To paraphrase Ferris Bueller, social media moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

That’s why from time to time we like to offer an overview of all the recent changes to some of the major networks in social media. There’s always something new to learn, study or experiment with in social media, and even the biggest social media networks aren’t exempt from this rule.

Here are 14 of some of the most recent changes to Facebook, Twitter,  Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram that social media marketers can benefit from.

social media updates

Facebook updates

1. Search for past posts

Facebook’s most recent update (as of only yesterday!) is making it easier to find posts you want to get back to. According to the social media network, a way to search past posts through Facebook Graph Search has been a much requested feature.

“You’ve given us a lot of feedback on the Graph Search beta. You’ve told us the most important thing is being able to find posts you’ve seen before, and now you can. With a quick search, you can get back to a fun video from your graduation, a news article you’ve been meaning to read, or photos from your friend’s wedding last summer.”

facebook search

This update is rolling out this week in US English on iPhone and desktop. I haven’t been able to see it in action just yet; let me know if you have!

2. Saved posts

Ever come across something great you want to read on Facebook when you don’t quite have the time to devote to it right then? Facebook must have noticed lots of us with this challenge, so they created a great solution: Saved posts!

When you spot an intriguing post or event, you can click the drop-down menu to quickly save it for later like so:

how to save a post on Facebook

When you’re ready to browse your saved posts, you can find them in the menu on the left side under your profile.

where to find saved posts on Facebook

This will take you to all your saved stories, where you can read and archive them at your leisure. Quick privacy note: Only you can see the things you save on Facebook to view later.

3. Rooms for every interest

One of Facebook’s most fascinating recent additions is Rooms—an anonymous chatroom type app that hearkens back to the early days on the web.

Here’s how Facebook describes Rooms in the debut announcement:

Rooms lets you create places for the things you’re into, and invite others who are into them too.  A room is a feed of photos, videos, and text – not too different from the one you have on Instagram or Facebook – with a topic determined by whoever created the room.

When you join, some Rooms will be recommended to you, but there is no way to search for Rooms. That’s on purpose, Facebook Product Manager Josh Miller told Mashable.

“Though counterintuitive, our logic was that retro web browsers didn’t offer ‘discovery’ for early Internet communities — you had to tell Netscape exactly where you wanted to go –- so why should we?” he said. “Our hypothesis was that places on the web being hard to find was a feature, not a bug.”

You get into a Room by snapping a photo of the Room’s QR code:

Facebook rooms entry QR code

Then you can browse photos and contribute on your topics of interest.

Facebook room Backpack Diaries

 

I have to admit that Facebook Rooms are still a bit mysterious to me. I’d love to hear about your experiences with them!

4. Facebook Groups app

Facebook Groups are a great way to stay in touch with specific groups of people with shared interests, and now you can have that experience on mobile as well as the Facebook desktop with the new Facebook Groups app.

You can post updates, links and photos to your groups, start new discussions and find new groups to join, or even start a new group right through the app.

When you open the app, you’ll see all your Facebook Groups in one place. Groups you use most frequently are at the top, and you can quickly move between each group.

Facebook groups app

5. “Buy” button

Have you spotted this one in the wild yet? I haven’t seen it myself, but Facebook has started testing a new feature that allows users on desktop or mobile to  click a “Buy” button on ads and Page posts and purchase a product without leaving Facebook.

This change, if rolled out widely, could be a major boon to help businesses drive sales through Facebook in News Feed and on Pages.
Facebook buy button

Twitter updates

6. Archive search

This is a big one: With Twitter’s new full tweet index, you can now search through every public tweet since the social network’s launch in 2006. For instance, here’s Buffer’s very first tweet!

Buffer's first tweet

To help you navigate this new bounty, Twitter has added some enhanced options into its Advanced Search, including handy date range functionality to help you pinpoint what you’re looking for.

Twitter archive search

 

Originally, Twitter was designed to focus on just the present moment, so the service removed every tweet from its search index after a week or so.

“Our search engine excelled at surfacing breaking news and events in real time, and our search index infrastructure reflected this strong emphasis on recency.”

But as the service has evolved, Twitter has been working on improving its search function with a goal to “to let people search through every Tweet ever published.”

Now that that moment has arrived, it’s fun to look back and see how we’ve all evolved our Twitter style. It could also be worth a quick spin through your old tweets just to be sure there aren’t any surprises lurking there!

