August Edition: Social Media Updates for Business

I get it. Social media is changing quickly. You are busy running your business and you don’t have the time to stay on top of all of the updates that are happening constantly (I’m looking at you, Facebook!). I am compiling all of the most relevant changes that you need to know about here in a single post - bookmark it and check back monthly!

Heads up! This post contains affiliate links, marked with an asterisk(*). If you sign up through one of those links you won't pay anything extra (sometimes you’ll even get a discount!), but I'll get a small commission or credit that helps me to keep delivering this awesome free content to you! I only recommend tools that I use and trust. Read my affiliate disclosure here.

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Note: new updates are indicated in bold.

I get it. Social media is changing quickly. You are busy running your business and you don’t have the time to stay on top of all of the updates that are happening constantly (I’m looking at you, Facebook!). I am compiling all of the most relevant changes that you need to know about here in a single post - bookmark it and check back monthly!
Check out the latest news & updates for your favourite #socialmedia networks. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and more!

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Facebook


Pages

This includes updates to pages, messenger, events, non-live video, stories, and general Facebook features.

Top Fans for More Pages

Looks like Facebook has loosened up the criteria for the Top Fans feature (my page has it, and I don’t have 10K fans or the video template). Remember that once you have this feature turned on it will take about a week to kick in and even then, people have to accept Top Fan status before you can see them in your Community tab.

Preview Your Posts Without Using Drafts

When you create a post on your page there is now a “Preview” button beside the “Share Now” button that will let you see how your post will look when published. This is important when sharing links or photos with odd dimensions so you can use the debugger or choose different photos. Previously you could only preview posts by putting them into draft format and then reviewing.

Post To Your Page & Group Simultaneously

If your page is connected to your group, when you create a post on your page you can choose to also post it to your group. Please use this sparingly - for example, giving time sensitive ‘heads up’ posts about events or deadlines. Don’t auto-post every page post into your group - you’ll annoy all of the people who follow you in both places.

Page Info Fields Being Removed

As of Aug 1, 2019, some of the fields from the About or Info section will be removed - if you have important info in privacy policy/founded/mission/company overview/etc. make sure to move it to another field before you lose it. Full details.


Comment Ranking

Comment ranking is turned on by default for all pages - this means that comments with the most likes or replies or those from other verified pages will appear at the top. If you want to turn ranking off, you can do so under Settings > General. Full details.

If you have a verified page, this makes it even more worthwhile to engage with posts as your page when appropriate!

Changes to Your Video Post Reach

Facebook is giving more weight to certain factors that influence the reach of your videos:

  • Videos that are watched repeatedly will now rank higher in the newsfeed

  • Videos that are watched for at least 1 minute will rank higher

  • (Quality) original videos will rank higher that repurposed or shared videos

Full details.

Automated Responses Moved

This used to be in your Page Settings, but it can now be found in your Inbox.

Demoting Video Reach for Engagement Bait

Remember back in December when Facebook said that posts which explicitly ask for likes/comments/shares would start seeing lower reach? Now they are doing the same if you ask for engagement in your videos. Full details.

Add Video Playlists

If you do a lot of videos, it might be worth switching your page template to video so that you can create playlists that appear on your page (without people needing to click through to the video tab). Full details.

Better Business Manager Experience

The business manager has long drawn winces from Facebook users, so Facebook has redesigned the interface for an easier to understand navigational experience. Do you have the new design yet? Full details.

Respond to Instagram DMs from your Page’s Inbox

Exactly what it says on the tin. Full details.

Identify & Engage with Your Top Fans

If your page meets a certain criteria (10,000+ fans, video template, etc.) you can turn on the Top Fan feature so those that most regularly engage with your page get a special badge - they have to accept this badge before it will be displayed, and you have the power to hide the badge from people. You’ll also be able to restrict posts just to your top fans, who will receive a notification. Full details.


Delete a Message

You now have 10 minutes to delete a sent message inside messenger - note that the message will be replaced with a note saying that a message was deleted, so people will still know that you sent something. Full details.

Page Info Now Includes the Countries of People in All Page Roles

What this means is that if you are in Canada but you have a social media manager in the UK and an advertising agency in the US connected to your page, the primary location for your page will be listed as all 3 countries - additionally, Facebook will show the number of people in each location. Full details.

Changes to How Clicks are Reported in Your Insights

Facebook is changing how it measures post clicks to be more in alignment with Facebook/Instagram ads. For you this means that link clicks that happen over on Instagram will be correctly reported on your FB post insights, and the ‘other’ clicks category has changed to include clicks that aren’t related to the post content (like page title, see more).

Preferred Page Audience Settings Moved

These used to have their own section, but they’ve now been moved to ‘General. Full details.

See the Fake News You Share

Facebook has introduced another page section called Page Quality visible to page admins that shows violations of their terms and services. People/Pages who consistently violate the community guidelines may find their page suddenly unpublished, ads account suspended, and reduced reach on posts. If part of your strategy is sharing 3rd party content and you have had issues with these things, check out this section to see if your content is causing the problem. Full details here and here.

Changes to Response Rate

Facebook is removing the ability of page admins to manually set their response rate & time (seems logical). If you want that ‘Very Responsive’ rating, you need to respond to 90% of incoming messages within 15 minutes. Full details.

Set Up Automated Responses

This is different to Instant Replies/Response Assistant. These are responses to specific actions or inquiries people make on your page. These are found in your page inbox, not in your page settings. So far you can set up responses to the following actions:

  • Someone recommends your page

  • Someone does not recommend your page

  • Someone submits a job application

  • Someone asks about your contact info

  • Someone asks about your location

Changes to Subscription Messaging via Chatbots

Depending on what chatbot service you were using, this may not affect you, but best to go check your service! Basically, as of Dec 31, 2018 if you want to send regular content to people via Facebook Messenger (i.e. reminders, tips, etc.) you now have to apply via Facebook to be allowed to do so. Full details.

Number of People Watching Now

Facebook has added this feature to non-live videos to give more of a sense of community.

Interactive Polls for Non-Live Video

Like you can do with Live Videos, you can now set up a poll for an uploaded video and specific when you want your poll to appear for viewers.

Change Date for Published Posts

If you want your older posts to show up in a different order, you can now change the date on previously published posts.

Facebook Watch

Previously only for episodic-type content creators, Watch now includes videos from Pages as well. Full details.

Page Response Rate Calculation Updated

Facebook has updated what types of messages are and aren’t considered in your response rate/time. Note that away messages, instant replies do not count toward your response rate, and messages that are sent to your page when you’re marked as away won’t negatively affect your response rate. Full details.

Uploading Page Cover Photos

If you have tried to change your page cover photo recently you might be very confused - it looks like the option to upload a photo is gone! If you click “Edit Cover Area” you will be prompted to create a cover image slideshow - simply upload a single photo and save.

Updates to Page Formats

Facebook has added more functionality to Facebook pages in regards to things like recommendations, booking appointments, making orders, etc. Buttons for these actions now display near the top of your page so they are easy for visitors to spot. This means that it is critical for you to have the correct page template for your business. Full details.

Personal Profiles Can’t Be Used With Scheduling Tools

Facebook has updated it’s platform disallowing personal profiles to be connected to 3rd party scheduling tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite, etc. Full details.

Insights for Page Stories

If you have been posting to your page stories (either through Facebook or by sharing from Instagram stories) you can now see some insights for those posts! Full details.

Facebook Video Post Editor Updated

If you haven’t uploaded a video or edited a FB Live post in awhile, go check out the new editor. Things are in slightly different places, but it’s more user friendly and the bugs are gone!

Refresh Link Post Preview

This feature seems to have been around for awhile, but I’ve only been able to access it in the past few months. Limited availability? Facebook gremlins? Who knows. If you post a link and display the thumbnail preview, then subsequently update something on the originating website (i.e. the page title or featured image or metadata), you can now have that information update on Facebook. On desktop, find your post, click the 3 dots in the top corner, and ‘Refresh share attachment’ should be available.

The Public Can Now See Your Ads & Additional Page Data

In an effort to be more transparent, users can now see the ads that a page is currently running, when the page was created, and name change history. Full details.

Create a Slideshow for Your Page Cover

I have mixed feelings about this since I know that rotating banners at the top of websites generally don’t perform that well. The pro: you get to keep the unique description for each slide of your cover so you can have multiple calls to action. The con: those people that actually visit your profile probably won’t even realize you have a slideshow because it doesn’t auto-rotate and the controls are easy to miss. Full details.

QR Codes for Pages

You can now generate a QR code for your page that will allow the user to like your page, check-in, and/or view an offer you’ve created. Users can scan the QR code using the Facebook camera. The QR code section might not show up on your page yet, so if you can’t find it under Publishing Tools, simply copy-paste this link https://www.facebook.com/PAGENAME/publishing_tools/?section=QR_CODE and replace PAGENAME with your actual page username. Full details.

Explore Feed is Gone

When the Explore Feed rolled out, businesses were thrown into a tizzy thinking that their posts were no longer going to show up in the regular news feed. While this didn’t actually happen, individual users reported that having 2 news feeds was actually more annoying and so Facebook has scrapped it. Full details.

Organic Post Reach Dropping

You’ll see a drop in your reach, but it’s because it’s being calculated more accurately now than before. Previously, reach meant that a post was loaded in a user’s newsfeed (even if they didn’t scroll far enough to see it!). The new calculation only counts reach if the post appears on a user’s screen (this is how they measure reach in paid advertising) - makes sense! If you download your insights, you’ll be able to see the measurements for the ‘old’ reach and compare it to the new measurement. Full details.

Scheduling Posts in Events

If Facebook events are a large part of your marketing strategy, you can now schedule posts inside events to better provide timely content to those who are interested.

Affiliate Marketing on Facebook

There has been a lot of confusion about what ‘Branded Content’ is on Facebook, but essentially if you are posting affiliate links you need to apply for and use Facebook’s branded content tool. This video breaks it down in plain language. Here are the official Facebook guidelines and where to apply for your page.

Upload Custom Thumbnails for Your Video

If you are not satisfied with any of the auto-generated thumbnails or you want a specific graphic, you can now upload your own custom thumbnails to your videos. Full details.

Newsfeed Algorithm Changes Affecting Pages

To sum up: users have reported that they are seeing too many crappy posts from pages in their newsfeed, and not enough quality page content or posts from friends/family. If you post content that people are not engaging with, you will start to see decreased reach for you posts. For more info, check out the live video I posted when the news was announced.

Create a Video Playlist on Your Page

If you have a lot of videos, you can now create playlists to group videos that go together (if you use YouTube you’ll be familiar with this concept).

Add a Donate Button To Your Videos

If you have a non-profit page, you can add a donate button to your live or uploaded videos. Full details.

Create Stories for Groups and Events

You can now create stories within Groups and Events, and all members can contribute. Full Details.

Songs and Sounds Effects For Your Videos

Facebook has created a Sound Collection - music and effects that they have purchased the rights to, meaning that you can use them in your videos on Facebook and Instagram without worrying about copyright violations. Full details.

Snooze People and Pages

Users now have the ability to snooze people and pages in their newsfeed for 30 days. So now instead of unfollowing or unliking your page, they may simply snooze you if you are posting a lot about a topic that doesn’t interest them. Full details.

Algorithm Change Affecting Videos

Facebook has made a change to the algorithm giving a boost to videos that get repeat viewers, that match search terms people are looking for, or that belong to pages with videos that are already popular. That means that it’s incredibly important to create videos that hook people within the first few seconds and engage your viewers! Full details.

