This week in social media news, LinkedIn tries its hand at the popular Stories feature and Snap’s new glasses will have two cameras for AR and 3D effects. Also, Twitter makes follower counts seem less important, Snapchat helps brands connect with AR creators and launches a shopping channel, Instagram cracks down on fake engagement and Facebook invests in local UK reporters.
LinkedIn Tests Video-Only Stories Feature
LinkedIn is testing a disappearing video feature. While it is planned for different user groups, the initial test is with US college students only.
Why it matters: Stories began with Snapchat and were subsequently cloned by just about every social network out there. LinkedIn is toying with the idea as well, although the feature will highlight videos only. The only problem with this idea is that students are used to using Stories as a way to post off-the-cuff moments or photos with the knowledge that they disappear. LinkedIn’s version will disappear from feeds, but remain permanent on a user’s profile, so users need to be careful about what they share if they don’t want a potential employer to see it.
Details: “Student Voices” is a test for college students on LinkedIn to post videos about shared experiences on campus. When users post to Student Stories, they’ll have their university’s logo overlaid as a sticker they can move around.
New Snapchat Spectacles Will Feature Two Cameras
A report from Cheddar suggests that the new glasses will be released by the end of the year.
Why it matters: Snap has a goal of becoming profitable by 2019 and a fun new gadget may be a way to reach affluent young users. Two cameras would allow the Spectacles to gauge depth and therefore open the creative doors for AR lenses, 3D photo effects and more.
Details: The latest Spectacles will be called “Newport,” sources told Cheddar. At a price point of $350, the new glasses will feature more powerful hardware and two cameras.
Twitter De-emphasizes Follower Counts In iOS Update
A new update to the iOS Twitter app adds a subtle but notable change—follower counts are presented in a smaller font.
Why it matters: Font size may not seem all that important, but it’s all part of a plan to make Twitter interactions more “meaningful.” This meaning, according to CEO Jack Dorsey, was unintentionally placed on follower count by displaying it in a larger font from the get-go. Dorsey has repeatedly said that he wants to rethink the app’s design, citing follower counts as a motivator for polarizing content.
Details: Twitter has changed the font size in an iOS app redesign that impacts follower counts but also locations, birthdays, join dates, mutual follows, and following counts. According to a spokesperson, this change is meant to prioritize other elements of a user profile.
Snapchat Launches ‘Lens Creative Partners’
Snap has begun certifying augmented reality creators, giving brands someone to turn to when they want a new AR Lens.
Why it matters: More than one in three of Snap’s 186 million active users engage with AR Lenses on a daily basis, averaging three-minutes of play-time, according to the brand. As demand for augmented reality engagement rises, finding an experienced and approved Snapchat Lens creator may help streamline the process for marketers while encouraging creators to become certified.
Details: Snap unveiled a new program on Monday called Lens Creative Partners. To be certified, creators have to be “experienced in developing quality AR and complete a rigorous course about the development process, creative best practices, ad policies and buy models of sponsored AR Lenses on Snapchat.” More than 30 creators have already become certified and the company plans to have more than 100 in the program.
Instagram Removes, Condemns Fake Follower Apps
Instagram announced that it will remove fake likes, comments and follows that artificially boost an account’s popularity.
Why it matters: Social media interaction is influential to purchase decisions and potentially, a user’s mental health. Instagram, like its parent company, Facebook, is cracking down on this false behavior to create a more authentic experience for both users and advertisers. After all, you wouldn’t want to partner with a social media star only to find out that most of their followers are fake.
Details: Instagram is removing fake likes, comments and follows beginning on Monday. In addition, the site is warning users that they may have unwittingly contributed to this behavior by signing into third-party apps. Giving a username and password to some apps has allowed them to impersonate that user and engage with content. Those impacted by fake engagement apps will receive a private message and be asked to change their passwords, preventing the apps from accessing their accounts further.
‘Shop And Cop’ Channel Adds Holiday Ecommerce To Snapchat
Snapchat has added a new channel to its Discovery section called “Shop and Cop” that offers deals and shopping directly from the app (as handled by Shopify).
Why it matters: Black Friday is just over a week away, and the new shopping channel will allow brands to reach young consumers where they hang out. Based on the resulting engagement, Snapchat will be able to use metrics to inform future ecommerce integration.
Details: Snapchat added the “Shop and Cop” channel on Friday, just in time for the holidays. Current partners include Kylie Cosmetics, Gymshark, Chinatown Market, TourLife and Coco Breezy. There will be a total of around 20 brands systematically rolling out discounts and special offers into the holiday season.
Facebook Invests In Local UK Reporters
Facebook has set up a £4.5 million ($6 million) fund to train around 80 new local journalists in the UK as part of a new “Community News Project.”
Why it matters: Many publishers, especially local papers, are struggling to keep up or shutting their doors as advertisers turn to Facebook and video. Facebook says its program is designed to support local towns in the UK that have lost their reporters and papers. Facebook may be trying to undo some of the collateral damage it has caused on its quest for world ad revenue domination.
Details: This new program is part of Facebook’s Journalism Project, launched early in 2017. The money will be divided among local publishers in order to recruit trainees via the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).
Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Wednesday, November 21. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.