20 Nov November 2023: Social Media Updates to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest
Each year Stitchcraft Marketing researches and compiles the latest updates to social media. The aim of our condensed social media reports is to provide a quick primer on the current status of the platforms so that our clients can stay on top of the latest trends. Social media evolves every year so it’s important to refresh your knowledge base and ensure you’re keeping up with the times!
In the second quarter of 2023 Facebook boasted over 3 billion monthly active users (Statista). Facebook is the third most visited website in the world (Similarweb), and it remains the most popular social media platform marketers use (Hubspot). Updates focused on placing greater emphasis on community via Facebook Groups, and expanded ad offerings. If you don’t have a Facebook Business Page or Group or you’re not running ads on Facebook, you’re late to the game!
- Change to Shopify Integrations: While US shops can still connect their Meta accounts to Shopify, they must now enable the “Checkout with Facebook and Instagram” feature. Beginning in April 2024, shops that don’t have this feature enabled will no longer be accessible. Shops onboarded after June 2023 automatically have the feature enabled. Learn how to enable Checkout with Facebook and Instagram. Find more information about changes to Shops on Meta here.
- AI Experiences: In September 2023 Facebook introduced AI Experiences, but only for personal profiles. The platform expects to roll out the features to businesses and creators in the future. AI Experiences include the ability to create AI stickers and collaborative AI with friends; Meta AI, a “conversational assistant” available in WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram; and more.
- Augmented Reality (AR) ads: Businesses can create AR ads for both Facebook and Instagram to showcase products in 3D. If you’re wondering how to use AR ads as a craft business, imagine an ad where customers can place a new quilt design in their room, or an ad where knitters can swap out yarn colors in a colorwork sweater design.
- Broadcast Channels: Currently on roll out, Broadcast Channels offer Facebook Page managers a way to further engage with followers via a one-to-many, direct communication messaging system. Page Managers can create a channel and message those who join the channel with interactive polls, behind-the-scenes photos and videos, voice notes, and more.
- Dynamic Ads: Dynamic ad capabilities have expanded to include the ability to feature multiple products in the same ad, and ads now also use Facebook’s machine learning to deliver content to more relevant audiences.
- Video Ads: Formats for video ads expanded in 2023 to include in-stream ads, Stories ads, Reels, and carousel ads, and Facebook added new video ad creation tools and automatic captioning capabilities to the system.
- Messenger Ads: Facebook boasts over 1 billion users on the Facebook Messenger App (Data Reportal), so the company knows it’s a ripe space for advertising. This year Facebook introduced ads for Messenger that send sponsored, personalized messages to users who have interacted with a brand on Messenger, or show ads on the Messenger home screen.
- Groups: Facebook has increased capabilities around Groups, allowing scheduling to Groups associated with Pages through Meta Business Suite and expanding on the types of posts users can schedule to Groups (Reels, Videos).
- Facebook Professional Mode: Facebook introduces Professional Mode to select users in 2021 and has since staggered availability to profiles. The option should now be available on all profiles, and there may be good reason to switch based on Facebook’s Q1 Transparency Report regarding reach and engagement. Read our analysis here. Facebook also just introduced the ability to create multiple personal profiles, which may solve the issue of those who want to keep a private (friends & family) profile and a professional mode profile.
- Meta Verified Expansion: Originally introduced for Creator profiles, Facebook is currently in the process of expanding Meta Verified to businesses on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. A Meta Verified business subscription will include business authentication with a verified badge, impersonation protection, access to account support, and features to help your business stand out.
Many of the above Facebook updates apply to Instagram as well, so bear in mind that the emphasis on advertising and community still holds true. Instagram nearly rivals Facebook’s user statistics, with 2 billion monthly active users (Statista). 70% of Instagram users are under the age of 35, and according to Instagram’s internal reports, as many as 70% of consumers turn to Instagram before making a purchase (Oberlo). If you have trouble reaching a younger audience, make sure you’re using Instagram!
- Threads: In June 2023, Instagram released their new app Threads—presumably to fill a gap created when Twitter changed ownership and lost users. A text-based app, Threads connected to Instagram so users could use the same log in for both platforms. Threads posts are limited to 500 characters and can include photos, links, and up to 5 minutes of video.
