Earlier this month we shared with you key Facebook algorithm updates and tips and wanted to extend our social knowledge to include some of the other popular social media platforms - Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
New Character Limit
The biggest Twitter update of the year (in our opinion!) is the introduction of the 280 character tweets this month to most users. We love having more room in tweets, however according to Twitter’s study (which began in September), since the update only 5% of tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were more than 190 characters.
But Twitter reported that those who sent longer tweets actually received more followers, more engagement and spent more time on the site.
In July, a feature was added to the notifications section on mobile and web, which aims to inform users what people they follow are up to, such as whether they’re tweeting about a particular Twitter trend, sharing a link to a buzzing news article, or even following another user’s account.
Twitter completely redesigned its desktop site and mobile app in June to make the platform feel "lighter, faster, and easier to use" in response to user feedback. Changes included real-time reply, retweet, and like counts, clearer typography and iconography, and round avatars from square ones.
Built In Replies
Also this year, tweets were updated in order for users to directly reply to one another. Previously, users had to @mention the account they wanted to reply to, but now the mention is built directly into the reply button giving users more characters with which to reply (as they no longer need to type in the username).
In November, the Stories feature of Instagram was expanded and has since reached more than 500 million daily active users. New features include the ability to add older content to Stories instead of just images and videos from the past 24 hours, and a superzoom tool.
Instagram has been increasingly rolling out the desktop version of Instagram stories.
The split-screen option on Instagram Live was also launched in November. Users can now be invited to be part of videos when the overlapping smiley faces in the bottom right corner of live interfaces are clicked. A list of viewers currently watching the video will appear on screen and any viewers watching can then be invited to join in on the fun. Users will then be able to view a split-screen broadcast.
In October, Instagram polling stickers were introduced, which allows users to ask a question, and provide two answers for people to pick from. Users can see answers in real time, as well as who voted and what they voted for.
Who’s Following You
Android users saw the introduction of a new feature, which now allows users to see if someone is following them directly from their bio. The new feature was released in September and means that users no longer needed to scroll through their follower’s list to see if said person was following them.
In July users were provided with the option to instantly share live videos directly to Stories, with one simple touch (click “Share” once the broadcast has ended). Users can also rewind several seconds to catch anything they may have missed.
Face filters and other camera additions were also added to the platform in June, mirroring the likes of Snapchat.
LinkedIn has said that more than 80% of professionals on the platform have stated they either want to have a mentor or be one to others, but knowing where to start can be the trickiest part. This month, LinkedIn announced its newest feature – ‘Career Advice’, which helps members connect with one another for mentoring opportunities.
In August, LinkedIn video was introduced along with an update which allows users to see who in their network is online and available at a given time. LinkedIn values discussions and wanted to make it easier to choose a good time to start a conversation. Apparently, more than a third of members have surfaced new opportunities through casual conversations that began with a LinkedIn message.
In July, a new version of LinkedIn for Windows 10 users was launched, meaning users can now upload multiple photos per post via the iOS app. It was stated that this would be rolled out on Android and desktops shortly.
Another update from July was a weekly notification that users receive stating how many people found them from a LinkedIn search, as well as the top companies the searchers work at. This aims to help users understand how they’re being discovered, so that profiles can be optimised for the opportunities users want to be found for.
The LinkedIn member list has reached 500 million users this year and the platform is no longer known for just its job searching capabilities; it’s evolving into a network of content, influencers, and networking opportunities.
So, there we have it, some of the biggest social media updates from the year. Make sure you stay up to date with all the key updates, to get the most out of the platforms for your business.