Constant change and evolution define Facebook, and consequently Instagram, as social media platforms. Now, we are expecting a lot of changes in the future as a result of the data breach scandal and the overwhelming media attention Facebook is still receiving because of it. For example, you might already be acquainted with Facebook’s Data Abuse Bounty launched in April.

But while all this is still in the works and reshaping some aspects of the network, Facebook still does not cease with its typical pace of introducing new features. In this article, we’ve singled out Instagram’s and Facebook’s latest changes which are important to marketers and small business owners, so read on to stay updated.

Facebook and Instagram: Stories

During the F8 developer conference held in May, Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, declared Stories on Facebook will surpass the News Feed later in the year as the primary way of sharing content. Now, users might generally not really be approving of this, but Facebook is determined to make it work as an evolved form of the status update.

Here Are the 3 Latest News from Instagram and Facebook
Here Are the 3 Latest News from Instagram and Facebook

At the end of May, they’ve launched a minor feature that can have a lot of impact for brands: the polling stickers for Messenger Stories like the ones on Instagram. This can be very beneficial to marketers because it allows you to get instant feedback from your audience, to drive engagement and monitor what kind of content works best.

Instagram has a fresh feature for Stories as well: about a month ago they’ve introduced the shopping bag icon to Stories. Simple and effective, this new feature is available for select brands only, but that’s just the beginning.

Facebook: Custom audience targeting

As of July 2nd, Facebook has started enforcing new rules for custom audience targeting. The most notable change is that from now on, whenever you upload a new customer file, you will be required to specify how you obtained your audience’s information. These will be your options:

  • Directly from customers
  • Directly from partners
  • Customers and partners

Users will be able to see exactly why they’re seeing a specific ad prompt and how the advertiser obtained their information.

It’s an effort to be more careful with users’ data in light of the recent events and to allow them to monitor and report brands who don’t have permission to use their information. This also means that if you hire an agency to run your campaign, or choose to work with a Facebook ad agency more specifically, you’ll need to establish an audience-sharing relationship with them through the Business Manager.

None of this can affect your marketing efforts negatively – it’s just a call for more white-hat and clean methods. But it does entail that you need to be more selective with partners and ensure you find a trustworthy agency. You can use platforms such as Designrush which compile and update lists of reliable digital marketing agencies to find a company that you know will value transparency. Inevitably, your digital marketing strategy will be shaped by a thorough and professional understanding of all the latest changes regarding privacy policies.

 Instagram: IGTV

Instagram TV is a major change that’s shaking up social media since it rolled out in June. It can be accessed as a standalone app or from within Instagram, and it functions by the usual “Instagram Principles“:

  • Video content starts playing automatically when the app is opened
  • Users are shown videos Instagram calculates they would be interested in
  • Since the app is integrated with Instagram, people will be able to see video content from anyone whom they follow.
  • It categorizes different options, such as currently popular content, personalized content, or content from people you follow, so users have the option of switching between different categories.
Instagram: IGTV
Instagram: IGTV

But the videos you create can be up to an hour long, which is a major change considering Instagram’s content is typically made to require a minimal attention span. Although it’s unusual, it might just prove to be incredibly fruitful – something of an altered version of YouTube. It offers a lot of opportunities for marketers, and although advertising options are not yet available, you now have an additional means of creatively sharing your message and defining your brand’s identity.

These are only the absolutely latest changes which have the most effective for marketers, and knowing Facebook, we can expect some exciting things to roll out in the future. There’s a lot going on and we still have a lot of expectations regarding how privacy policy alterations should shape the platforms. But overall, these new features are good news for marketers and audiences alike, and there’s more coming.

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