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What's New in Social Media: January 2018 Edition

Mackenzie Davidson

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 TWISMs (so you don't have to!) and share them with you in What's New in Social Media: January 2018 Edition.

    TV May Affect the Brain, But Influencer Marketing Affects the Heart: In a published study, Nielsen Media Lab set out to evaluate the effectiveness of influencer marketing and determine the impact against video advertising and TV commercials. Research showed that video advertising performed extremely well on brand recall and driving brand awareness. However, social media content drove stronger brand perception shifts, and content quality was viewed as equivalent to or greater than traditional video ads.

    Facebook Announces a Big News Feed Change – and Just Wants You to Be Happy: Facebook has tweaked its News Feed again. This time, Facebook wants to bring it back to friends and family instead of viral videos and media posts. With this change, publishers may see traffic drop and video views decrease.

    Facebook's Latest News Feed Update Will Prioritize Trustworthy Publishers: Facebook is gearing up to prioritize news content by publishers that a group of Facebook users has deemed trustworthy. The company surveyed U.S.-based people about their familiarity and trust in various sources of news. That data will serve to inform News Feed rankings.

    Facebook Is Launching a New Library of Free Audio Tracks to Add Music to Your Videos: With the help of Facebook's new audio library, called Sound Collection, people can add music to their videos without fear of infringing copyright. Sound Collection gives users access to thousands of high-quality audio tracks and sound effects to spice up their videos. These sounds are owned by Facebook and are free to use in any videos you create and share on Facebook and Instagram.

    Facebook Now Lists Page Posting Frequency in Search Results: Facebook has started sharing how many posts a day each Page publishes within their on-platform search results. The option is likely designed to give regular users some idea of what to expect from each Page – but it could also help provide additional context for social media marketers who are trying to get a better understanding of their optimal posting schedule.

    Instagram Influencer Marketing Doubled in 2017: Instagram has emerged as the go-to channel for influencer marketing. From 2016 to 2017, the number of influencer posts on Instagram nearly doubled to a little more than 1.5 million posts worldwide.

    Instagram Now Allows Businesses to Schedule Their Posts: Instagram made a long-overdue change to its product that social media managers have wanted for some time – it will allow businesses on Instagram to schedule their posts. Unfortunately, the official support for post scheduling doesn’t extend to ads, nor is it directly available with the product itself. Instead, the support is being added to Instagram’s API – meaning that social media software applications like Hootsuite, Sprout Social or SocialFlow now have access to the functionality, which they can then add to their own products.

    Instagram Has Launched Three New Features: The following features are now available for Instagram business profiles: Content Publishing Beta, Business Discovery (discover and read the profile info and media of other business profiles) and Mentions (read public media that a business has been photo tagged or @ mentioned in).

    Instagram's Carousel Ad Format Is Coming to Instagram Stories: Instagram announced plans to bring its Carousel Ads into Stories. That means the ads in Stories are no longer limited to one piece of media (which could be a photo or a video) – they can now include three.

    Instagram Now Supports GIFs in Stories: Instagram is officially adding GIF support to its Stories feature. The options are endless, with hundreds of thousands of moving stickers to choose from thanks to GIPHY integration. Instagram is also announcing an upcoming feature that will let users upload photos and videos of any size to Stories, so they will no longer be forced to awkwardly crop them in 9:16 (portrait) format.

    Twitter Starts Selling Sponsorships of Individual Publishers' Moments: Twitter is starting to convert Moments into its version of Snapchat's Publisher Stories within its Discover tab. Called Sponsored Moments, the new offering allows brands to sponsor individual publishers' Moments, and that deal includes the brand featured on the Moment's cover and ads appearing throughout the magazine-esque Moment.

    Twitter Is Adding More Notification Types to Boost Engagement: Twitter has been putting increased focus on the notifications they send, as well as the alerts and updates they push to users, in order to highlight relevant content and prompt further engagement. Twitter has been slowly trying to work more varied types of notifications in, capitalizing on user attention without being overly intrusive – which is obviously a tricky balance.

    Twitter Makes It Easier to Compose and Read Threads: Twitter took another step towards longer-form content on its platform: The company officially embraced threads, giving users a way to more easily string together a number of tweets. The company also added labeling to threads to make it easier for followers to recognize them as such.

    Snapchat Stories Can Now Live Outside the App: Snap is making it possible to share some types of Snapchat Stories beyond the app itself. You'll be able to hold down a tile on any public Story and send it to someone in a text, an email or even through other social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook.

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