We take a look at this month’s top 5 social media news stories that you need to know about to stay ahead of the game.

New Look LinkedIn

In what has been dubbed its ‘largest desktop redesign’ since its inception, LinkedIn has begun rolling out its latest iteration. Apparently a ‘complete overhaul’ of its ‘technology architecture’, the redesign aims to put ‘conversations and content at the centre’ of the network.

But what does this update mean in practical terms? According to LinkedIn it offers ‘streamlined navigation’, in addition to a new real-time messaging interface, a more intelligent content feed, improved search and deeper into who exactly is viewing your content. We like it, but it’s taking some getting used to.

Instagram Live

Those in the US have had the ability to live stream to their followers for a while now. But this month, the feature was rolled out to a far wider audience; the UK, Germany, France, Brazil, Canada and Japan. The feature is, as you might expect, similar to Facebook’s live streaming functionality. However, unlike Facebook Live, any video broadcast individually disappears the moment the user stops streaming.

Ads for Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories only launched this past November, but the network is already allowing big brands to advertise among the organic content created there. According to Instagram, there are around 30 brands currently trying out the new ad units, including usual customers Nike, ASOS and Airbnb.

Instagram’s Stories ads will be sold using the platform’s usual targeted, auction-esque functionality. And we can see why brands are keen to get on board, with Instagram recently announcing that 150 million users per day are using the stories, un uptick of 50 million in 3 months.

Inactivity on Snapchat

It has emerged that while the percentage of brands in any given industry using Snapchat is increasing, that inactivity on the platform is rife. A study by L2 found that while ‘brands have been sold on Snapchat’s value’, their accounts lay largely unused once opened. It is suggested that the likely reason for this is that effective use of Snapchat requires a very particular and unique strategy that is off-putting for a large number of businesses.

Twitter Drops ‘Moments’

Just a few days ago, Twitter announced that it was dropping its ‘Moments’ tab in favour of ‘Explore’ on its mobile app. Featuring trends, news, search and live video, the new tab is designed to enable users to find new content more easily. And it’s yet another effort by Twitter to install itself as the place to go for news. No doubt there will be further developments as the year wears on.