Social media has proven to be one of the most powerful tools in modern marketing. It has evolved from being a medium to connect with others to a source of news and information. It even has the power to dictate what is news-worthy or not.

Change is constant when it comes to social media. It needs to evolve continuously in order to serve the needs of its users better. Today we’re starting a new series on the recent changes in the leading social media platforms we use. We’ll cover six of them beginning with Facebook and Twitter. Here are some of the updates you may not know about the two biggest social media sites.

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest social media outlet of the 21st century. Since its public launch in 2004, its popularity has skyrocketed with over a billion users to date. It has changed how we interact and connect with each other. Facebook has been known for constantly introducing new features and algorithms to boost user satisfaction and enhance how businesses to connect with their target market. Let’s look at some of the social media giant’s recent changes:

  • Facebook Live – This is one of Facebook’s newest features. It gives users the means to have one-way live chat and event streaming. Recently, the Philippines made history by being the first country to use Facebook Live to broadcast the inauguration of the country’s 16th president. It’s an interactive marketing tool you can use to share big news about your brand or do Q&A with thought leaders and brand endorsers.
  • 360-degree Videos and Photos – This is the newest addition to Facebook’s features. Users can now upload content that give viewers an all-around peek of a certain location. This is a great marketing tool for showing customers your new office or store.
  • Reactions – Facebook synonymous to its thumbs up “like” button. To date, they have expanded this element, now known as Reactions. Users have five different expressions to react with namely, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry in addition to the classic Like. During Mother’s Day, Facebook added a special Flower button.
  • GIF Support – Following Tumblr, a blogging platform famous for its GIFs. Facebook now supports infinitely-looping GIFs! Different brands have been using this to generate engagement by using the “tap technique.” To do this, just make a GIF with multiple images and ask your audience to tap and sharing the comments the image that popped up, which reflects the type of person/thing they are. Make sure the imagine you use are relevant to your brand.
  • Video Auto Play – The platform has tweaked its Newsfeed algorithm to enable video auto play. By default, the videos are on mute but some content often include captions so that users can know the context and watch the video even without turning on the audio.

Twitter

Twitter is known for its 140-character limit. Though there have been speculations on the future of the platform due to the lack of changes, Twitter has shown that it is here to stay. With about 313 million users to date, the curt social media platform is proving to remain formidable. Here’s a look at some of its newest additions and tweaks.

  • Photo Sets – Users can now upload a maximum of four photos with each tweet. It’s a great way to showcase new products or event photos!
  • GIF Support – Like Facebook, Twitter has taken a leap towards supporting GIFs. Users can now search for GIFs and attach it to their tweets.
  • Longer video support – Like photo uploads, Twitter has expanded its video support and allows users, especially businesses and production companies, to upload content with a maximum duration of 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
  • Photo tagging – Popularized by Facebook, it took a while before the platform followed suit. Twitter has tweaked their photo support, allowing users to tag their friends in photos, too!
  • “While You Were Away” – No more scrolling through your timeline to catch up. This feature gathers tweets from the people follow and lists the tweets you might find interesting at the top of your timeline.  It gives you an easy, quick look on what you missed.
  • Periscope Live – Periscope, an app recently acquired by Twitter, has recently been made popular for mobile live streaming. Now users can broadcast on the app and viewers can tune in to watch via Twitter without having the app installed.
  • Polls – Polls is a great way to know what your audience likes. Over the recent months, Twitter has rolled out its Polls feature and has continued tweaking it to make it more user-friendly. You can ask a question with a maximum of four choices and set the poll duration for seven days at most.
  • Quote Retweets – Gone are the days of needing to limit your tweet when you retweet someone’s post. Twitter has introduced the Quote Retweet feature which allows users to add their own inputs in 140 characters together with the original tweet.
  • Hearts (Previously Stars) – Perhaps one of the most recognizable features of Twitter was the Favorite button. Recently, Twitter made the switch from the yellow star to a red heart and changed it from “Favorite” to “Like”. The change received mixed responses especially from long-time users of the platform but it was generally well accepted.

Social media has become a vital part of our lives. It cuts across all audiences from the younger demographic to adult professionals and even the older demographic. Brands have also become more engaged with their customers through social media. Expect these platforms to continuously introduce new features and algorithms to cater to its users’ needs. Start exploring these changes and integrate them into your marketing plan. You’ll never know when one tweak can translate to a boost in brand awareness and customer engagement!

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Get up-to-date with social media on our Updates You May Not Know About Series!

Pepper Virtual Assistants is a business solutions firm that specializes on virtual administrative and personal assistance, online marketing, customer support, and copywriting. We are known for reliability through our managed services, responsive client handling backed by extensive training, and rockstar virtual assistants hired for their skills and expertise.

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