5 Social Media News Stories You Need to Read This Week.

Quick bites of social media goodness.
Laura Daddiego
Laura Daddiego
December 5, 2018 - 22 min. read

Social media is constantly getting updated—so you should be, too. Here are 5 of the top social media news stories from this week that you don’t want to miss.

1. Facebook Groups get Keyword Alerts and Stories.

Groups are a goldmine of valuable content and meaningful connections—and Facebook is tweaking them yet again with two new updates. Let’s start with Group Stories, which are now available globally. These take the same format as other Facebook Stories, but Group admins will be able to control which Stories are shared and delete them at will. Next, there are Keyword Alerts. This feature will notify admins when keywords they select are mentioned in Group discussions, letting them stay on top of key discussions and step in as necessary.

2. LinkedIn changes its privacy settings.

From the end of November 2018 on, LinkedIn will no longer include user emails in its Archive data export. Until now, LinkedIn would allow any user you’re connected with to download your email address in the export file. You can check your personal settings around this on LinkedIn under Settings & Privacy within the “Who Can See My Email Address” option—the default option here is now to not allow your email to be exported. This could prove a controversial move on a professional network like LinkedIn where so many businesses have invested in contact acquisition efforts.

3. Facebook Live incorporates the e-commerce experience.

The e-commerce fever affecting social media lately is definitely hard to miss. Facebook has been particularly active in adding more social selling tools to both FB and IG. This latest update, Live Video Mode for Sellers, is an extension of the Shop section for Facebook Pages. It will let you showcase products via live stream and allow users to buy them by taking screenshots. Hopefully the next step includes a  dedicated CTA button!

4. YouTube will autoplay videos on the Home tab. 

That’s right, the YouTube app for both Android and iOS will now automatically start playing videos on the Home screen. Don’t panic, though—you’ll be able to switch the feature off. Plus, this will be a good thing for brands and content creators on YouTube as it will boost view counts, make videos more digestible on mobile, and help monetize content. Keep in mind that Google’s algorithms will determine if your content is attractive enough to make it to people’s Home feeds—so polish up your YouTube SEO skills.

5. Big changes are coming to Messenger.

Subscription messaging (just one of 17 types of messaging at this point) lets Facebook Pages send content regularly to users through Messenger. By January 1st, 2019, Facebook Pages will need to have been approved for subscription messaging permissions. You can check here to learn how to apply for Facebook subscription messaging and to review the relevant guidelines/policies. Today, Messenger is the social channel with the highest engagement rates, so you can provide tons of value by sending out regular content updates to your audience. 

We’re dropping knowledge…keep scrolling for more hot social media news from the past few weeks:

 
 
1. Instagram is taking the battle of likes to the next level.

If you have been using third-party apps to boost your Instagram fame, you won’t able to fake it anymore. Instagram will soon axe inauthentic activity on the platform in favor of “genuine” experiences and interactions. Machine learning tools will identify accounts that use these services and remove inauthentic likes, follows and comments. Such accounts will be notified before their fake love is removed. More updates will follow in the coming weeks—so stay tuned! 

2. Yup, Stories and reactions are coming to LinkedIn. 

Linkedin is currently testing Facebook-like features such as event filters and stickers with its own twists. LinkedIn is also working on adding reactions (“Like”, “Clap”, “Insightful”, “Hmm”, “Support”) and a GIF button in the comments option to push engagement. That’s not all: the biggest discovery this week was LinkedIn Stories, tagged as ‘Student Voices’ that have been rolled out for LinkedIn’s higher education tools. However, these Stories are not ephemeral and, for now, LinkedIn has no intentions to monetize them. 

3. Will you include these new shopping tools in your social media strategy?

Given the interest in social shopping, Instagram is releasing three new tools to make online shopping smoother and more seamless. Let’s start with Shopping Collection, a section on your profile where you can access a personal wishlist, which is handy if you want to purchase new products. With Shop on Business Profile, users will have access to a complete list of products that feature the shop tag. This will make it easier to look for a particular brand’s products. And last but not least, the new Shopping Tags on Video will make it possible to include a list of featured products in videos. How are you going to use these new tools?

