How’s your November going so far? Ours is cold! But we’re looking forward to bonfire season 😊

Oh! And we’re taking over the hosting of Sussex Hour on Twitter every Thursday night, so if you don’t already get involved get to it! Use #SussexHour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm every Thursday to share your Sussex based news and chat to other businesses and local people!

Anyway… last month saw some great little updates to the three major social media platforms so let’s get straight to it!

Facebook news

Facebook pixel changes are here – don’t panic! If you’ve used Facebook advertising you no doubt know what the Facebook pixel is. If you haven’t you certainly have seen the results of the pixel when browsing Facebook – the last time you visited an online store but decided not to buy only to later see adverts for that store appear on your Facebook feed later on.

It’s an important and powerful tool for any business. It’s basically a piece of code that’s placed on your website that tracks visitors and allows you to re-target them with ads. This piece of code is a third party cookie (cookies created and owned by someone other than the website owner), or at least it was!

Now because of new GDPR rules some web browsers have started blocking third party cookies (i.e. cookies created and owned by someone other than the website owner). To combat this Facebook are moving to first party cookies as a default, which many websites already use any way.

Do you need to do anything? As long as your Privacy or Cookies Policy is up to date, no you don’t. Your pixel will continue to work in the way it has been – just make sure you tell your website visitors you are using them and they have the option to opt out.

Read more about this here. Also here’s a really good blog about it if you’d like to learn more.

Here’s a few other news and updates you may have missed from Facebook:

  • Say Hello to the New Messenger: Introducing Messenger 4: Messenger 4 delivers the closeness and authenticity that you’ve been asking for — through simplicity of design and powerful features that put the focus back on messaging and connecting.
  • More Ways to Share and Connect With Music on Facebook: Your now able to add a song to photos and videos you share to Facebook Stories. This is another obvious added feature to continue to try to encourage use of Stories, but they will also be bringing this feature to the News Feed soon too.
  • Facebook Adds Page and Business Recommendations to Groups: ‘Recommendations’ panel in Groups, which collects a listing of all the Pages and businesses that group members recommend. This could be really useful for local businesses – try encouraging your customers to recommend you in Groups.

Twitter news

Rumours of the like button’s demise have been greatly exaggerated! While Twitter founder Jack Dorsey doesn’t really like the heart shaped like button and they are looking at ways to improve it they certainly aren’t getting rid any time soon. Read more about this here.  

Also over the last month Twitter have been talking about testing a number of features to improve positivity in the platform. First they are testing ‘positive conversation starters’, giving people a question to respond to which is meant to help conversations start on a positive note, for instance “Who do you find inspirational?”.

We think the idea is that it would replace the “What’s happening?” question  you currently see when writing a post. It’s interesting idea and anything that improves the platform is good with us, let’s see how it goes down.

They are also testing ‘colour coded conversations’ which would show Tweets in different colours depending on whether they’re from someone you follow or not. This could help people filter out the noise and make it easier to follow conversations that are more personal or interesting.

And finally they are also looking to introduce status indicators so you know when someone is online or not. A useful feature for customer service – your followers knowing when you are online and likely to respond.

Obviously these potential changes are all about trying to encourage more conversation rather than scrolling and liking. We like that! Social media is social for a reason after-all so it should be about discussion.

Here’s some other Twitter news you may have missed:

Instagram news

Last but not least some Instagram news. First, you may have noticed the Nametag – like QR codes of old it’s a bar-code you can share and people can scan to go to your profile.

We’re already thinking about placing the code on our business cards, you could use it on posters and leaflets, on your website, where ever! Here’s a nice blog with some ideas about using them for your business: 5 Ways to Use the Instagram Nametag Tool to Gain More Followers for Your Brand or Business.

Secondly a new update to Stories which we love! You can now upload longer videos and Instagram will automatically cut them into 15 second segments! Yay! That’s really useful if you want to convey a longer story or talk about something a bit more in depth – and better than IGTV in our opinion as IGTV just hasn’t really taken off in the way most thought it might.

Here’s some more from Instagram that you may have missed:

There you have it, some of the news you may have missed in October. As always, please do get in touch if you have any questions or if we can help you in any way.

Have a great bonfire season and we’ll see you next month,
Mel and James

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