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News: Social Media in May

Social media is constantly changing, so your approach should stay agile too. Here’s a round-up of the top social media stories and updates from last month that you won’t want to miss.

The end of May may have seen the end of May (Theresa May, that is), but a positive outcome from the political events of the month was that #dogsatpollingstations made a return to the trending section of Twitter. Game of Thrones also dominated the social conversation owing to the final episode airing, making it tricky to avoid spoilers!

Twitter

Following LinkedIn’s adoption of Facebook-style ‘reactions’ rather than just ‘likes’, Twitter has introduced the use of media within retweets.

LinkedIn

  • Last month’s change to ‘reactions’ was well-received, with companies starting to use the feature for audience insights in the place of a poll with each reaction representing an option eg. use applause for option A, curious for option B etc.
  • LinkedIn has copied another feature from Facebook, this time to increase transparency of the platform. They’ve launched an Ads tab for Company Pages akin to Facebook’s Info & Ads tab for Pages, which highlights the Sponsored Content running from the company over the last six months. As noted back in March’s update, this should prove particularly useful in terms of competitor analysis.

Snapchat

May saw a slight come-back for Snapchat who have witnessed a drop in users in recent months.

  • They strategically designed a filter that shows you as a member of the opposite sex encouraging users to re-download the app due to intrigue, if nothing else.
  • The filter has been used by individuals (including celebrities) who have shared the results to their other social platforms. Some users have even created videos of themselves playing both male and female lead in famous duets, which have started to go viral via shares of entertaining content.

Whatsapp

An app that didn’t have such a positive month was Whatsapp.

  • It was revealed on the 14th May that Israeli spyware had infected users’ phones through a weakness in the WhatsApp calling function. Although Whatsapp managed to fix the issue and urged individuals to update the app as soon as possible, the information of millions was put at risk.

Facebook

There were no surprises from Facebook in May, as the platform again updated their News Feed algorithm. This is in their continued bid to prioritise quality over quantity by showing content from the connections that each user interacts with most.

  • Facebook have added a birthday card option into the Stories section, to account for the drop in users posting on friends’ walls for the occasion, fuelling rumours that the focus will shift to this aspect of the platform, making the newsfeed obsolete.
  • Privacy updates for the month include the reintroduction of the ‘view as public’ feature, so you can see what information on your profile is publicly accessible.
  • Perhaps of more interest to brands, however, is the warning from Facebook that there may soon be a tool allowing users to hide their personal data, making it anonymous to advertisers and trickier for brands to target specific audiences.

Crypto-currency

  • It’s been revealed that the long-awaited Facebook cryptocurrency – hinted at in March – is set to launch next year and is known internally as ‘GlobalCoin’ (rather than ‘FaceCoin’ as previously rumoured).
  • It’s intended to be used as a secure digital payment system open to all, including individuals who don’t even have bank accounts.
  • This could be a very strategic and fruitful move for Facebook, moving its revenue away from just advertising.
  • Perhaps it’s no coincidence that cryptocurrency businesses have now been granted access to promote using ads on the channel.

Instagram

  • Instagram has continued to delve into the world of e-commerce, creating a @shop account to share posts from brands using the ‘shoppable’ function. This bid to boost interest in the feature appears to be successful, with the account gaining nearly 16,000 followers in its first 12 hours.”

Video

  • It wouldn’t be a monthly update if we didn’t announce the addition of a new sticker to Instagram Stories. May saw rumours of a ‘chat’ sticker which would grant users access to join an exclusive group chat, opening up a new method of communication between brands/creators and their audience.
  • They’ve also introduced a one-strike policy within live streaming for users who break community rules.
  • Perhaps the most dramatic update is the announcement that IGTV has lost it’s USP of solely sharing vertical video, having succumbed to supporting landscape video.
    • Since its launch IGTV, has struggled to prove it’s worth within the realm of social video sharing. But as viewing figures have finally crept up over the last few months, have they conformed too soon? The change will allow creators to cross-promote videos from YouTube, but whether this opportunity will be taken up is another question.

Don’t forget to check back next month for more updates, and if you missed out you on last month’s installment you can catch up here.

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