4. What’s the deal with the latest Facebook News Feed algorithm update?

2018 has been a year packed with headlines around privacy and misinformation on social media—and Facebook is out to combat them. As people will disproportionately engage with more sensationalist content, amplifying it, Facebook has made a basic tweak in the algorithm that will penalize content that borders on engagement bait so it gets less distribution. Basically, this will punish a post’s reach if it breaks the rules.

5. The next generation of LinkedIn Company Pages.

This revamp is all about making it easier to engage, connect and participate in relevant conversations.  And, yes, you are going to love it. The first big update is that you will be able to access your Company Page from mobile with page posting and management functionalities. You will also now be able to share files such as PowerPoint presentations and PDFs with your community and add hashtags to your Page so you can keep track of relevant topics. The new “Content Listing” suggestion feature will help you find the content your target audience finds relevant based on hashtags. If you are looking for ways to find new colleagues and engage existing ones, this brand-spanking-new suite of Linkedin tools (Career Pages included) will do the trick. 

 

Can’t stop scrolling? Don’t worry, we have put together all the hot social media news from the past weeks:

 

1. Have you heard about Promote for Instagram Stories?

Facebook is fighting its slowing revenue growth with a new ad format, aiming to bring more cash in. “Promote” works similarly to Facebook’s Boost, allowing business Pages to promote Stories right away after publishing. Promote will allow you to target users based on location, lookalike audiences, and the rest of Instagram’s targeting parameters. The feature was originally spotted by Matt Navarra and doesn’t have a complete rollout timeline yet.

2. What you need to know about the new Facebook Pixel data sharing. 

What if you could connect your online and offline marketing efforts? The new Pixel advanced options and offline event sets track signals across both online and offline channels for businesses looking to work with third-party providers. This way, you can get a better understanding of how people are interacting with your business and optimize your ads accordingly. In order to begin sharing pixel or offline event information, you’ll first need to define your relationship with the business you want to share the data with.

3. Facebook Analytics for Instagram is real.

Being able to see how users interact with your content is not always enough. Digital marketers crave conversions. This is a brand-new addition to the Facebook Analytics suite to help you get more realistic results. In the dashboard, you can discover retention rates, compare the lifetime value of users, create and analyze segments and understand how your different audiences overlap.

4. The time has come—WhatsApp is rolling out ads in Status.

This is Facebook’s very first step toward monetizing WhatsApp. Status is pretty much like Instagram stories, and soon, it will be possible for businesses to launch ads in the format.  With 1.5 billion users, WhatsApp is one of the most popular apps in the world and a channel ripe for revenue opportunities. Why? 60 billion messages are being sent in the app every day, and a huge portion of them are related to business transactions—especially in India and Brazil.

5. Switch between two different Twitter timelines.

What’s it going to be for you, ‘top tweets’ or the new reverse chronological order timeline? After teasing us with the news last month, Twitter is finally giving users the ability to choose. A star icon in the top-right corner of the app will let you toggle between the two options. We still don’t know if this change will affect engagement or whether your selection will reset every time you close the app.

 

But wait, there’s more! More hot social media news from the last couple weeks, that is:

 

1. Algorithm update: LinkedIn helps people get more engagement.

The total amount of engagement on LinkedIn has increased 50% year-over-year, but most of that engagement has been going to the top 1% of content creators on the network. To ensure normal users see their engagement increase as well, LinkedIn is promoting interactions between them by adding a new algorithm element which values “how much a user will appreciate getting feedback from a given viewer”.

2. Messenger gets a new design…and it’s good!

Facebook Messenger V4 is coming out, and it looks simpler and easier to use than ever. Its logo has been redesigned, the camera feature’s been moved to the top of the app, and chat bubbles can now have custom colors. Plus, the app has now cut down to just three navigation buttons (Chat, People and Discover) instead of nine. To help users adjust to the changes, Facebook is releasing the new Messenger in phases.

3. YouTube partners with Eventbrite.

Every month, over 1 billion users visit YouTube just to listen to music. YouTube’s new integration with Eventbrite (US only) will show users notifications about upcoming live shows on artists’ official channels. YT is also currently collaborating with Ticketmaster, and now it will be able to cover 70% of the US concert market. It’s interesting to see how YouTube is integrating more and more eCommerce functionality with their platform.