7. Share tweets through Direct Messages

In a change that could be handy for social media managers and community managers on the go, Twitter has also recently added the ability to share tweets through direct messaging.

Here’s how the process works, in a GIF from Twitter:

share tweets via DM

The person you share with will get a push notification, and the tweet will display directly in the conversation.

This offers up a quick and efficient new channel for remote teams to share information about what’s being said in their Twitter community.

8. New tweets in your timeline

You may have heard some of the murmurings that Twitter is likely working on an algorithm to help sort through the massive amount of content that gets posted there every day.

We can see what might be the beginnings of such a change in a move that Twitter made recently to show some tweets from accounts you don’t follow in your timeline.

Here’s how Twitter describes how you’ll observe this change your Twitter timeline today:

Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.

It’s too soon to say much about how this change might affect marketers, but as Marketing Land noted, “it could give the most clever and engaging brand accounts another way to reach people. Twitter already rewards the savvy, the funny and the timely; now with more serendipity in the mix, that bias should be amplified.”

LinkedIn updates

9. New stats on who’s viewed your profile

Ever wonder how people find you when they view your profile on LinkedIn? Now LinkedIn will tell you. With recent upgrades to the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” page (find it under Profile in LinkedIn’s navigation menu), you can see some cool charts that overlay what you do online there with what effect it had on your visibility. Here’s a peek at mine:

LinkedIn who viewed

LinkedIn will chart actions you take like “making various updates to your profile, endorsing a connection, joining a group or expanding your network” that could lead to a specific increase in engagement.

10. New blogging interface

If you blog or republish your posts on LinkedIn, you might have taken note of LinkedIn’s recently redesigned blogging interface.

“Our new experience – clean, elegant and intuitive – was created with you in mind. Whatever your style, your subject, your background, we’ve made it easier than ever to share insights and ideas with the world in a blog post.”

Here’s a look at the new, minimalist framework:

LinkedIn blogging

In the past I have experimented with syndicating some of our existing blog posts to LinkedIn and found that the time it took to get them all formatted didn’t quite pay off for me in terms of results. Giving this new experience a try, I found it to be very quick and intuitive.

To get started blogging on LinkedIn, go to your profile as if you were about to post a status update and look for the pencil icon that will take you to the blogging framework.

Linkedin blog

Pinterest updates

11. Pin from your iPhone

Pinning to Pinterest from your iPhone got lots easier recently when Pinterest upgraded its iOS app and allowed users to add the Pin It button to your phone and Pin right from your mobile browser.

Once you’ve updated your phone to iOS 8, get going with this one by tapping the Share button from Safari or Chrome, then tapping to turn on Pinterest. Then Pin away from your phone like so:

pin from iphone

Google+ updates

12. Plus Post Ads

If you’re active on Google+ and also run display ads through Google Ads, a recent change to Google+ could help you do double duty with one post.

Google’s new Plus Post ads allow you to turn your Google+ posts into display ads that run across the web. People can leave a comment, follow your brand, give a +1, or join a Hangout right from an ad.

You can give them a try if:

Get started on your first one here.

13. Pin posts on Google+

Pinning posts to make sure they get maximum exposure to your community is already a staple of Facebook and Twitter, and now you can pin a post to the top of your Google+ profile or page as well.

When someone visits your page, they’ll see the pinned content up top above the rest of your posts, noted by the little green thumbtack icon.

Google+ pinned post

To pin a post, simply open the drop-down menu on any public post and click the pin button.

how to pin g+

Right now, you can pin only from a desktop browser, and desktop and Android users will see your pinned posts (Google says iOS support coming soon). Only one post at any given time can be pinned.

Instagram updates

14. Caption editing

In the realm of small-but-mighty changes, Instagram recently added a much-requested change that allows you to edit captions on your posted photos. Goodbye, typos!

On any photo you’d like to edit, click on the small dots menu at bottom right and then choose “Edit” from the options that will appear.

edit Instagram photo

 

Those are the biggest changes we at Buffer have noticed recently in the major social media networks. What changes are rocking your social media world? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments!

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Written by Courtney Seiter

Courtney writes about social media, diversity and workplace culture at Buffer. She runs Girls to the Moon on the side and pets every dog she sees.

  • These are some very exciting updates and I can’t wait to try them out. I’ve already used the linked in blogging feature and it is nice. Facebook rooms sounds odd but the groups app can be a major plus. I like the direction the social media world is going.

    • Hey Jermaine, thanks for stopping by! I always get excited when I put together these type posts. It’s really fun to see how fast each platform changes and think of all the fun new things you can try!

