It’s time for Sparkle’s September wrap-up of all the updates from the different social media platforms! For the past month, there were many updates from the giants, Facebook (as expected) and Twitter. As usual, we will be highlighting the most relevant updates, so that you get the best information on how to reach out to your audience in the shortest amount of time. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Increased character limits
Woohoo? Twitter has finally started testing their 280-words limit update. This has got to be one of the biggest changes awaited by many for an eternity. Or, at least I have been.?
Companies now have more leeway as to crafting their messages as now, they will not have to shorten them to the point that it does not quite capture the meaning. The update also meant that you will not be able to see how many characters you are left with until you hit the 140 characters mark, whereby a blue half circle appears next to the tweet button. Following which, a countdown to 280 character starts.
On a side note, there have been rumours of an in-app tweetstorm function. If true, users will be able to preview their serial posts before publishing.
1. Instagram Poll
Everyone, including companies, can now create polls for insights through their stories or posts. The poll allows for real-time tracking of survey progress, identification of each vote and popular choices. The audience will also be able to see which of the options are most popular. While this may affect some individuals’ choices and opinions, it certainly helps increase engagement time with your customers.
As part of the movement with Shopify, selected merchants from a wide range of industries – fashion, jewellery and more, are now able to tag products in their posts. Users can now purchase products without having to leave the platform. Let us march towards to the future of e-commerce!
1. Instant videos
Think Spotify premium but without the price tag. With the Instant video function, users can now download Facebook videos marked with lightning bolts into their phone when connected to Wi-Fi and watch them on the go for free. This feature is not to be confused with the Facebook Watch function covered in last month’s update. However, because videos take a longer time to load as compared to web pages, you should keep in mind to optimise viewability of the clip for your fans’ maximum enjoyment value.
Facebook Instant Videos coming soon? ⚡️
h/t Devesh Logendran pic.twitter.com/rNZYkbeL2r
— Matt Navarra ⭐️ (@MattNavarra) September 11, 2017
The feature is currently still in its testing stage and is only available to a small proportion of Android users. The OS remains a preferred choice as it opens up doors in the developing world, where network connections are less accessible.
According to Techcrunch, users will be able to temporarily unfollow and decrease noise by snoozing notifications from pages, groups and chats for 24 hours, 7 days or 30 days. This, as well, is in its testing stages.
When launched, the feature could go a long way in preventing you from losing your followers permanently, by giving them better control over their newsfeed. Although when snoozed, the user might see less of you in the future, it is a trade-off worth considering. However, this is no reason to over-spam your existing followers because even Facebook will not be able to save you then!
Great news for charity organisations in the UK and EU region! Facebook has now incorporated donate buttons to selected charities.
Previously, charities had to use 3rd party websites such as JustGiving for crowdfunding. Now, users are able to donate to your cause without having to leave the platform. Another cool aspect is that users can donate through Facebook Live videos as well! Facebook positions itself as a better alternative to competitors by not charging an additional monthly fee for using their service.
4. Combining power editor and ads manager
Some of us might have already noticed it but there seems to be a certain something that is different in ads manager. That is right! Facebook has recently updated their ads manager to provide a consolidated platform to manage your ads.
Previously, depending on if we wanted guided creations or quick creations, we had to use ads manager and power editor respectively. Power editor can be used for both types of creations but, we would think that its main use lies in quick creations. However, in the new ads manager, you are able to toggle between the two types of creations. Of course, users will automatically be redirected to the type of creation that they were used to previously. This can be changed depending on your preference. Also, you will now be able to save your work as drafts in ads manager. This way, you will not have to start all over again when you accidentally leave the platform.
Lastly, the new manager provides a single source for reports, piecing together comprehensive customisable elements such as date benchmarks and summary rows.
That is all from us at Sparkle for the month of September (and a few days into October, but who is complaining?). Stay tuned for the next round of monthly updates!