Engagement Baiting

A lot of people see posts that outright ask for shares, comments, and likes as spammy. Personally, I’m on the fence on this one, but I suppose there is no harm in asking people to write posts that are so engaging or useful that of course they are going to engage :) So for now, any posts where you ask for engagement are going to get demoted (the Facebook word for penalized) in the newsfeed. If you continue to do this, eventually ALL of your posts will get demoted whether you’re asking for engagement or not. Best to stop right away. Full details.

Creating a Second Facebook Profile to Admin Your Business Page

Facebook is really cracking down on people who are using their platform to harass and stalk other users. As you can imagine, many of those people create fake profiles, and so Facebook is going to get stricter about monitoring these. If you have created a second profile solely for the purposes of managing your Facebook page (a practice that I STRONGLY discourage), the chances are higher than ever that your profile may be flagged as fake and removed, which means you will permanently lose access to your Facebook page. Full details.

Stories Available for Pages

This rolled out so quietly earlier in October that I completely missed it! You can now create Stories from your business page instead of just from your personal profile. Note: if you have your page inside of the Business Manager (like I did!), this feature will not be available to you. No idea if that’s intentional or something they are planning on fixing. I wanted access to Stories, so I removed my page from Business Manager :) Full details.

Change Link Previews When Posting

You’ll remember that shortly after the 2016 US Presidential election Facebook removed the ability for users to edit link previews before posting (to combat the #FakeNews epidemic). Business owners and publishers screamed out in frustration, and Facebook listened. Now you can claim ownership of your own website domain so that you can customize your own link previews. Full details in Business Manager. Full details in regular Pages.

Explore Feed

Pessimists insist that this is the first step in Facebook’s war on small business. I prefer to take the feature for what it currently is - another place to get your business’s content discovered by a wider audience. The Explore feed will show users content that is similar to pages they already like, so there is more emphasis than ever on creating valuable, engaging content. Full details.

Eventbrite Integration

Previously only available in the UK, this integration now seems to have rolled out to everyone. If you use Eventbrite, now people can register right from the comfort of a Facebook event without having to click through to the Eventbrite page. Full details.

cover videos are here!

Facebook cover videos are here! Your video should be the same dimensions approx as your cover image and be between 20-90 seconds. If you find that your video freezes or won't upload, not to worry - Facebook is working out the bugs. Full details.

Comment with a gif

Facebook now allows you to comment on a post with a reaction gif functionality built right in, just like Twitter. Full details.

Add a Video to your Facebook Cover

If you want to get something more eye-catching on your Facebook page, you can now add a video to your cover "photo"! Read more.

Universal Inbox for Facebook and Instagram

I have seen this on some (but not all) of the pages I admin. Both on desktop and in the Facebook Pages app, going to your page messages will let you see your page messages, comments on your Facebook posts, and comments on your Instagram posts! Read more.

Reactions Affect the Algorithm

Reactions (love, haha, sad, etc.) are given more weight in the newsfeed algorithm than regular likes. Read more.

Algorithm Update

Facebook has created a new factor in how likely your post is to appear in your followers newsfeeds: authenticity. How does it decide if a post is authentic or not? Pages who routinely ask for likes, comments, and shares, as well as pages who often have negative feedback on posts (hide this post) will be considered less authentic.

If you run a lot of contest asking for likes, comments, and shares (some of which totally violates FB contest guidelines and privacy guidelines, BTW) you may start to see less reach for your posts overall. Full details

How Videos Rank in the Newsfeed

The longer a video is viewed (percent completion), the more reach it will get. Additionally, longer videos that have a high percent completion will get even more reach because it's a bigger commitment to watch a longer video.

You want people to stick around to watch your video? Make sure to hook them right from the start - don't waste a lot of time with a long animated intro - get right to the good stuff! Full details

Auto-Captioning for Videos

This was something previously available to video ads, but has now been added to all Page videos. When you upload a video there will be an option to generate captions (or you can upload your own!). Fair warning: as you can imagine, people have been reporting that the auto-captions are less than accurate. If your video needs to get across a clear message, you may want to skip the auto-caption. If you're trying to give people a laugh, go ahead and try it!

Full details

Crossposting videos

If you are in a promotional partnership with another business, this is a great way to allow both pages to post the same videos. To do this, both pages have to add each other in Settings > Crossposting.

Full details

New CTAs

Business Pages now have additional CTAs to choose from. The full list includes: Book Now, Call Now, Contact Us, Send Message, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up, Watch Video, Send Email, Learn More.

Full details

Unique URLs for Tabs

Way back when, you used to be able to link people directly to different tabs on your Facebook page. That ability is back! You can find the unique URL for each tab under Settings > Edit Page and then click the 'settings' button for the tab you want to link to.

Additional Explanation of Metrics Mishap

You may have heard about a problem with the numbers that were being reported in Facebook Insights. Facebook has now provided a very thorough explanation of the reporting, and it's not as bad as everyone was making it out to be.

Full details

Facebook Messaging System Customizations

As Facebook makes its page messaging system more convenient for users to contact businesses, so to does it have to make the system more robust for business owners. Within 5 minutes of them introducing the 'responsiveness' feature I was wishing for the ability to put an 'out of office' on my messages for when I was taking time away from work. And voila, it's now here! If you go into your messaging settings, you can now set custom auto-responders and set up a schedule for what days/times you want them sent.

Full details.

Facebook Reply to Comments Privately

When someone comments on your page post, you can reply with a private message instead of a public comment - perfect for those potentially sticky customer service issues! When someone comments, you should now have a new option of 'Message' beside 'Like' and 'Reply'.

Full details.

Facebook Preferred Page Audience - Don't Panic

We all know that organic reach is an ongoing issue - this might help to fix that. Now you can target people more specifically but setting the interests that align with your page. What Facebook will then do is match up these interests with your followers and give your posts to them a little more priority. Note that it doesn't filter out posts from people who don't have these interests - it just makes people with matching interests more likely to see your post near the top of their newsfeed.

Full details.

Facebook People & Other Pages: Now for Non-Wizards

You used to have to be a wizard to find the list of people who liked your page, since Facebook got rid of easy access years ago. And if someone posted something gross or inappropriate, you could only ban them if you got to it before they (potentially) deleted their own post. Now you can easily see up to 500 people (and pages) that like your page. No, you still can't see the list of everyone because of personal privacy settings.

algorithm tweak

Faster websites will now get more visibility in your newsfeed, especially on mobile. If you have an old clunky website, now is definitely the time to update!

Wondering if your website is fast enough? Google will test it for you right here! I did mine, and I've got some work to do!

Create a lookalike audience of your best customers

You can now create a lookalike audience for your facebook ad that is based on your customizers with the highest value. Basically: you create a spreadsheet of your client data that contains information about their value to your company (i.e. how much they spend with you each month, or how much you project they will buy in the future). That becomes your audience, then facebook can create a lookalike audience based on those people. Full details.

Facebook Algorithm Changes (Again!)

Facebook users have spoken, and Facebook is making another change to its algorithm: friends & family come first, entertainment comes second. If you've been putting in a half-hearted effort on your Facebook page, you will likely see your reach and engagement drop. If you are rocking Facebook (perhaps with Live Video which gets massive reach and engagement!) you will likely see little change.

Full details.

Facebook Applies It's Nefarious Algorithm to Instagram's Newsfeed

As with Facebook, if you are already seeing a high amount of engagement on Instagram, the newsfeed change likely won't affect you much. But if you do see a decrease in your likes and comments, it may be time to do some investigating into what content previously got the most engagements and focus on creating more content just like it.

Full details..

Facebook Pages Redesigned - Author Not A Fan

If you've gone directly to your Facebook page on desktop lately, you may have noticed that it looks a bit different than before (and if there is no change, just you wait!). I'm not digging the new look.

download (1).png

I'm also thinking about all of the tutorials that I'll have to redo because things have moved around. On the other hand, we know that people rarely visit our pages directly once they've liked it, so maybe the page appearance doesn't really matter that much.

What you do think? Do you like it? Or am I just being like this:

download 3.jpg

Reducing links to low-quality websites

Facebook has tweaked the newsfeed again! Any links that are shared to "low quality websites" will get less reach. What is considered low quality? "[A] web page containing little substantive content and that is covered in disruptive, shocking or malicious ads." If your website is full of ads and pop-ups, it might be time for an update! Full details.

 

Update to Pixel tracking

Your Facebook Pixel will now track even more information that you can use in your advertising efforts! The big news is that it will now track actions on a page, instead of just page visits. Full details.

Reactions on comments

You may have already noticed, but the new Facebook reactions are now available on comments as well as posts! Full details.

Reactions on comments

You may have already noticed, but the new Facebook reactions are now available on comments as well as posts! Full details.

Groups


Group Quality

Like with pages, Facebook has now added a tab for Group Quality which lets you see posts which violate Facebook community rules or which are Fake News. This tab can only be seen by group admins. It’s a good idea to check this often and remove group members who are repeat offenders - if your group has a lot of violations the group posts will start to get less reach in the newsfeed.

Group Member Recommendations

If you or group members make recommendation posts, a new link will be created in the group sidebar where you can see them all in one place.

Become a Mentor or Look for One

Facebook Groups have a feature where you can apply to be mentored or to be a mentor - it’s in the group settings and can be turned off or on by the group admin. Full details.

Groups Feed is Back

Months ago, Facebook got rid of the separate groups app, which sucked. From the regular app you could still find your groups and look at them one at a time, but there was no way to see the feed just from your groups. Facebook has now added a new group button at the bottom of the regular app. This may be a test, so not all users may have this update.

Group Messenger Chat for Facebook Groups

Messenger chats can now be created within groups - think of them as chat rooms within groups. Group admins have the ability to control whether they want members to be able to create chats. Full details.

Join a Group as Your Business Page

Groups now allow members to join as pages - handy for public figures and celebrities who don’t want to open up access to their personal profiles. Group admins have the ability to allow page members or not. Full details.

Add Functionality to Your Group

Due to privacy concerns, Facebook removed the ability for all tools to access the member data inside Facebook Groups, and in some cases, removed their access to Groups altogether. You now have to give permission for these Facebook approved tools and apps to access your group posts and comments (but not member names) by going to Edit Group Settings > Apps. Full details.

Let Group Members Know Why A Post Was Removed

If you have set up group rules in the new rules section, when you remove a post for violating one of the rules you can now notify that member about which group rule they broke. Full details.

Pre-Approving Member Content

If you run a group where all of the member posts need to be approved before being posted, you may find yourself overwhelmed as your group grows. If you have trusted members that you don’t need or want to moderate, you can now select individual members to be pre-approved so their content is automatically posted. Full details.

New Group Type: Social Learning

Facebook has created a new group type that operates a bit like an online course - there is a dedicated area for lessons (called Units) and students can keep track of which units they’ve completed. Full details.

Invite Page Fans to Your Group

If you have linked your Facebook Page to your group, you may find a new section in the right sidebar of your group: People Who Like [your page name] with a list of fans and the ability to invite them to the group (without being personal Facebook friends first). This is a feature that all page admins have been asking for, but I imagine that as soon as people start abusing it Facebook will remove it.

A Place For Group Rules

Rules are a staple of increasingly popular groups, so Facebook has created a dedicated spot for rules: add up to 10 rules that will display in the About section of your group.

Disappearing Comments in Groups

Facebook has always had automations in place to automatically remove or hide posts or comments that it considers spammy. It resulted in confusion on the part of groups members and group admins when people would complain about their posts and comments being deleted and the admins having no idea what they were talking about. Now you can see these auto-flagged posts in your group and choose to approve them if they are not actually spam.

