As we bid farewell to the dumpster fire of a year called 2017, what do you hope to see in the social media landscape in 2018?
In an era where change is the only constant in the digital age, it should come as no surprise to anyone that when Facebook, Twitter and Instagram implements a new feature, the only thing a digital marketer should do is to get their hands dirty, extract data from the new feature and wonder how does it fit into the bigger strategy for the brand.
Without further ado let’s dive into some key features that the major platforms have rolled out in 2017 (or are even experimenting!)
Image from TechCrunch
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but Instagram will now automatically archive your stories when they disappear 24 hours after being posted. Users will then be able to create Stories Highlights, which will show up in a new horizontal bar right across the top of your profile. Users can even place their Instagram stories into different categories.
Native Instagram “Regram” Button
Social Media mangers finally might have something positive to celebrate this 2018, for it seems like Instagram seems to be finally working on a native Regram button. No more saving the photos on your hard drive and then reuploading them or using 3rd party apps and plugins!
In a roller coaster year where the world is still reeling from the possibility of Russia meddling with the American Presidential Elections through fake news, bots accounts and Facebook adverts, the onus is on Facebook to clean up its act and clamp down on errant users. Here’s a (very brief) summary of what Facebook has implemented.
Disable the Ability to Edit Previews of the Links they Post in the Page Composer or API.
Previously, any Facebook Page that posted a link were able to change up the headline, body copy and preview image. However, many fake news was using this feature to engage in bait-and-switch tactics to entice readers into visiting articles with vastly different content, all in the name for clicks and engagement.
To combat this problem, Facebook has disabled the function of editing titles and visuals. This would be a nuisance to those who rely on third-party content, but if you are posting from a website that you have control over the visual thumbnail and meta information it’s not an issue. Facebook has mentioned that they are currently looking for alternative methods to circumvent this but as of writing, no solution has been offered.
Fighting Engagement Bait on Facebook
Image From Facebook
This could come as a relief or irate social media managers worldwide, but Facebook has decided to clamp down on Engagement bait content on Facebook. You know, posts that often has copy like “share if you agree” or “tag a friend below who would do this”.
In early December 2017, Facebook has decided that authentic engagement makes for a better Facebook experience rather than fishing for reactions amongst users. However, It is also worthy to note that posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips, will not be impacted.
Twitter has always been about summing up your thoughts in 140 characters or less, and 2017 is the year where we see this unique feature being killed off for good. Response to this move has been divided at best, and in 2018 it should be interesting to see how people use some of its new features to good use.
Image from TechCrunch
In a polarizing move, Twitter has officially announced that they are extending the character limit to 280 characters instead of 140 in every language except for Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
Reactions so far have been mixed at best, with users decrying this move for they saw the 140-character limit as a way to deliver content in an snappy, witty manner in a ever-changing world.
Hello Threaded Tweets!
Image From Twitter
In another move that is surely the nail in the coffin for Twitter’s 140-character limit, the platform has also launched a feature that lets create threaded tweets or also known as ‘tweetstorms’– a series of connected tweets often used by users to bypass the 140-character limit.
Most users generally welcome the move to this feature, but with Twitter extending their character limit to 280, you have to wonder if this feature is going to be widely used by the masses or implemented just for the sake of it.
With Facebook still clamping down on the proliferation of fake news and driving for authentic engagement on the main feed, we can expect more brands to place a heavier emphasis on Instagram in 2018.
With the emphasis on ‘authentic engagement’ and death of organic reach on Facebook, we do expect to see marketers place more emphasis on the photo sharing platform as well.