From Facebook to Snapchat, from new product launches to small tweaks, here's a list of what's new in social media this month. The list isn’t exhaustive, but you can expect to learn the major highlights -- what was launched, what changed, and what these stories could mean for marketers.
1) Snapchat launched Snap Map.
In late May, Snapchat acquired a French social mapping app that shows users where their friends are on a map so they can message and make plans to connect.
And sure enough, in June, a similar map showed up in Snapchat: a heatmap showing where users were posting Snapchat stories dotted with Actionmojis -- or more detailed versions of Snapchat Bitmojis that update in real-time. Actionmojis also show if users are traveling in cars, listening to music, shopping, traveling to an airport, flying in a plane, and more activities.
The Snap Map is another move by Snapchat to make content more discoverable and to keep users engaged in the app for longer periods of time. Snapchat is locked in a battle with Instagram that it seems to be losing -- its user numbers are increasing slowly, so growth is decreasing, but increased engagement and more ways for content to be discovered could convince more people to share -- and advertise -- in the app.
If you're getting creeped out by the thought of the Snap Map, don't worry -- users have to elect to be visible on the map to friends, and they can operate in Ghost Mode, where nobody else can see their locations.
2) Time Warner Inc. invested $100 million in Snapchat TV shows and ads.
In an effort to reach younger audiences on the platform, Time Warner has reportedly invested $100 million to create Snapchat shows and ads over the next two years. Time Warner and its various properties -- including HBO and Warner Brothers -- will produce three to five-minute shows, and Snapchat will "air" three shows per day in its vertical video format within the app.
Bloomberg reported that Warner Brothers will advertise upcoming movies within the app, too -- and will split the revenues with Snap Inc, according to The Wall Street Journal.
3) Users can now create Snapchat Geofilters without leaving the app.
Before this month, Snapchat users could create custom Geofilter designs and submit them to Snapchat for approval -- for parties, weddings, and other events.
Now, users can create custom Geofilters using the creative tools they already use to decorate their Snaps -- like emojis, the drawing tool, Bitmojis, and more.
4) Twitter redesigned its website and mobile app.
Twitter has completely revamped its desktop site and app to make Twitter feel "lighter, faster, and easier to use." Here's a quick rundown of what's new and improved:
Many of the changes were mocked relentlessly by users -- where else, but on Twitter -- with this tweet being popular:
5) Instagram launched the Archive feature.
Instagram has launched an Archive feature to give users the flexibility to hide -- but not permanently delete -- photos and videos they've posted on the platform. This feature gives users the flexibility to customize their page and hide posts -- or reintroduce old content at a later point. Simply tap the ellipses at the top of a post to try it out.
The Archive option was likely introduced in response to younger users permanently deleting pictures that didn't garner enough likes -- many of whom think having more than 25 posts on an Instagram account isn't cool. With the Archive feature, users will have the option to come back to old pictures -- and Instagram won't lose its engagement numbers.
6) Users can replay Instagram Live videos for 24 hours as an Instagram Story.
When Instagram Live was launched last November, users had to be very strategic about when they broadcast. Why? Because people could only watch a live broadcast while it was happening -- the videos would disappear from Instagram once the creator was no longer live-streaming (unlike Facebook Lives, which automatically exist as posts on a user's timeline).
But now, users can choose to post their Instagram Live broadcasts as Instagram Stories, which are viewable for 24 hours, or discard them so they disappear from the Instagram feed as normal. It's as easy as toggling a button.
7) Facebook reached 2 billion global users.
Yes, you read that right -- that's billion, spelled with a "b."
Facebook is now used by 2 billion people around the world -- and that's just Facebook, and doesn't include the other apps it owns. Between Facebook itself, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, Facebook is responsible for the social media networking of close to half of the earth's population. Here's what the global spread of Facebook friendships looks like:
Jay & Julia Taylor own and operate Caney Creek Studio. Caney Creek Studio is a video production, digital marketing, and social media management agency.