This week brought some major changes to the main social platforms. Stormy clouds are forming above brands on Facebook, Twitter just became more conversational, and WhatsApp hit 800 million monthly users. Grab your umbrella and read away.
Facebook News Feed Reprioritizes Your Real Friends Above Pages
- Facebook is reconfiguring News Feed to show content from close friends higher up, which may push posts from business Pages further down
- A few other tweaks include relaxing the limit on posts shown from a single friend to people with little content in the feed, and showing fewer stories about when a friend Liked or commented on a post so it can give more room to what you’re interested in
- Now the New York Times reports Facebook plans to test a way to host content from publishers in the coming months, with a potential ad revenue split
Are you breaking up with me???
Facebook is giving budgetless brands and publishers the slow fade. It seems like each new update reduces brands’ organic visibility on the platform. If this continues, small businesses will start abandoning the platform in droves–and the big brands will follow. As of now, brands are posting to the platform with more frequency to combat this decline in reach. We’ll see how this all shakes out, but there is some good news at least: with the new content hosting plan we can expect incredible new targeting abilities for ad placement.
Twitter Isn’t Afraid of Stranger Danger Anymore, So You Can Direct Message Anyone
- Twitter announced Monday that it is rolling out a new feature that will allow users to opt in on receiving direct messages from anyone on the site
- Users of the app will be able to see which accounts have opted in, thanks to a direct message button that will appear on the user’s profile
- One immediate concern that’s popped up since the new DM feature was announced is the possibility of spam
Excuse me, I’m a Nigerian prince…
For our community managers this is a sweet deal, it will streamline the whole customer service process if people opt into it. For your personal handle this might not be such a benefit, I still remember the lengthy messages people tried to scam me with on MySpace. It may be that boosting their messaging capabilities will help make Twitter a stronger platform, but my instinct is that if they continue to follow six months behind Facebook’s steps with most of their new feature developments they will lose much of what people appreciated about the platform in the first place.
WhatsApp Hits 800m Active Users, Could Top a Billion by Year’s End
- As of Friday the messaging app now has 800 million users globally. Having added 100 million since January, the service looks set to top a billion users by the end of the year
- Zuckerberg has said he expects WhatsApp to become an important revenue generator for his business as a whole, he won’t consider a serious money-making strategy till the service tops a billion users
- However, it’s not clear how WhatsApp will eventually generate income, as the founder has often voiced his reluctance at the idea of putting ads on the messaging service
It’s about putting the user experience first.
Part of what makes WhatsApp so great is its ability to mimic the default SMS apps–and you would be very mad if you got an ad in your iMessage app. With the time until 1BN users looking like no more than a few months, it’s clearly going to be a priority for Facebook to monetize soon. I imagine they will start charging businesses and brands a premium subscription fee for expanded services (much like how Venmo makes money), as WhatsApp is already becoming an important tool for publishers.