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  • Writer's pictureAaron Jones

The Top Social Media Stories of 2017

What a year was in social media. Everything changed, every platform evolved. And yes, 2017 was the year of Instagram. But Facebook made the headlines almost every week. Welcome to our recap of the 8 biggest social media stories of 2017.

It has been a crazy year. If we were to remember 2017 by one thing and one thing only, it would be the introduction and unstoppable growth of Stories as a format. Think about it, they are everywhere now, from Instagram to Facebook, to Snapchat and Messenger, and now even on YouTube with the new Reels.

Instagram doubled its size in 2017, going from 400 million users in February to over 800 million by September! The platform outperforms all others for Live video, Stories and engagement. Wow. And it shows no signs of slowing down, having just added Stories highlights, recommended posts and the ability to now follow hashtags on top of just people. Yes, to me, 2017 was the year of Instagram.

Platform of the year 2017? Instagram, of course. It grew from 400M users in February to over 800M by September.

Here are the top stories of 2017:

8. Instagram Stories Ads Are Now Available To Everyone Globally

The new Instagram Stories ads let you use the targeting and reach capabilities that we’ve all come to love. Yes, Instagram is owned by Facebook, and that makes all the difference if you compare to other similar platforms. Snapchat for example. On Instagram Stories, your ads become relevant to the people you want to reach – simply because you are able to target them so well.

7. Facebook Pages Can Now Post In Groups They Admin

Facebook started allowing Pages to link to, and post to groups they admin, to bolster community-building. You have always seen the significant benefits of it: more conversation between your followers, improved customer support, and stronger advocacy. But you already have a Page, and you’re confused as to why, or how, you should maintain both. And you’re also worried that it would divide your audience, and weaken your engagement rate. Read on.

Over a billion Facebook users actively participate in Groups

6. Bored Of Static Facebook Covers? Now You Can Use Video!

Your cover photos need not be boring anymore. Facebook introduced a new feature, allowing Pages to use a looping short video instead of static images as their Page cover. Narcos, which has always been pushing for more marketing efforts on social media, was among the first Pages to gain access to the feature.

Facebook has started allowing some Pages to use video instead of a static cover image

5. Here’s How You Can Request To Join A Friend’s Instagram Live Video

Going live on Instagram is very easy. And now, if you want to add a friend to join in on your live broadcast, you can do so easily as well. Instagram allows the opposite as well. You can request to take part in a friend’s live video broadcast. It’s simple to do.

4. Twitter Officially Rolls Out Its Switch To 280 Characters

We know. You wanted the ability to edit Tweets. That’s what most people would vote for if asked what feature Twitter really needs – and it’s the feature I’d go for as well. You’re not going to get that though. At least not yet. What you are getting this week instead, is a new character limit. Whether you like it or not, the new 280-character limit, announced in September, is now live.

3. Facebook Won’t Let You Edit Link Previews Anymore

Following a change to its Graph API, Facebook is removing the ability to edit a link preview – its image, title and text – before sharing a link on the platform. The change was announced at F8, and has now taken effect.

Spammers, scammers, and ‘clickbaiters’ begone! No more editing link previews on Facebook

2. Facebook Stories Can Now Be Made Public

Facebook launched its Snapchat-inspired Stories in March this year, giving users a way to share updates that disappear every 24 hours. Starting in August, users could start seeing Stories from people outside their network as well. In a bid to increase engagement on Stories, Facebook started to allow users who allow public followers to view their posts, to set their Stories to public.

In a bid to increase engagement on Stories, Facebook now allows them to be viewed publicly

1. You Can Now Follow Hashtags On Instagram

When Instagram moved from a chronological feed to an algorithm-driven timeline, people first reacted badly. But today, we have to admit that our feeds have become much more interesting and engaging. For one, the change has helped us discover new content. And this new feature is about to really boost discovery.

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