We all know the feeling – you update your apps and it’s like your world’s been turned upside down. Remember when you used to be able to stalk wall-to-wall conversations on Facebook? When your feeds weren’t overrun with ads? Yeah, I miss those days too.
One of the toughest parts about using social media successfully is keeping up with how quickly the platforms are updated. Luckily for you, it’s part of my job to stay on top of all of the changes that occur every single day. So here’s a summary of what’s happened so far in 2015…
Facebook’s Inevitable Algorithm Changes Leave Bieber Heartbroken
Now, let’s start with Facebook’s dreaded algorithm changes (hold on tight, folks – this year was a bumpy ride for the social giant’s algorithm). Facebook’s 2015 algorithm changes kicked off quite quickly in January, when brands began to be penalized for promoting their products in posts. Next, Facebook decided to adjust newsfeeds so that posts by friends rather than posts by pages were shown more frequently and at the top of newsfeeds, even if posts by pages had many likes and comments (much to the dismay of me and the rest of the world’s social media marketers). Additionally, Facebook now takes into account the amount of time users spend on a post to determine whether or not it’s worthy to show to others. Fake Facebook accounts? See ya later – Facebook purged tons of fake users, causing many brand pages to lose a significant number of fans (Justin Bieber was hit particularly hard when he lost 3.5 million fans overnight – sorry, Justin.)
Also on Facebook? A new messaging app appropriately titled “Messenger”, an ad manager app (and some fancy new ad targeting options, like running ads only during certain hours of the day), and the ability for brands to direct message any user at any time. Moving on…
Twitter Becomes a Mind Reader, Tells You What Content is Important
Twitter made major changes this year as well, starting with an updated feed that prioritizes highlights and important content posted “while you were away”, and followed by the new “Moments” tab, which allows users to view trending live-event feeds. Lastly, for all of you community managers out there, the dreaded 140 character limit on direct messages has been lifted! Hallelujah.
Instagram Is No Longer for Squares (Literally)
I’m sure you’ve all been noticing some content in your feeds that didn’t used to be there – welcome to Instagram Advertising, the platform’s most robust change that occurred this year. Luckily, I must say I’ve found some pretty cool products and accounts through ads that were carefully targeted to people like me – and with strong calls to action and eye-catching visuals, these ads can be quite successful.
Something else I’m particularly excited about is that Instagram photos no longer have to be squares, meaning we don’t need to choose which unlucky friend is going to be cut out of my photos anymore! Additionally, Instagram beefed up its direct messaging capabilities, allowing users to send both text-only and image messages privately, and added the Search and Explore tool to sift through trending topics.
Pinterest Makes it Too Easy to Shop
Buying directly from Pinterest is here, and it’s causing the platform to become one of the most shopped out there – enough said. This platform should definitely be on your list for marketing tactics, for e-commerce brands especially, in the new year.
How will you utilize social media in your 2016 marketing efforts?