May 2017 Edition: The Social Media Updates You Need to Know

Social media marketers have a lot to keep track of. On top of that, all the channels are constantly changing! But as far as that goes, we’ve got you covered. 

Read on for a quick rundown of the big updates on social media networks in May 2017, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you can always be in-the-know. 

Facebook users can now collaborate (and post more than just photos) in Albums

With the addition of videos, Timeline posts and check-ins, your Facebook Albums can feel more like “collections” of an entire experience rather than a strictly photographic experience.

This is not yet available on Pages, but we’re expecting it to roll out for businesses before too long, especially if it catches on for users.

Facebook also made it easier to collaborate on Facebook photo albums with friends. (As TechCruch pointed out, this “was an option added in 2013 but deeply buried in the product.”)

New push from Google Photos

The Facebook albums upgrades may be an effort to combat “Shared Libraries” and other new moves from the Google Photos app that allow users to store photos in the cloud for free, collaborate with friends, etc. Using facial recognition, machine learning and other technologies, the app recommends who to share your photos with, aiming to take the 'work' out of the task.

There’s also an attached “Photo Book” printing option for ordering physical copies of your albums.

 
 

500 million people are already using Google Photos. But the associated social network, Google+, has nowhere near the clout Facebook enjoys. (Google+ had 300 million active monthly users in 2016, whereas Facebook currently has almost 1.8 billion daily users.) Nonetheless, this fight will be worth keeping an eye on. Google may be an underdog in this scenario but given their dominance in most other arenas, they’re still a hard company to ever bet against,

How to connect a Facebook Group to your page

Back in March, we told you about Groups coming to business pages on Facebook. Well, now they’re here! This is a fantastic opportunity to create a tight-knit community around your brand. By creating and currating a successful group community, you would have a direct channel for reaching your most passionate customers (meaning you could see big increases in conversions).

To activate this feature on your page, check out these instructions from Facebook. Once your group is ready, we also recommend re-organizing your page’s tabs to bring “Groups” up higher on the list.

Additionally, you may want to create special questions that prospective members need to answer in order to gain access to the group. Your page admin would then see those answers and could base acceptance into the group on them. This could be useful if you’re building a group based on attendance at a special event, or you could ask for receipt numbers or "Thank You" emails if you want group members to be confirmed customers. 

Big Skype update

We don’t usually talk about Skype too much when discussing social media marketing, but their new update has made them part of the conversation.

 
 

Skype, a brand name synonymous with video chats, wants its updated platform to be the “everyday place for personal connections.” The experience can now be customized with personal colors, and chats can be “reacted” to with emoticons, similar to Facebook or other chat apps like Slack. 

The new “Highlights” feature is Skype’s own version of Snapchat/Instagram Stories. It lets you create a reel of your day’s best photos and videos to share on your “highlights” for friends and family to check out.

The question is, is this a first step in making Skype a whole new social experience, or this just some necessary “catch up” to make sure they don’t get pushed out by other platforms mimicking their main video chatting offering? Time will tell… But for now, Skype is still not a place brands need to worry about having a presence.

Instagram Face Filters and Hashtag Stickers

In what's become a monthly phenomen over the last half year, Instagram announced a new Snapchat-esque feature in May: Face Filters. This technology will recognize a user's face and display fun, animated visuals that react to your expression. You can then send these to friends and family, or share on your story. (Both of which will eventually disappear, of course.)

For anyone itching for Instagram news that’s a little more original, check out the new hashtag stickers, which will allow your followers to explore related posts.

 
 

After tapping someone's hashtag, you'll visit the hashtag “explore” page. From there, you’ll also see a new Story icon at the top:

While it’s not 100% clear at this point, it appears that new posts must be approved or curated in some way before they appear in the global hashtag story. (A super boring #sunday experiment we posted never showed up in the global story.) So if you want to extend your reach with hashtags, be sure to make the post interesting (and appropriate!).

Facebook Business Manager updates

For those using Business Manager – Facebook’s free business dashboard suite for controlling ads, pages, product catalogs, and more – you’ve probably noticed some interface changes over the last few weeks. The new dashboard landing page is supposed to make it easier to see all your assets in one place, including highlighted “favorites” and easier access to ad accounts and page insights.

Learn more about implementing Business Manager here.

LinkedIn photo filters

Look out... LinkedIn is about to get the Instagram treatment.

LinkedIn recently announced the Photo Filters tool as a way for users to quickly edit their headshots. There are six filters available, as well as the ability to crop and edit the brightness, contrast, saturation and vignette.

“Infinity" Snaps

A new “infinity” setting in Snapchat will let users enjoy your message as long as they need to: 

From the announcement:

“We’ve all felt the frustration of not being able to fully enjoy a Snap – even after replaying it – and we wanted to give you the option of allowing the recipient to enjoy your Snap as long as they’d like. After your friend finishes viewing the Snap and taps to close it, it will delete as usual.”

Snapchat Custom Stories

 
 

Snapchat users can also now create "public groups" of sorts by starting a Custom Story with friends. The idea is that your group of friends could all add to the same rolling content during a vacation or a party, or it might even be ongoing (but if you don't add anything for 24 hours it will be gone for good!). Then all of your connections would be able to follow along.

Snap rolled this out last week with a video message to users and a blog post.

Pinterest stats now available on individual pins

Pinterest announced a new way to see stats about your posts. As long as you’re using a Business profile, you quickly view total engagement, impressions, clicks, and more directly from each pin. (This update mimics insights capabilities we currently have on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.)

More articles worth a click:

Evan Spiegel's 10 Best Quotes From Snap's First Earnings Call (Inc)

"I think, at the end of the day, just because Yahoo, for example, has a search box, it doesn't mean they are Google."

20 Major League Baseball Games Are Coming to Facebook Live on Friday Nights (Adweek)

Revealed: Facebook's internal rulebook on sex, terrorism and violence (The Guardian)

One social network ranked worst for young people's mental health and wellbeing (Mashable) (Spoiler alert: It’s Instagram)

Google Redesigns its Sign-In Page (PCMag)

Facebook Provides New Insights on Industry-Specific Trends Among Instagram Users (SocialMediaToday)

Fyre Festival Looks for Crisis Management Miracle, but With More Lawsuits Filed, Is It Too Late? (Variety)

LinkedIn doubles down on education with LinkedIn Learning (TechCrunch)

The Bow Wow challenge is a hilarious reminder that everyone lies on social media (The Verge)


Catch up on previous updates:


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