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!
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Note: new updates are indicated in bold.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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*.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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 Stories for Groups and Events
You can now create stories within Groups and Events, and all members can contribute. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 and Tailwind
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Carousel Ads Available
Pretty much exactly like the carousel ads that you’ve heard about but never used on Facebook. 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.
Video Posts Now Available for Company Profiles
You can now upload video to share with your company followers (note: this is not live video). Full details.
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.
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.
If you needed yet another distraction, you can install the LinkedIn Chrome extension to easily see activity and notifications. Full details.
Group Moderation Changes
Anything now sitting in the moderation queue that is older than 30 days will be automatically deleted. Full details.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can now create an ad with up to 5 images, each with their own title, description, and landing page. Full details.
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.
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 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
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
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.
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.
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.
iPad App and New Features
Anchor has now introduced an app for the iPad and a bunch of new features: touch-enabled editing, import your existing audio from almost anywhere, drag-and-drop files from other apps into Anchor, plus better audio quality.
Anchor has been completely revamped to focus on podcasting without having to have any fancy or expensive audio editing software. Full details.
Google My Business
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.
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.