Posting to Groups with a Scheduling Tool

In light of the privacy concerns around third-party access to Facebook user data Facebook shut off posting to Groups using scheduling tools. Those companies then had to apply for this functionality and become approved Facebook partners. As of now, group posting is available in Hootsuite, SocialPilot, and RecurPost*.

Group Announcements

You can now add up to 10 announcements to your group which will stay pinned & visible to the top of the group at all times. To control which announcement goes at the top you can pin the individual post.

Customize Group Colour

Pick a colour and make your group a bit more branded - you can select a predefined colour, or let Facebook pull the primary colour from your group header. Full details.

More info added to Group Analytics

This includes information like most popular days/times for engagement.

Updated Controls for Facebook Group Admins

You can now prevent group members from randomly adding stories to you group with the new ‘Story Post Approval’ setting.

Watch Parties for groups

Facebook Groups are getting access to this new feature, which allows group admins to post a link to a previously recorded video and have group members watch and comment on it together - like a live viewing party. Full details.

Enhanced Admin Activity Features for Groups

The admin activity list has been around for awhile, however now you can do a little bit more with it. These features will be most helpful for those with large busy groups or multiple admins/moderators. Undo admin activity (i.e. approving/declining members, pinning posts, etc.) and also add notes on this activity. For example, if you are declining a membership request you might want to note why.

Create Stories for Groups and Events

You can now create stories within Groups and Events, and all members can contribute. Full Details.

Facebook Group Insights

Facebook has rolled out Group Insights to even more groups - it looks like now groups with 100 or more members will now have insights.

Schedule Group Posts

You can now schedule posts directly in a group just like you can on a page!

Group Updates

There have been a slew of updates to groups recently. Some of these apply to all groups, and unfortunately some only apply to groups that have 250+ members:

  • Group Insights (only available for groups over 250 members)

  • Membership request filtering - this will make it easier for you to find the most relevant requests if you are feeling overwhelmed

  • Member clean up - when you remove a member from the group, you can also remove all of their posts & comments in one click

  • Scheduled posts - no need to use a 3rd party solution if you don't want to

  • Recommend other groups - you can highlight other groups that you want people to join - helpful if you have multiple groups or are partnering up with someone else

Post in group as business page

A long-requested feature is here! You can now make your Facebook Page an admin on your Facebook Group - meaning that you and your page admins can post in the group as your business, and the group is obviously linked to your business.

The biggest benefit to this is that you can have people moderate your group without having to join with their personal profile! Full details.

 

Ask Pending Group Members Questions

If you would like to get to know your group members a little better, or to try to filter out spammers, you can set up to 3 questions that people will be asked when they request to join your group. Full details.

Facebook Live


Have a “Live” Event for your Pre-Recorded Videos

Facebook has rolled out “Premiers” schedule and debut videos as Live moments - as a page admin you don’t even need to be there (though I would recommend it so you can respond to comments!). Full details.

Interactive Polls for Facebook Live

You can set up a poll or quiz to display to your live viewers to answer. The poll/quiz can have up to 4 options to choose from, and can be set up before your go live or during the broadcast. Full details.

Persistent Stream Key for Livestreaming

If you use a 3rd party tool like OBS for livestreaming to FB, one of the challenges is having to update your stream key every time you want to stream. FB now allows the same key to be used in multiple livestreams, saving you a step!

Screenshare with Facebook Live

You can now share your desktop during a Facebook Live, perfect for doing presentations or tutorials without a 3rd party solution. The only caveat: it’s an all or nothing feature - you cannot switch back and forth between the screenshare and your camera. Full details.

Live Captioning for Facebook Live Videos

Captioning has been available for awhile for uploaded videos, but now Facebook has added the ability for you to connect your Live video to a captioning service to make your videos accessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Accessibility for the win! Also, if this is something you can afford, it's a great idea of any FB live in general since so many people prefer to look at their newsfeed with the sound off. Read more.

Facebook Live: Livestream with a Guest

Previously, the only way to do this was with 3rd party software. Now you can do it with Facebook - however it only works on mobile at the moment. Read more.

Run Facebook Live from your Desktop

No more shaky cam! Now you can go live from your desktop, which also allows you to display your desktop for presentations, tutorials, or gaming. Read more.

Facebook Live Updates

You can pin comments to your broadcast which is great when answering specific questions or giving shoutouts to your favourite comments and commenters. A permalink (facebook.com/yourpagename/videos) is also now available so you have something to send to people ahead or during a live broadcast so they know where to go to watch. Full details.

New Role for Live Video Contributors

You may want to allow someone to do Facebook Live videos on your page, but you don't want to give them Admin access. Now there is a new user role called 'Live Contributor'. Full details

Schedule Facebook Live

If you use a 3rd party live streaming video service & have a verified page, you can now pre-schedule Facebook Live videos that have a pre-event lobby, let you easily promote the live event, & notifies users when the stream is starting.

Full details

Advertising


Set Up Pixel Events Without a Website Developer


Facebook has created a tool to allow you to create more advanced pixel customizations without having to know coding or pay your web developer to do it. Full details.

Improve Ad Performance

Facebook has created a ‘delivery view’ that shows you a more detailed breakdown of ad performance for active ads, allowing you to better tweak ads that aren’t performing the best. Full details.

New Way To Measure Ad Relevance

The relevance score was previously a confusing rating sort of based on performance - Facebook is now adjusting this to be based on ad quality, engagement rate, and conversion rate. Full details.

Better Ads Manager Experience

As Facebook ads got more complex, so did the manager - often scaring people away from creating proper ads! Facebook is rolling out a new ads manager dashboard. Do you have it yet? Full details.

Combating Discrimination in Certain Ads

If you are running ads pertaining to housing, employment, or credit you will have restrictions on your ad targeting to prevent breaking laws against discrimination. For example, these ads may not be able to target by demographics like age, gender, or zip code. Full details.

Advertise on Behalf of Another Business

This is a new feature for agencies designed to ensure that a single active ad account is used for each business, providing more security and transparency for both parties. Full details.

Carry Over Post Engagement When You Duplicate an Ad

In certain circumstances you will be able to keep the existing post engagements when you duplicate an ad - one of those circumstances is that you also keep the existing creative. Full details.

Combining Single Image, Single Video, and Slideshow

If you are looking for one of these ad formats they are now combined under ‘Single Image or Video’.

New Pixel Setting - Does Your Website Have a Disclaimer?

To make a long and complicated story short, Facebook has changed the default settings for it’s pixel. What this means for you is that you need to disclose that you use cookies to collect data (you should all have this anyway, especially with GDPR in effect but no judgement!). If you don’t want to do this (and you don’t use anything else on your website so have no need of a disclaimer) you can change your pixel settings. However, be warned that changing them means you can’t use your pixel for advertising purposes, only for analytics. Full details.

Penalizing Clickbait in Ads

Just because you’re paying for increased visibility doesn’t mean you can get lazy with your ad copy. Clickbait and asking for engagement will result in your ad getting low reach or not getting approved at all. Multiple offences could see a hit to all of your ads regardless of quality. Full details.


Latest Updates to Facebook Ads

You can now have a square image as your link preview, use both images and video in a dynamic creative ad, and bulk edit placements at the ad set level. Full details.

Facebook Stories Ads

It was only a matter of time! You can now create ads that display within Facebook Stories. Full details.

Dynamic Creative - Ads Built For You

You input a variety of images, videos, links and text for your ads (making sure they all make sense with each other) and Facebook will generate variations that it believes will perform best. Full details.

Edit Images Directly in Ads Manager (Mobile Only)

If you are creating ads on your mobile device, you can now edit your photo directly in the Facebook Ads Manager app. This includes adding your logo, text, and filters, plus checking the amount of text on the image. Full details.

Create Video Ads Designed Specifically for Mobile

If you know your audience is primarily browsing Facebook on their phone, you might want to check out the Video Creation Kit for making ads. The kit contains several templates that you can customize with your own images and text, and can be square or vertical. Full details.

Ads That Go To WhatsApp

If your audience is using WhatsApp more than FB messenger, you can now create ads that prompt them to message you there (note: you have to have a WhatsApp business account). Full details.

Reinstating Ad Targeting Options

Facebook had removed some ad targeting options in the wake of Cambridge Analytica and the 2016 US election. Some of those have been added back in plus a few new options: Facebook page admins, job titles, etc. Full details.

Enhancements to Split Testing for Ads

Facebook has added 3 new features to split testing: 1) the ability to create a split test from ads that are already running (previously you could only do it when you were creating a new ad from scratch); 2) the ability to test more than 1 variable at a time, and; 3) the ability to use the brand awareness objective. Full details.

Updates to Ad Insights & Ad Manager

Some of these new changes include a drag-and-drop interface for creating performance reports, being able to easily toggle between all the stages of your ad creation (without having to back out to the previous screen), and creative reporting, which allows you to easily evaluate the performance of your copy and image/video. Full details.

Additional Acknowledgements When You Upload Emails for an Ad

You’ll now need to acknowledge that you have permission to use the emails and specify where the emails came from in certain situations, making your Custom Audiences GDPR compliant. Full details.

Understand the Impact Your Ads Are Having

The Facebook Ads Manager has become increasingly confusing, and the performance reporting even more so. Facebook has introduced Test and Learn so that it can help you create the most effective ads, such as figuring out campaign is most cost effective, or which is generating the most sales. Full details.

Send Ads to the Messenger Homepage

If your users engage with you in messages, it might be a good idea to start sending ads to the messenger homepage. Full details.

Run Tests on Your Ads

Test and Learn is a new feature from Facebook that allows you to create more effective ads. Currently there are 2 things you can test:

  • Compare 2 campaigns to see which one is the most cost effective (lowest cost per conversion)

  • See if your ads overall are generating more conversions compared to other paid or organic channels

Full details.

Image/Video Customization for Ad Placement

As Facebook continues to expand the places where your ads can be delivered, it became an issue to use the same photo or video for multiple placements since the images or videos were displaying in in different dimensions. The result was that people were having to create a separate ad for different placements. Now Facebook is allowing us to customize the images and videos we use for placements all within the same ad, saving time and hassle. Full details.

Import Instagram Contacts into Facebook Messenger

If you have mutual followers on Instagram, you can import those people into Messenger. This will allow you to include them in Messenger Ads or chatbots. Full Details.

Create an Ad Campaign Shell

You can now set up the structure of an ad campaign as a draft (i.e. objective, ad set, ad) and come back to fill everything in later.

Exclude Publishers from Audience Network Placement

There may be certain publishers or content categories where you don’t want your ad to appear. For example, if you are selling B2B services, you may not want your ad to appear in a pop-up for a videogame targeted at children, or for a website with adult content. Full details.

Customize the Placement of Ad Creative

There are now a lot of different ad options in the Facebook ad manager, and some of those option have different sizes depending on where they will be displayed - for example, an ad running to the Facebook newsfeed could have a square or horizontal image, but the same ad running to Instagram Stories needs to be vertical. Now instead of creating a separate ad set for those requirements you can now customize your images and videos for a single ad depending on their placement. Full details.

If You Used Power Editor for Your Ads…

Facebook has now merged the Ads Manager and Power Editor - not to worry, nothing is being lost since the two tools were gradually becoming identical anyway. Full details.

Create a custom audience from Instagram engagers

Have a super active engaged Instagram presence? You can now create a custom Facebook audience (in order to serve ads) from people who have engaged with your Instagram profile. Note: you have to have a business profile on Instagram for this to work. Full details.

