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Becca’s Hype: Changes to Facebook’s data privacy and news feed

This week on Becca’s Hype: Instagram is finally carrying out a long-awaited change, Facebook is making a change to the news feed, and Bitmoji is adding new customisation options.

Schedule those Instagrams

Out of the 25 million business profiles on Instagram, I’m pretty sure the statement “I wish I schedule in this Instagram post” has crossed the minds of social media managers everywhere.

Good news, now you’ll be able to.

All you’ll need is to have a business profile set up on Instagram to access this new feature. Thanks to some changes in Instagram’s API, users will now be able to schedule posts, as well as managing multiple accounts from a single dashboard.

Anyone without a business profile will have to wait until next year to use this feature, but if you ask me, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I like to think that Instagram is a platform for living in the now, but with the algorithm, that’s questionable.

Facebook reassures users by expanding data privacy resources

Facebook have been making some changes to reassure users after some of the bad press that’s been around in regards to Facebook in the last 12 to 18 months. I wrote a more in depth summary about this last week, where you can find out more about Facebook’s attempts to be transparent and please users.

Could we be seeing animated avatars of ourselves in the near future?

If you’re an avid Snapchat user, you will more than likely be familiar with Bitmoji. Bitmoji is an app which Snapchat acquired from Bitstrips in 2016, which allows users to create an avatar of themselves to use within the app.

It adds some fun to the platform, with users being able to paste in images of their avatar in certain poses depending on the content of their conversation – for example, say “hello” to a friend in Snapchat’s direct messages, and you’ll be offered a selection of bitmoji stickers to send with your avatar saying hello whilst waving and so on. To add to this, Snapchat actually enabled 3D Bitmoji as lenses for Stories last year. You might remember this from a Hype article I wrote back in September.

Now Bitmoji have added a huge list of new options to help you customise your avatar. There are:

  • 40 new skin tones
  • 50 new hair colours
  • 50 hair treatment options (e.g. ombre)

What’s next for Bitmoji? I personally wonder if this update to the customisation tools is perhaps a precursor to Snapchat releasing their own version of Apple’s Animoji. Forget animating animal emoji, why don’t we have animated avatars of ourselves!

Facebook are tweaking the news feed again, this time to give local news stories a boost

Before we get stuck into this snippet, note that Facebook is rolling out this change in the US first, so it will be a little while before we see this in the UK.

Facebook are going to start giving local news a higher position in your news feed to try and encourage engagement within communities.

Depending on how you look at the change, this doesn’t quite fit with Facebook’s recent announcement where they state they want to make the platform a place where receiving updates from your friends and family is most important. However, they did also say that posts likely to get lots of engagement would still be shown in the feed, so that’s where this local news idea fits in.

Publishers of different sizes, big or small, are eligible for this greater opportunity to be seen higher up in the news feed, however, smaller outlets with a more concentrated readership are more likely to notice a boost. Why? Because local publishers will be identified by where people are reading from.

Becca Holloway

Becca Holloway

Social Media Consultant

Becca is a social media consultant at Base Creative and has coordinated Sharing Social London meet-ups since launching in early 2018.

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