Platform changes roundup: March 2020

Social media platforms in March hustled to introduce features and tools to help publishers and brands during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as new upgrades to Facebook Live, Instagram’s Co-Watching feature and curated spaces for trusted content that have been introduced on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest and YouTube. It seems that certain big changes to social platforms such as Twitter’s “fleets” have been put on the backburner.

Facebook

  • Facebook launched features to make Facebook Live more accessible and easy to use, including an audio-only mode, automatic captioning, phone number integration for fundraising and an option for viewers to watch content without logging into Facebook.
  • A new “live” tab on your Facebook Page houses all your live content under a persistent URL, making it easier for admins to promote Live content off-platform.
  • An upgrade to Facebook’s 3D Photos feature allows users to transform static images captured on any device into 3D photos.
  • Facebook enables GIFs inside Facebook Stories. Just select “mood mode” in Stories tools.

Instagram

  • Instagram’s new self-isolation friendly feature “Co-Watching” lets users browse posts with friends and view content from within an ongoing chat.

Facebook Messenger

  • Messenger got a redesign in March, with a new interface featuring a “People” section with family and friends. The “Discover” tab has been retired, which was previously a major discovery tool for business accounts.
  • The latest update to Messenger is twice as fast and takes up less battery and storage for those users with less internet connectivity.

Twitter

  • Twitter now allows you to add audio guests to live streams before a broadcast begins, allowing for a private conversation between broadcaster and featured invitee.

YouTube

  • YouTube announced they are defaulting to standard-definition video quality across the globe for a month to reduce strain on internet networks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Users can override the setting to watch content in HD if their connection is strong enough.

TikTok

  • TikTok’s new Creator Marketplace allows brands to see real-time insights including engagement rates, engaged audience demographics and influencer campaign views. The tool is not yet open to all brands but you can request an invite here.

Reddit

LinkedIn

  • Members in LinkedIn Groups can now easily message anyone within the group without message limits. Members can now accept or privately decline accepting messages.

Snapchat

Pinterest

  • Pinterest launched a new “Today” tab, a central hub for information, curated topics and trending posts. The tab is curated by an editorial team and features content from publishers and influencers.

Social Advertising

  • Snapchat’s new Lens Web Builder is a self-serve tool to create high-quality AR content.
  • Reddit’s new ad product “Trending Takeovers” lets brands buy 24 hours of prominent placement on its trending feed and within its search tab.
  • Facebook’s new Ads Manager tool refresh has an “Experiments” section, helping you combine campaign tests and track a variety of variables. “Experiments” replaces older “Test and Learn” and “Split Testing” features.

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Article by: Tory Starr

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