August was a great month for social media updates. Whether that was introducing new features or improving the ones currently available. We saw the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all bringing new things to the table. As well as Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Twitter was very busy this month, with six new updates to the app. The first of these being ‘Promoted Stickers’. Allowing users to pick and choose any sticker they like and attach those to their images that they upload. In doing so people can search through the stickers filter and view images relating to the sticker.
The second big update was ‘Instant Unlock Card’. They can be used in conjunction with ads that are conversational. Enabling users to share the tweet and discover the ‘hidden’ information. It will drive engagement for brands by incentivising the tweet and encouraging users to tweet about the product to discover new content.
They also updated Notifications Settings and Quality Filter. So now you can define who you receive notifications from and limit your feed to better quality tweets. As well as introducing Night Mode and letting us finally put emojis in our names and bios.
Facebook had an even bigger month with updating their algorithm across most of the platform. They updated to help reduce clickbait. Which Facebook defines as “headlines that withhold information required to understand what the article is about, or exaggerate the article to create misleading expectations.”
They also updated ad blocking, making it easier for users to define topics they would like to see in regards to advertising. Although this may seem like a loss for companies and brands advertising on Facebook, it’s actually going to help define and target a better audience.
The algorithm update also helped with prioritising informative stories for each individual user, choosing ones that will be more personally informative. Trending topics was also updated, with the amount of people posting about a certain topic instead of a small descriptive paragraph about it. It is unique to each user based on pages they like, their location and what’s trending on Facebook.
Probably the most important update for advertisers was the Slideshow Ads update. Although it was launched October 2015, the new features make it even better for brands on Facebook. You can now add text and audio to a slideshow, create them on your mobile, use Facebook’s stock image library and easily turn videos into slideshows.
But the biggest social media update this past month has got to be Instagram’s Stories. We wrote a blog when it was initially released, you can find here. It was the most controversial update from Instagram with people comparing its likeness to Snapchat. We know that Facebook tried to buy Snapchat not that long after it’s concept. But they were unsuccessful, and ever since, Snapchat has grown into it’s own.
Instagram Stories is a 24-hour limited video/image feature where users can upload their own content ‘live’ to create a unique experience with their followers. With a lot of Instagram being ‘staged’ or ‘constructed’ the Stories element is adding a more natural, human side to the app. Allowing users to see behind the lens as it were.
Another feature that Instagram has introduced is comment filtering. Although it is only available for some accounts who receive a high volume of comments. They are now able to filter their streams or even turn them off completely. This adds on to their feature for the same accounts to use a basic profanity filter to block words or phrases commonly marked as offensive. The most recent update is being able to zoom on images and videos now. A feature that Instagram was famous for not having.