It’s been a doozy of a year, folks. We knew some interesting things would go down with it being an election year. But I must admit I did not expect COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement to join the roiling conversations on social media!
Here’s a recap of what we have noticed in the major social media platforms as they try to improve in turbulent times – get ready for a lotta links!
Across All Platforms: Big Moves for Content Cleanliness
With the tumultuous news, and divisive opinions coming from them, we’ve seen further efforts to control poor content experiences like fake information, hateful speech, or graphic content.
Twitter, for example, further updated their hateful conduct policies, with new rules around age, disease and disability. They also tested a new feature in which users who use “harmful” language will see a prompt suggesting that they self-edit before posting a reply. In May they started labeling Tweets with links to resources to learn facts about certain issues like COVID-19, and this month they started testing a new feature to prompt users to read articles before retweeting them.
In April, Instagram furthered work on a new filter that would allow users to limit their exposure to sensitive content. And in May Facebook announced its new Oversight Board members to guide content rules on the platform. They also utilized AI to remove misinformation and hate speech.
Key Facebook & Instagram Changes in 2020
This year, Facebook continued exploration into the unification of Facebook-owned social channels. Back in March, Facebook announced that it was testing a new option to cross-post FB Stories to Instagram (yet to be released). And this month they’ve taken steps forward in their plan to integrate its messaging apps (Messenger, IG DMs, WhatsApp) with Instagram testing out a new option that would enable you to view your Messenger messages in your Instagram Direct inbox.
For all my testing and data junkies out there, Facebook gave us quite the fix by launching a new ‘Experiments’ section to Ads Manager back in April. It opened up new ways to A/B test as well as perform holdout tests and brand surveys.
And lastly we’ve noticed a trend this year of the social media giant taking bigger strides in monetizing Instagram, like these to name a few:
- In March, Instagram launched the first stage of IGTV monetization, with in-stream ads coming to selected channels.
- We’ve continued to see that Instagram Branded Content Ads are here to stay (and grow in use).
- In April, IG is testing an option to let brands add additional links to sell gift cards or make donations.
Key LinkedIn Changes in 2020
LinkedIn has had an interesting year of feature rollouts as well. In March they launched ‘Conversation Ads‘ to help brands capitalize on the rise of messaging. Essentially, it allows advertisers to insert CTA’s into LinkedIn messaging ads (formerly known as Sponsored InMails).
We’re excited to see B2C brands testing out more of the possibilities in LinkedIn. This case study report, published in April, gives examples of B2C brands pushing out Facebook/Instagram-like content on LinkedIn (and seeing some great engagement and results!)
This year we saw LinkedIn continue to chase Facebook features with the launch of LinkedIn Events, made available to all company pages in April. The platform then added the ability to use LinkedIn Live videos in Events in May.
And lastly, though perhaps the one I’m geeking out about the most, LinkedIn expanded Company targeting, offering two new categories: Company Category and Company Growth Rate. We’ve been excited to use this particularly in our B2B LinkedIn campaigns recently. Always love more robust audience targeting!
Key Twitter Changes in 2020
As mentioned above, Twitter seems to have spent most of its platform optimization efforts on content monitoring initiatives. In addition to those improvements, I would state two other notable updates for the platform:
- Rather than dumping you into the Twitterverse of your broad interests, Twitter updated the Explore tab, making it more location-specific.
- In May, Twitter announced it’s introducing a new layout for @replies that uses lines and indentations to make it easier to understand who you’re replying to and how the conversation is flowing.
In the ever-changing world of social media, you really can’t look away for a minute without missing something! Stay tuned and we’ll continue to keep an eye out for those crucial platform updates. If all of the above info makes you wonder if you need a team of experts dedicated to handling the social strategy and outlets for your brand, let us know — we’d be honored to have the opportunity to chat further with you!