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  • Gail Malcolm

The Last 6 Months on Social Media in Review


Social media is an ever-evolving world and the last 6 months are no exception! With algorithm changes, GDPR panic and enhanced user experiences, here are our favourite highlights from the first half of 2018:

Facebook

Algorithm Update

After wishing us a Happy New Year, in January Facebook made a significant change to the algorithm. Facebook began to prioritise content that will spark conversations and meaningful reactions between people and posts from friends and family over public content.

In May, this was expanded to prioritise local news over national news so that users will be able to see content that has an impact on their community. To re-cap on our take on the algorithm update, click here: It’s the End of the Facebook World As We Know It.

F8 Conference

There were plenty of exciting announcements made at Facebook’s annual developer conference in May, from a dating service to further updates to Instagram and WhatsApp. Out of all the things to look forward to, we’ve narrowed it down to six. Want to know what they are? You can check them out here: Six Things Social Media Managers Should Take Away from F8.

Info and Ads

One of the latest updates on Facebook is the global roll out of the “Info and Ads” section on Business Pages. This new section allows users to view all the active ads that are currently running on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and other partner networks, even if the ads aren’t directly targeted towards them.

Instagram

Stories

In the first half of 2018 for Instagram we have seen the development of the ‘stories’ feature, including a selection of new fonts and the ability to add GIFs and stickers to make your stories even more eye-catching.

What’s more is that Instagram have finally given us a much-desired feature! We’ve been calling out for a regram option for years and now we have it! Sort of. Users can now share a friend’s story post if they have been @mentioned. Not exactly the regram many people had in mind but it’s still a great new feature!

Shopping

After being used for e-commerce in the US, Instagram gave UK businesses the option to add shopping tags and a store to their profile, making it easier for their customers to purchase or learn more about a product.

IGTV

After rumours that Instagram would be allowing users to post one-hour long videos, IGTV was unveiled! Designed for content creators, you can access this latest feature directly from Instagram or by downloading the IGTV app. Get the low down on IGTV here: Welcome IGTV! The Longer Form Vertical Video Addition to Instagram.

Video Chat

At Facebook’s F8 conference Zuckerberg noted that people are using video chat to spend time with their friends as an alternative to not being able to physically hangout. So, what have Facebook done to help? They have given Instagram a video chat feature that allows group chat! Found in the Direct Inbox, by tapping on the new camera icon users can call their friends just like they would be able to do on FaceTime.

Twitter

Bots and Automation

How often have you received a new follower, like or retweet on Twitter only to discover it’s from yet another bot? Thankfully Twitter released a new set of guidelines in February that stopped developers from using the API to automate content and engagement activities from multiple accounts. In addition, Twitter also introduced extra verification for new sign-ups including adding a phone number to the account or receiving a verification email.

Verification

The blue tick next to a Twitter profile was once reserved for celebrities only to let users know that this is the official account. A few years later, the blue tick was rolled out to users with a high profile, becoming a coveted status symbol. Today, anyone can have the little blue tick next to their name!

CEO Jack Dorsey discussed the idea in March stating: “The intention is to open verification to everyone, and to do it in a way that is scalable where Twitter is not in the way… and people can verify more facts about themselves, and we don’t have to be the judge or imply any bias on our part.”

Ad Transparency Centre

For those of you who want to learn more about an ad on Twitter, you can now visit the Ad Transparency Centre. Anyone can search for a companies Twitter handle and view the ads from the last 7 days, including promoted-only tweets or why an ad was suspended. If you search for a political advertiser, you’ll be able to view the billing information, ad spend, impressions data and demographic targeting.

LinkedIn

Layout Changes and User Experience

LinkedIn has made some changes to user profiles, making them easier to view. The profile picture position has been shifted to the left, giving the header image more scope. The summary text underneath has been changed to display more text and users can now display up to 7 pieces of media in their summary.

For company profiles, native video is now available, and users can view commute times on a job listing, with the option for users to adjust times, mode of transportation and starting location.

Carousel Ads

Telling your brand story on LinkedIn just got a whole lot better with sponsored carousel ads! Users can add up to 10 customisable cards, complete with call to action buttons, supporting either an image or a video.