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

Quick bites of social media goodness.
Laura Daddiego
Laura Daddiego
April 10, 2019 - 17 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. What you need to know about WhatsApp new privacy settings.

The new feature will allow users to check who has the admin rights to add them to any conversation. What for? Mostly protecting users from misinformation and keeping phone numbers as private as possible. WhatsApp will also introduce an invite system to give you the chance to accept or deny any group invite. You’ll soon be able to decide who can add you to a group text with these three options: Nobody, My Contacts or Everybody. This feature will most likely be enabled as the default, but if you want to double check you can find whether it’s active or not under Settings>Account>Privacy section on your app. Additionally, the app is also removing around 2 million suspicious accounts globally per month. 

2. Facebook might add a News Tab.

The battle against misinformation is on. With the demand for more news only increasing, can a dedicated Facebook news section really work? For many years Facebook has held a very important role in the distribution of news across the web.  Now, some of the “Social Network” representatives have been teasing with the idea of a News Tab to only distribute news content from “high quality, trusted sources.” There isn’t much else to know at the moment, the new tab will probably have the look and feel of Facebook Watch. According to Zuckerberg, the News Feed has never been the right place for news and they are currently still looking for ways to make this work together with publishers.

3. Twitter changes the number of accounts you can follow per day.

From 1000 to 400, Twitter has decided to cut the number of accounts you can follow per day. After the massive clean-up of its API users, this is another big step to block bot spammers on the platform. If you are thinking about why 400? The company stated: “We looked at follow behavior at various thresholds, and selected 400 as a reasonable limit…”- In the past few months, Twitter has been focused on updating its spam reporting tools and, only lately, it has introduced a new security measures for verification/sign-up.

4.  1:1 Aspect Ratio for image link ads on Facebook.

Facebook has just announced that they will allow advertisers to create image link ads with an aspect ratio up to 1:1. This will help you to be more flexible using the same creative across Facebook and Instagram. Why going square? Well, primarily because this is already available for IG ads and, additionally, Facebook discovered that 1:1 image ads showed a significantly higher click-through rate. What’s not to like?

Facebook aspect ratio
5.  New LinkedIn options for uploading documents.

From PDFs to PowerPoint presentations to whitepaper, all users will now be able to upload documents directly to their feed post. The feature was first rolled out on LinkedIn messenger and, only recently, to Company Pages. This is an amazing opportunity for all marketers out there trying to build a strong personal and professional branding. Knowledge sharing is a good option to make new connections and start conversations. How do you do that? Just tap the document icon on feed message box on your desktop feed and choose a document, but don’t forget to use a couple of well-related hashtags!

Curious about what has been happening the past month? Keep scrolling for all the latest social media news:

 
 
1. Keep building connections with LinkedIn Meeting Planner.

Scheduling a meeting can be a pain, but wait—LinkedIn has the perfect solution. If you’re an avid platform user and you’re always on top of content, exchanging ideas, building business connections and new opportunities, this will help you out a lot. Forget copy-pasting meeting times and switching between apps—when scheduling a meeting you can now share your availability directly within a conversation you’re having in LinkedIn Messenger. How? Tap the calendar icon and then select the time slots you’d like to propose. If that’s not enough, soon you’ll also be able to check on responses to your selected time slots.

2. “Checkout on Instagram” will make you love shopping even more.

Ok fine, it’s still in beta, but over 20 top brands such as Adidas, Prada and Balmain have joined the program. “Checkout on Instagram” requires only a few steps to buy the products you love without leaving the app by tapping the product tags on shoppable posts (including Feed posts, Stories and posts in Explore). Instagram has really made it easy—you’ll need to enter your name, email, billing information and shipping address only the first time you check out. After that, it will all be about tapping here and there on your favorite items. Plus, brands will be able to track what users buy from the “Orders” tab and customers will not only receive an order confirmation within the app, but they’ll also be constantly updated on the shipping status. Amazing!

3. LinkedIn advertising gets yet another update.

A few months ago, LinkedIn launched the new Interest Targeting option based on the content people engage with on the platform. Now, Bing Search Data solidifies the Interest targeting, fetching 1.3 billion users’ related searches and information. Plus, Lookalike Audiences are finally available in your Campaign Manager, which are an extremely powerful tool on LinkedIn since you have access to highly precise information such as job titles, employers and professional skills. Last but not least, Audience Templates are here for those who struggle to find their target audience. These templates will include audience characteristics and will help you search for the right market segment based on your goals.

