Our most-used social platform just can’t stop raking in the bad press – this week it’s the (possibly well-deserved) allegations that fake news stories spread by the un-manned trending news algorithms played a more influential role in the election than Zuck wants to admit. Or perhaps the robots now have enough self-awareness to troll us. But hey, at least Facebook vowed to prohibit advertisers from using the ethnic affinity targeting option in ads offering housing, employment or credit.
We’ve seen a new level of acrimony emerge on the internet within the past few weeks, so it comes at a good time for Facebook to relaunch its Safety Center as a comprehensive toolkit to help users address bullying and clarify community standards. The section also provides resources and safe posting guidelines for various groups of users, from survivors of abuse and military families to women and baby boomers – check them out if you’re using Facebook for a nonprofit or if these groups comprise your target audience.
Facebook is testing new layout options for Page owners, which offer templates that differentiate Pages by industry and services. For example, if you’re representing a restaurant, a game or a venue, the differentiated templates provide formats and options better suited to your industry than the standard ol’ Page everybody else has. Click here for more details about the different templates and instructions for how to set them up. Also, if you’re advertising to prospective employees, Facebook is testing out a “Jobs” tab that allows users to view and apply for positions with your brand. The obvious benefit for Pages is the ability to reach massive Facebook audiences, but don’t bank on this replacing LinkedIn just yet.
Speaking of reaching audiences, Facebook recently acquired CrowdTangle, aka the “tool that helps publishers win the internet” by tracking how content spreads around the internet. CrowdTangle essentially provides dashboards that show which pieces of content are performing best on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the dearly departed Vine, and compare their performance to their competitors. We’re hoping that Facebook’s acquisition of this tool will mean stronger analytics from Page Insights and a better pulse on what kinds of content we should be sharing to get the best engagement, on other platforms as well as Facebook. In Facebook advertising news, you can now reach your more engaged users by targeting them based on actions they’ve taken on your Facebook page, whether they sent you a message, clicked on your ad or simply visited, etc.
Messenger is about to get even better for businesses with the release of new analytics that provide deeper insights into how users engage with bots. Missing the days when chatrooms were a big thing? Facebook wants to bring them back through Messenger Rooms, a feature not yet available in the U.S., that provides a space for group discussions about specific topics. Unlike group chats, these rooms can be open to the public to encourage conversations between users who aren’t friends. Keep this in mind because it could be a handy feature for facilitating conversations between members of large group pages, or for organizing events.
Finally, for the marketer who does it all on their phone, now you can manage your Facebook page, respond to Instagram notifications, and reply to users on Messenger all in one place, without losing your mind. Once the update becomes available to all users, you can stress a little less about accidentally posting to the wrong platform.
Stories are now even more fun because you can easily tap to add a Boomerang instead of a simple photo or video, and they’re more interactive with the new ability to add mentions. Another feature, links, will allow users to share outside content, but it’s currently in a trial period and only available to verified users like T. Swift. Us regular folks will have to wait our turn to try it out.
Are you using direct messages to communicate with your followers/(prospective) customers? If so, now you can set automated DM replies and welcome messages to speed up your customer service communications. And for marketers on the go, Twitter released an update for Android 7.0 with an app shortcut that allows users to send a message, create a tweet or search straight from their home screen. There’s also a new tool to aid your brand in the battle against hateful trolls: A “mute” feature that allows you to block harassing words and phrases from appearing in your notifications. It’s only a small step toward combatting abusive behavior on Twitter, but it finally gives users some control over the language they don’t want to see in their network.
If your live stream style veers on the surreal, you might find ways to incorporate new ventriloquist-style video masks into your Periscope broadcasts while using selfie mode. Other new features include recognition for Superfans, i.e. your most engaged viewers, and the ability to broadcast to selected groups. Overall these updates are a good indicator that Twitter is still looking to refocus itself, so we shouldn’t count it out of our marketing strategies yet.
P.S. If you’re still broken up about the impending death of Vine, take comfort that GIPHY wants to help you preserve them as GIFs. There are also rumors that some companies are looking to buy Vine from Twitter. Long live the loop.
You know that recipe you tried and liked, or the DIY hack that actually worked? Now you can literally check it off your list with Pinterest’s new check mark feature. As someone who actually made a board to keep track of pins I’ve tried, this is a very welcome change. Plus, from a marketing perspective, it’s an easy way to get social proof because pinners can leave comments and feedback about their experience with that content. It’s also a little easier to help users find your brand with the recent launch of the Explore tab, which highlights trending and recommended content while creating a new place to share your promoted video pins.
It’s all happening – Snapchat just filed for “one of the biggest tech IPOs in years.” The company could go public as early as March 2017, and could be valued between $20 billion and $25 billion, so rest assured that Snapchat isn’t going away anytime soon. If this platform isn’t currently part of your strategy, it could become more appealing to your business as it continues to evolve. Keep this in mind if your brand could benefit from the explosive potential of custom geofilters, which are about to get a big boost through Snapchat’s deal to access Foursquare’s location data. For example, an alcohol company could sponsor branded geofilters that activate when users are at bars that sell their product. If this sounds like a good fit for your business, start saving for that ad package now.
Also, if you were wondering what the world looks like through Spectacles, which recently became available, here you go.