The Digital Campus

The Digital Campus

Facebook and Instagram’s Latest Updates: What You Need to Know

Originally published on Connecting Up.

Facebook has released a number of updates on their network and also on Instagram. Here’s what you need to know.

The big news overnight was that Instagram (owned by Facebook) now lets you record 15 second video clips via your Apple or Android phone and apply their signature filters. It’s a direct competitor for Twitter’s own video service, Vine. What’s in it for NFPs?

  • Quick, easy digital storytelling
    If you’re running a fundraising or charity event, celebrating some of your volunteers or just want to give more of a personal touch to your social media presence. It’s pretty easy to use as well, just tap and hold the screen to record. See what charity:water has already made.
  • Leverage millions of existing users
    One of the most important part of this is Instagram and Facebook’s strong existing community. It’s where they really shine compared to other similar apps. If you already have a presence, you won’t need to sign up for another social network.
  • Ask your community to capture their story
    So, you’re not on Instagram? That’s ok, your community may be. You can ask them to create a little 15 second clip about what it means to be connected to your cause and organisation. You can then ask them to use a hashtag (e.g. we used #13CU for the Connecting Up Conference) that you can click on and monitor and ask them to share it to Twitter or Facebook.

On that last point, yes, hashtags are now active on Facebook.

Hashtags on Facebook

Facebook has caught up with many of the other social networks andnow allows you to use hashtags. Hashtags are used to give context or ‘topic’ for status updates. If you see a hashtag on Facebook, you can click on it and see who else is publically using that hashtag as well.

It’s already a staple part of Twitter and used in various situations whenever individuals may be talking about a single topic. Now that Facebook’s onboard with hashtags (along with Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest to name a few), you can monitor a single topic across multiple social networks.

Fantastic new for anyone running fundraising events, advocacy campaigns, competitions… the list goes on!

Sort comments and reply with images

Facebook’s been trying new things with comments including the ability to reply to individual comments. Now they’re offering people the ability to sort the comments by ‘top comment’ or ‘most recent.’

But of course, that’s not the only change to their commenting system!

You may have noticed that Facebook now let people comment with images in Facebook Groups and on personal posts. While there’s potential for it to be abused, it also makes Facebook’s content more dynamic.

While we haven’t seen it roll out to Facebook Pages just yet, it could be a great way to get people to share their photos with you.

Custom thumbnails for links on Facebook

Ever posted a link and the thumbnail Facebook uses wasn’t the one you wanted? You can now upload your own thumbnail to make sure your links look as good as they can when you post them.

It’s a pretty simple update, but one that many have been wanting for a long time. The problem is that depending on how your website is setup, the content images can be difficult to find, or in some cases you may not have a usable image available.

Facebook have also made linke thumbnails larger in the Newsfeed, emphasising the need to use engaging thumbnails when you post links to Facebook.

Insights on Facebook getting a makeover

While we’re waiting for it to be rolled out, Facebook will be making it a lot easier to understand how engaging your content is by changing some of their metrics to better reflect what’s going on.

They’ll be breaking ‘People Talking About This’ down into its individual parts, giving ‘virality’ the title of ‘engagement rate’ and including clicks into it.

Essentially, it should make it easier to know what’s working best on your Page to help you make better decisions.

If you’d like to get a bit more of a run-down on the new insights, I recommend heading over to the Facebook Studio blog. Once the updates roll out, we’ll take a deeper look at what it means for Page admins.

Have you used any of the new Facebook features yet? What do you think about them?

Author: Florencia Prada

Florencia Prada is the Head of Digital Marketing at swissnex San Francisco. While she loves all things tech, she tries hard not to get carried away by shiny objects and new ideas that are all too pervasive in Silicon Valley.