Snapchat Redesign, Instagram Stories Changes, and Facebook Messenger for Kids
On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore Snapchat redesign with Shaun Ayala, Instagram Stories changes, Facebook Messenger Kids, and more breaking social media marketing news of the week!
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For this week’s top stories, you’ll find timestamps below that allow you to fast-forward in the replay above.
Snapchat Releases Massive Redesign: Snap Inc. released a “new and improved Snapchat” interface that centers on the camera and “separates the social from the media.” Chats and stories from friends are set on the left side of the app and stories from publishers, professional creators, and the community are housed on the right. With this new layout, Snapchat is introducing a dynamic Friends page that displays your friends “based on the way you communicate with them” and promises that Discover will become uniquely personalized “over time.” (2:16)
Snapchat Uses Object Recognition to Suggest Filters for Food, Pets, and More: Snapchat’s newest smart filters use object recognition to automatically suggest graphics such as borders or stickers based on what’s in your photos. TechCrunch reports that these filters are “capable of recognizing images of objects like pets, sports, and food, as well as specific locations, like beaches or concerts” and will appear as options in the carousel of filters after the user takes a photo matching one of the above categories. (10:33)
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) November 27, 2017
Snapchat Introduces Two New Ad Formats: Snap Inc. unveiled two new formats for ads. The first is Promoted Stories, which string together multiple snaps into a longer-form slideshow and inserts it as a branded story in the app’s Stories tab among the organic stories from other accounts a person follows and Discover content. The second new ad format is called Augmented Reality Trial ads that allow users to play with an AR version of a product overlaid on the world around them. Based on Snapchat’s World Lens feature, the new AR ad experience is meant to let users get a better look at the product being sold and try it for themselves “hands on.” (14:06)
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) November 24, 2017
Instagram Introduces Stories Highlights and Stories Archive: Instagram rolls out two major features that allow users to save and showcase their favorite expired stories. The new Stories Archive feature automatically saves stories to a private part of a user’s profile 24 hours after being posted. Rather than having to rush and download stories to a phone before they disappear, Instagram will now save them in the cloud, where they can be privately viewed, publicly shared, or downloaded later. (20:55)
Instagram’s Stories Highlights allows users to then select and group these past stories into named collections that show up in a new horizontal bar across the top of their profile. Instagram suggests that the new Highlights feature offers a way for users to “show all the sides of [their] personality” and capture the interest and activities that matter most to them.
Both the Stories Archive and Stories Highlights features are available to all users with the latest version of Instagram on both iOS and Android.
Pinterest Launches New Bot and Chat Extension for Facebook Messenger: Pinterest rolled out a richer, more integrated experience through a new Messenger chat extension that “makes responding to ideas, sharing new Pins, and accessing Pinterest Search and Related Pins quicker and easier than ever.” The Pinterest chat extension will be rolling out to users of the English-language version of the Pinterest app on iPhone and Android “over the coming days.” (29:30)
Pinterest also introduced a new Pinterest bot that brings “the power of Pinterest Search to Messenger” and helps users find recipes, products, and inspiration around select topics such as food, home, or DIY. The bot is available across all platforms on mobile and web with the latest version of the Pinterest app.
Facebook Launches New Version of Messenger for Young Children: Facebook officially launched Messenger Kids, a new stand-alone app targeted to children younger than age 13. This new app is “full of features for kids to connect with the people they love” like video chats, kid-appropriate GIFs, frames, stickers, masks and drawing tools, and more. It’s also designed to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA), offers full parental control, and is completely free from ads and in-app purchases. Messenger Kids is currently available on iOS devices in the U.S. and versions for Android devices and Amazon Fire tablets will launch “soon.” (35:02)
Facebook Requires Domain Verification Process for All Publishers and Page Admins: Facebook confirms that the ability for publishers to edit the way their content appears on Facebook will be removed in “early Q1 2018,” unless admins complete the new Domain verification process for all of their pages. Domain verification provides a way for page owners and admins to claim ownership of their domain in Business Manager and allows them to control editing privileges of their links and other content. The intent behind this process is to prevent misuse of a domain and “to keep bad actors from spreading misinformation” on Facebook. This update was reported by Matt Navarra. (40:01)
*Important News for Facebook Page Admins*
Facebook confirms ability to edit link posts for ALL Pages will be removed in “Early Q1 2018”
…UNLESS you complete this ‘Domain Verification’ process for your Pages.
