4 social media updates to know about

The state of social media: four trends and updates to know about [September 2016]

Posted by Colm Hanratty on Sep 29, 2016

I love working in digital marketing, and more specifically social media, for many reasons. It allows me to keep in touch with people and friends I don’t see too often and it’s always a great source of information. But most of all, I love how it’s constantly changing.

The last few weeks have busy ones in the worlds of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram due to these updates.

1. Longer tweets with Twitter finally introduced

Last May, Twitter announced that it would soon be allowing you to express more in 140 characters. They announced four changes, two of which were particularly newsworthy:

  1. They announced that, when replying to a tweet, the @name wouldn’t count as part of the 140-character limit.
  2. They revealed that when you added attachments such as GIFs and videos, the media wouldn’t count as part of the 140-character limit. 

These changes have now been finally rolled out. So if your tweet has 140 characters in total, you can now add an image to this tweet and it won’t eat into your character count, as you can see below.




2. Instagram rolls out business accounts

Another update that was announced months before it was rolled out was Instagram’s new business accounts. Three months ago they informed those using Instagram for marketing purposes that they could change their accounts into business ones that offered analytical insights and a new contact button for customers to get in touch with a business. Those changes have finally been rolled out (you can find out how to create a business profile here).

Here's what an Instagram business account gives you...

Statistics in terms of views are broken up into three metrics:

  1. Impressions: The total number of times all of your posts have been seen
  2. Reach: The number of unique accounts that have seen any of your posts.

There are three other statistics on top of these:

  1. Profile views: The number of times your profile has been viewed.
  2. Website clicks: The number of taps on the website in your profile.
  3. Followers: Average times your followers are on Instagram on a typical day.

You can then expand on the follower stat to discover a gender breakdown of your followers, see the age range, and more.


These new insights give tour and activity companies using Instagram regularly the opportunity to really up their game in terms of engagement. It allows you to see who your audience is, where they’re located, what they engaging in, when they’re engaging and more.

With regards to the new Contact button, set it up correctly and you’ll allow users to find you in three ways: by direction, by phone or by email.


3. New and improved(ish) Facebook offers


If you’ve attended any of my social media webinars with TrekkSoft, you’ll know I’m a big fan of Facebook offers. They’ve always generated a good return on investment and continue to do so.

At the end of last month, Facebook announced they were making improvements to their very own version of Groupon. Their new and improved version has now been re-imagined and redesigned, offering users a streamlined mobile experience.

To be honest, not a whole lot has changed. In the past you could create offers directly from your Facebook business page for your fans or via Ads Manager for a more targeted audience – this is still the case. In the past you could also allow users to claim the offer online or instore – this is also still the case.

The main difference with offers is how you claim them – previously when you hit ‘Claim offer’ the button would change from those words to ‘Claimed’, you would remain on Facebook and an email with a link to the offer would be emailed to you. But now, once you hit ‘Claim offer’, you are directed straight to the page where you can make the claim, thus increasing conversions.

The new Offers platform also has a new ‘Offers’ tab, where users can browse the different deals a brand might be running at the time, as well as giving those who claim the offer a reminder when the deadline to use the offer is approaching.

Further reading: How to set up a successful Facebook Advertising campaign in 7 steps


4. Twitter offers users ability to earn revenue


On the same day that Facebook announced their improved Offers platform, Twitter announced the expansion of their creator revenue programmes which was providing content creators with the ability to earn revenue from their tweets in multiple ways – namely through video with this update.

If you’re in the US, you should be able to choose whether or not pre-roll ads appear before your videos. Also, if you plan on making high-end video and partnering with brands, this will be available too. But for the most part, the new opportunities lie with pre-rolls.

Unfortunately, this isn’t all as easy as it sounds. To begin earning revenue you have to publish media on desktop via Media Studio, while if you’re publishing media you want to earn revenue from via your smartphone, you need to do it through the Twitter Engage app which a) is only available on iOS at present and b) isn’t available worldwide.

Nonetheless, soon we could all be making an extra buck via Twitter.


How do you think your business can benefit from these updates? Let us know in the comments below!


Want to learn more about social media marketing and use it to effectively reach your customers worldwide?

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Colm Hanratty

Written by Colm Hanratty

Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.

Topics: Social media insights

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