This week in social media:
Instagram Adds Voice Messaging
Instagram announced that it will finally be releasing voice messaging in Direct.
This will operate very similarly to the voice messaging systems on your Apple or Android devices. According to TechCrunch, they can be up to a minute long and are permanent rather than disappearing.
Facebook Expands Subscriptions
Facebook has announced a breadth of changes to the platform with the goal of making it more publisher friendly. Originally rolled out with a small subsection of curators, this newest release will introduce 28 new publishers.
Additionally, they have completely redesigned the implementation process. They have cut the development time by 75% from 4-8 weeks to 1-2 weeks. Facebook is now also allowing third-party paywalls. According to the announcement:
We are also integrating the Instant Articles paywall with third party paywall providers to make it easier for publishers to implement a paywall with Instant Articles on Facebook. For instance, we recently partnered with Piano – a leading paywall provider globally – to give publishers an even simpler way to integrate their paywall with Instant Articles.
Here is a full list of the new publications being added:
- From APAC & India: Business Standard and Malaysiakini
- From EMEA: Libération, Haaretz, Expresso, Informacion.es, Il Fatto Quotidiano, Il Messaggero
- From LATAM: El Espectador, Estadão, La Nación (Argentina), La Nación (Costa Rica), Nexo Jornal, La Prensa
- From the US: Advance’s Syracuse.com; Business Insider; Gatehouse’s Cape Cod Times, Columbus Dispatch, The Florida Times-Union, and Times Herald-Record; McClatchy’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kansas City Star, and Wichita Eagle; Newsday; Tribune’s Chicago Tribune, Fort-Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Hartford Courant, and Orlando Sentinel
They have also made customer retention a priority and have introduced a welcome screen to achieve this goal. As reported in their release:
We launched a “Welcome Screen” to encourage new subscribers if they would like to follow the publisher’s Page and see more of that publishers’ content in News Feed after learning that nearly half of all subscribers did not follow the publishers’ Page on Facebook. The welcome screen has increased the percentage of new subscribers who follow the publisher’s page from 54 to 94%. This has also increased the articles read by subscribers on Facebook by 40%.
Facebook Updates ‘Collections’
On December 5th, Facebook released a new feature which will allow users to share ‘Collection’ content with friends. For those who may not know, ‘Collections’ is Facebook’s answer to Pinterest and allows users to aggregate posts, videos, Marketplace listings, or even ads.
Here is how they described the new feature in the announcement:
“We started rolling out the collection feature over a year ago as a way to help you save, easily organize and find posts from a friend or Page you follow. Millions now use the feature each day, grouping this content into collections like “Living Room Remodel”, “Outfit Inspiration” and “Fitness Favorites.” And we’ve heard from people that they want to be able to share these collections with their Facebook friends. With today’s launch, you can now share a collection so friends can view the content you’ve gathered and add new posts.”
Facebook Expands Group Stories
Earlier this year, the Social Skim reported that Facebook was releasing Group Stories to a circumscribed list of regions. However, on December 5th, Facebook announced that it will now be available globally.
Here is what they had to say in their announcement:
“Earlier this year, we introduced group stories as a way to help admins and members engage more with their communities. Now, we’re excited to announce that we’ve rolled out group stories globally with lightweight reactions. Group members can now respond to each other’s stories quickly and directly with emojis that show a range of universal human emotions.”
Facebook Updates Messenger Lite
This week, Facebook announced that it would be making updates to Messenger Lite. For those of you who may not know (TJ) Messenger Lite is a more Data efficient version of Facebook Messenger. There are already 200 million users on the platform across the globe.
The new update will allow better customization for users. For instance, animated GIFs will now be available. Additionally, Facebook has added color tagging for group chat categorization.
Here is what the company said in their announcement:
“While you could receive GIFs in Messenger Lite for some time, they were not animated. Starting now, people can express themselves more in chats with family and friends by sending and playing animated GIFs. To send a GIF, use a third party keyboard (such as the Google keyboard), search for GIFs in their library, and send a more expressive message.”
Google Accelerates Date of Google+ Closure
Google has found yet another API Bug in the antiquated social platform, prompting them to expedite its closure. The original date was set for August 2019, however, they have decided to take 90 days off of that. The platform will now be closed in April of next year. Considering 90% of Google+ user session last less than 5-seconds, not many will be affected by this change.