Weekly content marketing news for freelancersPerhaps you have heard something about the news coming out of the F8 conference, or maybe you scrolled past a bit of news about YouTube TV viewing habits — but you simply haven’t had the time to learn more. Fear not. This week’s Content Radar provides you with all the information you need to know, while not overwhelming you with unnecessary information.

Content Radar

Three updates brands need to understand from Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference

Facebook’s yearly F8 Developer Conference always brings with it a bevy of large and small announcements that excite brands with new tools and processes. However, because so much is announced, it can be hard to wade through all of the news to focus on what is most important. Rather than invite you to rewatch the conference, let us help explain to you the three updates that could be most important for your brand.

Clear history

Facebook F8 Conference

One of the major announcements from the conference came when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the impending “Clear History” option for Facebook users. While you as a user may rejoice in this new development, as a content marketer, you should not be nearly as joyful. Zuckerberg himself said that clearing one’s history could diminish a user’s Facebook experience.

So, how does this affect your pages and followers? Remember that Facebook’s algorithms are closely tied to your search, viewing, commenting, liking, and sharing preferences. So if even a little bit of that information is wiped out, Facebook will no longer have the full history of preferences to help provide a user with his or her optimal experience. So, for example, if you have created carefully planned content that a user has engaged with over the years, the user may not have the content served to him or her in the same way that they would have before clearing his or her history. This update may cause your pages to need to work harder to maintain audiences.

Groups tab and join group button

It’s no secret that Facebook has been encouraging brands and other to create groups. In support of this initiative, Facebook will soon offer a “Groups” tab as well as a “Join Group” button to make it easier for users to find and join groups.

For brands who are not yet using groups or are not seeing the engagement from groups they would like to see, utilizing these tools could prove to be an effective way to begin or improve activity with groups. As Facebook continues to modify its news feed to be more responsive to facilitating personal connections, using groups may be the best way for brands to reach users.

Instagram Explore

Facebook F8 Conference

The Instagram Explore feed will also soon receive a makeover that parent company Facebook hopes will make the tool more useful for users to find content that interests them. The feature — which will roll out in upcoming weeks —will feature a horizontal and scrollable row of buttons at the top of the screen that represent different content categories. As users select those content categories, related photos, videos, and hashtags appear on the screen.

For brands, the descriptive text as well as the hashtags you use on your Instagram posts become even more important, as Instagram will be using the text and hashtags to help categorize the content offerings. Any brand who wants a shot at having its content featured on Explore must do its due diligence.

Socialbakers’ analyst Jordan Julian spoke about the changes to Instagram Explore in a YouTube video.

“The content users see will be customized — just more organized,” Julian said. “Brands will have to be on the lookout for how their content is divided into these categories so they can adjust their Instagram content strategy.

Content Radar

Overstock.com is reporting a 98 percent open rate when communicating with customers and potential customers through text. The company is also seeing 14 percent fewer phone calls since rolling out support through text messaging.

Content Radar

YouTube announced that the television is the fastest-growing method for viewing YouTube videos. Viewers are watching more than 150 million hours of YouTube content per day on TV screens.

Content Radar

Instagram takes a step toward becoming a major shopping platform with in-app payments. Among other things, the app will be able to book reservations at restaurants and hair salons.

Content Radar

Vine 2 has been put on hold indefinitely. The app, which would be called V2, may not see the light of day because of significant legal and financial issues.