10 Must-Read Social Media Updates to Have on Your Radar This Month.

It's hard to keep on top of all the moving pieces in social media, so we do it for you.
Laura Daddiego
Laura Daddiego
September 30, 2019 - 6 min. read

You may already be familiar with our 5 Social Media News Stories You Need to Read This Week round-up. Now we’re supplementing our “quick bites of social media goodness” with a generous serving of the month’s biggest headlines.

So if you’re wondering what Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest — and all the other big players — have been up to this month, you’re on the right page.

Bookmark this bulletin for all the top social media features updates, trends and news.

Let’s get started…

1. A range of new ad updates for Snapchat

Where to start? Snapchat will soon allow ads of up to three minutes in length (instead of 10 seconds). But don’t panic, you will still be able to skip the ad *collective sighs of relief*. Until now, sharing long-form video was possible but with a “swipe up” option that would interrupt the video view.

Snapchat is also working on creating a new way to target viewers based on their video consumption behaviors. So if you’re targeting a younger crowd, you might want to keep an eye on this update. The new ad format will most likely be attached to the Original TV shows and could be out any day now. Six-second ads will remain unskippable but with the addition of the “swipe up” option.

2. Pinterest updates its Shop The Look ads & Business Profile

There are several new updates are out there for all the marketing Pinners out there. Let’s start with the new Shop The Look ads. These will allow advertisers to display multiple products in a single ad with a collection format. Currently only available in the US, the feature allows advertisers to tag up to 25 items in the ad.

You probably heard this name before so let’s take a step back to explain a major difference. Up until now, Shop The Look has been only available organically. And prior to this year is was available to only selected brands. What else is new? The Business Profile design got revamped, bringing together organic pics and stoppable products. Users will be able to access product catalog, customize the profile header with a video and an updated messaging feature to enhance customer support.

3. Say goodbye to Facebook Group Stories

You’ve probably seen that after September 26 it is no longer possible to contribute to collaborative Group Stories. The functionality has had a short run, having only been live since December. The extra moderation workload for admins hasn’t helped the function usage and this could be a reason why the feature is being deprecated. Perhaps it’s time to face the fact that the Stories and Facebook love story has always been star-crossed.

4. Facebook has acquired a neural interface platform

This is part of Facebook’s ambition to keep working and researching on the next phase of digital connection. What is CTRL-Labs? It’s a company that is currently working on software that would enable people to control an avatar using only their thoughts. This involves the use of a bracelet to measure neuron activity in order to track a movement and translate it onscreen. This does beg the question: would you let Facebook inside your brain?

5. Have you heard of Twitter Next?

I think we all wonder what’s next for Twitter.  Well, one thing they’re trying is Twitter Next — which seems to be a kind of Twitter task force dedicated to helping “selected business partners” get the most out of the platform. In Twitter’s words, they “are evolving Twitter’s brand strategy team and re-orienting our offerings around a single mission: to create human-centric ideas worth talking about.” This feels like a follow up to their Brand Reminders feature that automatically notifies fans about new content. Let’s see if the human-centric approach is one the network leans into even more. 

6. New in-app shopping ads may be coming to Facebook

And we’re talking about Facebook again. Many foresee a future where Facebook and shopping are synonymous; this week the network may have inched a little closer to making that a reality. 

On Monday, Facebook announced it is testing two new advertising features, namely an in-app checkout for dynamic ads — and a feature that will allow you to turn organic shopping posts into ads. Facebook has already added the in-app checkout to Instagram so appears to be being doubling down on creating a seamless online shopping experience for users. 

7. YouTube launches a fashion “hub”

In a move some see as a challenge to IGTV and Instagram’s iron grip on fashion and lifestyle, YouTube just launched youtube.com/fashion.

The launch appropriately coincided with New York fashion week and according to YouTube’s blog is intended to “create an ultimate destination for style content that bridges both our fabulous endemic creator community and the more traditional worlds of fashion and beauty.” The new category already occupies pride of place alongside Movies, Gaming and Live, time will tell if the fashionistas do indeed flock to it.

8. Twitter is releasing a six-second viewable video ad bid

Twitter is releasing a new video ad bidding option that allows advertisers to run 15-second or shorter video ads, but only be charged if the ad is viewed for a full six seconds; the pixel only activates at the 50% mark.

The new ads option should be attractive to advertisers who are focused on video view metrics and are also ready to develop short-form video clips designed to be viewed on the feed. As more than half of Twitter’s ad revenue comes from video ads, this is an important update for Twitter.

9. Instagram is working on a separated messaging app called “Thread” 

Does the world need another standalone messaging app? At least Instagram thinks it does.

The company is reportedly working on a new messaging app called “Threads”, which will focus on building stronger, more constant connections and conversations between close-knit groups. A key feature would be an automatic sharing option, allowing connections to observe each others’ location, speed, and more in real-time. When it comes to messaging apps, this is not Instagram’s first rodeo. The company’s previous messaging app, “Direct”, was shut down earlier this year, after it struggled to gain popularity in key markets.

9. Facebook to play a role in news sharing

We mentioned this a few months back and now it seems that a dedicated Facebook News section could happen before the end of the year; especially as the demand for news content on Facebook is only getting louder. Facebook has also been the subject of backlash from some for not doing enough to stop the spread of fake and biased news. The new section would be like Facebook Watch only for news content. Crucially, users will only be able to view news articles coming only from trusted partners and publishers. Facebook is currently working on an agreement with publishers to license content.

10. Facebook will soon start hiding likes, too

Yep, the rumors are true: Facebook has confirmed that it may soon extend its hiding likes experiment from Instagram to the mother ship.  Facebook began testing on removing total like posts in Canada back in April, and has since expanded the test to six other countries citing a focus on “user wellbeing”. Whether Zuck & crew will go all out on hiding likes on their two signature networks has yet to be seen, but it’s clearly being carefully considered. 

That’s it for this edition, stay tuned for another helping of social media’s most head-turning headlines next month.