Welcome to our monthly social update. Our digital team keeps an eye on what’s happening in the world of social media so you don’t have to. Here’s the skinny for May…
Instagram adapting to simplify the user experience
It feels like no platform has introduced as many updates and new features over the past few months as Instagram. Until recently, this involved shamelessly copying Snapchat’s ideas rather than introducing their own. But Insta’s more recent updates have been more encouraging.
Firstly, they’ve finally made it possible to promote existing organic posts. Frankly, this should have happened years ago (especially after Facebook bought the platform), but it’s nonetheless a solid move that those of us who run Instagram ads will be mightily pleased with. To think, until now, we were forced to publish one post organically and then publish a separate, dark post as the ad. In a campaign, this meant twice as many posts to track and double the hassle, all on a platform notorious for its lack of analytics.
Secondly, they’ve introduced a function where users can grab elements of other users’ posts to upload to their stories. This has yet to be expanded to regular Insta posts, but it’s certainly promising news for anyone used to screenshotting other users’ photos in order to repost them.
Finally, the channel has at long last introduced a mute button. This feature will make it easy for users to stop seeing posts that they’re really not that interested in, without having to hit the unfollow button. The result? No feelings hurt and more opportunity to see more of the content you love on your feed.
The key takeaway from these new functions is that Instagram have stopped simply trying to keep up with Snapchat, and started introducing their own original features to make using the platform that little bit more pleasant.
Facebook launches new tools for Group admins
With more than 1.4 billion monthly users across tens of millions of active, Facebook’s Groups are one of the social network’s most popular functions. They have rolled out a series of new features to make it easier for admins to manage their communities.
The updates include enhanced community moderation tools and "customer support with answers and help provided by a real person", along with a dedicated online education portal and more tools to manage group posts. The customer service offering is currently only available to some English and Spanish speaking users, but will aim to increase dialogue between the platform and admins, helping to crowdsource new ideas for future tools and updates.
Facebook is trying to combat revenge porn by asking users to submit “intimate images”
Yes, you heard that right. The trial is being run in partnership with Revenge Porn helplines around the world and encourages users to submit images that they worry may resurface in the future. Facebook can then convert said images into a unique digital footprint – ensuring that they are blocked if anybody else attempts to upload them.
Privacy campaigners have expressed concerns about the pilot, which is understandable given Facebook’s recent track history when it comes to sharing user data … is anybody really likely to trust the social media giant with such sensitive material?!
It would be rude to finish our digital update without mentioning the industry shifting changes to privacy and data that were introduced last week. Given how busy all our inboxes were, it’s no surprise that GDPR was being Googled more than Queen Bey.