This week in social media platform changes

I missed last week, so technically you’re getting TWO weeks of social media platform changes! Aren’t you lucky.
  1. The big news is that Twitter will stop counting photos and links in the 140-character limit. This is unconfirmed by Twitter, but looks to be in line with CEO Jack Dorsey’s plan to make the platform easier to use.
  2. Rumor has it Snapchat will introduce an algorithm. How would that even work? Regardless, this change would mean that 1-to-many social platforms will pretty much universally surface content by algorithm, an important shift in the future reach of your content.
  3. Instagram has a new logo – and apparently analytics are on their way! With Instagram Insights, publishers will be able to see follower counts, top locations, gender and age data.
  4. The WSJ and Digiday this week reported on a shift away from Vine: More than half of Vine stars with over 15,000 followers have left the platform since January 1.
  5. Tumblr Labs is a new program that lets early adopters test experimental features.
  6. A NewsWhip study reported on how people are using Facebook's Reactions on major Pages. Bottom line, use is not widespread yet, but news orgs that ask for feedback or opinions get more reactions. The study also found that Instant Articles attracted 5.5x more comments than regular link posts.
  7. Twitter cuts of access to its firehose (via Dataminr) by US spy agencies, who were using the service to monitor warnings of terror attacks and other unlawful activity.
  8. Periscope adds new features: Streams from drones, save broadcasts forever (currently they expire after 24 hours), new search by topic and sharing features to enhance discoverability.
  9. Instagram is now on Facebook's Audience Network, allowing Dynamic Ads. Among other things, Instagram can now serve you ads of a product you’ve abandoned in a shopping cart off-network.
  10. Facebook adds new options to its Website Custom Audiences targeting: Not only can you now retarget people who visit your site using Facebook ads, but now you can retarget based how much time someone spent on the site.
  11. Be careful that your sponsor visibility is in compliance with the new branded content policy on Facebook: Last week Mic.com found out that their "custom" video solution displaying banners on video are NOT allowed.
  12. Facebook's new "360 Photos" feature (not yet released) will allow you to upload panoramas (like you take on your iPhone) and turn them into 360-degree images that you can hold and drag to pan. (Or move your head around to view, if you have a VR headset.)
  13. YouTube introduces a messaging feature (now in beta) that allows you to message clips directly to friends, without copying and pasting URLs into emails, texts, apps, IMs, etc.
  14. You can now use Slack to sign on to work apps and sites.
  15. Facebook @ Work launches for 450 beta partners. Users get a separate account for work, with none of their personal Facebook friends or messages mixed in with their professional identity - although you can toggle between work and personal Facebook.
  16. WhatsApp launches a desktop app.
  17. Instagram will soon launch Pages for businesses, adding a "contact" button and location info to profiles.
  18. Instagram video carousel ads are coming. (Max length of videos: 60 seconds)
  19. The List App is now at 150,000 users. Last week it was rebranded to be called li.st, with an Android app and web launch soon. #Meta
  20. LinkedIn ups its game with “ProFinder,” that matches customers with freelance project or ongoing service needs to those qualified for the job.
  21. Amazon launches Video Direct, open to any video creator, where content can be made available to Prime Video subscribers, sold through Amazon’s streaming partners, streamed for free with ads, or rented. This move puts Amazon in direct competition with YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo.