Engagement continues to be a hot topic for social media platforms, and algorithm updates are directly changing how posts receive engagement. LinkedIn shared an algorithm update, and Instagram is adding a new feature to create moving Stories. YouTube is testing hiding comments on all videos, and Twitter is removing its precise location tagging feature.
LinkedIn Announced an Algorithm Update
- LinkedIn announced that algorithm changes made within the past 8 to 12 months will favor niche personal interests moving forward. An internal review of who was posting content and receiving the highest engagement showed that only the top 1% of users were being seen on the feed. As a result, LinkedIn modified its algorithm to reward content that is most likely to be engaged with, no matter how niche the topic is, rather than content that is going viral. This includes the people a user follows, content they have previously engaged with, and interests they state in their profile.
- What this means for brands: Brands can benefit from this update as it provides insight into what their competitors are doing on LinkedIn and how they’re utilizing LinkedIn ads. Having a view into what other healthcare brands are promoting could be helpful for a brand in forming social strategies. This information could inspire a new creative direction for a disease education campaign or help form corporate messaging surrounding a press release at a medical meeting. LinkedIn’s algorithm update allows topics as niche as a rare blood disease to gain engagement with the right audiences. Based on the topics users follow, the people they follow and the companies they track, LinkedIn is able to connect users to content they want to see. Additionally, healthcare brands can see how their competitors or others within the space are speaking to their audiences/viewers.
Instagram Plans to Add a Stop-Motion Feature to Stories
- Instagram plans to add a stop-motion feature to Stories, providing users with another option to create engaging video updates without having to record any actual videos. The new feature will ‘ghost’ the frame – meaning a series of animated objects at frames behind or ahead of the current frame will be captured with the previous photo to create the stop-motion effect. This is intended for use with a mobile phone camera on a tripod or stable surface, as the image must be stable for the next movement to translate. The final product is a ‘video’ that shows a product, person or object in motion. Instagram has not yet released a launch date for this feature, which is currently in development.
- What this means for brands: Brands will have the ability to supplement traditional video content with stop-motion videos. Creating stop-motion stories adds engaging movement to posts without adding more time and budget, and is an efficient and accessible way for brands to add flare to their Stories. Healthcare brands could use this feature for an FDA drug approval announcement; the image can display the product but will be more engaging with the stop-motion feature in use. Healthcare brands also could utilize this feature during a medical meeting for visually interesting onsite content.
Instagram’s new Stopmotion Story Camera Mode hands-on demo pic.twitter.com/AoICLYLzOd
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) June 22, 2019
YouTube is Testing Hidden Comments by Default on all Videos
- In June, YouTube announced that it is testing hiding comments by default on all videos. This is likely in response to reports of inappropriate behavior occurring in YouTube videos. Users would have to physically tap the ‘comments’ button to view the comments under each video in the app. This feature is currently being tested for Android users in India, but will be added to IOS soon. Data from this test has not been released, and YouTube has not confirmed if it will test it in other parts of the world.
- What this means for brands: Comments boost engagement and are rewarded on YouTube. Although users may still leave comments, YouTube hopes that hiding comments by default on all videos will detract from users leaving negative comments. Many healthcare brands manually turn off the comments for branded YouTube videos to prevent the sharing of misinformation and to avoid negative backlash. This could be a step in the right direction to avoid having to turn off comments altogether.
Twitter is Removing Precise Location Tagging
- Twitter is removing its precise location tagging feature due to a lack of use. According to the social media platform, users can still tag their location, but removing this feature will make the tweeting experience easier. While Twitter initially thought that precise location tagging would be used to organize topics, similar to the use of hashtags, users have instead chosen to follow trending topics and hashtags. The precise location tagging feature will still be available for photos but will have to be manually implemented. Location can be shared through third-party apps such as Foursquare.
- What this means for brands: This change will not affect brands negatively as they can still tag a location but will need to do so through a third-party app such as Foursquare. The precise location feature is useful for on-the-ground content, such as tweeting from a medical meeting, and when a KOL or KOI is representing a brand at an event and live tweeting from that event. Healthcare brands will need to consider how to implement location tagging at larger events such as ASCO or ESMO annual meetings. While this change will not affect page views or follower count, it could impact the physical visibility of a post when creating live content. Brands should continue to leverage hashtags and keywords relative to the topic they are covering so they remain visible on Twitter and users can find their content.
Facebook and TikTok Are the Top Two Most Downloaded Social Media Apps
- Facebook and TikTok secured the top two spots for social media app downloads in May, according to the latest App Download Rankings for 2019. While Facebook is not a surprise, newcomer TikTok is. This app is only a little over a year old but has already amassed 1 billion downloads since its inception. In late June, TikTok announced that it would open its advertising to users. While TikTok does not have broad paid advertising options yet, brands are already creating individual accounts and activating ads through the app, and broader paid advertising is expected to be coming soon.
- What this means for brands: TikTok presents a new opportunity to extend advertising reach. Two-thirds of all app downloads are by people under age 30. For healthcare brands, TikTok is a great way to reach a younger demographic of individuals age 18 to 30 for future campaigns and an important opportunity to share more short-form video content. Creatives will have the ability to get a message across in a video up to 60 seconds long. Additionally, the fact that Facebook was in the top two spots means it isn’t going away, so brands must continue prioritizing this social media platform for both organic and dark ads.