As we come to the end of yet another year, we at Lauren Benedetti are taking stock of some of the biggest Social Media changes and updates from 2017. The digital marketing space moves quickly. Old trends are replaced by new ones and technological advances have a big impact in shaping social media of the future. Social media platforms grow year on year with an ever-increasing number of users and heavy competition between each platform to see who can grow the biggest following.
This means changes are quick and constant whilst companies continually strive to develop the next big thing. Whether it’s an augmented reality experience, world lenses, or the ability cut back on cyberbully and spam – We have created a roundup of some of the biggest social media changes on the biggest platforms seen in 2017 for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat:
If you spot a new Snapchat feature you will see something very similar soon after on Instagram. Instagram is well known to compete directly with Snapchat. This has happened with Instagram’s introduction of Instagram Stories:
- You can now use stickers and various other editing tools for your photos. One new option is called a polling sticker. Polling stickers are an interactive way for people vote on a question you post along with your image. They are a great way to gain engagement.
- The polling sticker was released with an alignment and eyedropper tool. The alignment tool gives you lines to help you centre and align your sticker placement. The eyedropper tool provides you with a pallet that is the same hue as the picture for you to draw or text with.
- Updated stories feature with the ability to add older content.
- Roll out of split screen feature for live videos. Video usage and live videos are on the rise since their recent introduction on Facebook. The ability to have a live video split screen of two people at the same time is a good business opportunity for streaming live chats and interviews.
Facebook is the staple social media platform. It remains the number one social media app of choice and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Facebook’s updates this year are mixed and many. Here’s a few we picked up on:
- The ability to use a GIF in the comments. This sparked an initial barrage of ‘show me your day in a GIF’ or ‘How did we first meet in a GIF’ type posts. Although the initial buzz has slowed down they are a fun way to react to posts and the humour appeals to most.
- Algorithm changes. Nothing new here, although they might not boost businesses (Facebook likes their paid ads service too much) it does increase usability, with a reduction in spammy, overshared content.
- Facebook spaces. This is Facebook’s virtual reality app. With the huge success of Pokemon Go and augmented and virtual reality Facebook took the plunge and invested in developing their services. You can check out Facebook Spaces trailer video for yourself.
- The introduction of trending news. This is a feature which allows you to see a list of news topics that are trending on Facebook. To access this on your mobile device you have to click on the search area at the top of the Facebook screen and then scroll to the section below your most recent searches.
Twitter is the number one social media platform for up-to-date, as-it-happens news. While they continue to be popular, their growth has been slower than other platforms. They have recently made efforts to keep users on their platform by closing their other company, Vine and introducing the ability to film live video on their own platform.
- Twitter has redesigned some features with a focus on user experience. This is also to make it feel faster and lighter on both its desktop and app version.
- One of their criticisms, and well a publicised problem within Twitter is the ease that the platform allows cyber bullying. Features they are working on relate largely to user protection and anti cyber bullying features. Harassment is a big downside to twitter, and so they have enhanced the ability to mute notifications, hide abusive tweets, and flag users that are known for offending. They also make sure that black listed users cannot create a new account.
- Twitter has updated the explore tab. It now brings together trends, moments, and searches therefore making it easier for users to find what they are looking for.
- They made the @name part of the reply button. This means that the name is no longer included as part of the 140 characters. This might not sound like much but for Twitter users, every character counts.
Snapchat has had some big moves this year. Some of which have been met with initial controversy. Snapchat continues to be at the forefront of new changes that aren’t seen on other social media platforms. Their user interface is different, but they are seeing huge growth year on year. This makes them a good space to watch next year.
- The introduction of snap map location earlier this year was controversial. Particularly with parents with concerns about the open location map feature and the fact it was taken up by such a young demographic.
- Snapchat have constant updates with lenses and filters -With two types released in the last couple of months alone. These included a new filter that allows the users to change the background of the sky in their picture or video, and the Bitmoji lenses that enable you to put the cartoon version of you in the real world.
- Context cards allow you to make a restaurant reservation and book an Uber ride using Snapchat
- Paperclip, voice filters, and backdrops. Paperclips allow you to add a web link to your snap by pressing on the paperclip. If you press the scissors, you can cut a part of the image and overlay it on the original and finally pressing the speaker will alter your voice!
Some of these social media updates might be something you can capatalise on in your business for 2018. There is a huge emphasis on user experience, which we suspect will grow in the coming years. Then there’s the growth of augmented and virtual reality, which has been emerging for a number of years now. Location features are on the rise with more and more features allowing local mapping so users can find something easily and companies can advertise easily, all pointing towards a growing trend of personalised service and marketing. How has your business adapted to the quickly changing world of social media? Let us know in the comments below!
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