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6 Game-Changing Social Media Features

Almost every major social network has rolled out some huge changes this year, and the pace and size of these changes don’t seem like it’s going to stop anytime soon.

It can be hard to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest updates and installment, so we’ve compiled this need-to-know-list of some of the major social media updates that have happened this year.

1. Make your Facebook cover image a video

By 2019, 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video, and Facebook has not wasted any time jumping on the bandwagon.

In April the social media enabled certain brand pages to replace their cover images with cover videos, and companies like Netflix were quick to jump on board.

In a statement, Facebook said the update was developed to “help businesses create more engaging experiences and drive more rich experiences for their audiences.”

Brands and businesses should use video covers to better tell their brand story, or change the videos in alignment with specific campaigns or promotions.

2. Instagram and the Paid Partner tag 

If there’s one thing brands often clamour for when it comes to social media, it’s transparency.

The new Paid Partner tag on Instagram helps clear up any uncertainty about campaigns that are paid partnerships, or posts that have been sponsored by brands.

The tag will appear as a sub-heading on posts where influencers have worked with a brand. For the audience, this provides a greater level of transparency. For social media influencers and brands, the tag enables access to insights and analytics.

3. Advertising via Instagram Stories

Since the end of last year, Instagram Stories have become a key component of the way consumers use the platform. As of this year, brands can get in on the fun too.

With intricate targeting options and the opportunity to show a more authentic look at brand personality, Instagram Stories for brands has really kicked off.

Instagram Stories gives everyone (from a start-up to a multi-million dollar giant) that opportunity to produce live, behind-the-scenes content that enables them to showcase their story and brand personality.

4. YouTube advertiser-friendly AI

It’s fair to say that YouTube’s first half of 2017 has been fraught with controversy. They experienced overwhelming global scrutiny after it was revealed that brand ads had been appearing before some less than appropriate content.

However, Google did what Google does best: they adapted. YouTube’s parent company developed an advanced AI algorithm through which they could, on the one hand, better ensure brand safety standards and, on the other, show much more transparency in the way video content was broadcast and targeted.

These new controls are still developing, and it’ll be fascinating to see where branded YouTube content goes from here.

5. Snapchat’s self-service ad platform

This one comes hot off the presses. Just two weeks ago, Snapchat launched their new Ad Manager program. Using this self-serve tool, certified brand partners can now plan, buy and optimise campaigns across the platform programmatically.

Not only will the tool allow them to spend as little or as much as they want, it also comes with a deep analytics dashboard – all in the hopes that this added freedom of choice will draw more advertisers to the platform.

6. Twitter chat bots and interactive posts

Back in May, Twitter announced they were now giving brands more multimedia features to use in their Twitter content. These features include interactive images and chat bots able to answer simple questions.

The more interactive tweets can also include up to four call-to-action buttons, all able to send users to different brand messages and options.

By increasing user engagement and interactivity, the hope is that users will feel more impactful messages from awareness campaigns and convert more directly in sales campaigns.

So, there you have it. Six of the big new social media features we’ve seen this year.

Who knows what more is to come?

Read this next: How To Find An Authentic Influencer For Your Brand

 

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