#SocialSkim: Messenger’s Major Overhaul; Broken Social Metrics; Instagram’s Milestone: 13 Stories This Week

#SocialSkim: Messenger's Major Overhaul; Broken Social Metrics; Instagram's Milestone: 13 Stories This Week. This week's issue is filled to the brim with social updates: Facebook basically turns Messenger into Snapchat, also takes on Skype with group voice and video chat; how to protect your brand from Facebook's failing metrics; Twitter announces new plans for the once-dead Vine, nixes lead generation ads; Instagram reaches 600 million users and launches stickers for Stories; the top 2017 social media trends according to experts; and much more... The new high in monthly active users comes only six months after reaching 500 million users, an accelerated rate that proves the social network is still growing at an increasingly rapid pace despite its enormous user base. Twitter testing push notifications for news Twitter is not only changing its approach for Vine, but also apparently questioning its own identity. A Twitter rep confirmed that the social network has been testing push notifications for months, and not just for breaking-news stories. Just got a breaking news push alert from Twitter. Messenger's Group Video Chat is now being rolled out worldwide to Android and iOS devices and the desktop version. Instagram introduces a way to save posts for later Facebook domination seems to be a trend this week, with more updates from its acquired set of social networks that take a stab at competitors. Why Instagram matters to marketing [infographic] Do your brand's Instagram posts follow best-practices, and do the hashtags you use serve you well? Some users took note with some negative feedback to social networks, but the good news is that Facebook and Twitter have ways for users to disable autoplay videos.

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This week’s issue is filled to the brim with social updates: Facebook basically turns Messenger into Snapchat, also takes on Skype with group voice and video chat; how to protect your brand from Facebook’s failing metrics; Twitter announces new plans for the once-dead Vine, nixes lead generation ads; Instagram reaches 600 million users and launches stickers for Stories; the top 2017 social media trends according to experts; and much more…

Skim for your end-of-the-year social media must-read!

1. Facebook Messenger gets major overhaul, aims to beat Snapchat at its own game

The latest Messenger update brings a drastically different app to those who download it, complete with a totally revamped camera chock-full of algorithmically generated filters, tons of sticker options, impressive augmented-reality selfie lenses, props to overlay, and much more.

The massive changes are Facebook’s response to the increase of visual messaging now that 10% of conversations begin with a photo, and they seem to mark the social titan’s biggest attack on Snapchat so far.

The update rolled out to all users on iOS and Android over the weekend. We’ll see whether the new capabilities and effects are enough for users to increase the already 2.5 billion photos, videos, emojis, and stickers they send on the platform each day.

2. Social media metrics are breaking, and here’s how to protect your brand

The social media world has been swamped with story after story about shortcomings in the metrics and measurements provided by social networks, particularly giant Facebook.

From page reach to ad metrics, what can brands do before they, advertisers, and shareholders lose trust altogether?

Chris Penn covers in detail how to tag and track everything, focus on properties under your control without neglecting your social channels, and emphasize the KPIs that matter most to your brand—without forgetting the value that metrics like organic Facebook reach and engagement rates can have.

3. Instagram surges past 600-million-user milestone

It only took a few years and a new algorithm to help the Facebook-owned social network soar past 600 million monthy active users, fueled by loads of changes and additions such as bookmarks, likable comments, and zoom and tagging capabilities, livestreaming, and Snapchat-like Stories.

The new high in monthly active users comes only six months after reaching 500 million users, an accelerated rate that proves the social network is still growing at an increasingly rapid pace despite its enormous user base.

While Instagram’s new algorithm was controversial at first, it appears it’s only helping the picture- and video-sharing network retain and recruit users.

How high do you think it’ll go?

4. Vine’s not completely dead after all

Hardcore Viners shed tears when news broke in October that Twitter was to shutter the looping-video social network, but now it appears they have something to celebrate. In January, the app will be transitioned into a pared down version called Vine Camera, which will still enable users to create 6.5 second looped videos to share on Twitter or save on their phones.

Vine users will be able to migrate their followers to Twitter, and they will still have time to download their vines before Vine Camera launches. Sometimes we think Twitter’s flying by the seat of its pants. What do you think of the new strategy?

5. Twitter testing push notifications for news

Twitter is not only changing its approach for Vine, but also apparently questioning its own identity. Several users have reported receiving news alert push notifications from the social network for both the Electoral College vote for Donald Trump as well as the Berlin Christmas Market terror attack.

A Twitter rep confirmed that the social network has been testing push notifications for months, and not just for breaking-news stories. Whatever the test could amount to, it might be Twitter’s last chance to decide what it wants to be, and how it’s going to prove to investors that it can become that.

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