I can’t believe that 2019 is almost over! Where did the year go? Maybe it flew by so quickly because I’ve been so busy keeping up with all the social media updates.
I have to admit that the progressive rate at which social media has been updating and adding features is more than a little crazy to me. Chances are, however, that next year and every year going forward, this is only going to increase in freqency.
Fortunately, Mandy Edwards wrote some great summaries of the social media updates from the first half of the year which you can read here and here.
For the latter half of the year, in case you missed some, brought the following updates:
1. Facebook Introduces New Insights
In July, Facebook began rolling out the newest version of their page insights. Designed to provide a more robust analysis of page performance, this new feature has been widely celebrated by page managers. New features included a revamped admin panel with improved quick views, the ability to determine when page fans are active on Facebook, benchmark comparisons over time, and a detailed analysis of post reach.
2. Facebook Introduces Embedded Posts
For bloggers and website owners, the ability to embed Facebook posts directly into their pages and posts was an exciting update. We all know the difficulty reaching fans and growing a fan base on Facebook. Embedded posts helps reduce this hassle by putting relevant posts directly in front of everyday readers.
3. Instagram Allows External Video Upload
As much fun as it is to create Instagram videos, many businesses already have video libraries full of relevant marketing content. With the 4.1 update, Instagram introduced the ability to upload external videos for sharing via Instagram.
4. Google+ Improves Photos
Understanding the importance of quality images on social media, Google+ stepped up their game and introduced advanced photo editing features to the platform. Images can be enhanced or cropped directly during the upload process to G+. You can also Auto-Awesome your images to add twinkles, sparkle, or other fun effects.
5. Facebook Allows Contests to be Run Directly on Pages
Facebook updated their contest policy to allow page managers to run contests directly on their pages rather than having to rely on third party apps. Though this has been widely celebrated and opened up the ability to boost on-page engagement, there are still numerous reasons why some contests should be run through thrid party apps.
6. SnapChat Becomes Commonplace
Even though SnapChat was actually launched in September of 2011, it’s popularity and commonplace acceptance took hold in 2019. This image-based site is built around self-destructing images. Images are set to disappear within 1-10 seconds of being viewed by the recipient. It’s not quite as Mission Impossible-ish as it sounds. And as the popularity of this site increases, more brands are investigating its potential for marketing. With the launch of SnapChat Stories in October 2019, it became even more marketing friendly.
7. Twitter Introduces Image Previews
In October, Twitter demonstrated their understanding of the importance of visual marketing and introduced image previews into the Twitter feed. Previously, you would have to click on a link to view an image. And while some have complained about how this feature “changed” Twitter, many are embracing it and welcoming a more visual experience.
8. LinkedIn Shows How Often Posts are Viewed
Although this update hasn’t been rolled out to all LinkedIn users, it’s a great tool for those who have it. LinkedIn now tracks how many people view the posts you share from your profile. You can see the density of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level connections who have interacted with your posts.
9. Facebook Updates Scheduling Tool
Recently, Facebook updated the scheduling tool with a more user-friendly version. Rather than choosing the day, month, and year from a drop down menu, Facebook now provides a calendar to quickly and easily choose the date for the post. The predictive time selection allows you to choose from 5 minute intervals or to type in the exact time you would like the post to appear.
10. Instagram Is Finally Available on Windows Phones
Even though the app is still in a beta phase on Windows phones, it’s nice to finally see it available to all mobile users. Plans are in place to expand the app functions in 2019.
11. Facebook Admits to Reducing Organic Page Reach
Many have suspected that Facebook is reducing organic page reach in order to increase revenue from promoted posts. And in December, it was announced that Facebook admitted just that. While they give a variety of explanations and “justifications” for this trend, it leaves many small businesses struggling to succeed with Facebook marketing.
Phew, there have been a lot of updates this year! And I expect even more next year. With that in mind, stay tuned for my next post with predictions and thoughts on what to expect in 2019.
Did I miss any updates that you noticed? Let me know in the comments below!