Platform Five: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 165)

Platform Five: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 165)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

YouTube has been busy making a lot of changes this week, Facebook has introduced automatic translation for Dynamic Ads and Twitter has rolled out reverse chronological timelines for Andriod users.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

YouTube is testing a ‘Recommended Downloads’ feature

Downloading YouTube videos for later offline viewing is not a new feature. Users in all almost all countries have been able to do this for the last five years. YouTube is taking this feature a step further by testing download recommendations for users. It’s not yet known if the feature will be rolled out more widely.

Learn more here.

Twitter rolls out chronological feeds for Android

The ability to switch between reverse chronological and algorithm based Twitter timelines was given to iOS users almost a month ago but Andriod users were left in the dark about when they’d be getting the update. Finally, Twitter rolled out the new ‘sparkle’ button to Android users yesterday and they are loving it.

Read more here.

Facebook adds new language option for Dynamic Ads

Facebook has been pushing cross-border initiatives for the last couple of years the aim of which is to help people and business’ communicate with anyone, anywhere. To further this ambition along, Facebook has introduced automatic translation for Dynamic Ads. This is an incredibly useful addition for any business who reaches an international audience.

Find out more here.

YouTube is letting users swipe between videos

Swiping is the new tapping for YouTube in 2019. Unsurprisingly given the high video view rates that come from mobile, YouTube has introduced a few new features to make the platform more mobile friendly, one of which is the ability to swipe left and right between new videos. iOS users should start to see the feature in the coming weeks.

Read more here.

YouTube is removing some sharing capabilities

YouTube has announced this week that it will be removing the ability for users to automatically share their YouTube activities to Google+ and Twitter. The removal of Google+ comes as no surprise given it’s no longer available to everyday users but Twitter is more of a surprise. The feature will be removed after Jan 31st.

Learn more here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

Platform Five: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 164)

Platform Five: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 164)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

Videos can finally be scheduled to business Instagram accounts, TweetDeck now supports tweets with video and multiple images and Facebook is adding CTA stickers to Stories.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

Business’ can finally schedule videos to Instagram

Social media managers started the new year with a Christmas present from Instagram. Third party platforms have finally been granted access to publish videos on Instagram, this means they can be scheduled like any other single image post.

Learn more here.

Twitter announces scheduling upgrade for TweetDeck

Twitter has announced this week that TweetDeck has received an upgrade. The app will now support the scheduling of tweets with videos or multiple images. A lot of the more popular social management platforms already have this ability.

Read more here.

Facebook adds new CTA stickers to Stories

Facebook Stories didn’t take off as quickly as one might’ve expected given the popularity of the feature on Instagram. In an attempt to encourage more business’ to use Stories, Facebook has added CTA stickers to Stories which may help make stories more effective.

Find out more here.

You can now simultaneously post to multiple accounts on Instagram

Instagram is in the process of rolling out a new feature that will allow users to post to multiple accounts at the same time. The feature will only be available to iOS users for the time being but will save social media managers a lot of time.

Learn more here.

Facebook will now be preinstalled on some Android smartphones

In a surprising move, Facebook has brokered a number of deals that to have the Facebook app preinstalled on select Android devices. Early reports state that the app can be disabled but cannot be deleted from the devices.

Read more here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

Platform Five: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 161)

Platform Five: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 161)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

Instagram is expanding their side-scroll newsfeed test, YouTube has added autoplay videos to their home tab and Facebook is testing a new comment quality feedback option.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

Instagram is expanding side-scrolling feed testing

Previously, Instagram has only been testing the side-scroll feed on the explore page but reports have surfaced this week that show Instagram has begun to test side-scrolling in the main Instagram newsfeed. The new format has been influenced by the increasing popularity of Stories which now have over 1 billion users across the Facebook-owned apps alone.

Read more here.

YouTube adds autoplay videos to the home tab

YouTube has announced that videos on the home page of both the Android and iOS apps will now autoplay, muted and with captions. According to YouTube, the change will make it easier for users to preview content on the go. Users will be able to control how the autoplay function works, including being able to turn it off entirely.

Learn more here.

Facebook Pages will now show which countries they are being managed from

Facebook is constantly looking for new ways to increase transparency across the platform. This time they’re making adjustments to the information that is displayed in the Page Info section. As of this week, Facebook will now show the primary country locations of people in all existing page roles.

Find out more here.

Instagram had a glitch that messed up the newsfeed

The glitch came in the form of random bars appearing on in-feed photos which looked similar to a scrambled VHS tape. The source is yet to be confirmed but Instagram has confirmed that the issue is on their end and they’re not sure how long it will take to fix the bug.

Read more here.

Facebook is testing  a comment quality feedback option

The upvote / downvote option was introduced earlier this year as a way for users to provide immediate feedback on comment quality, there’s limited data to tell us whether or not users are using the feature but now Facebook is testing a variation on this feature. The comment quality feature is a small survey that allows users to give Facebook feedback on comment quality.

Learn more here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 146)

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 146)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

Facebook is making changes left, right and centre this week with updates to ad targeting, ad asset creation tools, Stories and spam reporting. Meanwhile, Instagram has made updates to their content discovery features.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

Facebook removes 5,000 ad targeting options

In an attempt to stamp out discriminatory ad targeting, Facebook has announced that they will be moving around 5,000 ad targeting options. According to Facebook, removing these options will help prevent misuse and minimise the risk of abuse.

Find out more here.

Facebook rolls out new ways to create video assets

There are some new, simple ways to create videos from images coming to Facebook. Facebook’s creative shop team introduced a few new features that will help advertisers get the most out of their ad performance.

Learn more here.

