In social media this week, WhatsApp announces video calling, Facebook tests a new inbox and shows improvements to metrics, Instagram introduces a new ad format and Pinterest launches Explore.
WhatsApp has added video calling in its latest update and is now available across iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. With the introduction in October of new camera features,video calling increases a users abilities to communicate in different ways. Whilst WhatsApp may still not be as sophisticated as its sister apps like Facebook and Instagram the messaging platform is still incredibly popular with millions of users.
Responding to messages across platforms can be time-consuming and staying on top of new messages and your responses can be difficult. Facebook have announced that you will soon be able to link your Facebook, Messenger and Instagram accounts into a new unified inbox allowing you to manage your communications from a single place. With a feature to look at messages across all channels or each channel individually, you can respond by tapping on the content you want to answer. In the new inbox you can also see basic details about the customers who are interacting with you and also see previous interactions – a feature that can help you easily personalize your responses where necessary (this feature is only currently available for Facebook). The new and updated inbox is being tested and will be rolled out to all users of the Pages mobile app in the coming weeks. Linking your accounts is easy through the Pages app and if you are already linked via Instagram adverts you will receive the update automatically.
Facebook have made promises for future updates to how they calculate and report metrics including an increase in the way it partners with third parties for verification. Other changes include more regular communication on updates to metrics and corrections to some metrics which have been previously misreported. All of these changes are steps to improve transparency.
Vertical ad formats are now available on Instagram with a 4:5 aspect ratio format for photos and videos. Selected businesses have been testing the new format and early reports show an increased view rate. Square and landscape formats are still offered and the new vertical format is available now. Instagram has always been about showcasing creativity and experimenting to find what works for you. This new format is another opportunity to keep creating.
In August Pinterest launched Promoted Video and they have now announced a new Explore section. Explore adds auto-play to video allowing brands to build a “playlist of ideas”. Once a Pinner has watched a primary video, your next linked video starts to play automatically allowing your audience to see a series of ideas. Explore is curated and “presents picks from the top taste makers” from across Pinterest. How do you use video on Pinterest?