New exciting options for creating custom ad audiences

Facebook has added some new options that many of us have been waiting for! You can now create custom audiences from:

  • Facebook events on your page (not available for Groups...yet?)

  • Instagram business profile followers

  • Video viewers on Instagram

And remember, whenever you create a custom audience, you can then create a lookalike audience which is great when your custom audience is too small or you need to reach a wider group of people.

Messenger Ads now available

You can now run ads that will open messenger conversations with people who click 'Learn More'. You can choose to engage personally in the conversation, or provide some targeted information via a bot.

Insert Your Ad into Other People's (non-live) Videos

There is a new Ad option called mid-roll ads. The ads must be short (15 seconds), and will only appear in videos that are at least 1 minute long. We'll see if they are effective for advertisers, or if they enrage video viewers. Read more.

Split Test your Facebook Ads

Split testing was always available if you wanted to do it manually, but now Facebook has rolled out this functionality to everyone. Check this out if you want to find out what combos of ad copy/images/videos your audience likes best. Read more.

Compare Recent Ads

When you're looking at ads in the Ads Manager App on your phone, you can now easily compare the last few ads you've run - very helpful when you're comparing performance to see which audience engaged more or which photo got the best reach. Read more.

Enhancements to Lead Ads

You can now connect your lead ads directly to your email marketing or CRM software - it uses Zapier to be able to integrate the ads with a ton of different services. Full details.

Send an Ad Via Facebook Messenger

This is not as sleazy as it sounds. You won't be pushing yourself into people's private messages - they still have to click on your ad, and then instead of going to a page or a website it opens up messenger and your message appears. This is a great way to start personal conversations with potential customers, offer them discounts on your products and services, or direct them to free resources. Full details.

 

Advertise Job Openings on Your Page

On your page you'll find a new 'Jobs' tab where you can advertise open positions. Bonus: the 'salary' field is optional and the 'job type' includes the option Volunteer, which is a great way for volunteer organizations to fill positions. Full details.

New Advertising Policy Against Discrimination

There is a new advertising policy plus some education materials prohibiting advertisers from creating ads or target audiences based on discrimination, or from including discriminatory content in ads. Full details

Ads Now Target Page Visitors & Engagers

You can now create a custom audience to target people who have engaged with your page. This includes: page visitors, people who engage with your posts, people who click your CTA button or message your page. If you don't have all of the options, it's possible your page does not currently have enough engagement for the options to be available. Full details

Lead Ads Updated

Lead Ads are for collecting contact information from your audience so that you can connect with them via email. The updates include: validations for form fields, draft features, integration with CRM tools, and a new streamlined design for your audience.

Full details

New ads for retailers

Now you can link actual in-store availability to your ads, and deliver them to people who are more likely to visit (i.e. in the correct geographic area). These new ad types are rolling out to businesses gradually so if you don't see this option in your ad manager, keep checking. 

Full details

Facebook Messenger Ads

AKA Facebook Bots. You can now deliver ads via private message if a user has previously messaged your business page, or you can create an ad that drives people to messenger. The purpose - so they can interact with a bot that provides additional information about your products or services.

Full details

Updates to Lead Ads

Lead ads (ads designed to capture contact details from your audience) now have the following new features: draft forms to complete your ad later on, field validation to ensure the information is correct, integration with existing marketing software (i.e. Mailchimp, Marketo, etc.), and a more streamlined ad design.

Full details

Explore Advertising Options Before Spending Your Money

Facebook has so many different ad options, and now they've created a space for you to experiment to see what you like best. In addition, you can also get inspired by a gallery of other successful ads.

Full details

Facebook Enhances Slideshow Ads

If you're wondering why you might use a slideshow ad instead of a video ad, consider that not everyone has access to a good internet connection. A slideshow takes up less bandwidth and will be more likely to play on a bad connection than a video will. And now you can do more with your slideshows: add text and/or music (make sure you have permission to use the music!), use stock photos from Facebook's library (or even better, use your own photos!), and you can create a slideshow out of a video you've uploaded.

Full details.

Send Ads to People Who Have Checked In At Your Business

This is huge news for brick-and-mortar businesses - Facebook is adding the ability to create a custom audience of people who have visited your location and checked in - and not to fear, if your custom audience is too small you can always use that to create a lookalike audience for your ads. Full details.

Updates to Ad metrics

You now have additional metrics to look at in your ads manager dashboard, including Estimated Daily Results and Auction Metrics. Full details.
 

I get it. Social media is changing quickly. You are busy running your business and you don’t have the time to stay on top of all of the updates that are happening constantly (I’m looking at you, Facebook!). I am compiling all of the most relevant changes that you need to know about here in a single post - bookmark it and check back monthly!

Instagram


Business Profiles

Creator Studio Now Has Scheduling

You can now publish/schedule posts to Instagram and IGTV through Creator Studio. One of the big advantages here is that you can make a post with multiple images and schedule it, a feature which isn’t available through any 3rd party apps. Full details.

Public Like Count Gone

In an effort to reduce comparison-itis, Instagram has removed the like count from posts. If it’s your post you will still get that number, but if you’re looking at someone else’s post you’d have to sit there and manually count the likes from the list. Full details.

Creator Account for Influencers

Creator accounts are now available everywhere and you may be wondering if you should switch. The creator account type has a few extra features compared to personal/business accounts, but it’s also missing some features of business accounts including the ability to create ads and 3rd party integrations (like scheduling apps!). See which account you should be using here. If you’re ready to switch, here’s how to do it.

Creator Studio for IG Profiles

You can now connect your IG profile (if you have a business account) to the Facebook Creator Studio - at the moment this allows you to view your insights on desktop. To access Creator Studio click here.

Followers/Following Search

Instagram has made some enhancements to the followers/following tab on the mobile app:

  • Sort your following by oldest or newest followed

  • Search your following (will search usernames and profile content)

  • Search your followers (will only search usernames)

The best part? You can now see who follows you back by simply searching for them instead of having to use those apps that violate Instagram T&C!

Profiles Getting a Facelift - Update

The new look is finally rolling out to all users - make sure to check your profile on mobile since you may want to adjust your bio to fit the new look - much more of your bio text is truncated!

Instagram is experimenting with several new profile looks, so don’t be surprised if you see yours change (maybe even multiple times) as they figure out which one users find the most engaging. Full details.

New Quiz Stickers for Stories

If the poll is just not doing it for you, you can now create a poll with up to 4 options - just keep in mind that you have to select 1 answer that is the correct answer. Full details.

See Mutual Followers

If you go to anyone’s profile and tap on their followers/following you can see which followers you have in common.


Post to Multiple IG Accounts at the Same Time

This is being touted as a time saver, but use it with caution. Nobody wants to see the exact same posts everyday on all of your Insta accounts. Full details.

Making Instagram More Accessible for the Visually Impaired

All posts will now have alt tags which allow users to listen to descriptions of photos. The automatic alternative text will generate based on what is in the photo. If you want a specific description to be read, you can manually add alt text. Full details.


Send Audio Direct Messages

Sometimes an audio message is better or easier than text or a video chat. Full details.

Shopping Now Available in Videos

Tag your products in your feed videos (previously only available in Stories). Full details.


Profiles Getting a Facelift

Instagram is experimenting with several new profile looks, so don’t be surprised if you see yours change (maybe even multiple times) as they figure out which one users find the most engaging. Full details.


Cracking Down on 3rd Party Apps

In an effort to get rid of fake engagement, Instagram is going to start removing likes, comments, and follows that were generated by apps that violate their Terms of Service. Worried that you might have used an app that isn’t approved (hint: 99% of them aren’t!)? Instagram will notify you with an account message that you’ve used such an app and prompt you to change your password so that app no longer has access to your info. See details here and here.

Connect Easily with QR-like Codes

Following every other social media network, Instagram now has ‘Nametags’ - a scannable image that will take people directly to your profile. It works using the Instagram camera and you can customize your nametag with a limited variety of colors and emojis. Full details.


Transparency Tools for Popular Accounts

Instagram has implemented a “About This Account” feature where users can view info about your account such as when it was created, your country, username history, and shared followers. This is only appearing on accounts with a large reach. Full details.


Verify Your Account

This is still geared more towards celebrities, public figures, and big brands, but now everyone can apply to be verified. It’s in the ‘Account’ section of your settings. Full details.


Quick Replies

You can now set up keyboard shortcuts specific to Instagram if you have a business account. It’s in the ‘Business Settings’ section of your settings. Full details.

Recommended Posts in Feed

You might start to see ‘recommended posts’ from accounts that you don’t follow - Instagram is suggesting things you might like based on who you follow and what content you engage with. These recommendations will only appear after you’ve seen all of the new posts from people you follow (i.e. they won’t “interrupt” your newsfeed). Full details.


Remove Followers on Your Business Profile

There might be times when you don’t want someone to see your posts (even your public posts) or maybe you think their profile is fake. You can now remove those followers with a couple taps - and they won’t be notified. Full details.


Video Chat in DMs

If you use your account DMs for client support, video chat may be a great way to provide better service (providing that those people are willing to get on a quick video with you!). Full details.


Mute Instagram Accounts

Have people you follow who have great newsfeed posts but awful stories or vice versa? Now you can choose to mute either their posts or their stories - or both if you really want to eliminate them from your Insta experience without actually unfollowing them. Full details.

Booking or Tickets Right from Your Profile

Instagram is rolling out Reserve, Get Tickets, Start Order or Book buttons to business accounts who use services like Acuity, Eventbrite, OpenTable, and more. Full details.

More Comment Filtering

Instead of leaving it up to Instagram to decide what is and isn’t offensive, you can now also manually specify keywords that will cause comments to be automatically hidden. Full details.


Add Clickable Links to Instagram Posts

This is a big deal, however it only applies to certain businesses: you have to have a Shopify account/store, you have to have a shop section set up on your business Facebook page with your Shopify products linked, and you have to have a business Instagram account. Phew! Worth it if you are already a Shopify user. Full details.


More Control Over Your Feed

Instagram is updating the feed in 2 ways: no more auto-scrolling to the top when there are new posts, and the algorithm is changing to show more new posts (instead of the same 10 popular posts that are a week old!). Full details.


Hashtag and Profile Links in Your Bio

Now those hashtags and @mentions in your bio will now be clickable links. If you mention someone in your bio, they will get a notification and can choose to remove the link. Full details.


Search Results Customized to Users

It used to be that if 5 people searched for a hashtag they would all see the same top results. Now the algorithm has changed to deliver the results that Instagram feels are the most relevant to you (likely based on the accounts you follow and the posts you interact with). Full details.

Real Post Scheduling for Business Accounts

Now allowing direct publishing to business accounts for photos (not videos) through 3rd party tools. Full details. Note: currently this feature works in Hootsuite, Tailwind, Buffer, Later, and Agorapulse.

Block posts When Following Hashtags

It is super important to only use relevant hashtags these days because right after Instagram rolled out the ‘follow hashtags’ feature (marketers rejoice), they also added a feature that allows users to block specific posts from showing in their feed (it’s like negative feedback). If you are consistently using irrelevant hashtags your post performance is going to decrease and people start to block your posts. Full details.

View Saved Posts on Desktop

When you view your profile on desktop, there will now be an option to see saved posts - if you have created collections for your saved posts, you won’t be able to see those categories. Full details.

Send a Live Video via a Direct Message

While you’re live, you can share your video to a person or group via DM so they can get in on the action. People watching your video can also share it, but this is a feature you can disable if you want. Full details.