Instagram tests a new recommendations feature

A new content discovery process has been introduced to Instagram which highlights posts from similar accounts. The recommended posts will now come at the end of user’s newsfeeds after they’re ‘all caught up’.

Discover more here.

Facebook has started rating the trustworthiness of users

According to Facebook “It’s not uncommon for people to tell us something is false simply because they disagree with the premise of a story.” As such, a rating of ‘trustworthiness’ will be allocated to users who report posts so Facebook can better sort issue reports.

Read more here.

Facebook is rolling out Stories Highlights

Highlights for Stories are already available on Instagram. Unsurprisingly, Highlights are now starting to be rolled out to users across the Facebook platform which will mean that Stories can be kept and reused instead of disappearing after 24 hours.

Learn more here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 136)

Platform 5: This week’s most important social media changes (edition 136)

This week’s 5 most important social media changes

What’s changed in the last seven days? What does it mean?

Embarrassing messages can now be unsent on Snapchat, shopping tags can be added straight into Instagram Stories, and we get a sneak peek at what 3D posts will look like on Facebook.

Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail.

Facebook experiments with A/B testing

Reports have it that Facebook is experimenting with a new A/B testing option for page posts. While there isn’t a lot of detailed information at this stage, the function could help pages make more educated and strategic decisions about the kind of content that they post.

Read all about it here.

Messages can now be unsent on Snapchat

Following in Instagram’s footsteps, Snapchat has become the latest platform to allow its users to unsend their messages. The ‘Clear Chats’ feature is rolling out globally in the coming weeks and will work with text, images, memories, stickers, or audio messages in both one-on-one and group chats.

Read more here.

Instagram adds shopping tags to Stories

Shoppable tags were expanded to all business accounts on Instagram earlier this year and it has been a hit. Starting this week, users will be able to add a shoppable tag to their Stories in the form of a shopping bag sticker. Stories have proven hugely popular since they were introduced so this is not a surprising move for them to make.

Find more details here.

LinkedIn launches carousel ads

LinkedIn is stepping up their advertising efforts. The platform introduced the ability to create video ads earlier this year, now they’ve introduced carousel ads not dissimilar to the ones you see on Facebook. Carousel ads have been well received by Facebook users so it will be interesting to see how they perform on LinkedIn.

Find out more here.

3D posts are coming to Facebook

First mentioned at Facebook’s F8 developer’s conference earlier this year, 3D posts are part of Facebook’s investment in VR. Thanks to a post by TechCrunch, we’re now getting the first look into how the feature will work and what it will look like in feed.

Check it out here.

Follow us on Twitter for news of these social media and content marketing changes as they happen.

Social Media Algorithms: How Facebook decides what content you see

Social Media Algorithms: How Facebook decides what content you see

Our news feeds are a mix of posts from family, friends, our favourite sports teams, retailers, restaurants and news providers. What we see, however, is only a small selection of what our networks actually publish. So how do social media platforms prioritise the stories we see every day?

In a fortnightly series, we’ll be looking into the algorithms used by social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to determine what we read, watch and listen to. In part one of this series, we’ll look at Facebook’s Machine Learning Algorithm (MLA) and the factors it uses to filter information and serve us content.

In one day, a person has approximately 2000 possible news stories that could appear in their Facebook news feed, of which approximately only 200 will be seen. Facebook currently uses a Machine Learning Algorithm (MLA) which considers over 200 factors to decide which of these 2000 possibilities should be seen by users.

In one day, a person has approximately 2000 possible news stories that could appear in their Facebook news feed, of which approximately only 200 will be seen Click To Tweet

Post scores

Facebook’s algorithm works to determine an overall score for each post. Posts are ranked according to their overall score before being shown in user’s news feed. The higher the score a post, video or image receives, the more likely it will appear in your news feed.

So how does Facebook analyse and score every post to determine what users should see?

MLA considers a range of factors that have been learned through user’s previous actions to determine an outcome. These include how users use the platform (what type of posts they interact with, who they commonly interact with and why they use the platform) and information from websites/apps that use Facebook’s analytics tool to determine the posts users would be most interested in. The algorithm begins to learn users’ habits, interests, values and other traits for a more concise and reliable prediction of what users want to see.

To ensure your experience is ‘meaningful’. Facebook’s MLA will rank posts published by friends and family higher than those that are sponsored and irrelevant.

To avoid irrelevant posts, the MLA has been altered to avoid showing ‘engagement bait’ posts. Any post which encourages users to vote, react, share, tag and/or comment on the post will receive a lower ranking score.

Post ranking

When ranking posts, the algorithm considers four main components; inventory, signals, predictions and overall score.

The inventory refers to the thousands of possible posts that Facebook could display in users’ news feeds at any given moment; however, not all of these will be relevant or significant to particular users. ‘Signals’ must be in place to refine this inventory into a ranking of the most important posts for each individual.

Facebook’s algorithm defines ‘signals’ as factors that influence the overall significance score. These ‘signals’ can be influenced by developers internally coding parts of the algorithm and the algorithm’s own ability to learn a user’s habits and interests over time.

To further define the ‘signals’ that Facebook’s MLA focuses on, the ‘Facebook Journalism Project’ webinar earlier this year outlined four key ranking signals. The four signals below have been designed to prioritise posts which will be ‘meaningful’:

• Interaction with a person’s photo or status through comments and likes.
• Engagement with a publisher’s post which has been shared by a friend.
• The average amount of time spent on the creation of content.
• Links being shared between friends over messenger.

Informed predictions are then made by the algorithm to decide on which posts users will find interesting by ranking the overall scores.

However, in the words of Facebook’s Director of Analytics, Dan Zigmond, “the algorithm is never done.”

Stay tuned for our Instagram algorithm article!

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