The Month in Social
4-Jan-2019
Lucy Ruff & Ben Taylor

Welcome to 3 Monkeys Zeno’s monthly social updates. In these posts, our digital team will fill you in on what’s been happening in the world of social media over the past month. Here are our updates for December:

If you’re like us, you’ve read countless articles in recent weeks titled ’10 Social Trends to watch out for in 2019’ (or something similar). There are several trends that appear across the majority of lists:

  1. Trust and transparency. Not surprising in the wake of a year in which we saw the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the introduction of GDPR.
  2. Nuanced ads. A vital capability in an increasingly competitive digital ad space.
  3. Storytelling on social. Newsfeeds are so 2018 – get used to Stories as the primary format.

Number three is perhaps the most significant of these, as it represents such a sea change for brands that have become so used to building content strategies based around regular page posts.

The reason Stories should be an integral part of social media strategies in 2019 comes down to the resources platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are putting into them. Having tracked new platform updates over the past year, I can tell you that a significant majority relate to Stories. The format now supports GIFs, music, locations, tags, and even swipe-up links to support brands and advertisers. These functions will only increase in the coming months.

What’s more, there’s still an opportunity to get ahead of the competition on Stories. Facebook Stories have not taken off yet, but any Instagram Story can now be shared to Facebook as well with no additional effort. Brands that do this, and do it well, may get a jump on the competition and gain an ‘early adopter’ advantage.

So, build trust and advertise well – this is a given. But embrace Stories successfully, and 2019 might just be a year to remember on social. Here are our other updates from the past month…

Instagram goes horizontal … accidentally

In that period between Christmas and New Year where nobody ever knows what day or time it is, Instagram decided to surprise its users with a rather alarming update. We all love a good scroll on the channel, but for a brief time the platform changed the feed from the usual vertical format that we know and love, to horizontal (pretty much like Tinder, but worse). People went crazy …  but the update was quickly reversed, and it soon became clear that the new feature was only a test that was widely released by accident. Phew.

Facebook redesigns Life Events

Facebook’s long running Life Events feature lets users share key milestones on their timeline, such as getting married, moving to a new city, or getting a new job. These posts always used to be on the basic side, but Facebook has introduced some shiny new updates. Now you can add animated photos and videos, photos from the people or pages you’ve tagged, or you can even pick an image from Facebook’s own art collection.

Instagram brings voice messaging to DMs

People either love or hate a voice note (SO much easier than typing out a long message on your WhatsApp or Facebook group) – and they’re now coming to your Instagram DMs. The new feature is being rolled out across iOS and Android in both private and group chats with a new microphone button. Audio messages can be up to a minute long, and you get the choice to release and send, or to swipe and delete to start again.

 

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