Social Media Round Up: The Latest Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter Updates

March 13, 2018 Linkage Interns

Let’s face it again—social media runs the world right now. It has become a necessity for us to be ‘connected.’ But, even with all the right intentions, social media can never escape flaws. And in a world crazed with rapid growth and development, the pressure is high for all social media companies. In every update for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, they have to try to please everybody. All the while, they also have to keep pushing towards better, moral, and intelligent social platforms.

New Social Media Updates March 2018

The latest trend for social media updates borrows ideas from one another. At some point, you might’ve probably asked yourself if there’s some copying going on. In general, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are doing this “twinning” thing for the better of everybody. Here are the updates for your favorite social media apps that you might’ve yet noticed.

Twitter

Twitter considered the sentimentalists who wanted to keep interesting tweets somewhere safe and easily accessible. Last month, Twitter launched the “Bookmarks” and a new “Share” icon. Now, there are four buttons underneath every tweet. “Bookmarks” can save tweets and links for later. It can also keep threads that you’re following or a tweet that you just love going back. Twitter chose to forget about alerting the other party if you do this to someone’s tweet. So your library of tweets is kept pretty private. You can also keep it for however long you want. You decide when you want it out of your hair. Under the “Share” button is sending the tweet via direct message or adding it to your Moments.

Twitter was once abused and made into a war zone of verbal harassment and online bullying. Now, the company increased the avenues for users to protect themselves from these malicious users. On the options tool for tweets, you can block, report, mute or click the ‘I don’t like this tweet’ option. Twitter prevents reported or flagged users to create new accounts with the same contact information. Twitter now also identifies low-quality tweets and potentially abusive accounts. They put these on the bottom of the lists for viewers. Twitter doesn’t delete them. They’re just harder to find.

Lastly, you might have noticed that if you post multiple photos, each photo is appropriately previewed now. Before, photo previews were sketchy. That was when Twitter still used facial recognition. The new algorithm identifies what part is the most important in the picture. Also, Twitter may upgrade the photo and video features into something like Snapchat. As of January, the company was still experimenting with this new feature. A Twitter Story is far from happening but, the goal of the new camera centered function is to reduce the steps of taking and posting a photo or video. So far, Twitter hasn’t said anything yet about launching it worldwide or not.

Facebook
Of all social media platforms, Facebook created the most significant waves among its users and business partners. In the past year, Facebook’s well-intentioned news increase among users feeds has been receiving backlash. Users blamed the company for the spread of fake news. To address that issue, Mark Zuckerberg and his company are taking a good long look back at their roots.

Facebook will now prioritize personal connections with family and friends. Posts from friends and family are on now on the top of Facebook feeds. So don’t wonder if you see your mother’s or father’s chin down selfie first thing in the morning. But, if you’re a news junkie, you don’t have to worry. The trustworthy news is in the second slot of Facebook’s priority list. Although Facebook has decided that decreasing the news priority on their site is for the best, they’ve made sure that any chance of fake news bonanza would be squashed by them before it even starts.

Facebook has created a new algorithm which determines what news publishers a community trusts. They guarantee the authenticity and quality of the publisher by a two-question survey presented to the users. Facebook users in the area see posts from these chosen local news publishers near the top of their feeds. It gives them a chance to be more active in the community. This change is already out in the U.S. and will continue to roll out to the rest of the world in the following months.

For the fun side of Facebook, the company launched the Sound Collection. It’s a library of free-to-use music and sound effects for Facebook video creators. It’s still new to the field however so users can expect a somewhat limited but still bountiful collection of music. For pictures, portrait-size images won’t lose their valiance anymore. Facebook doesn’t crop these pictures anymore. They only let them loose on users’ timelines in all their glory.

Right now, Facebook is still in the middle of testing a whole load of features. One of them is the “Downvote” button. It’s not exactly a dislike button. It’s more of a subtle alert towards Facebook that a comment is inappropriate, malicious, uncivil and anything alike. When you click it, Facebook hides the comment. Then, it will give you the options of Offensive, Misleading, and Off Topic to report it.

Another feature Facebook is testing out to safe proof the app further from the fake news is the “Breaking News Label.” This label adds a literal red “Breaking News” label on the newest stories. It’s meant to alert users on the most recent piece of news. Publishers are allowed to use it once per day but, they also have an extra five uses per month. The maximum time the label can stay on the news is six hours but, if the publishers chose to make it shorter, they could. This feature is one of Facebook’s efforts to highlight more quality news. There’s no announcement yet, however, whether the “Downvote” button and the “Breaking News Label” are going to be part of Facebook’s rebirth.

Instagram

Instagram’s most controversial update is the new algorithm for the arrangement of posts on feeds. It is now prioritizing what it deems to be quality accounts. Quality accounts are defined on Instagram by the number of likes, the speed of interactions, and by the hashtags used. Instagram puts posts from these accounts high up on your feed. That’s why you’re seeing more blogger posts than usual. It also helps a lot if users follow some hashtags and use those hashtags as well. That’s why Instagram users are now in a riot though Instagram seems to be content with its new feed.

While Instagram users are having a harder time reaching their audience, Instagram is also trying to minimize the number of bots in the system. To avoid having these problems plague your Instagram, here are some tips to remember. Switch up your hashtags. Don’t use them over and over. If you do, it might look like spamming, one of a bots habits. If you don’t want your chances to be seen to decline, don’t edit your caption 24 hours after posting it. Also, don’t delete your post then repost it. Both these things decrease your chances of reaching your audience in the new Instagram algorithm.

A new fun addition to Instagram is the “Type” feature in Insta Stories. People can now just swipe to the left and express in words and a colorful background what they want to say. You can also take polls on your Insta stories now. Just choose the poll sticker, paste it anywhere on your story then type in your question. These Insta stories are now also a part of the Explore page of Instagram. Here, there’s a mix and jumble of the pictures, videos, and stories of accounts you might want to follow.

Lastly, Instagram has launched a new feature that allows you to store one of your posts instead of deleting it. In the profile page, there’s a clock-like button beside the “Saved” button. That is where you can find your archived posts. (To archive, click on one of your posts then click the options button for it. Then, click Archive.) Another thing that you can hide is your “Status Activity.” If you haven’t noticed, in the DM box, there is something like what we see on messenger underneath other user’s names. It showed when they were last active or real-time updates if they’re typing or if they’ve seen your message. If you don’t like this, you can turn it off. Go to your profile, then to options and look for “Show Activity Status.” However, if you turn this off, you won’t be able to see the other user’s status. Fair is fair. So, if you’re bothered if someone’s ignoring you, better keep that button on.

Like Facebook, Instagram is also in the process of testing out a new feature. One of these features is the “Recommended For You” posts. Just like how it works on Facebook, the feature would add posts from others that your friends might’ve interacted. It’s not new. It’s just moving some posts from “Explore” to the regular feed. The other feature they’re testing out is the “Regram” feature. It’s relatively newer than the “Recommended For You” posts, so no data is out yet. However, Instagram users can expect quite a lot more to come in the future months of 2018. It’s the year for new and astounding changes for everyone after all. — Liezl Stephanie Lawagan, SLU

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