4. Twitter audits API developers.

To ensure the safety of the platform, starting from June 19th Twitter will limit user and mention timeline endpoint requests. This will require developers of any app using the Twitter API to submit their app for review with a three-month notice. This move will help Twitter review and oversee how apps and their developers are using its API. The process mostly applies to apps that request tweets or mentions over 100,000 times per day. If developers are providing a service for a third-party Twitter client or doing research, they won’t be charged. However, devs of B2B tools will most likely be asked to sign a commercial licensing agreement.

5. LinkedIn is joining forces with Adobe.

How do you power up your targeting capabilities? Easy, you partner with a tech giant like Adobe. LinkedIn is not slowing down lately and now it’s ready to increase the efficiency of its account-based marketing with the support of Adobe Experience Cloud. This is a great opportunity for B2B companies to fetch even more accurate audience insights! Why? Well, connecting LinkedIn sources with Adobe will empower both sales and marketing teams with data from Adobe Experience Cloud, including Marketo Engage and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales.

 

 

You can’t really slow down with social media. Scroll for more of the latest industry updates:

 

1. Have you met Twttr?  

The new prototype app “Twttr” has just gone live for the first batch of testers. It’s a “work in progress” project that aims to test out new ideas outside of Twitter’s public network. As a natural first step, Twitter will be testing new conversation thread designs and its updated status structure. None of the testers were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements, so any thoughts/feedback will be out in the open and accessible to everybody to generate even more buzz. To sign up as a tester. you’ll only need to use the right hashtag: #LetsHaveAConvo.

2. A co-viewing feature might be coming to IG.  

Almost four months ago, TechCrunch had a tip-off on a video sharing feature coming to Messenger called Facebook Watch Party, which has been working very well—it generates eight times more comments than Live videos. Today, Instagram’s code revealed that Facebook is actually internally prototyping the same feature within Instagram Direct Messaging, titled “Watch Video Together”. The feature was spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, an app whisperer and code hunter. Currently, we don’t know much about what users could be watching, but the code revealed a “Playlist” feature and a “Suggested Content” tab. This might be another smart play to boost IGTV and get people to spend more time in-app (despite the “Time Well Spent” dashboard released this summer). We’ll see how this will evolve in the upcoming months!

3. YouTube launches “Fact-Check”.

Although we don’t know yet when it will be rolled out globally, YouTube is currently testing a new feature in India to help clean up abuses of the platform. The “Fact-Check” pop-up will appear on sensitive content that is usually prone to misinformation. This feature is designed to bring users more context and it’ll be created in collaboration with YouTube’s verified fact-checking partners. For now, it will only extend to search queries, not individual videos.

4. Instagram Branded Content is here. 

We all know IG has been redefining influencer marketing over the past few years, but now it’s even adding a tool to ensure more formal and controlled partnerships across the platform for paid content. Connecting advertisers and creators with a new way to sponsor posts, the new “Branded Content” ads will really upper your Insta-game. Tagging a marketing partner has been possible for a while now (since 2017), but what’s new is that when you are initiating a partnership with an influencer, that specific Instagram post won’t just reach their followers. It will let you promote these posts just like you would with any other ad. These partnerships are not yet available to all brands, but you may still have time to apply for the program. 

5. Pinterest ramps up its e-commerce tools.

Pinterest has been strict in affirming itself as a ‘discovery engine’ platform for some time. We get it, Pinterest isn’t a social media platform. Today, almost 90% of Pinners check their boards looking for products they might want to buy, connecting the visual search to the shopping experience. These new e-commerce additions will make it easier for users to find available products similar to ones they’ve already shown interest in. The new features include: Shop a brand, Personalized shopping recommendations, Catalogs, Shopping Ads (available to all through Ads Manager) and Shopping search.

 

There’s more juicy news you could have missed! Keep reading for trending social media stories:

 

1. Facebook introduces a new premium video ad program. 

Its name is Facebook Showcase and it will serve big advertisers with the best ad placements across successful Facebook Watch content. Not only that, but the program will also help boost brand awareness and tap into audiences that are hard to reach via TV ads. Although Facebook Watch is not close to the viewership of network TV (Watch “only” has 400 million regular viewers), its plan is rather ambitious, focusing on a select few big-name partners.

For now, Facebook Showcase will offer three placements: In-Stream Reserve, to reach people watching the most engaging videos from high-quality publishers; In-Stream Reserve Categories, to reach people watching videos within a specific category; and Sponsorships, to help advertisers create partnerships with publishers by sponsoring a program. Will 2019 be the year of Facebook Watch?