Follow Hashtags

You can now follow your favourite hashtags on Instagram, and posts with those hashtags will show up in your feed. If you have a specific hashtag you use for your business, now is the time to encourage your audience to follow it so they have a better chance of seeing your posts! Full details.

New tools added for comment moderation

You can now turn on a setting that will block offensive comments. At the moment, you have to let Instagram decide what is offensive. Full details.

Shadowbanning aka the Hashtag Problem

In the last few months, many users have been reporting a drastic fall in engagement on business Instagram accounts - this phenomenon has become known as shadowbanning.

Here is how it works: you have a hashtag in your post, and when you search for that hashtag your post shows up in the search results. However...when any other user who doesn't follow you searches for that hashtag...your post doesn't appear. Instagram is aware of this and has no ETA to fix it - some reports say that this is intended functionality.

Some users have reported the following ways to 'fix' this problem:

  • switch back to personal profile, as this primarily affects business accounts (keep in mind you'll lose your insights!)

  • stop posting for 1-2 weeks, then resume

I am currently a victim of this so I have stopped posting temporarily. If that doesn't work I may switch back to a personal profile.

Organize your Saved Posts

If you save a lot of Instagram posts, you can now create categories to keep things organized for when you're looking at them later. Read more.

Direct Messages Updated

You can now add videos and images to DMs, making customer service easier than ever. Read more.

Include Up To 10 Photos in Your post

This won't create a grid, it will create a swipeable slideshow of photos. An indicator underneath the photos will tell people that there are multiple photos available to view. Full details.

Bookmark your favourite posts

Ever see a photo that you want to look at again and again? Maybe there is some valuable information in the comments that you don't have time to think about right now. Now you can bookmark posts to come back to later!

Full details

Like comments

Sometimes there is just no non-awkward way to reply to an Instagram comment - especially when people just respond with emojis or a simple "Yes!". Now, a la Facebook, you can like comments - perfect for when you want to acknowledge someone but don't quite know what to say at this exact moment.

boomerang & mentions added to stories

You can now get more creative & generate engagement with posts that you're adding to your stories. Mentions allow you to tag other users (for example, other people in the photo, where you are, etc.). Boomerang allows you to take a video that plays backwards and forwards.

Full details

Turn Off Your Comments
 

Like Twitter, Instagram is also making efforts to make users feel more safe. Now you can completely turn off comments on a post (you can turn them back on later if you change your mind).

Full details

Instagram Now For Those Of Us With Bad Eyes

Ever had someone post a picture on Instagram with lots of little details, or far away, and you wanted to zoom in but couldn't? Now you can! Zoom in or out on any picture on your phone with the pinch gesture.

Now You Can Think Twice About That Instagram Update with 'Save as Draft' Feature

Ever take the perfect Instagram photo and apply the perfect edits but don't know what to caption it? Or need to do some hashtag research? Now you can save your post as a draft and come back to edit later. Or use the draft feature to save all of your posts for review later if you tend to be an impulsive poster. Full Details

Nasty Commenters on Instagram? Now You Can Easily Hide Those Comments

A lot of female celebrities and politicians have seen a surge in hateful comments on Instagram. Now (a la Facebook) you can block those comments - turning on this feature will hide anything already posted and prevent these comments from appearing in the future. You can customize what gets blocked by specifying what words you don't want to see. Full Details

Bookmark your favourite posts

Ever see a photo that you want to look at again and again? Maybe there is some valuable information in the comments that you don't have time to think about right now. Now you can bookmark posts to come back to later!

Full details

Like comments

Sometimes there is just no non-awkward way to reply to an Instagram comment - especially when people just respond with emojis or a simple "Yes!". Now, a la Facebook, you can like comments - perfect for when you want to acknowledge someone but don't quite know what to say at this exact moment.

Facestagram...er...Instabook...er...Instagram Business Profiles Are Here!

Facebook continues to add familiar features to Instagram. Now you can set up a Business Profile on Instagram, which has 2 useful features (so far) that make it great for business - you now get some basic analytics on your posts, and it adds a contact button directly to your profile - making customer service even more convenient for your followers (and if you have a physical location, the contact button also brings up directions!).

Full details.

Stories & Live


Add Lyrics to Stories

If you have the Music sticker (many people don’t, or only have it on some accounts, nobody seems to know who gets it or how to get it!) you can now add lyrics to your stories with the music sticker. Full details.

Join Chat Sticker

You can now create a group chat with Instagram direct messages and invite people to join the chat by adding a sticker to your stories. You can limit who can join the chat by combining it with the ‘close friends’ feature. This could be interesting to generate more engagement with your audiences, send info, have challenges, etc. Full details.

Quiz Stickers

If the Poll sticker just wasn’t cutting it for you, try the quiz sticker! Just be aware that it’s a real quiz with a correct answer you have to specify (and not just a poll with more than 2 options) - when users pick the right answer there is a little celebration animation. Similarly, when the pick the wrong answer Instagram lets them know :) Full details.

Countdown Stickers for Stories

This was probably used by most people to celebrate new years, but when it comes to business this is a fun way to announce launches, events, and deadlines. Full details.

Questions Stickers for Instagram Live

If you ask your audience a question in your stories, you can now respond to their answer live, and they will see a notification that you’ve done so. People can continue to respond to your question and you’ll see their answers pop up while you are live so you can respond in real time if you want. Full details.

Close Friends for Stories

If you have stories that you only want to share with a specific segment of your audience, you can create a close friends list and share some stories only with them. Full details.

Bully Filter for Live Video Comments

Instagram is expanding is comment blocking to those on live videos. If you already had ‘Hide Offensive Comments’ turned on for your posts, it will automatically be turned on for your Live Videos. Full details.

Create Shoppable Stories

If you have the shop feature on your Instagram account, you can now create Instagram stories that contain links for people to shop your products. Full details.

Choose Who To Share Your Story With

If you want to create a story but only allow certain people to see it, you can now limit your audience by using the ‘Share With’ sticker. Tap it, and select the followers that you want to have access.

Customize Your Y/N Story Polls

When the Yes/No polls first rolled out, you could only ask Y/N questions. Now you can customize the choice selection, opening up the possibilities of what you can ask!

Ask Your Followers a Question

There’s a new sticker in stories that lets you ask your followers questions and they can type back their responses. You’ll be able to see who is answering, but if you choose to share their answer it’s completely anonymous. Full details.

Share Your Stories as a Post

If you have a story that was really engaging you might want to share it as a regular post - remember, public comments don’t exist for stories (unless it’s a live video) so if you want people to comment, you’ll need to make it a regular post. Don’t forget that any interactive stickers you’ve added will lose their functionality.

New Poll Type for Stories

Instead of a yes-no option, there is now a slider poll option featuring emojis so you can express a range of agreement/excitement/opinion. Full details.

Upload Multiple Stories at One Time

You can now upload up to 10 photos at a single time into your Stories, saving a lot of repetitive tapping. Full details.

Updated: Repost Stories You’re Tagged In

Updated: you can share any post to your stories!If another user tags you in their story you’ll see an ‘Add this to your story’ option when you view the notification in your direct messages. You can repost the story as-is or make your own edits. Full details.

New Camera Feature

The Instagram camera has a new mode called focus - it will detect faces in the foreground of a live photo and blur the background. Full details.

Text-only Stories

If you prefer to tell stories in text format, now you can! Full details.

No More Awkward Cropping in Your Stories

Upload photos and videos of any size/dimension. Full details.

Share Instagram Stories to Facebook Stories

If you have linked your Facebook to Instagram, you can share your Instagram stories to your Facebook account. You can do this on a per story basis, or choose to have all of your stories share by default. Full details

GIF Stickers for Stories

Instagram has partnered up with GIPHY so that you can add animated stickers to your stories. Full details.

Stories Highlights

Instead of having your stories disappear forever after 24 hours, you can now selectively choose stories to add to your profile that will stay there as long as you want. This is a great way to showcase the most important content or promotions since (unlike Facebook) it is common for people to visit your profile even after following you. Full details. Full details.

Add Older Content to Stories

You can now access your entire camera roll when adding content to your stories - a big win for businesses who are trying to plan their posts out in advance! Full details.

New Formats for Stories

Super Zoom and Stop Motion Graphics have rolled out to all users, adding some fun new ways to create content that will engage your audience. Full details.

View Stories on Your Desktop

Now you can watch Instagram stories on your desktop (though you can’t reply or engage with them...yet). Full details.

Archive & Highlight Your Stories on Your Profile

When you create stories, they are now saved in your archive (previously you could only see them in your analytics). And, if you have a collection of stories with a similar theme, you can now bundle them into a featured story that appears on your profile. These highlights do not disappear after 24 hours! Full details.

Go Live With a Guest

Now you can do an Instagram Live and bring a guest on to stream with you - perfect for colleagues, collaborators, and guest experts! Note that you can only add the guest to the video after you start the livestream. Full details.

Create Polls in Instagram Stories

Have a fun yes/no question to ask your audience? Instagram has introduced a new sticker than actually creates a polling option on your story, increasing the amount of engagement you can generate. Full details.

live videos now get 24 hour replay

When you’re done your Instagram live video, you can share it to your stories so people can watch the replay for 24 hours. Full details.

don't miss any stories

Instead of just appearing at the top of your feed and disappearing the moment you start to scroll, Stories now appear in between posts to catch your attention.

Stories Now Included in Search Results

If you are doing Instagrams stories, you'll want to make sure you are including hashtags and location tags when relevant - because your stories will now show up in results when people are searching for those things. Read more.

Get More Creative with the Instagram Camera

Instagram now has face filters (yes, just like Snapchat) you can play with. You can also make videos that play in reverse. If you're making stories, you can add hashtag stickers or use an eraser brush. Read more.

New Stickers for Stories

You can now add a selfie sticker to an image or video - great for trading faces or showing multiple reactions to a shot! You can now also see a screen of your most recently used stickers, so no more scrolling to find those favorites. Read more.

Create Story GIFs from iOS Live Photos

Previously, if you wanted to create GIFs for your Instagram Stories, you had to film live in the Boomerang app. Now, iOS users can import their live photos taken in the last 24 hours into Stories without using Boomerang. Full details

Insights for Stories Now Available

You should now be able to access metrics on reach, impressions, replies, and exits for each individual Story. Full details

Add Live Videos to Stories

Been using the Story feature? Initially you could only take still photos and add text, emojis, or doodles to them. Now you can also add live video to your stories!

Full details

Disappearing Stories in Instagram Direct

We've been able to send Instagram photos directly to users, but now they've introduced a very familiar feature if you use Snapchat: Disappearing Stories. For businesses, this might be a great way to send short personalized replies to your followers.

Full details

Instagram Stories - Stolen or Not They're Great

If you are on Instagram or Snapchat (or even not) you probably heard the recent hubbub about Instagram (or it's parent company Facebook) stealing the idea of temporary stories from Snapchat. Why I think it was a smart move: Many people already have an established following on Instagram, and it is difficult to start from scratch on Snapchat.

Full details.  

Download your stories to your phone

If you have a business account, you can save your stories from the past 24 hours as a single video. The story will save to your camera roll so you can share it on your other networks or on your website. As of right now, this feature is only available in iOS. 

Full details

Advertising

Poll Sticker for Ads

This is a great way to make your ads interactive and interesting to your audience, plus gives you the opportunity to do a little fun or market research! Full details.

Boost an Instagram Post

Previously, through the Facebook Ad Manager you could only create an Instagram Ad from scratch - now you can boost an existing post. Full details.

