Big changes are coming to social channels as the summer draws to a close. We’re seeing new ad options, labor-saving innovations, and the end of an era in social. Whether your company runs social internally or outsources its management to an agency like ours, it’s important to keep up to date on all the new developments on the major platforms we use every day. To help with that, here’s the latest news from some of the most influential channels.
1. Twitter ditches the character limit for DMs. While tweets are staying at the short and sweet length of 140 characters, direct messages on Twitter will no longer be subject to the same limitations, the site announced on their blog today. Perhaps this means users will seize the opportunity to take public conversations into private messaging, and stop clogging the feeds of their followers. But then again, that’s not really what Twitter is for, is it?
2. Facebook live streaming arrives via Mentions. Responding to criticisms that the site is not conducive to live video, Facebook has launched a native streaming service called Live which operates in the Facebook Mentions app, used by those with high-engagement profiles such as celebrities and pro athletes, Mashable reports. Similar to what Periscope and Meerkat have done for Twitter, Live will offer a new way for fans to connect to their favorite celebrities on a more personal level. A notable difference is that Live streams will be posted to the Facebook profile of the high-engagement user upon conclusion, rather than just living in the live streaming app.
3. Instagram has switched on its ad API. In a move that has shocked very few, Instagram has taken a major step toward becoming an advertising super power much like its parent company. According to Business Insider, by turning on its advertising application programming interface, the photo-sharing app has opened the floodgates to advertisers looking to automate their campaigns on Instagram, which means big changes are coming to a mobile feed near you.
4. Snapchat rolls out new customizable and data-saving features. Teens, rejoice! An update released this week will allow users to opt out of automatically loading Stories from their friends list to help save data when not connected to wifi, Tech Crunch reports. The Travel Mode update is accompanied by other improvements, including increased emoji options, and is indicative of the app’s growing international appeal.
5. Google+ disconnects from other Google services. Never quite gaining its anticipated traction, Google+ announced late last month that users wouldn’t need to connect their G+ accounts, or even have accounts, to use other Google services such as YouTube. The decision was applauded by many, and excludes G+ from the “One Account. All of Google.” mission. The future of the Google+ we’ve come to know is very much unclear, and according to Marketing Land, this is one of the final nails in the coffin for the platform, which has divided its surviving assets to carry on the legacy. R.I.P.