New Features in Testing and in Usage
February 26, 2018

Social MediaTrends

New in Digital is a blog series dedicated to highlighting digital news from across the web and explaining what those developments mean for organizations in the public affairs environment.

Digital platforms must constantly evolve to suit their users’ needs. However, some of the changes aren’t welcome, like Snapchat’s most recent update to their Friends and Discover pages. That might be why companies perform careful testing of new features to avoid a backlash, or roll out updates gradually to select users to test the water before they’re released.

Phone with Instagram
Instagram and Snapchat Testing New Sharing Options

Instagram has been a notoriously closed platform. If you see a post you like, there’s no “Share” button like there is on Facebook and Twitter; you can only share it inside the Instagram experience. But that could be changing soon. Instagram is testing an option that allows a user “regram” public posts from other users to your Story. Granted, it doesn’t become part of your permanent feed, but it is a way to let your followers and friends see posts that you find interesting.

Snapchat is another platform that has cultivated a closed and exclusive mentality. It’s hard to repost or share content you’re interested in to all your followers. But Snapchat is now letting users to share some public Stories that will show up on Snapchat hopes to solve its user growth problem by showing off more of what’s happening on the platform to people who aren’t yet using it.   

However, there are limits on how much sharing can happen since external shares of Snapchat Stories will only last 30 days and Official Stories (from Snap verified celebs) will only remain live for 24 hours.

Twitter Grows

When Twitter upped the character limit on tweets to 280, users were afraid more characters would drain the charm of brevity from the platform. However, Twitter announced daily worldwide active users grew by 12% in the last quarter and that users find it easier and faster to tweet with the increased character count.

Interestingly, in the last quarter, monthly active users inside the U.S. actually dropped 2%. This could be attributed to some users vowing to leave because of the abuse on the platform.

Improving Facebook Page Insights

Facebook Business is making yet another change, this time, on their Page Insights section. This change will provide Page owners with “a more precise measurement of their audience” and offer a more consistent measurement methodology across both paid and organic reach reporting. There’s always a chance that these refinements might result in more accurate but lower reach figures for some Pages.

To stay relevant and keep users happy, digital and social platforms can never rest on their laurels. They need to constantly update and hopefully improve. These changes might not make all users happy, but in many cases, the improvements aren’t designed for the current users. To head off competition and keep growing, they’ve got new users in their sights..

Stay tuned for more New in Digital posts.