Hit Refresh looks the changes to social media made in July

The world of social media is constantly changes, with new and improved features being rolled out regularly, some big and controversial, whilst others are small but fun. Here are this months announcements that could change or enhance the way you market your business on social media.


The big news in the Twittersphere this month is that the way the blue tick badge is awarded to accounts is changing. The badge, which means that the account is ‘verified’, indicates that the account is authentic, and is usually seen on accounts belonging to people of public interest. This means users ‘in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas’ can often be verified, which is why so many celebrity accounts sport the little blue tick. Twitter currently has 187,000 verified accounts, and this upgraded status allows notification filtering to combat spam. They’ve now allowed anyone to apply for verified status via an online form, although Twitter still has the final say over whether or not a blue badge is given. If you apply though, be prepared to provide an email address, a bio, a profile picture, a birthday, and a website.

Facebook announced this month that more than a billion people a day check Facebook on their phones – which is a big 22% increase on last year’s figure. To put this in perspective, it means that one in every seven people uses Facebook Mobile to connect with family and friends. This is an excellent development for mobile advertisers, and this number is only set to increase.
Another cool feature rolled out by Facebook this month is the 360 degree photos. This image of New York has been shared over one hundred and fifty times, and is a perfect ample of the extra dimension it can bring to photos. They can be achieved using a panoramic iPhone photo, or from the Google Street View app. A fun interactive Facebook feature.

We talked earlier in the year about Instagram’s proposed new algorithm, and it’s been rolling out across feeds this month, with mixed reviews from personal users and businesses alike. The changes have pushed posts that Instagram thinks you’ll like the best to the top of your feed, regardless of the time they were posted. This does mean that you may miss updates from accounts that would have otherwise seen when Instagram was chronological.

For small businesses starting out with a low follower count and therefore low engagement, their chances of being spotted by followers amongst other, more popular accounts have seriously decreased. However, others argue that if you follow a vast number of people, you were missing your favourite posts before the change, and that interaction with your best loved accounts is key to seeing more of them. Whichever way you look at it, this Instagram algorithm isn’t going anywhere, and digital marketers are now looking more towards upping interaction and using hashtags more wisely to get noticed.

Last year, Pinterest introduced ‘buyable pins’ that allow users to buy selected items that they like direct from Pinterest, and this month, the changes have been demonstrated via the web. So when you spot a pin that you love, say, of a nice Kate Spade bag, you’ll not only be able to add it to your shopping bag, but you’ll also be able to see other bags from Kate Spade, regardless of where you are on Pinterest currently. Very handy, but also dangerous if you’re partial to a bit of retail therapy while you’re lusting over pretty interiors and trendy outfits.

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