Facebook and Instagram news digest for 2022

13 min read
28 March 2022


Messenger update

Android and iOS have seen the core update of Facebook messenger. New features include disappearing messages allowing you to opt for a chat with text, GIFs, images, and reactions vanishing automatically once a user views them. Sending voice messages has become more convenient: users can preview or pause voice recordings before sending them, and the duration of voice messages has increased to 30 minutes.

Updates have also touched the privacy settings regulating such issues as where you can send messages and who can interact with the user. And one more update concerns an increase in the number of available stickers and emojis.

Experts note that the Facebook messenger functionality is now equal to such popular services as Telegram and WhatsApp. And in some ways, it even leaves them behind with more options and more convenient ones. For example, it is announced that a new Split Payments option letting users split the bill evenly among group members has been launched and tested in the United States. This new feature is not yet available in other countries.

New opportunities after the transition to the Metaverse

On his Facebook page Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, reported about the transition to the Metaverse, a virtual reality platform, and what it would mean for the social network.

The CEO said that Facebook will have to transform the ‘cultural operating system’ to build ‘the future of social connection.’ You may remember that last autumn, the company changed its name to Meta, and by doing so, the top management clearly outlined the keyway to development for Facebook.

The company plans to actively develop VR and AR tools in the metaverse, to boost user interaction in the virtual space. According to Mark Zuckerberg, businesses will find this new digital platform most suitable for customer engagement.

The CEO of Meta emphasized that the transition to the Metaverse will not affect either the Facebook conceptual idea as a social network or its functionality. However, new sources of profit will become available for businesses in the future. The company plans to provide more access to the e-commerce market and enable to earn money not only on advertising but also on selling products.

The company management believes that once Metaverse starts developing, it will attract a younger audience. For this, it is necessary to launch augmented and virtual reality tools, put Reels in the focus of attention in social networks, and modify the apps taking into account the needs and tastes of users aged 18-29. This age group is the Facebook priority.

Facebook Jobs service is shutting down

Everybody is aware that the Facebook Jobs service for posting vacancies is to be closed. The service will be available only for job seekers in Canada and the USA. The company posted this news in its Helpdesk section.

The service worked via the integration of API Jobs on Facebook. Now the tool of free job posting has been removed from social networking services. The change concerns the Facebook mobile version, the app, and the main version on all platforms.

Facebook groups that were related to Jobs are public now.

However, users in the USA and Canada can continue posting job ads and applying for vacancies.

Detailed targeting categories are getting deleted

In January, Facebook started removing detailed targeting parameters in more than a thousand categories. Groups linked to nationality, health, political beliefs, sexual orientation, in other words, areas that people may find sensitive, are being turned off.

The recent change has been forced into effect by the legislation concerning the protection of user data that you cannot use for targeting ads without the consent given by social network users.

Experts point out that it shows that the importance of targeted advertising for promotion tends to increase. Regulators and market participants strive for higher protection of the users’ personal data. Thus, searching for new marketing tools becomes obligatory.

It is vital to collect data and customize ads for particular audience segments for efficient targeting. This trend makes it possible to use the benefits of retargeting as the core channel of engagement with users.

Those advertising campaigns using the deleted options will continue to work until March 17, 2022.

Business Accounts

Facebook is developing the service of Business Accounts. It will give users additional opportunities: they will be able to view statistics concerning their posts and information about the audience. In addition, this mode will provide faster access to content monetization.

Facebook reports, that it will not be necessary to create a business page to be able to start a personal blog on Facebook. Business page options will now become available for personal pages. You can switch off the option at any time.

The concept of such an option will be similar to business accounts on Instagram. At the present moment, one can link a Facebook page to Instagram profile and post publications taken from this profile.

It is supposed that a new possibility will help increase the segment of those companies willing to sell products via Facebook and that they will use the social network as the main channel of communication with customers.

The company expects that the function will get tested in the United States, and already this year, users in the other areas will also get access to it.

