What: Videos now play automatically – with sound – as you scroll through your Facebook Newsfeed.
Why: We’re not sure. In fact, no one seems sure. Facebook claim this was in response to ‘positive feedback’ yet all the feedback we’ve seen seems to say otherwise. Of course, people’s complaints tend to either include ‘it’s using up all my data’ or ‘you just outed me for being on Facebook at work/at school/at a family event’. Luckily, it’s quite easy to turn this off – simply go into the app settings and turn off ‘Videos In News Feed Start With Sound’. Annoying that it’s opt-out rather than opt-in!
In a nutshell:
— Jorge Branco (@JorgeBrancoBNE) 4 July 2017
What: Everyone’s got a responsive website by now, right? Wrong. And Facebook has seen fit to penalise those who share links to websites not yet optimised for mobile, allocating them less space in Newsfeeds and thereby reducing their engagement levels. With 94% of all Facebook users accessing the site via mobile, this is going to have quite an impact on those websites that are particularly slow. One piece of advice: if you’re still not responsive, respond.
Why: This move is following in the footsteps of Google, apparently intended to give users the information they need as quickly as possible.
What: Facebook has just added several new features to its camera… Number one: the ability to record two-second GIFs and post them to your News Feed, story, or to directly message to a friend. Number two: the ability to live stream straight from your camera screen. Number three: the ability to add colourful text to images.
Why: The whole idea of these additions is to encourage people to use Facebook Stories or even to just use Facebook as a whole. Groundbreaking moves? Certainly not. This was simply another strike within the Snapchat and Facebook ongoing war for social media domination. These new Facebook features may have simply been ripped off from Snapchat, but who really cares who started what when Facebook are dangerously close to proving the old-age saying, ‘anything you can do, we can do better’.
What: Instagram and Facebook have now launched threaded comments.
Why: Everyone understands how frustrating it is to track down that friend’s comment when they’ve tagged you in a video, meme, or photo on Facebook or Instagram. This new feature holds the answer to this annoyance, and may even make people more eager to tag. Not only will this new feature allow Facebook design to become easier on the eye, but it will make conversation more straightforward. With a slicker design allowing a clearer view of other people’s conversations, this will also satisfy our natural curiosity (*nosiness*).
Out of all the recent social media updates, this may be the most satisfying.
What: Is 280 the new 140? Twitter have just announced that the text limit on tweets will now be extended to allow for 280 characters… and here we were thinking that brevity is what made Twitter so appealing.
This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence! https://t.co/TuHj51MsTu
— jack (@jack) 26 September 2017
Why: Twitter’s reasoning behind this modification is to encourage individuals to tweet more regularly. However, why limit this to verified accounts only? Surely this blue tick is now in danger of being seen as a status symbol… We could haven’t said it better than Kevin Pang’s:
280 is the new blue checkmark in the upstairs/downstairs world of Twitter
— Kevin Pang (@pang) 27 September 2017
So although hell may be slightly breaking loose across Twitter, here’s what we think is really going to happen:
- 1.Most will complain
- 2.They will then use the new feature ironically
- 3.People will quickly forget that the change ever occurred
- 4.The whole point will be forgotten.
(Note: there is, already, unsurprisingly, a way to post 280 characters despite not being verified – but we’re not sharing!)
When will we get our blue tick? We want a blue tick. Why can’t we have a blue tick? Why create a Twitter hierarchy? Damn, still 150 characters left. Oh, only 108 now, getting there. God, this really is a lot of characters isn’t it. Still 27 to go. Done now. #twitter #twitter280
— Ality (@alityuk) September 28, 2017
What: Facebook have decided to combine the powerful ad creation and editing features of Power editor, with the ease of use of Ads Manager, into one simple tool. Now advertisers can create, manage, and view results using just one interface.
Why:The idea behind this merge, and placement of functionalities in just one, is to make the whole ad creation process a lot smoother and efficient for advertisers.
What: Ads in Instagram Stories can now be integrated with Facebook’s Canvas full-screen, immersive mobile ad units. For those of you slightly more naive, ‘ads canvas’ are colloquially termed ‘instant ads’. These canvases open directly from Facebook ads in News Feed to provide a full-screen experience, which can include a mix of interactive video, images, or text.
Why: This extension of the full-screen experience will allow advertisers to effectively capture attention and engage customers in brand and product advertisements.
Have we missed any? Let us know.