New Year, New Features, New Skills, New You

2017 is winding down! Before you completely unplug for the holidays, skim these newest changes and updates so you can start off 2018 from a place of knowledge.

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Getting fancy on Facebook

If you had a dollar for every time we told you video is important, you’d probably be reading this Slice on your own private jet. But here we go again: video is important, and Facebook just added a free library of audio tracks to take your video content to the next level. “Sound Collection” is your ticket to a whole new world of audio tracks and sound effects to add a little something extra to your videos.They’re free to use for all your content creation needs on Facebook and Instagram.

Why is this important? Well, these sounds may not be the Top 40 hits you’re jamming out to on your commute, but one of the top requests we get from clients who ask us to help produce videos is free-for-use music. This might save us (and you!) hours of Googling -- but we'll still have to listen to lots of samples to find just the right one! Finding copyright-free sound is crucial so you don’t have to worry after putting so much time and money into a video. And if the timesaving and legality of it all doesn’t hook you, we don't know what will. Your video content is already a gift; this is just a way to wrap it up nicely and add some bows.

Next-level archiving and hashtagging on Instagram

Get ready... Instagram is changing their game in two major ways:

  1. Your disappearing stories don’t have to disappear. You can now say “abracadabra” and bring them back to live on your profile forever with “Stories Highlights." Basically there will soon be a new bar below your bio image with different categories to which you can save your stories. And all of your stories will now be automatically saved to your “Stories Archive,” where you can simply rewatch them over and over or save them to your highlight reel.

    Why does this matter? Glad you asked, because this matters a lot! You can now get a lot more bang for your buck with all the time and energy you put into Instagram Stories. You can create highlights based on campaigns, FAQs, specific products, how tos…. any content that can and should be evergreen.
     
  2. #HashtagGamechanger. We all know hashtags are important on Instagram, but checking them is cumbersome. Even if there’s a hashtag you monitor regularly, each time you have to go to your Explore tab, type in the hashtag, and scroll away (or pay for a third-party tool). Instagram will now let you follow hashtags. This adds a selection of top posts using the selected hashtag to your feed, right alongside all those accounts you did decide to follow. You can start exploring your favorite topics and finding new users all without actually going to the Explore tab.

    Why do we love this? The pressure is on to choose your hashtags wisely. This has potential to get your content in front of more eyes, and it makes it easier to keep an eye on important content, too. It's about time!

A different kind of snapping on Snapchat

Redesigned and revamped, Snapchat is now emphasizing personal connections more than ever, which is maybe not-so-great for companies. Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel described it as, “We’re separating the ‘social’ from the ‘media,’ re-organizing Snapchat around your relationships to make it more personal." What that actually means is Snapchat is separating out a Friends-only feed, sorted by the users you interact with most to encourage more one-to-one interaction. The personal touch doesn’t stop there. Stories will also be played based on order of interaction, with an auto-advance feature turned back on to allow users to easily skip over the content that makes them yawn. 

Why does it matter? It’s now that much harder to connect with a user as a brand on Snapchat. There will be no companies on the Friends tab unless the company and the user both follow each other. On top of that, prioritizing content by engagement means that, unless users are regularly responding to your snaps, your stories are likely move way down the priority list after a user's best friend, her ex-boyfriend, her sister, and that girl she went to college with. This is yet another reason to focus on making quality content that people actually want to see, and NOT just posting things because you feel like you should.

Finally, the most important news of 2017

Here are the most Instagram famous pets of 2017. Happy Fri-yay!