Inspiration section

The new Inspiration section is found in Creator Studio and features the most well-known recent content. Users can filter content to find materials of the desired format and theme for the required period.

The section allows you to view popular content on Facebook and Instagram platforms. Filter parameters include time, post topic, video or photo format, language, country, etc.

It is noted that in the view of promotion, the new section is helpful because it allows following top-performing trends when you create your own content. For example, you can use the catchiest video filters for your target audience and thus, stay updated.

Now Creator Studio tools allow you to collect information about the content posted on both social networks, create your own text, photo, and video materials using this information, make forecasts for monetization and then manage it.

Currently, the Hashtags tab has popular tags only in English, while you can search for photos, videos, and other content in Russian. You can find the Inspiration tab on the main panel of Creator Studio.

Restoration of the system evaluating advertising effectiveness

Not long ago, new Apple rules jeopardized the transparency and effectiveness of Facebook advertising. It is possible to track user activities only if users provide their consent. And because only a small number of users have given their consent, advertisers now cannot measure the audience’s actions after it has viewed the promotional content. Consequently, it has become harder to analyze advertising effectiveness.

Previously Facebook announced that a ban on tracking data from Apple smartphones would also hurt small businesses because advertising on apps is the core source of income for many companies.

However, Facebook recently said , that the company is working to develop the tools to comply with the new Apple rules. To do it, the company invests in artificial intelligence and process automation.

So, with the help of new tools, Facebook plans to give advertisers information about a bigger audience to compensate for the lack of data about some individual segments. With this, privacy requirements will comply with the legislation and Apple policy.

According to Meta representatives, the company will update the method for measuring the effectiveness of advertising campaigns this year. It will help the platform remain advantageous for business.


Stories likes

Instagram is rolling out a new feature — an option called Private Story Likes. Now you can like people’s stories with heart symbols without sending a DM. The social network representatives said that the new heart icon would appear next to the paper airplane icon (respond to the story).

The new feature has added a simple way of communication on Instagram, as hearts sent by users will now be shown in the activity statistics and will not come through as a DM. It will help reduce the pressure around DM responses which is particularly important for large-format accounts.

Only account owners will be able to view the number of Story likes and viewer names. As the company representatives said on Twitter, the key idea is to ensure that people ‘can express more support for each other’ and ‘clean up DMs a little bit.’

Unlike post likes, heart likes to Stories do not have counts. Previously, Instagram offered different ways of showing statistics on likes to publications. Now users can hide the number of Likes in the Settings menu.

Remaking Reels and remix options

The new Instagram tool is about creating reaction Reels. The option makes it easy to create video content with characteristic features.

The process of remaking videos is pretty simple. You need to turn on the desired Reel, use the designated button, start recording and repeat the movements seen in the original video with your camera working.

It is specified that the duration of your video will be equal to the original one — and the same music is played.

Another tool aimed at increasing video content attractiveness is about making remixes with the use of other Reels. The original video appears on the left, and the remix is on the right. The same algorithm works for TikTok.

You can remix not only Reels but also any public videos. However, you cannot use the option for videos posted before the update. To record a reply, you need to tap the Enable Remixing button and start filming or select the required video from the gallery.

The functionality of the new option includes editing possibilities like music and voice effects, a voice-over, and other creative tools for making original content.

Digital avatars

Metaverse users — with Instagram being a part of it — now have access to the digital avatar option. As the developers think, in the future, the created characters will be able to collaborate in the virtual space.

You can select virtual characters of future metaverse inhabitants in the account settings on Instagram. The editing panel does not offer to choose a gender but has enough tools for creating female or male images. You can select virtual characters of future metaverse inhabitants in the account settings on Instagram. The editing panel does not offer to choose a gender but has enough tools for creating female or male images.

In the nearest future, you will be able to use avatars as stickers in Stories and messages, but the option is unavailable now. However, now it is possible to create the character.