  • You can finally edit instagram captions?! AHHH! FINALLY!!

    Also, the rest of this post was awesome. So many cool new things to try 🙂

    • Yayyyy! Yup, it’s the best! Thanks for checking out the post. 🙂

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      At last Instagram has developed… http://bitly.com/1zrFqLd

  • Lisa Byrnes Whiting

    Thanks Courtney…great summary, update and checklist. I had missed a few, so appreciate this. As always Buffer Team very informative and up to the minute need to know information.

    • Happy to share! Glad you found some new updates to check out, Lisa!

  • Awesome list of updates, Courtney – thank you! I shocked a few people the other day when they noticed I edited something on IG — “Where’d your typo go?!” *smiles* “You guys didn’t hear you can EDIT on IG now?!” A mini-celebrate ensued. 🙂

    • Nice work staying on top of that Instagram change, Casie! Yup, that is one of my favorite changes, too!

  • Yay.
    I used the ‘edit picture’ this afternoon
    It is my first time on instagram this afternoon
    something tells me, instagram is going to be my new tool…

    • Oh, nice! You’ll have to let me know how you like it! 🙂

  • Peter Kelly

    The saved posts for FB is fascinating when considering what the platform’s future might be. That functionality is more indicative of a content aggregator or reading app (think Instapaper or Kippt) – FB seems to be heading towards this content-first recommendation engine via social means.

    • Great analysis, Peter! Those are such good points; I think you’re right on the money! It’ll be an interesting one to observe.

  • I loved being able to engage on a page that you manage. I hate when I like a page post as the page itself. This new features makes it easier to NOT have that happen. Still waiting to see this feature on mobile though.

    • Oh, great one Nick! I didn’t even think about how these Facebook changes might affect switching between pages. Glad it’s been positive for you!

  • Love the post, Courtney. True! Social media does move pretty fast. I think the edit ability on instagram and the sharing of tweets in direct messages are both awesome! I’ll be sure to share this with the social media team at my Chicago marketing agency .

    • Yup, those are two super handy ones! Thanks for checking out the post. 🙂

  • Courtney, thanks a lot for the update! It is amazing. I have heard about couple of them, but this is a nice summary. I haven’t heard about the Room app yet and probably don’t know how to use it either 🙂 Seems like another app to fill the screen and distract me all the time 😀
    I must say I’m not a big fan of the new Twitter feature to see tweets from users I don’t follow. Hope it won’t be overwhelming or annoying too much. Maybe great for businesses, but not that much for users.

    • Hi Petr! Thanks for checking out the post! I think folks might be a bit divided on the idea of tweets in your timeline from those you don’t follow. I’m sure Twitter is on the case and working on the most seamless experience there!

      • Yes, still I’m looking forward to that, maybe we’ll see some great tips and inspiration in those tweets 🙂

  • Alia Gray

    The Instagram edits are huge, as is the possibility of the “buy” button on Facebook. I write social media content for a couple small companies and this is all very helpful information to keep in mind moving forward.

    • I agree, Alia–those are two big ones! Thanks so much for checking out the post!

  • Erick Fuentes

    too bad for instagram that needs to much changes and optimization… here there is only one!… but thanks for the rest! great post!

  • Loved this post – so simple but super effective changes for all social media marketers and managers like myself. The archive search update to Twitter has been a big one for me so far!

    • There is a lot of hidden potential in that Twitter archive! I’d love to hear how you’ve been using it! 🙂

      • I’ve been using it to find potential customers! I search for key words that my clients might talk about and then reach out to see if I can help and answer their questions. I’ve done it a few times and already landed a new client!

  • tlmaurer

    Very helpful, Courtney. Will definitely pass this along.

  • Elizabeth Hall

    Facebooks must still be rolling out the save post feature, because it is not available on any of the profiles or pages I manage. That will be a great feature. Great roll up of updated. Thanks.

    • Oh, interesting! Yes, I’ve been finding it really handy. Hope it hits your account soon!

  • keith

    was so useful

  • vicki mcleod

    Great round up! Thanks Courtney!

  • SammyDEEEE

    Great article, and I’m excited to use that new blogging platform on LinkedIn! Looks super-easy and simple!

  • Heather Brown McClurg

    Super helpful post Courtney. Thanks so much!

