Facebook, Instagram Release Mobile App Updates, What Does It Mean For Your Brand?

With today’s announcement that Facebook has finally ditched HTML5 and redesigned their iOS (Apple’s name for their mobile operating system) app from the ground up, the social media platform has made a statement that they will continue to put an emphasis on the mobile phone. Facebook joins their recent acquisition Instagram, who also released updated their apps over the last week.

As with any major (or even minor) platform change, brand and social media managers are left scrambling to discover what updates and features changes may effect their properties. Here are a few things you should know.

Instagram 

With version 3.0, Instagram has made an effort to focus more on browsing photographs. The company realized that the platform was all about what’s happening now, “Things live for a couple hours and then they float off into the ether,” said Founder and CEO Kevin Systrom. The brand addressed the concern by creating the Photo Map, a service that plots all your photos on a map of the world based on where they were taken.

Why is this important for brand pages? All of a sudden, a quality image or campaign can live and be relevant for much longer than before. A photo taken and added a year ago, can now be viewed by someone without that person having to scroll through pages and pages of a straight-line feed. Have a company with multiple, physical locations? Now users can browse by store, all within one account at the brand level.

Location-based browsing, as opposed to viewing content in a “timeline”  is a rather new concept for many people, but if Instagram does it well they could capitalize on being one of the first social media platforms to implement it in a successful manner.

Facebook 

Facebook has been taking flack for the speed of their iOS app ever since it was released. This new release is said to be more than twice as fast as the original and it’s aimed at addressing three main issues: launching the app, scrolling through the News Feed, and viewing photos inside the News Feed. The app is built from scratch in the same manner as the Facebook Messages and Camera apps and will work more seamlessly with the two.

Aside from the speed, why is the update important for brands to take note of? Redesigned Facebook Pages.

In the old format, Facebook Pages were broken down into four categories (activity, wall, info, photos) and had a very different look and feel from the web versions. Users would land on the activity tab by default and the app encouraged visitors to check-in as a part of the Place functionality. Now, pages are much more similar to the web. Cover images carry over and there are no more “sections”. For page admins, there is now a much-more visible “Acting as” notification bar at the top of the page to let you know who you whether you are posting as yourself or the Page.  Finally, and for many brands most importantly, is the prominent location of the “call” button. Now, with one click of a button, visitors to your page can call your location. Do you have your phone number featured on your Facebook Page?

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