To create an avatar, you need to go to the Account section and select the corresponding tab. You can choose a skin, eye, or — hair color, a hairstyle, clothes, accessories, and other features, including wrinkles.

Add Yours sticker

The new Add Yours sticker on Instagram will help to boost engagement in Stories posts. It is handy when you need to launch challenges, contests, flash mobs, and other events which aim to collect user-generated content.

Bloggers and business communities use the sticker widely. In terms of promotion, it is really a helpful tool that can increase the number of reach and views.

The mechanism is simple: you need to post Stories content with the Add Yours sticker, and other users can respond with their stories using this sticker. Themes can be different: a photo of your office desk, a view from a window, a list of goals for the year, a dance competition, etc.

SMM professionals are already testing various types of content that can help understand your audience better and attract attention to the account. The original story can become viral due to posted reactions of other users.

Besides, you can prompt users to share impressions about your products or services with the sticker. It will give you a chance not only to increase engagement and get feedback — but also to build up the Feedback section.

Another effective way to boost engagement is to prompt the followers to think of a funny caption for your photos and videos. In general, this sticker is pretty helpful for collecting and posting any funny content if it complies with the profile style and theme.

All posted stories are saved in the public feed you can always view.

Collab option

One more tool allows you to increase the reach that enables publishing posts with co-authors. This option supports one of the core Instagram tendencies for collaboration with brands and bloggers.

The crucial feature idea is to post content on the profile grids of both authors. A joint post will have shared comments and likes, and it will appear on both accounts. Users can opt for this feature to post impressions about a joint vacation or work, while business and media people can use it to declare their intention to collaborate.

You should choose the required account on the publication tab and tap the Invite Collaborator button to use this option. Once the other collaborator agrees to publish a joint post, the algorithm will select the followers who will be able to view the collab.

Instagram clarifies that the tool is ‘not designed for creating joint publications.’ It focuses on collaboration when publishing posts. The key goal is to increase the reach due to shared followers.

The advantages of the new tool include an opportunity to get rid of posts with duplicate content, increase the reach of the target audience, and a chance to get more likes and comments.

Do not forget to keep to the style of your profile and publish co-authored posts that will not affect the general idea of your account design.

A selfie video verification

Instagram started to ask to do a selfie video verification in some cases. As for the Twitter account, the company representatives explained that the step is necessary to make the platform more secure against bot accounts.

Users with suspicious activity are asked to take a video selfie showing their face. The account owner will be required to do so if, for example, they have put too many likes or were spotted doing mass following and unfollowing.

After blocking a suspicious account, Instagram demands that an identity verification selfie video should meet several requirements, such as a camera held at eye level and eye focus on the camera lens. It is recommended to take a selfie from different angles.

With that, Instagram guarantees the face verification feature and biometric data collection will not be used everywhere. A selfie video is only necessary to ensure that a human being is the profile owner.

The social network representatives state that selfie videos are not posted on public channels and can be accessed only by a team of specialists. Upon that, video materials get deleted within 30 days.

All new users may be required to provide a selfie video in the future. By doing this, Instagram expects to reduce the number of spam profiles and fakes.

Searching by posts

Instagram has rolled out a new feature: search results now show posts. Users can see them in the Top Post section after entering a keyword in the search box. The option works for photos and videos, but it is not available for Reels now.

Posts that manage to make their way in the search results can become an effective promotional tool. Instagram advises considering several criteria that may help your posts get in the Top Post section.

First of all, posts get ranked by their popularity. An account with many followers has a greater chance to get in the Top Post section. Thus, large-size accounts will be able to take the top search lines.

Another vital criterion is engagement: likes, comments, marked content, reposts, etc. So, posts with active engagement go to the Top Post section. One more criterion is the posting date: the most recent posts will be at the top of the list.

Besides, the Instagram algorithm will also analyze the profile activities of the user who searches. The feed analyzes the accounts visited by the users, their subscriptions, engagement with the content, and then it displays recommended posts that may be potentially interesting for the users.