It’s been a year of significant departures, plummeting stocks and interface updates, across social platforms. There are daily news stories containing platform updates from the significant to the minute and keeping on top of all of them is key to maintaining an effective social media strategy.

As we scroll through the end of 2018, we’re taking a look back at some of the biggest social media stories of the year and how these have affected activity across our favourite places to scroll.

Here are the biggest news stories in social media through 2018:

The Cambridge Analytica scandal

One of the biggest personal data breaches in recent history rocked the world of social media early in 2018. The consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, were found to have mined through millions of personal data records on Facebook, without any consent from the individuals affected.

This data scandal brought social media to the forefront of the news, with the consequential testimonies at Congress being streamed across the world as Mark Zuckerberg made a bid to explain what had happened.

While the case was, of course, a massive blow to Facebook, with the company losing over $100 billion in shares, it also raised further questions around the ethics involved across social media. Facebook have since taken steps to being more transparent with their audience, running ads across the world in print, on billboards and online, explaining exactly how personal data is been used and apologising to their mass audience.

The launch of IGTV

Adding another function to the biggest social media platform in the world, this year saw Instagram launch IGTV. Set aside from the main feed of images and Instagram Stories, also available in its own app, IGTV was designed to bring long-form video content to Instagram.

Content was capped at one hour in length which saw creators exploring their creativity to communicate with their audience. Five months since its launch, the feature is failing to gain the legion of fans that previous Instagram launches have accumulated, seemingly overnight. The app continues to push their newest content feature, only time will tell if it picks up the same loyal fan base as the other features of the platform.

Snapchat’s stocks plummet

The influencer effect took hold of Snapchat earlier this year, when one of its most noteworthy users fell out of love with the app.

Following Kylie Jenner’s tweet asking “does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me?”, the Snapchat stock lost $1.3 billion and a chunk of users.

Kylie later took to Twitter to apologise, but it seemed the damage had already been done. This blow, combined with a negative response to their app update and privacy concerns around the Snapchat Map feature, meant the app having some big hurdles to overcome in order to end the year on a high.

A more meaningful Facebook

January saw Mark Zuckerberg taking the mindfulness trend to the Facebook empire. The platform introduced a new algorithm that would be focusing on ‘more meaningful content’.

Users would start to see content based on what they genuinely engage with and see accounts where they’ve previously had Zuckerberg’s perceived ‘meaningful’ conversations.

From a user perspective, there seemed to be very minimal talk around the new update, it was business as usual for most. From a brand and business perspective however, the conversation around developing a tone of voice that personally spoke to audiences was never more important. In order to have content seen, brands needed a much more considered approach towards their Facebook content in order to boost their posts up the news feed.

Instagram founders step down

A significant development in the world of social media this year was the news of Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger stepping down from Instagram.

The rumour mill pointed towards tension between the pair and Facebook, but two months after the news was announced, detail is still slim as to the details of the departure.

By their own claim, the pair departed to focus on “exploring creativity again” and we’re excited to see where that may take them.

Social media headlines continue to work their way through the daily news cycle and the above are just a handful of the developments that have come through in 2018.

As always, we’ll have our finger on the pulse through the next year, delivering bigger and better social content for our clients.

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