Biggest Social Media Updates of 2019
Social media is constantly changing, not least the ways users are interacting with the content that businesses share, but also how the platforms are adapting their algorithms and features to keep up with the latest trends. Over the past 365 days, we have seen the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more change their ways to accommodate user needs and compete against one another in such a competitive digital world. We’re taking a closer look at some of the biggest social media updates of 2019 below.
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LinkedIn Added New Interest Targeting Options For Its Ad Campaigns
The start of the year bought a number of “big” updates for three major social media platforms including LinkedIn which launched new interest targeting options for its ad campaigns. In a big to help advertisers better focus their businesses LinkedIn promotion activity, the B2B networking platform rolled out its interest targeting options including “Company”, “Job Experience”, “Education”, “Interests” and “Demographics” in order to allow users to “more easily achieve your campaign objectives and grow your business.”
Facebook Shut Down Moments
Following Facebook’s uproar in 2018, at the start of the new year the network decided to shut down its standalone “Moments” photo app which enabled users to share their photos with family members and friends. This meant that users didn’t need to upload their images to Facebook, with the system automatically collecting them through the app. These photos could then be shared. However, following the rise of Instagram and other now-popular image-based platforms, Facebook concluded to close the app for good.
Instagram Added The Option To Link To Instagram Stories
Following the closure of Facebook Moments, Instagram rolled out a new option to enable users to share a direct link to an Instagram Story to boost awareness and engagement which was a great addition for brands looking to maximise their investment in the photo-sharing app.
Google Announced The Official End Date For Google+
In February Google confirmed the closure of Google+, stating that the network would now close 5 months early in April instead of in August. This announcement came shortly after the network had been suspected to have been hit by a privacy bug.
Facebook Page Admins Can Now Respond To Instagram Messages Via The Platform
A small but significant update for Facebook was the announcement that Facebook Page Admins can now respond to Instagram Messages via the platform making it easier to social media managers to manage the number of messages their company receives. It was a quiet update that was rolled in to US and Brazilian users before rolling out to users across the globe.
Facebook Announced Its Cryptocurrency Project
Following Facebooks “management shake-up” in May 2018, Facebook pursued its Cryptocurrency Project announcing that: “The company is working on a coin that users of WhatsApp, which Facebook owns, could send to friends and family instantly, said five people briefed on the effort who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements.” Libra, Facebook’s virtual cryptocurrency, is set to Launched in June 2020.
Instagram Rolled out The Option To “Pause All” Notifications
Whilst Facebook was working on launching its own virtual cryptocurrency, Instagram focused on the more important aspects of its social media platform, rolling out a new option which would allow users to “pause all” notifications for up to 8 hours.
LinkedIn Rolled Out Its Own Version Of Reactions For Posts
Following the roll out of Facebook reactions, LinkedIn jumped on board with the latest trends and rolled out its very own version for posts in order to provide more ways for users to “quickly and constructively communication with one another.” The new feature contained 5 new reactions; Like, Celebrate, Love, Insightful and Curious.
Instagram Ramped Up Its Efforts Against Apps Selling Likes & Followers
With the rise in influencer marketing, Instagram started to ramp up its efforts against apps selling likes and followers to protect the platform.
Facebook Updated Its News Feed Algorithm
At the start of the summer Facebook updated its News Feed algorithm to “demote misleading health claims” across its network. Messages such as miracle cures for weight loss were included within these health claims which often targeted vulnerable users. At the time of the algorithm update, Facebook explained that:
“Last month we made two ranking updates to reduce the reach of posts with exaggerated or sensational health claims and posts attempting to sell products or services based on health-related claims. For the first update, we consider if a post about health exaggerates or misleads – for example, making a sensational claim about a miracle cure. For the second, we consider if a post promotes a product or service based on a health-related claim – for example, promoting a medication or pill claiming to help you lose weight.”
Twitter Rolled Out A New Desktop Experience
Following Facebooks News Feed algorithm update, Twitter rolled out a brand-new desktop experience to improve the platform and enhance some of its already existing features. As announced by Twitter, the new experience included:
- “More of What’s Happening – We’ve brought over Explore to bring you the same great content found in our apps; expect more live video and local moments personalized for wherever you are in the world.
- Easy Access to Your Favorite Features – Bookmarks, Lists, and your Profile are right up front and have their own spot on the side navigation, making it easier and faster to jump between different tabs.
- Direct Messages All in One Place – Direct Messages have been expanded so you can see your conversations and send messages all from the same view.
- Login, Logout Struggle No More – Whether you have one profile or a few, now you’re also able to switch between accounts faster, directly from the side navigation; your stan, foodie and cat meme accounts thank you.
- Make Twitter Yours – The love is real for dark mode themes Dim and Lights Out. You’ve asked for even more ways to personalize Twitter so we’re bringing you different themes and color options, along with two options for dark mode.”
Pinterest Launched A Mobile Ad Tool
Over the last few months of 2019 Pinterest has been working to further improve its photo-based platform, starting with the launch of a mobile advertising tool that would enable users to create paid campaigns on the go. Adding to Pinterest’s extensive number of ad options, the update has already helped companies to boost use across the platform.
Facebook Dating Launched In The U.S.
Following the announcement of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency earlier in the year, the popular social media networking platform announced its new project “Facebook Dating” which was first launched in the US. With more than 2.4 billion active users, Facebook undoubtably has access to one of the largest databases of personal insights to ever exist – but this “roll out” was somewhat controversial, with many questioning the need to compete against the likes of Tinder and Plenty of Fish.
Facebooked Launched An Updated Company Logo
Facebook has made questionable “improvements” to its various platforms over the years, but one that made the headlines was the rollout of the platforms updated company logo in November this year. Facebook announced that: “Today, we’re updating our company branding to be clearer that these products come from Facebook. We’re introducing a new corporate logo and further distinguishing the Facebook company from the Facebook app, which will keep its own branding.”
Instagram Tested Hiding Likes
Whilst Instagram began to hide likes in April, it continued to make like counts private for users across the globe throughout the year. Starting in Canada, the hidden like count now applies in Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. The next place to be tested is the U.S.
Twitter Allows Users To Convert iOS Live Photos Into GIFs
2019 may not be over just yet and despite there being a lull in social media updates, one of the best has to be Twitter enabling users to convert their iOS live photos into GIFs.
There have also been some smaller, less noticeable social media updates such as when Facebook added a new automatic member approval option for Groups (December) and when Instagram attempted to increase engagement across IGTV (January) before the feature finally took off in February.
For more information about the biggest social media updates in 2019, get in touch with a member of our expert team on 0800 088 6000, today.