Run Ads Right From Instagram (without going to Facebook Ads Manager)

Did you know you can do simple ads right in the Instagram app? Just select a post and use it to send people to your profile or website, or get them to call or visit your business. The results and stats of these ads will only show up in the app.

Archive Posts

If you've rebranded or are just embarrassed by some of your older photos, you can now archive those posts - this means you won't lose the stats, and you can clean up your profile. Read more.

Lead Ads Now Available

Lead ads, which I discussed above for Facebook, are now available on Instagram! Grow that email list! Full details.

Create an Ad for Your Stories

With Stories being prominent at the top of the page, it makes sense for advertisers to want to be a part of that space. Full details.

Vertical Images for ads

In addition to regular posts, you can now use a non-square image or video in an Instagram ad: vertical! Not to worry, it's not quite turning into Pinterest yet - the maximum aspect ratio allowed is 4:5.

Full details

enhancements to ads

To increase engagement, Instagram has made the 'Learn More' button on ads stand out more by making it bigger, and making it change colour if a user interacts with the ad in any way. If a user goes to your profile from an ad, the 'Learn More' link is displayed on your profile temporarily. And if you have a video ad, a user who unmutes your video is automatically taken to your landing page - but the video continues to display above for them to watch.

Instagram TV

IGTV Supports Landscape Videos

Now you can upload a landscape videos and viewers can watch fullscreen when they rotate their phone. Full details.

IGTV in the Main Feed

When you upload a video to IGTV you now also have an option to post a preview of the video, meaning it will post to your profile and appear in your feed. This preview will show up to 1 minute of your video and will have an IGTV icon in the corner so people know there is more to view. If you are concerned with your grid aesthetic, make sure to have a video cover that fits your theme and will look good if the top and bottom are cropped out to make the preview square (as this is how it will appear on your profile. Note that if you remove your preview from your profile it doesn’t go in the ‘archive’ section - it is gone forever and you won’t be able to re-share it to your profile (only to your Stories). Full details.

Instagram TV

You may have heard the rumours about Instagram allowing long-form video content. Well, that’s what IGTV is all about. Currently you can upload videos up to 60 minutes long from both your mobile device and the desktop site (but you can only watch from the app). The catch? Videos must be vertical, and have to be pre-recorded. There is a separate app for IGTV, but you can also access it from within the Instagram app. Full details.

I get it. Social media is changing quickly. You are busy running your business and you don’t have the time to stay on top of all of the updates that are happening constantly (I’m looking at you, Facebook!). I am compiling all of the most relevant changes that you need to know about here in a single post - bookmark it and check back monthly!

LinkedIn

Profiles

Includes updates to profile pages, messaging, and general features.

Skill Assessments

LinkedIn is starting to add Assessments to the Skills & Endorsements section of profiles. So far the assessments are only for computer/web programming skills. It’s interesting to note that Upwork just *removed* this feature from the platform because it’s easy to cheat and the skills fall out of date fairly quickly. Full details.

Easily Find the Groups and Hashtags You Follow

These are all now listed in one spot on the right sidebar (on desktop) or by clicking your profile image (on mobile).

Tag Users in Photos

This will be available everywhere on LinkedIn, but you may find that you have it in the mobile app first. When you upload a photo you can tap on people and tag their profiles - they will get a notification that they’ve been tagged, potentially increasing engagement. Full details.

Add Stickers to Photos

If you upload a photo on mobile, you now have the option to add fun stickers to your photos. A lot of people are complaining that LinkedIn is not the place for this and it’s unprofessional. I say that if you can’t have fun at work then what’s the point :) Full details.

Post Reactions Go Live

Now in addition to like, you can indicate if you are celebrating, curious, insightful, or if you love the post. Full details.

Share Meeting Availability From the App

You can now connect your calendar to LinkedIn to make a better meeting planning experience inside messages - simply share your availability with the other person to eliminate all of the back-and-forth. Full details.

Add Alt Text to Images

When you upload an image directly to a LinkedIn Post (so not through a scheduling tool) you can now add alt text to your image up to 120 characters.

Vimeo Integration

If you have a paid Vimeo subscription, you can now share directly to LinkedIn and view analytics from LinkedIn views inside your Vimeo account. Full details.

View Saved Articles on Desktop

Your saved articles are now accessible from desktop - you’ll see the link under your profile card on the left side of the LinkedIn homepage.  

Follow Hashtags

Time to start using a hashtag strategy on LinkedIn to get more eyes on your content - and by using hashtags chances are they'll be the right eyes! Full details. 

Upload Captions to Your Videos

Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t have built-in captioning like Facebook or YouTube, but if you use a service to generate your caption file, you can now add it to your video during upload. Full details.

Save Draft Posts on Mobile

If you get interrupted writing a post update on mobile, you can now save it as a draft. When you X out of the compose screen you’ll get the option to save draft, delete draft, or continue writing. Drafts are only available on mobile, so if you want to pick up from where you left off you won’t be able to do it from desktop.

LinkedIn Introduces Profile QR Codes

The mobile app has your QR code but also a camera to scan other user’s codes - an easy way to connect with people on the go, like at conferences and networking events. Full details.

New Features in Mobile Messaging

You can now attach PDF, DOC, XLS, and PPT right from your phone, as well as start group messages and @mention individual members. Full details.

New Features in Desktop Messaging

You can now copy an image from the web and paste it directly into your direct message. Full details.

Profile Layout Revamp

LinkedIn has put more of an emphasis on your summary information, allowing people to see your current position, education, and access to contact information at a glance. They’ve also repositioned your profile photo so that you can make more use of your cover photo. Full details.

New Post Type: Kudos

Give shoutouts to your connection with themes like ‘Great Job’ ‘Making an Impact’ ‘Inspirational Leader’ and more. The post will automatically tag the user, add relevant hashtags, and include an adorable graphic.

Stickers and Text Overlay for Live Videos

Add some pizzazz to your live videos with engaging stickers and text. Don’t go crazy, tho - this isn’t snapchat! Full details.

Change to How Photos are Posted

One of the biggest frustrations of posting photos to LinkedIn using a scheduling tool is that your photo shows up as a link preview and includes the name of the tool that posted it. SocialPilot is reporting that LinkedIn has updated their API and that photos shared via a 3rd party tool will now show up as native images.

Policy Updates

The LinkedIn Terms of Service are being updated, so now is a good time to familiarize with them, especially the Professional Community Policies. See the summary of changes.

Filters & Text for Live Video

New filters have been added to live video, as well as the ability to add a simple text overlay so people know what your video is about if they don’t have the sound turned on. Full details.

Chrome Extension

If you needed yet another distraction, you can install the LinkedIn Chrome extension to easily see activity and notifications. Full details.

Looking for a Business Mentor?

LinkedIn has introduced a new feature called Career Advisor which helps connect members who are looking for mentorship opportunities. Full details.

Online Status for Connections

When you visit a connection's’ profile, there will now be a green indicator dot on their profile photo telling you that they are currently online. So if you have an important message to send, you can make sure to send it when they are most likely to see it. If you don’t like the idea of people being able to see your status, you can turn it off. Full details.

Smart Message Replies

LinkedIn has improved it’s smart reply feature, now offering reply suggestions that make a little more sense depending on the context of the message. Full details.

Live Video Comes to LinkedIn

If you go to post an update on LinkedIn via the mobile app, you may notice that there is a new icon beside the photo icon - a video icon! You can now go live from your device - this is rolling out *extremely* slowly to users, so no need to panic if you don’t have it yet. Full details.

New features

They continue to tweak after the big overhaul:

  • on your profile, you can now reorder current positions and education

  • you can see how many times you’re being found in search results

  • you can add an image in a comment

  • messages now have quick replies

Full details.

Live Video is (almost) here

LinkedIn is catching up with almost every other social media network by adding live video to the mix. Currently, video is only available via the mobile app - if you don't see the video icon when you go to post an update, keep checking! It is gradually rolling out to everyone in the next few weeks.

Get Insights About Who You're Meeting With

Now you can connect your calendar to LinkedIn and it will give you info about the people you're meeting with if they are on LinkedIn, and you can invite them to connect. Once the meeting is over, you'll also be prompted to follow up. Read more

Edit your Profile Photo

When you upload your profile photo, you can now do some basic edits and add filters to your photo. Note that this is currently only available in the mobile app. Read more.

Additional Updates to the Home Page

LinkedIn continues to tweak things after the massive update to the platform last month. Some of the changes include:

  • notifications for articles published by connections are gone [[sad face!!]]

  • customize notifications for birthdays, new jobs, anniversaries, etc.

  • added back some advanced search features

Read more.

Article Comment Moderation

When someone comments on an article you've posted, you now have some moderation tools to hide and report inappropriate comments. Full details.

LinkedIn Redesigned for Desktop

Logged in to LinkedIn on your laptop recently? The site has a new look and there are some new features like who is reading & engaging with your content. Full details

New Search Functionality

You now have one place to find People, Jobs, Companies, Groups, and Schools. LinkedIn will also offer suggested searches when you start typing. You can also search for people using the following search operators: firstname, lastname, title, company, school. Full details

New Settings for Pulse Reading

You can now choose to turn off comments for articles that you post on Pulse, and report inappropriate comments. Full details

Weekly Insights

Post insights for business accounts has been available since the business accounts rolled out. But did you know you can also see a weekly summary of what's happened on your account, including top posts, when your followers were online, and follower demographics?

Hashtags

Hashtags are back on LinkedIn - but they only work in the mobile app. So if you stopped adding hashtags to LinkedIn posts, now might be a good time to add them back in.

Full details

Endorsements

LinkedIn is trying to make endorsements more relevant, instead of just the 'you endorse me I'll endorse you' game. When people are endorsing you, the options they'll be given will be based on a combination of 1) what skills do you have listed at the top, and 2) what skills *they* are knowledgeable about.

In addition, when someone endorses you, there is a link to thank them that opens up a direct message.

Full details

Microsoft Buys LinkedIn. If You Use Slack, Evernote, or Google You Probably Don't Care.

The perfect marriage of an enterprise software solution and a corporate social network used primarily by middle-aged executives. It will be interesting to see what kind of changes this will bring to the "ordinary" LinkedIn user.

Full details.

LinkedIn Giving More Reach To People Who Are Already Very Famous

You may have noticed videos appearing suddenly in your feed. LinkedIn has teamed up with select influencers who will upload videos talking about relevant news. Perhaps video will roll out to everyone one day?

Full details.

Job Hunt on LinkedIn Without Letting the World Know

This is primarily for people who are job hunting and don't want their current employer to know, but it could also be handy for anyone running a business. Sometimes you don't want the public or clients to know you are employed on the side. Full Details

Conversation Starters

Never know what to say in a LinkedIn message? Want to re-engage your followers but now sure how? Conversation starters are a great way to find out what you and your followers have in common. Caution: please make at least some minor edits to the message. If everyone just uses the default wording they will start to seem spammy.

Note: this hasn't rolled out to everyone yet.

Full details

General Updates

LinkedIn is rolling out some general updates: LinkedIn will suggest things from your profile that you can share, there are new automated message suggestions, and you can now find nearby LinkedIn members. Note that you can choose to opt-in or out of all of these features.

Company Pages


CTA Button & Tagline

Add a call to action button under your header image: Contact us, Learn more, Register, Sign up, Visit website. Also add a short tagline up to 120 characters.

Content Suggestions

Select topics to follow and LinkedIn will give you a feed of articles that are trending for you to share on your page.

