February Social Media Platform Changes: Full Roundup

What are the biggest changes to social media platforms last month? This list tells you what you need to know if you’re producing for a social platform such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit or LinkedIn.

  1. Facebook is changing the way it defines organic reach. For Pages, reach has always been based on how many times a post was delivered in News Feed. Paid ads used a stricter definition that only counted reach once a post enters a person’s screen. Facebook is now defining organic reach by “the number of times a post has entered a person’s screen.” The impact for Pages will be a decrease in organic impressions and organic reach numbers. Pages might also see an increase in engagement rate (because the denominator will be lower).
  2. Facebook also announces they were removing 20 outdated, redundant, and rarely used reporting metrics for Facebook ads. These metrics will be shut down in July. Facebook is launching an e-learning program to educate on Facebook metrics called “Measure What Matters” in March.
  3. Facebook Messenger debuts an “away” feature called “Your Emoji” that allows users to overlay an emoji over their Messenger profile pictures for 24 hours.
  4. Snap rolls out its heat map feature “Snap Map” to the wider web. Now anyone can embed Snap stories into articles. Snap Maps algorithmically surface Snap stories around events like sports and concerts; Snap editorial staff also curate stories around other events, from New York Fashion Week to real-time coverage of unfolding tragedies like last fall’s Las Vegas mass shooting and the Manhattan terrorist attack.
  5. Twitter is barring its users from being able to post the same messages or simultaneously retweet or like tweets from multiple accounts in an effort to crack down on tactics used by Russian companies and others to make certain content go viral.
  6. Snapchat’s redesign adds a Do Not Disturb option, which allows users to mute group conversations without other conversation members knowing. The revamped app also includes new font styles and features, such as a Glow neon typeface.
  7. Instagram’s new ‘type mode’ lets you add text-only pages to your Stories.
  8. LinkedIn updates the way Groups are moderated; any content that is flagged by other members that is not reviewed within 30 days will be automatically deleted and removed.
  9. Snapchat is giving influencers access to analytics including how many people watched their Stories in the last month, viewer demographics, and “targeted information about the kinds of content their viewers are most interested in watching.”
  10. Facebook announces the Facebook Community Leadership Program, which supports Facebook Group admins and those leading Facebook communities. The program includes Residency and Fellowship opportunities for community leaders to fund their work, plus Leadership Circles for in-person connections and collaboration.
  11. Facebook also announces new tools for Group admins and members, including a “group announcements” feature, a Group Rules section, and personalized stylistic features.
  12. Snapchat teams up with Giphy to enable users to access animated GIF stickers and add them to Snaps. This feature comes only a few weeks after Instagram enables the same integration with Giphy for Instagram Stories.
  13. Snapchat enables the ability to add tabs to its Friends and Discover sections, making it easier for users to organize content such as Discover subscriptions or group chats.
  14. YouTube has rolled out new live streaming features, including chat replay and live automatic captions, making YouTube one of the first major video platforms to offer live automatic captioning. Creators can also now add location tags to live streams, which will let viewers search by location.
  15. Instagram brings its Carousel Ads into Stories, allowing Story Ads to include up to three pieces of media (photo or video) instead of the previous limit of one.
  16. Snapchat has unveiled Custom Lenses, a feature that enables users to create their own augmented reality geofenced lens using creative from 150 templates to celebrate special events. The base price is $9.99, and it rises depending on how widely and for how long the Lens is available.
  17. Google introduces new technology that lets publishers create visual-oriented stories in a mobile-friendly format similar to the style popularized by Snapchat and Instagram. AMP stories feature swipe-able slides of text, photos, graphics and videos.
  18. Facebook extends Rights Manager tools to support Instagram, making it easy for publishers and creators to manage rights to their video content cross platform.
  19. Facebook Watch admins now have the option to hide parent Page attribution – this also disables the show from being displayed on the parent Page. Additionally, admins can now control whether or not to display the episode unit on the parent Page above the page’s timeline.
  20. YouTube has officially outlined sanctions that could be applied to creators whose videos promote violence or cruelty or could traumatize or cause pain to participants or viewers. Creators who cross this line will be removed from the platform’s premium Google Preferred ad program, could have certain videos or channels demonetized and could be barred from the site’s trending video feature.
  21. Pinterest has updated its site with new features, such as the ability to archive certain boards, which will then lead to the platform not sending recommendations related to that topic. Users can now also reorder sections and Pins on boards and sort their boards into categories.
  22. Facebook has started rolling out a new feature that lets users create a list as their status message, including where they want to travel or things they want to do.
  23. Instagram has introduced privacy options for its Direct camera feature, which allows users to control whether recipients of images or videos can view content only once, replay it for a short period or keep it as a permanent thumbnail.
  24. Facebook Messenger adds a feature that allows users to invite other people to calls already in progress.
  25. YouTube’s new rules for their Partner Program went into effect February 20. Now in order for a channel to join or remain eligible for the program, a channel must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the last 12 months.
  26. Twitter launches a “Bookmarks” feature, allowing users to save a tweet for later without publicly “favoriting” a post.



  • Facebook’s Campbell Brown shared a detail at the Recode conference that they are working on a hard news video section for Watch, in a space that is separate from the current Watch ecosystem.
  • Instagram is testing its own version of the “retweet” through Stories; the feature will allow a user to share another public post to their own Stories.
  • Facebook is testing a “downvote” button that allows users to hide inappropriate comments and categorize them using options such as “misleading” or “offensive.” The company says it’s not testing a dislike button but “exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts.”
  • Facebook wants to allow more people to create their own shows on Watch, through a system where creators can upload their shows for free, then earn a cut of the revenue from ads placed on that content. This is similar to how YouTube pays its online creators.
  • Snapchat used the Olympics to test a new tool to let TV networks show live broadcasts directly through the app. The NBC Snapchat coverage included “live coverage” where users could select their viewing preference – horizontal or vertical.
  • Snap is reportedly developing new commerce units that may include swipeable transactions in the Snapchat Stories feature. The new units would extend a store feature introduced this month in Discover selling Snapchat-themed merchandise.


Article by: Tory Starr

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