Big changes afoot for the major social networks

Posted by on May 17, 2018 in Blog, Social Media News | 0 comments

Big changes afoot for the major social networks

Your business may have to think differently in 2018 after Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Whatsapp all announced big changes.

Here’s what you need to do if you want to continue to get the best for your business on the networks.

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It’s been yet another fast-moving month for social media! Are you struggling to keep up with all the changes? Don’t worry. We’ve got this.

This month, we’ll take a look at Facebook F8 2018. This is the Facebook Developer Conference, where the social giant announced its latest plans, not only for Facebook, but also for Instagram and Whatsapp. There’s some exciting things happening, and we’ve got our pick of the best.

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Facebook F8 2018

What’s Next For Facebook?

At the beginning of May the Facebook F8 conference kicked off. A lot has changed for this social network in the past year. People are starting to worry about data privacy, so it’s fair to say that Facebook’s in the public eye like never before. As the 2018 Developer Conference loomed, many were wondering – what’s next for Facebook?

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg delivered a keynote. He seemed to be in crisis management mode, attempting to allay fears by outlining his plans for renewed data protection. He also touched upon election meddling, fake news, and the amount of control users can have over their data. Read more about his keynote here.

Beyond this, it seems there’s a load of new features planned for Facebook. Historically, new Facebook features have forced businesses to fundamentally reconsider how they use the platform for marketing. This stuff is important!

Have You Got a Facebook Group for Your Business?

A lot of the updates concern Facebook Groups. There’ll soon be a Groups Tab, so users will be able to see updates from all of their Groups in one place. Group Admins will be able to launch “Watch Parties”, letting you and your members watch videos together. As an admin, you’ll be able to provide live commentary.

It seems that Facebook considers Groups to be a huge part of their platform. So if you don’t currently run a group for your business, it might be time to set one up! You’ll soon be able to add a “Join Group” button to your website, to make it as easy as possible for people to join your community.

Facebook Messenger Bots

Facebook Messenger is Open For Business

This could be the big one. Before you know it, Messenger could be the way to do business on Facebook.

As to how you might use Facebook Messenger for business could be a blog post in itself. And with all the new updates just announced, it’s going to take us a short while to get to grips with the sheer number of possibilities now available.

So what’s new? Quite a bit! You’ll soon be able to share rich media on Messenger, including HD images and 360 videos. You’ll be able to add a customer chat plug-in to your website – which of course means that you’ll be able to continue conversations with prospects offsite, on Facebook.

They’re launching peer-to-peer payments, and the ability to translate conversations at the click of a button. And if you have the skill and the imagination, you’ll soon be able to build your very own Augmented Reality experiences and share them on Messenger.

It pays to pay attention to Facebook. The things they choose to talk about hint at the sort of content and experiences they see as meaningful. So if you want to continue to get the best from Facebook for your business, you’re going to need a Group, and you’re going to need to look into Messenger!

Instagram allow users to follow topics

There’s no doubt that Facebook is moving fast when it comes to commercialising Instagram. They’ve brought the principals of their Facebook algorithm to the Instagram newsfeed, meaning that you can no longer rely on hashtags and shoddy content to get you seen by your target audience.

At F8, it was announced that Instagram was planning a major redesign of the Explore tab, and displayed an example of how it would look:

Facebook F8 news

The update will allow users to explore by topic, enabling them to more easily find the areas they are interested in. In December, Instagram announced users could follow particular hashtags – apparently more than 100 million people across the world now do that. Businesses will need to work out how to get their content into these new topics and hashtag streams – usually by posting relevant content and ensuring the descriptions and hashtags are appropriate.

Instagram has also launched a new “bullying filter” which will hide language that is commonly used to harass people – something we’re particularly interested in, bearing in mind our Positive Social work with young people.

WhatsApp gets serious about business

WhatsApp has had potential for businesses for a while. For instance we told the story about a Midlands business that was achieving vast amounts of sales over WhatsApp a few years ago but it seems Facebook wants to take its conversation app to the next level. The network announced it wants to get more businesses using WhatsApp, particularly when it comes to handling lots of messages. It’s also planning features such as Away and Quick Reply Messages. Something to look out for.

LinkedIn profiles get ANOTHER redesign

Away from F8, we do like this LinkedIn new-look that’s been rolled out over personal profiles – hopefully LinkedIn will soon start making Company profiles look equally as good!

LinkedIn profile changes update

There are a few notable changes. The profile photo has been moved back to the left – meaning you’ll need to check that your large cover photo still works. Your contact information has become a lot easier to spot – something that’s been needed for some time. The character count and font size for your summary have increased, making it more noticeable and easier to read. And your media (photos, videos, etc) are now a lot more prominent.

It’s definitely worth looking at your LinkedIn profile and seeing what you need to update!

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