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This Week in Social Media – Jan. 18. 2018

Sharmin Kent January 19, 2018

It’s the end of the week as we know it, and this writer feels fine–but there’s a lot going on in the world of social media. The ad community is talking about Facebook’s latest updates, Snapchat’s redesign is getting thumbs-down from users, and WhatsApp is getting closer to offering business accounts to brands.

Fear Not, Facebookers

The social marketing world was shaken a bit last week when Facebook announced its plans to change the way users see content in their news feeds. Now that everyone’s had a little time to cycle through the stages of social ad revenue grief, we’re finally reaching acceptance. AdWeek’s piece on the update features members of the ad community who are using the changes as an opportunity to fine tune strategies.

One expert interviewed, Mari Smith, suggests brands engage with their followers by creating groups. “Facebook is really building out groups,” Smith said. “It’s almost building a new News Feed, a separate Facebook—[are] groups the next Facebook?” Brands panicking about losing audiences can retain them–they just might have to work a little harder to do it.

Snapchat’s User Backlash

It seems like the biggest, most successful social channels have to endure a slump before seeing steady growth. Snapchat’s latest slump, however, isn’t getting much better. TechCrunch reports Snapchat’s taking a real user experience hit, with 83% of user reviews panning the new design.

The vast majority of the negative reviews are centered around the update, with many users asking if they can revert to the old layout. The question now is whether Snapchat will attempt to push users to accept the changes, or make improvements and a few retrofits. Either choice has its dangers: losing regular users could hurt just as much as losing brands whose ads don’t perform well.

WhatsApp Gets to Business

WhatsApp’s close to offering business accounts to brands, and it could give its parent company a revenue boost. Reuters reports that while some businesses already use WhatsApp to answer customer service requests, the new offer will allow companies to send automatic greetings, review message metrics and list business hours.

But there’s a catch: the CEO of WhatsApp has ruled out advertising, which could be a large part of its popularity among its users. But with more than a billion users and Facebook’s own big changes, WhatsApp’s parent company–Facebook–might reconsider its stance on an ad-free channel.

What’s in your news feed this week? Drop me a line at and let’s chat about it.