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January 2021 Social Media Roundup

2020 has been the worst year on record. We would all love to put the horrors behind us and start off on the right foot. Luckily, January is considered the month for fresh starts, creativity, and rebirth.

Social media platforms seem to have taken this advice and run with it this month. A lot has happened in the digital tech world, and we are here to discuss it. There have been some recent updates to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Stay informed with this rundown of the new social media developments in January.


Regulations


The theme for the start of the year seems to be social media’s crackdown on what users can post on their platforms. Here’s how these social media platforms updated their regulation policies in time for the new year.


Twitter


Twitter permanently suspended Donald Trump on the platform after the U.S. Capitol Siege on January 6th. The company cited that Trump violated Twitter’s policies by using the platform to incite violence.


Twitter has also removed hundreds of racist, anti-Semitic, and other bigotry accounts that spread misleading information on its platform.


Facebook


Joining Instagram and Twitter, Facebook removed Trump indefinitely from its platform after the January 6th attacks.


Additionally, the platform’s AI technology helped identify and remove billion of fake accounts on Facebook. Similarly, they have removed the accounts of hundreds of militarized social groups on the company’s platform.


Data Privacy


Consumer distrust toward social media is growing. As a result, many prominent platforms promise their customers to be more transparent about data policies.


Facebook


Facebook has revamped its ‘Access Your Information’ tool to better break down and explain its data usage practices. This new update falls in line with its commitment to provide its users with more transparency in their data sharing policies. At present, the updated tool is available for iOS and Android users only.


This update includes eight additional categories for users to access information:

  1. Your Activity Across Facebook

  2. Friends and Followers

  3. Preferences

  4. Personal Information

  5. Logged Information

  6. Ads Information

  7. Apps and Websites Off of Facebook

  8. Security Information

Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp announced its intentions to push back its own privacy update. This comes after consumer backlash surrounding the possibility for businesses to interact with users through the platform. Users who did not accept the new privacy terms would no longer have access to their own accounts.


Many users have now flocked to other messaging apps such as Signal and Telegram. The apps are similar to WhatsApp and offer encrypted software to ensure that data is not shared with other platforms.


New Layouts


Facebook


Facebook has changed the ways users interact with its service’s platform. Its new page layout provides users with a new redesigned and streamlined look that is easier to use. Here are some significant elements of the recent update:

  • New admin controls

  • A Question and Answer page

  • Easier Navigation Between pages

  • No like button on company’s page

  • A dedicated “Pages News Feed” to enable users to discover more relevant content

  • Important content and bios are now more visible.

Instagram


Instagram announced the launch of a new ‘Professional Dashboard’ feature. The feature consolidates all of Instagram’s tools like Branded Content, badges, Instagram shop and brings them together in one central place. This new service launch provides businesses an easier way to track their performance and leverage and monetize their business.


Pinterest


The platform is conducting tests to add a “New Stories Panel” at the top of users’ feeds. The feature allows users to connect with other creators that have similar interests to them. Unlike other platforms that use the ephemeral Stories model, Pinterest’s story pins will not disappear. This beta version was launched in early January for some creators. It is not decided when the feature will be available to all creators on the platform.

Ad Targeting


Apple’s iOs 14 update might spell trouble for small businesses. Because of the company’s new App Tracking Transparency framework, users can now consent to be tracked by third party sites. This opt-in feature could be detrimental to small businesses that rely on personalized ads to target customers.


Still, we see many social media platforms are not letting this hurdle prevent them from facilitating businesses’ ad targeting experience.


Pinterest


Pinterest is launching a new, automated ad creation process. This launch will allow advertisers to efficiently identify their targeted audience and send them personalized, tailored ads.


LinkedIn


Linkedin announced an update to its educational ad services. This update aims to teach marketers the necessary tools to advertise on Linkedin. The courses run for approximately 45 minutes each. Furthermore, they are available for any marketers regardless of experience.


Facebook


Facebook announced an update to its visual recognition tools to make app functionality more accessible to visually impaired users. The update provides an alternate text feature and makes it possible to include information about the positional location and relative size of elements in a photo.


The feature has a hidden benefit for Facebook advertisers, as it can enhance ad targeting on the platform. For example, the platform can help them reach users interested in tea by targeting individuals who’ve regularly posted images of teacups or tea shops.

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