Social media trends and innovations 2018

A review of Social Media in 2018  •   4th Jan, 2019

Social media 2018 review

Social never sleeps. But was 2018 the busiest year to date for new social media innovations?

2018 was the year we lost trust in Facebook (thanks to the Cambridge Analytica scandal), shopping from anywhere became ubiquitous, and every platform joined the ‘story’ bandwagon (even LinkedIn!)… oh, and we had a little thing called GDPR* to contend with.

*don’t worry this is the only time GDPR is mentioned in this blog.

We’ve taken a look back at some of the key changes in the social sphere over the last year and created a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the key updates to be aware of.

What changed in social media in 2018?

1. Facebook turned down the reach dial (again)

As a way to ensure users were engaging in ‘meaningful conversations’, Facebook has pretty much now reduced all the organic reach for business pages.

2. Instagram launched IGTV

15 seconds is not long enough… so Instagram gave us 15 seconds – 10 mins with the launch of IGTV. Will it be the new go-to for vertical long-form video?

3. Facebook groups got a facelift

With the authorisation of the Group admin, Pages will be able to join Groups on Facebook (the last safe place for users!). Groups also introduced analytics, badges for active users and Watch parties.

4. Facebook new advert formats and placements

Facebook’s struggling with a diminishing ad inventory (basically running out of room to show ads in the newsfeed) so this year introduced video mid-roll ads, messenger ads, story ads (see below) and adverts in the Marketplace platform. Also testing survey ad formats, as well as allowing square images in their single image ad formats.

Even though consumers lost confidence in Facebook due to Cambridge Analytica and a raft of negative press, it continues to the most popular social media network worldwide.


5. Instagram launched ‘Close Friends’ feature

You can now segment your Instagram following and share your stories with a pre-selected list of close friends. Yay!

6. Hello new Instagram shoppable features

Instagram has added shopping products to stories, the feature was previously only available through feed posts. The app has also introduced a new way to save products to a new ‘shopping’ collection.

7. LinkedIn created dynamic adverts formats

LinkedIn launched a new type of advert which dynamically pulls in users name, job title and profile picture into single image ad formats.

8. 3D GIFs appeared on Facebook

They’re new, they look cool and you can learn how to make them here

9. And 3D images appeared on Facebook

Facebook announced the launch of 3D photos, which allows you to post images taken in Portrait mode on your iPhone to your feed to create 3D images. We like this A LOT. Especially pictures of Jeff.

10. Facebook Portal came along

Facebook launched its first physical product, letting users connect with messenger, share content and will display photos and notifications when video call is not in use, and give you birthday reminders. The product also has Alexa built in. Prices start at $199 and no, I’m not an affiliate.

11. Twitter had a clear out

Twitter stopped allowing people to retweet and like from multiple accounts and generally had a big clear up of its user experience.

12. Twitter also updated a range of features

A number of updates launched (or rumoured to be launching) on Twitter with…

  • Data saver feature. When using it, videos won’t autoplay and images load in lower quality.
  • Users can now choose whether they want to see tweets in chronological order or not.
  • Twitter’s been experimenting with an up or down vote system, where users can vote for the types of content they’d like to see.

13. Snapchat integrated advertising options with Amazon

Snapchat rolled out a feature in partnership with Amazon, which will allow the camera to scan a physical product and it will find the product listing in Amazon.

14. LinkedIn groups AGAIN

LinkedIn is relaunching its ‘groups’ feature by re-including it to its main app after pulling the standalone app in February of this year. The idea behind the stand-alone app was that users would be able to dedicate more time to posting, reading and generally interacting with the groups they were part of if they were in their own app… but perhaps they didn’t :-/

15. Instagram nametags

Instagram steals Snapchats nametag feature. But will anyone use it?

16. New Snapchat lenses for all

Snapchat have introduced gaming AR lenses and more recently, voice-controlled AR lenses. They allow users to say basic English words such as “ok”, “hi”, “wow, “love” and that prompts an animated AR lens to begin. The channel also introduced lens stories, which allows users to go through an archive collection and see which lenses have been released and used previously.

17. Facebook Stories Adverts rolled out

Facebook recently invited its Marketing Partners to begin making way for the new feature and opening Stories Ads up to its clients. The platform will be encouraging more page owners to create stories to help make this feature a success.   

Instagram has overtaken Snapchat in terms of daily active views of stories. Everyone wants a piece of the story pie. 

Instagram stories v's snapchat

18. YouTube launched stories

YouTube launched their own story feature for creators with 10,000+ subscribers – the feature allows users to add text, music, filters, stickers, etc. Stories are available for 7 days and have comments to keep the conversational element.

19. LinkedIn also launched stories

LinkedIn has launched a stories feature called Student Voices. The clue’s in the name but the stories – which will be visible for seven days as opposed to one – are currently only available to university students in America.

20. Facebook enters the world of TV with Watch

The video-on-demand service, Facebook Watch launched globally in August. It was revealed that Facebook are expected to spend between 1 and 2 billion dollars on content deals for Watch over the next year alone. Content creators are to be paid 55% of earnings (so say the BBC) but to make money on videos the a minimum criteria has been put in place.  

  • Creators must have 3 minutes videos
  • 10,000 Facebook followers
  • Have more than 30,000 viewers who stayed for more than one minute when watching the content over the past two months

21. Social audio all-round

Twitter is now allowing users to live stream using audio only along with LinkedIn audio messaging and Snapchat voice-controlled lenses.

22. Social media usage tracking

Facebook and Instagram have introduced a new ‘your activity’ feature, allowing users to view their average time spent on the platforms and set reminders to let them know when they’ve reached their self-managed limit.

Wow, that’s a lot to take in. But it’s ok… we know the only constant in the social media marketing industry is change!

Strategies will always need to adapt and evolve based on new innovation and customer trends. Are you up to date?

You can stay in touch with what’s happening by attending our monthly Social Circle events, held in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham.

Find out about the next event here:

Social Circle Facebook

Social Circle Twitter

Social Circle Instagram

Any questions on any of the above? Feel free to give me a shout 



By |2019-01-04T18:27:02+00:00January 4th, 2019|Latest Articles|