Social Media: Key takeaways from April 2017

Blog | 04 May, 2017

We’ve compiled the social media must-knows from last month.

From platform to platform, here's a round-up of what's new in the world of social.


How Turner’s Super Deluxe gets most of its Facebook Live viewers to watch live

Turner has been investing tremendous resources into their Facebook Live offering, placing interactive experience at the core of their broadcasts. To reengage previous viewers and attract new ones, the team has developed off-Facebook experiences as well as a proprietary software that goes beyond Facebook options experiences. For example, viewers have been able to video-call into a show using Snapchat (!) and upload selfies through a microsite sitting outside of Facebook. Truly ground-breaking stuff.

Messenger is now twice the size of Instagram with 1.2 billion MAUs

Messenger has added 200m users since last June and now, 60% of all Facebook users also use Messenger monthly. Messenger is full steam ahead and rapidly closing the gap on Whatsapp, which it should overtake sometime this year.

Facebook says it has over 5 million advertisers

Another stunning stat from Facebook – it now counts more than 5m monthly advertisers. A little over a year ago the milestone of 3m active advertisers was announced, so Facebook added 40% of all its advertisers in the last year or so. 

Facebook to offer free version of its slack killer

Facebook is expanding its messaging service for businesses in a bid to dethrone Slack. A free version of its Workplace will be launched “soon” with basic features such as one-to-one and group voice calls, video calling and video streaming, integrating with both PCs and mobile. The paid version will cost a hefty $1, $2 or $3 per active user per month based on total number of overall users, says Facebook.

New Facebook Rocket Icon links to ‘complementary’ second news feed

Is a second News Feed in the pipeline? It would seem so, as some users are reporting a new ‘rocket’ icon in their iOS and Android app. The new tab redirects to content curated by Facebook that works as a “complementary feed of popular articles, videos and photos, customised for each person.” A spokesperson at Facebook commented that the new test feature would cater to users willing to explore new content.

Facebook launches Faces, a new way for users to hang with friends in VR

Ever wanted to hang out with your friends in VR? Facebook just made it possible, with the launch of Faces. Provided they possess an Oculus Rift headset, users can create their virtual avatar, hang out with up to 3 other users in 360-degree world and share 3D videos and experiences. Check out this video to see it in actions:

Expect more exciting developments on Facebook Spaces very soon!



Twitter redesigns replies so usernames don’t count against the 140-character limit

It’s a change that many have asked for, although a lot of users have been unimpressed with the design of it, saying Twitter is now “harder to read”. Despite complaints, Twitter reports that people using the new design are now replying more frequently than before, so I guess we’ll have to get used to it.

Twitter shares soar on strongest user growth for more than a year

Twitter managed to beat expectations from Wall Street. Just a few days ago, it reported 328m users, which is a 6% increase in the first quarter of this year compared to Q1 2016. But all is not well – for the first time revenue dropped, seeing a fall of 8%.

How to make Twitter profitable

Twitter is yet to make a profit in its 11-year history. To remedy the situation, author Bruce Judson puts across “a simple proposal” to radically change the economics of Twitter: charge businesses that exceed a certain follower count a monthly fee. Bruce currently awaits a call from Jack Dorsey.


Instagram shows no sign of slowing as it hits 700 million users

Instagram added 100m users in less than five months. Now it will set eyes on its next objective: catching up with Facebook’s other colossi, WhatsApp and Messenger, and their 1.2 billion users. Twitter sits at the side-lines spectating enviously.

Instagram now lets you organize bookmarks into private collections

Last year Instagram starting letting users bookmark posts, and this month it’s made the feature a lot more powerful by allowing users to organise their bookmarks (think Pinterest-style). So, is a proper desktop version of Instagram in the works? It wouldn’t be the first time that Instagram and Facebook took inspiration from competitors, would it?

Photographers claim Instagram is ‘shadow banning’ their accounts

A number of users have reported that their posts are no longer visible in hashtag searches when the page is viewed by someone who does not follow their account. Photographers have sent proof and Instagram is aware of the issue. However, the company said they don’t “have the available resources to fix the hashtag search issue” for now. Awkward.

Popular Instagram bot site Instagress has been shut down

It seems that Instagram is beginning to hunt down websites that automate interactions. Typically, Instagress and the likes don’t create fake accounts, but they automatically like and comment on other profiles, which inflate follower counts. First victim Instagress has been shut down this month, but many other websites offering similar services are still running. For now.


Snap advertisers can now see if their ads increase foot traffic

Snap is looking to become an advertising giant on par with Facebook and Google. To join the club, it just rolled out “Snap to Store”, a new ad product that lets advertisers know if vertical adverts convert to store visits within a week after viewing. And since early reports show users are heavy shoppers, Snap might be on to something here.

Snapchat introduces world lenses – life filters for just about anything

While Facebook is betting on VR with Faces, Snapchat is directing its efforts to AR. This month, ‘World Lenses’ was announced – placing 3D elements in real-world scenes that users can capture with their camera.


LinkedIn now has half a billion users

LinkedIn is not the noisiest platform in the room, but it’s one that carries a lot of momentum – probably because it has no real competition. As we speak, LinkedIn offers more than 10 million job offers, 9 million companies, and more than 100,000 new articles weekly.


Pinterest to ramp up advertising and ditch ‘Like’ button to show it’s different from Facebook and Instagram

Those who dive into Pinterest analytics may have noticed that ‘Like’ has disappeared in the last few weeks. An official announcement came out confirming the change: Pinterest does not want to be seen as a social network, but rather as a visual search engine.


Crocs aims to turn around fortunes with celebrity-driven campaign: Will it work?

Crocs tries its hand at influencer marketing to help combat recent losses. The ‘Come As You Are’ campaign uses the tagline ‘Find Your Fun’, to embrace the colourful, care-free image of the brand. With some questioning the seemingly random choice of influencers and others referring to the brand’s reliance on celebrity endorsement as “tired”, it remains to be seen whether or not it's too late for Crocs. 

Five ways to select employee advocates

Employee advocates can be huge assets for your organisation, but employees must be ‘cherry-picked’ to ensure they’re up to the task. Smarp suggests using anonymous surveys to help gather a sound understanding of your employees’ attitude to social media participation, and explains how to select your advocates based on those responses.

The news feed is outdated: How stories changed the way I think about social media

With Facebook spending years perfecting its algorithmically-sorted news feed, we’ve seen many other platforms follow suit in a bid to provide users with more specific, personalised content. However, the rise of stories across Snapchat, Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger and Facebook suggests that the news feed is outdated and that we must make way for stories (big time!).

Until next month! If we’ve missed out on any stories, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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