Ch-ch-ch-changes are happening in the social media world. All the major platforms are always aiming to improve and add new features to their sites, and we’re here to bring you the latest updates. Sit back and enjoy the ride, because there are a lot of them this time!
Google made an announcement that everyone’s been waiting for: they’re finally shutting down Google+.
In Google’s announcement, they explained how at the beginning of the year they started a project focused on reviewing apps, data, and third-party developer access. In their findings, they determined that there were significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ product that meets consumers’ expectations. Thus, they’ve decided to shut down Google+ for consumers.
They acknowledged that while their engineering teams put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it never achieved broad consumer or developer adoption. In addition, it saw limited user interaction with apps.
Shockingly, they found that 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.
During their review, they also found a bug that may have breached the privacy of users. That made it clear to Google how difficult it is to create and maintain a successful Google+ that meets consumers’ expectations. Combined with low use on the consumer end, they decided to close the consumer part of the platform down.
This process will take about 10 months to allow people to transition and eventually to download and migrate their data.
However, the review did show that Google+ could be used as an enterprise product. Some companies have found great value in using the platform, including as a way for co-workers can engage in internal discussions on a secure corporate social network.
So, Google has decided to focus solely on its Google+ enterprise efforts and is planning on launching new features designed specifically for businesses. More information will be coming in the next couple of months.
Instagram is launching a new feature called Nametag. It’s a customizable identification card that allows people to find your Instagram profile when it’s scanned! Everyone will have their own unique card that makes it easy to add people as you meet them in person.
All you have to do is go into your profile, tap the three-line button, and select the Nametag tab. Now you can customize your nametag! At the very top click from color to emoji or take a selfie. Click on your name to choose a different color or emoji.
When you run into someone and you want to easily add them, head to that screen and click on the scan button at the bottom.
Stitched IG Story videos
Instagram will also be rolling our another new feature that allows you to record more than 15 seconds of video for Stories. Hold the shutter button down to keep rolling footage. The videos will be automatically cut into 15-second intervals but will play back to back as one long stitched video when uploaded. You can also customize each interval with their own stickers and designs.
Quick Replies in DMs
Is your inbox full of the same questions people are asking you over and over again? Fear no more, Quick Replies is here for Instagram. Save your quick replies and then easily respond to those commonly asked questions.
Tap on the three-dot bubble icon to access the replies. To set them up, go to profile settings, then business settings, and then Quick Replies tab. Now, edit and manage your saved replies.
Facebook launches instant forms
Facebook is updating their form feature to better match the ways people use forms to connect with a business or cause. Instant Forms, or what used to be called lead forms, will allow people to let you know that they want to hear from you. They will also be able to provide contact information.
Facebook says this will help businesses interact with people earlier in the customer journey and acquire high-intent customers sooner. We agree!
Businesses will be able to include Instant Forms in advertising campaigns focused on brand awareness, reach, and traffic objectives. They’ll also be available in ads in Facebook Stories.
Facebook launches Premieres, polls, and top fans
Facebook has launched a new, interactive video format that’s letting publishers and creators release a pre-recorded video as a live moment. Premieres will allow audiences to experience the release of the video together, and similar to watching a Live Video they can comment, like, and share as it’s happening.
Premieres are available to Pages globally now. They can be scheduled up to a week in advance. When you schedule it, it will create a post letting the audience know when and where to look for the video. They’ll be able to express interest, interact with each other, request an event reminder, and share with others all before the video premieres.
The announcement post then seamlessly turns into the Premiere at the time of its debut, and then into a regular on-demand video when the Premiere ends. Most of the same features available for recorded video are also enabled for Premieres, including monetization tools such as ad breaks and branded content. Learn more here.
In addition, Facebook is also making two new tools: interactive video polls and top fans. With Top Fans, you'll be able to quickly identify the top contributors on your Page and video polls allow you to add polls to on-demand video.
Artificial Intelligence In Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is now using artificial intelligence to help you price products and auto-categorize items in the Marketplace.
Now when you list an item for sale in the Facebook Marketplace, AI can help you identify what price range you need to use based on data it collects from similar items and categories in your area. This helps you sell items faster by making sure your pricing is not too high, while also making sure you're getting a good deal.
