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Welcome to another installment of social media news in this week’s issue of Spark Bites by Spark Growth! The ongoing race to copy Snapchat continues, but Snapchat isn’t going down without a fight.


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Grab the popcorn and get ready to read the latest Snapchat copycat drama, plus other social media news, right here:



  • Users were in a state of panic last Wednesday, as Instagram was down for some users in the U.S. and Europe. Luckily, it seems the outage didn’t last for long, and thank goodness for that. We were prepared for riots to start breaking out, and with no way to post our frustrated selfies.



  • This next one may be frustrating for brands who edit their link previews to make them as appealing as possible: In order to reduce misrepresentation of link content, Facebook’s added some new restrictions to link previews. Users will no longer be able to customize the image, title, or description of a link preview in Facebook group and profile posts.
  • Pretty much everyone’s noticed the not-so-subtle similarities between Instagram Stories and Snapchat. But Facebook won’t just sit back and watch the battle between the two. Previously, users could only have their stories viewed by their friends, but with Facebook’s new update, users can now make Facebook Stories public. This puts the feature another step closer to Insta Stories and Snapchat, but there’s still a long way to go before Facebook Stories will become as fashionable as the others. As it stands right now, Facebook Stories is about as popular as the third Property Brother.


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  • Google has added a new feature called SOS Alerts to Google Maps and Google Search apps. During crisis situations — whether it’s a natural disaster or a terrorist attack — this feature will highlight the most current and actionable information about the situation.
  • A new update was released for Google Forms, the platform that allows users to create surveys and share forms. Here are some of the new features:
    • Intelligent response validation will automatically suggest the right kind of response validation for your various fields. For instance, if you’re asking for emails to be entered into the field, Forms will suggest for you to implement the “Accept emails only” option.
    • Now you can give your respondents flashbacks to exam season with your very own multiple choice form! The checkbox grid is now an option for a question type.
    • If you forgot to ask for the respondent’s name at the very beginning of the form, you have nothing to fear! Reordering form sections is much easier now.



  • Hoping to get promoted? Just pay 99 bucks. Twitter is testing an option to promote your tweets for a $99/month fee. For 30 days, Twitter will amplify your tweets and profile. They will also show you the analytics so that you can see how much additional reach, followers, and engagement you’re gaining from the service. This is no doubt a great way for social media marketers to experiment with Twitter advertising, but do so with caution — you may want to consult an expert to help you get the most bang for your buck with optimization. That said, it’s also an excellent opportunity for individual users who just want the world to appreciate their dog memes.


And that’s all the social media news we’ve got for you today. We know it’s Monday, but hang in there. We’re only four days from Friday!

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Have another awesome week, folks.

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