Social Media Updates: 280 Characters, News Feed Videos and Auto Awesome

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Users constantly adopt new behaviors, preferences and technologies. Social networks play catch up, adding new features and making changes to user experiences.

This creates new opportunities and challenges for PR and marketing pros. But because the updates roll out so quickly (and sometimes without much fanfare), it’s easy to miss the latest changes.

Here’s a roundup of this week’s social media updates that may impact how you do social PR or marketing:


Facebook Social Media Updates

Better videos in News Feeds – Twice as many people watch videos on Facebook than they did six months ago. Facebook reports that it tweaked its News Feed algorithm to consider whether users watch videos and for how long when determining whether to include videos in users’ News Feeds. The update applies only to videos uploaded to Facebook directly.

Mashable speculates the move will allow Facebook to deliver more relevant content and better understand which users will respond to video ads.

Teens still drawn to Facebook – Despite the perception that the opposite is true, a survey showed that about 50 percent of teens are using Facebook more than they were a year ago. More than a quarter use Facebook “all the time.”

Improved app navigation – Traditionally, users who click a link from one app to another service the link opens in a browser instead of in a pre-installed app. Facebook announced that its App Links has a cross-platform solution. Plus, when you move from one app to another, you can hit a back button to return to the original app. It doesn’t work on all operating systems.


Twitter Social Media Updates

280 characters? – Reports are indicating that Twitter is experimenting with a new way to retweet while adding a comment. Assuming the character limit for comments is 140 characters, a retweet could have 280 characters. Theoretically, the move will help clarify retweets, which are often abbreviated to fit a comment. Seeking Alpha speculates the move could boost user engagement.


Pinterest - Social Media Updates

More popular than Twitter? – Marketing firm Ahalogy used a sample of 1,300 men and women aged 15 and up to determine that 22 percent of Americans use Pinterest on a monthly basis, up 1 percentage point since September. The most recent number equals LinkedIn and is narrowly ahead of Twitter (19 percent).

Mobile notifications – Pinterest users may get a surprise the next time they walk by a favorite hangout. Pinterest released an update that alerts Android users when they’re near a place they’ve pinned. Seems like a great opportunity for brick-and-mortar businesses.

Need social media help? Get your free Social Media Marketing and PR Cheat Sheets now!


Google+ Social Media Updates 1

Goodbye profile pics – For a while, Google allowed authors to put their name, profile picture and influence in terms of Google+ circles within search results. Not for long, though. Google is removing images and the number of circles the writer is in. The results will still include the author’s name and a link to his or her Google+ profile.

Auto Awesome Effects – Google+ now can automatically add filters to photos, videos and GIFs. You can make further adjustments to perfect your images.

Edit your edits – Google+ saves the original versions of photos you edit, but you couldn’t go back and build off your edits. Now you can. The feature only works on Chrome, apparently.


Snapchat - Social Media Updates 

Snaps or Stories? – Snap chat doesn’t just host fleeting images. In fact, ephemeral Snaps have fallen behind more permanent Stories in terms of views. One billion stories are viewed each day, up from 500 million two months ago.

Did we miss any? Let us know!

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Google+ Image: Yoel Ben-Avraham (Creative Commons) Featured Image: webtreats (Creative Commons)

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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