Social Media Quarterly: Q1 2018 Recap

Where to begin? Facebook is in all the headlines for all the wrong reasons, and news about data misuse has overshadowed all the interesting developments across social platforms this quarter.

I’m determined to change that though. If you’ve been preoccupied with topics that rhyme with “smake smooze” or “Shmamebridge Shmamalytica,” take a deep breath and take a look at all the interesting changes in our Social Media Quarterly: Q1 2018 edition.

Our Social Media Quarterly image.

Facebook Continues to Emphasize Local Publishers: In an effort to further community engagement, Facebook is now identifying publishing sources that are local to the viewer and prioritizing them in the news feed.

This update goes alongside Facebook’s efforts to prioritize posts from friends and family as a way to make Facebook a more positive experience for users.

Pinterest Adds Custom Presentation Options for Pin Content: Pinterest has added a few different presentation options to help users boost engagement and keep things organized.

First, let’s talk about the archive option. This allows users to hide old boards that might not be relevant anymore. Pinterest used the example of a wedding board, which may have sentimental value, but is no longer relevant today.

Also introduced is the ability to rearrange boards AND pins within those boards. A marketer, for example, could better emphasize seasonal or featured sales, or optimize boards by bestselling items. These were highly requested add-ons that should make the network better for users and marketers alike.

A demo of new Pinterest features.

A demo of a new Instagram feature.Instagram Adds New Tool Option: Instagram and Snapchat are continuing to compete to become the go-to platform for the real-time story feature. To further differentiate itself, Instagram released three new variations of the story:

  1. New, text-only story called “Type” – Users can start with a blank screen and overlay text on top of it. There are plenty of different fonts that can be used to further customize the story.
  2. GIFs with transparent backgrounds – Instagram partnered with GIPHY to incorporate the GIF feature into the tool. This allows users to overlay them onto their stories!
  3. Screenshot notifications – Instagram will now notify users when someone takes a screenshot of one of their stories.

Twitter Changes Platform and API Rules to Combat Misuse: Following the 2016 presidential election, social media networks came under scrutiny for their role in Russian misinformation campaigns that aimed to influence voters.

Partly because of that backlash, Twitter has changed its API to help reduce manipulation through a new set of rules. Among them are:

  • Do not (and do not allow your team, if applicable) simultaneously perform actions such as likes, retweets or follows from multiple accounts.
  • Do not (and do not allow your team, if applicable) simultaneously post identical or substantially similar content to multiple accounts.
  • The use of any form of automation (including scheduling) to post identical or substantially similar content is not permitted.
  • The use of any form of automation (including scheduling) to perform actions such as likes or retweets across many accounts that have authorized a user’s app (whether or not s/he directly controls those accounts) is not permitted.

As you can see, these new rules focus on reducing the amount of spam-like messaging and engagement manipulation that occurs when teams have centralized access to multiple accounts through a platform that facilitates automation.

While it may initially be an inconvenience to marketers who have relied on such tools in the past, this will be a beneficial change to reinstate the integrity of tweets and restore confidence in the network.

Facebook Adds “Lists” Update Option: It’s always fun to explore a new type of Facebook update, and the most recent is the “List” post format. Lists allow people to creatively present a list of things. Think: “Top 10 Carrot Recipes,” “Best Downtowns in America,” etc. It’s pretty simple to use. Users select a list background color, and are then prompted to either choose a topic from a collection of popular subjects or create their own. Then it’s just a matter of filling in the options!

A demo of the new Lists feature.

This addition isn’t going to change the world, but it’s nice to see a new creative format and something that can be used in plenty of different discussions (I’ve created more than one “Top 10 Albums of All Time” lists in my day).

See? There’s a lot still happening in the world of social media once you look past the biggest headlines!

If you enjoyed reading this article, I encourage you to share it with your friends and fellow social media aficionados.

And if you need a regular injection of non-scandal social media news, you can subscribe to our RSS feed, too! I’ll see you next quarter, when the weather is hopefully warmer!

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