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

Another month, another round of updates!

This month we’re covering:

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Instagram added Lyrics and a ‘Join Chat’ feature to Stories

The Join Chat Sticker

Let’s start things off with an exciting new function in IG Stories: The “Join Chat” sticker lets users and businesses invite viewers to a private group chat. After the user taps the sticker, the creator has the option to approve or deny the join request.

It feels like a brilliant move for the Insta team to bridge Stories and Messaging, two of the most popular mediums in all social channels. This could also be a seriously great way to foster your brand’s community, get advice/feedback from customers, and curate exclusive content and experiences for your top fans. For more info about this feature, check out this article in Social Media Today.

Now for the other fun new feature coming to IG:

Lyrics in Stories

Instagram users have been able to add music to Stories for a while, but now you can also add fun lyrics to the post. To do this, browse through the library of songs (parent company Facebook must have licensing rights for the song to be eligible) and then you’ll have the option to choose specific parts of the song as well as customizing the appearance of the words on the screen.

If this reminds you of TikTok, you aren’t alone. It seems that the Facebook/Instagram teams are addressing the upstart platform’s rising popularity through imitation—similar to how they have Snapchat. (If you’ve never heard of TikTok, check out our March updates!)

If you’d like more information on this new Instagram feature, the explainer article in Adweek has more details.


Boost influencer posts with Instagram’s new “Branded Content Ads”

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Instagram recently announced the ability to “promote creators' organic branded content posts—aka influencer posts—”as feed ads.” This means, if an influencer is promoting your brand, you’ll be able to boost their content. It will simply appear as a normal sponsored post in the IG feed with a “Paid partnership” indication, as seen in the images above.

This is a fantastic option for any brands engaged in influencer marketing to see their results grow. For instructions on how to use this feature, check out the help guide here.



You can now tag people in photos on LinkedIn

A small but meaningful new addition to LinkedIn posts! This could be a great way for you or your brand to improve engagement. It could be especially useful for photos featuring employees or vendor partners.

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Facebook posts can now be limited to your "Top Fans"

If you have the Top Fans feature enabled on your Facebook page (if your page has over 10K followers you can turn this on under Settings > Facebook Badges > Top Fan Badges), you may have seen this indication come up recently. Check out these example screenshots from Social Media Today:

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This is an opportunity to foster even more engagement among a page’s most-committed followers. It could also be an interesting strategy for improving non-paid reach in the Facebook feed.

It’s certainly worth trying out for any page that has the option available!


Perspectives on Libra, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency

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Called Libra, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency venture has been touted as a Bitcoin alternative that will “transform the global economy.” There is an associated digital wallet known as Calibra and a governing body known as the Libra Association. 27 launch partners include PayPal, Visa, Uber, Coinbase, Lyft, Mastercard, Vodafone, eBay and Spotify.

However, the reception has been fairly negative. The Wall Street Journal explained that it is “the most ambitious effort yet to take blockchain payments mainstream,“ but outlets such as TechCrunch said it “looks more like a fiat currency than a cryptocurrency.”

A few other descriptions:

  • A “very expensive failure” and a “disaster in slow motion”—Bitcoin developer Tamas Blummer (via CNN, Twitter)

  • A “serious concern” —Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell (via CNET)

However, the Facebook team responded:

  • “I fully agree that legitimate concerns about @Libra_ should be addressed carefully and patiently, and that it shouldn't be rushed. This is why we shared plans early.” —David Marcus, co-creator of Calibra (via Twitter)

TBD on whether or not Libra transforms the economy. For now, we can at least say that another interesting chapter in Facebook’s journey is just beginning.



Looking for More Social Media Help?

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Catch up on last month's social media updates (June 2019) →