Important social media changes including changes to Google+


This week’s most important social media changes

We look at what’s changed in the last seven days

Welcome to this week’s Platform 5 – your weekly wrap of the top five changes in the content marketing and social media space – including some major changes for Google+

This week, Google+ unveiled the beginnings of a redesign to a new streamlined look, with a strong focus on Communities and Collections. Facebook Messenger begins testing a feature very distinct of Snapchat, while Snapchat introduces a Lens Store for users to purchase filters and Verified Celebrity accounts.

1. Google+ begins redesign

Google+ has begun a big redesign that will place Communities and Collections at the center of the platform. The restructure will focus on “discovering amazing things…just follow or join whatever happens to pique your interests,” according to Google’s Luke Wroblewski. The updated version of Google+ will have a redesigned home screen that makes posting and searching easier. Users can have access to the new Google+ on a desktop now if they opt in. Mobile updates will be coming soon.

Read more about Google+ being redesigned.

2. Facebook Messenger testing Snapchat-like messaging

Facebook Messenger app will test a feature very similar to Snaphchat style disappearing messages. The feature will allow users to tap on a hourglass icon when a message appears. This will allow a message to be sent that will disappear in one hour. Once gone, the messages will be represented by empty chat boxes with their content unavailable. The feature is currently being tested on iOS and Android for users in France.

Read more about Facebook Messenger testing Snapchat-like messaging.

3. Snapchat introduces Lens Store and Verified Accounts

Snapchat have introduced a paid Lens Store as well as Verified Accounts through Official Stories. The Lens Store, which is only currently available in select countries, allows users to purchase special effect lenses that can be used on snaps before sending for an unlimited amount of time. In addition, when a user searches for a new account, Verified Accounts will now appear under the Official Stories header accompanied with an emoji beside their name to help identify official accounts. It is unsure if this will be rolled out to brands in the future.

Read more about Snapchat introducing Lens Store and Verified Accounts.

4. Facebook changes Instant Article advertising

Facebook are reported to have given in to Instant Article publishing partners including The New York Times and The Washington Post after expressing the current ad guidelines were costing them ad revenue. It is not known exactly what changes will be made, but existing partners are reportedly unhappy with being limited to one large banner ad (320 pixels by 250 pixels for every 500 words of content) and the prohibition of rich-media. Watch this space for more updates.

Read more about Facebook changing Instant Article Advertising.

 5. Facebook updates Safety Check

Facebook have updated Safety Check to now include human disasters. Initially the feature was established for natural disasters after the Tokyo 2011 Tsunami, but Facebook have announced that the feature will now be activated for other serious events and tragic incidents. “Communication is critical in moments of crisis, both for the people affected and for those far away who are anxious for news. People already turn to Facebook to check on loved ones and get updates during times like this and we created Safety Check to make these connections even easier,” Facebook Safety explained in a recent post.

Read more about Facebook updating Safety Check.

Head on over to our Thinking Section for links to previous social media recaps.


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