Including...Facebook's new VR social network, a Twitter game made by the Tower of London and website accessibility tips.

October 15, 2019
Photo of the author - Katie Moffat

Katie Moffat

Welcome back to The Digital Snapshot, a fortnightly round-up of all the news, innovation and new ideas in the world of digital, as relevant to the arts, culture, museums and heritage sectors.

If you need help with your digital challenges, please do get in touch. We're currently working on lots of interesting projects (of which, more soon) and continue to offer training, mentoring and other support.


News & Updates

  • Instagram's new messaging app Threads is now live. In the announcement post, Facebook calls it "...a new camera first messaging app..." (sound familiar Snapchat?).
  • Facebook is launching its own VR social network.
  • Twitter is testing a new feature to allow people to hide replies to tweets. Seems a weird way to deal with the bullying and abuse that is now prevalent on Twitter but there we are.
  • Chinese owned Tik Tok now has facial recognition search. I can't see any issues with that at all ?. (Quick aside, also from China: check out this live streaming to 40 different accounts - incredible!).


Knowledge bank

  • Google has released a 'core update' to its search algorithm, and while there is nothing specific you should do as a result, their associated blog post is a really good reminder of how to ensure your website ranks well.
  • A useful post from Alice Read about how they have endeavoured to make their website more accessible, good thoughts and tips about tackling accessibility.
  • If you have school-age children or are yourself under 18, you'll know what a VSCO girl is. For everyone else, here you are.
  • I would like everyone in the arts sector to listen to this hugely informative podcast episode from the BBC about the UK's digital underclass. Never assume that digital platforms will help you reach more people. You may actually be inadvertently excluding people. It also speaks truth to the lie about younger people automatically being more digitally literate (related: please can we finally kill the term 'digital native').
  • Not specifically digital but this Twitter thread about how Trump communicates (and why it works) is a #mustread for anyone working in marcomms. Rob is a marketing and political expert and very knowledgeable about strategic communications.
  • A useful data visualisation map showing the least to the most deprived areas in the UK.


Inspiration, Ideas, Entertainment

  • The Tower of London team did a fun CYOA Twitter game.
  • An excellent interactive map showing some of the histories of the Scottish Witchcraft Act 1563. Essentially, it appears, if a neighbour said they heard your cow speaking, you were carted off to the gallows!
  • Catherine Allen, CEO of VR company Limina Immersive, shares the findings of a pilot programme exploring what kinds of VR content audiences want. And last week, she tweeted that they are offering free training for arts & culture venues about how to run a VR theatre.
  • Love this initiative by Brooklyn Art Library - request a sketchbook, complete it however you like and send it back - be part of "the world's largest collection of artists sketchbooks" (there's an option to have it digitised too).


Good Reads

That's all for this issue. You can find our past editions here. If you have been working on any interesting digital projects that you can share, please do let me know. You can find me or The Audience Agency on Twitter.

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The Digital Snapshot newsletter shares the latest, most important news from the social media and digital world - as relevant to the arts, culture and heritage sectors.

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