By following the launches and updates of social media platforms, merchants can discover new ways to reach customers and prospects.
Here is a list of recent updates from social media platforms. There are tools for interactive video, customer service, analytics, artificial intelligence, visual search, and shoppable images.
AI and merchant deals in Marketplace. Facebook has introduced new features that use artificial intelligence for price range suggestions and auto-categorization. Facebook is testing camera features for using AI to suggest items users could be interested in. Also, Facebook has added a variety of content from businesses, including cars, home rentals, and home services, as well as shopping and deals from ecommerce merchants.
Premieres for interactive video. Facebook has launched Premieres, a new interactive video format that lets publishers and creators release a pre-recorded video as a live moment so that fans can interact and experience new videos together. Users can schedule a Premiere a week in advance. This creates a post about an upcoming video and a place you can point fans to. Facebook has also launched video polls to all pages. Polls are now available on live videos and videos on demand through the Live API and publishing tools.
Facebook Groups and 250-person chat rooms. Facebook is rolling out the ability for Facebook Groups members to launch group chats that up to 250 members can join. Members can also start audio or video calls with up to 50 members.
Apps for Analytics. For iOS and Android, the Facebook Analytics app enables you and your team to stay on top of your growth, engagement, and monetization efforts on the go. This is a companion app to your Facebook Analytics web product.
New features for Facebook Workplace. At its Flow 2018 conference, Facebook announced several new features for its Workplace platform for businesses, including the ability for people who are in multi-company groups to work together using Workplace Chat. Also, Facebook Workplace has added algorithmic sorting and Safety Check to monitor the security of employees.
Shopping in Instagram Stories and Explore. In early 2018, Instagram began to expand its shopping features. Now, all business approved for shopping on Instagram have access to shopping in Stories. Businesses can add product stickers in stories, so they can easily integrate products into their Stories’ content. Instagram is also testing a topic channel for shopping in Explore. The shopping channel will be based on each user’s shopping interests and will display shopping posts from a variety of businesses that users may like, giving them the opportunity to discover new businesses.
Instagram Analytics. Facebook Analytics has now added Instagram account analytics, as well as advanced page analytics, to see how content and channel strategies are driving business results. Discover whether people who comment on or like Instagram posts have higher retention rates. Compare the lifetime value of people who interact with your Instagram account to those who don’t.
Nametag. To make connecting and sharing with friends even easier, Instagram has launched “nametag,” an easy way to add friends in person. A nametag is a customizable identification card that allows people to find your Instagram profile when it’s scanned.
New ways to shop. Pinterest has debuted several new commerce solutions, such as its Lens camera for product search. In October, Pinterest launched new shoppable product pins with up-to-date pricing and stock information, with links to the checkout page on the retailer’s site. Also, a new shopping recommendations section can now be found beneath style and home pins to browse similar items across multiple brands.
Promoted Carousel. With this new ad format, businesses and brands can use up to five images within one ad to tell stories on Pinterest. Present a product’s numerous features, drive additional purchases by showing multiple items in a pin, or increase awareness with a multi-image brand story.
New measurement solutions. Pinterest has announced new partnerships with Oracle Data Cloud’s Moat Measurement for viewability and NinthDecimal for foot traffic. Moat Measurement will help marketers see the impact of a visual-first platform, and NinthDecimal analyzes ad impressions and corresponding foot traffic.
New features in Google My Business app. Google has revamped its My Business app. It now features a new “customers” tab for businesses to see followers, reviews, and messages in one place. A new “for you” tab displays posts from businesses a user follows. Users can also use the message button on Google Maps and Google Search to reach out directly to businesses, which in turn can respond directly via the app.
New follow features in Maps. Users can now follow places right from the app. Once you’ve followed a place, news from it — events, offers, other updates — will appear in the “for you” tab. If users prefer to find out about new businesses, they’ll start seeing profiles for places before they even open on Google Maps for Android and mobile search.
AMP Project opens model. Google is changing to an open governance model for the Accelerated Mobile Pages project. The open-source change will encourage a wider variety of voices at all levels of participation, including code contributions. It should also increase the pace of development and adoption of AMP for businesses.
Snap rolls out visual search. Snap has launched visual search, to search for products on Amazon right from the Snapchat camera. Point the camera at a physical product or barcode, and press and hold on the camera screen. When the item or barcode is recognized, an Amazon card will appear on-screen, surfacing a link for that product or similar ones available on Amazon.
Snap Camera for Lenses. Snap has launched Snap Camera, a free desktop application that invites users to experience the fun of Lenses while using their computer. Choose from thousands of Lenses, including classics made by Snapchat as well as new designs created daily by the Lens Creator community through Lens Studio.
Periscope introduces chat moderators. Periscope, the live streaming app, now allows users to assign chat moderators to monitor comments and mute audience members. When one of your moderators mutes someone in your audience, they will not be able to chat for the remainder of your broadcast. At the end of the broadcast, see a list of the muted viewers, and choose to block them from joining future broadcasts.
Weebly updates ecommerce tools. Ecommerce and marketing website platform Weebly has released an updated suite of ecommerce tools with expanded social features. With Facebook Messenger now embedded into Weebly sites, you can rapidly reply from any device to inbound questions about products and approve customer reviews from mobile the moment they are submitted.
Skype adds call recording. Skype has introduced call recording to record meetings with your colleagues or capture special moments with friends and family. As soon as you start recording, everyone in the call is notified that the call is being recorded. If you are on a video call, Skype will record everyone’s video as well as any screens shared during the call. After the call, you can save and share the recorded call for the next 30 days.