19 Dec Spark Bites: Social Networks Get More AR-Friendly
Welcome to this week’s edition of Spark Bites! We have exciting news from the world of social networks — for starters, more than one of them has taken augmented reality to a whole new level. Read on to find out more!
- Facebook is launching a “Snooze” button, which you can use to mute content from a friend, group, or page. Posts from the muted account won’t appear on your newsfeed for 30 days. This gives us another more subtle alternative to unfriending and blocking.
- The social network has launched an AR platform to allow developers (or anyone, for that matter) to create AR experiences for Facebook Camera. These 3rd party AR creations will be part of the platform’s “World Effects” feature, which all users can apply to their photos or videos. Now that’s what we call taking the AR social scene by storm.
- After the official launch of pre-roll ads, Facebook is partnering with Machinima and the WWE to generate original content for its Watch platform. Both Machinima and the WWE are launching a host of new series which will be exclusive to Facebook Watch. Look out, YouTube!
- Facebook is all set to deepen its integration with WhatsApp. It announced the launch of a “Click-to-WhatsApp” option which will facilitate WhatsApp texting between users and businesses. The button will appear on Facebook ads and will open up a WhatsApp chat when clicked. This makes it easier for users to access business info, set up appointments, or request quotes. The update has so far been rolled out in North and South America, Australia, Africa and most of Asia.
- Instagram now allows users to follow hashtags! This update is intended to further customize the Instagram feed to serve content that’s more interesting and relevant to users. The hashtags users follow will not only influence posts in the feed, but will also pull stories using the tags into users’ Stories bar. This update makes strategic hashtag use more important for businesses and marketers than ever.
- Immediately following the hashtag update, Instagram began testing a new “Recommended For You” feed section which will contain posts that your friends have liked. The section will also contain posts that Instagram thinks are relevant and/or interesting to you. Ultimately, Instagram is competing with other social networks to create a more tailored experience for users.
- Soon after its 280-character limit upgrade, Twitter is introducing Tweet Threads, a feature that lets you post consecutive tweets (tweetstorms) as a single thread. You don’t need to “reply” to yourself to do this. We’re curious if this slight shift away from Twitter’s microblogging mission will be well received.
- In a bid to compete with Facebook, Snapchat has launched its own augmented reality tool that allows developers to create their own AR World Lenses. The feature is not unlike the update Facebook launched a few days earlier. Users can create lenses to place interactive, imaginary 3D objects into their photos and videos. This opens up a new playing field for businesses to promote their own AR experiences on social networks.
- Pinterest released its list of predicted top trends for 2018. The list is specific to the platform’s most popular categories like food, women’s fashion, men’s style, beauty, parenting, etc. Some trends that stood out from the list are: diet-friendly frying, berets, micro prints for men and eco-friendly toys. Only time will tell if these predictions ring true!
- Pinterest has more exciting news for marketers—the platform is launching a self-serve insights tool in early 2018. The tool will show businesses their audience’s top interests and categories. To date, this information could only be pulled on a case-by-case basis for Pinterest’s strategic partners, so this is a pretty significant upgrade.
- LinkedIn has released the 2017 Top Voices: a list of LinkedIn’s most influential members who made the greatest impact in the last year. Topping the list for the second year consecutively is Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. James Caan CBE, former Dragon’s Den investor, came in at a close second. The list also sheds light on the topics of discussion for these influencers in the last year.
These updates open up a new realm of possibilities for social marketing, and we’re fired up about it. If you’re experiencing information overload, we’re always here to help. We’ll be back soon with more social media news in our next edition of Spark Bites!