Social Media

The Status Update, Group Video Chat and Live Audio on Facebook

Live Video Chat

The Status Update is a weekly post where we cover the latest social media news form the past week. Even though tomorrow is Christmas day a lot still happened this week with social media. Specifically with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Facebook Introduces Group Video Chat in Messenger

According to Facebook group video chat has been their most requested Messenger feature ever. They’re also pleased to announce that it’s now available world wide for Android and iOS devices. It’s also available on the desktop version of Messenger too.

Facebook Group Video Chat

iOS users get the bonus of being able to use the 3D masks that were recently added to Messenger as well.

The new group video chat is easy to use and free over wifi.

Users can see video from up to 6 people at once. 50 friends can join a video chat at a time. They can choose to just listen in, join by voice over or be on camera.

If more than 6 users choose to be on camera at once the dominant speaker will be shown to all participants.

To use the new group video chat simply tap the video icon in a group conversation.

Everyone in the group will be notified and they can join in when they’re ready with just one tap.

Users can also directly ring specific friends or the entire group.

245 Million people use Messenger to make video calls every month so this is definitely a welcome feature.


Facebook Introduces Live Audio

Facebook has put a lot of attention on live video recently but they’ve also recently added another option for going live on Facebook with Live Audio.

Facebook Live Audio

These are audio only live broadcasts. It’s perfect for low-connectivity areas where live video wouldn’t work.

It’s also perfect for things like podcasts or other creative audio-only types of broadcasts.

Everything is still live. Listeners can see live audio content in their news feed, share it with friends and comment or react in real time.

In the Android app users can continue listening to a live broadcast even if they close out of the app to do something else.

On iOS though the app must remain open however users are free to browse other areas of Facebook will listening to the broadcast.


Facebook Tests Coloured Backgrounds for Text Statuses

Another new feature that Facebook is currently testing is coloured backgrounds for text statuses.

Normally text statuses appear with a white background. With this new feature users can select different colours and even gradients to use for the background.

The feature is currently being tested and will be rolling out globally over the next few days.

However, only Android users can create these backgrounds right now. All other users can view them though.


Facebook Releases Guide to Page Moderation

Facebook recently published a guide to moderating your Facebook page.

The guide covers topics such as:

  • Moderating content, posts and comments from visitors.
  • Managing ratings and reviews.
  • Best practices for responses to visitor posts and comments.
  • How to report negative activity and ban users.
  • And some other frequently asked questions.

even if you’ve been managing a Facebook page for a while though this guide is an excellent refresher that everyone should take a moment to read.

You can find the guide right here.


Twitter Begins Phasing Out Lead Generation Ads

Way back in May 2013 Twitter introduced lead generation ads. These ads were a way for marketers to collect personal information by getting people to sign up for email lists, set appointments or request information on Twitter.

Facebook later added their own lead generation ads in June of 2015 along with additional features that weren’t available on Twitter.

Since 2013 though Twitter hasn’t made any updates to these types of ads. Now they’re phasing them out entirely.

Here’s Twitter’s official statement on the matter:

“We are always experimenting with the best ways to help advertisers effectively connect with consumers. At this time, we intend to focus our efforts on building and improving other performance offerings that will help us drive the best performance for advertisers.”

The ads will be phased out with a two step process.

First, after February 1, 2017 brands will no longer be able to create lead generation ads or edit lead generation cards (these can be attached to organic tweets).

Second, after March 1, 2017 Twitter will stop showing lead generation ads and cards completely.


Twitter Inaccurately Reports Metrics from Video Advertising Campaigns

Facebook has recently taken a lot of heat for inaccurately reporting advertising campaign metrics. Now Twitter is having some reporting problems of their own.

A bug in a recent version of the Android app increased certain metrics for video advertising campaigns by as much as 35%.

This bug affected campaigns from November 7, 2016 to December 12, 2016.

They’ve fixed the error and issued refunds to the over-billing that occurred as a result of the mis-reporting.

Twitter also says they’re going to monitor their system to make sure this doesn’t happen again in the future.


Twitter Now Sorts Top Tweet Search Results by Relevance

For several months now Twitter has been experimenting with relevance based search algorithms.

Instead of displaying tweets in reverse chronological order in the top tab of the search results they’re now sorted by relevance.

One of the reasons for this change is because of media rich tweets. Tweets with videos, photos or other media tended to rank quite high. They also tended to use up a large amount of space in the search results.

Twitter Relevance

Twitter also claims that people who have experienced this new search results page apparently:

  • Engage more with the search results
  • Tweet more
  • Spend more time on Twitter

This should give you a more accurate idea of why they’re making these changes.

Very similar changes happened to Facebook and as a marketer you need to be aware that with relevance-based algorithms like this less people will be seeing your tweets.

Unless you pay to promote them of course.

This new relevance based algorithm also makes it very easy for Twitter to censor tweets as well as shadow ban users.

Twitter will continue making more relevance-based experiments and improvements in the future.


Stickers, Holiday Fun and More on Instagram

Instagram users can now add context to their Instagram Stories with stickers.

Instagram Stickers

After taking a photo or a video there’s a new stickers button next to the text and drawing tools.

Users can add stickers based on things such as their current location, time and the weather. The stickers can be edited, made bigger or smaller or customized with various styles.

There’s also a special set of holiday stickers that will be available over the next few weeks.

Instagram has also added a candy cane brush to the drawing tools and there’s a plan for another set of stickers to celebrate the new year.

Another new feature just added is a hands-free option to start recording video with just one tap.

Users no longer need to press and hold to record a video and are free to do other things.

Instagram Hands-Free

Users are also free to add as much text to a photo or a video as they’d like. To add more text simply keep tapping the text button as much as you need.

Also, iOS users are able to save their entire story from the past 24 hours to the camera roll as a single video.

These updates are all available as part of version 10.3 of the mobile app so if you don’t see them update the app and you should be good.

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