They say social media never sleeps and it’s no surprise with 45% of the worldwide population now using social platforms for one reason or another. This means features, algorithms and trends are always being introduced to keep up with users’ behaviours and attention spans. And often, these new additions to our digital world become out-dated (or completely disappear) just as fast.
Our Social Media Content Manager, Bethany Connor, makes it her business to know all about what’s new, so that our social feeds are always on-trend and our campaigns get top marks for innovation. Here’s an overview of the most exciting happenings on each platform over the last few months.
Facebook continues to be the King, with over 2.32 billion active monthly users (the network reached 1 billion active users all the way back in 2012)! Fast-forward to 2020, and Facebook are developing further into the realms of 3D and finalising a dark-mode option to combat the off-putting white LED phone light.
Many of us still have single-camera phones (sigh), but that’s okay because now even more devices will be able to create their own 3D photos in Facebook, allowing their Friends or Fans to explore layers of a photo scene by scrolling or tilting their screens. Google’s Pixel series, a handful of Android devices and iPhones from the 7 onwards are now supported. But unfortunately, we still can’t boost a 3D Photo Post as an ad – although we’ve got our fingers-crossed this is the next step.
It was only a matter of time before Facebook’s dark mode was released, Instagram and WhatsApp (both owned by Facebook) having already given this option to users. Aside from the health benefits and stylish aesthetic of this inverted colour scheme, it offers a completely new user experience and makes the platform even more easy to adopt into our every-day lives. We’ll be browsing through our feeds at all hours of the night sooner than we know it, not to mention the impact it will have on the content being produced by advertisers.
Instagram has always been at the forefront of creative content and it’s not slowing down. A new Layout feature which means we don’t have to download a bunch of external apps to collage our content and a selection of Boomerangs that mimic TikTok effects, have been added to their Stories feature most recently.
Something else that will satisfy the secret social stalkers out there (we all claim it’s not us but who’re we kidding) is the new “least interacted with” and “most shown in feed” account following lists. For personal accounts, this is great; you can detox your feed with ease and put a check on your stalker-self. But for business accounts, this means if you’re not effectively engaging your audiences, they’ll be alerted to it and you might find your net followers decreasing.
In the end part of 2019, Twitter reported slight growth in user count, but maintaining it has been difficult as one of the only text-focused platforms. But after recently acquiring Chroma-Labs (co-founded by Instagram Boomerang inventor John Barnett) there are exciting visual possibilities on the horizon. Such as, more creative ways to lay-out photos in tweets, or full-blown “fleets” (Twitter’s disappearing messages) currently being trialled in Brazil. These fleets are very similar to Stories, viewed by tapping on a user’s profile picture and reacted to via direct messages. The idea: to encourage users to share fleeting thoughts they might not want to publicly tweet.
As well as their quarterly update to Sales Navigator, LinkedIn have also announced they’ll be their own Stories feature will be coming soon. It might seem the light-hearted form of content won’t suit the professional platform, but Pete Davies in charge of Consumer Product at LinkedIn, thinks this feature will help “bring creativity and authenticity to the ways that members share more of their work life” and we’re totally behind it.
First tested in 2018 with ‘Student Voices’, to try and gain relevance with a younger university audience by allowing them to share video snippets of their academic experiences with recruiters and potential employers. Whether it’s spontaneous workplace interactions, live clips from a work event or tips and tricks on your industry, LinkedIn Stories means more content flexibility on the platform.
From face filters, to landmark lenses, to sky segmentation and even a partnership with The Bank of England, Tate Modern and The National Gallery to launch the new £20 note –Snapchat are leaders when it comes to adopting Augmented Reality. Their newest masterwork? Ground segmentation AR effects that swap solid pavement, carpeting, or other terrain for bubbling lava or reflective water. Mind-blown!
It might seem like it’s all about making a fool of yourself to music, but if you aren’t already, it’s time to take TikTok seriously. With 500 million active users worldwide, the platform is already more widely adopted than LinkedIn, Snapchat and Twitter, and its rate of app downloads has overtaken Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. But, the most important thing for us marketers is that its organic reach is still huge and relatively unaffected by complex algorithms, meaning you don’t have to invest loads in advertising to reach an engaged audience. Brands like Adidas China, Netflix and Fenty Beauty are all creating bespoke campaigns for the platform, with relatively simple executions and hundreds of thousands of views!
In the space of just a few months, all of these platforms have evolved to pique and keep their users’ interest. It goes to show that as long as we keep using social media, it’ll keep changing. So, we’ll stay in the know when it comes to these powerful platforms and make sure your social campaign have the edge.
Written by Bethany Connor
March 13, 2020