Must-Know Social Media Updates of April 2018

Carmen LiuSocial Media Marketing

Social Media News April 2018 Roundup_Blog

Is it just me or do changes in the social media world seem to happen faster and faster every month?

This month, we learned just how little the general public and lawmakers understand about social media, data and the internet as a whole.

Adding to that, GDPR is coming up on May 25th and marketers are scrambling to ensure they’re complying.

With all this happening, we want to help you stay up to date with any news you might’ve missed.

Mark Zuckerberg Testifies in Congress

As I’m sure you’ve seen it in the news, the CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by the US Congress for 10 hours regarding Facebook’s involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Apart from Zuckerberg admitting that Facebook made “huge mistakes” in not doing enough to protect their users, the general consensus is that nobody fully understands the power of big data, how it will affect us in the future and how we should protect ourselves.

However, we do know that Facebook has taken steps to improve data privacy and security.

Facebook makes major changes to ad targeting and its API

Since the scandal, Facebook has shut down Partner Categories, an ad tool that allowed marketers to target ads using third-party data from data brokers.

The problem with using data provided by third-party data brokers is that its source is often times unknown.

And because Facebook has little to no control over how third-party data is collected, maintained, and used, deprecating this functionality was the best way to protect its users.

Just yesterday, Facebook also announced several changes to its ad-targeting tool “to ensure advertising is safe and civil”.

Thousands of categories were removed from exclusion targeting such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and religion.

A disclaimer has also been put in to warn advertisers against wrongful discrimination and that ads that violate these rules will be rejected.

Facebook ad targeting anti-discrimination

On top of that, Facebook made changes to its API that will affect what third-party apps have access to regarding Facebook Analytics, Instagram Graph, Live and Pages.

Facebook builds interest for Facebook Watch

If you haven’t already heard, Facebook Watch is a video on demand service featuring both short-form and long-form entertainment.

And in order to attract more content partners, Facebook released new video monetization options for video creators.

These monetization options include pre-roll ads, preview trailers, auto ad breaks and pre-publishing brand safety check tools to keep up with the more established video platforms out there.

Instagram changes its algorithm (again)

Instagram finally listened!

In a press release by Instagram, it was announced that Feed will partially go back to chronological order – meaning newer posts will likely appear first.

In addition, a “New Posts” button is being tested to replace the auto-refresh that happens now.

So what does this mean for marketers?

This means that your content is more likely to be seen organically and fingers crossed, will increase overall organic engagement.

Instagram improves ads in Stories

Creative used in an Instagram Feed will now be automatically transformed into the full-screen format of Stories, simplifying it for marketers to run ads within Ads Manager.

How does it work?

Instead of re-cropping or redesigning the creative, the new feature will automatically do the job for you.

A background will be selected and the post caption will be shown below the photo or video. A ‘swipe up’ option is also available and will direct to the destination link.

Instagram Stories full screen format ad

Other notable Instagram updates:

Instagram Q&A sticker

Pinterest adds Following Tab

It’s now easier than ever for followers to find Pins from people and boards they follow with the ‘Following tab.

“In talking with Pinners, we found that some people only wanted recommendations, while others liked to curate their feed – and most people wanted both options. Now you have the choice to get inspired through personalized recommendations in your home feed, or switch over to a tab dedicated to the latest Pins from people you follow.”

This is huge news for marketers active on Pinterest as this directly affects how your content will appear on your followers’ feed.

Pinterest following tab

New filters for native video posts on LinkedIn

Since the release of native video uploads on LinkedIn company pages and videos in Sponsored Content ads last month, they’ve added filters and text overlays as well.

This may be interesting for marketers to explore as it allows brands to become more personable and feature their brand voice.

LinkedIn video filters

Snapchat introduces new Lens-based ad type

Adding to their existing ‘swipe-up’ ad capability, advertisers can now add a call-to-action directly on a Lens and redirect users to a link of choice on Snapchat.

Snapchat Lens ad

This was a smart move for Snap as Lenses are used by 40% of Snapchat’s community every day for an average of three minutes, making it the largest platform for AR usage in the world.

Marketers, it might be time to jump on board as AR monthly usage in the US is projected to grow from 80 million to 120 million by 2021.

Did we miss any important updates? Let us know on our Facebook Page!

About the Author

Carmen Liu

Carmen Liu is a digital marketer specializing in SaaS startups, influencer marketing, and social media.