New month, new updates. We have summed up a list of January social media updates as follow: 

Facebook – News Feed to prioritise friends, family, local and community trusted sources

Facebook – Multilingual Ads

Facebook – Ad Budget Optimisation

Facebook – Facial Recognition for impersonation prevention

Instagram – Automatic scheduling with 3rd party applications

Instagram – GIF Stickers

Instagram – New Video Calling Feature?

Snapchat – Lens Studio


Facebook reweighs news feed content to prioritise friends, family, local and community trusted sources.

The news about Facebook´s news feed changes has hardly been missed by anyone of you. In the past month, Facebook has committed three main readjustments to News Feed post ranking. The following will now be prioritised on your audience’s feed:

  1. Posts by friends and family,
  2. local publishers and their news, and
  3. sources trusted and voted for by your community.

1) Facebook prioritises posts by friends and family

Let’s take a walk down the memory lane. Facebook first started off as a social media network, exclusive for Harvard students. It then expanded to the rest of the world and became a popular platform “to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us,” as emphasized by Zuckerberg. After, it grew continuously and became a place for sharing content (high or low quality) from everyone and everywhere. However, this year, Facebook has announced that it is bringing friends and family back into the equation and focusing on it.

With the new update, posts that “sparkle conversations and meaningful interactions between people” will be prioritised. However, this means that businesses “may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease,” depending on several factors such as the type of content and how people interact with them.

One way to beat the system is to craft more engaging Page posts, such as live videos, that promote conversations with your followers. By this, we do not mean the engagement-bait posts that are down-ranked.

Read more: Facebook – News Feed FYI: Bringing People Closer Together

2) Facebook to Prioritise Local Publishers in Latest News Feed Update

From 29 January, local publishers’ organic posts shared by themselves or via friends will show up higher on your audience’s News Feed. The aim? Get users informed on nearby happenings that can have a direct impact on them or their community. Facebook is identifying local news publishers as websites with post links that are clicked on by readers within a certain geographical boundary. This ties in with Facebook’s objective of increasing circulation of high-value news as mentioned in our 2017 social media wrap-ups.

Read more: The Guardian -Facebook to Prioritize Local News Sources in Latest Feed Update

3) Facebook – Getting trusted and informative news to you

Facebook has, on 22nd January, started testing another big change to your news feed: “to prioritize news from publications that the community rates as trustworthy”  

In addition, Facebook mentions how they have been inviting users to rank, on a scale of one to five, how informativeness updates on their feed were. Taking these rankings into consideration, news from publications that your audience’s community rates as trustworthy, being prioritised and shown higher on their newsfeed. It is especially important now to ensure the trustworthiness of your business in your customers’ eyes. That way, you can leverage on the update to see an increase in reach, rather than a decrease.

Read more: Facebook – News Feed FYI: Helping Ensure News on Facebook Is From Trusted Sources

Facebook Multilingual Ads for Global Advertising

Have you been creating separate ads, each written in a different language? Here’s some good news for you! With Facebook’s new update, you can immediately create one ad with up to 6 different language variants. Start creating your ads effectively and Facebook will present them to your target audience at the right time, in the right language.

january social media updates - Facebook multilingual ads

This is especially useful if your target audience is located in a region where multilingualism is vast, such as in Europe. Do note that this is still in its open beta testing stage and will be rolled out gradually.

Read more: Facebook – Create an Ad Campaign for All of Your Languages

Facebook Ads Budget Optimisation Gets You The Highest ROI

On the same topic of Facebook ads, a “campaign budget optimisation” tool that aims to help you save time and maximise your returns on investments with automated ad set budget allocation was released last November.

January Social Media Updates Facebook Ad campaign (1)


With one central budget for the entire campaign, the optimisation tool distributes the money across your ad sets, prioritising high-performance sets in real time. This ensures that you get more bang for your buck with a lower cost per result.

Read more: Facebook – Introducing an Easier Way to Maximize Campaign Results

Facebook Photo Review for personal security and nostalgia

Face recognition has been integrated into the platform with a “single “on/off” control.” The update now allows you to find photos of yourself, even when you are not tagged in it, and detect impersonations. However, its effect on business accounts remains unconfirmed. How the technology works, according to Facebook is that it “analyzes the pixels in photos you’re already tagged in and generates a string of numbers we call a template. When photos and videos are uploaded to our systems, we compare those images to the template”. So, it depends on what others or yourself have been tagging!

Read more: Facebook – Managing Your Identity on Facebook with Face Recognition Technology

Instagram scheduling, finally

To those who have been settling for 3rd party Instagram schedulers that only allow you to pre-write captions and send reminders to upload them, listen up! Instagram is finally allowing 3rd party schedulers, to post on your behalf, automatically. I mean, what’s the point of paying for a scheduler to get a reminder to post a photo at 8 am on a Saturday morning?

Read more: Instagram – Now You Can Schedule Posts with the Instagram Graph API

GIFs are the new stickers

GIFs have become a staple in today’s marketing world. GIF companies such as GIPHY has infiltrated the tech scene. It’s an engaging, funny and memorable way to interact with your audience. And, Instagram is introducing them into their mix of stickers!

Here is how BuzzFeed is using them.

January Social Media Updates - Gifs

Read more: Instagram – Introducing GIF Stickers

Would You Use Instagram for Video Calls?

With many companies moving towards supporting in-app video call features, Instagram may be doing that as well. Facebook, Instagram’s parent company has been incorporating video call features in many of their applications such as Whatsapp and Messenger.

January Social Media Updates - IG Call

There have been rumours going around that the said feature is undergoing development. However, no one knows it for sure, as Instagram is keeping quiet about it. If pushed out, the new feature will only be available in pre-existing conversations and be activated with a tap of the video icon at the top of the window.

Currently, the closest thing that Instagram has to video calling is joining a friend’s live video. It could be months or never before Instagram releases the feature, but keep your eyes peeled!

Read more: Independent – Instagram Video Calls: Leaked Feature Hints at Huge Change for the App

Snapchat Lenses as Engagement Booster

Last December, Snapchat released their second platform, Lens Studio. The new tool allows you to build and customise your own augmented reality lenses on the desktop, and use them in-app on your mobile.

As of now, these lenses are only available through world lens, which is the camera lens attached to the back of your phone. Lens Studio provides a comprehensive onboarding process with templates and guides for both 2 and 3D designs. The designs created can be further enhanced with depth perceptions for example.

January Social Media Updates - Snapchat lenses

Lenses and Geofilters enable visitors to interact with their environment online and offline. Branding your lenses could be a way of gaining brand visibility through a fun and engaging way. This is based on the chance that users will share these lenses with their friends because it is fun(ny). Also, this could also get you some new Snapchat followers!

Deep-linked Snapcodes are generated upon lens creation and are available for use for up to 24 hours. The Snapcode remains valid for a year and can be unlocked multiple times.

Read more: Snap Inc – Introducing Lens Studio


That’s a wrap for January social media updates! At the end of the day, social media is a huge channel for your business to reach out to your consumers. Algorithm changes and novel feature enhancements such as customised lenses keep consumers on these platforms. And, while the obvious application of video calls lay more towards communication between consumers themselves, will there be a possibility for businesses to hold video calls as spontaneously with their customers in the near future? Whatsapp messages started off as a messaging platform for the public but now, we have Whatsapp Business as well. What do you think?