Social media platforms have made a number of major changes in the last few months, and it’s easy to fall behind. While every app is constantly tinkering with minor modifications, the end of 2020 was filled with some big changes. Here are some of those notable updates that you might have missed.
What hasn’t changed with Instagram lately? The entire design of Instagram flip-flopped in November. Users’ home screen shortcuts now feature “Reels” and a shopping tab, instead of a camera and activity tab.
According to Instagram, their decision to alter the home screen — a move they’ve rarely made — is to keep up with trends and the lifestyles of the users. Instagram’s website states, “how people create and enjoy culture has changed, and the biggest risk to Instagram is not that we change too fast, but that we don’t change and become irrelevant.”
However, many users of the app have not taken warmly to the change.
On Twitter, Fleets are the latest update. Essentially, these are the Twitter version of Snapchat and Facebook’s Stories feature.
Fleets work and function the same way as Stories do on other platforms, disappearing after 24 hours are up, and showing up at the top of users’ feeds in a circle. Some users support the move, while others feel it’s a negative step toward the blurring of social media platforms.
In case posting a story on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter wasn’t enough, you can also post one on a LinkedIn story. This rollout actually occurred before Twitter’s Fleets release, and features the same functionality as other platform’s story functionality.
Since LinkedIn users are focused on their professional lives, users are encouraged to post content that can “start light-weight conversations about your work life.” This could be a unique opportunity for professionals and businesses to come up with creative new content on the platform. LinkedIn Stories have a clear professional networking-oriented angle, meaning there’s potential for brands or individuals to experiment with stories in a new way.
As of December 15, 2020, Facebook’s temporary political ad ban has been extended indefinitely for everybody except those running Georgia runoff-related ads Unfortunately, this ad ban, which was originally introduced with the intention of curbing misinformation related to the 2020 general election, has impacted a variety of mission-driven businesses, advocacy groups, and nonprofits. For the time being, Facebook has given no hints as to when the ban will be lifted.
Over the summer, Facebook also launched a new app called E.gg, where users can test out their creativity. What are you supposed to do on E.gg? Facebook says: “With E.gg, you can curate images, gifs, shapes and text onto freeform canvases to express who you are and what you love. In our limited beta, we’ve seen people create fan pages, guides, tributes, profiles, collages, recipes and more.” It’s a little reminiscent of Tumblr or the early internet. It also notably has no “liking” or “commenting” features. Only time will tell if E.gg takes off.
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