To help you stay tuned in to the latest changes and updates in social media, we’ve gathered the top five most important updates worth hearing about:

1. Twitter ditches the ⭐️ for the ❤️

Twitter announced Tuesday that the tried and true star is now a heart or ‘like.’ This is pretty big news, as Twitter continues to try and define itself in the social media landscape. In the announcement Twitter offers:

“We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.”

A big change, especially for long-time users, but perhaps it will make it more accessible for people who simply don’t understand the platform.

2. Facebook Notes get a fresh new look

With the growth of services like Medium and the popularity of LinkedIn Pulse, it appears Facebook has decided to throw its hat in the ring of long-form publishing. It has not formally announced an update on the change with Notes, but journalists have started to take note.

The new look will highlight large hero images, a more visually appealing reading experience and overall upgrade to the look and feel of an outdated ‘notes’ publisher (think Medium within the Facebook platform). This update might mean a lot more long-form content on the platform as users take advantage of the new tool as a format to push content. It wouldn’t be entirely unexpected if Facebook started serving Notes material with the reach that videos have – to convert more to the Facebook blogging and away from competitors.

It’s worth noting that the revamped notes is only available to individuals right now and the jury is still out on how it will affect brand pages.

3. Instagram Boomerang

Step aside Snapchat and vine, hello Instagram Boomerang? Instagram recently unveiled a new video app that “lets you turn everyday moments into something fun and unexpected…Boomerang takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward.”

Instagram is upping its video game offering services competitive to the newest iPhone camera update.  Video continues to reign supreme in 2015, and these newest add-ons make it even easier for  users to modify and play with video to make it entertaining and engaging. Consider this another tool in your arsenal to make video fun.

4. Twitter is helping you better understand your audience

Twitter has been hard at work rolling out several new tools for consumers and brands. It appears it is developing tools that can better understand audiences and groups with shared interests. The two new tools they just launched, Twitter polls and the Twitter brand hub, can do just that. Twitter Polls allow Twitter users to survey followers on a topic that matters to them, whether it’s a burning question about a new product feature or simply better understanding if it’s a blue dress or white dress.

The second update is the launch of Twitter Brand Hub. Embedded in your Twitter analytics page (that is, it looks like you need to be running advertising on your account) this brand hub should be able to tell you a lot more information about your audience, including what they like or dislike and potentially unveil new market opportunities.

5. Facebook Sentiment or ‘Reactions’ Emojis

Facebook began testing sentiment emojis in specific markets in Europe. The new sentiment emojis will be closely connected to the ‘like’ buttons anywhere and everywhere on Facebook. They were originally hailed as the long-awaited ‘dislike’ button, gathering much excitement. In reality, these buttons will do less to encourage negative reactions and more to create empathy, allowing the expression of a broader range of sentiment.


Facebook Reactions Emoji List

Image via Adage.

Even if it isn’t the official ‘dislike’ button, which would have it’s own host of PR concerns, there will likely still be a plethora of new ways consumers start engaging with brands in playful and perhaps negative ways. Staying in tune with your followers and keeping a close eye on these sentiment reactions if/when the buttons make their way to mass market.

If you takeaway nothing else from today’s posts, I hope you take away this: gifs are finally allowed on Facebook brand pages! Originally reserved for individuals and then popular consumer brands, the gif is finally making it to brand pages. Next time you’re looking for media to share with your posts give a gif a try, you never know how it might perform.