As the summer begins its slow decline and brands start to make way for their Q4 preparations, many are launching new features while cutting free any dead weight. July was a busy month for many social media platforms, while news slowed on the digital and PR fronts. If you’ve missed any of the industry buzz, here’s a quick recap of the notable stories from last month:

Social Media

Snapchat gets a leg up on rival Instagram with new Paperclip feature → Users can now attach web page links to their pictures and stories on Snapchat. This will allow brands and marketers another avenue to direct organic traffic to their sites.

Facebook Messenger opens up to advertising → Previously ad-free, Messenger becomes the latest app to incorporate advertising. Brands can now display their ads front and center for Messenger’s audience of 1.2 billion.

Twitter announces it will livestream the Electronic Music Awards → Twitter is no stranger to streaming live events, having done NFL games in the past. This month, Twitter announced it will stream the EMAs in September.

Facebook updates the News Feed algorithm to target spammers → In its continued effort to combat the reach and spread of “fake news,” Facebook updated the algorithm for its News Feed to limit the reach of content from profiles that regularly post tons of links.

Social platforms take a stand on net neutrality → Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and many other companies spoke out on July 12th’s “Day of Action,” highlighting what they would be doing in support of a free and unbiased internet.

Snapchat extends recording and adds new features → Snapchat has finally enabled users to record snap videos lasting longer than ten seconds, allowing for longer and more coherent stories to be shared.

Facebook will be eliminating the ability to edit Link Previews → In another move to decrease the spread of fake news, Facebook announced it will be removing the ability to edit link previews — or the text describing the web page you’re linking to — towards the end of the year. This will impact brands and marketers who are accustomed to editing link previews for engagement purposes.

Facebook allows brands to create niche groups → Brands can now create their own pages dedicated to groups, rather than relying on admins to set up groups from their own personal accounts. It also provides a community space for everything from product support to customer review and sharing.

Instagram Platform API allows better access to metrics → The enhanced metrics will allow brands and businesses to stay on top of performance better than any other third party analysis tool.

Digital

Google nixes Instant Search → In a move to make Google Search more compatible with mobile devices, Google has dropped Instant Search, which provided live results as users typed their query. The change reflects Google’s acknowledgment that more than half of searches occur on mobile devices.

Google Analytics gets some help from AI → Google launched a tool that utilizes voice-navigated AI to interpret queries and provide results. This will free up data analysts to focus on strategies and will allow users quick access to their data.

Google gets even more customizable → Rather than encountering a blank page and empty search bar, mobile users can now create a customized news feed based on their likes and interests. This will encourage people to spend more time on Google pages, which increases possible exposure to advertisements.

Other News

Branding for unification → In a clever branding move, Nike unveiled a slight alteration on the soccer kits for the Netherlands Women’s National team. The women’s team, referred to as the Orange Lionesses, will now have kits that feature a lioness, as opposed to the traditional lion crest. The joint decision was meant to encourage female participation in sports.

Rest In Peace, Adobe Flash → Adobe has announced it plans to remove support for Flash by the end of 2020. Those platforms currently using it will continue to receive support until the end of 2020, while a number of browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Microsoft Edge have already begun blocking it.

Not dead yet → Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that the new Windows 10 update would come sans its stalwart of 32 years, Microsoft Paint. After an outpouring of public support, Microsoft clarified that Paint was not getting the ax entirely; it will simply be rehomed in the Windows Store where it will be available for download free of charge. Paint on, my friends!

What story stuck out to you this month? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @lotus823!

 

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