The latest social media updates are following summer’s cue and coming in hot! Facebook is giving users the chance to track just how much time they spend scrolling…while Instagram gets personal with the addition of Question Stickers in Stories. Snapchat wants to create an alliance between creators, marketers and users and LinkedIn’s new voice feature adds a flair to messaging. Read on to learn more about how these updates are shaping the social media realm.

Facebook Releases Activity-Tracking Feature

  • Facebook wants users to know how much time they are spending on the platform. In an effort to encourage users to spend time on positive and insightful engagement, Facebook developed an activity-tracking tool to give users the ability to track the amount of time spent scrolling through both Facebook and Instagram, who first proposed the concept in May. In collaboration with leading mental health experts, Facebook hopes this tool will better user experience and start conversation about healthy online habits. This feature can be accessed in the “Your Activity” on Facebook (and “Your Activity” on Instagram.) From there, users can set time limits, monitor their daily time spent on each app, and mute app notifications for specific periods of time.
  • What it means for brands: While this does not have a direct effect on brands and their advertising, it sparks a movement towards less time spent on screens and more time spent fostering meaningful relationships. With this, users could respond to the growing concerns surrounding too much browsing time and begin putting their phones down, resulting in even more competition for brands to reach users with their content. Additionally, this reiterates the need for brands to create content that users will stop and engage with.

(via WeRSM) 

Additional Sources: WeRSM, NBC News

Ask Away on Instagram

  • Instagram is letting users get to know each other better than ever before. With the recent addition of Question Stickers, followers can ask the questions they’ve always wanted to know. When a user adds this sticker to their story, followers can respond with any type of question. The user will then see the collection of questions and choose which ones to respond to by posting a complete Q & A sticker onto their story. Unlike Poll Stickers, followers can choose their own questions, instead of ones asked by a user, creating a more customized experience. This feature is like popular question features on other platforms such as AMA on Reddit, but Instagram is offering a more interactive take.
  • What it means for brands: Question Stickers provide brands with a great new opportunity to engage followers. The Stickers feel organic and allow for a flow of dialogue between user and follower. By utilizing this feature, brands pull their followers into the conversation and let them have a voice. This can make a brand seem more genuine and therefore, easier to connect with. Additionally, giving brands the ability to choose which questions they do/do not want to be seen on their story gives brands an added layer of safety. In short, brands will be able to have a candid experience with their customers and followers by using the open-ended question feature.

(via Fortune)

Additional Sources: Fortune, Later, Social Media Today

Snapchat Adds Custom Sticker Packs for Influencers

  • Snapchat is now working with creators to produce their own, individualized sticker packs on the app. The initiative was created to link Snapchat with top marketers to create vertical ads for the Discover and Vertical sections. Additionally, Snap wants to continue building connections and bolstering engagement between influencers and users. Stickers have gained widespread popularity across social platforms this year, specifically with Instagram stories. Now, on Snapchat, creators can distribute their own sticker packs that users can add to decorate and enhance their stories. This piggybacks off Snapchat’s recent “Storyteller” programs which connects brands with top creators and influencers. These creators will star on the Discover pages and lend creative direction to brands based on their expertise.
  • What it means for brands: Currently, this feature is only available to select content creators and influencers. However, brands can leverage these sticker packs when partnering with influencers for branded partnerships. Custom sticker packs could be used for influencers to share customized branded content, further amplifying the brand’s relevancy and appeal in each post that influencers share. Additionally, brands can learn valuable lessons about connecting and engaging with their audience from creators who have already had success doing so. The “Storyteller” initiative is not only beneficial, but educational as well!

(via Tubefilter)

Additional Sources: Digiday, Tubefilter, Social Media Today

LinkedIn Introduces Voice Messaging

  • LinkedIn has launched a new feature that allows users to send voice recordings in messages. Sending a voice message is easy: simply tap the microphone icon in the keyboard, then tap and hold the microphone in the circle to record your voice. If you second guess your message or want to re-record what you said, slide your finger away from the microphone, which will erase the previous recording and allow for a second try.
  • What it means for brands: “Voice” mail may seem like a blast from the past, but this feature provides many benefits for brands. Longer, more complex ideas are easier to send by speaking instead of typing. It is also easier to accurately understand the tone of the message, instead of it being lost or misconstrued through text. Additionally, instead of calling someone and risking the chance of missing them, voice messages will sit in an inbox, waiting to be read. This feature can provide tremendous assistance to recruiters looking to connect with potential candidates. If brands capitalize on this feature, they can communicate with users in a new, more personal way.

(via LinkedIn)

Additional Sources: Social Media Today, Fortune