By Alex Jeater
The 5 Key Platform Updates from November 2018
Facebook Watch Party
We start with news that Facebook is to introduce Watch Party – a functionality that allows all pages and users to schedule a time to view any video, and invite people along to watch and comment throughout its duration. Due to the fact that Pages can host a Watch Party and users can comment live on the video, this announcement enables businesses to market products, seek feedback and answer customer questions in real time, which is pretty useful.
Facebook Usage Monitoring
At the same time as encouraging people to watch and engage more on its platform, Facebook has also launched a new dashboard that monitors how much time individual users spend on the App, and sets prompts when that pre-defined time is reached. The move is part of the digital wellbeing trend increasingly championed by many leading tech firms, including Apple.
Instagram Business Profiles
Instagram is currently live testing various profile features for business profiles. The test includes the placement of additional buttons at the top of the profile, such as Message, Call, Email, Start Order and Directions. For businesses, additional CTA buttons will help customers take faster actions on the page, and could ultimately lead to a higher number of enquiries, leads and sales.
LinkedIn is reportedly looking to introduce a version of Stories. While not confirmed, rumours are Stories will be used as part of its education tool. Regardless, with Stories going from strength to strength on other platforms, notably Instagram, such a move would undoubtedly help LinkedIn keep users on its platform for a longer period.
Finally, while not technically a new launch, it is increasingly apparent that Ads will be introduced into WhatsApp in the coming year. Indeed, one of the messaging aps senior executives admitted as much last month, stating “We are going to be putting ads in ‘Status’”. Queue talk of users leaving the App in droves…but in reality due to the size of its user base, Ads in the Status section (the part of the App that’s like Stories…and no one uses) is unlikely to have much of an impact (unless of course Ads start appearing in-message).