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After a brief hiatus, Spark Bites by Spark Growth is back! You may want to sit down and get comfortable, because we have a lot of catching up to do. Here are some of the biggest happenings in social media news over the past few weeks:




  • A few weeks ago, Instagram announced an important update impacting their ongoing competition with Snapchat’s updates. Instagram Stories now include optional ‘Face Filters’ which add special effects to your selfies, such as a butterfly crown. Man, I just can’t put my finger on where I’ve heard of that before…


  • The same update included the option for a ‘Rewind’ mode for videos, allowing you to create clips which play backwards, as well as a new hashtag sticker which takes viewers to a page of related content.
  • More recently, on Wednesday, Instagram announced that users will soon be able to use a new feature called ‘Explore’ to browse Stories of interest by searching for a location or hashtag.



  • Snapchat’s updates were huge since our last Spark Bites post. As you may already know, the most significant recent change was the addition of ‘limitless’ snaps, which means that every time a snap is sent, instead of a 10 second max play/view limit, there is an option to make an image or video play over and over again, infinitely. (Friendly reminder that poor Vine died too young, R.I.P.)
  • In the same update, Snapchat added a Doodle tool that allows you to draw using emojis — which is such a Snapchat move that we’re surprised they didn’t think of it sooner — as well as a Magic Eraser tool that allows you to remove any part of an image.
  • Snapchat has officially greenlit production on two original series for its Discover platform from studio Vertical Networks.



  • On June 7, LinkedIn will be updating their terms of service and introducing some new features. These features include new automated systems which use information in your messages to suggest responses, meetings, ice breakers, or insights.
  • LinkedIn will also start to allow certain third-party services to show your profile to their users so that more people can discover you.



  • With all the recent stories about hackers and malware flooding the news, Gmail is stepping up their security for companies. They’ve added a new feature intended for enterprises which warns G Suite users when responding to emails sent from outside of their domain. They’ve also added alerts when you email someone whose mailbox does not support encryption.
  • Jamboard — Google’s cloud-based, collaborative whiteboard — became available for purchase last week in the United States. Still no news on whether they’re working on a Peanutbutterboard too…



  • Coming right ‘ROUND the corner (I’m sorry but also not), Twitter is testing new rounded profile images, buttons, and other features for its mobile apps on iOS and Android.





  • Props to Skype for making it to the front page this week! As Microsoft struggles to keep up with rival chat software like WeChat, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, they’ve given Skype’s mobile app a huge makeover to make it look more like “cool kid” Snapchat. There will be a “Highlights” feature that works similarly to Snap/Instagram Stories, and if you swipe from the right, the app will take you to a camera that allows you to instantly take pictures.



Email Marketing News:

  • An interesting study was recently released from Campaigner and here are some highlights:
    • 75 percent of online shoppers say they’re ‘somewhat likely’ to open branded email messages.
    • 45 percent say email is their preferred communication method for brands. Compare this to 23.78 percent of consumers who prefer social media.
    • On the flip side, there is a sweet spot to aim for, as 49 percent of consumers say they receive too many emails from marketers.
    • When following brand pages on social media, most consumers (53.61 percent) prefer to do so on Facebook.


Phew. That’s it for this post about the latest social media news. Don’t let Monday get you down, because we’re expecting to see you here in a week. Same place, same time.


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