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Bullseye Buzz: Social Media Changes You Need to Know About for January

by | Jan 13, 2021

By Maria Harrison

It’s been a wild week for social media. News about a new president-elect. Images from the Capitol. A president being banned from multiple channels. But not all the news about social media has been political in nature. In fact, the news most useful for digital marketers has more to do with new features many brands and followers would have clearly voted for. 

Facebook’s Apple Focused Webinars

It’s no secret that Facebook and Apple are at odds over privacy issues. Facebook continues to criticize Apple’s decision to make changes with regards to app data tracking. As of this writing, it hasn’t made a dent in Apple’s plans.

The backstory: In June, Apple announced changes to its IDFA tracking system. The change makes all users opt-in to have tracking data monitored. That’s going to take a bite out of Facebook’s most potent marketing advantage; tracking where users go online and using that data to serve relevant advertisements. For example, if you look at Widgets on Lemon’s website, you’ll start seeing Facebook ads for widgets and products Lemon offers.

So Facebook is addressing the issue via three webinars this week that anyone interested in can attend. We’re sure they’ll be available online for review if you’re reading this after January 14th. 

This change is a big story. While we don’t know the impact, we do imagine that it will impact digital marketing and advertising across Facebook’s suite of platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp. If you’re currently a social media marketer, this is one you need to keep following.

Instagram Adds A Story Carousel

Instagram was once mostly a mobile-only social media platform, and it largely still is. You can only obtain most metrics and insights via the mobile app. With so many people working from home in 2020, Instagram began making some tweaks here and there for desktop visitors to utilize the platform more

They’re now testing a new design for Instagram Stories when viewed on desktop. Currently, viewing a story takes up the window’s entire width, with blankness accounting for nearly two-thirds of the screen. That will change if their new test of stories in a carousel format moves forward. It would allow users not only to see what’s coming up but skip ahead through stories. 

Digital marketers and brands should pay attention to this one. Having interesting enough stories that demand being clicked may make the difference between being seen or not.

(Screenshot from Instagram on Desktop)

Twitter Sees Audio In Its Future

Twitter has acquired the podcasting listening app Breaker only a month or so after launching tests for Spaces, their voice-chat meeting platform for open or invited conversations. It’s a perfect fit if you believe the spoken-word is a highly valuable social media opportunity.

Breaker also has social features like comments, likes, and feed updates. 

One of Twitter’s biggest challenges is discoverability. With so many Tweets tweeted every hour, it’s difficult to hear new voices. This acquisition could help categorize things a bit. At this stage, however, it’s not clear exactly how Breaker will fit into the Twitterverse. But if it takes off, and brands and marketers can advertise to listeners via either audio or video, this could be big news. Put this one in the “follow-up needed” category.

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