We are back again with a wrap up of all the important April social media news and trends! April has been a very busy month for Facebook, with the Cambridge Analytica data breach and premature depreciation of Instagram’s API. Apart from that, Snapchat and LinkedIn has been introducing new and improved features that are waiting to be tested out by you! Here’s a summary of the updates that we will be covering:


Premature depreciation of Instagram API in light of Facebook Data Breach

Lo and behold, it’s the premature Instagram API depreciation. Not much of a feature update but this is one of the social media news that definitely has to be covered.

Before we continue, here’s a shout out to all of our Sparkle customers who were patient with us and supported us through, while our beloved team members raced to get everything under control!

While Instagram first announced its depreciation of its API, which will be succeeded by its new Graph API to commence in July, the Cambridge Analytica scandal has had the Facebook owned platform clamping down on its API with little notice, sending many Instagram-reliant companies into a frenzy.

Instagram-supported applications were unable to provide a number of functionalities to their customers until further notice. Affected features included commenting, following/unfollowing, like/unlike and retrieve analytics (such as follower count)  on the behalf of businesses. A new rate limit has been imposed (from 5000 to 200 requests per hour).


Control “Noise” with Mute

Slightly similar to Facebook’s Snooze featured in our September 2017 summary, users can now hide content from other users that they are following. However, the users will not be able to set how long the posts will be muted for.

This update gives users the power to choose when they want to see your content, when they want to, instead of simply unfollowing you.


Bring Your Instagram Data to Anywhere You Want


Just the word itself is enough to make my head spin. The new European Union privacy law has many businesses worldwide implementing new data handling procedures. Facebook and Instagram included. Especially with the Cambridge Analytica incident, knowing what kind of information social media channels have of you has become 10x more important.

Hence, Instagram is allowing its users to export their photos, videos, archived Stories, profile, info, non-ephemeral messages and comments, etc. The best way to do it right now is through the interweb, since access via iOS and Android are still underway.

HOWEVER, this is not just for the sake of complying with GDPR. Instagram is the main photo sharing platform that most of us have been using. Even if a new photo app comes around and becomes a strong competitor to Instagram, the thought of not being able to transfer our data from Instagram to the new app may hinder us from doing so. Hence, with the new update, Instagram is releasing us from these “restraints” they have on us, allowing us to migrate to whatever photo apps we want to.

Also, now that we as photo app consumers have the power to take whatever content that we have and migrate it everywhere, we won’t have to use 3rd party applications which cuts out the risk of being hacked or having our content scraped for their own use.


Revised Advertising Tools to Protect Consumer Data

Facebook Ads as well is not spared considering how much it leverages on the consumers’ and similar audiences’ data. The biggest change is the absence of custom audience size.

Usually, when we create our ads, we have the option to choose our targeting options such as the audience demographics and where we want it to be shown. With the new update, we will not be able to see those indicators. Instead, we can only have a gauge based on the red, green and yellow indicators that reflect how specific or broad the audience is, without delving the numbers. This creates problems for us because we will not be able to estimate the reach of the audience our ad is going out to. Hopefully, Facebook will be able to work around this and give more information, or a least some form of estimate! Read more about the changes here.


Organising your life? Start with Snapchat’s Tabs first!

While everyone is still talking about how unhappy they are and celebrities boycotting snapchat due to the redesign, Snapchat is hoping that their new features such as mentions, shoppable and now, Tabs can appease them!

As seen in Mike Murphy’s Tweet above, Snapchat now separates Groups, Chats and Stories into 3 different tabs on friends and Discover pages. Elite Daily also shared some news from their conversation with a Snapchat spokesperson on how Tabs help Snapchatters “keep up with the Stories they want, when they want them.” Now, you can shuffle between the tabs to easily locate your friends’ stories and chats. Let’s hope that it brings some organisation into your lives.

The tabs also show Stories in reverse chronological order instead of its old algorithmically sorted order. Most recent Stories will come up on top while not so recent ones come at the bottom. It does make sense to a certain extent since you will probably want to see what’s happening around you now, instead of something that has happened a few hours ago.

However, this also means that the Stories and Chats which you frequent may be buried among the flood of content. Although, Snapchat has moved social media stars and brands that are not your followers to the Discover section to minimise noise in the Stories tab!


Bring Advertising to the Next Level with Snapchat Lenses

Most people think that Snapchat is banking on its stories feature to retain both business and users. But guess what. It’s not! What makes Snapchat Snapchat is actually it’s lenses, and many businesses find themselves with more advertising options beyond Facebook and Linkedin.

Last February, there has been speculations that Snapchat could become a new channel for e-commerces to reach out to potential customers by bringing their products onto snapchat, allowing customers to purchase through Snapcodes via Shopify. Today, they are adding another feature to the basket for marketers to increase conversions right on the app itself- Shoppable AR lenses.

With shoppable lenses, advertisers can add their website or landing pages to face or world lenses’ sponsored photo filters without additional costs. This allows them to convert into customers within the platform itself.

Bidding for ad placements start from $100/day. If you would like to target a specific audience, the pre-negotiated price per thousand users budget ranges from $40,000/day and up.

Other recent Snapchat updates:


Replying your LinkedIn Message in a GIF-y (pun intended)

Get it? GIF-y and jiffy?

Moving on! LinkedIn! What distinguishes it from other social networking apps say Facebook and Twitter?

To me, it’s that LinkedIn is oriented towards more “professional” networking and business opportunities. However, it has been introducing a few features in the past few months that make it seem…more informal?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that LinkedIn has to be all stiff and boring. I understand (or think) that these features were introduced to make the platform more engaging for its users.

But introducing GIFs? I’m not too sure about how it’ll affect your brand message tone and image. If the intention is to look young and energetic and all things Sparkle, GIFs can be a good addition.

The GIF integration is supported by Tenor, after it got acquired by Google. With the new feature, you will be able to send GIFs through LinkedIn Messaging, see what are the trending GIFs and what are popular within LinkedIn. The update is available for half of LinkedIn users and will be slowly rolled out to the rest.

Would you send GIFs to your recruiter or potential job candidate?


Those were the top 5 updates that happened this April. Let us know what you think and subscribe to our mailing list to get your monthly social media update summary sent to your inbox directly. Cheers!