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Facebook Expanding AR Studio, Instagram Hashtag Following and Recommended Posts, WhatsApp Updates

social media researchWelcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media.

On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Erik Fisher and Kim Reynolds, we explore Facebook expanding AR Studio with Joel Comm, Instagram hashtag following and recommended posts with Jeff Sieh, WhatsApp updates, and more breaking social media marketing news of the week!

Watch the Social Media Marketing Talk Show

If you’re new to the show, click on the green “Watch replay” button below and sign in or register to watch our latest episode from Friday, December 15, 2017. You can also listen to the show as an audio podcast, found on iTunes/Apple Podcast, Android, Google Play, Stitcher, and RSS.

For this week’s top stories, you’ll find timestamps below that allow you to fast-forward in the replay above.

Facebook Expands AR Studio to All Creators and Developers: After months of being in closed beta and only open to a limited number of creators, Facebook Camera Effects Platform and AR Studio tool will now be available to all users and developers worldwide. They will be rolling out over “the coming days.” Facebook also announced the release of world effects technology within AR Studio, which will enable creators to develop 3D digital objects for people to place onto surfaces and interact within their physical space similar to Snapchat’s world lenses. (3:20)

Facebook Introduces New Resources and Tools for the 360 Community: Facebook launched a new centralized hub for “all things 360” called the 360 Community Page. It offers educational resources and tools for all 360 creators such as tutorials on getting started with 360 cameras, 360 video editing workflows, and more. It also provides a list of upcoming in-person meetups and workshops for creators around the globe, a new Camera Loaner Program in partnership with Blend Media, and new editing tools. (8:22)

Facebook launched a new centralized hub for all things 360 called the 360 Community Page

Facebook launched a new centralized hub for “all things 360” called the 360 Community Page.

Facebook Introduces Sound Collection for Videos: Facebook released Facebook Sound Collection to help creators find high-quality sound effects and music to use in their videos. The easy-to-use discovery tool allows creators to discover tracks from a wide range of established composers and songwriters, follow the ones they like, and browse sounds by genre, mood, length, and vocals to find just the right tracks. Facebook guarantees that the sounds and music are fully owned by Facebook and are free and clear to use in any videos created and shared on Facebook and Instagram. (11:42)

 Facebook Sound Collection to help creators find high-quality sound effects and music to use in their videos.

Facebook Sound Collection will help creators find high-quality sound effects and music to use in their videos.

Instagram Rolls Out Ability to Follow Hashtags: To make posts and other users even more discoverable on the platform, Instagram introduced hashtags that users can follow and use to find “top posts from that hashtag… and some of the latest stories in your stories bar.” Users can follow and unfollow a hashtag at any time, and only your followers will be able to see which hashtags you’re following. (19:27)

To make posts and other users even more discoverable on the platform, Instagram introduced hashtags that users can follow and discover top post and the latest stories.

To make posts and other users even more discoverable on the platform, Instagram introduced hashtags that users can follow and discover top posts and the latest stories.

Instagram Tests Recommended Posts From Users You’re Not Following: Instagram confirmed that it is testing a new feature called Recommended for You with a small group of users. The new Recommended Posts feature is housed in a new section within the Instagram feed and highlights images from users that either your friends have liked or have been chosen for you by an algorithm. (28:47)

Instagram Enables Rights Manager: Instagram appears to have rolled out Rights Manager for Instagram. On Facebook, Rights Manager is one of several content management tools that help copyright owners protect and manage the rights to their videos and accompanying audio on the platform. You simply upload and maintain a reference library of videos you want to monitor and protect. This new service for Instagram was discovered by Matt Navarra. (31:06)

Instagram appears to have enabled Rights Manager for Instagram.

Instagram appears to have enabled Rights Manager.

Facebook Introduces WhatsApp Call-to-Action Buttons for Facebook Ads: Facebook launched a new ad unit that allows businesses to “create a link” between Facebook and WhatsApp with a new call-to-action button that directs users to call or message the company through WhatsApp. Facebook confirms that it’s “gradually” rolling out this new feature globally, starting first with North and South America, Africa, Australia, and most of Asia. (36:22)

WhatsApp Introduced Verified Status Types for Business Accounts: Businesses on WhatsApp will now be identified as one of three status types: unconfirmed, confirmed, or verified. TechCrunch reports that WhatsApp began testing verified accounts for businesses in late August 2017 and later began testing the ability to create a verified profile as part of an enterprise solution in development for small- and medium-sized businesses. According to WhatsApp’s FAQ page, each level of verification will have a unique type of checkmark that will allow users to “control [their] experience with businesses.” WhatsApp also notes that “business verification and confirmation don’t indicate an endorsement by WhatsApp.” (40:05)

Facebook Tests Private Commenting Options: Facebook is experimenting with a new privacy setting for individual comments with a small group of users. The Next Web reports that “this means that you could write a reply to a thread, but only pre-approved individuals can see it.” A new padlock icon in the commenting field brings up the option to share the comment with “friends and post owner only,” “friends only,”  “post owner and commenter only,” or “everyone else.”