  • Paul Mosenson

    Nice overview. Thanks for summarizing

  • Wow, great post Courtney. Well done highlighting all of these.
    Can’t wait for the buy option for Facebook to be available in the wild. I have a ton of pages that would greatly benefit from this and would solve a huge pain point.

    • Thanks for checking it out, Kyle! I agree, the buy button could be a game changer!

  • Carolina Pastor

    Thanks Courtney for this helpful update. I still don’t have access to the new Facebook features from Switzerland but I am looking forward to seeing them live. I love the edit functionality on Instagram which I gladly discovered a few days ago 🙂

  • Liz

    Any word on whether Twitter is considering adding an edit function? Now that Instagram has added it, and Facebook already offers it, could it be just a matter of time?

    • I haven’t heard anything about this, but I’ll definitely keep my ear to the ground. That would be really neat!

  • If only Instagram would allow users to regram other users’ images within the app, instead of forcing us to use other tools like “Repost”. We should be able to comment, tag, and regram all in one app.

  • Antonio Fernandez

    Thank you so much for this synopsis!

  • My fav updates are Caption editing in Instagram and the Facebook Groups App… Both would make such a difference to my life…
    The rest are good but you know… 😀 Thx for the curated list Courtney. Was a good catch up session. 🙂

  • Ardhita Yuda Prakoso

    Finally..
    thanks you. Great Article update 🙂

  • chrismarklee

    My core of my marketing is now social media. I do Income taxes for locals. I use my Facebook business page to target my customer base. I move very slowly on Facebook on adding friends, etc. I want to be below the radar.

    Chris
    Owner CEL Financial Services
    http://www.taxprepfillmore.com/piru-ca-tax-preparation

  • Alok Rai

    Thanks a lot..that was a whole lot of useful information about changes to these platforms..all in one article.

  • Will Instagram ever allow people to post via a non-mobile device? I know there are workarounds, but it would be great if we could post photos directly and with Instagrams approval from our desktops or laptops.

  • The Owen Agency

    Some great up dates and thanks for the summary, I have now been downloading and checking them out. Really handy article!

  • kristen b

    This list is much appreciated. Thanks, Courtney!

  • Lindsay Pietroluongo

    These are SO helpful. I can’t believe how much great advice you packed into one blog post.

  • This was a really great and helpful post. Thanks, Courtney!

  • aaron bowersock

    Excellent post. Somethin’ for everyone! I’m definitely loving the trend of Linkedin expanding on its analytics.

    The strangest one has got to be “Rooms.” Facebook is always experimenting, so it would be interesting to see where this one goes.

    • Yeah, Rooms is a very unique one! I love that a network as big as Facebook is still doing funky experiments like that. 🙂

  • Zac

    Thank you Courtney!

  • Mary Jane Kinkade

    Wow! Thanks for the great info!

  • Wow lots of awesome updates I wasn’t aware of, thanks for writing about them! 🙂

  • Sugandhi Sharma

    Hi Courtney,thanks for the update. Facebook rooms app is quiet new to me. This information was helpful.

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  • Kenna Cook

    Facebook Groups App will be interesting. Being able to use Facebook without being on the traditional platform is a nice change. And finally LinkedIn updates their look. It’s like send your resume in Comic Sans font…get with the times!

    • I hear ya; more mobile functionality is always nice! 🙂

  • I don’t like room option because, it a category types system not whole.

    • I think Rooms is a really interesting case. I can see how it might not be for everyone! Thanks for reading. 🙂

  • Rahul Banyal

    Great article, Thanks Courtney for update about all social platform.

  • Hi Courtney,

    It’s really useful post. I knew few of the changes and really happy to find some new ones through your article.

    Thanks

  • KeithBresee

    Hey Courtney!

    These are really great updates to know about!

    Great post! 🙂

    Keith

  • Hannah Beacham

    Great post! One thing to watch is copying your blog content directly into LinkedIn’s publisher. Those posts are indexed and can pose duplicate content penalties from an SEO perspective.

  • Darren Johnson

    Great compilation of all the changes! Keep up the good work. That way we can be like Ferris once and awhile and take a day off.

  • Bruno

    A recent (annoying) change I’ve noticed on Instagram is that adding a new #tag to a photo does not put that photo at the top of the search results for that #tag but instead places it in the timeline of when the photo was first posted. This means for popular #tags, your past photo will never be anywhere near the top of the search results. Can you please confirm that this is as a result of a change to how Instagram manages this?

  • Alex DZ

    does anyone see the difference between facebook groups and rooms? just two different platforms? and some minor differences in their features?