4. What is Facebook Attribution?

If you’re looking into exploring how your campaigns are impacting actions throughout the customer journey, say no more. The Facebook Attribution tool is definitely going to help you. Using a new data-driven model, Attribution is powered by Facebook Pixel and can report on campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger.

 

5. YouTube targets users watching content on their TVs.

Fact: 70% of Netflix views happen on a TV, and advertisers will spend $70 billion on TV ads this year in the US alone. With the battle for screen time on TVs heating up, marketers see an opportunity. That’s why YouTube has announced that “TV Screens” will be added as an ad targeting option going forward. Digital platforms can now provide a real alternative to traditional TV ads.

 

Don’t stop scrolling now! Here’s more juicy news from the past few weeks that you should check out:

 

1. Goodbye, Google+.

Due to its low popularity, lack of developer adoption and a recent data leak, Google announced on October 8th that it would be shutting down Google+. From event spam to a “real name policy”, what was seemed like a promising product had to face too many challenges over the years to remain standing among the social media giants. Google also announced a series of reforms to its privacy policies designed to give users more control of their data.

2. Are you ready for the Facebook Portal?

Designed to make it easier to connect with people and stream music or videos, the Facebook Portal is a device with a wide-angle camera, mic, and touchscreen. The hardware is intended to make video chatting more natural by tracking your movements around the room while you talk. Don’t panic about privacy yet—Facebook affirms that physically turning off the device cuts its network connection and prevents hacking attempts.

3. Instagram introduces Nametags and School Communities.

Instagram has officially released Nametags, customizable identification ‘cards’ that connect to your IG account. By scanning the unique tags with their cameras, users can easily follow each other after meeting IRL. Instagram is also currently testing “School Communities” in the US that will help students connect with their classmates. The feature will let users list their university, class year, and student groups.

4. In-stream video ads on Twitter go worldwide.

A small but significant change for social media marketers: Twitter is once again expanding its ad options. As of October 1st, in-stream Twitter video ads can be viewed by users around the world. Previously, publishers could only monetize videos in their own regional markets. This move isn’t too surprising, since according to the latest Twitter performance report, video ads remain their fastest-growing ad format.

5. Is a voice assistant coming to Facebook Messenger?

Sending messages or setting up reminders with your voice could soon be a real thing on Facebook. A Messenger spokesperson recently confirmed to TechCrunch that they were internally testing a voice command feature. A new button would be placed atop message threads and activate a listening functionality for voice commands.

 

Want more fresh social media goodness? Keep scrolling down to see what’s been happening in the past few weeks:

 

1. The dawn of a new era? Instagram founders exit the company.

On September 24, Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger (now CEO and CTO, respectively) announced their resignation from the company. Why? It’s thought to be due to tensions with parent company Facebook over Instagram’s autonomy. Without stating an explicit reason for the decision, the two founders wrote in a personal statement that they are currently “planning on taking some time off to explore curiosity and creativity again.” We’re curious to see how this huge shift will impact both Facebook and Instagram.

2. Twitter switches back to a chronological timeline.

What if you could get rid of the algorithmic feed? Well, sort of. As of last week, Twitter announced that it’s possible for users to switch their Timeline settings to jump between two options: Best Tweets First or Latest Tweets. The purpose? To achieve a balanced feed, putting control in the hands of the users.

3. YouTube commits to vertical video ads.

To provide a more seamless mobile experience, advertisers can now buy vertical slots for their ads. Viewers will then be redirected to an external page by tapping on the video ad. Vertical videos can be run in ad campaigns across YouTube’s apps and through TrueView. With 70% of YouTube watch time happening on mobile and competition for mobile video ads rising, it was a natural move for YouTube to adapt to market demand. 

4. Instagram helps get out the vote in America.

Instagram plans to run ads that will promote voter registration and educate voters about the 2018 mid-term election by partnering with Turbovote. On Election Day, users will get “I voted” stickers to share their experience with the rest of the IG community. Since the last US election, parent company Facebook has also doubled its security staff to 20,000 and started requiring identity verification for all political advertisers.

5. Snapchat teams up with Amazon.

Ecommerce through Snapchat? Who would’ve thought? Snap users can now use their cameras to scan barcodes or take pictures of items they want to buy. The app will then open a small on-screen card that will show the product’s name, price, thumbnail image, average review score, and Prime availability. When tapped, that card will redirect them to Amazon to complete the purchase. Social ecommerce is heating up—and it looks like Instagram and Pinterest have found a competitor after all (note: the feature is only available in the US at the moment).


Keep up with the latest social media news. Here are more of the latest stories you should know about:

1. LinkedIn takes the “Groups” experience to the next level.

From the option to share rich embedded media to new notification settings to Group access via the mobile app, LinkedIn is finally introducing a revamp of Groups. In the past couple of years, the professional social network has been committed to bringing conversations to the forefront of the platform and this is just the beginning of the new tools that they’ll release in the next few months.

2. Instagram confirms that it’s testing video tagging (finally).

Although video has been available on the platform since 2013, Instagram is just now testing the option to tag accounts in videos with a select few users. The functionality isn’t too different from photo tagging—you tap the small icon on the bottom left of the video and it links to a list of “People In This Video” that includes everyone the original poster has tagged. This could open the door for features like shoppable videos in the future.

3. Twitter launches an audio-only broadcasting feature.

Having a bad hair day? You can now experiment with and share live audio-only content on Twitter—you just need to tap on the same interface where you would normally launch live video. The feature could be great to share news longer than 280 characters, and the stats are all there: number of live listeners, replays, time listened and other metrics. It’s currently available only through Periscope or the iOS version of the Twitter app.

4. Facebook pushes for brand safety with new placement controls for video ads.

Starting September 10, Facebook is giving advertisers more control over where their ads might appear on in-stream videos (including those in Instant Articles and Facebook Watch content). Specifically, Facebook is introducing a Publisher List to let advertisers block their ads from appearing on content from specific publishers. FB is also adding a Publisher Delivery Report, a list of the sites and apps where their ads have appeared.

5. 250 million people are now using Pinterest every month.

With over a quarter billion monthly active users and 175 billion pins out there, Pinterest can be proud of its 75% year-over-year growth in user activity. Interestingly, the company also announced that more than 50% of its existing users and 80% of its new users are located outside the US. The visual network has been on a sprint to improve its processes and features, moving slowly away from social media to focus more on eCommerce.

 

Addicted to social media? Check out more of the latest trends, tips, and news here:

 

1. Facebook lets you create video content from images and text.

In order to help businesses with less capacity, Facebook is introducing a feature that allows advertisers to convert images into video. These video creation tools will also help you quickly create templated videos using your existing Page content and optimize them for mobile devices. The options are titled ‘Video Creation Kit’, ‘Video Cropping’, and ‘Simple Video Creation Tool’.

2. IGTV’s momentum slows down.

How do you convince video content creators to transition to a new, long-form platform? Branding full-screen vertical video for mobile only was a bold move from Instagram, but two months after launch, IGTV adoption is not quite there yet. Creators who partnered with IGTV at launch are seeing their channels get 6-7x fewer views than their feed videos and weekly installs of the app have decreased by 94%. 

3. How much time do you spend on YouTube?

YouTube now shows you the amount of time you’ve viewed videos in a given day or week on your profile. From new features like optional break reminders to a condensed notification list to automatically silenced notifications between 10 PM and 8 AM, this is only the latest part of YouTube’s mission to give users a better understanding of their tech usage.

4. Digital video ad spend is set to hit $102.8 billion.

If you haven’t thought about allocating more of your budget to producing video content, you should check out the latest Forrester report. According to this forecast, advertisers will spend around $102.8 billion dollars a year on video ads by 2023. That number is up from $90.7 billion this year.

5. Say goodbye to over 5,000 targeting options in Ads Manager.

To minimize the risk of abuse, Facebook is dropping some advanced targeting options and introducing a new advertiser certification process. Back in 2016, before Cambridge Analytica,  Facebook came under the radar after an investigation that showed that some targeting options were used to avoid advertising to people based on their race or religion.

