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The football freestylers who became big thanks to social media

The football freestylers who became big thanks to social media

Between them they have performed crazy football tricks all over the world and have worked with some of the biggest brands from around the globe. As the world temporarily comes to a standstill with every newspaper, tweet and news bulletin focusing on the World Cup in Russia, in honour of the tricks, flicks and great goals we’ve seen so far, it’s time to take a step back and celebrate some of the world’s best football freestylers.

The F2

YouTube – 7.7 million subscribers

Facebook – 3.2million likes

Instagram – 5million followers

Twitter – 350k followers

They call themselves ‘Global Social Influencers’ and with 7.7million subscribers on their YouTube channel with their videos regularly attracting over 1 million views, it’s clear they are doing something right.

Billy was the first football freestyler to be signed by a professional club (Tottenham Hotspur) and his highlights include performing at the World Cup Final in 2006. Jeremy meanwhile was first thrust into the spotlight after appearing on Britain’s Got Talent.

After performing at the 2010 FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony, the pair decided to join forces together as a double act known as the F2Freestylers. With big sponsorship deals with the likes of Adidas, Konami and Beko, the F2 Freestylers are on a journey to discover the best “tekkers” the world has to offer. F2 Finding Football is a YouTube travel series that features impressive freestyle soccer stunts performed in various nations across the globe.

DC Freestyle

YouTube – 461k subscribers

Facebook – 56,000 likes

Instagram – 554k followers

Twitter – 18k followers

Daniel Cutting has been working as a full-time Football Freestyler for the last 10 years, since graduating from University. His skills have taken him to over 20 countries and allowed him to work alongside some of the world’s biggest brands including Coca-Cola, Adidas, Pepsi, UEFA, Puma and BMW. He holds five world records including the most consecutive face rolls (controlling the ball and rolling it from temple to temple) of which Daniel did a staggering 1,810, smashing the previous record by over three times the amount!

Woody and Kleiny

YouTube – 165k subscribers

Facebook – 1.1 million likes

Instagram – 1.6 million followers

Twitter – 3.6k followers

Woody & Kleiny are two life-long friends with a passion for creating entertaining video content for a millennial audience. The pair started out as football freestylers entering a Nike freestyle competition where they beat 2,000 other acts to make it to the semi-finals. After collaborating with mobile phone company Orange, performing in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley, the success of the pair has continued to snowball. The pair have performed across the world for all sorts of events and brands including the likes of Nike, Adidas, Powerade, Tesco, Phones 4u Mc Donald’s and Coca-Cola.

They have since found a niche market, where they create social experiments, stereotype videos, sketches, pranks, all while developing an engaged community of fans. Now successful YouTube presenters their videos attract over one million views.

Andrew Henderson

YouTube – 126k subscribers

Facebook – 134k likes

Instagram – 476k followers

Twitter – 13.8k followers

After recovering from a horrific leg break which threatened to curtail his dream, Andrew is a five-time world football freestyle champion and the UK Freestyle football champion for eight years running. Some of his highlights include collaborations with Neymar, Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo and Usain Bolt.

Liv Cooke

YouTube- 3.3k subscribers

Facebook- 127k likes

Instagram- 160k followers

Twitter- 68k followers

When she burst onto the scene Liv Cooke became the UK’s first professional female football freestyler. She started building her social media platform while she was at school, filming clips of freestyles and uploading it, slowly but surely, she grew an impressive fan base and had the support she needed to pursue her passion.  She is now reigning Freestyle Football World Champion. She recently got invited to perform in Qatar’s national sports day in which she was the main entertainment act for the day. Moreover, she starred in the Chanel 4 Women’s Euro 2017 TV ad in which she showcased her impressive skills.

The growing popularity of football freestylers has been driven by the rise of social media, allowing players to share content all around the world, especially amongst the younger audience. Given the shareable nature of the content, social media promotes “freestyle” well and has breed new life in the sport. Without it, it’s hard to imagine where the above names would be now.

Want to know how to grow your social media audience, increase engagement or simply gain support with your content creation? Speak to a member of our expert social media team today to find out how we can help you and your business.

Putting The PR in GDPR

With less than a month until the new European legislation, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), comes into force in the UK we look at what this really means for the PR industry, whilst putting some of those rumours and myths to bed.

