Things are constantly changing in the social media world. It can be hard to keep up with all of the latest features and policy changes, so we’ve made it easy for you to stay up to date by creating a monthly roundup of what’s new on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.
This month, Facebook extended its Stories feature and added new ways for you to share your favorite posts and life events with friends and family. Meanwhile, Instagram underwent (and then quickly reversed) some controversial formatting changes, and Twitter brought back chronological timelines for good.
Read on for more noteworthy social media changes that happened in December 2018.
If sharing Stories on Facebook’s main timeline or on your Facebook Business Page isn’t enough for you, you can now add stories in Facebook Groups! The social media platform launched the feature worldwide this month, allowing users to “contribute to a collaborative story” within one group. You can add to a Group’s story by using your camera roll and, as with other Stories, you will be able to add effects, stickers, text, and more to your Group Stories.
Have you been looking for an eye-catching way to announce your big life events to your friends on social media? Well, Facebook’s got you covered. This month, Facebook introduced new features to spice up your life-events announcements, including the new ability to add animated photos and videos to life events like changes in your city, job, school, or relationship status. If you don’t have your own photos to share, you can make use of Facebook’s photo library or share photos from the people or Pages you tag in your post.
This month, Facebook also expanded their collections feature. Through this feature, you can save posts from your friends or Pages and organize them into collections by clicking the “save post” option under the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the post. You can also share your collections of saved content with friends and family members of your choice.
If you’re ever in the mood to speak—not type—to your friends, then be sure to check out Instagram’s new voice messaging feature! This feature allows users to record voice messages when sending a Direct Message by pressing on the microphone icon and recording their message. But beware—once you let go of the icon, your message will automatically send!
New Stories Features
This month, Instagram added new stickers to their Stories to help make the feature even more interactive. Among those is the new countdown sticker, which serves as a countdown timer to remind viewers about your upcoming events. Another new feature is the music reply button, through which you can recommend and receive recommendations of songs from viewers, who can also attach the song using Instagram’s music library.
A Not-So-New Look
Instagram made waves this month when it tested a new way of formatting its feeds. In the test, Instagram switched the way users navigate their timelines, swapping out the usual vertical scrolling for horizontal swiping and tapping. This change received negative feedback from users all over the Internet, and Instagram later reversed the test and returned the newsfeed to its previous style.
Your Twitter followers are about to learn a little bit more about you. Twitter recently re-adda feature they removed back in 2012—a feature that lists what platform you’re tweeting from. This new information will show up beside the date and time of the published tweet, showcasing whether you tweeted from iOS, an Android App, or a third-party application like TweetDeck or Hootsuite.
The chronological timeline is here to stay! After testing out the return of the chronological timeline a couple months ago, Twitter has officially rolled out the feature to all users. Now, through a “toggle dressed as a sparkle icon” above your timeline, you can choose whether you want your timeline ordered chronologically or by relevancy. This feature has been fully rolled out on Apple platforms and will be coming to Twitter’s Android app in the coming months.
That’s it for now! We’ll be back next month with more social media updates. In the meantime, you can find our full Social Media Changes Report for December 2018 on AdvisorU.