The top social media platform changes in December

These 25 changes to your favorite social media platforms close out a very busy year for Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and the best of the rest. Plus, the new “tests and rumors” section teases an exciting development for Snapchat.

  1. “Stories Highlights” is launched on Instagram, allowing users to showcase archives of old Instagram Stories directly in their profiles.
  2. Facebook algorithm update: the News Feed now punishes “engagement bait,” posts that ask specifically for a vote, share, like, comment, or another action. In a blog post, Facebook encouraged users to still seek help, advice, and recommendations and those types of posts would not be adversely effected.
  3. In another News Feed update, Facebook improves the distribution of native videos that have strong repeat viewership (meaning users return to watch video from the same publisher consistently) and are actively searched for within the platform.
  4. Twitter adds a “live count” of views to native videos published on the platform, visible to the public.
  5. Facebook launches a Messenger app for kids 6 to 12 years old, which includes text, video, images and GIF features in chats. Messenger Kids keeps the platform safe with safeguards such as parental approval for who kids chat with.
  6. Snapchat makes “Lens Studio” available to all, whereas before publishers or advertisers had to work directly with Snap to create lenses. Lens Studio includes guides and templates for how to create standard and 3D lens effects.
  7. Instagram’s new “Recommended for You” feature in the Feed includes suggestions of posts that are popular with other accounts you follow.
  8. Facebook launches a “Snooze” feature that allows you to mute a friend, Page or Group for for 30 days. This is a less permanent solution than an Unfollow.
  9. Storify, the aggregation platform that allowed you to curate embedded tweets and posts from different social media platforms, will be shutting down in May of 2018.
  10. Instagram enables live-video sharing via direct messaging, which encourages video chatting together during a live experience.
  11. Twitter launches “Twitter Lite” in 20 countries; the app minimizes data usage to maximize load time on slower internet connections.
  12. Facebook and Instagram add automatic content warnings to selfies that include certain wildlife tags (#koalaselfie, #lionselfie, #koalahugs, #tigerpet, etc) to discourage users from exploiting wildlife for social media.
  13. Twitter now supports article analytics on Google AMP links, which allow publishers to identify that referrals are coming from Twitter.
  14. Pinterest launches a Facebook Messenger bot that recommends ideas for food, clothing or other Pinterest content based on your interests.
  15. Facebook’s new “Sound Collection” is a rights-cleared sound library for your Facebook videos.
  16. Facebook reaches a deal with Universal Music Group, allowing Facebook and Instagram users to upload videos from UMG’s catalogs without violating music rights.
  17. Facebook is finally implementing a more stringent (and accurate) count of reach. Starting in 2018, “reach” will include only when a post appears on someone’s screen. (Be prepared for your reach numbers to drop — but understand that there is no chance in the actual amount of visibility your posts are getting.)
  18. Facebook’s new “360 Community Page” offers tutorials, workflows and how-to guides for 360 cameras, editing, and spatial audio; info about workshops and meet-ups; and a Camera Loaner Program. “360 Director” offers creative tools for editing 360 videos, including the ability to add text, symbols and graphic annotations to videos, marked within space and time; player controls; and a “save draft” option for creators.
  19. Bloomberg News launches a 24/7 news channel on Twitter called @TicToc.
  20. Imgur now allows users to watch multiple GIFs in a single chain of viewing, mimicking a Snapchat Stories experience on the platform.
  21. Twitter launches threaded tweets, allowing users to post an entire thread of multiple tweets at once. (When composing a tweet on the mobile app, you’ll see a plus sign; once tapped, you can add connected tweets.)
  22. Facebook adds a WhatsApp button option to Facebook ads, which will only be shown to consumers who have WhatsApp downloaded on their phones.
  23. Twitter enhances direct messaging features for businesses, including “read receipts” so users can tell if their messages have been opened, a feature that distinguishes between customer-service agents and chat bots, and customizeable welcome messages. nnounced several updates to its direct message features for businesses, which will better enable brands and developers to provide customer service via the social network.
  24. Facebook scraps the “red flag” indicators on false news stories, after discovering the flags actually encouraged people to click on them. Instead the company is doubling-down on offering related links below articles from more trustworthy sources.
  25. Facebook now allows you to automatically crosspost Show episodes to your parent page, making it easier for your show content to be viewed by your existing audience.


  1. Snap is developing a new feature called “Stories Everywhere,” that will allow third-party publishers to embed Snapchat Story content on their websites.
  2. Facebook is testing a 6-second pre-roll ad option for videos in its “Watch” hub.
  3. Instagram tests a standalone messaging app called Instagram Direct.
  4. WhatsApp is developing a business app to facilitate communications between businesses and customers.


Article by: Tory Starr

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