8 Social updates you may have missed

8 Social updates you may have missed

Author: NOW Marketing Group April 11, 2017

The changes in social media you need to know.

Our favorite social media platforms made some big announcements in the last few weeks! There are lots of new things to try out and keep up with.

Typically, they give people who implement these new features an advantage, so it is important for you or your business to at least try out these new features early on. As always, we want to bring you the most important updates for those of you seeking to build relationships through social media. Many of these new tools, when used properly, can help you toward this goal!

Without further ado, here are some of the new updates that were announced in March 2017.


Facebook continues to adapt and change the platform as they try to bring the best of all networks to the social media giant. They are certainly making the most changes of all the social platforms, including within their visual content. And, we’re still waiting for more changes to happen for their live feature, and especially can’t wait for the two-person live stream.

Messenger Day and Stories

Facebook’s latest rollout, Messenger Day is similar to Snapchat, including the stickers and filters. Posts even disappear after 24 hours. Messenger Day is only available in the Facebook Messenger app, while you’ll find an updated Facebook Camera and stories in the regular app. The 24 hour disappearing posts can be a valuable tool for businesses looking to market a limited time only offer, special deals or sales, and share your unique content.

Reactions have also been added to the messenger app so that you can react to people’s messages. Simply press and hold any message and select from the love, smile, wow, sad, angry, and yes or no emoji reactions.

You will continue to see more integration with Facebook Messenger; they consider this one of their key platforms, and as a replacement for email. Be prepared to see more evolution and the addition of even more tools, many of them visual. In fact, Facebook has said they are only one percent complete with their visual updates!

For a guide on how to use Messenger Day, visit here.

Facebook 360 for Gear VR

Facebook also announced a new app for the Samsung Gear VR. Facebook 360 will allow users to get into the action and see behind the scenes at awards shows, be transported virtually around the world, and experience breaking news like never before. The app also features a focus on a new Explore tab, which gives users a bird’s eye look at 360 content, like 360 video and photos.

Additionally, the app will have a Following tab, which will include photos and videos from your friends and pages you follow. A Saved tab does what is implied; it saves 360 content from your newsfeed for you. And lastly, the Timeline tab lets you see your own 360 content in one place.

So, if you’ve already joined the 360 video bandwagon, this app will let your content be seen in a whole new way. You can upload and share your content, allowing your followers to gain a new perspective on your brand. The app will even allow you to go live in 360. Content creators like Cathy Hackl and Tyler Anderson have already started to share 360 content.   

Auto Play with Sound

Videos have been auto-playing in your newsfeed for awhile now, but it used to be you had to click into them to hear the sound. Well, that’s no more. Videos will now autoplay with the sound included. The sound will fade in and out as you scroll past the video. Better be careful where you are browsing Facebook!

Ad Measurement Tools

While Facebook’s advanced measurement platform Atlas used to only be available to large advertisers, the social media platform is in the testing phase of bringing additional measurement tools to the business manager. Advance Measurement, as it will be called, will be available to tens of thousands of marketers. The new tool is planned to be released later in the year.


While Facebook has been busy rolling out changes, they aren’t the only ones making them! Pinterest is working hard to change their target demographic. It is no longer just for women, and in fact has grown their male users to nearly 40 percent now.

Visual Search

Have you ever found something in a photo – a pair of boots, the perfect lamp, or maybe a piece of jewelry – and wanted to know what brand it was but lacked the words to find it? With the new visual search on Pinterest, you can now find items by simply searching the image. All you have to do is use the search tool in the corner. Select the part of the pin you’d like to search and find pins like it. Filter the virtual search result by topic to find what you’re looking for. You’ll find this tool on both the web and phone app.


Just a few months ago Snapchat became a publicly traded company, and they are continuing to innovate the platform in order to grow their stock. They’ve released some new tools to become the leader in real-time visual content. As social media networks become hubs for media, they are beginning to compete with television networks.

To make sure they stay in the forefront of real-time video, Snapchat has added a search functionality which lets users search for more than 1 million stories. You can now search for things like basketball to view what people are posting publically so you can join in their experiences. The feature also includes professional stories that are curated by Snapchat.


While we are still waiting to hear more about Twitter’s integration of Periscope, there has been some minor upgrades to Twitter. One of the most recognizable features of Twitter has been retired. That is, the egg profile pictures are now a thing of the past. Yep, the classic egg is gone. Unfortunately, this vestige of early Twitter began to become associated with spam accounts. Thus, Twitter made the decision to no longer use the placeholder for accounts without a profile picture. Instead, they’ve introduced a new default photo that features a gray gender-neutral silhouette.

Eases Character Limitations

The biggest update this month was the easement of tweet character limits. Twitter has now changed the 140-character limit to exclude Twitter handles. So tag as many people as you want, because it no longer takes away from your message. The names of people you are responding to will now be located on top of the text instead of a part of it.

This follows the change Twitter made last year when they stopped counting photos, videos, quote tweets, polls and GIF animations toward the character limit.


Live on Mobile App

Finally! Youtube has now made live streaming available within their mobile app as well as added a chat capability. While they are a little behind on the trend, it is a new tool for them. With lots of Youtube channels with a significant number of followers, we can’t wait to see what content creators come up with.  

Removing Annotations on the Mobile App

Youtube has also changed up their ad model a little bit, as well as removed annotations on the app. They have, thank goodness, brought back the ability to skip ads. Although it sounds great for advertisers, for consumers not allowing ads to be skipped was a bit of a misstep. Those 15 seconds were the longest of our lives!

Key Take Away

We seem to have noticed a common theme – live video and real-time content! This trend is only going to get bigger and more important for those of us using social media for businesses. You need to start incorporating ways you can use live streams and share real-time posts into your brand strategy.

What changes happened last month that excited you? Let us know!

Stay tuned next week when we’ll talk about Customer Experience Management!