This month there were lots of changes to Facebook Pages, from authorization requirements to new layout options. Don’t sleep on new features like Facebook Premieres, a pixel for Facebook Groups, GIPHY Stories, and an official verification submission process for Instagram accounts. We also saw a slate of new options for social marketing and a complete rebrand of the popular app for teens, Musical.ly.
- Facebook is rolling out changes to the layout of Pages on the Facebook mobile app. The first layout redesign is with Business Pages, which will now feature “action” buttons such as making an appointment or restaurant reservation, sending a message to the business or writing a recommendation.
- Facebook’s new “Premieres” feature allows any page to schedule and debut videos as Live moments.
- Facebook is requiring Pages with large US audiences to complete an authorization process that includes confirming the Page’s primarily location and adding two-factor authentication.
- Facebook is developing a tool that lets publishers test multiple versions of a single post, functionality previously available only to those boosting posts or running ads. This new feature, being tested with five publishers initially, allows the Page to mix up the post’s headline, description and image. anyone can do today but only through boosting a post or running an ad.
- One year after its US debut, Facebook Watch expands worldwide.
- Facebook depreciates the ability to auto-post tweets to Facebook. A new Facebook API change ended support for the Publish actions permissions feature, rendering about 60,000 apps unusable.
- Facebook is rolling out an “Info & Ads” section on all Pages to provide transparency to users. The section will show any ads run by the page as well as the Page history, such as whether a Page has merged with another Page in the past.
- Facebook expands Creator Studio globally, a platform for publishers to manage their entire content library in one place, including content across Pages, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.
- Facebook emphasizes its recommendations feature in Pages, allowing users to poll friends for where to see, eat and visit in a particular place.
- Facebook rolls out its job application tool globally.
- Facebook shuts down “Friend List Feeds” that is a personalized version of the newsfeed that showed only posts from a pre-defined Friend List. While users can still create and edit Friend Lists, there will be no standalone feed for this content.
- Facebook debuts a rating system in Watch, allowing publishers to display a 14+ or 18+ content rating on any Watch content.
- Facebook enables access to a pixel for Facebook Groups, allowing Group admins to track user behavior after clicking on posts.
- Facebook’s new “Things in Common” label will display above comments on Page posts from people that are not connected to the user, but may share common interests and experiences.
- Instagram rolls out an “About This Account” tool that allows users to see information about an account’s history, which ads they’re running and what country they’re based in.
- Instagram users can now submit requests to be verified.
- Instagram allows users to send private polls to multiple friends via direct messages.
- Instagram and Facebook roll out an activity dashboard for users to monitor and manage their time spent on the apps.
- Twitter’s CEO announces the platform is testing new features intended to combat the spread of misinformation and hate speech, and is open to re-vamping Twitter’s entire design to support this effort. This will include small tests such as a “Who to unfollow” feature that many noticed in their feeds this month.
- Twitter ends support for third-party apps like Tweetbot and Twitterific, that were using outdated technology to integrate with the platform.
- Twitter is testing threaded replies and status updates to make the platform more “conversational.”
- YouTube introduces a new feature that summarizes a user’s viewing time, and compares it to the previous day and the previous week.
- YouTube begins testing a new suite of tools called “YouTube Giving,” that allow users to link videos to fundraising campaigns.
- Musical.ly, the popular karaoke-like app for teens with 100 million monthly active users, merges with Chinese competitor TikTok. The rebrand turns Musical.ly to TikTok, with a new interface but the same basic functionality.
- Twitch announces that Prime subscribers will no longer have access to ad-free viewing.
- Snapchat unveils speech recognition lenses that feature different animations depending on voice commands, such as “hi,” “wow” or “love.”
Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp
- Facebook Messenger unveils the first multiplayer augmented reality video chat game.
- Facebook launches a WhatsApp Business API that allows brands to send free customized, non-promotional messages to users who initiate contact if they respond within 24 hours.
- Giphy rolls out a new Stories feature, that use multiple GIFs to illustrate an event, recap, or story. Giphy is featuring GIF stories on its redesigned homepage and will open up the ability for partners to create Stories later this year.
- LinkedIn redesigns Groups, with changes such as threaded comments, post editing and native video uploading within Groups. Users can now also interact within Group discussions directly in their main LinkedIn feed.
- Twitter announces it will begin requiring organizations that purchase ads or promote tweets about “political” or controversial topics such as abortion, health-care reform and immigration, to disclose information about themselves. Twitter differs from Facebook’s political ads policy in that they will allow some large news organizations to seek exemptions from these disclosures.
- Facebook introduces 15-second ad breaks for Facebook Watch Show Pages with more than 10,000 followers who have generated over 30,000 1-minute views over the past two months. The ads are available as a mid-roll or a pre-roll, with and publishers can either insert the ads themselves or use Facebook’s automated ad insertion.
- YouTube now allows any channels eligible for monetization to run unskippable ads on their videos.
- Facebook launches a suite of tools to help advertisers create mobile video ads. The kit transforms text and images into six- and 15-second videos using a set of four templates; crops video to square or vertical cuts and animates static images.
- Facebook changes the way its 3- and 10-second view counts for video ads are calculated. Now, only un-repeated seconds of watch time are included. A new metric “Video Plays” better reflects actual video plays versus impressions calculated when a video displays in News Feed without playing. Finally, Facebook deprecates the “30-second video view” and “video percentage watched” metrics.
- Snapchat rolls out new ways to monetize content with a “trial” launch to select Discover partners. Options include new targeting, metrics and dynamic pricing. Snapchat is also testing 6-second, non-skippable ads available through a self-serve platform.
- After a testing period, Pinterest launches promoted video at maximum width.
- Snapchat adds a “Shop Now” button option to AR lenses designed by select creators.
- Facebook eliminates more than 5,000 targeting filters in its Ads platform, related to attributes such as religion or ethnicity.
- Advertisers will soon be able to buy WhatsApp ads through Facebook’s Ads Manager. Clicking on a WhatsApp ad will open up a chat window with the brand.