When Instagram introduced their Snapchat-like feature Stories, it ignited conversations between brands and marketers about the benefits and differences of each. This week, Instagram differentiated themselves in a big way by introducing updates to their story-telling feature that definitely set them apart. Instagram users can now capture Boomerangs and @-mention their friends, influencers or brands directly within Stories. Verified Instagram users can now include links in their stories, offering a CTA to their viewers.  More details on why this matters, and what else is happening in social media below.

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Instagram Introduces Major Updates to Stories

Instagram has introduced three major updates to Instagram Stories. Boomerang, mentions, and links are now available within Stories. Users will be able to capture Boomerangs directly in the Stories feature. If a user @-mentions someone in their story, it will underline the user name, and viewers can click the mention and be redirected to the other user’s profile. Verified Instagram users can now include links in their Stories that redirect to their website of choice.
Why does this matter?
Allowing users to capture Boomerangs within Stories offers an easier way to create different and dynamic content. Being able to @-mention users in Stories will be huge for cross promotion, especially for brands and those leveraging influencer marketing on Instagram. The ability to include outside links in Stories is one of the first CTAs Instagram has made available within the Stories feature.

Facebook Releases Messenger Version 1.3

Facebook has introduced two new advertising options for Messenger to include, news feed ads that open Messenger conversations, and sponsored messages.
Why does this matter?
News feed ads that open into Messenger are lucrative, because they allow marketers to use audience targeting to initiate Messenger conversations. Sponsored messages will help facilitate the sales cycle, and will allow brands to keep an open line of communication with their customers and potential customers. (Sponsored messages will still need to be initiated by the customer or potential customer.)

Facebook Tests Job Postings Tab

Facebook has began testing the option for page administrators to advertise job postings and accept online applications through the social network. Applications would be pre-populated with information from the user’s profile, and would be delivered to the business via Messenger.
Why does this matter?
Until now, LinkedIn has been the primary social network for posting and searching for jobs. Since Facebook has a much greater user base thank LinkedIn, this new feature could be incredibly competitive. If Facebook continues to expand this feature, they will need to make sure that they are abiding by all employment laws.

Snapchat Introduces New Updates

Snapchat has introduced a number of new updates to their app to include, the ability to send other’s snaps to users within the app, World Lenses, the ability to activate lenses while video chatting, and support for Spectacles.
Why does this matter?
The ability to share other’s snaps will help with the discoverability of content on the platform. World Lenses will allow for more dynamic and creative content, (even while live video chatting). The support for Spectacles in settings, verifies that Spectacles may soon be widely available.

YouTube Gives Creators More Control Over Comments

YouTube has rolled out three new features that effect comments to include pinned comments, creator hearts, and creator user names.
Why does this matter?
Pinned comments will allow YouTube creators to pin particular comments to the top of their feeds, allowing them to highlight positive engagement or information. Creator hearts will be able to be granted to viewers by creators to their favorites in their community, rewarding their best fans. Creators user names will now be highlighted when commenting on their own threads, making it easier for those in their community to locate the creator’s responses.

LinkedIn Makes Sponsored InMail Available to All

LinkedIn has made sponsored InMail available to all advertisers via their campaign manager.
Why does this matter?
Sponsored InMails will allow advertisers that are utilizing the feature to personalize their outreach to their prospects, reach people when they’re actually online, and drive conversions.

Pinterest Streamlines Their Inbox and Notifications

Pinterest has streamlined their various push notifications to a single notification that users will be able to expand for details. Notifications will also provide more visual details opposed to text details. Pinterest also replaced their “You” tab with a “News” tab, simplifying where notifications are located.
Why does this matter?
These updates will enhance the user experience by making it easier to locate notifications, and decreasing the overall number of notifications Pinterest users receives.

Prisma Allows Users to Live Stream With Video Effects

Prisma, a photo and video filtering app, will now allow users to go live on Facebook with applied visual effects. Users can choose from 8 filters before going live.
Why does this matter?
Although this update does not have a direct effect on brands, this new update allows for a creative spin on traditional live streams.

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