We take a look at some of the changes, developments and added extras that may affect the way that businesses use each social media platform…
Instagram introduced two features that made 2017 a huge success for them – Instagram Stories being the first of them. Launched in 2016, Stories became huge this year thanks to several additions such as new filters, stickers and fonts, superzoom, Stories Highlights and Stories Archives.
Both Highlights and Archives were great for brands as they improve the lifespan of these Stories, which makes them a great addition to a campaign. Instagram Stories got it right this year, reaching over 300 million daily active Stories users (which was up from 200 million at the beginning of the year) and leaving Snapchat lagging behind.
Secondly, Instagram added a feature that allows users to follow a hashtag, which has been very useful for brands. Brands can focus more on the use of hashtags as part of their campaigns, as customers that follow a hashtag will get the latest news and updates, and it is an easy way for brands to compare with other companies and campaigns, or the user-generated content that they want to track.
Instagram also introduced a “Paid Partnership” tag, which makes clear which influencer posts have been paid for. This was put in place in order to promote transparency, and to strengthen the relationships between the brand and the community.
Facebook Stories was launched at the end of the year, after a trial period as two separate features. Although this has not reached the dizzy heights of Instagram Stories, it does offer users the chance to post Stories to Pages, Groups or Events, meaning that 2018 may see some interesting experiments in this area.
Twitter has doubled the number of characters per tweet, which is set to see some interesting changes for the platform. Brands can now improve the creativity and detail of their tweets, and Twitter’s new ‘Threads’ feature allows a series of consecutive tweets to be posted at once. Meaning you can now create longer narratives.
Snapchat made the decision to redesign its app to separate the social and personal functions from the public, professional and media functions. Conversations are kept to the left swipe, whilst the Discover section is to the right, and with this move Snapchat is hoping to maintain its popularity for all types of users.
Pinterest currently counts more than 300 million visual searches every month, and it has added further features to make it more efficient. Lens your Look, Shop your Look and the Responsive Visual Search combine to make a much more sophisticated and easy-to-use visual search engine.
As well as their own version of Stories – Youtube Reels – Youtube also added a series of tools that will help advertisers to communicate with their audience in a more personalised way. Custom Affinity Audiences, Director Mix, Video Ads Sequencing and Matched Panel Analysis tools aim to make Youtube a more valuable resource for advertisers.