Also, this month in social media news: LinkedIn adds a “Teammates” option to facilitate connections among colleagues, and Facebook is testing a Stories-like newsfeed.


Highlights:

  • Facebook is giving users increased access to what information advertisers have on them.
  • Instagram is considering joining Facebook in promoting communal video experiences.
  • LinkedIn’s “Teammates” feature helps users prioritize content from close connections.

This month in social media news, Facebook is continuing to combat user privacy concerns by introducing a tool to provide greater transparency about the content they see on their Newsfeeds, both from connections and from advertisers. The platform is also continuing to explore the Stories trend, as it conducts early-stage testing of a layout that resembles the Stories feature more than it does the existing Newsfeed.

Both Instagram and LinkedIn are promoting greater community among users. Instagram is testing a group video viewing option, joining Facebook’s Watch Party, introduced last year. LinkedIn is rolling out a feature which allows users to prioritize content from their closest connections. Read on for a round-up of social media news.

Facebook Introduces a Feature to Assist Users in Understanding the Context of Content Appearing on the Newsfeed

Having been embroiled in ongoing privacy-related scandals, Facebook is making users’ safety and comfort using the platform a priority. To that end, the company has announced that it will be giving users greater control over the content that appears on their Newsfeeds, through the “Why am I seeing this post?” feature.

Facebook has announced that it will be giving users greater control over the content that appears on their Newsfeeds, through the “Why am I seeing this post?” feature. Click To Tweet

In 2014, the social media giant launched its similar feature, “Why am I seeing this ad?” which was geared toward projecting transparency in the company’s embattled relationship with users and their advertising content. Facebook announced simultaneously that it will be “making improvements” to the older feature. The new “Why am I seeing this post?” feature aims to help users understand the context for what shows up in their Newsfeeds, and it also allows them to control and manage content.

Marketers should be aware that users will now be able to find out when their profile information matches with the information on an advertiser’s list, as well as when an advertiser “saves their personal information in their database and other details such as if they (the users) were targeted by the advertiser through another marketing partner of theirs (advertisers).”

Instagram Tests a Communal Video Viewing Option

Social media platforms are continuing to push the boundaries of social experiences that are possible for users not in physical proximity. Back in 2018, Facebook rolled out its “Watch Party” option, and now Instagram is exploring jumping on the bandwagon, testing a similar function in its app.

The feature would allow users to view video content on Instagram with a friend, while simultaneously seeing their reactions on screen, using the phone’s camera, in a split-screen view. Users can also apply face filters and other visual tools to the personal feed. Instagram and Facebook’s features are part of a larger trend toward “multi-participatory consumption.”

LinkedIn Adds a New “Teammates” Option to Maintain Connections Among Colleagues

In an ongoing attempt to boost on-platform engagement, LinkedIn has introduced a new feature called “Teammates.” It enables users to put a priority on updates from immediate connections, content with which LinkedIn has found that its users are 60% more likely to engage than more distant connections. As users place a priority on updates from teammates, it will appear higher in their feeds.

The network is pushing the feature as promoting community within the workplace: “95% of working professionals think it’s a good idea to have friends at work, and 63% say they have relationships with their co-workers outside the office. Based on a recent study we shared last month, having friends at work can also help you advance your career.”

Marketers should take note, since it’s not immediately clear what the impact of this feature will be on branded content. Nonetheless, it emphasizes the value of cultivating meaningful connections on the platform, as potential clients will be more likely to mark these types of connections as “teammates,” placing a higher priority on their content.

Facebook is Testing a Stories-Like Swipeable Newsfeed

Stories features across the social media landscape continue to grow in popularity. In keeping with the trend, Facebook is experimenting with a Newsfeed layout which allows users to side-scroll or swipe between posts in their feed, rather than scrolling down. This is a potential significant re-design for the platform, and points to the fact that the Stories trend is here to stay.

If Facebook adopts the design, it would merge Stories and Newsfeed content into a single stream. The network emphasized to TechCrunch that it is “in the very early stages of development,” and “still needs to conduct a lot more user research before any public experimentation can take place.”

Therefore, while it’s unlikely that a new Newsfeed is coming soon, what is clear is that social media platforms are experimenting with increasingly integrating Stories-style content into every aspect of the user experience.

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