2. WhatsApp has its 10th birthday!

Wow! It’s been a 10-year-long journey for WhatsApp, which culminated in another milestone last month: the launch of WhatsApp Business. Beating the odds (and beating Messenger), today 1.5 billion people use WhatsApp as a private messaging service. A massive user base, right? Definitely too juicy to be left untapped in 2019. Even though promoting advertising and business opportunities on WhatsApp might not be that easy compared to other social platforms, Facebook is clearly looking into keeping its core functionality while sizing up monetization options. We can’t wait to see how private messaging apps will evolve this year—and that’s part of why Falcon.io is now an official WhatsApp Business solution provider.

3. The rise of Pinstagram?

No, “Pinstagram” is not the name of a mythical beast or ancient wizard…it’s more like an Instagram version of Pinterest’s boards and collections where users can add their own favorite items. IG already launched Collections back in 2017 together with its bookmarking tool for saving favorite photos, but apparently it’s looking to expand. Consider this—the “Make Collection Public” feature would change the Insta game since it wouldn’t require users to produce their own content. They could focus more on curating and expressing themselves through their public collections. For now,  the feature isn’t available to the public and Instagram hasn’t made any formal announcements…but we’ll see.

4. Beware of Facebook campaign budget optimization.

After September 2019, Facebook will migrate all ad campaigns to have their budgets automatically optimized. You’ll be able to allocate a central campaign budget that will be distributed based on the best-performing ad sets. The big deal is: Facebook advertisers will no longer be able to define budgets at the ad set level (ouch) but they’ll still be able to indirectly control budgeting using the “ad set spend limit”. And how is the “best ad set” selected? According to Facebook, it’s “based on the total number of results for your campaign and the average cost per optimization event at the campaign level.”

5. What are people talking about on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn already knows what users are talking about on its platform—and now you will too. Social Media Manager Anna Slingo recently spotted a new option on the right side of the feed that will show you trending content curated by LinkedIn’s editorial team. The feature is available both on desktop and mobile via the search bar. This is definitely going to make it easier to stay informed about topics that people in your network may be talking about.

 

Keep up with the social media news! Read more of the latest industry updates: 

 

1. Celebrating 610 million members with LinkedIn Live.

610 million members are now interacting, networking and looking for new opportunities on LinkedIn. With engagement rates at record levels (60% growth YoY) and 61 million senior-level influencers as members, LinkedIn is truly speaking to a valuable niche audience: professionals.

Although LinkedIn is a late bloomer among social networks, it’s no less innovative than its competition. Recently, it launched LinkedIn Live. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s the new live streaming option that LinkedIn is now beta testing in the US. Picture this: conferences, product announcements or Q&As led by mentors and influencers. Creators will have the chance to collaborate with professional third-party developers of live streaming services to create a professional-looking final product. 

 

2. Facebook Groups get even stronger with new tools.

Facebook has been battling the decline of engagement on its platform by prioritizing Groups. Each month, 1.4 billion Facebook users engage within groups and 200 million Facebook users are members of active groups. This last Communities Summit (an official event for Facebook Group admins) unveiled a range of new product tools, from fresh post formatting options to brand collaboration features to a new mentorship program and subscriptions to keep track of your favorite topics. Groups have been a success for Facebook lately, so they’re likely to be a major focus area for the company over the next few years. 

 

3. IGTV is coming to your Instagram feed.

It’s hard to accept that your latest product isn’t taking off as expected, but Facebook isn’t backing down yet. After releasing the option to share IGTV content to Stories back in September, “The Social Network” has just announced that Instagram users will be able to see IGTV previews into their regular feeds whenever a profile they follow updates its IGTV channel. Intrusive? Yes, but with almost 72% of brands reporting that they have no intention of creating IGTV content in 2019, this could actually drive them to reconsider (especially considering how little competition there is to stand out on IGTV).

4. Linkedin Groups are finding their way.

A few months ago we announced a makeover for Linkedin Groups, which were once the pride of the Linkedin space. After a few minor but essential adjustments, it seems like Groups are picking up again. They will now be re-integrated into the main app, so no more jumping between Groups and the main platform. Plus, Linkedin has also pushed out a few new features: notifications for new posts, notifications for posts made by users in your network, highlights for important conversations, post review & approval and Group cover image personalization. And don’t worry about those e-mail notification blasts—they’re not coming back (for now). 

5. Twitter users are still in decline.

The end of the year usually comes hand in hand with a performance report. After all the changes it has been going through, from dealing with spam to banning bots, Twitter is still trying to prove that there’s a chance for growth although its monthly active users are declining. After working hard to improve its content quality and promote positive interactions, Twitter has reported that it will no longer measure its “Active Users”, but instead will adopt a new metric called “Monetizable Active Users” or mDAU. What’s that? It’s the actual number of users eligible to be served ads. In Q1 of 2019, Twitter will keep up its battle to clean up the platform, which means that its revenue still won’t be seeing much growth over the next few months. But stay tuned!

