October 2016

Instagram Update Brings Instagram Stories to The Explore Tab

instagram photoIn a recent update, Instagram added their Instagram stories to the Explore tab within their app. The Explore tab allows users to see a variety of different types of stories and posts that relate to their interests, but don’t necessarily come from people they are following. Instagram released an update that created Instagram stories back in August. Adding these stories to the Explore tab will help to make them more prevalent on the site.

 

The goal of adding Instagram stories to the Explore tab was to boost engagement and accessibility for users on Instagram. With this tab to work with, users will be able to see stories related to their interests and through this process discover more people that they may want to follow. This is a great way for Instagram users to find accounts that are posting what they are most interested in. The update has already gone out globally among all of the iOS users. To start seeing these stores in the Explore tab, Android users have to update to Instagram version 9.5.0 or above.

 

There are mixed reviews on this particular update, which is no surprise since many Instagram users were already not too happy with the addition of Instagram stories. While having these posts show up in the Explore tab could help users to gain more followers, many people are annoyed since there are stories from random accounts on their page. Those who follow only a select group of people often don’t want to be seeing these new accounts popping up all of the time.

 

Most people recognize that this further update to Instagram is just one more way for it to compete with Snapchat. Adding the Instagram stories which are very similar to Snapchat stories to the Explore tab just makes these stories even more prevalent within the Instagram community. Further updates are likely to come out as these different apps continue to compete.

Facebook Updates Action Buttons and Adds Recommendations For Businesses

facebookIn a recent update, Facebook made a couple of changes to help make it easier for businesses and their customers to interact without even leaving Facebook. The main parts of the update focused on adding new action buttons that make it easy for customers to place orders, get quotes, and even buy tickets to events without ever leaving the Facebook app. In addition to this, Facebook has added a recommendations feature that will make it easier for people to get recommendations from their friends.

 

Facebook’s new action buttons make it easy for customers to interact with businesses through Facebook. The Start Order, Buy Tickets, See Showtimes, and Book Now buttons make it easy for customers to make purchases and set up appointments right away through their Facebook app. Other buttons link in with messaging allowing customers to easily get quotes and request bookings through a business Facebook page. All of these buttons make it easy for customers to connect directly to the businesses, performers, and restaurants that interest them.

 

On top of this, there is a new recommendations feature designed to make it simple for Facebook users to get recommendations from their friends. This feature is focused specifically on allowing users to ask friends for recommendations within certain areas for restaurants, hair stylists, and much more. The feature makes it so that recommendations are then plotted on a map with links to the business page. Users can then visit these pages and use the action buttons to make a booking, buy tickets to an event, or order food to be delivered to their door.

 

With these new features as a big part of Facebook, many business owners will want to make sure that their business pages have features like these enabled. To do this simply update the call-to-action button on your business page. This can either link to third party apps that can then take orders or schedule appointments with these customers or link to messaging so that customers can contact your business directly. Setting up these buttons is key to building a great relationship with your customers through Facebook.

Facebook’s Voter Registration Reminder Proved the Importance of Social Media

voteAt the end of September, Facebook proved that social media is not just a great place to talk about politics, it is a great way to change the political climate. Facebook launched a brief campaign that encouraged people to register to vote by popping up a special message saying, “Are you registered to vote? Register now to make sure you have a voice in the election.” They then offered a link to online voter registration so that people could register freely. We have just seen what the results of this campaign were.

 

During the time that Facebook had this message up on their site, a huge number of people ended up registering to vote. Many of the people who registered were within the age 17-25 demographic and the 26-35. This means that many young voters have now been registered who may not have registered otherwise. Among the states that saw the most results were California, Minnesota, and Indiana.

 

The number of people who registered to vote during the four-day period that Facebook’s message was up for is incredible, showing just how social media sites can have an influence on people. Facebook says that their reason for posting the message was to try and get better voter turnouts than we saw in the last presidential election. Their specific goal was to get many younger people to vote in this election so that they can have a say in the political climate of their world.

 

While many people are talking about how wonderful it is that Facebook has been able to create such a large number of people registering to vote, others worry that this isn’t something that companies should be able to do. Some people are concerned that by influencing young people and telling them to vote, Facebook can have actually made a change to what candidates may be favored as well.  Some are pointing to this as a problem with a profitable company and social media site being an influence within the political sphere.

Instagram Gives Perfectionists More Time to Work On Posts by Saving Drafts

instagram draftsLast month, Instagram announced that they were finally going to be adding a much desired update that would allow users to save drafts. Since then, this update has been rolling out to Instagram app users. Before this update, many Instagram users had to find unique ways to save posts they were working on. Some would turn their phones to airplane mode even. The trouble was that hitting the back button or closing the app would mean you had to start your post all over again. For those who spend a lot of time on their Instagram posts and are likely to be interrupted as they work on their posts, this was really impractical.

 

Many users are very excited about the new feature that Instagram is using since it will allow them to tweak with their posts until they are completely satisfied. Now when editing a post, if you hit the back button a prompt will appear asking if you would like to save the post as a draft. This means that if you get distracted or have to stop working on a post for now, you’ll be able to have Instagram save it for you.

 

Once you have the time to work on the post again, you’ll be able to find the post that you were working on in a special new section of your pictures library. You’ll be able to find these conveniently located above other photos. You can then open these drafts and continue working on them to your heart’s content, until you either save them as drafts again or post them. In this section, you will also find a “manage” button which will allow you to delete drafts when you don’t want them stored anymore.

 

There are a few restrictions to how these drafts are used that some users aren’t entirely happy about. One is that you cannot save anything to a draft until you have made visual edits, tagged someone, or started to write a caption on the post. This one is relatively minor compared to the other one which is that no more visual edits can be made to the image in the post. These aside, the new feature is a great one for many users of Instagram who would like to spend a great deal of time working with their posts.