In this week’s “Beast Brief”, multiple social media platforms have rolled out new updates that will have a big impact on business profiles and personal accounts. Highlights include: Bitmojis taking over Snapchat and Twitter message requests. With everything that’s been changing in the industry, Skype may have just snuck in a comeback (we couldn’t believe it either). Don’t fall behind on the trends, keep up with this week’s top news in social.
1. Skype’s Complete Makeover
To everyone’s surprise, on June 1st Skype released updates for a brand new platform. Skype introduced the “next generation of Skype” that is simple and avoids all the noise of other social platforms. The mobile app will include chats, video, and highlights. You can personalize any group chat and add emoticon reactions. The highlights feature is another roll out of Snapchat and Instagram “stories”. Add-ins with Expedia, StubHub, and BigOven allowing tickets, recipes, flights to be searched without leaving the Skype app. Users will also be able to connect with businesses and brands within the app. With this update, we’re expecting big things with Skype in the future.
2. Twitter Adds Direct Message Requests Folder
Similar to Facebook’s message requests section on messenger for non-friends, Twitter recently added a folder for message requests for accounts you don’t follow. You can read the message and then choose whether to accept. If you choose not to accept the user will not know that you read the message and declined to accept the message request. This feature does not apply to accounts you’ve blocked, those users will not be able to send message requests. If you wish to receive all direct messages, this can be changed in the settings and privacy section on your account. This update allows for more message organization for businesses and more privacy for personal users.
3. Snapchat’s Customized Bitmoji Filters
Friends on Snapchat can now have customized filters of their Bitmojis. The update features filters of both user’s Bitmojis interacting, called “Friends Filters”. To use the filters you must double tap to reply to a friend on chat and swipe through the filters. Bitmoji must be linked to each user’s Snapchat. The filters change depending on the time of day and any on-going Snapstreaks. There is even a special birthday Bitmoji filter to send to your friend. This fun update will allow more personalized Snapchats between friends and engaging interactions. Snapchat has also added Bitmojis to be used in a user’s’ Snap Code.
4. Active Admins on Facebook Business Messaging
You may have noticed when clicking on a Facebook business profile this past week that a message to the business automatically popped up in Facebook Messenger. The notification states that the user is active and asks if you wanted to start a conversation. This update hasn’t been applied to all business profiles yet and is compatible with desktop and Facebook mobile app. This update increases engagements between brands and consumer and create personalized one-on-one messaging.
Other users have also reported Facebook replacing the “Likes” tab on a business page with a “Community” tab. This highlights what others in the community are looking at, instead of metrics relating to likes.
5. Instagram Direct Messaging with Clickable Links and Photo Orientations
Instagram’s messaging feature just got a little better, it is finally compatible with sharing links and photos at any orientation. Before this, links were only click-able in the profile but now external URLs can be shared in direct messaging and feature the content card preview. This update allows users to send photos and videos in landscape or portrait orientation without having to crop. There are roughly 375 million monthly active users on Instagram Direct versus Facebook Messenger’s 1.2 billion monthly active users. These updates will further convince more users to begin using Instagram Direct and not use other messaging apps. This news is a huge opportunity for business profiles to have more ways to share product and service links with their followers.
Instagram has also rolled out click-to-Messenger ads for business profiles that allow consumers to easily connect and message a brand on Instagram.
6. Snapchat’s Custom Group Stories
Snapchat also released a feature that lets Snapchat friends contribute to a customized story. With “Custom Stories” friends can each add their own snaps, name the special event, customize who can add photos, and who can view. A Geofence can be created to give access to a specific location within a block in circumference. The story disappears once 24 hours has passed with no one adding new snaps. To create a custom story, tap “Create Story”, name it, and select what friends are able to contribute and view it. The story will then appear under your “My Story” section.
We’re sensing many music festivals and vacations this summer will be filled with these custom stories. This solves the annoying problem of having to ask all your friends for the photos they took that night you went out together. This feature has great potential for businesses who have a special event and would like attendees to contribute to their story.