Enjoying the actual summer we seem to be having? We’re loving it – despite the muggy sleepless nights! Enough of that, let’s get on with this month’s round up…

Firstly – wow! How many updates Instagram? It’s been a busy month for grammers, and if you’ve missed any of it this round up should catch you up, alongside a few other bits from Facebook and Twitter.

But before we get there, if you didn’t make it to our Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce bite-sized session on measuring what matters we’ve got good news for you – we have other extended sessions planned. Drop us a line to find out more.

Right, on to the good stuff…

Instagram news

There’s so much to talk about, let’s start with the biggest update – IGTV. On Wednesday 20th June, Instagram made two big announcements – that they are now a global community of one billion, and secondly that they were launching Instagram TV (IGTV), a new app for watching long-form, vertical video.

It’s a genius move. Mobile phones are where we consume so much content, but so far long form video (published on places like YouTube) has been created in a format designed for TV and desktop screens, not for the way we hold our phones. We’ve seen vertical video becoming more and more popular with Snapchat and Instagram Stories, but they’ve been limited; IGTV aims to open up the format for creators and businesses alike, allowing users to upload up to 10 minutes of video.

It’s going to be an interesting place for episodic content from your favourite Instagram accounts. We’re looking to create a monthly IGTV version of this email. How could you use this new medium? Tips? News? Fun skits?

If we were to talk about each Instagram update in length we’d have no room for anything else so, here’s a summary of them:

  • @mention in Stories:When someone mentions you in their story, you can now share that photo or video into your own story.
  • Video Chat in Instagram Direct: Now, you can video chat in Instagram Direct, either with just one person or a group.
  • Topic Channels on Explore: Over 200 million people visit Explore every day to discover new ideas and find inspiration. Now it’s even easier to browse through posts you want to see and accounts you want to follow.
  • New Camera Effects: New camera effects designed by Ariana Grande, Buzzfeed and others.
  • Music in Stories: You can add a soundtrack to your story that fits any moment and helps you express how you’re feeling.

There’s also shoppable posts in Stories for selected accounts (if you have a business profile expect to be able to use it in the near future – basically the same as shoppable news feed posts, tagging products linked to your website’s shop).

And lastly, just this week they introduced the “You’re All Caught Up” message. It’ll show when you’ve seen every post from the last two days.

That’s a lot, right? Plenty to play with, and we can definitely see these updates improving your Stories game. Instagram are definitely trying to encourage more immersive Stories.

Facebook news

Less updates from Facebook but an important and interesting one for those with a Facebook page using ads – they’ve introduced a new level of transparency for pages and ads.

When visiting a page Facebook users will see a new “Info and Ads” button where they will be able to view active ads being run by the page and more about page, even if they don’t advertise – such as any recent name changes and the date the page was created. For page owners it’s just something to bear in mind when creating ads, check out Digiday’s look at some of the biggest publisher’s ads here.

Some other Facebook news:

Oh, and Facebook are testing A/B testing for organic Facebook posts. You can already test different versions of ads but not organic posts so this could be a powerful feature in the future, to help you get your posts right.

Twitter news

This month Twitter launched a new portal for Twitter publishers/users called Twitter Media. They call it the definitive guide to help you get the most out of Twitter. For those who have been using Twitter for some time, especially for those with deeper understanding of analytics and Ads, it could be a useful reference guide but for relatively new business users it could be vital.

It includes useful tips, tricks and case studies so it’s definitely worth a read.

Here’s some other Twitter news:

  • British events to Tweet about this Summer: A useful little guide to the events happening in Britain this Summer, along with stats on how many people talk about them on Twitter. If it fits with your brand it’s worth you joining in on the conversations.

Well now, that was a slightly longer one than usual, but as always we hope you found it useful. Keep an eye out on Instagram for our debut IGTV episode very soon!

As always, please get in touch if you think we can help you in any way.

See you next month,
Mel and James

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