10 Major Updates From Facebook, Medium, WhatsApp, & Kik

Social network news of the week - Facebook is priming the pump for brands to go big on Messenger, Pinterest opens up Promoted Pins for UK, Facebook expands Live video, and more

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1. Facebook Said to Face Decline in People Posting Personal Content: Facebook is working to combat a decline in people sharing original, personal content, the fuel that helps power the money machine at the heart of its social network, according to people familiar with the matter. Overall sharing has remained “strong,” according to Facebook. However, people have been less willing to post updates about their lives as their lists of friends grow, the people said.

2. Facebook Messenger has new ways for brands to meet its 900 million users: Facebook is priming the pump for brands to go big on Messenger. A week before Facebook is expected to announce ads in its messaging service, the social network is rolling out new ways for brands to get in front of the now 900 million people who use Messenger each month.

3. Native advtg will be majority of mobile by 2020: FB study: With the growth of mobile as a medium faster than any other in the last four years, advertising formats on the medium have also grown. Unlike the borrowed banner ad format from desktops, native advertising has shown the most astounding growth rate and has been the most successful for marketers. This was highlighted in a new research study conducted by global business analyst IHS Technology and commissioned by Facebook’s Audience Network.

4. Facebook expands Live video, will put it front and center in mobile app: The company announced a set of new features to Facebook Live and, more importantly, says it’ll make Live one of the primary tabs in its mobile app — replacing the Messages icon. That Facebook would put Live video right alongside News Feed, Friend Requests and Notifications tells you how committed the company is to winning the live battle it’s fighting with Twitter/Periscope.

5. Medium wants to be publishers’ digital printing press, too: On Tuesday, the almost four-year-old blogging platform created by Blogger and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams announced a new set of tools for publishers looking to abandon their online homes and lease some space on Medium. Basically Medium wants to be the new WordPress with a mix of Facebook and Twitter.

6. WhatsApp completes full encryption: Messaging platform WhatsApp has been mostly encrypted for months. Yet today, according to a blog post by the company, the final phase of full encryption has been completed.

7. LinkedIn opens first data centre outside of the US in Singapore: LinkedIn unveiled its first data centre outside of the US, in Singapore. The new data centre, spanning 23,500 square feet in Jurong, is one of six data centres for LinkedIn globally. LinkedIn has invested SGD 80 million so far in the new data centre, which was established to enhance the experience for the fast-growing base of LinkedIn members and clients across the Asia Pacific region.

8. Pinterest opens up Promoted Pins for UK advertisers, with John Lewis and Made.com among launch partners: Pinterest’s Promoted Pins ad format has landed in the UK, with brands like John Lewis, Made.com, B&Q and Tesco announced as early launch partners. The visual bookmarking tool, which allows users to curate and share images and ideas via an online scrapbook of ‘Pins’, made the announcement today (6 April).

9. Facebook Can Now Tell Blind Users About the Pictures in Their News Feeds: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted this morning that the social network now offers blind people audio descriptions of images. The company is leveraging its artificial intelligence technology to power “screen readers” that scan news feeds and describe the content.

10. Kik Is Launching a Shop for Users to Interact With Chatbots From Brands: Starting today, Kik’s Bot Shop will begin allowing users to download bots for entertainment, customer service and shopping. Developers will also be able to access the platform through Kik’s open API, allowing third parties to build bots on behalf of brands that want to try out the emerging space that some say is the best thing since the invention of mobile apps.