Social Media, Lately: 7 Updates to Know for Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

Last week’s F8 conference, Facebook’s annual developer conference, sparked a wave of new social media updates across platforms. If you love change, it’s exciting. If you live by the “if it ain’t broke” motto, you’re likely shaking your fist. After years of clicking the same button or finding pages in the same place, your use of that platform has almost become intuitive (remember the uproar when changing to Facebook Timeline?). Many of these additions, however, can be impactful for your brand, such as a new addition to Messenger that will give businesses a direct avenue for customer service. That is why we’ve broken down the 7 most important takeaways from recent Facebook, Instagram and Twitter releases that could impact your brand. Keep reading so when the changes hit, it doesn’t take you 5 hours to post a status update.

What's New on Facebook

Image Source: Facebook

Facebook created the most buzz this week, releasing multiple apps to create a Facebook “app family,” straying away from the perception that Facebook is only a social website. Here are the top additions coming to Facebook:

1. Messenger as a Platform

Facebook Messenger, which recently became separate from the Facebook Mobile App, is now becoming a platform with integrated applications, creating a more versatile experience. Third-party developers will also be able to access the platform to reach the more than 600 million Facebook users. Some highlights to the Messenger platform include:
  • Selfied for Messenger: Allows you to take a “selfie” in Messenger and turn it into a sticker and send to all your friends.
  • Custom emojis from the popular cartoon app, Bitmoji, will allow you to customize an emoji with different outfits, hairstyles, and even text, then integrate it into your Messenger keyboard, like you would any other emoji application.

Image Source: Facebook

  • Customer to Business chat will be available, with Zulily and Everlane being the first partners. This feature will allow for in-app customer service interaction between brands and consumers, allowing customers to track packages, return items, or contact a customer service representative. By creating more of a personal and fluid line of communication, this tool can increase brand trust. Click here to Tweet about Facebook’s new customer to business feature!

Image Source: Facebook

2. Facebook Analytics for Apps

For social media managers and data analysts alike, this development will change the way companies analyze metrics for app performance. With Facebook Analytics for Apps, you will be able to find user demographics such as gender and geographic location, as well as conversion rates and audience engagement.

3. Video Embeds

Prior to this addition, Facebook videos could not be embedded in other websites. With this new function, Facebook can compete with the efficacy of YouTube, allowing users to click an "embed" button and grab code for your blog or website.

4. Oculus Brings Virtual Reality to Facebook

Virtual reality is the next leap to create realistic experiences in the digital realm. Facebook announced two features that will "teleport" users into another world. Remind anyone else of the last Red Door Speaker Series?
  • Spherical Video – similar to 360-degree video uploads to YouTube, users will be able to post and view spherical video on their News Feed.
  • Oculus – Facebook is developing a way for users to play games in virtual reality, on "'something' shipped by Oculus," said Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer during the F8 Conference.

5. On This Day

In an effort to provide Facebook users more apps like those they’re currently using, the company has created On This Day, a feature similar to Timehop, that allows users to easily see what they were posting and tagging in on the current date from years past. Brands can utilize this tool when posting about annual events, holidays, or to revisit what was posted in the past to resurface content.

Image Source: Facebook

What's New on Instagram

Though the photo-posting mogul is owned by Facebook, Instagram’s newest release came out before the F8 conference began. The newest addition to the app allows for the creation and editing of images, making Instagram a player in all around photo editing.

6. Layouts

Image Source: Red Door Interactive

Layouts for Instagram, similar to PicCollage, is an app that allows users to combine photos into a single image. You can now pinch to zoom, flip, rotate or mirror photos to create new arrangements. Instagram has also added various features to enhance experience, including:
  • Faces – an option that filters through your camera roll to show you only photos with people.

Image Source: Instagram

  • Photo Booth – an option that starts a timer countdown to capture a series of photos you can instantly use to showcase spontaneous moments.

The RDI team using the new self-timer while eating lunch outside at Petco Park

What's New on Twitter

You may have heard a lot of talk recently about Meerkat, the livestreaming app that has gone viral. It had a feud with Twitter over its use of the social platform to post links to livestreams coming from Meerkat. This uproar lead Twitter, presumably, to release news that it had been developing a livestreaming app of its own for months. And thus, Periscope was born.

7. Periscope

Image Source: Twitter

Periscope is a new application that allows you to experience and create live video streams from your mobile phone. Periscope allows you to start a stream from your mobile phone of what is going on around you, and auto posts a link to Twitter for friends and followers so they can view your stream. This livestreaming phenomena can help broadcast your brand’s next product launch party or even a day at the office to give customers a "day in the life" of your company. This will allow brands to bring physical events to life digitally for fans to experience around the world. For example, check out the 30th ASICS LA Marathon VIP party, where brand influencers were invited to watch the lighting of Lights on LA. If this event was streamed live on Periscope, fans would get the VIP experience of a Hollywood party – no matter where they were actually watching. Click here to Tweet this latest livestreaming news!

Image Source: Periscope in App Store

Which of these new additions do you think appeal more for audience use than brand use? Where did they miss the mark? Comment below to let us know!

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