Platform Updates: October 2019

October 24, 2019
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The month of October saw many social platforms experimenting with new ways to draw advertisers, whether through expanded targeting features, interactive ads, or e-learning tools for brands. 

Meanwhile, Facebook and TikTok prepared for the upcoming elections in dramatically different manners, with Facebook giving free reign to politicians, with no intentions to fact-check their ads, and TikTok restricting political content entirely. 

October 2019

Facebook

  • In honor of World Mental Health Day, Facebook released the “Let’s Talk” Stories filter on messenger. The feature is designed to encourage users to reach out for help.
  • Facebook is expanding the ability for brands to place their ads in Facebook search results to connect with users who are actively shopping. 
  • Facebook has a new “suggested time” feature available on the Scheduled Posts page.
  • Facebook will be removing gray verification badges from Pages due to confusion over the difference between gray and blue badges
  • Blue badges represent a verified public figure and will remain on the platform
  • Gray badges represent any user who has gone through an extra identification process. These badges will disappear on October 30th. 
  • Facebook is set to release a “News Tab” in coming weeks, potentially before the end of October.

Instagram

  • Instagram has removed the Following tab, which allowed users to see the likes, comments, and follows of your friends.
  • Instagram is testing a feature that would group accounts you follow into categories, such as “least interacted with” and “most interacted with.” 
  • Instagram is developing a spin-off messaging app called Threads, which would allow users to share their location and battery life as well as text and send video messages. 
  • Finally, Instagram launched their Create Mode, which allows users to share Stories that don’t contain photos or videos. Features include:
  • Polls and countdowns
  • Stickers and GIFS
  • Music
  • “On This Day” throwbacks
  • Instagram will soon get rid of all filters with plastic-surgery-like effects.

YouTube

  • YouTube has expanded its AR “Try-On Feature,” which allows users to try on beauty products using augmented reality by clicking on an ad.

Snapchat

  • Snapchat is now integrated with Reddit, allowing Reddit posts to be shared directly on Snapchat via the camera.
  • Snapchat launched Dynamic Ads, a feature that automatically creates ads for brands. Brands simply have to upload their product catalogues. 

Pinterest

  • Pinterest launched Pinterest University, an e-learning tool designed to help businesses advertise on Pinterest. 

LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn expanded its tools to pinpoint audiences for ad campaigns. 
  • New tools include audience forecasts, industry insights, and using and/or qualifiers to define your search.

Political Theory