Royals Social Tête-à-Tête: Nicole vs. Annisah

Resident Royal social media managers Nicole Haddow and Annisah Ibrahim pride themselves on creating content that makes you whack that Like button. But here, for ten minutes, they let their guard down and talk openly (some would say too openly) about social.

And they briefly digress to talk about Beyonce (it’s hard not to).

Nicole Haddow: tell me your first social media experience

Annisah Ibrahim: It was on a chat room in 1996. It was called and the only way you would know how other people were talking to you was if you refreshed the page. You kept doing that. What about you?

NH: I used to go over to my friend’s house. I think it was about ‘95 or ’96. We used to sit on her computer and look at a black chat screen and talk to random people .

AI: Was it IRC?

NH: It was ICQ. What’s IRC?

AI: Chat rooms. It’s like a chat room skeleton in its original state. Each channel had a topic and it starts with a hashtag. I might be wrong though.

NH: Oh, really?  So you were using hashtags in 1996? Early adopter. Tell me when you really got into current social media.

AI: I guess when MySpace started.

NH: I never had a MySpace

AI: How come?

NH: I don’t know.

AI: So you had a Friendster?

NH: I never had a Friendster.

AI: So you only had a Facebook?

NH: Yeah, I used to send long 800 word group emails to my friends. But I never had a MySpace

AI: But you’ve heard of it, right? I thought everyone had a MySpace. Or Bebo. Blogspot. Xanga. Livejournal.

NH: I never had a Livejournal. What is that?!

AI: It’s like blog facility. There were also livejournal communities. My favourite was madradhair. It was all about emo hair cuts and hair advice.




NH: Nah. I was just emailing until Facebook.

AI: A different route. NH: But then when I got Facebook I was in.

AI: You would have loved MySpace because you can customise a page. It felt more personalised than Facebook. Facebook’s very ‘here’s your bio, here’s your friends’. MySpace you can decorate your page and have your top eight friends. Here’s an example of a typical Myspace profile:

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 3.15.54 pm


NH: Sorry if you’re not in the top eight.

AI: I was somewhat offended when some of my friends didn’t put me in the top eight. And we had emo haircuts. It was that time – 2004 – 2005.

NH: I reckon I got Facebook in 2004.

AI: They already had Facebook but it wasn’t as used. If only I had screenshots of MySpace back in the day. It’s like a time capsule. Everyone had those emo haircuts and took photos with digital cameras.

NH: And you’d get a quarter of your head in. What about other platforms. You got into Pinterest, why did you do that?

AI: Because it saved my money from buying fashion mags and stuff. What’s your social media?

NH: Twitter. I started posting random comments on there in 2008. Then I started blogging and I used it to share my blog posts. In 2010 my brother sent me a picture of the Ed Hardy shop in Chapel Street when it was closing down. Someone had put some smart arse sign in the window about it closing. So I tweeted a picture of the sign and it went nuts. I got about 600 followers in a day. Then I was hooked. I was like, ‘I want to go viral again’.

AI: You were addicted to the rush of followers. The mad rush.

NH: I used to put whatever I wanted on there. Now I’m cautious. Do you reckon we’ve started censoring ourselves a lot more?

AI: You could always make it private.

NH: But that’s no fun.

AI: It’s so easy to word vomit in 140 character or less. Privacy’s probably the next thing. We’re going to get to the point where we’re questioning privacy and confidentiality. This morning I woke up and I saw Solange beating up Jay Z in a lift and Beyonce was at the side, like, whatever.


Image source:

NH: What was that on?

AI: TMZ, all over. I thought she was the cool sister.

NH: It’s got to be photoshop

AI: It’s actual CCTV footage. I don’t like seeing that…. Do you want to watch it?

AI: So intense. …

NH: What do you reckon the future holds for social.

AI: No idea. What do you think?

NH: I remember talking to this guy ages ago who said the whole point of social should be that it brings likeminded people together in real life. So I’d like to think there’d be less looking at a screen and more facilitating of human contact.

AI: Do you reckon society’s going to have a detox from social?

NH: I find myself needing to set boundaries. I’m on it all the time. I shouldn’t care so much about what’s going on in other people’s lives.

AI: It’s weird that you know so much about someone when you meet them for the first time.

NH: Or you catch up with a friend and you already know what’s going on in their life because they posted about it.

AI: I used to be really into it, always updating my status and photo galleries. Now I don’t do much personally. Just Instagram and that’s private.

AI: Do you enjoy your job?

NH: I love my job. It’s so funny managing communities because you get insights from strangers. Sometimes you get to know people really well, but they don’t know you’re getting to know them.

AI: Makes you think, what do other people know about you?

NH: Oh. Yeah.