Deserving of its own section for such a substantial update, here’s what’s new in the latest redesign rollout meant to put action to match words on Facebook’s commitment to privacy, and described as “the most significant alteration to Facebook’s core platform in years.” The iconic blue banner is gone, and Groups and Events are prioritized along with more prominent placement for Stories. Facebook also moved Watch “Show” pages to “Series” (see below for more details), and a feature called Meet New Friends is woven throughout the entire app to help users connect over shared interests or connections, like their employer or school. The redesign will roll out immediately on mobile for Android and iOS with the new desktop app to follow.
- In another core re-design to Page infrastructure, Facebook has created a new feature called “Series,” which will allow publishers to upload episodic programming on both their video pages and regular pages. Facebook Watch content formerly on “Show” pages will be more aligned with existing Pages and their audiences.
- You can now schedule a Watch Party from your Page. Scheduling a Watch Party will create an announcement post encouraging followers to RSVP.
- Facebook has added new options for 3D photos, including an option for sharing 3D photos in Stories.
- Facebook Pages can now interact as members of Groups as members. Pages can participate in conversations and engage with group members.
- Facebook will stop asking new users for their email passwords as a means of verification.
- You can now go live for up to eight hours if broadcasting from a computer/Facebook API. The maximum limit on mobile broadcasts is still four hours.
- Facebook has made yet another announcement outlining extensive additional steps for managing “problematic” content on the platform, including a new enforcement policy for Facebook Groups, “Verified” badges in Messenger, “Context buttons” on Facebook posts, and incorporating a new algorithm signal called “Click-Gap” that monitors a Page’s level of authority elsewhere online (by looking at inbound vs. outbound links). Domains that are not as popular outside of Facebook will be ranked lower.
- Finally, Twitter captions! You are now able to add .SRT subtitles to Twitter videos that can be viewed on all devices.
- Instagram introduced a live Q&A option, allowing users to answer Q&A stickers by going live.
- A donation sticker for Stories, allowing any account to raise money for a nonprofit.
- New “Camera and Create” mode, making it possible for users to share their thoughts, feelings, “up-tos” and whereabouts without a photo or video.
- Snapchat unveiled a number of new features at its partner summit, including new augmented reality Lens features called Landmarkers, geolocated AR effects associated with historic landmarks. More features for AR include full body lenses (increased from just the face), and filters for pets.
- Also included in the new features is the ability for Snapchat Stories to be shared across third-party apps.
- Snapchat adds sharing buttons like those you might recognize from Facebook or Twitter.
- Snapchat is entering the gaming world with its Snap Games platform that lets users play real-time, multiplayer games while texting and talking with friends.
- LinkedIn has rolled out its own version of “reactions” to give users more nuance in their responses to posts.
- LinkedIn has added a new teammates option for users to connect with their colleagues.
- YouTube has introduced new metrics to get at video “responsibility.”
- Reddit has launched two new post types to subreddits: event and collection posts. Event posts allow moderators to schedule posts ahead of time. Users can follow the post to receive notifications when the event starts. Collection posts let moderators curate posts, such as conversations around a recent episode or event.
- WhatsApp is rolling out a new privacy setting for who can add you to groups, preventing spam accounts from adding users to group without their permission.
- Google+ has begun shutting down personal accounts. Remember to archive your brand’s G+ content before all accounts are deleted by the end of the year.
- Facebook unveiled a “Why am I seeing this post?” feature that to show users why specific content appears on their news feed.
- Facebook refreshed their Ads Manager, including a more efficient navigation structure and a new “cost-cap bidding” strategy.
- Snapchat introduced a new mobile Snap Audience Network that allows advertisers to run vertical video, full-screen Snap ads in third-party apps.
- As part of their new Snap Games platform, Snapchat is rolling out 6-second, unskippable ads.
Rumors and Tests
- Clues in Facebook’s code point to a re-integration of Facebook and Facebook Messenger.
- Facebook is testing a Stories-esque, swipable version of the news feed.
- Facebook is testing font options for posts.
- Facebook is mulling over a “High Quality News” index, possibly launching as soon as 2019.
- Instagram is testing a new view that hides like counts, which TechCrunch speculates could reduce herd mentality and reduce the sense of competition on the platform.
- Instagram is testing a new communal viewing option, similar to those pushed for Facebook Watch recently.
- Snapchat is testing a new user interface for Snap Map, allowing users to create status updates using their Bitmoji avatars to share status updates.
- Twitter is testing new labels for conversation threads, to identify the original tweeter, mentions, etc.