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.
The new Facebook algorithm has shaken up pages quite a bit, but the relaxation of the 20% text rule is the first piece of good news from social media this month…
We did a Live Stream about the Top Five Changes, but scroll down to see all the details of every important changes:
Facebook – 20% text rule relaxed, changes to algorithm, Messenger home-screen, Hide From Your Timeline, Notify friends, video comments, 360 Photos
Instagram – 500 million Instagrammers, in-app translation
Twitter – retweet yourself, Twitter Dashboard, 140 second videos, new Android interface, Tweet Carousel ad, Emoji targeting, Live in Twitter
LinkedIn – purchase by Microsoft
Google – live-stream in YouTube
Snapchat – Memories
Misc – Pokemon GO
The exciting news in Facebook ads is that they are relaxing the infamous “20% text in images” rule. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a rule that prohibited users from using images that contained more than 20% text in Facebook adverts. Luckily, this rule is being replaced with something a little more flexible. It’s now a sliding scale, where ads with no text will see much greater reach than ads with a low or medium amount of text… while ads with tons of text may still be disallowed.
But the bad news for Pages is that Facebook recently announced that they were tweaking the News Feed algorithm to prioritise Friends over Pages. This isn’t a death sentence for Pages – but it does put more pressure on businesses to post quality content that users will engage with, or to purchase ads to boost their reach.
There’s a brand new home-screen in Messenger, which is hoping to put the conversations you want at the front of the app. Your three most recent conversations are at the top, followed by your favourites (the people you message most), and then users who are “active now”. The rest of your conversations are just a little further down the page.
There have been some changes to the ways you can post on Facebook. Firstly, a new “Hide From Your Timeline” checkbox has appeared on some profiles’ status box, allowing you to post much more ephemeral statuses. Any updates you post this way will still show up in search, so it’s not quite Snapchat’s level of temporary.
Additionally, Facebook is testing a feature that lets you notify some friends about one of your posts, without having to publicly tag them in it.
If text or a photo isn’t enough to convey your meaning in a comment, you can now add a video response instead.
You may have spotted a few more 360-degree Photos in your feed – that’s because it’s now possible for any user to upload a 360 photo. Click on the image below then drag around the photo to see 360 degrees of split-second action.
Instagram has hit the big 500! That’s 500 million Instagrammers worldwide.
And Facebook’s auto-translation technology has made it over to her little sister, with in-app translation available for captions and bios.
And there’s an exciting new tool from Twitter – Twitter Dashboard. For business users on Twitter, this is a much easier way to manage your replies and mentions. Plus it brings, for the first time, native Tweet scheduling! Now if Twitter is your only platform, there’s no need to use an external tool like Buffer to post Tweets ahead of time. Click here to go directly to yours.
Previously videos on Twitter were limited to 30 seconds, but now there’s a much more Twittertastic length – 140 seconds!
For Android users, you’ll find that Twitter is a little nicer to navigate around, with a new tab bar and swipe functionality to make flicking around the app easy-peasy. Note – your menu now swipes out from the left of your screen.
There’s a new type of Twitter ad available, called a Tweet Carousel. Similar to the Carousel ad on Facebook and Instagram, you can now compile a story comprised of multiple Tweets and showcase it to your target audience.
Have you ever wanted to target a user who was upset? Why not use Twitter’s new Emoji targeting, which lets you show ads to people who have tweeted a specific emoji recently.
And now, go live right within the Twitter app – that’s right, there’s a new Live button in your native Twitter app, bringing Periscope easily into the reach of far more users.
LinkedIn, having been adrift for a while, is about to get something new injected into it – Microsoft has acquired the platform and entered the social media space. Expect to see changes to the site (including, hopefully, a much needed overhaul for the tired-looking homepage), as well as integrations with Microsoft’s other programs.
YouTube, a live-streaming pioneer since way back in 2011, has finally brought live to its mobile app. From very soon, you’ll be able to stream live from your phone, and all live videos will be powered by the same top notch technology, including search, as all other YouTube videos.
Snapchat has taken its first steps away from a totally temporary platform and redesigned the Camera Reel in one new feature – Memories. Now any image you save gets saved within the Snapchat app, enabling you to re-Snap them later, or show them off to friends and family in person. Want to know more? Check out this video.
The most exciting thing to happen this month wasn’t obviously in social media, but it’s possible it’s the most social app yet. Pokemon GO, the augmented reality mobile game, is drawing people together across the globe, and it’s already competing with Twitter for total users, and beating apps like Instagram and WhatsApp in terms of daily usage… and it’s not even technically out in the UK yet. This article gives a great rundown on why it’s an app the social networking giants should be watching with interest.
It’s never been more important for brands to know how to make the most of their Facebook pages, and the Microsoft acquisition of LinkedIn will keep my eyes eagerly on the platform to see what new stuff happens next.
What do you think of this month’s changes? Have you checked out your Twitter Dashboard? And are you worried about the Facebook algorithm changes? Let us know in the comments.