2018 Social Media Highlights

2018 has already seen some big changes to our favorite social media platforms. Keeping up to date with such updates helps to ensure your Marketing strategy remains agile, relevant and competitive.

With so many social media updates already this year, below they are compiled into a handy list:

Twitter Chronological Feed  

Twitter announced in 18th Sept, that they will be allowing users to switch to a chronological timeline. This means no algorithm! Users will have access to both a ‘best tweets first’ algorithm based timeline, or tweets in a reverse chronological order.

Twitter Live Video Priority

Twitter has joined the likes of Facebook by prioritizing live video on peoples feeds. As of September 2018, Twitter is now displaying live streams at the top of your timelines.

Instagram Verified

Instagram now lets you apply for a verification badge within the app! Previously, the exclusive blue tick was not something you could apply for.  Unfortunately, getting verified on Instagram is really difficult. Unless you’re a huge celebrity or brand, chances are you won’t get granted a blue tick.

Instagram Questions

Instagram has recently added an interactive questions sticker within the Stories section of the platform. This lets audiences submit questions for you to answer. This feature is a fun way to encourage engagement from your Insta audience!

Instagram Music Stickers

Another of the social media updates for July 2018 is Instagram music stickers! You can now add music stickers to your stories. This means you can add a soundtrack to your post! This is just another feature to use to make your videos more fun and engaging.

Facebook Video Updates

Facebook announced new ways for people to create interactive videos.

“Videos become more meaningful when people are active participants in the stories, and as viewing habits evolve, we want to enable content that’s two-way.” To encourage community engagement, brands can now use polls on both live and regular video. They’ve also added ‘gamification’ for live video. Facebook is challenging brands to get creative with this new feature ‘we can’t wait to see how they innovate‘.

Instagram 1 Hour Video

Instagram has launched a new feature enabling users to upload videos up to one hour in length. These videos will be hosted in ‘IGTV’.

According to TechCrunch, IGTV will also let creators develop Instagram Channels full of their different videos that people can subscribe to. Creators will be able to put links in the description of their videos to drive traffic elsewhere.

Instagram Algorithm

There are three ways Instagram is determining what order posts are shown on users feeds:

  • Interest: Instagram predicts how much a user is likely to care about a post based on past behavior. For example, if a user regularly engages with makeup tutorials, these kinds of posts may be shown higher. 
  • Recency: Newer posts are shown first. 
  • Relationship: Like Facebook, Instagram wants to prioritize content from our close friends and family. Those who users interact with a lot through comments & image tags will be shown first.

Instagram Shopping

Instagram has launched an in-app Shopping feature for businesses in Australia, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Brands can now direct shoppers to their e-commerce storefronts without compromising on the time users spend on the app itself.

Facebook Breaking News Features

There have been a couple of changes across Facebook in recent months. The first is Facebook’s commitment to prioritizing friends and family (which you can read about below). The second is their commitment to show higher quality news. In recent years, Facebook has often been mentioned alongside ‘fake news’. From 5th March 2018, Facebook are rolling out a test feature where trusted publishers can add a ‘breaking news’ label to their stories.

Instagram Carousel Ads for Stories

Instagram is now allowing brands to utilize the carousel feature within Insta story ads.

The new look gives brands the ability to better blend into the rest of the stories rather than just looking like a commercial interruption.

Twitter Share Feature

Twitter has just launched a new feature, allowing users to ‘bookmark’ tweets they want to save for later. They’ve also rolled out a new share function which allows users to DM tweets to others and share tweets by email or text.


Vero claims to be a ‘smarter sharing’ social media site. It allows users to share movies, books, places, photos and links. Their website states “these are things we really connect over, so we made them easier to share, enjoy and discover“.

On Vero, you can break down what you share by audience- close friend, friend, acquaintance, followers. This allows you to be more selective about who you’re sharing what to.

The things that most make Vero unique, is the fact they won’t be allowing ads on the app. In addition, there are also no algorithms.

With Facebook’s most recent announcement that they’ll be prioritizing more on friends and family (and less on brands) is Vero taking it a step further? It seems Vero is putting the power back into the user’s hands- on what they share, who they share it with and what they see.

It’s hard to know whether Vero will become a big player in the social media game. Only time will tell whether it’s a fad, or whether the general public will take to the ad-free, algorithm free platform.

Instagram GIF Stickers

Instagram stories surpassed Snapchatlast year with 250 million daily users in comparison to Snapchats 166 million. The likely reason for this is that Instagram keeps rolling out new features for Story users.

Instagrams latest addition to Instagram stories is the ability to add GIF stickers to any photo or video in your Instagram story. For those of you who don’t know, GIFs are moving images.

GIFs are a great way to engage with our communities as they’re fun and expressive. The novelty factor of this latest update is likely to increase the engagement of our posts in the short run. In the long run, GIFs are part of the internet culture and are likely to appeal to millennials and Generation Z. Similar to emojis, we expect you’ll be seeing many brands using GIFs in the near future, best to lead the way then join this trend once people are over it.

Facebook Algorithm Change

One of the biggest social media updates to hit in January 2018, was when Facebook announced that they would be prioritizing content from friends and family. It will, therefore, be harder than ever for brands to be seen by Facebook audiences.

Instagram Hashtag Following

All Instagram users can now follow hashtags. This means that content of a followed hashtag will now appear on the users feed. This makes it easier for users to stay connected with interests, hobbies and communities.  Instagram pitched this update as a way to discover and be inspired by the Instagram community. Utilizing hashtags in our posts is, therefore, more important than ever.  So whilst Facebook has decreased organic reach, it looks as though Instagram is working on improving the reach and discovering method!

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