Find out the basics

You can’t prepare for what you don’t know. So, the first crucial step is to make yourself aware of the key facts surrounding the GDPR. If you haven’t received training at your organisation it is probably worthwhile embarking on some personal research on the dos and don’ts when it comes to data protection. Sites such as the ICO are really detailed and can help you answer some of those burning questions.

Our Legal and Finance Director, Marina Hall says “Don’t panic, GDPR is a good thing and allows you to organise your data and the information you store. The legislation is enforcing best practice and requiring all businesses to have the same standards when it comes to processing and storing personal information.”

What data is included?

The GDPR may sound as exciting as watching paint dry but it’s important to know the details, especially as it will affect every business in the UK. You will need to know what qualifies as ”personal data”as you’ll probably find that you process it a lot more than you realise. The main areas could be:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Mobile number
  • Bank account details
  • Addresses
  • Driver/passport number

The legislation covers indirect identification of personal data, as well as direct. This means marketers will need to think about pseudonymisation, a data management procedure by which personally identifiable information fields within a data record are replaced by one or more artificial identifiers. When these elements are brought together, such as a postcode used with a surname, this could lead to someone being identified.

Do I have to get permission from every journalist?

No; if you are using aggregator sites such as Gorkana, Agility or Response Source you’re covered. These sites require the journalists or organisation to opt-in to have their details shared, meaning you have permission as a subscriber to the site to access that data. In addition, business emails that are published in the public domain such as John.Smith@parliament.co.uk are exempt from GDPR and you are able to make an approach.

Freelancers can be a murkier ground. There is a grey area within the new legislation around “legitimate interest”. If, for example, you were representing an environmental charity and you wanted to contact a freelance environmental journalist, you can argue legitimate interest as the journalist would more than likely want to hear about your story. However, if you included the same freelance journalist in a big promotional email about something totally irrelevant to them it would be deemed misuse of their data and could lead to other problems.

How does this affect my client work?

Our top tips for most PR professionals would be to focus on the following.

  1. Make sure you know where to find your new updated contracts and how to explain them if your client comes back with any questions.
  2. Ensure you are vetting any third-party suppliers you might be using, such as photographers, copywriters or website developers. It might be worthwhile having a supplier agreement in place.
  3. Password protect your spreadsheets. If you have media lists, client to do lists or simply a data capture from an event, make sure they are securely stored away and password protected. If you’re unsure how to lock your work down seek help from your IT team who will be able to advise you.
  4. Don’t pass on details you don’t have permission to share. If you haven’t got permission, make sure you don’t share data with any third parties. If you do, this could it could lead to larger issues. If you’re unsure, check with the Data Protection Officer within your organisation for the correct process.
  5. The right to be forgottenthe new GDPR rules provide “data subjects” (individuals) with the right to request that their information be erased completely. This is not optional.
  6. Finally, know who your Data Protection Officer is. Most organisations will have an appointed person or team. Make sure you keep them in the loop if you’re unclear about the process or just want to clarify what you’re doing is the correct way.

Finally, we’d just like to add we are not qualified to provide legal advice, so if you have some bigger questions please do contact your legal counsel.

We hope you enjoyed our top tips; if you’re looking for a PR agency to support you or your business please get in touch with our award-winning team today.

Best of British social

The news of JD Wetherspoon’s departure from social media seems to have hit some people pretty hard. Arms are up in the air, knickers are in a twist and some fanatics even got themselves into a full-blown tizz. But never mind the very British outbursts, it seems that Wetherspoons have pulled off one of the best social media stunts that we have seen of late. They got the whole nation talking, jumped on the back of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica discussions, achieved huge media coverage, and actually stayed very on brand. And all by abstaining from this, social media, the nations favourite vice.

So, for any of those lost souls, wandering the internet aimlessly for your social fix, here are our picks for the Best of British: Social Media Edition.

  1. Innocent: These guys have to come in first place, just for the consistent cheery and delightful commentary, that so wonderfully taps into what it means to be British (complain a lot, but with polite refrain). Their community management is brilliant, always ready with the quick comeback and witty repartee.

