A Social Media Rewind

Written by Phil Birss: Group CEO.
· 4 minute read

As we’re reaching the end of the year, here’s a quick rundown of a few changes that have been made on a few social media platforms this year.

Facebook continues to make it critical for businesses to have a presence on the platform and has gone on to change and remove elements for algorithm purposes. Here are some of Facebook’s key changes of 2017:

  • Engagement bait –   Asking users to vote using reactions or comments, tag, share, or otherwise engage with the post is classed as “engagement bait” and is aimed at boosting engagement in order to get greater reach. However, Facebook will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.
  • 3D posts for VR – Facebook ‘3D posts’ let you play with VR objects in News Feed and wants users to create virtual objects in its Oculus Medium sculpting platform or Facebook Spaces VR hangouts and then share them with friends who don’t have a VR headset.
  • Redesign of trending topics – This focused on Facebook’s Trending news section, and it’s a direct attempt to combat the “filter bubble” effect that happens in users’ timelines.
  • Facebook stories – Inspired by both Snapchat and Instagram stories, Facebook also decided to jump on the 24hr only bandwagon.

Twitter’s 280 characters received a mixed response from fellow users. You either love it or you hate it.

  • Transparency for ads on Twitter – Twitter launched a transparency centre that offers everyone visibility into who is advertising on Twitter, details behind the ads, and tools to share your feedback.
  • Twitter Lite – A new mobile web experience aimed at minimising data usage, loads quickly on slower connections, is resilient on unreliable mobile networks, and takes up less than 1MB on your device.
  • 360 live video – When you see a video marked with a LIVE 360 badge, users are able to interact with it by changing what they see by moving their phone or swiping their screen, all while watching live.

2017 was the year of the Instagram stories features.

  • Story Ads – Instagram has provided the option to enhance stories with creative features such as hashtag stickers and location stickers.
  • Stories Highlights – Users now have the option to create highlights out of the stories that you have shared.
  • Live video – Now people can actually request to join your live video. Depending on how you use it, this feature can be very valuable.

Snapchat all our digital imaginations this year.

  • Lens studio –  A  free desktop app for Mac and Windows that provides you with the ability to create, publish and share  AR experiences.
  • Custom geofilters – Users can now create filters right in the Snapchat app and customise them with many of the same creative tools available to decorate snaps.
  • Custom stories – You can now add who can view your stories.
  • Limitless snaps – Gone are the days of being able to view a snap for just 10 seconds… Hello to infinity and the loop tool for videos!
  • New world lenses –  While snapping with the rear-facing camera, users can tap the camera screen to find new lenses that can paint the world around them with new 3D experiences.
  • A story for everything – You can now search over 1 million unique Stories on Snapchat.