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Lately in Social Media: July 2019

Posted on July 25, 2019 by Megan Hamlin

Hello, everyone. I apologize–it’s been awhile since our last lately in social media blog. I must admit I was too preoccupied with a plethora of more important things:

  • Petitioning for a remake of the Game of Thrones finale
  • Taking a magic carpet ride over Agrabah
  • Deciphering all of Taylor Swift’s recent easter eggs about her new album
  • Basking in the drama on the Bachelorette
  • Visiting Hawkins, Indiana
  • Avoiding the new Cats trailer at all costs
  • Crying over the reunion of the Jonas Brothers
  • and worrying whether all the selfies I took that made me appear to be 80 years old would show up somewhere in Russia.

It’s been a busy summer!

Besides all that going on, there’s been quite a bit of social media news that I need to catch you up on.

Let’s dive in.

Lately in Social Media


FTC $5 Billion Privacy Fine

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission voted to fine Facebook a record-setting $5 billon. The fine follows last year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. The commission voted 3-2 to settle.

The U.S. Justice Department’s civil division still needs to finalize the fine, but it would be bigger than the $22.5 million the FTC imposed on Google in 2012 for violating consumer privacy.

The FTC began investing Facebook last year after Cambridge Analytica, a UK political consultancy, acquired data from up to 87 million Facebook users without their permission.

This settlement has more than financial consequences. Facebook will need to document every decision involving user data before introducing new products and track third-party apps to ensure they’re not accessing user data.


Even with this going on, Facebook is also proposing a new digital currency, Libra.

Libra’s stated intent is to establish a “stable currency built on a secure and stable open-source blockchain, backed by a reserve of real assets and governed by an independent association,” that will be accessible to “anyone using a $40 smartphone.”

Last week, the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee held hearings with David Marcus, the head of Libra. It did not go well for Marcus.

Both committees grilled Marcus about several omissions and inconsistencies in his testimony as well as Libra’s White Paper.

Read more from the panel discussion here.

Would you use Libra?



In the Twitter world, you may have noticed that the social media platform has a new look!

“Some of it is subtle, but a lot of it is a simplification of design,” says Mike Kruzeniski, Twitter’s senior director of product design. “We are trying to find the right places to be bold again, but it’s a resetting of that foundation. Starting with the best stuff and building from there.”

Updates include:

  • The navigation icons migrated to the left
  • The compose box is now front and center
  • You can save your Tweets in Bookmarks
  • The search bar now sits more prominently above the list of trending topics
  • It’s easier to switch between accounts
  • You can change the size of your text, choose an accent color, and turn on Twitter’s new dark modes.

What do you think of the new look?

Labeled Replies

In addition to the new design, Twitter is testing a way to make conversation threads easier to follow with new icons:

  • Microphone: Original poster
  • @: users who the original tweet mentioned
  • Person with a small checkmark: Replies from someone you’re already following

Yes, this is a small change, but it’s one of many things Twitter is changing in the hopes of making its service simpler and more approachable.

Do you use Twitter for your business?


Banning Hate

In addition to efforts made by other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram is trying to stop bullying and trolling. Instagram will now show you a warning when you try to post an offensive comment.

The new A.I.-powered feature will detect nasty content and ask the user if they still want to post it.

“This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification,” Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri wrote. “From early tests of this feature, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect.”

More Ads

This is great news for advertisers! Instagram ads will soon show up in the Explore section, too.

By using a personalized feed generated from users’ past actions on Instagram, the idea is to show ads that will help a user find more posts and accounts to follow.

“Brands are an important part of the Instagram experience for people,” Instagram said in a blog post. “Whether it’s shopping, catching up on stories or discovering the latest trends, we see people actively looking to connect with brands they like. That’s why, over the next few months, we’ll be introducing ads in Explore feed.”

For businesses, this means more opportunities for new people to see your ads, increasing your brand awareness.

Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

Social media is constantly changing. New tactics and tools pop up for users all the time. It can be overwhelming to know which tactic to try and which tools to use.

That’s where we come in.

If you are in need of social media marketing guidance for your business, give us a call at 804-577-8679. We can evaluate what you’re currently doing and help you develop a plan that will better serve your goals.

And be sure to stay tuned for next month’s social media roundup…as long as I don’t melt from Virginia’s extreme heat.

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About the author:

Megan Hamlin

Senior Digital Marketing Specialist

Connect on LinkedIn

Megan is the Senior Digital Marketing Specialist at Torx. She is responsible for social media marketing, search engine marketing, content marketing, and email marketing. Getting clients qualified leads is her biggest goal. When she isn’t on Facebook or writing a blog, she can be found analyzing data to see how she can improve her digital marketing efforts.