see ourselves. We’d been caught on Insta, not once but twice! Cooling ourselves down with some Barnams in the office, and while out enjoying the sun on our lunch break – we can’t stay indoors all day!

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Our Account Executive Orry Robinson reflects on the challenges faced by broadcasters in a digital age after the eagerly anticipated Eubank-Quinlan bout last weekend.

Last Saturday, the nation watched as Chris Eubank Jr. quashed opponent Renold Quinlan to win the IBO super-middleweight title.

A fierce opponent, if only for his persistence, Quinlan eventually succumbed to Eubank’s tireless offensive in a 10th round stoppage.

For weeks, the bout had been billed as one of the year’s biggest highlights on the boxing calendar; an opportunity ITV was well positioned to capitalise on. A pay-per-view event available through the ITV box office for a one-off payment of £12.95, the contest was set to generate millions in sales and advertising revenue.

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Today, Twitter turned ten! It all started from a young entrepreneur named Jack Dorsey who changed Internet history with five words: “just setting up my twttr” (and yes that is how he spelt it!). Twitter is the world’s largest open chat room, introducing hash tags, mentions and direct messages into our to verbal and social arsenal.

Twitter has undoubtedly changed the way people communicate online, most notably with its 140-character format that, for better or worse, urges users to be selective with their words. The social platform has also become a go-to for following world events in real time.

For the past ten years, every moment of every day, people have tweeted and connected about the things they care about most!

The Most Popular TweetTWeet

The most popular tweet of this decade was Ellen DeGeneres with her selfie at the 2014 Oscars, receiving over 3 million re-tweets. Within hours it became the most-retweeted post in Twitter’s history.

You also have the day Kim Kardashian broke the internet with her butt in 2014. Well, she didn’t literally “break it”, but she definitely broke through, setting off a flood of coverage and commentary.

Upon reflection of Twitters ten years in business, I do begin to wonder if Twitter will still be around in 2026? How will this online platform evolve and change to ensure it is not only profitable but remains a strong game player in the very competitive social media landscape.

However, regardless of my opinion, Twitter remains very optimistic for their future and have thanked users in its birthday blog post for “making history, driving change, lifting each other up and laughing together every day.” Here’s to ten more years Twitter…hopefully..!