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Welcome back to the first Spark Social Report of 2021 brought to you by Spark Growth! This week, Instagram is testing its desktop user interface for Stories, while Facebook Pages gets a new layout and fun new features. Keep reading for more of this week’s social media updates.



Facebook Pages is getting some big updates! Pages, used most often to represent public figures and brands, received many new updates that will make it easier for users to build communities and share news. First, the layout has been redesigned to provide a more user-friendly experience with navigation that’s simpler to use for both the Page manager and followers. Take a sneak peek at the new design below.

screenshot of updated facebook pages with new layout and navigation


Another new feature added is Q&A, a new way for followers to interact with the Page. On desktop, Page admins can select “Host a Q&A” to create a topic and insert an accompanying photo or post. After adding multiple questions, this creates a stack that followers can click through. Similar to LinkedIn’s poll feature that launched last year, this Q&A section introduces another way to engage users.

Next, Page Likes are being removed completely (however, Page Followers will remain). The company notes that Page Followers give users a better indication of their fan base and that this change is meant to simplify the way users can connect to a Page.

In the last update for Facebook Pages, if your business has several people managing your Page, you can look forward to updated management tools with different access permissions based on the responsibility or task.

Last but not least, Facebook is expanding its Engagement Alert test to more group admins. These Engagement Alerts notify admins of content that have been popular among other users. In its recent update, the test also includes more settings, as seen in the Tweet below.



In its latest experiment, Instagram is testing a new user interface for Stories on desktop. Currently, desktop users can only view one Story at a time, mimicking the user experience on the mobile app. Due to the content’s vertical orientation, the rest of the screen is a solid black background. The test shows a new layout with multiple Stories shown at once in a carousel format, which is a much better use of space for desktop users. Only a small number of Instagram users may see this on desktop and there’s no word yet on when this feature will be fully released.

image of new desktop user interface for stories on instagram



The development of more eCommerce features on social media apps isn’t anything new, but Snapchat is hoping to make shopping online more interactive and fun. A recent patent filed by the company sheds light on a potential new feature users may see in the future. By partnering with fashion retailers, users may soon be able to dress their Bitmoji character up with real clothing items that can be purchased online. Bitmojis are customizable emojis that can be used as a Snapchat avatar. In the filing, Snapchat provides a look at the user interface, including a shopping bag icon next to each product.

screenshot of snapchat patent featuring bitmoji



WhatsApp updated its privacy policy detailing how the app will handle your data. The three main areas include how the app will process your data, how businesses can use Facebook-hosted services to manage their WhatsApp chats, and how the app will be partnering with Facebook to create a stronger integration between the two platforms. The update will launch on February 8th and users will be required to accept the new policy to continue using the app.


That’s all for this week! Be sure to check in next Friday for more social media updates.

As social media apps add more eCommerce features, is your business ready to make the digital transition? Make it your 2021 resolution to build a strong and effective online presence for your brand.

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