Social Media Rundown: Facebook Messenger Update; New ‘Thumb Stopping’ Facebook Feature; Political Ad Spend; New LinkedIn Algorithm

Screen shots of Facebook Messenger 4.
Facebook Messenger 4 promises a simpler design.

If you’re a heavy Facebook Messenger user, you know how cluttered the app has become. Messenger 4 promises a simpler layout with fewer tabs and an overall cleaner interface. Also in the world of Facebook, the ‘thumb stopping’ 3D photos feature is slowly being rolled out, and the company has revealed its biggest political ad spenders on its platform.

Lastly, be sure to learn about the new LinkedIn algorithm, how to get the most of LinkedIn hashtags, and how to make the most of quotes in Instagram.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Is Finally Decluttering Messenger (Engadget). Facebook is making things simpler with Messenger, going from nine tabs to three. There’s the Chats tab (conversations), the People tab (who’s online), and the Discover tab (discover businesses). The latter will give you access to the platform’s Instant Games feature as well.
  • ‘Inherently Thumb Stopping’: Engagement-Thirsty Marketers Try out Facebook 3D Photos (DigiDay). I’ve seen these in my feed and they definitely catch your eye and almost force you to engage with the content. “Long-form video has been declining as attention span [in News Feed declines]. 3D photos are the logical next step as a format that grabs your attention.” I’m looking forward to this feature being rolled out to everyone soon.
  • Facebook Reveals Its Biggest Political Ad Spenders (AdAge). Some major ad dollars — $256 million on 1.7 million ads — being spent by politicians on Facebook. Beto O’Rourke is the top spender at $5.3 million on 6,000 ads. Donald Trump is not far behind with $4.8 million spent since May, buying more than 100,000 ads.
  • LinkedIn Adds a New Algorithm to Generate More Engagement from the Users (Digital Information World). The social network recently updated its algorithm in order to generate more engagement on the user’s posts. Learn more about these changes on the HubSpot blog.

Learn:

  • The Complete Guide to Using LinkedIn Hashtags (Hootsuite Blog). Hashtags are new to LinkedIn, and the company seems to be going all in with the new feature. Adding hashtags to updates and articles gives them a higher chance of being discovered by users who follow or search for the hashtag you’ve used. But how hashtags are used on LinkedIn are a bit different than on other social media platforms. This article has some helpful tips and tricks to make the most of the new feature.
  • How to Create and Use Instagram Quotes in Your Strategy (Later blog). This article has some good ways to use quotes in Instagram to increase engagement. These can mostly be applied to other social media platforms as well. The article also has a couple handy apps for creating quote images such as canva and AdobeSpark.

Chart of the Week:

Around two-thirds (68%) of U.S. adults use Facebook. With the exception of YouTube, no other major social media platform comes close to Facebook in terms of usage. Around a third of U.S. adults (35%) say they use Instagram.

Majority of Americans now use Facebook and YouTube.
Facebook continues to dominate among all social media sites.
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Social Media Rundown: Pivot to Video? Not So Fast; Facebook Hack; Russian Trolls Influence Brexit

Facebook thumbs up.
Even as Facebook executives were insisting that video consumption was skyrocketing, it was becoming clear that some of the metrics the company had used to calculate time spent on videos were wrong.

Not a lot happening in the world of social media this week; just the usual: shady Facebook news, data breaches, and more revelations on Russia’s influence on the Brexit referendum. For the learning section, I’ve stumbled upon two articles about using video to engage with your online audiences — check it out!

Social Media News:

  • Did Facebook’s Faulty Data Push News Publishers to Make Terrible Decisions on Video? (NiemanLab). Publishers’ “pivot to video” was driven largely by a belief that if Facebook was seeing users, in massive numbers, shift to video from text, the trend must be real. Perhaps we’re not actually in the midst of a video revolution.
  • Facebook’s Latest Hack Was by Spammers Who Just Wanted Money (Mashable). Facebook’s latest hack had the information of 29 million users scraped, but apparently by scammers wanting financial gain, rather than for political or ideological purposes.
  • Russian Trolls Sent Thousands of Pro-Leave Messages on Day of Brexit Referendum, Twitter Data Reveals (The Telegraph). The day of the Brexit vote, Russia mobilized an army of trolls, which at one stage included 3,800 accounts. The fake accounts Tweeted out 1,102 posts with the hashtag #ReasonsToLeaveEU. Now, how will Twitter prevent this from happening again?

Learn:

  • Twitter Has Renewed Its Live Video Push & Here’s What You Need to Know (TopRank Marketing). Once the dominate player in live video, Twitter fell to the likes of Facebook, YouTube, and even LinkedIn. This blog post has a few things to consider before jumping into live Twitter video.
  • 4 Ways to Use LinkedIn Video for Your Business (Social Media Examiner). Speaking of video, this article has some solid ideas on how you can use native LinkedIn video to engage with your audience.

Social Media Rundown: Unilad Going Under; Nobody Reads Trump’s Tweets; Another Facebook Breach; Twitter Removes Accounts

It’s been a fairly big week in the world of social media with yet another Facebook security breach, more Twitter account removals, and the bankruptcy of Unilad, the mega Facebook viral publisher. Plus, be sure to make your way down to the learn section for a newly discovered tool for turning audio interviews into short video clips and some tips on creating buzz on social media.

Social Media News:

  • Unilad: Facebook Viral Publisher Goes into Administration (The Guardian). The website’s parent company, Bentley Harrington, has debts of more than £6m. The company, which began life as a student “banter” page, is one of the world’s biggest publishers of viral content. Many viral publishers have struggled to translate their enormous reach into a profitable business model, owing to the high cost of making bespoke native ads.
  • Trump’s Tweets Are Less Read and Influential Than People May Think (Axios). Nearly 60% of Americans rarely or never read Trump’s tweets. Follow the link for a few more stats on public trust, news media, and politicians.
  • Twitter Removes 50 Accounts Posing as Republican Party Members in Pre-Election Crackdown (The Telegraph). The company said it was acting to “protect the integrity of elections” by banning users who had stolen profile information from others. It said it was deleting 9.4 million accounts a week overall as it battles a wave of fake users.
  • Facebook Reports Security Breach Affecting 50 Mn Accounts Globally (Inc42). The safety breach on Sept. 25 was due to attackers exploiting a vulnerability in Facebook’s code that impacted the “View As” a feature on profiles. Facebook claims to have fixed the issue.

Learn:

  • How to Repurpose Audio Content for Social Media and Beyond (Social Media Examiner). This is where I discovered Headliner App, a free online tool that easily converts podcasts (or any audio) into a short video (limited to 10 minutes in length). Could be handy for chopping up audio interviews into bite-sized content to share on social media.
  • How to Generate Social Media Buzz for Your Product (Social Media Explorer). From creating a branded hashtag to hosting an event or contest, this article has some quick tips for creating buzz on social media.

Chart of the Week:

According to this chart from Sprout Social, measuring ROI is still the biggest challenge for social media marketers.

Measuring the ROI of social media marketing remains a top challenge for marketers.
Top Challenges for Social Media Marketers, according to Sprout Social.