Facebook + Instagram Changes in 2019

There have been TONS of social media updates lately. Facebook recently held their conference (which is one of the biggest social media conferences in the world) and announced lots and lots of updates and features they’re testing.

Let’s chat about them!

Facebook:

  • The layout will actually have a new look! Even the Facebook logo itself is being redesigned. Facebook announced that they’re going to put more focus on community, privacy, Stories, and Facebook Groups. While this *may* take a little bit of the focus away from Facebook Business pages, it may put more focus on Groups, which are a great way to build an even deeper connection with your audience. There isn’t a ton of information available on this yet, but just try to start thinking about how that could impact your business page or any groups you currently manage. 
  • Jobs and Dating?! Facebook will be putting more focus on their Jobs feature in an effort to compete with LinkedIn. They’re even rolling out “Facebook Dating & Secret Crush”, in an effort to compete with Tinder and other dating sites. Facebook is ruthless, y’all. LOL
  • Messenger will be revamped slightly. Users will be able to watch videos together inside the app as well as access a new look and feel of the Desktop version of Messenger. One of my favorite resources, Later, actually showcases that the Facebook Messenger app will put more focus on Facebook Stories and have a similar look and feel to Snapchat.
  • They’re also making lots of changes to Business Manager/Ads Manager. I won’t go super into detail there, but if you’re interested in learning more about it, check out this helpful article HERE.

Instagram:

  • Instagram Stories video sequences can now only be 1 minute long! This is something to pay attention to if you tend to do mini trainings, tutorials, or chat to the camera on your Stories. Previously, you could seamlessly tie 15-second clips together without a limit. But now, Instagram will only allow 4, 15-second clips until you’ll have to start fresh with a new sequence. I think this could be a great change because it will cause us to be more concise and more clear with our chatty IG Stories! After all, our attention spans are extremely low when scrolling on social.
  • Instagram Stories Stickers: There are two new ones that have been getting a lot of buzz lately! The Donation Sticker rolled out, which allows your audience to donate to your favorite charity. They do have to be on an approved list of charities, but I think this could be really great to test out if you have a charity you’re passionate about! Also, the Quiz Sticker is new and sooo much fun! You can create a “multiple choice” type of quiz for your audience and test and see how well they know you, your business, and your offer! I love this idea but I do think brands should be intentional about this. Make sure your Quiz is valuable or entertaining to your audience… and don’t overuse it! The Music Sticker on IG Stories has been around for a limited amount of accounts for a while now, but it recently rolled out for many more users. I still don’t have this one, but I hope to get it soon! In case you didn’t know, Instagram only rolls out new features to a select amount of people at a time. Very rarely do all accounts get all new features at the same time! Another fun Sticker they’re testing for IG Stories is called Chat! This will take people from your Story into a group chat. I haven’t seen examples of this but it sounds like it could be really fun!
  • They’re also rolling out a “Create Mode” which is a new camera feature for IG Stories, allowing users to express creativity in new ways and even give them the option to create their own filters for their Stories.
  • The IGTV layout has changed. You can now see a user’s IGTV videos in a “stacked” layout, with two videos wide. Videos will no longer autoplay, but you can tap through and select which video you want to watch.
  • Mental health focus: Instagram is testing an “Away mode” in order to put more focus on mental health and “unplugging” when needed. 🙂 Instagram has recently started “nudging” users if they use specific hashtags that show warning signs of eating disorders, self-harm, mental health disorders, etc. And now, they’re working on even more anti-bullying features that will warn a user if they’re about to post something that could be potentially harmful. For Canadian users, Instagram is testing removing the “like counts”. In other words, you won’t be able to see how many likes your followers’ photos have. You’ll be able to see your own, but not others’ accounts. Like I said, this is only in Canada so far, but I’m looking forward to seeing how this improves the user experience! If Instagram starts to focus less on vanity metrics (likes and followers), it will become more and more important that you have meaningful connection with your audience and you consistently provide true value to them.
  • Creator profiles: This is rumored to only be for business accounts/influencers with over 10k followers. A Creator profile will offer more DM features and more Insights. It’s my understanding that Creator profiles will roll out slowly, and be very limited, but I’m looking forward to seeing this in action.
  • E-commerce brands: Instagram is testing shopping cart features and easy payment transactions! This could be HUGE for online stores, fashion bloggers, and more. I can’t wait to see how this feature goes! I’m curious if this will compete with Liketoknowit.

Whether you like these updates or not, it’s important to know that Facebook and Instagram are just doing what they can to improve the user experience. They listen to their “customers” and in the end, their goal is to make these channels a more positive experience for all of us so we spend more time on the apps! With the added focus on mental health and community, I’m very hopeful that these could be great changes for the social media space.

Which update are you most looking forward to?!

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