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Social media update: July 7, 2017

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As PR professionals, it’s essential to stay on top of all of the latest news, including social media news. Here is a roundup of the latest social media news from June 30 through July 7.


HIGH IMPORTANCE: Facebook is updating its news feed algorithm again

Facebook will begin limiting the reach to people and Pages known to frequently blast out links to clickbait stories, sensationalist websites and misinformation. The change will only affect links shared by those people and Pages, not photos or other posts.

Facebook beats privacy lawsuit in US over user tracking, setting a precedence for future privacy lawsuits

Plaintiffs claimed Facebook violated federal and California privacy and wiretapping laws by storing cookies on their browsers that tracked when they visited outside websites containing Facebook “like” buttons. The judge overruled the lawsuit, stating plaintiffs could have taken other reasonable steps to keep their browsing histories private and failed to show Facebook illegally “intercepted” or eavesdropped on their communications.

Facebook is testing out adding Page descriptions to their cover images

Currently, this feature is only available for those viewing on a desktop computer and descriptions can be up to 100 characters.

Facebook now has more than 2 billion monthly users

Other milestones reached include more than 800 million likes and 175 million uses of the “love” reaction, further proving that this platform cannot and should not be overlooked by any advertising/marketing professionals.

Pages may be able to soon add their ratings results to their business’s ads

Facebook is testing out the addition of Pages’ rankings to ads, but it will only be available to those that achieve an overall rating of four stars or above.

Facebook is rolling out “Find Wi-Fi” worldwide

This feature will show both Android and iOS users where they can access free, public Wi-Fi networks nearby.

Messenger bots are picking up steam in terms of advertising and brand availability

Bots from brands are now accessible to Facebook Messenger users via the Discover tab, which enables Messenger users to search for bots, nearby places and businesses. Users can also now purchase tickets via Ticketmaster.

Facebook launches special email for users’ questions

Facebook is answering users’ questions, including how it fights terrorism, in a series of explanatory posts called “Hard Questions.” Users can email their questions to hardques[email protected].

Facebook makes Canvas ads available for all ad formats running on News Feed

Canvas is a full-screen immersive format and advertisers can now use it as a way to combine a video ad with four recommended products. Canvas will be available within the Collection ad format, along with three new templates: get new customers, sell products and showcase your business.



HIGH IMPORTANCE: Instagram bug makes user accounts appear deleted

In all cases, users have so far not been unable to recover their accounts, including business accounts. Instagram claims the accounts have not been deleted, though.

Instagram introduces new algorithm

This update uses technology to detect spam comments, self-promotional comments and will look for offensive keywords to block.

Instagram officially introduced its “Archive” feature

This allows users to move photos and video they want to keep into a folder that isn’t visible to anyone else as Instagram users begin to make the shift of posting fewer, higher-quality photos that garner a lot of likes, engagement.

Instagram now allows user to save live streams to replay for 24 hours

Users will now have the option to save public live broadcasts to their Instagram story, where they can be replayed for the next 24 hours. Instagram stories now has 250 million daily users.

Users can reply to Instagram stories with video or photos

Instagram users can tap any creative tools in the camera including filters, stickers and rewind when replying to another users’ story with version 10.28.



LinkedIn users can now add images to their comments

This is an effort to keep the platform relevant in a world that is run by photos and videos.



In case you haven’t noticed, Twitter tweaked its design

This is an attempt to woo newcomers to the platform as its number of users and stock prices dwindle. It is also running a TV commercial featuring Chance the Rapper and hired a new VP of inclusion and diversity in an effort to remain relevant to millennials.

Katy Perry is the first Twitter user to top 100 million followers

Perry’s top post generated 132,000 retweets.

Twitter is testing a new module that shows users what’s ‘Happening Now’

The module includes cards for specific events, which users can click on to see a timeline of tweets related to those events.



YouTube has 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users watching mobile video

This only accounts for those users who log in using a Google account, so the number could be much higher. Logged-in users spend an average of more than one hour per day watching YouTube on mobile devices.

YouTube offers heatmap for some videos

Producers of 360-degree videos and virtual reality videos with more than 1,000 views will now be able to view heatmaps to determine which parts of those videos are drawing the most attention from viewers.



Snapchat’s SnapMap is putting everyone on the map, literally

Snapchat users who have the most updated version of the app can see where their friend in real time by simply viewing the map.  This feature can be turned off for users who do not want to be seen on the map. The map also shows popular locations and events.

Snapchat introduces three new features, including a way to link to websites

This will allow marketers and other brands to drive traffic from the app to their mobile pages using the “Paperclip” feature. Snapchat also introduced Voice Filters, which allows users to change the way their voice sounds even when it’s not used with a lens, and Backdrops, which allows users to alter the background of an image to change the designs and colors behind them.

Snapchat opens the creation process of geofilters to mobile devices

Snapchat users can now create geofilters on their phones rather than having to visit the desktop site.

Time Warner will spend $100M on Snapchat original shows and ads

The company will spend the money over the next two years and will create a variety of shows including scripted drama, daily news shows, documentaries and comedies.



Pinterest introduces two-factor security check for desktop visitors

This latest security introduction will make it harder for account information to be stolen. Users can choose to type in a code or receive a push notification.



Google makes an algorithm update

The latest major update is called “Fred” and targets sites with ad-focused content that prioritizes revenue above helping site visitors. This means sites that offer valuable content with unobtrusive ads may have an increase in site traffic.

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