Shining, Shimmering, Splendid Social Media News

Social media algorithms are constantly shifting. Updates are happening. Channels are popular, and then they’re not. Sometimes you can even open up your favorite social media and feel like it’s a 🎵whooole new wooorld 🎵! 

Come with us on a social media magic carpet ride to take in the wonder of the latest and greatest social media news. 

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Stop 1: Facebook

  • Are you single? Or is it... complicated? We’re asking for a friend; for the sake of privacy, let's call him Mark Z. No, that's too obvious... let's say, M. Zuckerberg.

    Starting later this year, Facebook will launch its own dating service, giving you the option to opt into creating a profile, and being matched with non-friends (essential), based on things in common, preferences, and mutual friends. Watch out, Tinder and Bumble, Zuckerberg is coming for you!

    Why does it matter? Okay, we admit it, this stop is not directly related to your business. But it does show something important. Even after the latest Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook isn’t going anywhere. The platform wants to retain and engage existing users and continue to expand. If this service is successful, users could spend even more time on the platform, and those are more potential eyeballs on you.
     
  • Augmenting business: Augmented reality is on the rise and Facebook is here for it!  The platform recently announced the integration of branded AR tools into Messenger. Companies will be able to build their own digital experiences for users to try a product or service, without ever setting foot into a store! Think trying Sephora make-up on without going to the mall, or seeing the interior of a car without going to the showroom.

    Why does it matter? You've already tried this out, maybe without realizing -- ever downloaded the Pokemon app? A third of all smartphone users engage with AR at least once a month and those numbers are expected to rise to 120 million by 2021. Keep an eye on this technology because before you know it you could be hiring a developer to create an AR experience for your snazzy new product.   

Stop 2: Twitter

  • Making it rain : It's not #FakeNews: After 12 years, Twitter is finallymaking money! Not only are they making more than their profit projections, but they’re gaining users both at home in the US and even more overseas. This is likely due in part to the platform’s fight against fake accounts, expansion to 280 characters, one yuuuuge Presidential Twitter presence keeping the platform relevant, and at least saying publicly that they're open to more ideas to increase trustworthiness and safety.

    Why does it matter? Twitter was once close to death. (Sad!) It wasn’t profitable and numbers were stagnant. But now it’s here to stay, at least until 2020! Tweet away with confidence.
     
  • However, stop reading this and go change your password: Yesterday, Twitter recommended that all users change their passwords after discovering an error in how they stored user information. (Whoopsies!) They promised that nothing had been compromised, but we recommend, yes, changing your password just to be safe. And, for the last time, make it something secure!

Stop 3: Instagram

  • Let’s go exploring: Do you ever use the “Explore” section of Instagram? It’s the little magnifying glass on the bottom bar of your app that shows you new accounts and content Instagram thinks you’ll like. Now, Instagram wants to make it’s discovery process even more user-friendly by organizing it into channels. You might have already seen a scrollable, horizontal row come up on your feed, allowing you to browse interesting themes, their related hashtags, and their top content by swiping sideways. Soon you’ll be able to get even more animal best friend video stories or inspiring architecture shots, even more easily.

    Why does it matter? Instagram is making it even easier for users to find content from accounts they don’t follow. Want to get in on the new discovery process? Your company’s hashtags matter! Once the tool launches, browse the categories you want your company to be in, write down the top hashtags, and try those out to get some extra traffic. (We also have to say that this focus on Discovery reminds us a whole lot of what Pinterest does, too. And Instagram just very quietly started rolling out native payments to a select group of users, meaning that as you discover things you can also buy them. If you're interested in this idea of pushing out products and services to be discovered via search and hashtags, Instagram is cool and all but don't sleep on Pinterest -- they're already doing this!)

Stop 4: Snapchat

  • Come back to me: Snapchat wants its users back. After a major redesign late last year, Snapchat is suffering, with lower-than-expected growth and lower-than-expected profits. Users hated it so much that over 1 million people signed a Change petition calling for the old design. Snapchat recently announced its redesigning its app yet again in hopes of placating its users.

    Why does it matter? We’ll be blunt: Snapchat ain't doing great. The platform is struggling with poor design, poor growth, incredibly high spending, and plummeting stock. (And you may have heard back in February how much market value they lost after Kylie Jenner Tweeted about it. See? Twitter's still on top!) A good redesign could be the difference between Snapchat regaining momentum or falling into social media oblivion. (Say hello to MySpace for us.)

Finally, just so you have a little memento to remember our social media magic carpet ride by, here’s a handy infographic about social media algorithms. Stay up to date, stay magical, and see you next week!  

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