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2016 has been dramatic for a lot of reasons. However, in the social media industry we’ve had our own upheavals. This year has seen unprecedented change in the top social networking sites, something that a few people could have predicted. Having previously been on the consumer side of social networking, it is fascinating for someone like myself having only been in industry for six months, to see how much and how often these social networks update their platforms.

Just this year alone, we have seen almost weekly updates to our favourite social networks. So to make life easier for you, we’ve popped the most notable updates for Instagram and Facebook into one simple blog for you:

Instagram

1. Video length increasing to 60 seconds.

Instagram has rolled out an increased time limit for Instagram videos from 15 seconds to 60 seconds. This is great for marketers if you have promotional videos that last longer than just a quarter of a minute!

2. Videos now show views AND viewers

This tiny little update makes a great difference to marketers in terms of metrics and measurement, as it allows you to get an idea of what reach you’re getting versus engagement. If lots of people have seen it but only a few have liked it, your content probably isn’t resonating well.

3. Instagram Stories have stolen the Snapchat Story…

…and provided all the same features, except for lenses (so far!). This will be an exciting time for the platform as we await to see what other features it will steal from other networks. Could live streaming be next?

4. Calls to Action on Photo Ads

When someone taps on your ad photo it will bring up your call to action, allowing your audience to click through to your website. Unfortunately, this hasn’t rolled out to ad videos yet, but will hopefully be something that is on its way in 2017.

5. The new Instagram Algorithm

The biggest change for Instagram in 2016 has been its new algorithm. Posts are no longer ordered chronologically. Instead, you’ll now see posts that Instagram believes are most important and relevant to you. You are way more likely to be shown content from a profile that you’ve engaged with occasionally, as opposed to a verified celebrity with 800 likes and 500 comments on their post. You can combat this as a brand by telling your fans about the new algorithm, so that they can turn on Post Notifications in their settings or engage with your posts more.

 

Facebook

1. Dynamic Ads

There is now an ad specific to retail – one that will only serve the ads if the products being advertised are actually available in a specific store location. The ads can give your customers visibility over local availability, product summaries and similar products. It also crucially provides several different calls-to-action including contacting the shop, to buying online or to save the product for future shopping sprees.

2. 360-degree video comes to Facebook Canvas

Who would have thought that over 150 years have been spent viewing Canvas Ad content on Facebook? And now these ads are about to get so much better with the 360-video update. This should encourage more consumers to interact with content!

3. Facebook Workplace is the new LinkedIn

Well… it’s not quite there yet. But with over 1000 companies using it since October 2016, this looks to be the new Slack of Salesforce Chatter. It incorporates all the usual Facebook features but gives them a workplace twist! This isn’t just a great update for businesses generally, but it’ll also give marketers the opportunity to communicate with a business-focused audience. B2B marketers – watch this space!

All in all, it’s been an exciting year for the world, and for social. Who knows what 2017 will bring?

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