December Social Media Updates You Might Have Missed!

As we begin the new year, let’s take a look back on some of the new social media features rolled out in December 2016. (ICYMI, be sure to check out our October and November editions too.)

Facebook Photo Frames

The Snapchat-ripoffs continue! Facebook recently introduced a frame-creation tool to create free “frames” for photo uploads, profile pictures, and a built-in camera...though, sad face, it’s currently only available to a app-users in Ireland

With obvious similarities to Snapchat Geofilters, the biggest difference appears to be that the art created for Facebook is starting out as a free tool, rather than beginning as only an advertising feature. So, it’s completely free! (For now.) This is a cool new way to engage your customers. Photo filters like these allow them to easily take part in online promotions or show off the experiences they have with your brand.

Visit the Facebook Camera Effects page to learn more, and to see if you have access yet. You’ll just need to design and upload some PNG files with transparent backgrounds to get started.

Facebook Group Video Chat

Ever been frustrated by the paid-only group-chat feature on Skype, and the confusing nature of Google Hangouts as the alternative? Well, now Facebook has you covered.

Lauded as “the most requested Messenger feature ever,” Facebook Messenger now lets you video chat with groups. Best of all, it’s free!

TBD on how businesses might be able to take advantage of this feature, but we’re keeping an eye on Group Chats with influencer marketing in mind. (Might there be a way to set up group video chats that connect local influencers to your brand’s customers?)

Instagram Facebook management and Stories download

A new feature is slowly rolling out to Facebook pages that will allow you to update Instagram from your Facebook business dashboard. So far, this integration is limited to Instagram profile details and comment responses.

This could be a time-saver for marketers who share most of their content on Facebook. It will also allow you to manage your IG community on a desktop more easily, without using your phone or a third-party app like Sprout Social. Since Facebook ads also gained the ability to be placed on Instagram automatically in 2016, we’re expecting the merging of Facebook and Instagram features to continue in 2017.

You can now also save your 24-hour Instagram Story as one continuous video. This is a great feature for documenting and keeping track of your Instagram Stories for reporting, case study videos, and more. Just click the little “save” arrow at the top of your Story from the mobile app. (See image below.) 

Tip: to easily transfer your saved videos and photos between mobile and desktop without plugging in, consider using a cloud-based file-sharing app like Google Drive, Dropbox or iCloud.

“YouTuber” becomes a real-life word

The English Oxford Dictionary added “YouTuber” to its list of official words in December. The definition reads, “a frequent user of the video-sharing website YouTube, especially someone who produces and appears in videos on the site.” 

The sample sentences are pretty good, too, such as: “Jim had jobs in insurance and retail before finding success as a YouTuber.”

Congrats, YouTubers! (Especially Jim.)

Twitter introduces Periscope360

Both live-stream and 360° video were big trends across the board in 2016. Twitter just combined the two with Live 360 video via Periscope

Explore the #Periscope360 tag to see more examples. You might even catch someone during their live streaming session. Only select partners can broadcast in 360 for now but the feature should roll out globally soon, offering marketers and SMBs a unique opportunity to engage followers on Twitter and Periscope. (You can also apply for early access.)

Snapchat group chats and custom stickers

Ever noticed you tend to send pics to the same group of people? Snapchat Groups let you share photos and chats that disappear after 24 hours to a select group of up to 16 people. Each group you create or join will show up in a dedicated area of your contacts and messages, allowing you to share to or view the content in the same way you would “normal” conversations. 


Another really fun feature that just rolled out is the Scissors tool. After taking a photo, tap the scissors, then outline an object in your pic, such as your face or the family dog. You’ll see a copy of the object in your snap that you can move around and make smaller or bigger. You’ll also be able to add it to future snaps from your stickers menu. We’ll see if this feature is picked up by businesses or not, but it could be a great way to include consistent branding elements on your Snapchat content without paying for a sponsored Geofilter.

Pinterest customizable business profiles

Company profiles on Pinterest just got a little more customizable with a new showcase section. This allows you to “introduce yourself” to new profile visitors by highlighting up to 5 boards and your buyable pins at the top of your profile.

The updates include tweaking that keeps your profile consistent across desktop and mobile, too. Instead of featuring “recent pins” at the top of your profile on iPhone and Android, you now have complete control over what new users will see first, so take this opportunity to feature boards and pins that line up with your current marketing campaigns and branding goals.