Social Media Innovations: April 2019

By Alex Jeater

Facebook F8 2019 Conference: Facebook Platform Updates 

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Each year, Facebook’s annual F8 conference outlines the social media giant’s key updates. This year, there has been a wide range of announcements and updates - too many to mention here. However, at the time of press, the key innovations are the shift to an all-white design and the re-shaping the platform around events and groups – presumably as a away to differentiate from Instagram. This will also mean that the news feed will decrease in prominence – which could have an impact in terms of the performance of Ads with that placement option (but we shall wait and see). The company is also rolling out its dating service to more countries. 

Facebook F8 2019 Conference: Instagram Platform Updates 

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In news that will sink the heart of every influencer, it was confirmed at the F8 conference that Instagram is testing hiding like counts on its posts. Users will still be able to see how many engagements each of their own posts had received, but the overall like count won’t be visible to followers. The trial comes as social media companies start to adjust their platforms to account for the accusation that they are facilitating the distortion of reality for the sake of likes and shares – and therefore impacting the way users, particularly younger audiences, behave. 

It was also announced at the F8 conference that a new Create Mode will be introduced on Instagram – with a view to make some of Instagram’s existing image features more easily accessible. 

LinkedIn Engagement On The Rise

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While LinkedIn is notoriously bad at providing usage information, owner Microsoft recently revealed in its FY2019 Q3 results that “LinkedIn sessions grew 24%, with record levels of engagement and job postings”. The professional networking platform has rolled out a list of updates recently, including reactions, Stories and photo tagging, which has driven engagement. Combined with the dwindling reach for organic posts on Facebook pages, and new business page features for LinkedIn, the increase in engagement makes the platform an increasingly attractive offer for marketers. 

Twitter Launches Report Functionality for Elections 

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Launched to coincide with the EU and Indian elections, Twitter has made steps to tackle fake news on its news sharing platform.

It has introduced a dedicated report function, which enables users to alert the platform to misleading content. The new feature went live on the 29th April 2019 in Europe, with plans to roll out to forthcoming global elections throughout the year. 

After a flurry of bad press, Facebook is also keen to see that no country or individual can influence political campaigning. A set of tools were developed specifically for Indian users, in a bid to rid the platform of fake news throughout the elections in the country.

Facebook Introduces New 3D Photo Options

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Finally, last month Facebook announced that it now allows users to post 3D photos to Stories. The platform already supports 3D photos on its feed from iOS (they just haven’t taken off yet), so the Stories placement is a natural progression. The platform will also support 3D images from Android shortly.

For anyone not familiar with 3D photos, iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus, X, XS, and XS Max all have the capability to take 3D images. This rules out the iPhone XR. A phone that I just purchased. FML.