Having a rippling effect across the world, accounts were affected by a WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram global outage. Team this with a Twitter camera update, new Instagram co-watching features and messaging announcements – this week has been a big one. Here’s the latest in social media news: Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram Global Outage Coined as the “most severe outage ever,” Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram all experienced a massive shut-down affecting accounts across the world on March 13 -14 for around 14 hours. Back in 2008, Facebook’s 150 million users experienced a crash. Yet, today’s 2.3 billion monthly users were less forgiving. While Instagrammers, Facebookers and WhatsAppers were able to interact with published content, posting was impossible for most. A tricky situation if you’re a business owner or social media manager. The reason for the WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram global outage? While Facebook was quick to apologise for the inconvenience, it wasn’t until some time later that they announced a reason for the issue. A Facebook spokesperson shared that a “server configuration” change was to blame. Which “triggered a cascading series of issues.” Was this configuration change the merging of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp’s messaging platforms? It could be here sooner than we thought. Social Media Managers Handled the Outage Well with Thoughtful Techniques Each platform appears to be functioning as normal now. But during the outage, we saw many social media managers consciously sharing the news with their audience through other platforms, such as email marketing. Here are our key takeaways from those who did a great job of keeping clients in the loop: In the event of a social media outage, it’s important to have other platforms to communicate to your audience with Sharing links with your clients to real-time updates can help to ease any concerns or confusion Scheduling social media content to easily see which posts would need to be revised or tweaked once the platforms were up was a huge time saver. This also allowed social media managers to send screenshots and extra information about each posts to help explain the actionable tips they would be putting in place Instagram Tests Co-Video Watching Instagram Lives have certainly offered users a more interactive way to share and consume content. Likewise, video messaging gives Instagrammers an easy way to chat with their friends within the platform. But as a business, you know how much community means within the online space. Enter: co-video watching. Much like Facebook’s Watch Parties, hidden code reveals a similar setup being developed in Instagram inboxes. First announced by serial tech reverse-engineer, Jane Manchun Wong, it wasn’t long before TechCrunch shared this new finding too. TechCrunch explains that the code found shows Instagrammers will be able to ‘co-watch content’ from a ‘playlist.’ This follows Facebook’s success with Watch Parties. This video format is reported to result in 8 times more comments than uploaded or Live videos. New Ebook: Social Media Planning for professionals Grab Your Guide to Social Media Planning Success. Carve hours out of your workflow with this advanced ebook. We can’t be sure what types of video content will be able to be ‘co-watched’ on Instagram. Nor the overall layout (picture in picture viewing perhaps? As speculated by TechCrunch). But this does hold high hopes for businesses. Now that IGTV is within the feed, and assuming this is one type of content that could be co-watched, advertising opportunities could increase. By retargeting a larger range of viewers, businesses may be able to reach new audiences that otherwise may not have watched their content. This could also have a positive impact on follower numbers, post reach and creator (or business) exposure. Facebook’s Messaging Plans – “Interoperability” Apart from being really hard to say, Facebook’s interoperability plans come with other areas of concern. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be moving away from public posts and towards encrypted conversations within Messenger. We already knew that Facebook Messenger, Instagram Messenger and WhatsApp would be combining to create a mega-messenger. But has the social giant gone too far? The Verge notes that the move is fascinating, yet confusing. And will change how the three messaging apps will “interact with protocols like SMS.” The plan for this shift? Zuckerberg explains: “We plan to start by making it possible for you to send messages to your contacts using any of our services, and then to extend that interoperability to SMS too … You can imagine many simple experiences — a person discovers a business on Instagram and easily transitions to their preferred messaging app for secure payments and customer support; another person wants to catch up with a friend and can send them a message that goes to their preferred app without having to think about where that person prefers to be reached; or you simply post a story from your day across both Facebook and Instagram and can get all the replies from your friends in one place.” So, what does this mean for businesses? Potentially, behavioural flows recorded through Facebook’s encryptions could allow businesses to target ads with even more precise detail. Only time will tell how this new system will work, but we for one, are intrigued. Meet Sked - The most powerful Instagram scheduling platform A place to plan & schedule your Instagram posts, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week. Twitter’s Camera Gets an Upgrade Announced on Thursday by Keith Coleman, Twitter is getting spiffy with their camera for easy capturing and sharing. Straight from Twitter’s camera, you’ll now be able to: Go live Capture pictures Record videos While the feature rolls out over the coming days, users can simply open the app and swipe left to access their camera. The camera even goes as far as suggesting hashtags to complement events imagery is captured at, so it’s easier to connect with a targeted audience. This comes as good news for businesses who can use new features to discover and connect with their target market. For example, when Twitter expands to conferences and cultural events, new Twitter connections will be a breeze. The Queen Posts on Instagram for the First Time In surprising news, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II published her first ever Instagram post. Let’s just say, the world was pretty darn impressed. The royal didn’t settle for a selfie, nor a snap of breakfast. Rather, a personal observation of an 1800s letter about computers. We didn’t see that one coming, either. She signed off that: “It seems fitting to me that I publish this Instagram post, at the Science Museum which has long championed technology, innovation and inspired the next generation of inventors.” While it may seem trivial, we can actually learn a lot from the Queen’s first go at the ‘gram. The post ticks a lot of boxes because it includes: Personal touches Fascinating content Platform relevance Perhaps the UK’s newest influencer? What’s New at Sked Social Sked Social Launches The Hashtag Recommender We’re excited to announce that this week Sked Social has launched the much-anticipated Hashtag Recommender! This tool is designed to maximise your engagement, targeted reach and more. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and a database of over 13 million posts, the Hashtag Recommender helps you work smarter and use the best possible hashtags for any occasion. Once you add your first hashtag when uploading a post, related hashtags will be recommended with their suitability for the post. Now, as well as automatically posting hashtags to the first comment of your posts with Sked Social, you’re also able to confidently know that each hashtag is the perfect fit for your business’s post. Check out more about the Hashtag Recommender here. Social Media Chats with Wendy Serrano of milkPR This week we also brought you the second edition of our Social Media Chats series. This time, chatting with Wendy Serrano of milkPR. Wendy ran us through how she runs her successful digital agency while working with big-name clients like Apero the Label, Fitazfk and Sabo Skirt. If you’re looking to carve out hours in your social media workflow, sign up for Sked’s 7-day trial. Our all-in-one Instagram scheduler allows you to automatically post images, carousels, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week.