Social Media Friday Four

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Happy Friday, and happy August! Let’s talk about what’s new this week in social media, from Facebook time limits and Pinterest’s ‘Night Mode’ to LinkedIn VoiceMails and Snapchat ‘Storytellers.’ Let's dive in ⬇️

Facebook and Instagram Introduce Time Control Tool

As our society becomes more willing to discuss mental health and wellness, Facebook has enlisted the help of mental health professionals to develop a tool limiting users’ time on their apps. Users will now be given the option to view how much time they’ve spent on the Facebook or Instagram apps, in addition to setting timed reminders to help limit their usage. Some are excited about the update, but many say it’s too little too late. A lot of people are aware they spend too much time on social media, but they aren’t ready to do anything about it. Would you use this new feature?

Pinterest Adds Night Mode to Its Mobile Web Presence 

Pinterest is changing the feel of its app with the new ‘Night Mode’ feature. Available right in the web app’s settings, you can give your Pinterest a darker makeover to bring your brightness down. This comes with several changes Pinterest is enacting to improve its mobile web experience, boosting performance and limiting the data load. These changes have given the platform an unbelievable increase in international leadership, in addition to double the domestic active users over the previous year.

LinkedIn Introduces Voice Clips Into Their Messages 

You may be wondering why LinkedIn is making headlines for something our cell phones have been doing for ten years. However, the new VoiceMail feature could be a networking asset, especially when it comes to international communication. Certainly adding a more personal edge to the traditional message or email, leaving a voice message can be more efficient and flexible. Also, because we’re creatures of habit, this change could be more important than we realize, as we become more and more reliant on the age of Alexa and the ‘voice search.’

Snapchat ‘Storytellers’ Forges Relationships Between Creators and Advertisers

Snapchat’s new program is pairing brands with five of its biggest content makers to star in ads and collaborate on creative direction. As it has lagged behind Instagram Stories, Snapchat is looking to establish and show advertisers the most effective way to promote themselves through their app. While this is an important step for Snapchat regardless, it comes at a time when Snapchat really needs to assert itself and find more ways to bring in money.

Enjoyed this content? Leave a comment below, and check back every Friday for the latest in social media!

Social Media Friday Four

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Happy Friday! This week, we've seen updates with data transfer among four of the big social media giants, video syndication in the Snapchat Discover section, status updates on Instagram, and a new test on YouTube’s ‘Explore’ page. Let’s get started:

Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter Partner for New Data Project

The most powerful forces in social media are coming together for a new program they’re calling the Data Transfer Project. Once in effect, users will be able to transfer all types of data directly between the platforms without having to download and re-upload their data. Microsoft is even encouraging other companies to join the project and help grow its influence! The big questions on everyone’s minds, however, is how will the plan adhere to the GDPR and how will the concerns of dedicated users worried about the privacy of their information be addressed?

Snapchat Syndicates Video Programming on Discover 

Snapchat has opened up its Discover page to house video content that was originally created and shared on other platforms. Complex, BuzzFeed, Tastemade, Wired, and GQ are just a few of the brands that have taken advantage of this new feature. Previously, Snapchat was only interested in shows that were unique or exclusive, but they've recently decided to open their doors and options to so much more. Snapchat will still be very selective when it comes to deciding which shows will make the cut, and they do plan to continue their policy of splitting the revenue generated evenly with the content creators.

Users Can Now See Active Instagram Friends With a Green Dot 

Instagram unveiled yet another new feature that allows users to see when their friends are on the app. When a friend is active in the app, a green dot will appear next to their name, similar to how Facebook Messenger works. However, you will only be able to see the green dot with friends who follow you or people you have sent direct messages to. That being said, ‘ghost mode’ is still an option, allowing you to hide your activity status while also hiding your friends’ statuses.

YouTube Is Testing an ‘Explore’ Tab on iPhone App

In an effort to broaden recommendations for users, YouTube is in the early stages of testing an ‘Explore’ tab. Recommendations will still be based on viewer activity, but they will be much more diversified. The ‘Trending’ section of the app will still be available under the new page, similar to Instagram’s ‘Explore’ page, which is likely a response to the threat from IGTV. YouTube hopes that these changes will allow creators to reach more viewers than ever, even if their videos aren’t trending.

Enjoyed this content? Write us a comment below, and check back every Friday for the latest in social media!

Social Media Friday Four

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Happy Friday! This week, we're looking at updates in Facebook advertising through use of Augmented Reality, a new Instagram Stories Sticker, Snapchat filter expansion, and YouTube policies.  

