David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, George Martin, Keith Emerson, Leon Russell… must 2016 take everyone I love? This year is more dangerous to rock ‘n’ roll than a mechanized Richard Nixon with a grenade launcher and a bad case of rabies. The ball needs to drop. The calendar page needs to turn, for Keith Richards’ sake. For Neil Young. THINK OF THE CHILDREN! Luckily, 2016 hasn’t all been bad news. In fact, social media has been a pretty fun topic to keep tabs on, and November was no exception. From fresh messaging features to new forays into video, there’s a lot to cover. Let us help you find your happy place with our Social Media Monthly, November 2016 edition!
Facebook Changes Its Page Layout Again: Nothing ever stays the same with Facebook, and every time something changes, the user base flies into a fit of outrage. Cue the hostilities, because it’s happening again. The most noteworthy change is the addition of customizable sections in the middle column. Users can choose to showcase photos, videos, and other media sections, which will appear directly above the page’s timeline. Business owners will be excited to see the different templates that are now available for business pages. These templates offer different tab options catered to the business type. Templates include standard, restaurant, shopping, venue and more!
Twitter Adds Direct Replies and Welcome Messages: As customer service continues its integration into social media, new features are continuously added to improve the experience. The latest of these improvements comes from Twitter, which added two different types of automated messaging options aimed to speed up the customer service process. Welcome messages are automatically delivered to users when they open a direct message conversation. This allows a business to set expectations for the upcoming conversation. This feature is complemented by the ability to add quick replies. Quick replies appear as prompts that a user can select that will help guide the conversation. Used together, these features drastically improve Twitter’s ability to function as a customer service outlet.
Instagram Launches Live Video and Disappearing Messages: Looking back on 2016, if I were to call out one overarching trend across social media, it would be live video. One by one, social networks have jumped on the bandwagon and integrated this feature, and now Instagram has joined the party. Swiping right from the feed and tapping the “Start Live Video” button initiates the feature. These live videos can last up to an hour and are only viewable during the initial broadcast.
Instagram has made a habit of borrowing (or taking) ideas from Snapchat, and its latest duplication is the launch of disappearing messages. Photos and videos sent as disappearing messages are erased after the initial viewing. However, there is no time limit for how long this initial viewing can last. Users will be relieved to know that they receive a notification if the recipient takes a screenshot or replays the content.
Pinterest Creates an Explore Section: There is a ton of content on Pinterest that is just begging to be viewed by you. That’s why it launched an explore feature that allows users to view trending content that may be outside of the scope of their normal viewership. The Explore section showcases “today’s picks,” which mixes recommendations to the individual user with content selected based on daily search trends. Pinterest is also launching native video, which will play automatically in the Explore section. Explore was a much needed feature that has already been implemented on other social networks in various forms, so we’re very happy to see this addition.
Facebook Integrates Instagram, Facebook and Messenger Interactions: Managing social interactions across a multitude of networks can be a handful for social media professionals. Facebook is attempting to reduce the headache by integrating Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram messages into its Pages Manager app. This creates one singular feed that increases responsiveness and efficiency. To reply to a message, users can simply tap and type. Another cool feature (for the Facebook feed only right now) is the ability to see basic information of people you’re interacting with. Tap the person’s name and you can view his/her photo, public information and even previous interactions with your business.
As you can see, social media is still chugging along just fine. We’re glad that we could breathe some life into your social media interest. If you enjoyed reading this, please share it with the social media fanatics and marketing professionals that you know. You can also subscribe in order to keep up with our newest musings. Thanks for tuning in so many times this year. We’ve loved writing to you and look forward to keeping you up to date in 2017, starting with our Social Media Monthly, December 2016 recap, which we’ll publish in early January. See you next year!