Here are last week’s biggest social media headlines:
1. Instagram last week quietly added a payments function
The feature, now only visible for a limited number of users, lets you register a debit or credit card as part of a profile, set up a security pin, and buy things without within the Instagram experience. This new UX could lead to Instagram becoming a much bigger player in e-commerce. At Social Media Week NYC, we recently learnt that a Diply survey found social to be the #1 source of purchase inspiration for US consumers. Adding the ability to seamlessly purchase in Instagram could make impulse buys much quicker, enticing more businesses to get on board.
2. Facebook Messenger has some major changes on the way
These include a simpler design and UX and new AR features. While Facebook has added a lot of new functionality to Messenger in the last few years, there’s a feeling that it has become a little bulky and bloated. Facebook announced last week at their F8 developer conference that they will be redesigning Messenger to make it “cleaner and faster”. New features are likely to include a dark mode and simplified navigation. At F8, Facebook also spent some time outlining new AR functionality available in Messenger. While still in closed beta, brands of all shapes and sizes will soon have the ability to build AR into their experiences on the platform. This functionality might be used to allow users to walk through new products, or simply enable brands to express themselves in a fun way. For more information on this, and all of the F8 highlights, check out our other post.
3. Facebook make biggest push yet to democratize VR, with the launch of Oculus Go
Set to retail at US$199, the Oculus Go could be the a major driver in widespread adoption of VR, and a big step towards Facebook achieving their goal of making VR social. Unlike Oculus’s other headsets, the Go is completely standalone. It doesn’t require a high-end smartphone or a high-powered computer, and it has no wires or cables. Just take it out of the box, set it up, put it on and you’re in VR! Facebook spoke at length at last week’s F8 about their vision for VR, and this technology’s ability to create a sense of ‘presence’ between friends and loved ones who may be located huge distances apart. Once again, we cover this topic in more detail in our ‘Highlights of F8’ blog post.
4. Sharing to the stories format is set to overtake sharing to the feed
That was the announcement last week from Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, and it's going to happen at some point next year. Social networks are working to refocus their UIs to cater for this new trend, and it will also have a big impact for advertisers. Businesses who advertise on social media will need to rethink their ad messages, since simply thinking about a headline, body text, and link will no longer be enough. Stories ads require a deeper level of thought to cater for the ‘temporary’ nature of the setting, and advertisers need to consider backgrounds, overlays, and designing a feeling that sticks with the viewer even if they don’t click through.
5. Twitter last week disclosed a hashing bug, and recommended all users change their password
Chief technology officer Parag Agrawal announced in a blog post that the company had recently discovered a bug in its hashing process that meant passwords had been stored in plain text in internal logs. Hashing, when it works correctly, is the process of turing passwords into a random string of characters. Twitter is being applauded for its transparency by many in the industry, and likely felt it was the correct course of action following high profile data privacy scandals from Facebook recently.
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.All posts by The Marketing Team
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