Reading via Snapchat? Social media updates you need to know

Social media is always evolving, and that’s why I like it. If you don’t keep up with the latest updates, you’ll get mired in old ways that worked six months ago but have since bit the proverbial dust.

Here are recent changes from 5 of the big players.

1. Snapchat

Perhaps you’re like some people I’ve met: you believed that Snapchat was an app that would never apply to your marketing efforts. Well, that’s how social media is.

This little app easily found users among teens and soon big brands figured out how to use it to reach their buying demographic.

Now authors and publishers of Young Adult novels and stories have even more reason to give it a second look. Snapchat, the app with a logo consisting of a ghostly icon on a blindingly yellow background, now has an app for authors.

That app is Hooked, and it allows Snapchat users to read stories, in ‘text message’ format, on smartphones for free. That’s right, for free. What a great strategy to promote to this demographic.

Hooked stories are typically 1,000 words and 5 minutes to read because, after all, they are for the Young Adult crowd, and teens have crowded schedules.

2. Facebook

The Dislike Button – España Dice ¡Por Fin!

Users have been clamouring for a dislike option for years. Well, Facebook’s head honchos are finally warming up to the idea.

According to The Atlantic, when users hold a click on the ‘like’ button, some options will arise: a heart, a sad face, an angry face and a stunned face.

This feature is available in Spain (muchas gracias) and Ireland. When will it arrive stateside? Facebook is mum on that so far.

Notes for SEO

The beauty of notes – and app too few people take advantage is – is that it can improve your websites search engine optimization.

How? Thought you’d never ask.

If you use the Notes feature to list all of your blog’s posts and corresponding links, you’ll have a powerful backlink to your website.

Now, instead of just listing test in Notes, you can customize how it looks by adding images.

3. Instagram

Instagram has grown to 400 million accounts, more users than Twitter.

According to Pew Research Center, 28% of online adults use Instagram. More women than men are on it, and the biggest user group falls within the 18- to 49-year-old demographic.

4. LinkedIn

Groups Go Private

As you probably heard, LinkedIn groups are now private. Venture Beat offers a great explanation:

“The move by the company comes in response to criticism that the old incarnation of Groups was dominated by spam, self-promotion by certain users, and manipulation by top contributors. Groups’ new incarnation is private — to fight spam, because private groups don’t appear in search indexes — and requires that all members are vouched for before admission. … These improvements are part of the company’s efforts to make the user experience for professionals as good as possible and to pull in new users who haven’t yet tried its professional networking site.”

I welcome the move. I’ve never appreciated it when members of LinkedIn Groups – or Google + Communities – used those forums to promote their blogs, websites, services or books.

Groups are for the exchange of information and support. That’s it.

So I say, Bravo, LinkedIn!

5. Twitter

Adios to Share Counts

Twitter will has curtailed social share counts. This means that when readers visit your blog/site, they won’t be able to see how many times other visitors have shared your posts or pages.

How do you feel about this change?

140-Character Rule May Bite the Dust

According to Re/Code, Twitter has plans for a new product which will destroy the networks current 140 character rule. Re/Code says the new look will allow users to publish long-form content.

Also, Twitter may reconsider which characters its counts toward the 140-character length. In other words, URLs (website addresses) may not count in the character length restriction.

Re/Code says:
“The question is whether or not a long-form option would actually increase Twitter’s audience. It might encourage publishers to share directly to Twitter more often, but long-form publishing on other platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn is typically more of a power feature.”

Frances CaballoThis is a guest post by Frances Caballo. Frances is an author, podcaster and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can read the full post and more on her blog, Social Media Just for Writers.