Changes You Need to Know
By Kellie Harrington and Ashleigh Mavros
In our previous post, we shared some of the latest changes to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Part Two focuses on updates to Pinterest, Twitter, Meerkat and Periscope.
- eCommerce: The platform has always attracted online shoppers, but users were never able to purchase items they Pinned directly from Pinterest. That recently changed with the launch of Buyable Pins: items with a “Buy It” button allow Pinners to make purchases directly from the Pin, without ever leaving the app or website.
- Promoted Pins: What started as an experiment in 2014 has evolved into a new feature: Promoted Pins. It allows brands to pay for pins to appear at the top of a user’s home feed and helps brands drive awareness, engagement and site traffic. While it is available to all brands, it is currently only available in the United States.
- Updated Search: A recent update to Pinterest is an optimized search feature that allows users to see prominent and popular pins as well as trending topics in the United States. Previously, when users did a search, results were buried behind different filters for Pins, Pinners and boards. Now, users can see the closest matching options as they start typing.
- Verified Accounts: Brands and celebrities will now have a checkmark for verification, allowing better visibility.
- Video Sharing: Prior to 2015, the only way to share an embedded video was through the Twitter-owned Vine app. As we mentioned in a previous post, Twitter is keeping up by adding the ability to capture, edit and share videos directly from the Twitter app.
- Revamp of Direct Messages: Twitter has made a handful of changes to the Direct Messages feature. First, the platform created a setting that lets users receive Direct Messages from anyone — even if they aren’t following the account. Second, it has widened messaging functionality to allow groups of up to 20 people who do not all have to be following one another, to converse. Third, Twitter lifted the 140 character limit within Direct Messages.
- While You Were Away: A selection of the most engaging tweets since the last time a user opened the app now appear at the top of their feed. Although Twitter was founded on its real-time appeal, this move may be foreshadowing an algorithm-type timeline in the future.
- Trends Updated: The #discovery and activity features have been retired and a Trends feature has taken its place. The top 10 trending topics appear in order of relevance with a brief description below each that includes whether the topic is on the trending rise or decline.
- Quoted Tweets: Previously, if you wanted to retweet content and add your own commentary (without embedding the URL), you had to fit the tweet and your thoughts within the 140 character limit. Now with the quote feature, you can automatically embed a tweet in your own tweet and add nearly 140 characters of your own content. This change will help brands effectively speak to the context of the tweet.
- Buy Button: Similar to Facebook and Pinterest, Twitter is slowly rolling out a feature that allows users to buy items directly from a Tweet. With just a few taps, users can get additional product detail and have an option to enter shipping and payment information. The move sets Twitter up to be even more attractive to brands.
Meerkat and Periscope
- Rise of Live-Streaming: Within a month, two live-streaming apps were introduced to the market and took off with rapid success. Meerkat launched at the beginning of March at South by Southwest and garnered huge hype. The platform allows users to stream video from their smartphones to their followers in real time. Shortly after, Twitter debuted its own live-streaming app, Periscope, with almost identical qualities. The biggest differentiator between the two? Periscope has been much more compatible with Twitter, for obvious reasons.
It’s no surprise that every time you blink something has evolved on social media. We’ll be back with updates to other social media platforms and more in the next Social Media Roundup. #StayTuned!