  1. Greggs: They’ve jumped on the meme train, and it works. Yes, it’s completely ridiculous, and technically not that funny, but that’s also why it’s great. They’ve established a theme (turn everything into a sausage roll), and they’ve run with it. It appeals to a certain generation, and it seems to work, with 141K followers tuning in for their half-baked humour.

  1. Boohoo: Aside from the usual aesthetic, aspirational content that fashion brands’ focus on, Boohoo is spot on in terms of positioning, the tone of voice, and visual identity. Their content is vibrant, youthful and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

  1. Paddy Power: This is another case of a brand getting their audience’s humour absolutely spot on. They’re laddish, colloquial and a bit rude. Everything you want from a best mate really. Paddy Power also do a great job of being funny, even if you’re not big into the world of sport. Certainly, no mean feat.

  1. Present & Correct: This stationary brand does a sterling job of simultaneously selling their product, telling great jokes and highlighting beautiful content from across the internet. Subtle and simply charming through and through, they’re a fab example of a smaller brand making the most of social!

  1. PHA Digital Studio: This account just has a certain je ne sais quoi – you probably won’t have heard of them, but they’re really nailing this social media thing (okay, you got me, it’s us, we think we’re funny). But seriously, one time we tweeted something about Doctor Who, and it got like 300 likes and it was the best day of our lives.

If you’re interested in learning more about creative social media campaigns, get in touch with us today to find out how we can enhance your business or brand. 

Inspiring Female Fitness Influencers

Fitness influencers today generally speak of self-love, self-worth and the importance of health over image. There are thousands of influencers these days doing brilliant work for women, both inside and outside of the gym. They use their stories to encourage and empower, and they all work for different women in different ways. These are just four of these many powerful women who inspire us to work out for our bodies, not against them.

Jessamyn Stanley is a yoga teacher, an author and an inspiring public speaker. Yoga is supposedly for everyone; one of the most inclusive and modifiable forms of exercise, working for all from the elderly to the pregnant. Yet, the vast majority of ‘Instagram Yogis’ in our feeds today are young, white, slim women. Jessamyn drives body positivity and inclusivity with every post, she holds all the challenging postures that we long to manage, and she isn’t a size 6 white girl. Whilst covering all the essentials of a yoga-blogger, she also speaks powerfully and openly about life on and off the mat. Her book, ‘Every Body Yoga’, neatly sums up what makes her empowering to so many: “Let go of fear, get on the mat, love your body”.

#ad I've been lusting over #JoyLab for months- imho, it's the best plus size friendly athletic wear brand that @Target has ever sold. The leggings and sports bras provide top notch support with designs that are genuinely sleek and sexy. Cost is one of the biggest barriers to finding good quality plus size athletic wear and some of the best brands are completely out of the question for those of us who have to pay bills every month. It's nice to know that when I want cute and functional yoga clothes, I don't have to break the bank. So often, plus size athletic wear is all about function and never about confidence- as I step into the new year, I’m glad to have clothes that offer the best of both worlds. Click the link above to shop! Outfit by #JoyLab available only @Target Photo by @zoelitakerphotography

A post shared by Jessamyn (@mynameisjessamyn) on

 

Brooke Ence is just a total badass. She smashes any preconceptions of how women should look, act or exercise. With so much of the gym considered a gendered zone,  Brooke encourages women to get involved with heavy lifting and serious strength training. Endlessly cool, Brooke flips from Red Carpet to Amazonian warrior to Cross Fit athlete. Follow her if you want incredible displays of strength and cute pics of her Labradoodle.

Stay in the Fight 🔥 #itmakesence #crossfit #workingagainstgravity #brutestrength #thecomeback #HWPO #domynipplesoffendyou #whatdoesntoffendyou haha

A post shared by brookeence (@brookeence) on

 

Kaisa Keranen has taken the US by storm. Insanely strong and agile, she smiles through every one of her workouts, which is simultaneously impressive and terrifying. Her focus is on feeling, and being, powerful ahead of aesthetic considerations (of course she still looks incredible, but that’s not really relevant). Her whole ethos is just to get moving, and she provides plenty of inspiration to get others doing the same. Her workouts are incredibly varied, from short moves you can do in the office, to full resistance sessions. Kaisa almost never mentions physique, which is incredibly refreshing, and her feed is totally free of posed mirror selfies. A win-win for proper fitness inspiration.