They are also testing new camera features that may incorporate AI to recommend products you might be interested in. Snap a photo of an item you’d be interested in and Marketplace’s AI technology could recommend similar listings for sale nearby. Wild, huh?!
Facebook has also added a variety of content from businesses including cars, home rentals, home services as well as shopping and deals from e-commerce merchants.
Facebook Video Ad Buyers Now Have More Choices
Facebook is also adding some new features for video ad campaigns: In-Stream Reserve and ThruPlay.
Facebook says In-Stream ads are proving effective for business, and their data shows 70 percent are viewed to completion–most of them with the sound on! But, according to Facebook, advertisers asked for more options to select where their ads appear. There was also some interest in a fixed impression cost (CPM) and the ability to buy ads on a Nielsen verified Target Rating Point (TRP) basis.
To address these, Facebook is introducing some new solutions for in-stream advertisers.
The new In-Stream Reserve allows advertisers to reach people watching video from a selection of the most engaging, highest quality publishers and creators. These placements are bought in advance and delivered to in-target audiences verified by Nielsen.
In-Stream Reserve Categories allows advertisers to choose content packages in specific categories, including sports, fashion/beauty, and entertainment, bought in the same way as In-stream Reserve.
Facebook says In-Stream Reserve is perfect for premium online video and TV buyers, especially for campaigns aimed at younger, harder-to-reach demographics, and light TV viewers.
There is also the new option for ThruPlay, which allows advertisers to optimize and pay only for ads that are watched to completion, or for at least 15 seconds. ThruPlay is available for all video placements on Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network, and includes in-stream, stories and feed. Because people can skip or scroll past ads in feed and stories, in those placements, ThruPlay is particularly effective for reaching people who choose to watch your 15-second ad in full.
ThruPlay is rolling out in Ads Manager now for both auction and reach and frequency buying, and will be available to all advertisers globally in the coming weeks.
New Facebook Comment Moderation, Reporting, and Appeal Tools
Facebook is also rolling out new comment moderation tools. Moderators can breathe a sigh of relief because Facebook is now allowing them to hide or delete multiple comments at once from the options menu on a Facebook post. They’ll also be able to search for and block offensive words from appearing in comments.
Right now, this will only be accessible on desktop and Android, but an iOS version is in development.
Multiple Personas For Facebook Messenger Bots
Jeeze louise, there’s a lot of Facebook news! Last, but not least or anything, Facebook has released a new WordPress plugin to integrate their Facebook Messenger customer chat within the content management system.
This new plugin makes it super easy for people to chat with your Messenger bot on your WordPress website.
But, the even bigger news is you'll soon be able to have multiple personas for your Messenger Bots.
Soon, you’re going to be able to create multiple "personas" for your Messenger bots. The goal of this is that customers can feel like they're chatting with different individuals in your company, instead of a like their talking to a robot.
Pinterest expands their content marketing API
Pinterest is expanding their content marketing API to third-party influencer marketing platforms.
Now OpenInfluence, Hypr, Klear, AspureIQ, Mavrck, Izea, Influence.co and Obvious.ly will have direct access to statistics on Pinterest profiles. These include stats such as monthly views and followers along with impressions, click-through rates, saves for pins and more.
Microsoft Building LinkedIn Into Outlook
Microsoft is adding LinkedIn integration into Outlook and Office apps. This will allow you to co-author Word documents with LinkedIn contacts or work on an Excel or PowerPoint presentation with coworkers. It will also add your LinkedIn contacts to your Outlook inbox, incentivizing people to actually use their real email address on LinkedIn.
New Snapchat E-commerce Ads For the Holidays
Snapchat is adding e-commerce ads through a self-serve Snap ads buying platform. Advertisers can import their product catalog to easily create ads.
As they add these new types of ads, Snapchat is also expanding their pixel targeting to track specific actions that customers are taking on your website, allowing you to create more customized audiences for your campaigns.
What announcement are you most excited about? Let us know which features you’ll be implementing into your relationship marketing and how you’re hoping they help you connect with your audience.