Latest Social Media Updates to Be Aware of 2018

Latest Social Media Updates to Be Aware of 2018

Hannah Williams
10 December 2018
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Latest social media updates December 2018 

2018 has already seen some big changes to our favourite social media platforms. Keeping up to date with such updates helps to ensure our strategy remains agile, relevant and competitive. More easily said than done, right?

We know it’s difficult to constantly stay in the know around social media updates and how to use them effectively, which is why each month we’ll be curating and communicating top social network releases and updates on this page. Make sure you bookmark this page or subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out!

With so many social media updates already this year, we’ve compiled them into a handy contents page below (just click on the updates you want to read)

Contents of Social Media Updates so far in 2018 

Instagram Close Friends feature
Twitter Chronological Feed
Twitter Live Video Change
Instagram Verification
Instagram Questions
Instagram Music Stickers
Facebook Video Updates
Instagram Videos
Instagram Algorithm
Instagram Shopping
Facebook Breaking News Feature
Instagram Carousel Ads for Stories.
Twitter Share Feature
Vero
Instagram GIF stickers
Facebook Algorithm Change
Instagram Hashtag Following

Instagram close friends feature

Instagrams latest feature allows users to share stories with only specific people. You can create a ‘close friends list’ for posts you want to be less public.

“With Close Friends, you’ll have the flexibility to share your personal moments with exactly who you want — whether that’s inside jokes with your team or showing off your new relationship to your inner circle,” says Instagram.

social media updates

How does this affect you? 

Whilst this is more of an update for users, one way as a brand you may be able to utilise this feature is through creating groups/communities for specific or exclusive content. Perhaps you could encourage users to request to be part of the list, and offer behind the scenes access, or exclusive interviews with influencers.

Twitter Chronological Feed

Twitter announced early today (18th Sept), that they will be allowing users to switch to a chronological timeline. This means no algorithm! Users will have access to both a ‘best tweets first’ algorithm based timeline, or tweets in a reverse chronological order.

Once this comes into play, we’ll update this further!

Twitter Live Video Priority

Twitter has joined the likes of Facebook by prioritising live video on peoples feeds. As of September 2018, Twitter is now displaying live streams at the top of your timelines.


Why use?

Over the last couple of years, our favourite social media platforms have been busy adding video capabilities to their platforms. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter & Instagram, have all been pushing video in some form. If you want your brand to be visible on social media, live video is one of the best ways to do it.

How to use? 

It’s so easy to go live with Twitter. Simply click the compose a tweet button, and you’ll see a little symbol with ‘live’

Instagram Verified

Instagram now lets you apply for a verification badge within the app! Previously, the elusive blue tick was not something you could apply for.

How does this affect you? 

Unfortunately, getting verified on Instagram is really difficult. Unless you’re a huge celebrity or brand, chances are you won’t get granted a blue tick.

Instagram Questions

Instagram has recently added an interactive questions sticker within the Stories section of the platform. This lets audiences submit questions for you to answer. This feature is a fun way to encourage engagement from your Insta audience!

How to use? 

1) Go to Story Camera

2) Take a photo/video or select the picture or video you want to upload.

3) Press the sticker icon on the top right (it looks like this–> ).

4) Add the questions sticker, customise the text and background.

5) Click ‘add to story’

6) Await questions & respond to them

How to utilise? 

Not only could you have a general ‘ask us a question’, why not profile an employee or have an influencer come in and have a live ‘Q&A’ story session!

Remember you can ask your audience questions too, this will help you to create a two-way conversation!

Instagram Music Stickers

Another of the social media updates for July is Instagram music stickers! We’ll only cover this feature briefly, as it’s pretty self-explanatory. But, you can now add music stickers to your stories. This means you can add a soundtrack to your post! This is just another feature to use to make your videos more fun and engaging.

Facebook Video Updates

In a recent blog post, Facebook announced new ways for people to create interactive videos.

“Videos become more meaningful when people are active participants in the stories, and as viewing habits evolve, we want to enable content that’s two-way.”

To encourage community engagement, brands can now use polls on both live and regular video. They’ve also added ‘gamification’ for live video. Facebook is challenging brands to get creative with this new feature ‘we can’t wait to see how they innovate‘.

latest social media updates

Brands such as Insider, Buzzfeed & Fresno are already lined up to use these new features. Each will host live game shows over the next few weeks (June 2018).

