2019: The last 6 months on social media in review
The world of social media is constantly changing and the past 6 months have been no different.
Here are some of the biggest changes to social media in 2019 so far:
Branded Content Ads
In the past 6 months, we have seen Instagram introduce branded content ads. This means that when brands partner with creators they can expand the reach of their content even further. Before brands were only able to reach the followers of the creator, however, now they can promote these posts as an ad (only if permitted by the creator). Both the brand and the creator can view the insights for the post; this is very useful for measuring if the partnership was successful or not.
At the Facebook F8 conference, it was announced that Instagram will introduce a donation sticker to their stories. This is a particularly important update for non-profit organisations, as they can now be more creative with their content. Non-profit organisations can utilise this through their own stories or by encouraging followers to start fundraisers. For a non-profit to be eligible they will need to sign up for charitable giving tools and link their Instagram account to their Facebook account. At the moment the sticker is only available in the U.S. but Facebook will be looking to expand it globally soon.
Instagram is making the customer journey even simpler by introducing an in-app checkout feature. Users are now able to make a purchase right from the app. Once again this is only available to the U.S. and only a few selected brands (such as Adidas, Nike, H&M) have the feature, however, we expect this to expand to other countries and brands soon.
Finally, LinkedIn has introduced an Ads tab to company pages. We are at last able to see the ads ran by company pages from the past 6 months, allowing us to keep closer attention to competitors.
LinkedIn now lets you target your ads based on the professional interest of users, making it more likely for your ads to reach the relevant people. You might be thinking how does this work? It allows advertisers to target users based on the content they read, like, comment on and share on LinkedIn. Not only does it use the data on who users follow but also the hashtags they follow. LinkedIn provides a list of professional categories and subcategories. For example, you can target your ad to those that are interested in artificial intelligence, or you can take it a step further and target those specifically interested in chatbots.
Adding Images/GIFs/Videos to Retweets
Sometimes trying to express yourself through words can be difficult. Twitter has given retweets an upgrade, allowing you to add either an image, GIF or video to retweets. You can add up to 4 pieces of multimedia to retweets. This not available on the web yet but could be soon.
New Account switching
The pain of having to log in out of Twitter when switching between accounts is a thing of the past now. Account switching has been around on Instagram for a while now, so you could consider Twitter as being late to the game. But, as they say, better late than never. Twitter has made it much simpler and easier to switch between accounts on its website and app. Now you don’t need to log out of one account to log into another, saving time for those that need to work on multiple accounts - as long as you're using the latest Twitter format. you just need to click 'more' and then the plus symbol to add up to five accounts.
March saw the launch of Twttr - Twitter's prototype app - to a select group of testers. Tested features include more rounded 'chat' bubbles for replies, and colour-coding on replies to make it easier to follow conversations.
New Lead Generation Templates on Messenger
At the F8 conference, Facebook announced that there will be new lead generation templates for messenger. Users can now be directed to Facebook messenger after clicking on an ad offering the option to chat. You can do this by setting up an automated chat to collect information and generate leads. Making it easier and simpler for businesses to connect with customers and generate a lead. It will be exciting to see how different businesses put this to use.
New video ranking factors
Facebook has unveiled new ranking factors for videos: originality, video attributes, loyalty and engagement. While these are interesting to note and learn from, users need to understand that videos will never be one-size-fits-all and while Facebook suggests videos be at least 3 minutes long, some pages may find that 20 seconds works best for them.
These are just some of the changes that have taken place over the first 6 months of 2019. Keep an eye on our blog to hear of more changes as they happen.