If January is anything to go by, 2019 is set to be a busy year in social media.
Facebook and Twitter, in particular, have been hard at work and have introduced or are testing several new features this month.
Many of the features will benefit marketers and advertisers as they streamline processes, making them more efficient.
New Facebook Features
Facebook is currently testing an enhancement to Facebook Stories in the US, Brazil, and Mexico according to a TechCrunch report.
The feature allows users to share interesting events on their Stories pages.
When the event is shared, an event sticker appears on the Stories page.
Followers can tap the sticker if they’re interested. Users can keep track of followers.
It is now also possible to cross-post Instagram Stories on Facebook with a simple check of a box, allowing for quick and efficient sharing of Stories across platforms.
Videos and stories have growth potential so it is likely that Facebook will continue to add to these features and options during 2019.
Multi-lingual Dynamic Ads
This month Facebook introduced changes that make it possible for advertisers to create Dynamic Ads in different languages.
Facebook’s Dynamic Ads allows advertisers to customize their products to the people who have previously expressed an interest in the brand or product.
This advertising feature targets users based on their Internet activity.
Advertisers using the additional language features can set up their ads to adopt the language that is used in the area from which the user is browsing.
Automated Blocking on the Horizon
According to Digiday Facebook has developed a product that will make it easier for advertisers to automatically block certain publications and video feeds from running alongside their advertisements.
While advertisers currently do have the capacity to choose which publications they wish to exclude from their campaign, these choices are limited to certain categories.
Facebook also limits the number of pages that organizations can block.
A third-party vendor will manage this feature when it is released.
Other Facebook News
In an additional Facebook feature released this month, users can add CTAs to their Facebook Stories.
The CTAs appear as stickers prompting users to choose one of four responses, “Shop Now”, “Book Now”, “Call Now” and “Get Directions”.
After months of development, Facebook is also testing a new teen feature LOL.
TechCrunch reports that LOL – another of Facebook’s attempts to increase its faltering youth following – is a feed of special GIFs and funny videos under various categories like “For You,” “Animals,” “Fails,” “Pranks”.
Facebook is hard at work restoring its damaged reputation.
It announced mid-month that it had removed hundreds of false pages which had their origins in Russia.
The pages contained posts with a political agenda.
And finally, the biggest Facebook news of the month, The New York Times reports that Mark Zuckerberg has plans to integrate the social network’s messaging services — WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.
The reported changes would see a major reconfiguration of the app’s underlying infrastructure including the incorporation of end-to-end encryption to restrict the viewing of messages to the participants in a conversation.
The services would still be available as stand-alone apps, but the technical integration would be designed to create familiarity across the services and encourage users to stay engaged in WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger rather than turn to other messenger platforms.
Instagram Improves Efficiency
Instagram recently introduced a new feature which will allow business accounts to schedule video posts through scheduling platforms that are Instagram Marketing Partners.
Prior to this, organizations could only schedule single image posts.
TechCrunch reported this month that Instagram will soon allow users to post to multiple accounts at once.
This is set to save marketers both time and effort though it does pose a risk of some followers that follow all of the users’ accounts receiving duplicate content in their feed.
Influencers can also take advantage of this feature to post across a number of accounts they own.
Twitter Adds Analytics and More
TechCrunch has reported that Twitter announced at CES 2019, the Global Innovation Conference, that it is changing its analytics.
It is also introducing a new dashboard that will ensure that events are highlighted as they happen along with the numbers of people that follow those events.
This will help organizations to capitalize on trending news.
Twitter has also added an analytics tool that will enable users to track when their followers are most active.
It calls this “increasing the health of public conversation”, a feature that lets users know when others are online. It also offers message templates to start up discussions.
The changes are currently being tested.
A second dashboard will advertise upcoming events including news events and popular shows and seminars.
The objective is to upgrade the utility of Twitter for organizations to encourage them to grow their advertising expenditure.
Twitter ‘s New Beta App
TechCrunch reports that Twitter’s new beta app development will seek early input from users.
The beta program will introduce a group of users to new features, allowing them to test and discuss them and then suggest changes.
Twitter has chosen this route because the plan is to introduce significant changes to the platform in the future.
The plan is to gauge user experience and opinion and seek input before making the changes.
YouTube – In with the New and Out with the Old
Google, after several months of work, has released a new YouTube feature.
This feature will allow users to watch endless YouTube videos in full-screen mode on their smartphones with just a swipe of the finger.
Swipe right to the next recommended video and left to the previous video.
YouTube has removed what it has come to consider rather an outdated feature, the ability to post YouTube actions on Twitter and Google+ automatically.
You can however still share your video to these platforms by pressing the share button.
Mid-month YouTube banned dangerous exploits on its platform.
In a FAQ blog the platform discussed hazardous actions, discouraging dangerous activities or actions which make people think that they are in serious danger.
The provided clarification on what was considered dangerous, and what was considered a prank.
Gillette Creates a Stir
Gillette got people talking in January with its controversial ad.
Within three days of the launch of the #MeToo inspired advertisement it had garnered more than 19 million views.
While the advertisement has created a storm of controversy, it has generated the type of stir that advertisers only dream of.