Originally published when I worked at an Atlanta Digital Marketing Agency.
New features from Facebook look incredibly familiar while Twitter is making its social media statistics easier to understand. These are some of the top social media stories making news this week.
Facebook looks like it is copying another feature of Snapchat with the testing of its version of “streaks” through the Messenger app. A streak on Snapchat involves sending snaps directly to friends with emojis being rewarded as snaps are being sent back and forth between them. Streaks have been integral in how Snapchat has managed to grow their daily usage to 178 million, and because of the emoji rewards makes it incredibly popular amongst younger users. This move is the latest a long list of features that Facebook has incorporation of Snapchat’s. Previous features duplicated include geofilters, selfie masks for live video, and frames that can overlay over photos.
Talking About Twitter
Twitter is experimenting with a new way to improve social engagement through a notice at the bottom of the tweet that shows how many people are “talking about” the tweet. This new way of displaying social metrics seems to combine the retweet and replies statistics into something that is somewhat simpler to understand.
Another feature Twitter is testing is a “bookmarks” function that works exactly as a bookmark does in your favorite web browser. Since smartphone traffic is increasing at a large rate, year-over-year, by bookmarking a tweet, it will allow a user to return to it at a later and consequently increase engagement. The new feature looks like it will appear in the bottom right corner menu on mobile, and in the upper right corner menu on the desktop. There are no confirmed dates on the rollouts of these features, but both are expected soon.
Promoted Stories Debut on Snapchat
Snapchat is now testing new ads in the form of “Promoted Stories.” A story is a series of snaps that are strung together to create a larger flow of content. Currently stories are only available to followers of that particular Snapchat account, but now “Promoted Stories” are nationwide and would not include the limit of only being shown to a particular account’s followers. This ad type was originally introduced back in 2015 when the James Bond movie, Spectre was hitting the theaters. The experiment was never continued after that.
Constant improvements continue to make social media platforms easier to use and as 2017 closes out, 2018 is expected to be just as busy with near-weekly feature rollouts.