In our latest edition of Keeping you Posted, we’ve taken a look at a revamp on Snapchat, a copy cat update for YouTube, and a creative new tool for Instagram.

Snapchat gets a revamp

Snapchat has introduced a host of new features as it tries to ward off competition from Instagram.

The platform is introducing a ‘best friends’ algorithm. This will display your messages and story updates based on who you interact with most, as opposed to whoever has posted most recently.

This move essentially makes Snapchat like other platforms with decision on content placement coming via an algorithm.

The platform’s ‘Discover’ tool, which displays latest news and comment from media outlets, will also have an algorithm. It will now display content based on what you have watched in the past, similar to Facebook’s news feed and recommended products when buying from online retailers like Amazon.

It will also separate stories from your friends and celebrity influencers, in a move to differentiate engaging with friends to watching professional content.

A useful update for brands is the return of the ‘auto advance’ feature, which means stories play continuously, one after another.

This could help organisations who find Snapchat engagement hard to come by, so test it by posting regular stories and see if you get more views than usual.

 YouTube joins the ‘stories’ bandwagon

First it was Snapchat, then Instagram and Facebook, and now YouTube is offering a temporary content sharing feature.

The video platform has added a test tool called ‘Reels’, which allows users to post temporary video updates throughout their day, similar to Snapchat and Instagram stories.

The feature is currently only available to channels with more than 10,000 subscribers, but it shows that YouTube may be prepared to offer the feature to more channels eventually.

Brands can use ‘Reels’ to evaluate what their audience wants to view, as the temporary videos can get thumbs up or thumbs down just like a normal YouTube video.

Instagram adds draw-on feature for direct messages

Instagram’s growing following has another fun tool to play with, thanks to a new drawing feature.

Now, when you receive an image via direct message, you’ll be able to take a new picture and send an edited version of the original back as below.

The update lets you add drawings, stickers, and text, as well as gives users the ability to change the size of images.

This feature is an interesting way of directly messaging followers on Instagram, and may prove popular amongst online influencers when in direct contact with fans.

If you conduct business and customer service using Instagram, this new messaging tool could be used to add fun and creativity when communicating with existing and potential customers.

Bonus tip: Be warned! Protect private information on Twitter

 Have you ever used one of Twitter’s stickers to hide sensitive information before posting an image onto the social site?

Be warned, as this might not hide the protected information fully.

It has been pointed out that stickers do not work on older phones or historic versions of Twitter, which means some users could see your information clearly. In addition, Twitter’s own servers save images without the stickers.

Although it takes more time, fully Photoshop your images to exclude or block out any information you don’t want out there online.