Facebook Starts Testing Augmented Reality Ads

Augmented reality is changing the online shopping experience, and Facebook is welcoming the trend. The platform is now testing a way for users to “try on” products advertised in the News Feed, just the same way that you would use a Snapchat filter. Michael Kors became the first brand to test this feature out, where users were presented with the option to “try on” pairs of sunglasses through their ad. Next up? Sephora, Wayfair, and Pottery Barn will join the ranks of AR advertisers on Facebook, allowing users to see how cosmetics and furniture will look before purchase.

Instagram Tests Open-Ended Questions in Stories to Make Content More Interactive

For some time now, Instagram has allowed users to poll their followers in Stories, but with their newest Questions Sticker, users will be able to ask open-ended questions of those that they follow. The feature debuted on Tuesday with the goal of generating greater engagement amongst users. This new feature will create a more conversational  relationship between brands, influencers, and their followers, and TONS of bloggers and celebrities are already taking full advantage!

Snapchat’s New Lens Explorer Lets You Browse Community Filters

Snapchat is improving its user experience regarding face filters, and it has begun allowing more and more people the ability to create and upload their own filters. The new Lens Explorer will let you browse more than 100,000 filters, as well as where they're appearing in users' public Stories. The coolest part? If you watch a story and see a filter you like, you’ll be able to unlock the filter right then and there! Your feed will also be optimized based on geo-location.

YouTube Says It Has a Plan to Stop the Flow of Misinformation Videos

Noticing a steep rise in misinformation during times of breaking news, YouTube has begun to take new precautions. A spokesman for the platform explained that YouTube plans to strengthen its relationships with news publishers, and in doing so the content deemed most “reliable” by YouTube will appear first and most prominently. This has sparked skepticism among users as it gives YouTube a lot of power to "curate" the news. In a collaboration with Google News, YouTube will begin highlighting the most current information available in real time.

Enjoy this content? Write us a comment below, and check back every Friday for the latest in social media!

Social Media Friday Four

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Happy Friday! Thank you for joining us for our second Friday Four blog post. This week Facebook and Instagram have been dominating the headlines, and we take a deeper dive into Facebook's new time management tool and its new keyword muting feature, as well as Instagram's AR/new video chat capabilities and the more accessible "Instagram Lite."

Facebook Is Developing a Time-Management Tool for Users

Facebook is making moves toward the goal of encouraging its users to better spend their time while on the platform with their new “time well-spent” feature. The company is in the process of developing and implementing a tool that will track and report users’ time spent on the platform each day. In addition, users will now have the ability to set an alert, which will let them know if they exceed their own allotted amount of time spent on Facebook. The program comes in response to the criticism that Facebook is receiving regarding unethical policies surrounding misinformation and privacy breaches. The real question is will Facebook’s popularity be impacted by this conscious limiting of users’ time, in turn affecting their ever-so-valued ad revenue?

Instagram’s Video Chat and New Custom AR Filters Arrive

Right behind the launch of IGTV, Instagram continues to keep new features rolling. Users in groups of up to four people will now be able to video chat within the Instagram. Similar to direct messaging, you’ll need to be mutually following accounts to video chat with them. Instagram also released an updated design for its Explore page, now allowing users to browse categories of posts in addition to hashtags. Lastly, it's clear that Instagram Stories are here to compete with Snapchat, and they're now offering third parties the chance to introduce their own AR filters. Celebrities and influencers will be able to create filters for others to interact with, post, and eventually, save to their own ‘Toolkit.’ How cool is that?!

Facebook Is Testing a Way to Mute Keywords

Facebook is trying out a new feature that will allow users to snooze keywords and phrases on their feeds. The ability to snooze content from certain friends has been available for a while, but now, you'll have the ability to snooze specific types of content, regardless of who posts it. Through a new option in the top-right drop-down menu on posts, users can mute keywords within any given post for thirty days. Currently, there is no way to search and select words to snooze, but Facebook says they are considering adding the feature. This will come in handy when you're trying to avoid spoilers when you've missed new episodes of your favorite shows!

Instagram Lite Quietly Launches to Find a Billion More Users Abroad

Only Instagram could launch a new global app with no announcement and make it a hit! Instagram Lite takes up much less space on your phone at 1/55th the size of its parent app. While it currently only allows the posting and browsing of photo content, Instagram Lite is much more accessible to people in the developing world, for example, with older phones and less network connectivity. This follows Instagram’s mobile website release which, additionally, has been tailored to provide more accessibility to this audience. Testing of the app has begun in Mexico and will include more countries in the coming months.

Enjoyed this content? Write us a comment below, and check back every Friday for the latest in social media!