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Social Media Updates: What’s New In July!

Mia Fairfield

July has been busy for social media, and as we adjust to the new normal and move more of our lives online, social media platforms are working hard to make the move with us. Here’s what’s new:

Facebook

Say hello to the new screen-sharing feature in Messenger. In a call, drag the bottom function panel up in order to view more options and tap ‘share your screen’ to broadcast to your individual or group video chat. Regular groups can hold up to eight people, or up to 16 in Rooms. Screen sharing is perfect for meetings, family catch ups, or the photo round for your virtual quiz.

For any businesses using Facebook Shops, this one’s for you. Some handy new Custom Audience creation options have been added to align with increasing eCommerce activity.

In Facebook Ad Manager, you can build custom lists in Shopping to re-target those who have viewed products, added to their basket, or actually purchased products. Stats show that customers are up to 70% more likely to act when re-targeted with display ads, and this new feature provides a helpful way to reconnect with users who have shown a clear interest in your business.

Instagram

 Let’s talk Instagram Reels. Reels is a “short-form video format that lets you create and edit 15-second videos to share with friends and followers”, Instagram’s version of TikTok! Trials are taking place in India, France, Germany and Brazil, and will be rolled out to the US next month. We’ll have to wait a bit longer here in the UK.

Stories on Instagram have been getting more popular, so the platform is adding a second line of them. Soon you’ll be able to see 8 stories on your main page rather than 4. You’ll still be able to swipe across to see more. If you don’t like it, don’t worry! you can switch back to the original format.

There are also reports coming in claiming Instagram is working on a ‘See All Stories’ button. This will appear below the carousel and allow you to view all available stories in a grid format.

They have been busy bees over at Instagram, also planning a revamp to the Shop tab. The plan is to have a carousel of products for you to view, as well as recommended products based on buying history. A shortcut to this section is being added to the navigation bar, a definite indication that Facebook is serious about moving into the world of eCommerce.

For those of you that have a business or creator account on Instagram, did you know you can add an age limit so you know your products are being targeted to an appropriate audience? This can be set to a default minimum age, or varying restrictions by country. This is perfect for businesses and artists who want to make sure nobody under legal age can see their content.

Snapchat 

With all the platforms getting involved in eCommerce and encouraging businesses to use them, Snapchat has made a move too, by testing Brand Profiles, a home for brands and various experiences on the app such as:

  • Branded AR Lenses. This is where Brands can save and showcase any Lenses they’ve created or commissioned on their profile. One of the first to do this was Gucci, with the chance to try on shoes virtually before buying.
  • Highlights to showcase collections of a brand’s best public Snaps right on their profile. This is a great way for Snapchatters who aren’t familiar with a brand to get to know who they are.
  • Story posts, where brands can showcase their own public Story, giving fans another perspective via the app
  • Native Store, where the profiles will include an optional Store experience, enabling Snapchatters to browse and purchase items directly within the app

And In Other News…

After testing over the past few months, Twitter has officially launched its new direct message chat window on desktop, letting you engage with messages without leaving your main feed. New DMs will pop up similarly to LinkedIn and Facebook, and you can collapse or engage in the DM discussion via the smaller screen.

Google has decided it will no longer back up images and videos from social media platforms on its photo app. It said the changes were to save internet resources, memory, and bandwidth on devices, as we’re sharing more photos and videos during the COVID-19 pandemic. This follows YouTube and Netflix who made similar moves to reduce internet traffic.

Online events have become popular since lockdown, so LinkedIn started making its Events option available for all company pages. Now they’re taking it a step further by adding LinkedIn Live into the events stream. Stats show LinkedIn Live broadcasts generate 23 times more comments and 6 times more reactions per post than regular video.

TikTok has opened its self-serve ad platform to all businesses as part of its recently launched TikTok for Business platform, and hopes this will give marketers the tools to tap into the creativity of the TikTok community, reach new audiences and optimize their marketing campaigns with an easy-to-use platform.

To Wrap Things Up

We’ll wrap things up this month with Christmas! July might seem early, but Pinterest has released figures showing searches for Christmas related topics have hugely increased. Usually, Pinterest users start their planning September, but by April this year Christmas-related searches were already 158% higher than in 2019.

Be sure to check back next month for our social media updates. and in the meantime, grab your virtual tinsel and baubles and get into the festive spirit!

As we adjust to the new normal and move more aspects of our lives online, social media platforms are working hard to make the move with us.
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