Social Media News - September 17, 2019

Facebook Testing a New Chat Feature

Jane Manchun Wong discovered a new chat feature for Facebook that is very similar to the “Join Chat” feature that Instagram Stories released earlier this year. The new feature will direct followers to a private message group from a Story or Post. The addition falls in line with the rise in popularity of messaging apps and with what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg said in his keynote speech at the Facebook F8 Developer conference: “the future is private.”

LinkedIn to Add New ‘Find an Expert’ Feature

LinkedIn is offering a new posting option called “Find an Expert.” The feature is similar to Facebook’s “Ask for Recommendations” where users are able to reply with attached Facebook pages and links. However, on LinkedIn, this will help users find freelancers or other experts to help fulfill a business need. Clicking through on the post will reveal the more specific needs of the listing and other users can leave a comment about their own services or others that fit the description. Earlier this year, LinkedIn allowed freelancers to create service listings on their profiles which works seamlessly with the “Find an Expert” tool.

Instagram Testing ‘Clips’, a TikTok-like Feature

Another feature Jane Manchun Wong discovered this week was on Instagram. The new addition, called “Clips,” seems very similar to TikTok’s main purpose: posting edited videos. Clips would allow users to combine multiple video clips into one Stories post. Users would also be able to overlay these videos with music and adjust the speed of each clip. Instagram’s recent strategy seems to replicate features from other platforms, encouraging on-platform engagement and decreased user drop-off.

Twitter Android Dark Mode Update & Bio Line Break

Twitter is continuing to make small changes to its platform with the ability to have line breaks in your Twitter bio out now and the announcement of dark mode for Android users coming in September. The company has  updated its web version to allow users to put line breaks in their bios. It is unknown if the app will get this feature in the future. iOS users have already had access to Twitter’s “Lights Out” dark mode, but Twitter’s VP of Design and Research tweeted that it will be out for Android around “mid-September.” Stay tuned!

Facebook Adding New Tools for Public Figures

Facebook is testing a slew of upcoming tools for public figures and pages on its platform. Helping them to gain new audiences, it will promote public figures on the News Feed to those who may be interested based on their Facebook Activity. Speaking of Stories, Facebook is testing the option to allow multiple public figures to contribute to one story. The feature was tested at the music festival Tomorrowland, which allowed 20 artists to contribute to the public story for the event. This is new shopping features called Group Stories. Finally, Facebook is testing new shopping features similar to Instagram, including “swipe up” shopping links in stories and the option to tag products in posts. It will be interesting to see which of these features make it past the Facebook testing phase!

In addition to the features being tested, Facebook launched a new tool that encourages Public Figures to interact with fans. The company is adding a “Fan Reply Sticker” in Facebook Stories, where fans can reply with a photo or video and the Public Figure can then repost it on their stories. This reply feature will be available to regular Pages as well. 

Facebook Pages Video Updates

Facebook Pages are getting new broadcasting features to take live streaming to the next level. The first, and maybe most notable, feature is the ability to have a “rehearsal” and stream only to the page admins. This will allow teams to test the livestream, the lighting, the framing, and any other edits before going live. Pages will be able to clip the beginning and end of the video, ensuring that the reply doesn’t include any awkward starting or stopping of the camera. Facebook also extended the live broadcast time, making it up to eight hours instead of four. The platform also made it possible for Pages to stream their broadcast on other platforms, a feature that has not been available to Facebook Livestreams before.

In addition to broadcasting tools, Pages will also have more features involving their “Watch Parties.” This feature of premiering a new video with fans watching at once came out in 2018, but now Facebook is allowing its Pages to schedule the Watch Parties in advance and allow scheduled “replays,” which are essentially just another Watch Party, but for those who missed the first one. Additionally, Pages will be getting new analytics from these videos and the ability to tag branded content and business partners.

Instagram and IGTV Scheduling

Facebook Pages are taking a win this week, with even more features becoming available to them - this time with the coveted Instagram scheduling. Although many companies already use third parties to schedule their Instagram posts, Facebook has now made a native tool that will allow Facebook Pages to schedule both Instagram Posts and IGTV videos up to six months in advance.