 

Don’t miss out on the latest news. Here’s what else happened in the last couple weeks:

 

1. Facebook Business Pages get updated.

Since the significant drop in organic reach that started in 2016, many businesses have been struggling with their social presence. The new redesign will emphasize page utilities like “make an appointment” or “call”, connect users with new job opportunities, and share information on nearby businesses and events with the Local bookmark. 

2. LinkedIn now connects 575 million people.

While Twitter has removed millions of accounts in bot purges lately, LinkedIn has recently reached a significant milestone: 575 million users worldwide (both active and inactive). The social network has also shared the usage breakdown by country. The biggest markets? North America, China, and India.

3. WhatsApp introduces a new Business API.

Facebook is constantly looking for new ways to monetize its products, and the new WhatsApp Business API is no exception. It will put brands in touch with consumers that have requested information directly through the messaging app and businesses will be able to customize notifications to be sent with “non-promotional” content. But don’t panic, users will still have full control over notifications and messages.

4.YouTube is paying top creators to try new features.

With the intense competition around video content and some creators leaving the platform, YouTube is not giving up without a fight. According to Bloomberg, the video platform is currently paying content creators to test and promote new features like paid memberships, merchandising and chat. 

5. Pinterest extends the wide-format video to all advertisers.

Wide-format promoted videos are finally available for all advertisers using the Pinterest Ads Manager. Launched back in May as a beta test, the new format is four times larger than a standard video and is available in both 16:9 and 1:1 aspect ratios. 

 

Just got back from the summer holidays? We’re here to help you to catch up with the latest social news. This is what you missed:

 

1. Facebook and Instagram show how much time you’re spending on them.

Facebook and Instagram have added a new feature that shows users exactly how many minutes they’ve spent on each network in a given day. Plus, they’ve even added a tool for the social media addicts among us that will gently remind you to log off after you hit a self-imposed daily limit.

2. Twitter is going to display related hashtags for trending topics.

Twitter recently announced that when users browse their trending topics section, they will also see hashtags related to those topics. This could help marketers find relevant trends and extra hashtags to jump on when planning their tweets. 

3. Facebook improves its video ad metrics.

Facebook is responding to feedback from advertisers and changing up a few key video metrics. First, it will no longer count rewatched sections of video ads toward 3-second or 10-second video views. Second, it is adding a metric called “video plays” that only counts instances where the ad actually plays and isn’t just displayed in a user’s feed. Third, they’re ditching 30-second video views and video percentage watched due to lack of use.

4. Snapchat adds voice-activated Lenses.

Snapchat just announced a fun new feature: if you say one of several English words like “Hi”, “Wow”, or “Love”, an AR animation will trigger over your face. Neat stuff!

5. Instagram tests an option to limit your Stories audience by location.

Instagram is working on a feature that will allow users to select specific countries to show their Stories to. This has a lot of potential for brands that want to show location-specific Stories to the right audience (and boost engagement rates in the process).

 

Hungry for more tasty social media news? Check out our previous social news update:

 

1. Instagram teaches you how to master IGTV.

Instagram just released a 50-page guide to provide users with tips on making full use of IGTV’s potential. The guide is split into four categories: an introduction, apps & tools, upload tips and a suggestion to “be there first”. There’s a lot to take in—suggestions for lenses and accessories included.

2. Facebook and Twitter get transparent with ads.

Facebook is taking big steps to ensure transparency with a new Ads Center. Pages will now have an “Info and Ads” button which will give details about who created them when and list all the ads they’ve served on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Twitter is also boosting its transparency with a similar feature, the Ads Transparency Center, which will show all the ad campaigns an account has launched in the last week.

3. LinkedIn introduces automatic translations and QR codes.

With technology powered by Microsoft, LinkedIn will now automatically translate content in different languages from users’ default settings. As for QR codes, Linkedin hopes that they will soon replace business cards, helping people exchange contact information quickly and efficiently.

4. IG Stories are getting soundtracks.

Instagram is celebrating hitting 400 million daily active users with a shiny new feature: you can now add licensed music to your Stories with “music stickers”. You will also be able to select short snippets of your favorite songs and pick songs to play in the background when filming your Stories videos.

