17 Social Media Changes You Should Know About Before 2017
It’s December, the month of looking back at what we have done, measuring our success, and making plans for the new year.
But remembering what happened way back in May can be very frustrating. Does anyone know what Instagram’s old logo used to look like?
It’s okay not to remember the answers to trivial questions but if someone asked you about the changes all the big social networks have gone through you might be hard pressed to recite them all. (And that info is important to your job if you’re a marketer.)
Luckily Acorn Influence has a great memory, and we’ve compiled this list to share the biggest social media changes that happened in 2016 so your 2017 social plan is throughly researched.
Facebook’s answer to Twitter’s Periscope acquisition was Facebook Live. The feature allows individuals, and businesses, to share live video with their followers, and friends on Facebook.
Facebook Live Video Filters
Snapchat pioneered the use of filters (or lenses) on videos, but now Facebook is taking it one step further. In November 2016, the social network announced they would be applying filtering software to live videos. This is an incredible feat of technology that will allow users to activate styles and commands with their own actions.
“We can recognize facial expressions and perform related actions, like putting a “yay” filter over your selfie when you smile.”
– Mike Schroepfer, Facebook CTO
Emojis took the world by storm a couple of years ago, and their popularity is not slowing down. Facebook gave into pressure to move beyond the “like” button, so that users could more naturally express their reactions to content their friends and family publish.
Low, and behold, “Facebook Reactions”, a set of six emojis that can be used for any piece of content, including Facebook Live videos where they fly across the screen in a visual display of emotion.
Chatbots are the 21st century answer to responsive customer service. These intelligent bots will respond to, and send, structured messages that include images, links and call to action buttons. A business could allow chatbots to schedule appointments, review an order, provide information or even make a payment.
Tried It Tracking
Every Pinterest user is guilty of pinning thousands of ideas, and never trying them. Now users will be more encourage to interact with the ideas they discover on the social network by checking a box when they try a new recipe, or finish a DIY project. Businesses, and marketers will be pleased to know that Pinterest is also tracking, and publishing these metrics.
The Pin Collective
The Pin Collective connects businesses with Pinterest’s content creators. Pinterest hand-selects a group of publishers and independent creators who know how to create content that will reach the business’ target audience. These experts work directly with brands to create content that simultaneously delights Pinners, and drives business results.
Not a new concept, but a great addition for businesses who are using Pinterest to promote their brand, and products. Basically the promo videos show up in target user’s feeds, the same way they do in Facebook.
Snap Inc & Spectacles
In 2016 Snapchat made the bold move to create a new umbrella company to encompass their new VR product, and their original app. Snap Inc’s “Spectacles” were recently released in pop up stores, and will be an interesting new product to follow into 2017 because it pairs social media with the new virtual reality craze.
Filters that act as check-in badges bring a whole new visual meaning to location sharing. Businesses can purchase on-demand geofilters for events, their business, stores, or for any other occasion where pairing their brand with a location is important. This might be big for improving location-based social listening analytics.
Snap Ads Between Stories
Snap has never had a problem with usage, but they have needed to up their game to become more financially successful. In 2016 they worked hard to bring advertising into their platform without interfering with the user experience. One method was to insert ads between user’s stories.
Touted as a blatant copy of Snapchat Stories, Instagram survived the PR, and has gone on to see a great deal of success thanks to the overwhelming adoption of Instagram Stories. The new feature allows users to share their moments from the day without saving them on their profile. After 24 hours the stories disappear.
Instagram Business Tools
Businesses have been on Instagram since the beginning but this year the social network paid attention to their unique needs, and created “Business Tools”. Now a business can switch their personal profile to a business account, and provide important details on location, contact details, and more. The feature also offers deeper insights into how their content is performing on Instagram.
It’s been a struggle for LinkedIn to stay relevant compared with other social networks because they don’t have a platform that entices users to stay on LinkedIn for anything more than career changes or recruiting. There are murmurings of LinkedIn making some big changes in 2017.
In the meantime, LinkedIn Learning was its best offering from 2016, with educational material and courses designed for professionals wanting to acquire new skills for their career.
Direct Reply Count
This very recent news offers marketers a new metric relevant for measuring the popularity of their content. Twitter will soon be adding reply counts alongside retweet and like metrics on each tweet.
Less popular is the feature of conversation ranking, whereby some tweets in conversations are ranked higher than those that were published earlier.
“Replies are grouped by sub-conversations because we strive to show you the best content first, and what we think you’d be most interested in.”
– Twitter Help Center
Quick Replies & Welcome Messages
Automated welcome messages for businesses who acquire new followers, and pre-designed ‘quick replies’ for customers asking simple problems with simple answers. These features are all about automation, and delivering faster customer service. It might be helpful for some businesses, and not the answer for others, but a great feature to have nonetheless.
Character Limit Changes
Rumors created a lot of controversy around Twitter’s character limit change. Thankfully Twitter rolled back their more ambitious plans, and stuck closely to their original 140 character limits. The change was small: Twitter no longer counts media attachments, and quoted tweets in the character limit.