January 2018 Edition: The Social Media Updates You Need to Know

Happy New Year, social people!

In 2017, we saw a lot of exciting things happening on all the social media channels. We heard rumblings of a separate Facebook feed for brands in November (hasn't really happened... yet). In September, Twitter tested (then ultimately rolled out) 280-character tweets. YouTube expanded its offerings when YouTube TV became available in April, SnapChat added Snap Maps in June, and Instagram came out with Photo and Video Replies in August.

2018 will surely be another year of constant change, but we'll be keeping track of it all and updating you each month. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a thing.


Now, let's get started with the updates that matter most this January 2018...

Facebook Makes Moves to Penalize "Engagement Baiting"

We've all seen those posts that ask for likes, comments and shares. Some of us have even posted them ourselves! But those days may now be in the past.

Facebook announced on its blog that Engagement Baiting—asking users to Like, React, Share, Tag or Comment on a post in order to "game the system" and receive more impressions—will now lead to fewer impressions in News Feed. This is being accomplished using FB's machine learning programs, which have been taught which posts to categorize as "engagement bait." Pages that repeatedly defy these new rules will be demoted.

Here are the Engagement Baiting examples shared by Facebook:


Avoiding penalties is as easy as avoiding the tactics above, as well as favoring the usual winning content strategies: provide value your followers above all else.

Instagram Now Lets You Follow Hashtags

As reported in The Verge, a new hashtag following feature was rolled out on Instagram in December. Now, in addition to the normal tagging and clicking function, hashtags can be "followed." If you tap the Follow button on the #cincinnati hashtag page, for instance, IG's algorithm will then begin choosing highlights from that hashtag feed to display in your main IG newsfeed.  


This is a welcome addition to Instagram, in that it creates an easier way to find content that matters to you as a user. Rather than braving the chaos of the "Explore" tab, just Follow the hashtag topics that interest you and let the machines feed you the most interesting posts.

For brands, this won't change your content strategy much, but it does emphasize the importance of finding and using good hashtags. If your great new post is part of a highly-followed (and/or highly-targeted) hashtag, that post's reach could seriously take off.

Instant Thread Tweeting Comes to Twitter

Check it out:

And here's how to do it:


As pointed out in the Twitter blog, this builds on recent updates like the expanded character count that aim to make Tweeting longer-form content easier on the user. 

For those of you Tweeting for brands, be sure to take advantage of this nice new feature! It really makes it easy to share a story on the platform. Best of all, it won't totally annoy your followers since most of the thread is hidden under a "Show This Thread" link at the bottom of the first (sometimes second) Tweet.

Instagram Launches Stories Highlights and Stories Archive 

Ever wished your awesome Stories content could get traction for longer than 24 hours? Well, now you can highlight your best content in a Stories Highlights section of your main profile.


Similarly, IG will now automatically "archive" stories after they expire. This means each post is saved in the cloud (rather than on your phone) so you can review them again later and even add them back to your profile in the form of a highlight.


Both these features should be noted for future use by social media managers. This offers a great way to expand the life of the content you work so hard to make.

Snapchat Rolls Out "Lens Studio" App

Snapchat's Face Lenses and World Lenses are the animated filters that you can add to photos and videos. (Remember that crazy dancing hotdog from last August?) These features use augmented reality (AR) to understand and manipulate the images in your camera—and to make using Snapchat a lot more fun.

Now, Snapchat is offering a free desktop app for creators to design their own Lenses. 

Any brands who are active on Snapchat should definitely make some time to check the app out and to think of ways a custom Lens might work for you. Check out lensstudio.snapchat.com to download the app and learn more.

More Updates You Might Want to Check Out

2017 Best Creative on Pinterest – The Pinterest creative team picked their 10 favorite marketing campaigns from 2017, including work from Campbells, Toyota and Febreze. 

#YouTubeRewind – YouTube also recapped the year with a 7 minute video of last year's best YouTube content.

LinkedIn Shares the Jobs and Industries with the Biggest Bonuses – Spoiler alert: Finance and Healthcare topped the list.

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. Read more about our recent successes or get in touch to find out how a partnership with dooley media can grow your brand.