 

Happy Wednesday Team! . If you want a fun challenge try one of the cross-brain rope exercises! Super challenging but fun! Let me know how it goes 💪💪

A post shared by Kaisa Keranen (@kaisafit) on

 

Natacha Oceane is primarily a YouTuber, which is where she does her best work and best workouts. She’s known for her cheat day ‘10,000 calorie challenges’ and insane 2000 calorie workouts. She brings a playfulness and curiosity to her work, devising experiments to answer some of our longest held fitness questions. From her journey, as a girl with a severe eating disorder, to studying for her PhD, her content is endlessly interesting, and definitely one to binge-watch on YouTube. Also, she’s pretty incredible in the gym and doesn’t look like she’s slowing down anytime soon.

 

Not there yet. Working every day to bring it together.

A post shared by Natacha Oceane (@natacha.oceane) on

#PressForProgress: Female Chefs

This #InternationalWomensDay we’re asking individuals from across the agency which women they find inspiring and empowering. The #PressForProgress motto spans every industry and facet of life, and we’re highlighting women from all across board who have pressed for progress in their own way:

What people consider inspirational and empowering will of course vary hugely, but for me it’s a powerful woman who lets nothing stand in her way, will give her male counterparts a run for their money, and do it all in one of the most male-dominated industries in the world.

Monica Galetti works in an industry where a common assumption is that women aren’t tough enough, committed enough or have the “fire in the belly” (to quote Tom Kerridge) to really succeed in the kitchen. Yes, women occupy positions as cooks all over the country, whether it be in schools, corporate and catering or even the free labour of women cooking for the family every evening. But the world of Michelin starred restaurants is a little different, just 8% of starred NYC restaurants are run by women. Of the 172 UK restaurants with a Michelin star, only ten have a female head chef, and while there are 250,000 professional chefs in the UK, only about a fifth of them are female.

Monica Galetti Le Gavroche Mere Chef London

Galetti is a brilliant chef, and regularly demonstrates her skills and knowledge on Masterchef: The Professionals, her no-nonsense approach is admirable, and her story is one of dedication, sacrifice and passion. Galetti is the highest-ranking female chef ever to work at Le Gavroche, but she is by no means the most decorated female chef in the UK. That prize goes to Clare Smyth, a legend in her own right, the only woman in the UK to hold 3 Michelin stars.

But Galetti is a household name, and her visibility (I hope) inspires and empowers other women to consider a career in the kitchen. She offers a simplicity to the whole situation, put your career first, when you can, and take no prisoners. Being a chef is a gruelling job, whether you’re male or female, the hours will get to you. If you’re not in a kitchen at work, you may well be in a kitchen at home, testing and trying new recipes. For Monica, she put her career first for a number of years, and when the time came she put that on the back burner and made time for a family. Now, years later, she has a 12-year-old girl, Anais, and her own restaurant, Mere, which she runs with her Sommelier husband.

Galetti has built a family and a career in a sometimes hostile and male-dominate climate. She’s pressed for progress by just being that good, demanding her position by outclassing the rest, and simply proving that women can get the job done. Like she says, “once you put a white jacket on you should all be the same”. With women like her, Clare Smyth, Angela Hartnett and Hélène Darroze paving the way, we’ve seen an influx of brilliant new female chefs. Take Erchen Chang, one of the minds behind outstanding Taiwanese restaurant, XU, and the Londoner’s beloved Bao. I’m all for this long overdue #GirlPower, for the sake of equality, diversity and better eating! 🙏

Erchen Chang XU London Restaurant Chef

 

We’re kickstarting our #IWD2018 campaign by launching #PressforProgress PHA Pledge. 💰 We’re donating 10p to the Woman’s Day charities, Catalyst & WAGGGS, for every follower we get over the next 2 weeks! Simply click below to be taken to our page.

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Best Brands On Snapchat

2 minutes reading time.

Snapchat is fantastic for brands looking to use creative and dynamic campaigns to captivate those elusive millennial and Gen Z audiences. This platform focuses almost entirely on visuals, from images and videos, to interactive lenses and rich AR experiences. This ability to provide something ‘new’ taps into a core desire of these younger audiences, who are constantly striving for new information and experiences in today’s ever-evolving digital world.