Company Page Updates

Post and respond directly from the app, associate your page with specific hashtags to get in front of your most relevant audience, and more details analytics about your audience. Full details.

Video Posts Now Available for Company Pages

You can now upload video to share with your company followers (note: this is not live video). Full details.

New look for company pages

Your company page has gotten a facelift (you can still view the old layout for now if you want). Some of the changes include: and 'admin-like' dashboard view, and the ability to view the page as a follower.

Full details

Read Later

Never have enough time to read the articles you find on LinkedIn? Now you can easily bookmark articles to read later. The only problem? It's extremely difficult to find your bookmarks in the regular app, but easy to find in the associated Pulse app.

Full details

Download Pulse: iOS | Android

Endorsements

LinkedIn is trying to make endorsements more relevant, instead of just the 'you endorse me I'll endorse you' game. When people are endorsing you, the options they'll be given will be based on a combination of 1) what skills do you have listed at the top, and 2) what skills *they* are knowledgeable about.

In addition, when someone endorses you, there is a link to thank them that opens up a direct message.

Full details

Groups


Recommend a Group Post

If you own or manage a group, you can reward users by recommending a member post. You can also use this feature to make important announcements of your own. Use it wisely - you can only recommend 1 post a week. Members will receive a notification about the post, but they can also choose to turn these notifications off. Full details.

Overhaul of LinkedIn Groups

If you are a group admin, pay attention - some features are changing or being removed and it’s important you know what to do! Groups are going to be more integrated on the website and will also be part of the app (I’m imagining an experience similar to Facebook, where group posts appear in the newsfeed?), as well as comment replies, editing posts, and using video. Full details.

Update: these changes are now rolling out! Groups have been revamped to match the newsfeed and are accessible on both desktop and mobile (though on mobile it takes half a dozen taps to reach, so…). Full details.

Group Moderation Changes

Anything now sitting in the moderation queue that is older than 30 days will be automatically deleted. Full details.

Group Updates

LinkedIn is revamping the group experience and you’ll probably start to find it similar to Facebook Groups: group posts will start appearing in your newsfeed, you can tag members and reply to their comments as well as post videos inside your groups. As of today (Jan 24, 2018) you should start to see some of these changes take effect.

Advertising


Carousel Ads Available

Pretty much exactly like the carousel ads that you’ve heard about but never used on Facebook. Full details.

LinkedIn Adds Audience Network to Ads

So you know when you’re playing Angry Birds and those ads pop up at the bottom of the screen, or you have to view them to unlock some content? Those are delivered via Audience Network. If you do Facebook Ads, you might be familiar with this. Well now LinkedIn has added the ability to deliver LinkedIn advertising via Audience Network. Full details.

Send Ads to someone's inbox

You can now create an ad that goes directly to a person's LinkedIn inbox. To combat the potential spammy nature of this, you can only send a Sponsored InMail to a person once every 60 days. On top of that, the receiver can choose to opt out of your ads, or all ads completely (like an unsubscribe feature).

Full details

Ad remarketing

More advanced features (similar to what Facebook and Pinterest are already doing) are now available in LinkedIn: website retargeting, contact targeting, and account targeting. Full details.

 

Lead generation ads

Taking another cue from Facebook, you can now collect leads with ads right on LinkedIn! Full details.

I get it. Social media is changing quickly. You are busy running your business and you don’t have the time to stay on top of all of the updates that are happening constantly (I’m looking at you, Facebook!). I am compiling all of the most relevant changes that you need to know about here in a single post - bookmark it and check back monthly!

Twitter

 

Twitter Reduces Max Daily Followers

You can now only follow 400 people on Twitter each day. Which, if you’re not a spambot, shouldn’t be an issue LOL. Full details.

Timestamps for Live Video Sharing

Ever watch a live video and want to share your favourite part but don’t want your followers to have to watch 15 minutes just to get to the good stuff? Twitter now allows you to set the exact spot where the video will start playing when you are sharing it! Full details.


Bookmark Tweets for Later

A lot of people use the ‘like’ function to save stuff to read later, but it can be awkward if it’s something that you don’t actually LIKE or you don’t want to publicly declare that you’re going to read it. Now there is a bookmark feature (mobile only so far) that is private to you! Full details.


Cracking Down on Automation

Twitter is getting more strict with their spam and automation policies. It has come to my attention that I may be violating the Twitter spam policy, so I will update this section as I get clarification from Twitter Support. Some things that businesses may want to watch out for:

  • Having multiple accounts and posting/scheduling the exact same tweets to all of them at the same time (you should be posting to 1 account and then retweeting the original tweet from your other accounts - this is the tactic I would recommend anyway!)

  • Repeating your content on the same account (which is your evergreen content . . . eek!)

  • If you use scheduling software, be on the lookout for changes to how they work. I have already seen updates to TweetDeck, RecurPost, Hootsuite, and Buffer (all apps had until March 23, 2018 to comply)

The purpose behind this is to prevent bots and fake accounts from spreading fake news. We’ll see how it shakes out for businesses and marketers.


Automatic Promotion

Twitter is rolling out Promote Mode, which will automatically take your first 10 tweets each day and promote them. This is a monthly subscription service. Full details.


Easily Create a Tweet Thread

If 280 characters is still not enough for you, and you often find yourself doing the [1/12, 2/12] tweets, Twitter is now making it easier for you to create a single connected stream (thread) of Tweets. Full details.


Now Write Twice as Much

Twitter now allows 280 characters per tweet! If you were staying away because you had trouble fitting a thought into 140 characters, consider giving it another shot. Full details.


Customize Your Direct Messages

If you have multiple people managing your Twitter account and responding to DMs, you might find it helpful to apply for custom profiles right here. This way, people know which member of your team they are talking to! Full details.


Revamped its look on desktop + app

Twitter updated it's interface with some new icons - if you haven't logged in in awhile, you may need a moment to reorient yourself.


New Ad Type To Start a Conversation

A new Twitter card ad provides space for up to four spaces for a call to action with will take people to Direct Messages. You can customize their DM experience with Twitter bots. Read more.


Usernames Don't Count in Replies

Usernames no longer count toward 140 characters (for real this time!). When you reply, those usernames won't even appear in the text box, but who you are replying to will still be indicated above. Read more.


New Explore Tab

The Explore tab combines trends, Moments, search, and the best of live video. Full details


Twitter Live Now Available

Periscope is now completely integrated with Twitter and is called 'Twitter Live'. Full details


More Integration of Twitter & Periscope

If you have a periscope account, there is now a field to link to it directly on your twitter profile.

Full details


Blocking Online Abuse

Recently Twitter has taken steps to make it easier for people to report abuse on the network, but now it's taken than a step further. In addition to being able to block or mute users, you can also mute keywords, phrases, or entire conversations you don’t want to see notifications about.

But...please don't use this just to ignore valid criticism or customer complaints :)

Full details


Enhancements to Replies

Twitter has also updated the reply function. Now, like with likes and retweets, you will also see the reply count on a tweet.

In addition, they have introduced reply ranking (similar to how the comments on Facebook work) so that the best replies will be shown first, instead of in chronological order. How do they determine which replies are best? Some of the factors are if the reply if from someone you follow, or if you've replied back to the person.

Full details


Moments Now Available

Any user can now create their own Moments. I think this is a great opportunity for event marketing or to highlight the content of clients or partners!

Full details


Twitter Verified

You no longer need to be a celebrity or public figure to request a verified account - apply right here! Keep in mind that simply applying does not guarantee you that little blue checkmark - you'll have to provide online evidence that you are who you say you are as well as a mini-essay about why you should be verified.

Full details.


Twitter After Dark

Do you check your Twitter feed in the middle of the night? Now Twitter has ‘Night Mode’ which will turn the background dark to reduce eye strain. It will also reduce the annoyance of your bed partner so that they are not wakened by the bright light of your smartphone!

Full details.


Spice Up Your Twitter Name With Emojis

For years people have been using hacks to insert emojis into profile information - now it is a feature of Twitter to be able to add emojis to your username & bio. I'm pretty sure this has to do with the ability to target Twitter ads to specific emojis, meaning that the ads that show up in our feeds may be more relevant to our interests.

Full details.


Twitter finally loosens up 140 character limit

You've been hearing about it for months now, and it's finally here! Now when you add media to a tweet (photo, video, poll, or gif) it no longer takes up character space. As well, when you reply to someone, their username at the beginning of the tweet doesn't count. Full Details


Now You Can Target Your Twitter Ads to Those Poop-Emoji Users, Just Like You've Always Wanted

It's not as silly as it sounds. Emojis are now a part of everyday written conversation, so why not use them for ad targeting just like keywords? If you don't believe it, the 2015 Oxford Word of the Year was:

download.png

Full details.

Twitter Making It Easier To Schedule

Twitter has improved its native scheduling capabilities by creating the Twitter Dashboard. The dashboard looks pretty similar to the normal Twitter layout, so it’s easily to use: https://dashboard.twitter.com. There is an iOS app that you can use as well, but it's currently only available in the US. The way you schedule works much like Facebook, but there’s one thing that’s awesome: you can view your scheduled tweets in a calendar view, which is a feature that I have been wishing for Facebook for a long time!

Full details.

Emoji Search

If your target audience is one that tends to use a lot of emojis, you're in luck! You can now search by tons of emojis. Full details.

I get it. Social media is changing quickly. You are busy running your business and you don’t have the time to stay on top of all of the updates that are happening constantly (I’m looking at you, Facebook!). I am compiling all of the most relevant changes that you need to know about here in a single post - bookmark it and check back monthly!

Pinterest

Business Profiles

Includes updates to profiles, analytics, and general Pinterest features.

Communities Are Gone

Did you even notice? Full details.

Create Carousel Pins

If you create pins from scratch on the Pinterest website, you can upload multiple images for a pin.

Schedule Your Pins

Again, if you create pins right on the Pinterest site you can schedule them to post.

Track Pins from Instagram, YouTube, and Etsy

If you are active on Instagram, YouTube, or Etsy, there is a chance people are pinning images and videos from those sites - however there was no way to track these pins outside of those saved from your domain directly. Now you can claim these accounts inside Pinterest and see them in your analytics (as long as you have a business account). Full details.

Pinterest Trying to Get More Social

Pinterest has introduced Communities in an effort to create more engagement and keep people on Pinterest longer. The catch? You can’t pin (for now at least) from your own domain - Pinterest thinks it might seem spammy and they want us to only share each other’s stuff instead. Details here and here.

Enhanced Audience Analytics

Pinterest is rolling out new details about our audience (not just followers) including interest categories and subcategories, and device usage. You can also compare your audience to the overall Pinterest audience. Full details.

Group Boards More Collaborative

You can now see a separate activity feed for the group boards that you are a member of, including info about who joined/left and if a new section has been created. Full details.

Use an Approved Scheduling Tool

Like Instagram in the past year, Pinterest has been cracking down on (and suspending!) accounts that use tools which violate Pinterest policy. I won’t name names, but if you are using any Pinterest tools, make sure they are in this directory of approved partners. I’d recommend Tailwind* - even if you don’t sign up for a paid plan the free plan has some nice analytics and gives you access to Tailwind Tribes, which are basically Pinterest magic.

Pinterest Clarifies Best Practices for Pinners

Update: Pinterest has revised its best practices

Pinterest advises:

  • consistency is more important than how much you pin per day

  • pins that don’t perform well don’t impact the overall performance of your account

  • search is becoming more crucial so board and pin descriptions with hashtags are more important than ever

  • when you are pinning the same pin multiple times, pin to the more important first since that one will get the most exposure

  • the pin size that’s performing best is 600px X 900px

  • Pin seasonal or holiday relevant pins starting about 45 days ahead of time

  • Link multiple pins to the same place

Full details.

