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

Another month, another round of updates…

This March, you need to know about Facebook’s new data privacy mission, Instagram’s upcoming mobile business pages, new podcasts from LinkedIn and Twitter, and more.

See it all below.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the DM newsletter to get these updates and more each month!

Facebook declares a new privacy-oriented product vision

We’ve been covering Facebook’s data privacy woes for a while now. Whether it was the Cambridge Analytica fallout (April 2018) or Facebook’s various moves toward increased transparency (e.g. July 2018) it’s clear that Facebook has been busy with PR and product updates meant to ease user worries. But nothing has really been able to solve FB’s overall trust issues.

This may explain why last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced via a Facebook Note a new “Privacy-Focused Vision” for the network:

(^By the way, these “Facebook Notes” posts feel a lot like a LinkedIn/Medium post, don’t they?)

The focus of this new direction was summarized in an accompanying Facebook News announcement that highlighted these elements:

  • Private/encrypted messages – “People should have…confidence that no one else can access what they share [in private messages].”

  • Reducing Permanence – This area seems to focus on FB committing to deleting messages and stories from their servers.

  • Safety – “People should expect that we will do everything we can to keep them safe on our services within the limits of what’s possible.”

  • Interoperability – FB wants people to be able to easily communicate across different networks (assumably they mean Facebook-controlled networks).

  • Secure data storage – FB wants users to safely assume their personal details won’t be stored in countries with “weak records on human rights like privacy and freedom of expression.”

Unfortunately, the company still has a ways to go fix the issues worrying their users. Privacy watchdog groups like EFF are skeptical. Additionally, just a few weeks ago, the UK accused Facebook of “‘intentionally and knowingly’ violated U.K. privacy and competition rules,” asserting that the company can no longer be trusted to “govern itself.”

And if the privacy focus does work out, the team will have new challenges such as the inability to operate in countries that oppose encryption.

Stay tuned!

Here are a few more bits of Facebook news worth highlighting:

Facebook’s Oversight Board for content decisions

FB has planned to create a new board of third-party experts to help the company more fairly govern content removal on the platform.

Read about the Oversight Board plan.

Facebook Ad budget controls Moving to Campaign level

For those running Facebook ads, take note that the budget controls for campaigns will now be controlled at the campaign level instead of at the Ad Set level. This should be a good change in the end, but may take some getting used to.

For help, check out the Help center article.

Instagram rolling out in-app business profiles

While business profiles have been available on Instagram for many years, local business information is now being displayed in a new way on the platform. Search Engine Journal pointed out the new in-app local business profiles early this month, describing them as similar to Google local knowledge panels.

You may have spotted the pathway to one of these business profiles in the wild if you’ve clicked on a location tag and noticed a “View Information” button at the top of the page:

“View Information” button on Instagram location screen

After clicking the “View Information” button, you’ll see a screen like this with basic contact info (address, category, hours, price, website, phone number) and a “View Profile” link to the associated Instagram profile, if applicable:

Union Hall business profile on Instagram

Instagram’s business profile pages are controlled via the business’s Instagram or Facebook page. In other words, as long as your Facebook page is up-to-date, all your IG info should be, too.

Want to add a new location to Instagram or Facebook’s database without creating a Business page? You can do this via Facebook’s create a location feature.

Before we get away from Instagram, here’s something else we' saw on IG recently:

double-tap to like a comment

You can now double tap a comment to like it.

Kinda cool, right?

LinkedIn and Twitter are both rolling out their own podcasts

There was not one, but TWO totally-unrelated announcements about podcasts for two social networking giants over the past few weeks. For those of you who get your news via earbuds, you may want to consider subscribing to one or both of them.

LinkedIn: ‘Hello Monday‘


Synopsis: “We’re asking our guests -- and ourselves -- the big questions: what does work mean to us? Should we love what we do? How do we make sure we still have jobs tomorrow, and that they’re “good” we feel good about?“

Upcoming guests: Seth Myers; Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love; Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO

Download via Apple Podcasts or Learn more.

Twitter: ‘Character Count’

Synopsis: “In each episode of Character Count, we will talk to the people behind some of Twitter's most interesting advertising stories. We'll ask how they built such effective campaigns and why Twitter's influential and valuable audience matters so much to them.“

Upcoming guests: Simon Books; Dropbox; Monterey Bay Aquarium

Subscribe via Apple Podcasts or Learn more.

Why Google just got an office in OTR


TL;DR: “We have had a sales office in Cincy for 4 years now... just new location.”

^ That’s from Julie Eddleman, who once oversaw ad spending as the top U.S. media executive for P&G but now is a director of client services at Google. According to, the new offices are in “Spaces” at 15th and Vine streets and will be used by sales team members.

Google is, however, working on a $600 millon data center outside Columbus in New Albany, OH, according to BizJournals.

A quick overview of the TikTok app for anyone past high school


Formerly known as, TikTok has been active since 2014 but has recently gained notoriety in the niche “short video” space left up-for-the-taking after the closing of Vine. Popular for lip-syncing, dancing, parkour, gymnastics, and comedy—the app has been downloaded over 1 billion times, including 96 million in the United States. ByteDance, a Beijing-based media and tech company, acquired the app for a reported $1 billion.

Here are a few must-know facts about TikTok:

  • Videos can be up to 15 seconds long, but can be strung together to make 60-second long stories. Videos autoplay in the app when you open the app, starting with videos highlighted by the app but also including videos from accounts you follow.

  • Ages 13-24 are the sweet spot: They make up 50% of iPhone users and 60% of Android users, according to Digiday.

  • “Musers”—That’s what TikTok users call themselves.

  • What’s trending on TikTok tight now? Glad you asked! The TikTok website has you covered. Challenges are usually a big deal (e.g. #InMyFeelingsChallenge).

Want to learn more? There are good explainers available on Slate and Wired.

More Links to Check Out

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