This week on The Socialscape:
FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM TIME MANAGEMENT TOOLS
Let's get right into it friends, Facebook and Instagram have launched a new tool to help you manage the amount of time you're spending in the app. This is something that I actually spoke about in Eyes Update 003 on July 7th, and now it has come to fruition. To reiterate, this feature basically gives users the ability to check their activity levels within both IG and Facebook, as well as mute notifications for specific durations of time. To find these tools just click Settings, tap Your Activity (for Instagram) or Your Time on Facebook (for Facebook, obviously), and you'll be shown all this data graphing your daily time spent on the app. In addition, you can tap Notification Settings and setup your app to mute notifications for however long you feel like you just need a breather, or you can set a reminder for when you've spent an allotted amount of time on the app so you can get up and go do something with your life.
SNAPCHAT SPEECH RECOGNITION LENSES
Snapchat has made a killing on the facial recognition filters that allow us to do all sorts of cute and goofy stuff, but these new filters are a whole new territory. When using these filters, speaking the words HI, LOVE, YES, NO, and WOW trigger some cool animation. Honestly, I don't care about this whatsoever, but I thought it was important to address anyways because this isn't about me...it's about YOU. The coolest part of this to me, though, is seeing Snapchat continue to push further into the world of augmented reality, and it could lead to some game changing features down the road.
The first of two IG features that we're looking at today is an easier way to discover IGTV episodes. One of the reasons why Instagram Stories caught on so quickly was because of how easy they were to access...so why not follow the same model with IGTV? Right now, it's kind of annoying to click the IGTV button and then scroll through episodes, each one playing automatically (and super loud) as you browse for something worth watching. To combat this whole process, Instagram is reportedly testing a carousel feature that would allow users to browse IGTV episodes in the same way that we browse Stories. The carousel would live right below Stories and right above your feed, so it would be a simple adjustment for users to get used to.
Now, I want to take this opportunity to say something that I think is important if you're a content creator of any kind: You need to put more effort into IGTV...here's why. Facebook, which we know owns Instagram, reported a terrible quarter last month due to the fact that they've been pivoting development efforts to focus more on Instagram, and hence we got IGTV. With this new carousel being tested, I think it's pretty fucking clear that they want (and kinda need) IGTV to work, and because of that, they're going to be pushing accounts that utilize the new feature. So, I would recommend that no matter what niche you fall into, get going on IGTV content. It'll pay off.
REMOVE FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM
Ever wanna stop somebody from seeing your posts but don't wanna block them because it's awkward but also you don't wanna go private because that's just ridiculous? IG is testing a feature that will allow you to individually remove people from following you.
So that family member who always leaves weird comments? Removed. That ex who you broke up with on good terms but you know they're super creepin'? Removed, and the list goes on. It's a cool way to keep people at bay without making things weird. Of course, once people become aware of this feature then it becomes "Did I unfollow them by mistake or did they remove me?" but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it I guess. This is already available on some phones, so if you have it, let me know how it has been useful to you. I'm sure there are some good stories attached to reasons for removal.
FACEBOOK REDESIGNS BUSINESS PAGES
FINALLY Facebook is fixing this shit. Oh my goodness. I've been asking for this for over a year now. Facebook Business Pages have had this HORRENDOUS layout for way to long, and I'm so happy to see them realizing it and making the change. They're basically revamping Business Pages to show the more important information at the top and give a better first impression to page visitors. Call To Action buttons will be right there at the top with other business-y info, so your customers know exactly what you're all about. That's all awesome, but then they drop the ball... Facebook is also going to start showing Related Pages on Business Pages. WUT.
Like I get it, they're trying to make it easier to discover new businesses, but like BRO. I WOULD NEVER LET A COMPETITOR PUT UP A FLYER IN MY STORE, SO WHY WOULD I BE OKAY WITH THIS? Sure, you may get more visitors from being recommended on other people's pages as well, but it's really a vicious cycle at that point. At least we're all playing by the same rules? I don't know, I think it's pretty messy, but whatever.
Speaking of things that are pretty and messy, Facebook is throwing their hat into the ring of online dating with a built-in feature genuinely named Facebook Dating. They actually previewed this back in May, but basically Facebook is trying to combat the hookup culture that has overtaken so much of online dating community and bring things back with an environment focused on more meaningful interactions. One way they're doing this is by staying away from the Swiping method for approval/rejection and instead matching people based on a limited amount of user-entered interests. Facebook Dating will be rolled out for users 18+ in the US-only, so for my foreign readers, sorry, you just gotta keep swiping for now.
That's it for now, guys. Thanks for tuning in. I'll be back with another episode in about a week, but be sure to follow me on Instagram to get the latest news and updates as things happen between now and then. As always, if you're interested in some one-on-one social media help with your brand or business, slide into my DMs, shoot me an email, send up a smoke signal, whatever works best for you. I'd love to hear from you.