Welcome to Social Media Catchup, your monthly round up of social media news, changes and updates, geared towards what UK small businesses need to know.
It’s all about the algorithm this month, and there’s quite a few points of interest in our Miscellaneous section too.
Facebook – Your Business Story, newsletter signups in Instant Articles, Page Messenger tips, Lead Ads in ads manager, Live Videos prioritised in News Feed, daily video breakdowns, profile frames, impersonation alerts
Twitter – algorithm turned on for all, image stickers
LinkedIn – settings streamlined
Google – smarter photo albums, YouTube Connect livestream app
Instagram – best posts first algorithm, web notifications
Miscellaneous – WhatsApp enables file sharing, Medium adds Curated Collections, Sprout Social launches Landscape, Meerkat ditches Livestream, lifelogging on Swarm, Snapchat adds Caption button
If you do one thing this month, why not create and share Your Business Story? It’s like the cool videos Facebook occasionally auto-creates for you, only this time it’s for your business. Here’s ours:
If you’ve managed to try out Instant Articles, then you’ll be pleased to know that it’s possible to add newsletter sign-up forms to the bottom of them – even though they’ll be reading your content off-site, there’s still ways to get them onto your website!
In light of all the new additions to Page Messenger, Facebook’s added a handy top tips page to the Facebook for Business site.
If you haven’t tried out Lead Ads yet, please please do! It’s now possible to create them through the ads manager (if Power Editor is a little too intimidating), and you can duplicate forms and use video to attract your leads.
And we have yet more on the video front (anyone would think it was an industry trend!). Firstly, Live Video is currently getting a mega boost to its positioning in the News Feed while live, so if you want to get in front of your fan’s faces, give it a go.
Your Insights video tab is getting some new daily breakdown stats, so you can see your total watched minutes, total view count and 10-second views per day.
Not that much for your average user this month. Facebook has launched profile frames, where you can easily create a temporary profile pic to support your favourite cause, sport team or new movie. Here’s me totally on Team Batman:Facebook’s decided to tackle one of the biggest security/harrassment issues on the platform – impersonation. You’ll now receive an alert if it appears someone else has created an account with your name and profile pic.
Finally, we know not everyone has access to a VR headset… but we do, so we wanted to share some VR news! Oculus has added a Facebook videos tab to Oculus Video, and you can like and share videos from right within VR. Such futuristic!
We announced last month that Twitter had added an optional algorithm displaying popular tweets first. Well, now it’s on by default. It’s still possible to switch it off, though, if you miss the reverse-chronological timeline.
And Twitter is jumping on the photo customisation band wagon, with stickers! The feature’s not active yet, but it’s not just your standard stickers – Twitter will also be suggesting photos for you to edit to jump into trending topics, as part of their aim to get more users posting images.
And LinkedIn finally has some news! It’s been a quiet year for the professional platform so far. The new feature is some new features to help you manage your account settings.
Put simply, the entire experience has been redesigned, which is fantastic news considering how clunky it was before. Go take a look, and make sure your settings are as you like them while you’re there.
If you have an Android phone, you’ve probably noticed this yourself, but there’s a new feature that will suggest a Google Photo album following a holiday or day out. It selects your best photos and makes it super easy to share.
And Google is jumping on the bandwagon (once again, a little late) of live-streaming! YouTube Connect is the name, and let’s hope it’s not quite as much of a flop as Google+…
The algorithm has come to Instagram! Now all photos in your feed will be sorted by how interesting Insta thinks you’ll find content, just like on it’s parent company Facebook.
And I’m crossing my fingers that at some point we’ll get a proper web presence for Insta, especially after their latest web update whereby you’ll receive notifications on the Instagram website.
If you’re using WhatsApp, you’ll probably find the ability to share files (currently just PDFs) super handy. This is apparently step one in positioning Facebook’s acquisition as a business communications tool.
Medium, my favourite blogging social network, has added a new homepage experience called Collections – curated feeds such as politics, culture or events such as the Oscars.
Social media management site Sprout Social has released a new tool called Landscape, which helps you create optimally sized images for all the major social platforms.
Remember Meerkat? Last year’s app that basically made live-streaming explode. Well, it’s actually taking a move away from live-streaming, into a new video social networking site where “everybody is always live”.
Foursquare’s partner app Swarm has added a “life-logging” feature that gives you a breakdown of where you’re spending your time. If you want to see how much more time you’re spending in a bar than at the gym, give it a try.
And a feature that I’m pretty excited about has been added to Snapchat – Closed Captioning. I tend to watch videos without headphones, which is a pain when you’re out and about. Now publishers can add captions so I’ll still be able to enjoy their content anywhere.
It seems like quite a few SNS are taking the algorithm plunge – I guess as your userbase grows, so does the amount of content, and the need to surface relevant content to keep users coming back! I’m intrigued to hear about Meerkat’s pivot – YouTube is the best known video social network, and they’ve just announced YouTube Connect, so that’ll be an interesting challenge. And I can definitely see myself using Landscape for making some quick social media images!
What do you think? Do you like Instagram’s algorithm? Have you created Your Business Story? Let us know in the comments or sign up to our newsletter to make sure you never miss a monthly catchup!