The latest social media updates you won’t want to miss
By Emma Robinson
Updates to social media platforms are made every day to both improve the technology and the user experience. A few recent changes are going to make a huge difference to how people interact with our go-to platforms and how brands and publishers engage with and promote content. Here is our summary of the most important updates in the world of social media this month.
Pinterest launches ’compassionate search’
Many people find themselves gravitating towards Pinterest in search of ideas and inspiration, from recipes and holiday destinations, to interior design and outfit ideas. But with a big focus on mental health from a lot of the major platforms, Pinterest has followed suit. Pinterest has teamed up with organisations such as National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation to create emotional wellbeing activities within the platform that users are directed to when searching themes linked to emotional health. These activities include breathing exercises, identifying your values, and self-compassion. They are currently only available to US Pinterest users but we know the platform aims to make this update available to all.
Interestingly, all activity within compassionate search will be anonymous. None of the associated data will be held by Pinterest, meaning recommended pins, Pinterest ads and the home feed of a user will not be influenced by activity within this launch.
Hidden Instagram likes
Instagram is trialling a new update where likes will no longer be the centre of the app. Users in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, Italy and Japan are the first to test this, which allows only the publisher to see how many likes their photo gets. Followers will be able to see who has liked the post but won’t be able to view the total number of likes as they scroll.
It's an attempt to tackle the inevitable social pressures that come with using the app. A recent study found that 15% of teens feel they must show the best version of themselves and 10% feel overloaded with information on social.
Instagram hope that this new update will bring back the original purpose of the app, allowing users to appreciate content and be more creative, instead of posting what will get the most likes.
Despite the good intent, feedback has been mixed, with some users loving the idea and others saying it will affect those who use the platform as part of their job. Influencers have shared their concerns around falsifying engagement and people playing the system with this new update, with engagement measured against following currently the only real way of determining authenticity of an account.
Facebook’s 'clear history' tool
After losing user-trust last year following the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, Facebook is putting a big focus on transparency through 2019. It’s launched a ‘clear history’ tool, which will allow users to delete their history of activity, specifically in relation to tracked activity on associated apps and websites. Facebook has stated that although the tool doesn’t actually remove the data, it makes the data anonymous. This will mean targeting from a paid social media and display perspective will be affected, giving users more privacy if they choose to implement this option.
In-keeping with its approach to transparency, Facebook has given access for users to see how and why they have been targeted by ads. The update will allow users to have a more advanced insight into their account data, such as ad interests and which businesses have obtained their information in order to advertise to them, including direct promotions and third party brands that have uploaded a user’s data.
Instagram’s positive interactions
Instagram is cracking down on negative and abusive comments on the app. The application will now offer a buffer to users trying to share offensive comments, asking the user if they’re sure they want to post the comment. What’s more, Instagram will now filter out harmful comments and will potentially block accounts that are deemed ‘repeat offenders’ in posting content that breaches community guidelines.
Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, stresses that online bullying could hurt the brand over time. He explanins, “If you’re not addressing issues on your platform, I have to believe it’s going to come around and have a real cost”. With this in mind, the platform is making big changes to online experience, making it a safer and happier place to be.
Overall social media platforms are cracking down on transparency and putting the mental health of users first. After many superficial app updates, it’s good to see that companies are making improvements to user experience that goes below the surface.
Here at twentysix, we have an awesome Social team who implement effective social strategies for a whole host of clients. Whether you're looking to reach new audiences, improve engagement or safeguard your brand from the ever-changing algorithmns and updates, please get in touch to chat about how we can help.