There’s been a lot of social media changes this year and more are continuing to roll out. Here are some of the most significant highlights to note.
As I’m sure you already know, social media changes occur all the time, and it’s sometimes difficult to keep-up – even for us marketers!
Typically, changes occur in response to user-demands, developers’ ideas, scandals, politics and the rise of social awareness. Developers are doing their best to keep you attached to your phone, and they’re very good at it!
It’s vital to stay up to date with how social media develops. Every feature and every update might become crucial to the success of our job. Then again, it might not. Social media changes are often pointlessly hyped up and with no real significance. So, it’s also important to filter out the noise and stay aware of only the things that might affect your marketing campaigns, your paid and organic reach, and your choice of social network.
Here, we have highlighted the social media changes that we consider important enough to affect your marketing strategy.
1. In April 2019, Google+ passed over to the other side.
All profiles and pages have been deleted. Google decided to close down the network “due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations.
2. This year, TikTok dived into advertising.
Just like the big guys, they now have interest-based targeting, custom audience and pixel tracking, as well as age, gender, location, network and operating system targeting.
In case you’re not 100% sure what this is, TikTok is a video-sharing app that evolved from Musical.ly in 2017. In China, it’s branded as Douyin. The app lets users create and share 15-second videos. It’s something like Vine used to be. Right now, the app boasts more than 500 million users, particularly among younger users. Kids and teenagers make short skits, lip-sync, and other cringe-inducing videos.
Plenty has changed with Facebook this year; let’s go through some of the most significant updates.
3. Ads have become more transparent
Facebook decided to start letting users know more about why they are targeted by a specific Facebook Ad. The “Why am I seeing this?” explanation now includes the name of the business that uploaded the user’s information to Facebook, potential involvement from agencies, Facebook Marketing Partners or other partners and any other sharing of custom audiences that may have taken place.
You can also see ‘active Ads’ a page is running in Ad library; which allows you to discover what your competitors are up to in terms of Facebook advertising.
4. For certain ads, targeting is restricted
In the pursuit to fight discrimination, Facebook restricted targeting options for some companies. Housing, employment and credit ads can no longer be targeted by age, race or gender. Facebook explained that these changes came as the result of settlement agreements with civil rights organisations and will help protect people from discrimination.
5. Changes in the News Feed algorithm
One of Facebooks goal is to make the social media platform more like a “living room.” This is why we’re seeing a new algorithm update that prioritises close friends.
“We look at the patterns that emerge from the results, some of which include being tagged in the same photos, continuously reacting and commenting on the same posts and checking-in at the same places — and then we use these patterns to inform our algorithm. This direct feedback helps us better predict which ‘friends’ people may want to hear from most.” – Facebook
6. Automated Ads
Automated Ads allow you to create a quick marketing plan for your business. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your business goals, and the tool will create up to six different versions of your ad, provide tailored audience suggestions, recommend a budget and send you timely notifications about your ad.
7. Appointments management
This feature lets customers book a business’s service through Facebook and Instagram. You can also send appointment reminders, customise your business menu of services, and manage appointments from your business page. All your appointment can be synced up with your calendar or another appointment management tool.
8. Facebook cryptocurrency has been announced
In June Facebook officially announced Calibra, a new Facebook subsidiary for financial services.
They say the aim is to enable money transfers for “almost anyone with a smartphone, as easily and instantly as a text message and at a low to no cost.” Calibra is a separate entity from Facebook, which means that Facebook won’t have access to your financial data if you use Libra.
9. Brands can now promote sponsored posts from influencers
On Instagram, you can now turn a sponsored post of your influencer into an ad with a notation that says, “Paid partnership with XX.” The feature will require some setup for both the brand and the influencer.
10. Twitter rolled out a new desktop design
It has more customisation options and is generally very different from what it used to be. The biggest change is that the top navigation bar has been moved to the left sidebar. Direct messages have also changed: they now show conversations and sent messages in the same window. You also get more options for themes and colour schemes.
These were the most significant social media updates of 2019 so far. Hopefully, you’ll be able to adjust your strategy to these updates and even benefit from some of them. If you need support with your social media marketing strategy contact our team today.