Two of the core experiences on offer to brands on Snapchat are geofilters and lenses. These are often particularly appealing due their standalone ability, meaning you can engage with your core audience, without the commitment of a long-term campaign or ongoing account management. These work perfectly for driving conversation around a particular event or theme. With brands worldwide capitalising on this opportunity, we take a look at some of the most creative campaigns:

  1. Stranger Things: This is a brilliant example of using lenses to drive hype around a release. Stranger Things turned everyone into Eleven and plunged them into the Upside Down to get them excited for Season 2.  Stranger Things Snapchat
  2. McDonalds: Of course, the fast food giant were quick to make use of the Snapchat geofilters, using the below at many of their busiest locations around the US. People of course shared these with their friends, and once you’re thinking about McDonalds there’s no going back… McDonalds Snapchat
  3. Taco Bell: And hot on the heels of McDonalds, famously funny Taco Bell came out with the below Snapchat lens for Cinco de Mayo. This was a huge success, being viewed over 224million times. Because of course, who doesn’t want to be turned into a giant taco? The campaign wasn’t limited to sharing within Snapchat either, users were quick to screenshot and share all across social, giving the brand huge visibility. Taco Bell Snapchat Twitter
  4. X-Men: This was another clever opportunity that capitalised on the power of Snapchat lenses. With an upcoming film release, X-Men gave fans the chance to turn themselves into their favourite characters. 
  5. Disneyland: The entertainment giant proved that sometimes, simple is best. This longstanding geofilter has been hugely successful Disney, set up at their Florida location, it adds an extra layer of engagement for all their thousands of daily visitors. It would have been incredibly easy and cheap to make, yet delivered big time! Disneyland Snapchat

Impressed by what you’ve seen? Think it could work for your brand? Snapchat offers solutions for every size and scale, allowing complete customisation. Why not see what they could do for you, even if it’s just for your Summer Party.

PHA Snapchat

Five ways a social media agency can boost your business

2 minutes reading time.

It’s something we all do daily, whether its posting that holiday snap on Instagram or tweeting about your Monday morning commute to work. Technically we all think we’re social media savvy. So, do we really need to invest in an agency to build our brand or business?

In short, the answer is yes.

Social media agencies do far more than just curate your Instagram feed and tweet all day long. Our social media experts at The PHA Group add value throughout your sales or communications strategy process. Find out how.

Integrated creative campaigns   

Delivering an integrated creative campaign can be harder than you think. The additional support from our experts enables you to pull together a cohesive approach, ensuring your brand messaging and content strategy is consistent across every channel and consumer touch point. Our team can work with you to produce a creative content calendar tailored to your business needs, optimizing your opportunities on social media.

instagram new trends

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Latest industry trends

We make it our business to stay ahead of the curve. We stay up to date with the latest software updates and tools available, ensuring we provide our clients with the best competitive approach. In today’s competitive and crowded marketplace, falling behind here can be fatal.

Digital assets

There’s no doubt about it, the importance of producing creative content is at an all-time high. Brands need content that will help them stand out from the crowd. But producing high-impact, striking infographics, GIFS and websites takes technical skill. Our dedicated social media team at PHA have worked with a multitude of clients to achieve just that.

 

Paid campaigns

Advertising on social media over the last ten years has skyrocketed, brands will attribute thousands of pounds a month to deliver results. It’s vital that every campaign is positioned correctly. We work with you to pinpoint the correct demographic, targeting the right decision makers, whilst providing campaign feedback and analysis to ensure you do not waste your time or budget on paid campaigns. This is one of the most cost-effective and crucial tools in any brand’s social arsenal.

Teaming up with influencers

We are experienced in working with influencers from multiple industries. We work with influencers to create a personalised approach, ensuring we have a clear understanding of their background and following to make the right match with our clients. We have a diverse influencer pool at our disposal, from the up-and-coming micro-influencers to the established stars with global reach.

Are you looking to see how digital can reignite your PR strategy? Speak to our expert-led team today.

Direction and Identity are top of Everton’s Christmas list

A month has passed since Ronald Koeman was relieved of his duties at Goodison Park, and yet we are still no closer to knowing who will take up the reins as his full-time replacement.

A lot of speculation has been made in the press over two men in particular who have both made storming starts to the season with their respective clubs. But who, if either will be unveiled as the next Everton manager.

Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash

The men in question? Sean Dyche of Burnley & Marco Silva of Watford.

Two men with contrasting methods and approaches to coaching but both who have proven to be shrewd tacticians and have excelled at getting their teams to perform to the best of their abilities consistently this season.

Make no bones about it, one of Everton’s biggest problems with their pedestrian approach to this campaign is a major lack of identity. Mr Moshiri splashed the cash in the summer almost £150m of it, but for what?

By not adequately replacing hitman Romelu Lukuku and almost bulk buying No.10’s has left the Everton squad looking very thin in certain departments.

The toffees historically have been a club that has used its fullbacks well, with the crossing threat of Leighton Baines and the acceleration of Seamus Coleman as key figures.

The gamble to sign Wayne Rooney & Gylfi Sigurdsson hasn’t worked so far. Koeman hoped that they could dovetail off each other, instead, they have clashed, with both wanting to lead and dictate the tempo of games.

Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

Someone needs to decide what direction the club is going to go from here before relegation becomes a real prospect.

Let’s take a deeper look at the two men who have been made the bookies’ favourites.

Marco Silva

If Messrs Kenwright & Moshiri want a quick fix, Silva is your man. He has breathed new life into Watford. After a lacklustre season under Walter Mazzarri, Watford fans are now having the time of their life, what a contrast of emotions.

In a matter of months, Silva has taken a team who narrowly avoided relegation to arguably the most improved side in the league. He’s re-installed fight and passion to an uninspiring Watford and made smart signings like the impressive Richarlison and Will Hughes.

They play expansive football, it’s fast, dynamic and end-to-end action. It’s been all positive for Watford fans this season bar the 6-0 home defeat at the hands of Manchester City.

Watford FC Formation. Image courtesy of Fantasy Premier League

It’s clear to see that Silva is an ambitious man who has big plans for his future, so the opportunity to take over at Everton, a club with a glorious history, a fantastic fan base and an owner who backs his manager must be incredibly appealing. Only time will tell if he leaves the Hornets, but Watford fans must know that his time at Vicarage Road is numbered, as his stock continues to rise with each victory.

So far in his short managerial career at Watford, Silva has favoured flooding the midfield with a solid back three in defence which can allow the more creative players such as the aforementioned Richarlison to wreak havoc on the opposition. A big difference to Watford this season compared to last is the intensity which Marco Silva has installed, they are also getting many more touches on the ball.

Jose Holebas was the only Watford player to break into the Premier League top 50 for touches during last season’s campaign, and he came 40th in the list. This season Abdoulaye Doucoure is taking Watford to new levels, sitting 11th in the same listing.

 

Sean Dyche 

Man of the moment Dyche has certainly proved his doubters wrong. After a superb start to his coaching career with Watford and ensuring their best-placed finish in 4 years, Dyche found himself fall foul of Watford’s ‘manager a season’ approach.

Watford’s loss led to Burnley’s gain. It’s been refreshing to see a manager be given considerable time to set in place his philosophy and tactics and see them come to fruition. Even more impressive is that Burnley stuck with him even after relegation from the Premier League after 1 season, what a decision that has turned out to be.

Burnley currently sit 7th in the league on the same amount of points as Arsenal, quite the turn around from Championship football only a few years ago.

As much as Burnley fans like to dream, Everton would be a major step up for Dyche. He would bring with him a stability that Everton crave, but without the attacking gusto and intensity that Silva would install.

He’s made his Burnley sides hard to beat and often praised for their herculean effort in terms of distance covered in games. Although sometimes it’s fair to say style has been sacrificed for the result, something Everton supporters would relish to see now from their beloved Toffees.

Do the Everton board go down the pathway towards attacking flair or welcome the stability that Sean Dyche will undoubtedly bring with him.

If it was my decision I’d go for Silva, but make sure he signs a very long-term contract because it won’t be long until Europe’s elite will come calling for Marco.

 

iPhone X: Made for Social Media

A new iPhone launch is pretty much guaranteed to make a big splash; there’s the hype before, the constant chatter, the infamous Apple Store queues and of course, the fallout. The weeks where the only things you see on Social Media are iPhone related, endless new technology fads and features played out over every inch of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This is normally easily divided into two camps: 1. Those with the iPhone, telling us all how marvellous it is, and 2. Those without it, telling them how stupid they are to spend £1000 on something they’ll probably leave in the back of an Uber next Friday night.

