Introducing the Emoji hashtag + Advice from the Instagram stars + Invisible apps

Welcome to The Watercooler, issue 38.

LMTD has picked out some of the most interesting digital and social media stories making waves around the web this week, to keep you up-to-date with developments in the world’s most exciting and fastest-growing industry.

We also recently debuted the new look of the home of The Watercooler. Like it, love it or think it’s just meh? We’d love to hear what you think!

Something else you’d like to see? Let us know at news@teamlmtd.com.

Introducing the Emoji hashtag

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Great news for emoji-lovers! Alongside introducing a handful of new filters, Instagram has just announced that emojis will now start showing up in hashtags and in the app’s search function.

Why the sudden interest in emoji? As we talked about in last week’s Watercooler, they’re getting pretty popular. Rather than indicating the slow destruction of proper written communication, the rise of the emoji is more about expressing ideas succinctly, and in a way that can be understood across language barriers.

With that in mind, it’s only a matter of time before some savvy brands get involved. What better way to make your EDM stand out than with an emoji or two? We’ve already been trying it… and we’re not the only ones.

There’s also GE‘s emoji science lab, and some pretty stellar work on Snapchat.

It may not be entirely appropriate for your brand voice or positioning to scatter your official communications with emojis, but expect to see more of them — and used in more interesting ways!

Advice from the Instagram stars

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If you’re trying to take your brand to the top on Instagram, we’ve got some advice for you. Not from us (although obviously our advice is worth listening to), but from a host of the platform’s stars.

While most of these snippets are focused on boosting your personal profile, it’s not hard to figure out how they can be applied to a corporate brand — and how you can start reaping the rewards right away.

Our top takeaways include:

– “Show your viewers something they haven’t seen before. Try traveling to the places you’re already curious about. And doing some research beforehand is recommended.” – Darren Pearson

– “It can be hard to fight the urge to post your brunch every weekend, or that cute kitten you have hanging around (especially when you know it will get a ton of likes), but I would at least try to ask yourself ‘Is there something unique or interesting I can bring to this platform today?’” — Jen Gotch

– “Your subject doesn’t have to be simple, but your representation of it should be. Keep it simple.” —Garrett Cornelison

Invisible apps

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Product Hunt is a favourite here at LMTD, and a recent EDM of theirs introduced us to a pretty interesting new development in the digital world: invisible apps. Without an interface of their own, these apps instead live inside email, SMS, Twitter, and other established platforms.

Here are some of our favourites:

Magic – with a strapline like ‘get whatever you want on demand with no hassle, through SMS’, it’s possible these guys are over-promising. But we like ambition! They’re here to remove the hassle of dealing with your product orders (online or otherwise). If you’ve ever ordered something in Dubai, you’ll know there’s a market for this!

Clara – meet your new digital assistant: all you have to do is ‘CC her, and you’ll never find yourself struggling to schedule a meeting again (or forgetting to schedule one altogether.

Apps We Love

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This week, LMTD wordsmith Iain McDonald spotlights a new way of addressing the world with what3words.

“As a man who constantly finds himself getting lost, no matter the length of the journey, its destination or purpose, I’m all for new and inventive ways of getting where I’m going. Enter what3words, which assigns a unique combination of just 3 words to identifies a 3mx3m square of land anywhere on the planet (the shot above is LMTD HQ in Dubai, incase you’re interested!)

“It’s an idea that’s come up in this region before — Dubai Municipality has already started to ‘address’ the optional nature of naming your place with Makani, which assigns a unique identifying number to a location.

“But, in my opinion, a 3 word phrase is much more likely to stick in your mind than any number. The ability for those phrases to be language-specific also adds a little heart.”

#ICYMI

Hands on with Microsoft Edge

Twitter’s numbers sucked. So what now?

@Music comes to Instagram

Secret shuts down

The Apple Watch: blended

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