Chances are video, specifically interactive video content will be prioritised by Facebook’s algorithm. This new feature could completely shake up how Facebook is used. 

We’ll be updating this post with more information once this feature is rolled out more widely. If you’d like to get ahead of the game, start thinking about how you could utilise this feature and sign up for Facebook’s creator page.latest social media updates

Instagram 1 hour Video

This is hot off the press! Instagram has launched a new feature enabling users to upload videos up to one hour in length. These videos will be hosted in ‘IGTV’.

According to TechCrunch, IGTV will also let creators develop Instagram Channels full of their different videos that people can subscribe to. Creators will be able to put links in the description of their videos to drive traffic elsewhere.

Is Instagram looking to compete with YouTube?

Why use?

We’ve said this on our blog time and time again, video content is the perfect way to boost engagement on social media. Previously we could only upload videos of a minute to Instagram. Longer videos will allow brands to share entire campaigns on Instagram, share events & tutorials and more! Think about involving influencers in your Instagram video strategy.

Additionally, being a new feature, many brands won’t have caught on yet. This means there will be fewer posts to compete with. Get ahead of the competition, with this opportunity to expand your brands reach now.

Instagram Algorithm

The second major social media algorithm change of 2018 is from Instagram.

Rewind to 2016, Instagram announced they were ditching the chronological timeline in favour of an algorithm. This caused outrage online. In May 2018 Instagram they announced they’re changing the algorithm once again. Newer posts would now be prioritised. However, Instagram won’t be reverting back to a chronological timeline.

As of June 2018, we have more details for you. There are three ways Instagram is determining what order posts are shown on users feeds.

Interest: Instagram predicts how much a user is likely to care about a post based on past behaviour. For example, if a user regularly engages with makeup tutorials, these kinds of posts may be shown higher.

Recency: Newer posts are shown first.

Relationship: Like Facebook, Instagram wants to prioritise content from our close friends and family. Those who users interact with a lot through comments & image tags will be shown first.

What does this mean for you?  

Choosing the right time to post is more important than before. Older posts may now not show up at the top of a users feed. Therefore, thinking about when your audience is most active is important.

Additionally, the ‘relationship’ aspect of the Instagram algorithm, means that we should work hard to build relationships with our social media community to encourage engagement. If our audience isn’t interacting with our content, they won’t be seeing it first on their feeds.

Instagram Shopping

Instagram has launched an in-app Shopping feature for businesses in Australia, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Brands can now direct shoppers to their e-commerce storefronts without compromising on the time users spend on the app itself.

latest social media updates

According to Instagram, when someone taps a tag on your post, they’ll see:

  • An image of the product from your post
  • A description of the product
  • How much the product costs
  • A link that takes them directly to your website, where they can purchase the product

How to use? 

  1. Choose a photo of your product(s)
  2. Tag up to 5 products an image
  3. Add any filters and captions

Simple! (Although your account will need to be approved for shopping to use this feature)

Facebook Breaking News Feature

There have been a couple of changes across Facebook in recent months. The first is Facebook’s commitment to prioritising friends and family (which you can read about below). The second is their commitment to show higher quality news. In recent years, Facebook has often been mentioned alongside ‘fake news’. 

On the 19th January, Zuckerburg stated “There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today. Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don’t specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them.”

From this week (5th March 2018), Facebook are rolling out a test feature where trusted publishers can add a ‘breaking news’ label to their stories.

latest social media updates

According to Facebook, users were engaging more with ‘breaking news’ labelled posts. From Dec 8th – Jan 14th there was:

  • 4% lift in clickthrough rate
  • 7% lift in Likes
  • 4% lift in Comments
  • 11% lift in Shares

We’ve seen Instagram bring out loads of new features over the last year or so – including features specifically for businesses. Instagram is now allowing brands to utilise the carousel feature within Insta story ads.

The new look gives brands the ability to better blend into the rest of the stories rather than just looking like a commercial interruption.

Why use?

Carousel Ads are said to be one of the most engaging ad formats. According to the ‘AdRoll group‘, AdRoll advertisers running carousel ads on Facebook saw an average of 20 percent increase in click-through conversion (CTC) rates and a 40 percent decrease in cost per acquisition (CPA) compared to those who ran single image ads on Facebook. 250 million users now engage with Instagram stories every day.

Carousel Ads + Instagram Stories … you could be on to a winner!