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) December 5, 2017
Facebook Unveils “Did You Know” Feature for Profiles on Mobile and the Web: Facebook rolled out a new section found on profile pages called “Did You Know.” It asks users to complete random statements such as “The superpower I want most is…” and “Mondays make me feel like…” to learn more about them. Users then have the option to share their responses as a colorful status update to their wall or set the privacy to Only Me and keep their responses to themselves. This new feature can be seen on mobile and the web.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) December 5, 2017
Facebook Adds New “You Got This” Effect to Posts and Comments: Facebook added a new interactive feature in which the words “You Got This” are highlighted in purple in posts and comments and generates animated bouncing likes across the screen when clicked. Facebook previously rolled out other greetings such as “Rad,” “XOXO,” and “Thanks.”
Facebook Adds New Greetings Buttons to Personal Profiles: The Next Web reports that Facebook seems to have rolled out a row of Greetings buttons beneath a user’s display picture on their profile page. This seems to be a variation of the “Hello” greeting that was quietly rolled out last month to some users. In addition to greeting someone with a “Hello,” users can now also hug, wink, poke, or high-five.
Facebook’s new ‘Greetings’ buttons are like Pokes on steroids https://t.co/Qm1XEBvM5I
— TNW (@TheNextWeb) December 7, 2017
Facebook Experiments With “Go Live With Inspiration” Feature for Live: Facebook appears to be testing a new feature that provides broadcasters with weekly topic suggestions for their live videos. Users are asked to create a short live video detailing their experiences with the suggested prompt. It seems that the intent behind these “topics of inspiration,” as shown in the example provided, is to encourage more users to broadcast more frequently using these questions or ideas as a starting point. This new tool was shared by Matt Navarra.
Instagram Tests Stand-Alone App for Direct: Instagram is in the process of testing a stand-alone Instagram Direct app for iOS and Android in Uruguay, Chile, Turkey, Italy, Portugal, and Israel. TechCrunch reports that the Instagram Direct app will be “a camera-first app that connects seamlessly back to Instagram.” Instagram friends are added instantly to the app and users will be able to create and share stories, and have access to exclusive filters, Boomerang, and other creative tools available on Instagram.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) December 7, 2017
Facebook Tests Pre-Roll Ads in Watch Tab: AdAge reports that “Facebook plans to test video ads at the start of Watch shows… in the coming weeks.” While Facebook has long resisted the pre-roll ad format for videos, the company appears to be considering it as a viable option for the programming featured on the recently introduced Watch Tab. Facebook hasn’t officially confirmed nor shared any details about this experiment, but it’s expected to roll out “in the coming weeks.”
— Ad Age (@adage) December 4, 2017
Facebook Tests Ability to Import Instagram Contacts Into Messenger: Facebook is currently testing a new feature that allows users to simply and easily sync their Instagram contacts into the Messenger experience. TechCrunch reports that this experiment is the latest in “a series of integrations between Instagram and Facebook’s properties, which included cross-posting Instagram Stories to Facebook and the ability to launch the Instagram app directly from Facebook.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) December 4, 2017
Periscope Expands Super Broadcaster Program to More Countries: Earlier this year, Periscope launched its Super Broadcaster program, which allows selected broadcasters to exchange their “star balance” for cash payments in the U.S. This past week, Periscope announced it has expanded this program to three more countries, Canada, the UK, and Ireland, and plans to add other countries “soon.” Residents in these countries can now apply to be a super broadcaster.
— Periscope (@PeriscopeCo) December 1, 2017
YouTube Announces Increased Content Moderation and Stricter Advertising Criteria in 2018: YouTube promised to take steps “to protect advertisers and creators from inappropriate content” and assures that marketers will have “peace of mind that their ads are running alongside content that reflects their brand’s values” in the coming year. YouTube will ramp up its ad review staff to 10,000 and plans to apply stricter criteria for which channels and videos are eligible for advertising, conduct more manual curation, and ensure that ads are only running where they should. YouTube also promises to develop additional tools to create more transparency around flagged content.
Twitter Enhances Support for AMP Article Analytics: Twitter is enhancing its implementation of Google’s Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) to give publishers access to article analytics. With more robust article analytics and insights into their audience on Twitter, publishers can better understand the origin of the traffic and distinguish it from organic views. Now when Twitter loads the AMP version of an article, Twitter will ping the original article URL in the background to allow article analytics services to record the view and will pass query arguments from the original article redirect into the AMP runtime. Pings to original articles are annotated as coming from Twitter.