December can be a very busy time of year—especially in the world of social media. Meanwhile, Instagram hit 600 million users and added new features to Stories while Snapchat launched Group Chat and custom sticker creation tools. With this camera app you’ll still be able to make six-second looping videos, and either post them directly to Twitter or save them to your phone.” Additionally, Vine said it would be introducing a feature to make it easy for a Vine user’s followers to follow them on Twitter as well as the ability to download Vines through the app or the website. Live 360 On December 12, Facebook introduced Live 360 video. Third-party fact-checking On December 15, Facebook began to roll out updates to address hoaxes and fake news. New look for posts Mid-way through December, Instagram introduced a new look for posts. New Stories features On December 20, Instagram added several new features to Stories. Users can add as many stickers as they like to their Instagram Story. There are several types of conversation starters, including updates on a connection’s professional activity (such as new jobs, work anniversaries, or recent publications), shared experiences (such as working at the same company or joining the same group), and shared connections. Users can create Groups while sending a Snap or when they’re making a new Chat.
December can be a very busy time of year—especially in the world of social media.
This month, Twitter introduced live video and then upped the ante with live 360 video—a feature Facebook also released in December.
Meanwhile, Instagram hit 600 million users and added new features to Stories while Snapchat launched Group Chat and custom sticker creation tools.
Don’t worry about having missed anything in amongst the holiday parties and festive festivities. We’ve rounded up all the updates—big and small—from the major social platforms to ensure that you don’t miss a thing.
Table of contents
On December 14, Twitter introduced live video, powered by Periscope. Users can now create and Tweet live video from the Twitter app.
To start a live broadcast, users simply need to compose a Tweet then tap LIVE. The button brings them to a pre-broadcast screen so they can frame their shot before hitting Go Live to start broadcasting. Anyone on Twitter and Periscope can watch a live video, comment and send hearts by tapping the screen. The update is available on Twitter for iOS and Android.
— Twitter (@Twitter) December 14, 2016
On December 16, Vine published a post about the future of the service following the October announcement that the app was being shut down. The post explained: “In January, we’re transitioning the Vine app to a pared-down Vine Camera. With this camera app you’ll still be able to make six-second looping videos, and either post them directly to Twitter or save them to your phone.” Additionally, Vine said it would be introducing a feature to make it easy for a Vine user’s followers to follow them on Twitter as well as the ability to download Vines through the app or the website.
Live 360 video
On December 28, Twitter introduced live 360 video. When users watch videos marked with a LIVE 360 badge, they can move their phone or swipe the screen to change what they see. While any user on Twitter or Periscope can watch live 360 videos, only select partners currently have the ability to start a 360 broadcast.
On December 5, Facebook partnered with Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube to “help curb the spread of terrorist content online.” The four tech companies have committed to the creation of “a shared database of ‘hashes’—unique digital ‘fingerprints’—for violent terrorist imagery or terrorist recruitment videos or images that we have removed from our services.” Facebook explained: “By sharing this information with each other, we may use the shared hashes to help identify potential terrorist content on our respective hosted consumer platforms.”
Lead Ads updates
On December 8, Facebook announced several updates to their lead ads offering, which was initially released a year earlier. Advertisers can now add custom disclaimers, use videos, or add a context card to provide people with more information before they sign up. Additional updates make it easier to run and measure campaigns as well as manage leads. Facebook also said it plans to roll out more features in the coming months to make lead ads even more powerful.
- They’re improving the estimated reach methodology available in ads creation. The network explained that the change is “to help advertisers get a better view of the number of people they can expect to reach with ads.”
- They’re introducing streaming reactions for live videos. Live videos can have multiple reactions per person, because users can react at any point during a broadcast. However, these additional reactions were initially misallocated into a metric called “Reactions from Shares of Post” instead of counting as “Reactions on Post.”
- They’ve identified a discrepancy between the counts for the Like and Share buttons via the network’s Graph API and when people enter a URL into the search bar in the Facebook mobile app. The company is working to resolve this issue.
On December 12, Facebook introduced Live 360 video. Facebook explained: “360 video immerses viewers fully into the scene, letting them explore on their own and experience a new environment. We’re excited to combine these two formats with Live 360 video.”
The network launched the new feature with a Live 360 video by National Geographic, broadcast from the Mars Desert Research Station facility in Utah, on December 13. The feature will be available to more Pages via the Live API in the coming months and Facebook says it plans to roll it out more broadly for all Pages and Profiles in 2017.
New resources for parents
On December 13, Facebook launched the Facebook Parents Portal, which features new resources for parents on the network. The company explained: “Our goal is to help foster conversations among parents and their children about staying safe online… Whether you have an account or your teen does, we’ve compiled some basic information to help you get the most out of your experience and help your child navigate theirs.” The site includes step-by-step videos and is available in over 55 languages.
On December 15, Facebook began to roll out updates to address hoaxes and fake news. The network made four changes:
- They made it easier for users to report a hoax.
- They’ve partnered with third-party fact checking organizations (signatories of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles) in order to flag stories as disputed. Facebook explained: “If the fact checking organizations identify a story as fake, it will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed.” Users can still share these stories, but when they do, they’ll see a warning that the story has been disputed. Flagged stories also cannot be made into ads or promoted.
- They’re going to test a new News Feed ranking signal to better…