24 Major Updates From Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, & Viber

Social network updates from the week - Facebook wants NewsFeed to be the go to source for news, Viber brings encrypted chat, Quora starts testing ads, Twitter launches First View in APAC, and more


1. Facebook is tweaking the News Feed to show articles you’ll actually read: Facebook has announced yet another tweak to the News Feed, this time tracking how long you spend looking at an Instant Article or post within the mobile app.

2. Google Analytics’ mobile app gets a major upgrade on iOS & Android: Google Analytics has released a significant upgrade of its mobile apps. The new app — version 3.0 — is available now for both Android and iOS and works in all countries where Google Analytics is available.

3. Facebook glitch causes pages to automatically like their own posts: Publisher and brand administrators overseeing their Facebook pages have noticed a pesky glitch that automatically likes posts from their own account. More annoyingly, they complain, is that the bug also blocks them from “unliking” the posts.

4. Publishers find Google’s AMP speeds up pages, but ads are still slow: The mobile web is getting faster thanks to Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages scheme, and it’s about to get faster still. AMP articles now appears within Google News, giving media companies another high-traffic channel for speedier content delivery. But publisher complaints about slow loading ads have yet to be resolved.

5. Medium raises another $50M: Medium, the online publishing platform led by Twitter co-founder Ev Williams, just announced that it has raised $50 million in Series C funding.

6. Snapchatters on iOS can now swap faces with pictures on their phone: Face swapping has to be one of the creepiest, most popular Snapchat trends of 2016, but until now, users haven’t easily been able to tell just what they’d look like with Taylor Swift’s face. With its latest iOS update, released Thursday, Snapchat will now allow you to face swap with a photo from your phone’s camera roll, meaning all those celebrity screen shots will be good for something.

7. Twitter launches First View in APAC: Twitter introduced First View in Asia Pacific which helps marketers achieve significant audience reach with exclusive ownership of Twitter’s ‘most valuable advertising real estate’ for a 24-hour period. When users first visit the Twitter app or log in to twitter.com, the top ad slot in the timelines will be a Promoted Video from that brand.

8. Hootsuite launches video integration for social media: Hootsuite launched video integrationswith YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Now organisations can easily manage their videos from a single platform, reducing complexity and increasing reach across social channels to improve engagement with customers.

9. You can finally make group calls with Facebook Messenger: If you use Facebook Messenger to make voice calls often, this new feature is for you. Today the company launched group calling worldwide for both iOS and Android, making Messenger really all you need for your calling needs.

10. AMP Articles Get Prime Real Estate in Google News: Accelerated mobile pages, more commonly known as AMP, will now be featured in Google’s News section, the company said Wednesday. The move was inevitable following AMP’s launch in late February.

11. You can now play podcasts from within Google search results on Android: The search company’s introducing a new feature for the Google app on Android that lets you find and listen to podcast episodes from directly within search results.

12. Insightpool adds Facebook Topic Data to its Audience Insights product: Insightpool has announced the addition of Facebook Topic Data to Audience Insights, a new module in its social media marketing platform. Like others before it, Insightpool’s topic data comes via a deal with DataSift, the company that Facebook partnered with last year to open up its data firehose to select marketers.

13. Facebook adds TRP buying features for brands extending TV ads to mobile: On Tuesday,Facebook added two new features to TRP (target rating point) buying to help make it easier for advertisers to extend their TV ad buys to Facebook and Instagram. Advertisers can now tap US Nielsen DMA Targeting and Dayparts for video campaign targeting on the social networks.

14. Google attacks TV, saying YouTube ads generate a better return on investment most of the time: Google is once again directly targeting TV advertising budgets by saying YouTube ads generate a better return on investment than TV commercials most of the time.

15. Quora begins testing ads on ‘small number’ of question pages: Quora has started looking at what ads would look like on the question-and-answer service. The company is running what it calls an “experimental pilot” (basically it’s in beta) where ads from Lever, Uber, Wealthfront, and Sunrun will appear on a small number of question pages.

16. Viber brings encrypted chats to its 700 million users: Popular messaging app Viber is rolling out end-to-end encryption across all of its apps on Android, iOS, PC and Mac. The feature, which the company says will roll out “over the coming weeks” will bring encryption to its more than 700 million users. The new update is coming as part of Viber 6.0, and all users who are using Viber 6.0 or higher will be protected by end-to-end encryption.

17. Snapchat under fire for ‘racist’ Bob Marley filter: Today is April 20 (also known as 420), a date of special significance for people who enjoy cannabis in any of its forms. Snapchat, which has a new selection of face-altering filters every day, jumped on the bandwagon by offering a “Bob Marley” filter. The problem? A lot of people think the filter is offensive and racist.

18. Line introduces messaging app concierge to compete against Facebook, Wechat: Japanese chat app Line is set to launch an artificial intelligence concierge service, similar to Facebook Messenger’s M, according to Financial Times. The new service will use AI processes to augment chat bots so they can better respond to user requests.

19. Facebook considers letting users add a tip jar to make money from posts: Facebook isexploring new ways for individual users to profit from their posts on the network, The Verge has learned. A user survey distributed this week hints at a broad range of ways that users could make money or promote a cause, including a tip jar, branded content, and taking a cut of the ad revenue Facebook earns from posts.

20. Facebook Partners With 3 Companies to Improve Its Verification of Ad Metrics: In a blog post published today, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company said it’s adding Nielsen, Integral Ad Science and comScore to the list of choices advertisers have when looking for an outside perspective to measure the effectiveness of their photo and video ads on the social media platform.

21. LinkedIn goes back to school with a new app for job-seeking students: Today, the career-oriented social network is launching a standalone app, LinkedIn Students that helps them land a job. The purpose to help soothe their job-hunting anxieties and surface suggested jobs based on its algorithm of the users’ preferences and college alumni connections.

22. Twitter Is Making It Easier for Big Brands to Target Smaller Groups: Twitter is adding sublayers to ad campaigns, making it easier for larger brands to better target and monitor advertising on the social media platform.

23. Brands Can Now Create Interactive Video Campaigns on Facebook and Instagram: Online rollover ads that let consumers move their mouse over a video promo to access more information about a brand have been a boon for publishers looking to make their videos a bit more interactive for consumers. Now, those video formats are coming to Facebook and Instagram.

24. Facebook wants to make the News Feed your go-to source for news: Your Facebook feed is about to get a whole lot more news-focused, if these screenshots are anything to go by. It seems as though Facebook is testing a revised News Feed that could be its biggest change since the social media service was first launched. A screenshot from Twitter user @tomcritchlow shows the mobile layout for the changes, highlighting news topics at the bottom of the screen, including World & U.S., Sports, and Food. Presumably, the default section is the News Feed we know and love today.