We take a look at last month’s top 5 social media news stories, offering you a glimpse at what you need to know to stay ahead of the game.

Snapchat Snap Map

Ever the ephemeral content innovator, Snapchat has had the bright idea of launching its own location-sharing feature, Snap Map. Already rolled out globally, the new feature lets users share their current location with friends, updated upon opening the app.

According to Snapchat’s blog:

“We’ve built a whole new way to explore the world! See what’s happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!”

Problem. There’s been something of a backlash, with concerns being widely raised about child safety and unverified reports coming in of wilting friendships and ruined relationships. And you can kind of see their point. To be honest, we feel bad for Instagram’s VP of Product Kevin Weil who, presumably, will have to start giving independent thought to the next feature he launches.

Instagram Reaches the Big 250

The great battle of Instagram and Snapchat wears on, but as time passes the tale becomes increasingly one-sided. Last month news hit that Instagram Stories has now grown to 250 million daily users. Staggeringly, that’s up from 200 million in April and 150 million in January, which means that its rapid growth is actually accelerating. Bad times, Snapchat.

What’s even more surprising is that Instagram has started innovating on its own, something which is likely contributing to its growth. Users can now opt to share their live video for 24 hours after it is first broadcast. As TechCrunch notes:

‘That made them feel raw, spontaneous and urgent to watch, but also made Instagram Live videos more inconvenient to view and easy to miss. The change could encourage more people to broadcast as they’ll be able to opt for a larger audience…’

Instagram Sponsored Posts Launched

Disclosure and transparency is an ongoing issue in the field of influencer marketing. And, for the most part, influencers are welcoming of guidance on the matter. Appearing trustworthy to your followers is, after all, a vital part of becoming a successful influencer.

To assist influencers with their obligation to be clear and conspicuous in their disclosure of sponsored content, Instagram is testing a new standardised format. Should this new feature be rolled out, influencers with sizeable followings will be able to tag a brand as the sponsor of a post, thereby ticking that particular legal box.

Facebook Combines Canvas and Collection Ads

Facebook’s advertising platform is flourishing, so it’s of no surprise that the social media giant is perpetually in search of ad innovation. Its focus for June was Canvas, it’s full-screen immersive ad units first launch back at the start of 2016.

As well as introducing three new templates for canvas advertising, Facebook has made the format available to advertisers using its Collection ad format. As AdWeek points out, this means that advertisers can ‘now attach Canvas experiences to their Collection ads, enabling advertisers to move beyond featuring products for sale and pursue goals including acquisition and awareness.’

2 Billion Monthly Users for Facebook

It’s all going swimmingly for Zuckerberg-owned brands at the moment, and Facebook itself has just announced that it now enjoys 2 billion monthly users. That’s over a quarter of the entire – estimated – global population.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said:

“We’re getting to a size where it’s worth really taking a careful look at what are all the things that we can do to make social media the most positive force for good possible…”

Having hit the 1 billion mark on 5 years ago, Facebook’s growth – incredibly – doesn’t look to be slowing. At least not perceptibly. And if that wasn’t enough, two of the three other social networks with over 1 billion monthly users are Facebook owned (Whatsapp and Messenger, both on 1.2bn). The only pretender to Facebook’s throne is YouTube, sitting pretty at 1.5bn monthly users.