Market Trends

REPLAY: Joe and Reachy talk new Instagram features & much more!

Written by
14 May, 2018

Our Content Marketing Manager, Joe, sat down with our Mascot, Reachy, on Monday afternoon to discuss 5 of the biggest news stories in social media from last week.

Watch the replay above and read through the detail below. You can also listen to this episode as an audio podcast, by clicking here or searching 'Hello Social Ad-dicts' on iTunes or your Apple podcasts app.

1. New additions to Instagram

New booking and payments features

Instagram is now testing a new booking and payments feature that allows users to reserve tables at restaurants, as well as other services, and make direct payments to businesses directly from the app. At Social Media Week NYC a few weeks back, we learnt that social media is the #1 source for purchase inspiration for US consumers. And there is no better platform for inspiration than Instagram. These new additions are effectively helping businesses turn a user’s inspiration into action.

Other new features, specifically in Instagram Stories, include:

Instagram Emoji Slider StickerEmoji Slider sticker

Enables users to ask questions that their friends and followers can answer by using a sliding scale.

Music in Instagram Stories

It's rumoured Instagram wants to let you add music to Stories, made possible by Facebook’s recent host of licensing deals with major record labels. It is thought you’ll soon be able to add music as a sticker, and it seems a clip of that chosen song will play while people watch. Instagram has spent the past few years building all conceivable forms of visual flair to embellish your photos and videos. But it’s audio that could be the next dimension of Stories.


Snapchat-changes_Header_1440x9602. Snapchat is rolling back some recent changes

Snapchat is rolling back many of the changes it made to the iOS app as part of its new UI. Its seems this is in response to a flood of user feedback, and may also be partly due to lacklustre financial results in Q1.

Among other things, snaps and chats will again be appearing in chronological order, and conversations with your friends will be found back where you users were used to finding them – on the right-hand side of the screen. This latest update will also see Snapchat get a new subscriptions feed, which will help you follow shows, as well as various creators and publishers. However, other structural changes the company made around "separating friends from creators", for example, will remain untouched.


facebook-live-logo3. Facebook has introduced some more features to Live

These include letting publishers cross-post Live videos across multiple Pages and testing a rewind button. With Live Cross-posting, you can publish a single broadcast across multiple Pages. People watching Live videos on Facebook are also getting a new feature, as Facebook says it is testing a rewind function — making it possible to rewind a Live video as it is being broadcast on a Page. Many brands are reporting much higher levels of engagement through live video, and it’s a format Facebook is putting a lot of focus on. Facebook says Live broadcasts win six times the interactions of regular videos and viewers are spending at least three times longer on average watching live video broadcasts than native video uploads.


facebook-avatars4. Facebook Avatars set to take on Snapchat’s bitmoji

Hidden inside the code of Facebook’s  Android app is an unreleased feature called Facebook Avatars that lets people build personalized, illustrated versions of themselves for use as stickers in Messenger and comments. It will let users customize their avatar to depict their skin color, hair style and facial features. Avatars already play a big role in Facebook Spaces - the social network’s VR hangout space.

This was a major theme of Facebook’s recent F8 conference, where they discussed their vision to make VR social and create a sense of presence between friends and loved ones who might find themselves thousands of miles apart. At the conference, they mentioned their goals is to make VR ‘indistinguishable from reality’ and even showed some prototype future avatars which were scarily similar to the true likeness of the people in the demo. It will be interesting to see the role advertising plays in this going forward.


5. Match group not convinced Facebook Dating will have a negative impact on Tinder

Another major announcement at F8 was Facebook Dating, and it came as a bit of a surprise. Match Group, which owns numerous dating services, including Tinder, and OkCupid, saw its share price take a major hit during the announcement at F8, but said again last that it’s not worried about Facebook getting into the dating game. Joey Levin, CEO of IAC, which owns a controlling stake in Match, claims that the “average user” for dating services uses three products at once — meaning it’s not a winner-take-all market. He also showed a chart on a recent earnings call noting that the vast majority of new Tinder users no longer sign up with their Facebook profile. Time will tell whether this really means users want to keep their dating life separate to Facebook.

But what does this mean for advertisers? It looks as though they are shut out at this stage, with Facebook recently having told Recode that its service will be ad-free. Additionally, none of the data associated with a user’s dating profile will be available to advertisers for ad targeting. The data also won’t be able to be used to target dating service users with ads on other Facebook services, like Instagram or WhatsApp.


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About The Marketing Team No matter where we are or what we’re doing, we’re always listening to office gossip… And by that we mean blog content! Innovative features on the platform, clients’ feedback, the latest social ad tech news, we’re a sponge for knowledge. We’re constantly striving to produce unconventional content relating to our social ad tech solutions in order to educate our readers on all the latest in the social-media sphere.

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