 

Social media is moving fast—don’t fall behind. Keep reading all the latest updates: 

 

1. What does Facebook’s messaging platform integration mean?

WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram have a combined 3.8 billion active users every month—insane, right? In the next few months, Facebook is planning to integrate the backend for messaging on all three platforms and unify their development teams. However, they’ll all keep operating as standalone platforms. From cross-posting Stories to facilitating cross-channel advertising to easier rollouts of new features, this shift aims to create a single communication ecosystem for Facebook’s products.

2. YouTube updates its recommendation algorithm.

YouTube is joining the battle against fake news with a new algorithm for recommending videos to its users. So, what’s in the new algorithm? No more conspiracy theories or scams, a severe reduction in the amount of false or misleading content and banning videos that encourage violent or dangerous behavior. Right now, we don’t know what the full impact of the update will be—but we do know that the content screening process will involve both machine learning and real people.

3. Twitter makes it easier to find the “OT” (Original Tweeter).

For all you insatiable tweeters, this update will make it easier for you to navigate long Twitter threads. Twitter has reported that it’s testing a tag which would make it clearer which user started the thread you’re reading. The tag currently reads “Original Tweeter” and appears beneath the user’s handle—though this is subject to change. The feature will make threads more readable and provide much-needed context in long conversations on the platform.

4. LinkedIn is working on Lookalike Audiences. 

Fact: according to Digiday, 42% of marketers are planning to increase their spending on LinkedIn ads in 2019. For B2B companies in particular, LinkedIn looks appealing right now with its quality audiences (and juicy leads) in a saturated digital ad market. On top of that, the network is developing Lookalike Audiences to help marketers target users who are very similar to their existing customers. If that’s not enough, LinkedIn also announced last week that it’s introducing Interest Targeting. With the addition of these new advertising options, LinkedIn looks poised to raise its public image and boost its ad revenue in 2019.

5. Instagram is letting you link to entire Stories.

Could Instagram Stories get any more awesome? Yep! You’ll soon be able to share direct links to Instagram Stories, making it easier to spread them inside and outside the platform. A similar feature was launched by Snapchat a few months back, and it looks like IG is now following suit. This is part of Facebook’s big-picture plan to encourage brands to adopt Stories, along with a “Promote Story” function that’s now being gradually rolled out globally.

 

When working with social media you can’t afford to slow down. Keep reading for more hot stories: 

 

1. What if you could swipe between YouTube videos?

Social media is changing fast and the swipeable Stories format is definitely contagious. YouTube has just released a new option that enables users to jump between videos on mobile by swiping to the side. Not only can they swipe forward to the next video or back to the previous one, but they can also get a short preview by partially dragging the side of the screen. The feature is currently available only on iOS for the latest iPhone models.

2. CTA stickers are now available for Facebook Stories.

Let’s admit it, Facebook Stories are not as popular as Instagram’s. However, “The Social Network” has been pushing hard to make it easier for marketers to use Stories as an integrated part of their social media strategies. “Shop Now”, “Book Now”, “Call Now” and “Get Directions” are the CTA options, that until now you could only find on Business Pages. Now they’ll be also available as Stories stickers for Pages to support businesses in optimizing Stories’ usage via direct response tools. Plus, Facebook recently reported that both Facebook and Messenger Stories now have 300 million active users. And, to spice things up, Facebook is now testing links in Facebook Stories too. Stay tuned!

3. Vine 2: Are you ready for it?

Vine left behind a lot of broken hearts when Twitter shut it down back in 2016. Vine’s successor, Byte, is expected to launch this spring, and it’ll allow you to create looping short-form videos once again. At the moment, there isn’t much information on the new app besides its vague release date, but online audiences already seem excited—Byte’s brand-new Twitter account has already reached nearly 78,000 followers. Byte will be all about real people, bringing back that amateurish and funny Vine atmosphere that made it so popular.

4. Regramming is even more real now. 

To all you Instagrammers out there: sharing content across multiple IG accounts is getting easier. iOS users will soon be able to publish feed posts simultaneously to different accounts by toggling them on the composer screen. This goes against Instagram’s original goal to keep content “original & personal” a bit, but we can rely on its feed algorithm to demote generic and dull content.

5. LinkedIn provides a personalized Help Center experience.

It’s true what they say—context matters. That’s why LinkedIn is bringing its Help Center directly to members, personalizing the experience and making it easier to find the answers they’re looking for based on the area of the platform they’re using and how they’re using it. The platform recently added a drop-down widget that enables the In-Product Help feature, letting users find the help they need on their current page without disrupting their session. For now, the rollout only applies to accounts using LinkedIn in English.