The world of social media is constantly changing and evolving - and if you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to fall behind. Here’s what’s happening right now:
Branded Augmented Reality Filters
With more than 400 million daily users, Instagram Stories are definitely the place to be. You’ve likely seen Instagram Stories’ augmented reality (AR) filters in use - the puppy dog face, heart eyes, the filter that makes your mouth huge, and the bunny ears filter just to name a few. And now, you can launch your own branded AR filter!
Similar to a branded Snapchat filter, users are able to swipe through filter options and choose the one they’d like to add prior to posting on their story. AR filters offer a new, interactive way to engage with users and build brand awareness. These filters also offer a huge growth opportunity because in order to access a brand’s filters, users must either follow the brand or visit the brand’s profile. You can also “try out” the filter if you see one of your friends using the filter in their stories. Interested in trying out a branded AR filter? Let us know and we can help get you started!
Image source: Tech@Facebook
Reply to Direct Messages from Desktop
You can now reply to your Instagram direct messages (DMs) from your desktop! Anyone who spends time responding to DMs knows how time consuming it can be to reply to these messages on a mobile device - but now you can respond from your computer, making your social engagement easier and more efficient.
First of all, your Instagram and Facebook accounts must be (and should be) connected to one another. In your browser, load your Facebook business page and click on the “Inbox” tab. In the left sidebar, you should see your Messages category broken out into “Messenger” and “Instagram Direct”, allowing you to easily respond to all messages at once! The unified inbox was rolled out a few months ago, but was most recently added to Creator Studio profiles as well.
Hiding Likes - an Update
You might be wondering whatever happened with the rumor that Instagram would be hiding the likes count on users’ content. In May, Instagram started testing this feature in Canada, and according to a recent Tweet from Instagram, they’re expanding this test to now include Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand.
Users will still be able to see how many likes they receive on their own posts to help gauge what types of content their followers “like” to see, but as you scroll through your feed, there will be no like counts on others’ posts.
For brands, this could make it difficult to select influencers to work with, however it’s also an opportunity for brands to analyze other metrics such as impressions.
Hiding likes could allow content creators to focus more on producing unique, authentic or “imperfect” content. Influencers won’t necessarily need to worry about the “optimal posting time” or only posting content that receives the greatest number of likes.
At this point, it’s only a matter of time until this feature is rolled out in the US…
Chat Bots Gaining Popularity
Facebook Messenger chatbots are growing in popularity. In fact, Business Insider predicts that by 2020, more than 80% of businesses will be using chatbots - and for good reason. These bots can be customized to perform a range of tasks from answering basic customer service questions about your shopping center to informing your followers about an upcoming event and more.
As of July 2019, Facebook Messenger has 1.6 billion monthly active users, making it one of the most popular apps in the world. And, according to DigitalMarketer, Facebook Messenger chat blasts can achieve open rates ranging from 70-80% which will increase your engagement rate and keep your center top of mind - and ultimately drive on-premise shoppers.
Renaming its Subsidiaries
In an effort to be transparent about its products and services, Instagram and WhatsApp will append “From Facebook” to the end of their names - becoming “Instagram From Facebook” and “WhatsApp From Facebook”. The updates will be visible in app stores and within the apps themselves, but will not be visible on your homescreen.
The name changes arrive at a somewhat controversial time as Facebook has been under scrutiny for data scandals and has become the subject of an FTC investigation for potential antitrust violations when purchasing their former rivals.
New Desktop Layout
Twitter rolled out a new desktop view last month, which aligns more similarly to its mobile experience. According to Twitter, the new Twitter.com is “a refreshed and updated website that is faster, easier to navigate and more personalized.”
It’s now easier to see what’s happening with “Trends for you” in a more prominent, easy to see location. Plus, your bookmarks, lists and profile are easy to find in the left nav, making it easier to jump between the different sections of the site.
If you have a couple profiles (maybe your personal and business accounts), you know the previous struggle of logging in and out of multiple profiles - but now you can toggle between accounts directly from the side nav!
Last but not least, Twitter has now made it even easier to make Twitter yours. You can now choose between different themes and color options. There’s even two different dark mode options for all you night owls.
What will be next for social? We’re most interested to see how Instagram’s branded AR filters play out!