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What’s New in Social Media: May 2017 Edition

It's difficult to stay up to speed when the social media landscape is constantly shifting and shaping – we get it! That's why we provide our partners with a This Week in Social Media (TWISM) e-newsletter. We highlight the biggest changes in social media weekly and share these updates and insights with our partners and internal teams. We’ve compiled the best of the best TWISM posts and share them with you in What's New in Social Media: May 2017 Edition.

  • Facebook Just Extended Reactions to Comments: Facebook Reactions have rolled out to the comment section of posts. Users now have the ability to respond to comments with the usual Reactions (like, love, haha, wow, sad and angry).
  • Snapchat Just Added a Feature That Works a Lot Like Instagram's Boomerang: “Snapchat users can now turn their videos into looping, GIF-like clips to share with their friends.” The videos can be up to 10 seconds long and will stay on the screen until the viewer taps it. There is also a new Loop tool that allows users to decide “if your Snap will play once or loop until your friend is ready to tap through to the next Snap.” In addition to these changes, users “can now also set photos to stay on a friend's screen indefinitely, forcing [them] to swipe through the image…. [The app has] also implemented a way to edit images in a Photoshop-style fashion, with the ability to erase parts of a picture.”  
  • Instagram Users Can Now Share Photos Via Its Mobile Site: Instagram launched its new mobile web experience where users can now post photos, browse feeds and profiles, search for accounts, view notifications, see suggested accounts and use a lightweight version of Explore. “The new mobile experience is not supported on desktop.”
  • How Facebook Is Using AI to Penalize Spammy, Ad-Heavy Websites in Its News Feed: “Facebook announced an update to its news feed algorithm that penalizes links to web pages it considers low quality… [which] will curtail the reach of organic posts containing these links and block ads linking to these pages from being approved.” The update will apply to ads running across Facebook, Instagram and Facebook's Audience Network, as well as organic posts. This may impact sites that don't match Facebook's quality-assessing algorithm, as they could potentially see more traffic from Facebook as a result of the decrease in traffic to low-quality sites from the platform, according to Facebook. 
  • Periscope Now Allows Android Users to Broadcast Live 360 Video: “Periscope now allows Android users to broadcast live 360-degree video. This functionality was previously limited to iOS users and those broadcasting through Periscope Producer. Live 360-degree broadcasts are labeled with a special ‘Live 360’ badge, and they can be watched on both Periscope and Twitter. In a help article, Periscope said web users can watch these broadcasts ‘on all web browsers except for Safari.’”
  • Pinterest Brings Its Visual Discovery Technology to the Advertising Side: “The technology behind Pinterest's three visual discovery tools – Lens, Shop the Look and Instant Ideas – is now being used to help advertisers optimize their Promoted Pins…. [I]n the same way visual discovery technology is used on organic content, it recognizes characteristics within images – colors, shapes and textures –  and determines which of those characteristics makes the pictured product unique…. [A]ds using visual discovery will begin to appear in Related Pins and Instant Ideas immediately, with Shop the Look and Lens to follow.” 
  • Facebook's War on Clickbait: Facebook's new update is now “reducing the reach of posts with sensational headlines.” Individual posts that intentionally omit or exaggerate information in their headlines will be penalized with this reach reduction. 
  • Twitter Is Offering Advertisers More Tools to Engage Consumers With Direct Messages: “Twitter revealed that it's giving brands more multimedia features to encourage one-on-one conversations within promoted tweets, including video, interactive images and questions-based bots. Called Direct Message Cards, the feature can involve up to four, custom, call-to-action buttons that send users to direct messages within the brand.”
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