With summer well and truly upon us, you’d expect the world of social media to be taking a bit of a break, right? You couldn’t be more Wrong... July was a busy old month for the world of Digital Marketing – especially for social media… Aside from Twitter being consumed with FA 2018 World-Cup, the heatwave that appears to have no end and Love Island chat, there was some big social news hitting the headlines. From millions of Twitter profiles being removed, to Facebook’s new timing tool, there’s been plenty to talk about from last month, so we’ve condensed the news for you into our handy July round-up…
1. Twitter Continues to Tackle Fake Accounts
Twitter’s efforts to crack down on fake and suspicious accounts was taken to another level last month, when the platform announced they were going to expand their actions to locked accounts. Putting their own user growth at risk, Twitter has now removed over 70 million accounts that were locked, which has caused some of the biggest accounts to see a real hit to their follower numbers. It has been suggested that 6% of Twitter’s user base has been wiped, in a bid to “improve the health” of conversation and limit the influence of those abusing the platform.
Twitter locks a profile when the account violates its policies and/or shows suspicious behaviour, like tweeting misleading links or if a high number of people are suddenly blocking them. Although locked profiles are not considered to be bots (as they’re created by a real person), it’s still a huge step forward in an overarching plan to tackle the spread of fake news, trolling and spam. Social platforms have been under increasing pressure in recent years to crack down on the amount of fake accounts and bots infiltrating people’s feeds, and Twitter appears to be taking on this responsibility, despite seeing a drop in shares by 8% after their announcement.
2. Facebook & Instagram aims to improve digital wellbeing
Facebook wants to stop their users mindlessly scrolling and instead help us actually put our mobiles down, by telling us exactly how long we’re spending on their platforms (which could be a surprise to some). Hoping to make us more mindful of how much time we’re spending on their apps, Facebook and Instagram will give us a breakdown of how many minutes we’ve spent on the mobile apps each day in the last week, as well as a weekly average.
Although there are no benchmarks to advise how much time is too much, you can set yourself a daily minute limit for both channels, at which point you’ll be sent a reminder that you’ve crossed your limit, but you won’t be stopped from using the app.
Instagram CEO Kevin Syston notes that they want time spent on the platform to be “intentional, positive and inspiring”, instead of continuous, passive browsing and excessive social media usage which is negatively impacting on our mental health.
Will this help you spend less time scrolling?
3. Facebook increased transparency around their ads
Ever wondered what adverts your competitors are running on Facebook? Well now you can see exactly what campaigns are currently live from other business pages, even if you’re not being targeted, thanks to Facebook’s new ‘Info and Ads’ tool. In a bid to improve transparency around advertisements on the channel, Facebook wants everyone to have visibility of the sponsored posts and ads that any page is running at that time.
The update follows news that was released earlier this year where Facebook will show users in the US who has paid for any political ad, and how much money that particular advertiser is spending in Facebook, as they aim to give their users more information about the ads they see. Users can also flag any ads they deem to be inappropriate, but it’s unclear at the moment how Facebook will determine what to do with ads that have been approved by their own systems but are flagged by a user. We also hope there will be some prevention from business pages flagging other business’ ads.
So, how will this impact advertisers? Essentially, we all have competitors and we all want to be one step ahead of them, so it will be interesting to see just how competitive advertising could potentially become. However, it’s important that brands don’t simply start ripping off campaigns or directly copying their competitor’s ads; instead the new tool should be used to see what your competitors are up to, take inspiration and keep ahead of the game.
4. Instagram announces yet more new features for stories
There’s no sign of Instagram stories slowing down any time soon, as yet more and more new features were added and tested last month.
Instagram announced a couple of cool new features in July, including the launch of the Q&A sticker, which allows people to ask questions for their audience to answer. Instagram described the new update as a “fun new way to start conversations with your friends so you can get to know each other better”. This is a great feature for business pages to take advantage of, in order to gain valuable insight from their Instagram audience and understand what their followers loves about their brand/service/product.
It’s been over 2 years since Facebook introduced reactions to sit alongside the ‘like’ button and Instagram have now revealed that they are also looking to bring similar reactions to stories. From tests that have been spotted, it looks like we might be seeing the applause, cry laughing, heart eyes, shocked, crying and fire emojis appearing for us to use as a reaction to any story. We’re not sure exactly when to expect the feature rolling out, but we’re keeping our eyes peeled.
Want to chat social media with us or want to try out something new on your channels? Get in touch with our social media experts today and see how we can elevate your social strategy…