The social media space is constantly changing, but we've got you covered right here—every month—with all the updates savvy marketers need to know!
Let's get started with the social media news you need to know this August 2018...
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Twitter's big purge continues
Last month, we told you about Twitter suspending millions of accounts over the course of a few months. The fake account purge got more attention in recent weeks, although for a different reason.
On July 11, Twitter announced the imminent removal of "locked accounts" from follower counts. Those accounts were locked by the service following "suspicious behavior" and unless the account was validated it remained locked, meaning no one could log in. Twitter explained that removing these accounts from other accounts' followers is part of an effort to make sure everyone has "confidence" in the numbers:
"Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop. We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation."
Adding to the drama, according to the Washington Post a few high-profile accounts saw significant drops:
"President Trump lost about 100,000 of his 53.4 million followers, and former president Barack Obama lost about 400,000 of his 104 million followers."
Worried about fake followers?
You're not alone, and it's particularly important to think proactively when running influencer campaigns. After all, you don't want to pay an influencer for an audience that doesn't actually exist. There's a great article from Digiday explaining the changes in how influencer marketing agencies charge for services.
Facebook's new record: largest single-day drop in value in Wall Street history
Facebook has been having a rough time for a while now, and those struggles caught up with the stock market in late July. The company's market value decreased by more than $100 billion in a single day following "rising costs of privacy regulations and controversies, along with declining growth in users and revenue." Here's a good explainer on how the company got to this point.
So, how will Facebook recover? Its focus seems to be on satisfying user concerns... (see the next update, below.)
Facebook has also been trying to be more transparent (or at least to appear more transparent) about how "bad actors" are using Facebook to cause discord in our society. The latest release reveals new Facebook pages found targeting Americans in the lead up to the 2018 midterm elections (repeating the same tactics used by the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) during the 2016 election).
Instagram, Facebook, and Google's latest digital wellbeing efforts
The potential negative effects of social media usage are weighing heavily on the minds of Internet users these days. Parents are especially concerned. It is for this reason, it seems, that the giants of the Web are rolling out new ways to understand and manage time spent online.
Facebook & Instagram now have these built-in features for monitoring and controlling time spent scrolling through content:
- An activity dashboard – See how much time you spent using the app
- A daily reminder – Get notified after spending X minutes on the app
- Notification limitations – An easier way to manage/mute push notifications
Interestingly, right around the time FB + Insta announced these new features, Google rolled out their own digital wellbeing suite. All the new features are presented at a dedicated website: wellbeing.google (yeah, apparently there are websites that are just "dot google"!). There are plenty of efforts highlighted here, from enabling people to look at their screens less frequently thanks to Google Assistant, to GMail's streamlined inbox. The features most related to their efforts here include:
- YouTube Time Watched – YouTube is also getting a dashboard of sorts. (Coming soon.)
- YouTube reminders to "take a break" – schedule "custom breathers" as frequently as you'd like that let you pause (literally) and walk away. (Available now.)
- Android's built-in App usage dashboard – a daily view of the time spent on your phone, how frequently you use different apps, and how many notifications you get. (Coming soon.)
Snapchat's secret visual search feature (codename: "Eagle")
TechCrunch got the scoop on this one:
"Buried inside the code of Snapchat’s Android app is an unreleased “Visual Search” feature where you “Press and hold to identify an object, song, barcode, and more! This works by sending data to Amazon, Shazam, and other partners.” Once an object or barcode has been scanned you can “See all results at Amazon.”"
Could this turn into the money-maker Snapchat needs to recover from recent revenue troubles? Let's keep an eye on this one.
(By the way, did you know the latest Spectacles eyeware product from Snap can be purchased on Amazon?)
New Pinterest group activity feed
For those of you managing communities on Pinterest, this could be huge:
The new "group activity feed" feature creates a space where Board collaborators can:
- "Reply" to start a thread around your pins
- Like, comment, or @-mention a collaborator
These interactions are only visible to Group members.
Question stickers for Instagram Stories
You've probably already seen this in the wild, but Instagram's latest Stories update adds a fun new way to interact with followers. Simply write a prompt and viewers can tap the sticker to send you a response.
This has tons of potential for brands!
(If you've already seen brands successfully experimenting with this feature, let us know in the comments!)
YouTube’s “Creator Studio” is now “YouTube Studio” (Beta)
It doesn't really feel like a month has passed unless YouTube/Google change the name of something...
For a while now, if you wanted to make any changes to a YouTube channel, you were headed to the section of your account called the Creator Studio. This housed analytics, video editing tools and the like. Now, along with a name change, YouTube Studio is promising "Better Insights, New Metrics & Faster Access to News."
To access this dashboard now, head to your channel's Creator Studio and look for the sidebar link to try the new Beta version of YouTube Studio.
LinkedIn messaging updates
LinkedIn is known as the "professional" social media channel, so it's no surprise that networking is key to the overall experience of the platform. That may explain why the Microsoft-owned company is spending resources on improving the messaging experience.
Among a bunch of messaging updates over the past few weeks, these were the most note-worthy:
- Voice messages – Similar to the microphone function on iMessage, this feature allows users to send a quick recording to their contacts. It's meant to accommodate messaging on-the-go for busy business people, as well as allowing you "to build a more personal connection and effectively communicate" by using your voice.
- Stretch your compose box to write longer messages – Allows mobile users to compose "longer, thoughtful and more formal messages" by expanding the chat-like interface into something more like an email.
- Share attachments on-the-go – Files in PDF, DOC, XLS, and PPT formats can now be attached in a message from mobile.
- Mention people in your messages – "@ mention any of your connections in a 1:1 conversation to share their profile and recommend that the other person reach out to them"
- Quickly copy + paste images on web – This makes it easier to attach image files to your message: you can now select and copy a file on your Desktop and paste it directly into a message. (It will appear as an attachment in your composition and a thumbnail will be viewable once sent.)
More Updates to Check Out
Snapchat launched "Lens Explorer" – When lenses are activated, a new icon will now take you to a tile layout to explore lenses created by other users around the world.
The "Best" of IGTV Month #1 – If you're interested in IGTV but not sure how to best take advantage, check out the Instagram-curated list of successful campaigns seen in the first 30 days of its global roll-out.
LOL @ Old Spice Pinterest boards – Old Spice is taking a different approach to "DIY" and other popular Pinterest trends. (That "rustic deodorant storage hack" = 👌)
WhatsApp used to incite mob → Platform removes "quick forward" button – We don't always talk about WhatsApp very much, but with 1 billion daily users it's easily one of the world's most popular messaging platforms. For that reason at least, this story is an interesting case study on how platforms respond during a crisis.
Looking for More Social Media Help?
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