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

As always, big changes have been rolling out on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and more. These are the updates savvy social media marketers need to know RIGHT NOW!

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Facebook’s Big Data Breach

In late September, Facebook announced that 50 million accounts were essentially hacked in a recent data breach involving a security flaw in the “View As” profile feature. The company blog post described that affected users would see a notification at the top of their feed (like the one in the image below).

One of the big scares here was that apps using Facebook Login were also at risk, but a follow-up announcement from Facebook said there’s no evidence that attackers accessed any third-party apps. The company has also explained that all access tokens were reset for added security.

Facebook said affected people “will get a notification at the top of their News Feed explaining what happened.”

Unfortunately, as Consumer Reports explains, attackers were able to glean a lot of information about people from Facebook, and that information could be even more valuable to hackers than access to third party apps. Data points such as family member names, your birthplace and more can be used to impersonate or to aid in ransomware and phishing attacks. (The Consumer Reports article offers some helpful advice for protecting yourself from phishing and other security issues, such as being sure to scrutinize email links and taking care with any personal information you share online.)

Other Facebook news

Instagram testing non-caption hashtags

Ever wondered what Instagram would be like if mass hashtagging were removed? Well, it looks like Instagram has been wondering about that, too:

According to Social Media Today, the test involves adding hashtags to a new field before posting, similar to how you can currently add a location or tag friends in your photos.

Instagram currently allows up to 30 hashtags per post, whereas the test seems to let users add as many behind-the-scenes hashtags as you’d like. The article points out that this will probably be capped at some point.

If/when this feature rolls out to the rest of Instagram, this will be a great opportunity for social media managers to insert posts into broader conversations without worrying about looking spammy. In sum: This could be huge!

Other INSTAGRAM news

Snapchat’s big (leaked) comeback plans

It sounds like Snapchat has admitted some mistakes surrounding its changes (and revenue) over the last year or so: An internal, 6k-word memo leaked to Cheddar details CEO Evan Spiegal’s plans for reaching profitability in the next year. (Snap’s stock prices recently hit record lows.)

From the memo:

“The biggest mistake we made with our redesign was compromising our core product value of being the fastest way to communicate.”

In addition to admitting mistakes, Spiegel lays out strategic steps he wants the company to take in order to right the ship. Importantly, he says Snap needs to “mature our application” in order to appeal to older users who “generate higher average revenue.” There are additional focuses on growing in new markets and potentially rolling out separate apps to make room for “innovation” like Augmented Reality features without slowing down communication features.

For more info, the Tech Crunch article includes a great list of takeaways.

Other Snapchat News

Snapchat’s Visual Search in action: Scanning some shoes brings up the corresponding Amazon product page.

Twitter’s new rules prohibiting “dehumanizing language”

The announcement of a new policy against dehumanizing language explains: “You may not dehumanize anyone based on membership in an identifiable group, as this speech can lead to offline harm.” The announcement also includes definitions and examples.

According to Mashable, this policy has been in the works for the past three months as part of Twitter’s ongoing initiative to "improve conversational health."

More Twitter News

Google's new search features look a lot like social media

To celebrate its 20th(!) anniversary, a “slew” of new features is rolling out on Google search and, as Mashable points out, some of them have the look and feel you might expect from social media.

For example, something called Collections feels like a direct aim at Pinterest: you can basically “save and organize searches around specific topics.” This is all done through the new Activity Card feature (see image below), which appears in searches and shows you “related searches as well as previous searches you've performed on the same topic.”


A new job search feature called Pathways has LinkedIn-esque features: it “doesn't just point you to job listings but also training programs.”

There’s even a revamped Google “feed” of interest-based information cards rolling out as a feature called Discover. Coming soon to the Google homepage, Discover lets you scroll through posts that are presented based on what the platform believes you will be most interested in (remind you of anything??).


While these features don’t exactly constitute a Google+ revamp, they do draw inspiration from features you might expect on typical social platforms. They also point to some ways Google may be trying to keep users within search rather than spending time/attention on social.

Pinterest rolls out a new “More Ideas” tab 

A modest addition to Pinterest boards, the “More Ideas” button allows users to “explore new recommendations inspired by the ideas you’ve already saved.”

This feature is now available on desktop and mobile.

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