5. YouTube announces new ways to monetize videos.

Video has exploded on both Facebook and Instagram, but with more than 1.9 billion monthly active users, YouTube will not give up easily. They’ve just released a new range of tools to help creators monetize their content, including paid channel memberships that give viewers access to unique features and merchandise “shelves” where viewers can buy creators’ products.

 

Summer is here and social media news is heating up! Check out our previous top stories:

 

1. Shoppable Stories are here!

According to Instagram, 33% of users said they were more interested in a brand or product after seeing it on Stories. No wonder Instagram is introducing brand new Shopping Tags to the joy of online businesses everywhere.

By clicking on the shopping bag icon in a Story, users can access additional product details, images, and a purchase link. Currently, this feature is available only to a limited number of brands.

2. LinkedIn rides the Carousel.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content just keeps evolving. Last week, the network launched carousel ads to help advertisers deliver a dynamic, interactive brand story to users. With sets of swipeable images and videos, these ads will function similarly to carousel ads on Instagram and Facebook—but for the B2B crowd.

3. Twitter introduces more live events to the timeline.

Twitter has always been the “right here, right now” social network, and now it’s redoubling its efforts on live events and breaking news. The latest changes are going to be visible at the top of the timeline and will help users to find useful and relevant live content without changing Twitter’s timeline algorithm. 

4. Instagram launches IGTV.

With a “special event” for a few selected reporters and partners, Instagram celebrated hitting 1 billion users by presenting what could be the next hit video platform. A dedicated hub for more long-form videos, this will put Instagram in the game with YouTube, Snapchat Direct, and Facebook Watch.

IGTV will work both within Instagram and as a standalone app for iOS and Android. Videos will be organized by topic, range from mid-level video quality to 4k, and have a mobile-friendly vertical layout. Be on the lookout for a monetization system in the future.

5. Facebook releases a report on the rise of business messaging.

In its latest report, “Why Messaging Businesses is the New Normal”, Facebook sheds some light on messaging app usage. It’s no secret that the world’s biggest social network has been pushing Messenger over the past few months.

The main reasons? Chatbots are becoming more powerful and generating tons of new opportunities for brands. Plus, the top four messaging apps have now more users than the top four social media platforms. With the rapid expansion of social networks, it looks like users are seeking more private channels to talk to their friends. 

 

Still not feeling caught up with social? Check out our previous installment:

 

1. It’s almost Pride o´clock on social media.

June is officially Pride Month and social networks are celebrating it with unique tools to encourage people to discover more photos and meaningful content from the LGBTQA community. From Facebook’s rainbow frames and AR-enabled tools within Messenger to Instagram’s colorful hashtags and stickers to emojis on Twitter that are triggered by Pride-related hashtags, pick your favorite additions to show support.

2. YouTube is now where the “cool kids” like to hang out.

According to a new Pew survey on technology usage by young Americans, teens have been spending more and more time hanging out on YouTube since 2015. 85% of U.S. teens between 13 and 17 use YouTube, compared to the 51% that use Facebook. Despite their heavy use of technology, the study shows that teens are uncertain of the impact of social—45% of teens believe social media has neither a positive nor a negative effect on people.

3.  Time is up for Facebook’s Trending section.

As of this week, Facebook is removing its Trending news topics section due to lack of engagement. In fact, Trending content accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers on average while the feature was live. Facebook reports that it is now seeking other ways to display news to users.

4. Instagram explains its new algorithm.

IG users were missing 70% of all posts and 50% of their friends’ posts before the app changed its algorithm this March. With the update, there are now three main factors that impact your feed: interest, recency, and relationships. The algorithm change is intended to stabilize users’ feeds, avoid spamming ads, and allow people to reach their intended audiences and engage with the right content. 

Wondering how this will impact SMMs? Check out The 2018 Instagram Algorithm Change: What it Means for Marketers.

5. Twitter is recruiting publishers to embrace programmatic technology. 

Although no official announcement has been made, Twitter is looking into expanding its advertising offerings with a programmatic pilot program. The pilot will involve a small segment of US publishers and will place ads in Twitter timelines embedded in publishers´sites. This move would help Twitter gain positive momentum after the past year and would incentivize advertisers to invest more heavily in the network.