- Hashtags Out, Keywords In: Instagram no longer compiles hashtags by recency, but rather “relevancy,” which means you’re missing out on recent content and it’s much more difficult to find. Hashtags have become less important to Instagram’s search function. We recommend creating fewer hashtags, being more mindful about the hashtags you use, and relying more on ensuring your Instagram posts contain strong keywords. Learn more.
- Instagram Live Shopping Discontinued: Instagram sunsetted the Instagram Live Shopping feature in March 2023. This followed the disappearance of the Instagram Shop Tab from the Home navigation, moving that particular feature to individual profile pages.
- Broadcast Channels: Broadcast Channels came a little earlier to Instagram, landing on the app in the first quarter of 2023. Broadcast Channels function in the same way on Instagram as on Facebook.
- Music for Posts and Carousels: Instagram introduced the ability to add music to photos and carousels. The app is also working to add more music options.
- Collabs: Collabs allow users to co-author posts, with collaborative posts appearing on all included profiles.
- Add Yours Sticker: Similar to TikTok’s response videos, the Add Yours Sticker allows users to invite their followers to answer prompts, create Reels inspired by the original user’s Reel, and then share the newly generated Reels to the original user’s profile.
- Close Friends Feed: Beginning in September 2023, Instagram released a “Close Friends Feed” option to a limited user group for testing. The option allows users to share feed posts with a list of “Close Friends” the user curates within the app.
Pinterest boasted 1 billion visits to its site between 2022 and 2023 (Statista) and has 444635 million monthly users (Data Reportal). Gen Z is Pinterest’s fastest growing audience—and they engage with the platform on a deeper level—which makes Pinterest a fantastic means of engaging with that coveted youth group (CNBC). Additionally, Pinterest drives ten times higher off-platform searches vs. other platforms (Hootsuite). This means Pinterest users engage with the app to discover and plan future projects, which they ultimately find on other websites. Make sure you are one of those other websites with an engaged and active Pinterest account!
- Shuffles Expansion: Shuffles, a Pinterest companion app that allows users to create collages and digital art, is now available in more countries. Shuffles accesses photos and videos on your mobile device and allows you to cut and paste images together to create collages with static and dynamic effects. These collage pins can then be shared online and directly on your Pinterest profile. Shuffles is currently only available on iOS.
- Updates to Pinterest Business Manager: Pinterest is updating its Business Manager suite with new features to make it easier and more efficient for accounts, agencies and advertisers to work together. Users can soon access a Business Dashboard with audience sharing features, impact data, and more.
- One Format for All Pins: Before, users creating a pin had to choose between video or image during the pin creation process. Now, the two formats have merged into one type: pins. Music, text overlay, and stickers are now also available for all pin formats. Links can be added to all pin types,
- Showcase Ads & Quiz Ads: In September 2023 Pinterest launched two new ad formats: Showcase ads and Quiz ads. Showcase ads display multiple pins within one ad unit and allow links to several products featured throughout the various pins. With an eye towards engagement, Quiz ads focus on the interactive with quiz creations that deliver customized product recommendations based on answers.
- Premiere Spotlight Ads: A new video format launched earlier this year, Premiere Spotlight Ads offer edge-to-edge video ad space in high traffic spaces. The ads take over approximately 50% of the app’s screen for maximum impact.
- Mobile Deep Links: Mobile deep links allow users to move from your Pinterest ad directly to a product page in a retailer’s mobile shopping app, where shipping and payment info are already available. If you don’t have a mobile shopping app, the user is taken directly to your e-commerce website from within the Pinterest app.
- Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Adobe Commerce: Retailers using these services can now install apps to integrate their e-commerce stores with Pinterest and provide a smoother, streamlined shopping experience for customers.
We hope this update has given you some information you can use in promoting your crafty business through social media platforms. Access all of this information and more in our FREE 9-page PDF Guide to Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest – download it instantly when you sign up for our newsletter!
Do you want help planning and executing your social media strategy to take advantage of these new trends? Contact us today to get started so we can help you craft a better business!