Sure, every day there’s a tweak here and there but these are exciting.
But here are some changes that authors need to know.
Back in March, Twitter unveiled Periscope, a live-streaming video application.
Videos are called scopes and likes are communicated in the form of hearts. Similar to Instagram, just tap the screen and send you an appreciation for the “scope.”
When I first learned about Periscope in late spring, I also discovered Alex Pettitt on YouTube. He’s a Periscope expert and uses the app to dispense his tips. You’ll also find his short videos on YouTube. He’s a kick to listen to.
When I first tried Periscope several months ago, I filmed my first scope, and then immediately deleted it. However, I enjoy some of the Scopes my followers have been posting.
Here are a few tips:
- Use an enticing title for your broadcasts.
- Make some test broadcasts before you start sharing them.
- Engage in others scopes by leaving a comment.
- Post your video when most of your readers/followers are online.
Make some test broadcasts and just have fun with it for now.
Twitter’s 140-Character Limit Vanishes – in DMs
If you want to communicate a longer message to a reader or another writer on Twitter, you can now do that in a direct message.
Twitter has been rolling out this feature since mid-August so if it isn’t yet available to you, check back. It’s coming.
Twitter’s New Dashboard
Twitter has upgraded its dashboard to help you better manage and monitor your account.
This is from Twitter’s blog:
Now, your Twitter data dashboard — which you can access from the settings menu on twitter.com — shows your account activation details, the devices that have accessed your account and your recent login history. With this information, you can quickly review your account activity and verify that everything looks the way it should.
And if you’re concerned about safety issues, Twitter now has a Safety Center. If you’re concerned about safety on the Internet, including Twitter, check out this new web page.
New Tab Coming to Twitter
There were rumors about a project identified as Project Lightning this past spring. Back then, BuzzFeed reported Twitter was planning a button on the mobile app dedicated to providing news in real time.
Now it appears that Twitter is planning a News tab, not a button. (Presently the tabs are Home, Notifications and Messages for direct messages).
This move makes sense. There’s an aspect of Twitter that’s similar to the old news wire that first communicated stories in newsrooms.
Twitter holds the lead in announcing earthquakes in California and Nepal as well as other events around the world.
It’s always important for authors to be apprised of breaking news. Why? First, as a citizen of the world. Secondly, your book may relate to what’s happening.
Expect a formal launch sometime soon.
Facebook May Enter the Blogosphere
Do you use Notes? On your Author Page, it’s a good place to list your blog posts to generate interest in your past posts as well as deliver some good old-fashioned SEO to your blog.
According to SiliconBeat, Notes is getting a makeover but right now only a small number of people have access to it. Perhaps they’re emulating LinkedIn’s successful publishing platform or trying to attract writers who use Medium, a blogging platform. Stay tuned.
Privately Message Your Readers
If you have a Facebook author page, you can now privately message readers who leave wall posts or comments on your page (not your profile).
Previously, you’ve only been able to reply to a comment in the comment section below your status update.
How might you use this new feature to reach your readers?
If you like to share videos on your author page, is rolling out improved video-upload tools and a video library.
These tools will allow you to share these videos with a select group of readers, and you’ll be able to set an expiration date.
You can use this feature with your street team or most loyal readers to make them feel special or give them advance information on a new book.
Facebook Changes Its Algorithm – Again
In June, Facebook tweaked its algorithm. The network announced that it would limit the reach of page posts that it deemed “overly promotional.”
Here’s what they said to explain their term overly promotional:
Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app.
Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context.
Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.
What does this mean for you? Market your content by simply posting intriguing copy that will make people want to click your links.
And save your promotional language for a paid ad. You’ll find more tips here.
News Feed Changes
Did you know that you can control what you see in your news feed?
If there are too many posts from a certain someone that are clogging up your news feed, you can now control your stream. Here are the steps according to Facebook:
To view your News Feed preferences:
- Click in the top-right corner of any Facebook page (ex: your home page)
- Select News Feed Preferences
To adjust your News Feed preferences:
- Click Prioritize who to see first to make posts from people or Pages appear at the top of your News Feed. Learn about see first.
- Click Unfollow people to hide their posts to unfollow a person, Page or group. Learn about unfollowin.
- Click Reconnect with people you unfollowed to follow a person, Page or group that you unfollowed in the past. Learn about reconnecting.
According to an analytics firm called locowise:
Facebook reports that a user spends 46 minutes per day between Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. 32 percent of U.S. teens see Instagram as their main platform compared to 24 percent for Twitter and 14 percent for Facebook.
I’ll be discussing new statistics from the Pew Research Center in a future post.
What changes in Facebook and Twitter are you most interested in?
About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. And be sure to check out her Social Media for Authors Podcast.