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Spark Bites: Facebook Rolls Out Social Media Updates

It’s been a big week for Facebook! From the platform’s new AR games for Messenger, to updates to business pages, shortcuts bar on news feed, potential change from “share” to “message” on public posts, and new digital literacy resources for educators, we’ve got you covered! Read on for all the Facebook details and for other social media updates!


Out of all of Facebook’s recent updates, the most exciting one for everyday users is its new AR games for Messenger video chat. For now, Facebook will just be launching two games, which you’ll be able to play with up to six people. The first game, called “Don’t Smile,” is a staring contest. Whoever smiles first will get an AR face-contorting lens and the opponent will be awarded the win. The second game, called “Asteroids Attack,” detects your face moving around the screen to navigate a spaceship and avoid getting hit by rocks and laser beams.

Facebook is implementing changes to the layout of business pages to make it easier to engage with local businesses. One of the biggest updates is the ability to make an appointment or reservation with the business directly on the page, saving you a phone call! Crowdsourced recommendations will also be added directly to the page, and Facebook will encourage long and more elaborate recommendations for local pages by implementing a minimum character count.

You may have recently noticed a bar of shortcuts on your feed page (top of the screen on Android and bottom of the screen on iOS). Facebook is rolling out the bar to help save you time and clicks by keeping all your most frequently used features (i.e. Marketplace, Watch, etc.) with you when you scroll.

Facebook is also testing replacing the “Share” button with the “Message” button on News Feed posts. The change may be due to a spike in private message usage and Facebook encouraging personal engagement. However, the change will likely reduce public post sharing, further reducing already low organic reach numbers.

Lastly, Facebook announced it will build awareness of the online world by providing new digital literacy resources for educators. This week, Facebook launched a Digital Literacy Library, a collection of lessons to help teachers educate young people to share and act critically and thoughtfully online. Following Facebook’s ‘Parent Portal,’ rolled out in 2016, providing digital literacy resources for teachers seems like a practical next step!


Google recently launched Cameos, a video Q&A app designed to help celebrities and public figures answer frequently asked questions about themselves and have their answers posted directly to Google. Celebrities are often subjected to people’s Google searches, and the answers users receive are often determined by other websites rather than the celebrities themselves. Cameos will give the celebrities the chance to address their fans’ questions in their own voice!


LinkedIn is updating the way you list previous and current roles within one company to better represent progression in your career. The new format will include all the roles you’ve had within a company with the dates of your movement all within one listing. The update will allow users to more accurately communicate their experience and movement within a company.


Pinterest’s long anticipated max width video ads are finally being rolled out globally. The ads run for 6-20 minutes and span across the platform’s iconic two column grid. Pinterest has 250 million users and is growing, making its exciting new ad real estate a great option for advertisers!


That’s all for this week! Thanks for tuning in for your weekly dose of social media updates. Enjoy your weekend! We’ll see you next week for another edition of Spark Bites.