January Social Media Platform Changes: Full Roundup

January was littered with seismic changes on major social media platforms — changes that will have vast repercussions for how producers and social media professionals set their priorities.

  1. Facebook changes its algorithm to prioritize posts in News Feed that spark conversations and inspire meaningful interactions between people. (Here are some thoughts on how to deal.)
  2. Facebook announced that it will also prioritize local news in News Feed. This means that if you are a Page publishing news content, followers in your specific geographic area of publication might see more of your content. (This is separate from “Today In,” a local news tab that is currently being tested in six US cities.)
  3. Instagram turned on third-party publishing for API Partners. Previously, Instagram required native-only publishing, meaning producers had to find workarounds, like the old “email yourself a photo and captions, then copy and paste it into Instagram.” Now, if you have access to a publishing platform such as HootSuite, Sprout Social or Sprinklr, you are able to publish directly without any extra steps. (WGBH is throwing a pizza party to celebrate this.)
  4. YouTube sets a higher bar to enter the YouTube Partner Program, requiring 10,000 total views, 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time in the past year to become eligible for the program.
  5. Facebook publishes its “privacy principles” as part of its compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation, publicly showing how it uses personal data and how users can control their own personal information.
  6. Facebook rolls out persistent stream keys so Pages can use the same, unique stream key for live broadcasts. Previously, Facebook Live streams using the Facebook Live API generated unique stream keys for each Live post, requiring a unique connection to be made before every broadcast.
  7. Snapchat rolls out a new feature to share public Stories on the web, for people who don’t have the messaging and media app. The off-app Stories will be accessible via a new Story player on Snapchat.com for 30 days. The feature is available for users in Australia and Canada, and is rumored to be available to US users soon.
  8. Nielsen adds Instagram to its social content ratings platform. Now Nielsen can monitor Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all organic and paid conversations about TV shows.
  9. Facebook tests “Watch Party,” a new feature for Facebook Groups where members can watch videos together while continuing to comment and interact with each other. Watch Party videos are chosen by Group admins and can be either Live or VOD.
  10. Giphy teams up with Instagram to launch GIFs on Instagram Stories. Now, a GIF button allows users to search for and overlay GIFs on their videos and photos in Stories.
  11. Facebook enables crossposting for Watch episodes, allowing Page admins to crosspost an episode from a Show Page to a parent Page feed, with a call to action for fans to follow the Show page.
  12. Twitter announces the ability for a brand to sponsor Moments. Moments are Twitter’s “Stories” feature that provides a curated set of tweets about a single event. The first Sponsored Moment was by Bloomberg, a series of tweets about Davos sponsored by Bank of America.
  13. YouTube creates an “Intelligence Desk” to filter out controversial content. The desk will use Google data, user reports and third-party consultants to either remove the content or prevent advertising from appearing near it.
  14. Twitch launches “video producer” tools that allow publishers to create landing pages and viewing-party events around upcoming video.
  15. LinkedIn re-integrates Groups into the core platform, ending support for the standalone LinkedIn Groups app.
  16. Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Facebook signed a licensing agreement that allows songwriters to earn royalties from the use of their music on both Facebook and Instagram. As a publisher, you can now upload videos that contain Sony/ATV compositions.


  1. CrowdTangle enables leaderboard sorting based on type of interactions. Before they lumped “interactions” as one metric – now you can see this breakdown by comments as well. This will help you start to understand how the latest News Feed changes are impacting what works and doesn’t work on Facebook on Pages.
  2. Sparemin updates their audiogram generator with new bells and whistles, including an auto-transcription feature and a drag-and-drop sequence editor for photos.





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Article by: Tory Starr

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