Facebook Introduces New Feature on Branded Pages Called “Our Story”: Facebook appears to have rolled out a new feature for brand pages called Our Story. Within this new section, admins and page owners can upload photos, format text, and include links to tell people more about their business or brand. The flexible formatting and layout are similar to that of a blog post. 

Facebook appears to have rolled out a new feature for brand Pages called Our Story.

Facebook appears to have rolled out a new feature for brand pages called Our Story.

Facebook Adds New Features to Instant Games for Messenger: Facebook celebrated the 1 year anniversary of introducing Instant Games for Messenger by highlighting some of its major milestones and announcing a number of new features and games coming soon to this experience. Facebook launched a new live-streaming capability via Facebook Live that “makes it simple for people to play and share their experiences with those who love games on Messenger” and plans to introduce the ability to play games while video chatting “early next year.” Facebook will also add a handful of new games to the platform such as a version of Angry Birds built specifically for the Messenger platform, Sonic Jump, Disney Tsum Tsum, and Puzzle & Dragons in 2018.

Facebook Releases Holiday Features and Effects Across Its Platform: Facebook released several festive features and effects to celebrate the holidays across Facebook and Messenger. Starting this week, Facebook users can choose and customize a variety of interfaith- and holiday-themed cards that can be customized with photos and shared with family and friends directly on Facebook. Facebook users can also select a themed background for text posts, generate personalized collages for their holiday photos, or create “year in review” videos for 2017. Facebook is pushing seasonal and New Year’s Eve effects to the Facebook Camera and in Messenger. In addition, Messenger users will also have new fun and festive masks to add to photos, videos, and chats.

Twitter Officially Rolls Out Multi-Tweet Threads: Twitter has been testing a new Tweetstorm feature that links the multiple tweets into a single thread with a handful of select Android users in its Experiments Program. This week, Twitter announced that it’s officially rolling out this new feature to all users on iOS, Android, and Twitter.com “in the coming weeks.”

In addition, Twitter also made it easier to find and read tweets in a thread by adding a new Show This Thread button at the bottom of all tweets. By clicking on this button, users will be able to expand a conversation and see all of the linked tweets in the order they were posted. This new feature makes it easier to follow a conversation on Twitter.

LinkedIn Highlights Trending Skills: LinkedIn launched a new monthly notification that shares “relevant trending skills” among people with your same job title and provides insights on which companies are hiring people with that skill. LinkedIn also recommends LinkedIn Learning courses that may help develop or hone a needed area of expertise.

LinkedIn launched a new notification that shares relevant trending skills among people with your same job title.

LinkedIn launched a new notification that shares relevant trending skills among people with your same job title.

In the next iteration of this feature, LinkedIn plans to also offer insights on overall hiring trends, skills gaps in a specific location, and migration trends within your city to help members who are considering a career switch or thinking about moving to a city where their skills are more in demand.

Facebook Provided a Year in Review for Messenger: Facebook Messenger reached some major milestones and released several new features and tools in 2017. Overall, there were 17 billion real-time video chats on Messenger, marking twice as many video chat sessions in 2017 compared to 2016. On average, there are over 7 billion conversations taking place and 260 million new conversation threads were started on Messenger every day in 2017, and 2.5 million new group chats were created on Messenger every day. Facebook also shared that the average group chat included 10 people.

The holiday season and end of the year are often a time to reflect and celebrate, and today we’re excited to share…

Posted by Messenger on Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Facebook Quietly Retires News Feed Ticker: Facebook quietly shut down the news feed ticker, the lightweight stream that was once found in the site’s right-hand sidebar. It featured “the same stuff you were already seeing on Facebook” but displayed details such as a friend commenting or reacting to a post, check-ins, and other tiny interactions. Adweek reports that “ticker never really caught on with users and it was often removed by browser plugins, as well as by Facebook itself during events such as News Feed redesigns.”

Facebook Plans Shift to Viewable-Only Organic Reach Counts in 2018: A year ago, Facebook announced a major measurement update that would only count viewable impressions toward the organic reach for pages’ posts, as it does for ads. Marketing Land reports that this new methodology will go into effect in early 2018. Facebook confirms that it will alert pages once the change is actually implemented.

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