SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES FOR JANUARY 2017
Keep on top of the latest news, changes, and updates in social media all in one place!
A quick note to my readers: social media networks often do a trial run with changes before the update is released to the general public. Sometimes this is just partnering with a handful of large companies as a beta test, sometimes this is rolling out changes to users in certain countries first, and sometimes it seems to roll out completely randomly to people. However, no matter who is actually getting the change, these changes get announced as 'breaking news' and hundreds of articles are written about them. This leads to a lot of confusion as people search through the app store or their profile settings to find the fabulous new update that everyone is talking about...to no avail. With that in mind, here are my criteria for including a social media update:
- the update is available for everyone
- the update is available in Canada (as that's where my primary audience lives!)
- the update is not yet available but there is something you need to do or think about to prepare for it
- the update has to do with a platform or feature that the majority of my audience would be interested in
- and since I'm human, I occasionally miss things, which is why you may see me list older updates if it's something that I think could be very useful but that few people are talking about
I'm not just compiling this list for the sake of having something to post here every month. I want these updates to be things that you can actually take action on as soon as possible, and that aren't so advanced that you would need to hire a computer programmer to figure out, and that touch on the tools that you are using most often.
And on with the show...
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
Bulk Scheduler Updated
Instead of uploading your posts, scheduling them, and then having to go through and review you can now review them all before they get scheduled. The Hootsuite Bulk Uploader will also generate errors if something is wrong with a message, allows you to add photos to your posts, and customize the link previews.
Add charts (bar, line, pie graphs, venn diagrams and more) to your graphics. You can customize the colors, values, and sometimes the labels of the charts. Great for reports or infographics! Charts are found under Elements.
You can now generate a unique URL for your design that can be displayed as a website. Great way to create a temporary landing page or sales page if you don't yet have a website or can't get a fast enough turnaround with your current website.
If storage space on your website is a problem, you can now create a design in Canva and then embed it on your website (instead of uploading it directly). And because Canva designs can be interactive it ads another layer to your website. In addition, any changes you make to the design in Canva will be automatically updated on your website - perfect if you can't code but need to make regular changes!