Instagram Rolls Out Focus Portrait Mode

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social media research

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media.

On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore the new LinkedIn profile layout with Viveka Von Rosen, Instagram rolling out Focus portrait mode with Jenn Herman, and other breaking social media marketing news of the week!

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If you’re new to the show, click on the green “Watch replay” button below and sign in or register to watch our latest episode from Friday, April 13, 2018. You can also listen to the show as an audio podcast, found on iTunes/Apple Podcast, Android, Google Play, Stitcher, and RSS.

For this week’s top stories, you’ll find timestamps below that allow you to fast-forward in the replay above.

LinkedIn Introduces New Look for Personal Profiles: LinkedIn added more details and connection information to the headers of members’ personal profiles. Some of the updates include a shift in the profile image placement that may affect the background image, a new Contact menu to the right, an extended Summary section, and more. (2:28)

LinkedIn added more details and connection information to the headers on members' personal profiles.

LinkedIn Brings GIFs to Messaging Platform: LinkedIn and Google-owned Tenor partnered to integrate GIFs directly into LinkedIn’s Messaging platform. Members can now quickly and easily search for GIFs within the messaging text field and send them on the spot. GIFs in LinkedIn Messaging are gradually rolling out to all users now and will be available globally “in the coming weeks.” (16:37)

LinkedIn and Google-owned Tenor partnered to integrate GIFs directly into LinkedIn's Messaging platform.

Instagram Releases Focus Portrait Mode: Instagram’s new Focus format for photos and videos is a portrait mode feature that blurs the background while keeping the face sharp for a stylized, professionally photographed look. Focus mode is available on iPhone SE, 6S, 6S+, 7, 7+, 8, 8+, and X and on select Android devices with the latest version of the app for both iOS and Android. (19:38)

Instagram is rolling out Focus, a portrait mode feature that blurs the background while keeping your face sharp for a stylized, professional photography look.

Instagram Prepares to Launch Nametags: Instagram confirmed it’s testing a new Nametag feature that allows users to create a scannable image. As previously reported, the upcoming Nametag feature appears to be similar to Snapchat’s QR Snapcode capability, except it will include the ability to select a colorful background image, personalized pattern, and augmented reality face filters. Others can capture your personalized Nametag with the Instagram Stories camera to easily follow you. (28:29)

Instagram Tests Q&A Sticker: WABetaInfo reports that Instagram is currently developing new stickers for its Stories feature and the next one expected to be available is a “Q&A” sticker. With this new feature, users will be able to ask a question to their followers and keep all of the responses private. Screenshots reveal that users will be able to customize the text and background colors for the Q&A stickers. (31:54)

Instagram Builds Data Portability Tool: Instagram is currently building a new data portability tool that will allow users to download a copy of what they’ve shared on Instagram including photos, videos, and messages. However, Instagram hasn’t confirmed if users will be able to export their “following” and “follower” lists, likes, comments, stories, or captions. There isn’t a confirmed release date for this new tool yet, but it’s expected to launch before the May 25 deadline for the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy law requiring data portability. (38:30)

Facebook Demands More Transparency Around Ads and Pages: Facebook announced important changes that are intended to increase transparency, authenticity, and accountability around ads and pages on both Facebook and Instagram. For instance, only authorized advertisers that can confirm their identity and location will be permitted to run political or issues-based ads on either platform. This is to prevent any future abuse of user data and privacy and improve the service for all users. (40:05)

Facebook also announced that admins managing pages with “large numbers of followers” must be verified and those who don’t clear the verification process will be restricted from posting to those pages. The company will begin to show additional context about pages to effectively assess their content and broadly roll out a tool that allows anyone to see all of the ads a particular page is running.

Facebook Updates Product and Custom Audience Terms for Developers: In compliance with the EU’s upcoming GDPR law, Facebook updated its product terms to make them easier to find and comprehend. Primarily, Facebook is introducing new terms for Facebook Business Tools, in reference to the APIs, Facebook pixel, and additional Facebook products that help website owners, publishers, developers, advertisers, business partners, and others integrate and share information with Facebook. (42:47)

In addition, Facebook is updating its Custom Audience Terms to “clarify that businesses are responsible for their own relationships with independent data providers” and include an addendum specifically for advertisers that are processing personal data associated with people in the EU.

Facebook Offers Data Abuse Bounty: Facebook launched a new program that rewards people who report and provide proof of any cases where a Facebook platform app collects and transfers people’s data to another party to be sold, stolen, or used for scams or political influence. Like with Facebook’s existing bug bounty program, the data abuse bounty will grant a financial reward based on the impact of each report of misuse of data by app developers and alert those it believes to be affected. (44:37)

Facebook launched a new program that rewards people who report and provide proof of any cases where a Facebook platform app collects and transfers people's data to another party to be sold, stolen or used for scams or political influence.

Facebook Tests Stories as Default Sharing Option: Facebook launched “three significant tests that make Facebook Stories a default way to share.” TechCrunch reports that a select subset of users around the world is testing a mobile feature that will automatically open a camera window and show the most recent images in your camera roll to spur Stories sharing when posting a status. Another subset around the world is testing big preview tiles for Facebook Stories behind smaller profile photos of the creators. The idea is that teasing what’s in a story will entice users to click and watch.

In a third test that is currently open to all Facebook users in the Dominican Republic, sharing of any image or video shot using Facebook Camera’s augmented reality features will automatically default to Stories. Previously, users individually selected if they wanted to post their images to Stories, the news feed, or Messenger.

Facebook Rolls Out Custom Colors for Groups: Facebook appears to have released the ability to customize groups with color themes. Images show that group admins can select from up to 15 colors. This new feature was discovered by Matt Navarra.

Facebook Messenger Experiments With Unsend Feature: Facebook Messenger will release the ability to “unsend” messages “to all users in several months.” This capability was discovered late last week when it was revealed that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives had retracted messages from recipients’ inboxes after they had been sent. The company is experimenting with a new secret message feature in which the messages will disappear after a specific amount of time but admits that it will “take some time” until a feature is ready for release.

Facebook Disables Ability to Search Using Emails and Phone Numbers: Facebook removed a feature that allowed users to enter phone numbers or email addresses into Facebook’s search tool to find other people. The company claims that this tool was “being used by malicious actors to scrape public profile information” and states that it believes that “most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way.”

Snapchat Shows Chronological Stories Feed to Some Users: TechCrunch reports that “some users” are seeing their Snapchat Stories feed in reverse chronological order as a replacement for the algorithmically sorted feed. Users are seeing the reverse chronological feed in both the design that features just “Stories” and “All” tabs and in the design where there are separate “Stories” and “Chat” tabs. Snapchat hasn’t confirmed if this update is a test or part of the app’s full-scale redesign.

Snapchat Releases iPhone X-Exclusive AR Lens: Snapchat partnered with Apple to launch three new AR Lenses that show off the iPhone X’s new depth-sensing cameras. CNET reports that these exclusive Lenses are “more realistic than ever, thanks to [the iPhone X’s] improved shading, motion tracking and bokeh (blurred background) effects.” The lenses include a Mardi Gras mask, a Day of the Dead skull, and a pretty gold-plated eye cover.

Snap Inc. Prepares to Release Second-Generation Spectacles: An FCC filing discovered this week reveals that Snap Inc. may be preparing to introduce the second-generation of its wearable camera, Spectacles. Snap Inc. hasn’t officially confirmed when or if the new version of Spectacles is expected to be released.

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