Also in social media news, October 2018: Snapchat partners with Amazon on visual search tool, Google Plus is shutting down, and Instagram adds Quick Replies for business accounts.

With the arrival of Halloween, we know that the holidays are quickly approaching. Consumers will be busy making plans and diving into holiday specials. But social networks will also be hard at work trying to stand out against brick and mortar stores as an alternative for holiday preparations.

Businesses looking to gain traction during the holiday season will reap the benefits of social networks, which are including new features and updates that will help brands connect with new (and existing) users. Click To Tweet

Businesses looking to gain traction during the holiday season will reap the benefits of social networks, which are including new features and updates that will help brands connect with new (and existing) users. With a heavy focus on customer engagement, these new options help businesses stay connected with new features like Quick Replies on Instagram. These small but helpful updates will allow companies to have a greater reach without extra work for their marketers.

Here’s your social media news for October 2018.

Instagram founders leave Facebook

Kevin Systrom, CEO, and Mike Krieger, CTO, resigned from Instagram this week amidst rumors of tension with Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. “We’re planning on leaving Instagram to explore our curiosity and creativity again. Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do,” writes Systrom in a statement for Instagram. Bloomberg News reports that tension between co-founders grew over the direction of Instagram. These departures create an opportunity for Facebook to oversee Instagram more directly.

LinkedIn updates Groups

LinkedIn Groups now offer more engaged conversation tools including embedded videos, images, and updates to posts, alerts, and much more. “Over the past year, we’ve focused on bringing conversations to the forefront on LinkedIn, adding new features to make it easy for you to talk to your professional communities. The new Groups experience helps you take advantage of all these conversations tools with a seamless, faster experience so you can easily participate in your groups,” writes Mitali Pattnaik for LinkedIn’s blog. All groups are currently being updated with these features.

Snapchat Partners with Amazon on visual search tool

Snapchat users are going to have a new way to search for products on Amazon, one of the world’s biggest e-commerce corporations. Using the Snapchat app, users can point their camera at a product or barcode and, once recognized, a link will appear to that product (or a similar one) on Amazon. Though the update is currently only available to a small group of users, Snapchat is hoping to roll out the new feature to all users shortly.

Instagram rolls out Quick Replies for business accounts in direct messenger

Instagram introduced Quick Replies for business accounts in direct messenger this month. The new feature allows businesses to create quick responses to frequently asked questions, like shipping rates and contact information. Quick Replies will help businesses communicate quickly and efficiently with users. Instagram tested the new functionality back in May, but just made the update available on all devices and the web.

Google Plus shuts down

Google Plus, Google’s social network, is shutting down for good after a security breach that exposed up to 500,000 users between 2015 and 2018. Ben Smith, Google’s vice president of engineering, acknowledged that Google detected a security issue back in March, but immediately addressed it. In a blog post on October 8, Smith writes, “A review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers’ expectations. Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we decided to sunset the consumer version of Google+. “

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