Social Media Quarterly: Q1 2017 Recap

Holy moly, it’s May already. I’m not going to lie — I’m feeling a bit pent up. I don’t just mean the fact that it’s nice outside and I haven’t gotten to play disc golf yet. Social media’s rate of change has been astronomical so far this year, and I’m ready to unload on you like a gamma-ray burst. Put your deflector shields down and prepare to beam aboard this social starship. It’s time for the Social Media Quarterly: Q1 2017 edition!

Facebook Values Reactions More Than Likes: I “like” a lot of things on Facebook. Talking about a good day on the job? Liked. Share a photo of your kid? Liked. Taking a bunch of duck-face selfies? Not liked, sorry. Now, however, Facebook has a plethora of other emotions that you can relay to your community. These are generally stronger reactions, like anger or laughter.

To Facebook , the stronger the emotion, the higher the post will rank in a user’s news feed. As such, posts with reactions such as “angry,” “sad,” “laughing” and others are now enjoying some cushier digs!

YouTube Launches YouTube TV: Developments in media distribution over the past decade or so have revolutionized how we view television. Pioneered by Netflix, streaming your shows has become a widely adopted method of consuming movies and TV. Since then, numerous other companies have jumped on board the model, including YouTube: the latest to join the party.

For this new product, YouTube TV, YouTube has partnered with around 40 television networks (including all major broadcast networks and some noteworthy cable channels) to deliver a very competitive platform. Unlike Netflix, YouTube TV is live television, not a collection of already-aired shows.

Instagram Allows Publishing of Multiple Photos and Videos in One Post: There’s an argument to be made that since the beginning of the decade, no social network has changed more than Instagram. After starting out as a simple app that made your photos resemble an old Polaroid, Instagram has constantly added more features and now allows users to upload up to 10 photos and videos to one post. Users will have the ability to change the order of the photos and either edit individually or apply the same effects in bulk. However, only one caption can be applied to the group, and the photos can only be square for now. A series of blue dots will appear at the bottom of these posts, indicating that there is more media that can be seen by swiping.

Twitter Introduces New Safety Measures: We’ve seen numerous measures being implemented on social networks in order to prevent abusive content. I’ve covered Instagram’s efforts extensively in the past. Twitter has made moves to automatically identify abusive behavior and respond by temporarily limiting some account functionality (e.g. making tweets only visible to followers). This type of disciplinary action will come into effect when there are violations of the Twitter Rules or the user is repeatedly tweeting without solicitation at non-followers.

Twitter is also rolling out filtering options that will allow users to reduce visibility of accounts with certain red flags, such as having no profile photo or an unverified email or phone number. Finally, Twitter is releasing updates to the “mute” feature (a setting that enables you to hide accounts or words from your feed without unfollowing the account itself) that allows you to mute from your timeline and select a duration of time for which the content is muted.

Facebook Delivers Massive Video Update: Video keeps growing in popularity on social media. Facebook has embraced that trend in 2017 by overhauling the way that video is handled on the network:

  • Auto-play videos will default with the sound on.
    • As users scroll through their news feeds, sound from approaching videos will increase in volume as they reach the center of the screen.
    • Facebook is keeping the option of auto-disabling sound in the settings menu, however.
  • Vertical videos will now display in a larger format in the news feed when viewed on a mobile phone.
  • Facebook also launched an app for smart TVs that allows the streaming of video from Facebook onto your television set.

The coolest introduction is the new “watch-and-scroll” feature that allows you to drag a video you’re watching to the corner of your Facebook window and continue scrolling through your news feed. Android users will even be able to keep the video playing when they exit the Facebook app!

Gamma Ray Burst

So much learning!

Much like our own cosmos, the expansion of the social media universe just keeps accelerating. Unlike it, however, is there is no sign of entropy! We’re going to have a lot to discover over the next year.

If this article blew your mind, be sure to share it with the marketing and social media professionals that you know, and subscribe to our RSS feed. Set your stasis timers for the end of next quarter, and join me when we boldly go where no one in social media has gone before!

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