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 been quite a quiet month for Facebook, but the big news from Instagram and Twitter have more than made up for it! Scroll down for all the details…
Facebook – News Feed only posts, Moments app, 360 Photos, 360 Film, new Emojis, Facebook Live Map, Live engagement graphs
Instagram – new logo and design, Business profiles, video Carousel Ads
Twitter – 140-character limit broken, Connect tab, Spotify cards, Periscope auto-saves, Periscope comment moderation
LinkedIn – changes to LinkedIn ads
Google – Google Spaces, Allo and Duo, YouTube Messaging
Snapchat – Discover and Stories redesign
It’s been a comparitively quiet month for Facebook, but there’s still some interesting new things to check out.
You may have spotted a little button in the post creator giving you the ability to share a post to News Feed only. These non-permanent posts (which will still show up in Search, FYI) are Facebook’s attempt to grab some of the Snapchat appeal.
If you have space on your phone, I’d definitely recommend giving Facebook’s new-to-Europe Moments app a whirl. It makes it super easy to share photos privately with your friends (although laws in this country prevent us from getting the facial recognition tool in the US version of the app).
Facebook is making bold strides in 360, with the ability to upload panoramas as 360 Photos, and a new mini-film, “Here And Now”, which gives you a glimpse into what is possible with 360. It’s pretty incredible, and I’d definitely recommend viewing in VR if possible.
Emoji space is big this month – you probably noticed that Facebook has redesigned every single emoji. A key reason for this is that emojis often differ from device to device, which sometimes causes confusion when an excited emoji looks angry on some phones. The same emojis will now be viewed everywhere. They’ve also added in some new icons, as well as making it possible to change skin tone to better reflect yourself in emoji-form.
Live-stream lovers can now use an Interactive Map to find people using Facebook Live near them, or anywhere in the world. And you might have spotted a neat little engagement graph that shows you when people were interacting most with a Live Video, letting you skip to the interesting bits.
Two big bits of news this month from Instagram.
Firstly, if you’re struggling to find Instagram on your phone, that’s because they have overhauled their icon design:
There’s also been some cleaning up on the interior of the app – a more streamlined and simpler design meaning images really do shine on screen.
The second huge bit of news is that Instagram is introducing Instagram For Business – business profiles, post analytics, follower demographics and internal ads. It’s currently being tested over the pond, but hopefully will be rolled out to the UK before long.
Finally, it’s now possible to add video to Carousel ads, which will hopefully increase the amount of time users spend looking at your ads – and therefore the likelihood they’ll click through!
The big big Twitter news is a “coming soon” – Twitter is breaking the 140-character law! Don’t worry, it won’t be essays in your news feed, but several parts of a tweet won’t count towards your character limit:
- @usernames at the start of replies
- Photos, GIFs, videos, polls and Quote Tweets
Twitter’s also added the functionality to Retweet yourself, so it’s much easier to share old posts.
And the confusion over the difference between a mention and a reply will be no more! FYI, a mention is including a @username in a new tweet and can be seen by all your followers, while a reply is responding to a previous tweet, includes an @username at the start and can only be seen by users that follow both you and the other person. Previously, any tweet with an @username at the start counted as a reply, but soon it will only be tweets where you click reply that will count – meaning you can start your tweet with an @username and it will still be seen by all your followers.
Twitter have added a new section on their mobile apps called Connect. This handy tab lets you easily follow people based on your activity, other people you follow, and people you may know. You can also easily sync your address book from here.
And if you want to try something fun, share your favourite tunes with Spotify cards in your Twitter feed.
Periscope’s broadcasts now automatically save permanently, so no more disappearing content.
And in response to the abuse and trolling that has plagued Twitter since its inception, Periscope is rolling out a super-light comment moderation tool.
LinkedIn advertising may not be as much of a buzzword as Facebook ads, but it exists, and it’s just got better. You can now save audiences, as well as restart past campaigns and a few other small changes. If you haven’t tried LinkedIn ads before, why not start now?
Google has added a new social tool, Spaces, to its roster. This new tool enables you to create group chats around a topic quickly and easily, with all the power of Google Search to back it up.
And there are two new Google apps coming this summer – Allo, a messaging app, and Duo, a video chat app. This article goes into more detail – they both look pretty awesome.
And finally, YouTube is entering the messaging space by adding a conversation tool to their mobile apps. It’s currently being rolled out by invitation, so keep an eye out next time you want to share that top clip.
Snapchat has a new look for its Discover and Stories pages in a bid to give users more control over what they see, and publishers more ability to attract users to their content.
And there’s now a ton of new stickers you can use in Snaps, of the non-emoji format.
I am counting down the days until Instagram For Business arrives on my phone, and I’m pretty impatient for Twitter to update its settings so I can have that extra tweet space.
Meanwhile, here is our video about the top changes to social media this month:
What do you think of this month’s changes? Do you prefer Facebook Live or Periscope? And are you thinking about moving your blog to Medium? Let us know in the comments.