Better Analytics for Your Pins

The big news: Pinterest will now aggregate the stats for all versions of a pin. So instead of having 10 pins (of the same image/link from your website) it will combine that into 1 set of numbers so you can see how your pins are really performing. Full details.

New Profiles

The new profiles include a dynamic profile header which is a collage of pins that pulls from a board you specify, your most recent pins, or pins that people have saved from you. Full details.

Pincodes for Your Boards

If you want to help people offline discover more of your pins, you can create pincodes for your boards (like a QR code) and add them to printed marketing materials. People can then scan the code using the Pinterest mobile app and be taken right to your board. Full details.

Create Separate Sections for Pins Inside a Board

This is one of my most wanted updates, creating sections or boards within boards. Now you can feel even more organized and clean up your boards - maybe you have 1 board that can have 10 sections instead of having 10 separate boards. Full details.

Repin/Save Counts Gone

You can no longer see how many times a pin has been saved by looking at it. You can see the repin stats on your own pins by viewing the pin and clicking into the stats.

hashtags are back!

You can now search for hashtags on Pinterest and any hashtags you put in a pin description will be clickable. I recommend only putting a couple of hashtags in - don’t go crazy like it’s Instagram. Even better, include a branded hashtag so that it’s easy for people to see more of your pins.

Individual Pin Metrics

You can now see the analytics for individual pins using a button that appears right on the pin. This will give you a breakdown of engagements. Read more.

Find Related Pins

See a pin you like? Click the 'More' icon on the image and your Pinterest newsfeed will update with pins that are like the one you clicked on. Over time the newsfeed will learn what you like and start to filter out the things you don't seem to be interested in. So keep creating interesting content - sounds like an algorithm is on the way! Full details

Feature Your Best Boards

Pinterest now allows you to select up to 5 boards to be featured on your profile. The boards will create a rotating banner at the top. Pick the boards that are most relevant to you business, like the ones that have pins that link back to your website - make sure to fill these up with your most attractive images.

Full details

Promoted Pins Available in Canada

Promoted pins are finally available in Canada! Pinterest is amazing for driving traffic to your website, especially if you are a retailer or you offer downloadable products.

Full details

"Tried It" for Your Pins

If you create pins for things like recipes, crafts, tutorials, etc. you can now give your audience a way to track their DIY efforts. On mobile, users now have an option to 'check' a pin that they've tried to let them keep track, and they can even give feedback on their own experience that everyone will be able to see.

Full details

Simplified Notifications

"News" and "You" have been combined into a single "News" tab, and they've consolidated similar notifications. For example, instead of getting 10 notifications that people liked a pin, you'll get 1 notification that 10 people liked a pin.

Full details

Shop Right From Pinterest, The World's Largest Catalogue Cleverly Masquerading as a Social Network

Pinterest has teamed up with some select partners (including Shopify) to allow people to purchase items that have been pinned, all without leaving the site. As of right now, Pinterest is not adding in any other fees on top of this feature.

Full details.

Like button going away (not yet, but heads up!)

Pinterest has decided to get rid of the like button, since it's really the save button (aka pin button) that is truly valuable. So if it disappears on you one day soon don't panic! Full details.

Advertising

Carousel Ads

You can now create an ad with up to 5 images, each with their own title, description, and landing page. Full details.

Video Ads Now Twice As Big

Previously, a video ad took up the same real estate as any other pin. Now videos are twice as wide - this makes them especially visible on the Pinterest app as it means they are taking up the entire screen. Full details.

Use More Advanced Interests to Target Ads

Pinterest is introducing the ‘Taste Graph’ which allows you to get more specific with the interests you want to target. They are reporting that as a result, ads are more effective (which means lower cost!).  Full details.

 

Set Your Video Ads to Autoplay

Everyone now has the ability to make their promoted videos autoplay when they appear in someone’s feed. Full details.

Ads Manager Updates

The ads manager has received a revamp, giving you more detailed info like comparing 2 periods, filtering data, quick edits for ads, and archiving. Read more.

Search Ads Now Available

Now you can create ads based on search keywords, which is especially helpful for B2B since the Pinterest interest categories are pretty slim when it comes to business and technology. Your ad will show up in the search results when someone is looking for your keyword (just like Google Adwords). Full details.

More Control Over Your Pinterest Ads

Pinterest Ad functionality is started to look more and more like Facebook! Now there are Ad Groups where you can control the budget, targeting, and start/end dates of select groups of promoted pins. This means you can keep all of the pins in 1 campaign, which makes reporting a lot easier. Full details

Pinterest Advertising Options Hurrying To Compete With Facebook

There are new targeting options available in Pinterest: now you can target based on how a user has previously behaved on Pinterest, and most interestingly, how they have behaved on your Pinterest profile (Facebook does not have this!!). For example, if someone repinned a product from your board, you could later target them in an ad when similar products go on sale. Like Facebook, you can now also create lookalike audiences (though Pinterest calls them ‘actalike audiences’).

Full details.

Pinterest Ads Finally Introduced

Ads are now available for Canada - and the targeting settings are eerily similar to Facebook. You all probably know how much of a fan I am of Facebook ad targeting, so this is very exciting!

Full details.

I get it. Social media is changing quickly. You are busy running your business and you don’t have the time to stay on top of all of the updates that are happening constantly (I’m looking at you, Facebook!). I am compiling all of the most relevant changes that you need to know about here in a single post - bookmark it and check back monthly!

YouTube

YouTube Studio Updates

  • Improved analytics like audience retention, bar charts

  • Additional filters for product type, ad type

  • Add custom watermark (i.e. your logo)

  • See daily/weekly/monthly/yearly analytics


Full details.

Creator Studio (now YouTube Studio) Gets a Makeover

The new interface is more user-friendly and matches what you see in the other parts of YouTube. It should have all of the same features, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for you can still switch back to the old version. Full details.

Improving Video Recommendations

YouTube has been working on removing clickbaity videos from recommendations, and also from having the recommendations be too specific. Now they are focusing on content that bumps up against the line of their community standards or misleads viewers. So watch your titles and descriptions to make sure you’re not writing something controversial just to get views - it will hurt you in the long run. Full details.

YouTube Stories

Stories are only available to Creator accounts - those that have at least 10,000 subscribers. Full details.

Backgrounds for Stories

If you hate your background during stories, you can now change it - like having a built-in green screen. Full details.

Annotations Being Discontinued

If you’ve been on YouTube for a long time, you may have created videos with annotations, especially for things like directing people to your website or landing page at the end of a video. Back in May YouTube got rid of the ability to add or edit annotations. As of Jan 15, 2019, annotations will no longer work at all - if you have annotations in your videos you’ll want to look at implementing cards and end screens. Full details.

Hashtags Featured Above Video Titles

Make sure to add relevant hashtags to your video descriptions, as YouTube will now display the first 3 above the title of your video and they will be clickable. Full details.

Play Pre-Recorded Content During Livestreams

YouTube will now allow creators to show non-live content during a livestream - sounds like a great way to run a webinar or other educational content when you want to be answering comments or questions live in the chat! YouTube intends creators to use it as a promotional tool to hype up true livestreams. We’ll see how that goes. The catch? You have to be a YouTube Partner (which means 100,000+ subscribers). Full details.

Updates to Live Streaming

Live chat no longer disappears once the livestream is over, and will scroll in time to the video, auto-captions in English are now available for livestreams, and you can add location tags to your videos to showcase where you are. Full details.

Making YouTube More Social

You can now create/send text updates to your community contacts, share links and videos, create polls, quick video clips (Reels), and Stories. Note: most of these features will only be available to users with over 10,000 subscribers. Full details.

New Requirements for Monetizing Your Channel

If you’ve ever uploaded a video to YouTube, you may have noticed that there is an option to monetize the video i.e. allow ads to play before/during your video which generates revenue for you when people click on them. Monetization is not available to everyone. YouTube has now increased the threshold to the following: 4,000 hours of watch time on your videos in the past 12 months and at least 1,000 subscribers. If you have monetized your videos and are under these limits, YouTube will pay you out for whatever you have earned and then turn off monetization. Full details.

Chat for Live Streams

Super Chat allows your audience to purchase a message space during a live stream - these messages will remain pinned to the top of the chat for up to five hours and are highlighted to stand out. My understanding is that you keep some or part of the Super Chat income, but so far no details on how to control spam. Full details

Because Mobile Live Streaming Video is Already on Every Other Platform, the World's Largest Video Site Figured They Better Have it Too

To be fair, YouTube has had live streaming for quite awhile, but now it's being added to the YouTube app so that you can create a live video on the go, right from your phone.

Full details.

I get it. Social media is changing quickly. You are busy running your business and you don’t have the time to stay on top of all of the updates that are happening constantly (I’m looking at you, Facebook!). I am compiling all of the most relevant changes that you need to know about here in a single post - bookmark it and check back monthly!

Google My Business

Create special offers for followers

Did you know people can “follow” your GMB listing? Well now you can create a special welcome offer that will display just for people who follow your business (plus they’ll get notifications about updates and future offers!). Full details.

Personalized Listing URL

You can now have a custom link for your listing URL (just like with Facebook) so make sure to claim yours today before someone with a similar business name snatches it up! Full details.

Give Your Profile More Visual Appeal

Add a logo or cover image plus additional photos to showcase images of your business, your products, testimonials, etc. Full details.

Paid Premium Features

If you are NOT OK with the idea of paying for features on my GMB listing, fill out this survey.

Share Reviews as Post

If you have 4-5 star reviews, you’ll be prompted to share them as posts on your GMB listing. You can also edit the review if needed, add up to 10 images to give the review more context, and add a CTA before posting. Full details.

Create Shareable Content: Small Thanks

User Small Thanks to create videos and social media posts that feature aspects of your GMB listing, including reviews. Full details.

Reduced Reach and Engagement on Posts

Users are reporting that they are seeing less view and clicks on their GMB posts, or that posts are not visible in search results. Google says it’s just temporary. Full details.

Google My Business App  

Now that there is an app you can easily make posts on the go. Full details.

Insights for Your GMB Posts Added

Now you can see data for how these posts are performing (views and clicks) in search results and on Google maps. Full details. 

Create An Offer, Event, or Product Post

GMB has rolled out more custom post types: create an offer post that has a coupon code, link to redeem, terms and conditions, and an expiry date; create a product post that has the price (or price range) and link to buy; create an event post that has has the date/time and a button to register. Full details.

Google+

Network Shutting Down in 2019

This will likely be the first and last G+ update I ever put in this post, lol! Google+ is finally shutting down this network in August of 2019. Full details.

Due to a bug they found, Google has decided to shut down Google+ even faster. Users will see their Google+ pages and communities disappear as early as Feb 2019, with everything being gone by April 2019. Full details.

Share Counts Disappearing

If you have those social sharing buttons on your website that show the number of times something has been shared, the number for G+ shares will be going away soon. If this is something that is of vital importance to you, developers can still pull this number from Google, so if your buttons are missing the number you'll need to look for another set of buttons that shows it.

Keep on top of all of the changes to your #socialmedia platforms with this handy, always up-to-date guide!

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I get it. Social media is changing quickly. You are busy running your business and you don’t have the time to stay on top of all of the updates that are happening constantly (I’m looking at you, Facebook!). I am compiling all of the most relevant changes that you need to know about here in a single post - bookmark it and check back monthly!