Social Media Roundup: May

With updates on ad transparency, a security scandal and lots of exciting new features, let’s take a look at what’s new on social media this month!

Twitter

Quote Tweets with Media Files

At the beginning of the year, Twitter began testing out a new feature which would allow users to retweet another’s Tweet by adding a picture, GIF or video.

However, it’s not all fun and games as the new implementation on desktop might disappoint some users:

You can’t quote retweet with media on desktop

Adding media to your quote Tweet will see the original Tweet displayed as a link for all desktop users… undermining the idea behind the update altogether.

Although more users access Twitter through mobile than desktop, the development of this update required a lot of collaboration between teams. Twitter’s design team has promised more improvements in the future, so hopefully, desktop users can access this feature too.

Switching between accounts on desktop is now way easier

An update for the social media managers out there. Assuming you’ve added your multiple accounts already, you can now easily switch between your Twitter accounts by simply clicking on your icon to open account info, before clicking your account of choice.

Live streaming with guests

Live streams already get a lot of love on Facebook and Instagram, but Twitter is entering the ring.

Their recent update allows you to invite up to three people to your live stream. Alternatively, your followers can request to be on your stream by tapping an icon on the video. Although viewers will only be able to hear your guests rather than see them. Regardless, this feature is expected to prompt real-time conversations and Q&As.

Twitter ad experiments

Twitter has notoriously struggled with making a profit from its platform. Ads on Twitter are often regarded as the least effective, which is likely the motivation behind their new update.

Similar to Instagram’s carousels, Twitter now allows several images to be combined into a single ad. This is an improvement upon their last carousel style feature where severable swipeable tweets could be combined into a single advert. As you might imagine, this proved ineffective.

Facebook

Changes in the News Feed algorithm

The Facebook Algorithm. Three words to make a social media marketer sweat. Last month, two tweaks were made to the news feed algorithm based on surveys they had conducted.

By analysing all forms of interactions, Facebook is now able to prioritise close friends as well as certain pages and groups. Posts that they think are more valuable to users will appear higher in the feed, which will ultimately affect the organic reach of your brand’s posts.

Changes to video content algorithm

Your videos aren’t safe either. If users actively seek out your videos and return week on week, your video will rank higher. If you produce a video of at least 3 minutes, your video will rank higher. If you keep content original and limit repurposed material, your video will rank higher and you will avoid demonetisation.

Unfortunately, organic reach is once more a victim of these tweaks, placing greater importance on Facebook ads or boosts. We’re ultimately shown the need to constantly adapt, update and evolve when in the social media marketing game.

Launching crypto-currency

Excitingly, Facebook is planning to launch a blockchain-based currency in 2020, with the goal to allow people to easily transfer money even if they don’t have a bank account. By offering lower transaction fees, the social media giant is hoping to get several e-commerce platforms to accept this form of currency as payment.

But let’s not forget the failed attempt to introduce a digital currency in 2010. Facebook credits enabled people to purchase items in-app but were shut down just 2 years later due to lack of traction.

There is also the question of security. Having been in the public eye with questions over the security, will people trust their money to Facebook?

New tools for small businesses

If you’re a small business, this one’s for you. In honour of National Small Business Week, Facebook announced a range of tools to simplify the platform for small business owners.

Automated Ads. By asking a few simple questions, Facebook can now develop a customised marketing plan for you. This can include creating up to 6 different versions of your ad automatically, providing tailored audience suggestions, recommending a budget and giving timely notifications about your ads.

Appointments Management. Accept appointments through Facebook and Instagram and send reminders via text or Messenger, as well as sync up your calendar appointments This feature is designed to ease the process of appointment management.

Video editing tools. Automatic cropping, video trimming, image and text overlays, new fonts and new stickers! The additions to Facebook’s video editing tools make creating engaging, eye-catching content much simpler.

New transparency tool

In response to the recent security scandal, Facebook is making a push to make the platform seem more transparent. They will now allow users to manage their off-Facebook activity. Particularly users will be able to disconnect their off-Facebook history with a Clear History feature. One click and all your activity on and off the platform are gone.

This ultimately means that any data that is cleared (including the Facebook pixel), won’t be used for targeting. From a user perspective, this is a huge step forward. However, there are questions as to whether Insights and other analytics tools will remain as effective.

Business tab

To simplify communications with businesses, Facebook is planning to gather all your Messenger conversations with companies in one tab, allowing you to separate personal from commercial.

New stories composer layout and links

Instagram Stories are still the frontrunner when it comes to Stories, but Facebook is giving their own a revamp. Currently being tested is a ‘draw’ and ‘text’ buttons at the bottom bar, whilst adding polls, locations, feelings and GIFs to the right and left. They are also going to be experimenting with a links feature, which Instagram famously only made accessible to those with a certain number of followers. Only time will tell whether Facebook will follow the same route.

Instagram

Chtrbox influencer scandal

TechCrunch recently discovered a database on Amazon Web Services with the data of Instagram influencers. Location, verification, email, telephone, profile picture and bio were all displayed on the site. Facebook is understandably conducting an inquiry to find out where the data came from and how it became publicly available.

Brands can boost sponsored posts from influencers

Branded content ads now allow brands to turn sponsored posts from influencers into ads!

When users see these ads they will also see “paid partnership with” along with the brand name on each post. Influencers will need to take some actions in order to make their post boostable. Firstly they’ll need to be added to a brands ‘Approved accounts’, which will enable them to tag the business in a sponsored post which then will allow a brand to see the post in their Ads Manager.

No more fake followers!

Or that’s the aim at least. Instagram’s war on third parties selling fake likes and follows has been going on for a while. This month they’ve added some messages to their back-end code which will appear when logins are shared with third parties.

It’s unclear when these changes will come into action, or if there will be any other changes to coincide. Nevertheless, Instagram remains committed to taking down businesses selling fake followers and likes.

Welcome to the new explore page

A newly designed navigation bar features shortcuts to IGTV and Shopping, followed by channels tailored to your interests such as Art and Food. The redesign will also include Stories.

 

IGTV supports landscape videos

Until now, IGTV has been limited to portrait videos, to the frustration of creators. However, based on feedback Instagram has now introduced landscape videos, making it easier to repurpose videos to share to IGTV.

LinkedIn

More transparency for LinkedIn Ads

Last month, LinkedIn announced the Ads tab which allows users to see all the ads from a certain page that advertisers have run in the past 6 months.

This update is particularly helpful for marketings engaging in competitor monitoring.

New educational series for marketers

LinkedIn is doing the most to make their platform as intuitive and easy to use for marketers as possible. Their latest initiative falls in line with this vision. LinkedIn Ad Review highlights a company that has been particularly successful with paid promotion on the platform each month, whilst Research and insights will present key statistics on “how and why people buy, who those buyers are on Linkedin and more” in a visually pleasing way.

That’s it for what’s new on social media. Only time will tell how the new features work out for social media marketing! For more social media news check out our previous blog post.