January 2019 Edition: The Social Media Updates You Need to Know

Happy new year!

We’ve collected some of the most impactful changes in the social space—including updates to instagram stories, Pinterest conversion metrics, and more—so you can get Your 2019 off on the right foot.

Subscribe to the DM newsletter to get these updates and more each month!

Intriguing data from 6 top social media players

There must be something about the new year that makes people want to share data insights! The following reports were all released in the past month and contain some interesting nuggets for any marketers looking to tweak their 2019 social media strategies:


Snapchat Trends

In a “Looking Forward” blog post, Snap shared insights on growing trends in the Snapchat universe with a special focus on Gen Z. Nuggets of insights include the continued growth in popularity of Minecraft, Airpods, Cash App (a money transferring app similar to Venmo), memes, slang, and more. Each has a snazzy graphic like this:


In a separate post on cash spending habits, Snap took aim at another one of “the most influential groups in the US economy,” the Millennial generation. The study (in partnership with Cassandra) explores preferences around budget, cash, credit, digital wallets, and online shopping.


LinkedIn Jobs Trends

LinkedIn’s Most Promising Jobs of 2019 report—as well as their most recent Emerging Jobs report—are interesting in their own right, but also provide a great example of content marketing done right: provide valuable content that relates to your audience’s interests as well as your own brand (the end of the announcements encourage readers to explore features like LinkedIn Learning, aka Lynda, to improve your professional skillset).

By the way, the most promising jobs according to LinkedIn are:

  • Data Scientist

  • Site Reliability Engineer

  • Enterprise Account Executive

  • Product Designer

  • Product Owner


2019 Pinterest Trends

Pinterest’s analysis looked at increases in searches on the Pinterest network (e.g. “Searches for less traveled islands +179%”) and focuses on Pin-worthy subjects:

  • Travel (e.g. Searches for hot springs +32%)

  • Health/wellness (elderberry recipes +685%)

  • Hobbies/interest (body painting +444%)

  • Celebrations (godparent proposals +152%)

  • Food (ginger water +353%)

  • Home (vertical gardens +287%)

  • Men’s/women’s style (oval sunglasses +591%)

  • Beauty (powder dip nails +442%)

  • Kids/parenting (toy share subscriptions +313%)

There is very interesting material here for any marketers working in these spaces!

And be sure to check out their beautifully-designed PDF download.


Twitter Transparency Report

Explained in this recent blog post and available at transparency.twitter.com, the Twitter Transparency Report includes information about government requests (i.e. court orders, information requests, content removal issues) as well as details about actions taken when enforcing Twitter rules/content policies. This year, the report also includes a section on “platform manipulation”:

This also marks the first Twitter Transparency Report in which we are publishing metrics pertaining to our actions to fight spam and other malicious forms of automation. This builds on our recent work to disclose a full database of previously removed content and accounts that had potential links to state-backed information operations.


YouTube Charts

Explained in this blog post and available at charts.youtube.com, YouTube Charts is a new way to see what songs and artists are trending within the music realm of YouTube. This includes the Top 100 Songs, Top 100 Music Videos, and Top 20 Trending (by country).


Buffer’s “Data-Backed Trends” report

Always a good source of information, social media management tool Buffer’s blog shares these 5 social media trends for the year:

  1. In-the-moment content will win out over highly-produced content

  2. AI-driven personalized customer experiences

  3. Brands can no longer afford to ignore social media ads

  4. Rise of social media TV and vertical videos

  5. The evolution from multichannel to omnichannel marketing

For podcast fans, this info is also available via Buffer’s The Science of Social Media podcast.

New countdown and music features for Insta Stories

As those of you who have been keeping up on our monthly updates will know, Instagram regularly rolls out updates to its Stories feature. On December 18, these new features became available:

  1. Music recommendation stickers – “Your friends can respond to your questions sticker with a song from the music library, and you can share your favorites to your story.“

  2. Interactive countdown stickers – “Name your countdown, add an end date or time and customize the color before sharing to your story.“ (see example images below)

  3. Interactive questions for Instagram Live – A question cue will be populated from Story Q&A’s, and can be answered during Live video streams.

Pinterest positioning itself as the “positive” social platform

In a recent blog post, John Kaplan—Pinterest’s Global Head of Partnerships—detailed “Three ways marketing will change in 2019” that expanded on these three branding/marketing ideas:

  1. Think positive

  2. Build authentic connections

  3. Share inspiration

These are pretty good rules of thumb, but the interesting thing from the perspective of “keeping tabs” on the top social channels is what this says about Pinterest’s positioning of itself within the larger social media ecosystem. If you think about all the troubles Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have had over the past year or so, it’s not hard to imagine why Pinterest would want to be known for positivity and authenticity. The question is, will the effort work and pay off with increased engagement/brand adoption?

Instagram accidentally released a sideways scrolling update

This story almost fell under our radar: a major change to the IG interface that was intended to be a small test was misakenly pushed out to a much larger audience.

Here’s what the update looked like:

The sideways scrolling feature has been tested previously in the Explore tab, but as TechCrunch describes, it shocked some users when it found its way to the main feed:

“Tap-to-advance makes it easier to move between posts with them staying fully in view, compared to scrolling where it can take some adjustment to make sure the top or bottom of a post isn’t cut off. But scrolling revealed the author of a post first, then the content, then the caption, which is a sensible and intuitive way to browse. Tap-to-advance could send users’ eyes flitting around the screen in an exhausting manner. But most importantly, people have spent eight years growing accustomed to scrolling the Instagram feed. Suddenly breaking that behavior pattern was sure to piss people off.”

Pinterest encouraging businesses to install enhanced conversion tracking

In a blog post, Pinterest recommends Two steps to help you use the Pinterest Tag more effectively. This centers on strategies for attributing web conversions to Pinterest marketing/ad campaigns, including these tools available from Pinterest:

  • Enhanced Match is a method to help you “more accurately match conversions on your site back to Pinterest users” by sending temporary email data back to Pinterest (they say it’s “hashed and deleted within 24 hours” for privacy purposes).

  • Pinterest Tag Helper is an extension for Google Chrome that you can use to help verify Pinterest tracking is installed correctly on a website.

Looking for More Social Media Help?

The expert team at dooley media helps brands get attention by being thoughtful about how they give it. Our goal is to make every social interaction with your company a remarkable one. Get in touch to find out how a partnership with dooley media can grow your brand.