The latest of these escapades should have been the iPhone 8, but alas, this was overshadowed, if not totally eclipsed by the 10-year anniversary marking iPhone X. So, now that the launch of the famed X is here, what features can we expect to hear about?

This phone was designed for a generation of selfie-takers, a generation that lives and breathes Social Media and puts new experiences and interactions at the top of the agenda. There are countless features on the iPhone X that cater to these desires, though perhaps the most obvious are those involving the camera.

This includes options for studio, contour and stage lighting, built into both the back and front-facing cameras. The humble torch has practically evolved into a halo light, both rear cameras have optical image stabilisation and super-fast lenses to capture scenes in low light, and its incredible new depth sensors will transform the way we use and play with Augmented Reality. This ability to merge reality with more fun additions and embellishments is a key draw for younger generations, whose world is ever expanding into the realms of VR and AR.

Perhaps the biggest technological innovation in the iPhone X is their facial recognition tool, which will elevate communication to a new, weirdly abstracted level. As we all well know, emojis have become a language and elaborate dialogue in and of themselves. There is now even a man with job title: Emoji Translator. Their ability to be universal, both language-less and boundary-less, has led to widespread adoption and daily use, so much so that a post without an emoji is a rarity these days.

Apple has taken this one step further, by allowing you to physically speak through an emoji. Animoji is the curious lovechild of Emojis and facial recognition technology, and will no doubt soon be plastered all over Social Media, WhatsApp and iMessage. Apple has captured the desire for new quirky experiences, and the need for constant communication, and rolled it into a perfect millennial shaped talking poop. Why not I suppose?

And again, this same technology can be applied to the Gen Z favourites, Snapchat and Instagram. Their in-built face filters can now be used with hugely increased accuracy in both application and tracking, which will be especially noticeable around the eyes. This seamless integration of AR into Social Media is a trend of the last few years, and one that certainly isn’t going anywhere. Apple, as usual, are right on trend and will continue to push development of these technologies for themselves and their competitors.

These features are all image or video driven and will be a key selling point for so many willing to part with a cool 1K for the latest gadget. Apple has honed in on what matters to people now, and as we’ve seen across Social Media, video is King. The iPhone X was made for Social Media, made to be shared and made to be talked about. We saw this at their launch, where they quickly brushed over the ‘techy’ bits. Apple knows its software is cutting edge and its processors are faster than ever, but they also know that a lot of consumers don’t really care about that. We were all going to buy the newest model anyway, we just needed a good excuse to skip the iPhone 8 and drop a couple extra hundred quid…Perfectly contoured selfies every time? Sounds good to me.

Instagram Stories: Have You Got The Latest Update?

You may have noticed that your Insta stories have become rather inquisitive overnight, thanks to Instagram’s latest update, polls!

The Social Media giant have rolled out a small but perfectly formed bundle of updates for their stories, including polls, a colour dropper and a new alignment tool.

The polling feature can be found in your sticker section, and gives you blank two-option poll for you to tailor to your needs. So now you can ask the really important questions, like:

Instagram Story Dog Poll                              

You can then view the results of your poll in the usual viewers list, detailing the total vote numbers, who voted and how they voted. This is an example of another great engagement tool from Instagram, who have brought out some brilliant updates recently, making their stories more immersive than ever.

Instagram Stories are now one of the most important tools for driving repeat engagement in followers, and making this process more interactive and sophisticated will do users and brands alike a world of favours. Not to mention, giving Instagram another edge over their competitor, Snapchat.

Aside from the polls, there has also been the addition of alignment guidelines, which may not seem the most exciting tool, but is well needed! Gone are the days of re-doing stories because your profile picture covered your caption – good riddance we say, we’ll be sleeping sound tonight. We should say, alas, that currently this tool is only available on iOS.

Lastly, Instagram have added a great little tool in the form of a colour dropper. This tool is found to the left of the existing colours and can be used for any text and brushes; it’s pretty accurate too!

Instagram Story Update Poll

Now you’re all caught up with the update! Available on iOS and Android.