In September, new features such as audio-only live streaming and TV Pages on Twitter were almost eclipsed by the buzz around new creative advertising formats. Below is a full roundup of what’s changed, that social media producers, managers, editors and advertisers need to know.
- Facebook begins testing its Dating feature in Colombia.
- Facebook allows users to cross-post IGTV videos to Facebook Pages.
- Facebook expands its fact checking capabilities to photos and videos. The platform now flags photo and videos in addition to links for their verification partners in order to meet the need for correcting misleading rich media, manipulated images and “deep fakes.”
- Facebook is piloting enhanced security options for US political candidates to protect their accounts. These options include two-factor verification and a monitoring option for hacking threats.
- Instagram now allows users to “tag” others in video posts.
- Instagram tests a way to re-share posts from other accounts from within a user’s own feed. This is a huge departure for the app, which has long resisted features that encourage news feed sharing.
- Instagram now allows GIFs in direct messages through a GIPHY integration.
- Instagram rolls out “recommended posts” in the feed.
- Instagram is testing the ability to add hashtags without including them in the caption.
- YouTube updates their YouTube Kids app, allowing parents to explicitly whitelist every channel or video they want to be available to their children.
- YouTube ends support for their standalone Gaming app and plans to integrate these features into the main platform.
- YouTube lowers the minimum subscriber count for Channel Memberships access from 100,000 to 50,000; these video creators can offer memberships for $4.99 a month for access to exclusive content.
- Twitter launches “Event Pages” for TV series. These pages appear 30 minutes before broadcasts, shown to users who have expressed interest in these shows. The pages will appear at the top of users’ timelines, or can be searched for via the Explore tab.
- Twitter and Periscope now supports audio-only streaming, a feature that includes analytics such as live viewer counts, replay listeners and time spent.
- Twitter adds a feature that displays live broadcasts more prominently, featuring “Live” feeds at the top of users’ timelines.
- Twitter once again gives users the option of seeing tweets in chronological order, allowing users to opt out of the algorithm that prioritizes popular and engaging tweets.
- Twitter debuts a new layout.
- Twitter says it will ask users for help in shaping their new Terms of Service.
- Reddit allows users to sync their Twitter handles as a “Connected Account” on Reddit profiles.
- Snap announces a partnership with 20 news publishers, where the news organizations will create curated “Stories” from user-generated content around breaking and developing news events.
- LinkedIn rolls out their update to Groups, which includes new features such as the ability to network in real-time with group members, see when they’re online and record video.
- Pinterest expands its “Shop the Look Pins” to all business pages, a tool that allows business accounts to “tag” products and purchase them by clicking or tapping on a link.
- TripAdvisor announces its own social network, a “Travel Feed” app that will include travel-related content from individuals, brands, influencers and media companies.
- Google begins its use of AI to create automatic Stories to appear in Google search and image results.
- Facebook announces a separate section of its Ad Archive for news publishers, after backlash from media organizations. News publishers must now apply to be included in the news section of the archive, and has partnered with established news consortiums and The Trust Project to create an index of trustworthy news sources.
- Facebook rebrands its mobile Canvas ad format as “Instant Experience” ads, and introduces pixel capabilities to help advertisers retarget users and better track campaign performance.
- Facebook consolidates its cost metrics into a single “Cost per Purchase” metric which aggregates performance across digital, mobile and offline purchases.
- Facebook gives advertisers more control over where their ads appear in videos, allowing the targeting of specific Nielsen-verified demographics on Facebook-selected premium videos in the News Feed and Facebook Watch.
- Facebook announces a “ThruPlay” program, charging an advertiser only if an ad is watched to the end or at least 15 seconds.
- Facebook now allows brands to be the exclusive advertiser for a single show on Facebook Watch.
- Facebook tests ads within Facebook Stories.
- LinkedIn’s new Dynamic Ads allows advertisers to tap into data from LinkedIn member profiles, and provide an easy campaign builder where the marketer builds their creative and provide copy, and the campaign is automatically personalized via AI technology.
- YouTube launches vertical video ads.
- Instagram is building a standalone shopping app which will let users browse items and buy them from within the app.
- Instagram rolls out the ability to purchase items from within Stories.
- Twitter tests Timeline Ads, that appear in timelines on other websites.
- Snapchat launches new ad products, including a tool that allows advertisers to create lists of targeted users to identify those who have already visited a brands’ website; and Product Catalogs, through which advertisers can upload thousands of versions of their product feeds to automate Snapchat ad campaigns.