Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!
Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from March 2015:
Facebook Messenger allows payments
Facebook’s standalone app for messaging, Messenger, has introduced the ability for users to tie their debit cards to their Facebook accounts in order to send money to peers through messaging. Money sent through Messenger is transferred to Facebook before the network sends it along to the user’s bank. Peer-to-peer payment apps like Venmo and Square already exist, but this new functionality is novel as many users are already using Messenger to have conversations that culminate in payments which they could not do through the network. Facebook has combined both the organization and payment for events, trips and other peer-to-peer payments.
Twitter strikes deal with Foursquare
Twitter recently announced its partnership with Foursquare to allow users to include their location in tweets. Users can include location in tweets now, but the new Foursquare partnership would allow users to be more specific in their locations. Foursquare exists now to allow users to recommend restaurants and other venues based on preferences and location, and Twitter is eager to access that data and leverage it on its own network. Twitter’s goal is to use Foursquare information to be proactive with recommendations and location data, which is a big move for both companies.
Instagram introduces new standalone app
Avid Instagram users will be excited to know that the popular photo-sharing network has added its own photo collage app, Layout. Instagram’s own data suggests that one in five active Instagram users already use third-party collage apps like PicStitch, so a new app that allows users to create those photo collages is a natural fit for the social network. Layout is the third mobile app in Instagram’s portfolio, with Hyperlapse released in August 2014 to allow users to create short, image-stabilized time lapse videos.
Google+ splits into Photos and Streams
Google’s VP of Product Bradley Horowitz has officially announced that Google+ will be splitting into two separate products, Google Photos and Google Streams. The Photos product, as you may have already deduced, will focus solely on photo-sharing, while the Streams product will focus on the social layer of Google+ by allowing users to see posts in a stream. This change is a huge update for Google+, which may cease to exist as a product completely. Google’s video-conferencing service, Hangouts, will continue to exist as its own product with reinvigorated goals moving forward.
- Customer segmentation is huge in social media. The mobile revolution has forced social networks to focus their efforts on different customer segments based on usage – integrated features of social networks are becoming their own “products.” Instagram recognized the need to help users edit photos even before they use the app, and Google+ is recognizing that some users use the social network for photos while others use it for social interaction. By addressing the different needs through separate products, social networks are better able to address those needs. Think about how your business can focus on certain segments in order to better serve the individuals in those segments.
- Social networks are never truly dead. Foursquare is a social network that hasn’t been heard from for several years, but its deal with Twitter indicates a big comeback. Google+ is pivoting to where the current network may no longer exist, but that doesn’t mean it’s ready to leave the social media game completely. Don’t rule out any networks – be ready for whatever comes next.
- Social networks are continuing to serve outside functions. You can now make payments through Facebook’s Messenger, which is a big move for the social network. Even though the ability to make payments is not thought of as a feature for social media, it’s a natural fit that meets the needs of the people actually using Facebook. Think about how your business could potentially meet the needs of more customers by expanding to features you may not have considered before.