Must-Know Social Media Updates of July 2018

While many in the US were celebrating Independence Day in July, Facebook and Instagram barely took pause with the introduction of loads of new features and other updates.

Let’s take a look at this month’s round-up to see what the social media platforms have been up to.

Facebook to be fined by UK Information Commission

Facebook has been in the news for good, and not so good, reasons this month.

One of the most notable is the fine they are now set to receive following the Cambridge Analytics scandal.

The UK’s information commission can potentially fine the company up to £500,000 (more than US$600,000).


Facebook creates data agreement with academic committee

Facebook has decided to submit data for a legitimate research project.  

Social science one is an independent committee that has been created by academics to study a range of social media trends and other related research.

The project says the data will be carefully curated to protect user privacy.

Twitter focuses on election integrity

In terms of security, Twitter announced this month that it will be halting its plans and amendments to its verified accounts process to focus on election integrity.

Recently social media campaigns were blamed for tarnishing the Brexit elections.

Instagram announces 2 step verification plan

Instagram has announced plans to create a two-step verification process for its users.

There has been some concern surrounding the ease of accessing accounts especially through SMS verification – for this reason Instagram is looking into implementing a second non-SMS verification layer.

Instagram will create status indicators

Instagram has been busy developing status update indicators for its platform through using the green dot system of “online/offline” like Facebook.

Some users commented that they wanted to be able to advise their followers when they were online, to ensure their network didn’t feel deliberately ignored when they were in fact unavailable.

Some reviewers have noted that this could make the platform too similar to Facebook (its owner company), and potentially turn off some Instagram users.

Synchronize Instagram to your Facebook Messenger

While talking about the similarities between Instagram and Facebook, July also saw a new feature being added for synchronization.

You can now link your Instagram contacts to Facebook messenger.

Instagram introduces feature to change scrolling habits

Instagram is set to change scrolling habits with a newly introduced ‘You’re All Caught Up’ feature.

You’ll receive a notification that tells you if you’ve already viewed all your stories, so you won’t have to continually scroll over the same content.

Instagram stories become more interactive

You’ll also be able to jazz up your stories posts with some fun new interactive elements on Instagram.

From now on, you’ll be able to post a question on your story to followers.

It can be done in the form of stickers – keeping the visual appeal of stories and still reaching out to a younger audience.

For those in marketing, this can help step up your campaign by encouraging customer and brand interaction.


Facebook Ad Manager application created

Marketers should also take note that Facebook advertising now may be a lot easier to manage with the platform’s new application.

Facebook Ad Manager will now allow you to easily create ads on the go through your mobile.

This will be great news for busy marketers and businesses.

Twitter Promoted Trend Ads

Twitter is also trying to advance its marketing capabilities by including a feature called “promoted trends spotlight” ads.

It works by pushing advertisements as a banner to the top of the explore tab, making them appear prominently  in ‘Trends for You’.

WhatsApp forwarded messages come under scrutiny

WhatsApp’s India department has been paying close attention to forwarded messages and how they are handled.

Being a private, closed network it’s important that users feel a sense of security and know the source of the messages that are sometimes forwarded – especially as they can contain unknown media content.

WhatsApp has upgraded this element of its service, and users will now be able to see the source of forwarded messages received, or highlight if they are forwarded messages.


Data Sharing to go-ahead between platforms

Lastly, this month’s roundup includes a new update related to all social media platforms.

An agreement has been reached that there will be a data transfer project between all social networks, with the intention of letting users move content, contacts, and more across apps.

All eyes will be on this project to ensure privacy is upheld, and data sharing is conducted appropriately.

July’s roundup sees many data based and security updates, which will hopefully re-instill the confidence in social media platforms.

Instagram seems to be constantly updating its new features and developing at an increasing rate –  but is it looking too much like Facebook?

Let us know what you think in MavSocial User’s Facebook Group.

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