It's been a busy month for many reasons, so you might have missed some key developments across social media.

Always here to help, I've rounded them up for you.

LinkedIn

It's not often I'll start a social roundup with LinkedIn.

The social/business network has recently turned into an opaque funnel for recruiters to post memes and send unwanted in-mails.

(Do check out our own Econsultancy LinkedIn group and rise to the challenge of adding to our debates.)

But that could all be set for a change, as Microsoft has launched a takeover of the social network in the region of £18.4bn.

This marks its first serious foray into social networking since the ill-fated so.cl, which was kind of like a Pinterest for creatives (that quickly turned into a Pinterest for nothing/everything). 

Given that LinkedIn has 433m users (I'd wager a majority of them are not active), there's definitely potential to turn the site into something more engaging for a mature audience.

Especially given how little opportunity there is for brands to have a meaningful conversation with their followers. One to watch!

Twitter

Earlier this month the US House of Representatives met to discuss gun control laws. The camera feed is broadcast via C-SPAN, but if the House majority decides to cut the feed they can.

Which is exactly what they did when the two main parties clashed.

The Democrats staged a sit in which was then live-streamed via Periscope from a member of the house.

The hashtag #NoBillNoBreak (a reference to not leaving until the bill was debated) trended worldwide for several hours. 

To my mind this is one of the first examples of politicians using social to bypass an official media blackout, and was a real profile booster for Periscope against its rivals that are famous for light-hearted content.

Perhaps this was in the mind of Periscope co-founder Kayvon Beykpour when he tweeted this.

This marries well with Twitter's recent focus on live events following its deal to live stream NFL games, and it's believed there will be more deals of a similar nature in the near future.

Just two more Twitter updates, these both from a user perspective.

Firstly, video limits are set to rise to 140 seconds in an effort to attract influential content producers. 

Secondly, Twitter is introducing a new 'Stickers' feature. This works similarly to Snapchat's filters, and certain 'stickers' will also be searchable.

Facebook

Following Facebook's extremely busy May, June was fairly quiet. 

After its algorithm came under fire earlier this year, it seems Facebook is being open about its new product moving towards human curation.

Facebook Events is a new product, allowing selected staff members to editorially recommend events to its users.

This means if an event is getting traction in your area, a member of staff can give it an organic boost. It is only in beta at the moment, but certainly an interesting idea.

Given the huge dedication to and growth in the area of live streaming, Facebook has somewhat put the brakes on and taken the decision to walk before it can run.

Dan Reed, Facebook's head of sports partnerships, has ruled out the company actively bidding to secure exclusive rights to sporting events. 

It seems Facebook is keen to remain a broadcasting platform and not directly become a channel in its own right.

In the mean time, the social media giant has just struck deals with around 140 content providers ranging from celebrities to media owners.

Estimates put the total value of the contracts at around £37.5m with the likes of CNN, Buzzfeed, Gordon Ramsay and comedian Kevin Hart signed up. 

Snapchat

The moments-based sharing app has partnered with UFC in expanding its Live Stories function, allowing users at the event to contribute to the crowdsourced channel.

Another smart move from Snapchat, which is continually bringing new users to the app by reaching out to different audiences through partnerships with brands such as Burberry and the Wall Street Journal.  

It has also developed its advertising offerings by following suit with Facebook and developing deals with creative partners who will help advertisers create content. 

These ads will then slot in between stories, ensuring that they are of a decent quality.

Instagram reaches half a billion users

This month, Facebook-owned Instagram passed half a billion users which, while inevitable, is still quite an achievement.

You may remember that last month Instagram changed its logo, which seemed to be the pre-cursor to something big.

After doubling its user base in the last two years, it is still around a third of the size of parent company Facebook.

But of those users, 300m are said to use the app every day with 80% of those being outside the UK.

This growth is even more impressive given the backlash surrounding its algorithm change. 

Any other business?

Just the news that social media has become the primary source of news for young people.

According to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 28% of 18-24 year olds said that they would go to social media to find out the latest news, with 51% using it as a second port of call. 

This compares to just 24% who named television as their first choice.

And finally...

Nothing to do with digital marketing, but always worth reporting when nice moments happens on social.

Although there have been ads like 'This Girl Can' and many other campaigns for International Women's Day, sanitary brand Always has refreshed its campaign to focus on the struggles that girls face in sports during puberty.

It has amassed more than 2.5m views in just a few days on YouTube, with over 250k views on Facebook. 

It's a good example of how to refresh a long-running campaign with a new perspective, while keeping the same key message.

I couldn't have a roundup this month without mentioning the Euro 2016 tournament, and there was a cracking piece of real-time content marketing from Paddy Power.

Although I'm not a fan of all of the work from the 'kings of banter', it really came through with this piece documenting comments from furious England fans on social media.

However this month's highlight had to be a wonderful Twitter exchange between the two US presidential candidates, garnering almost 500,000 retweets.

That's all for this month, on to a (hopefully) sunny July!

For more on this, download our new Social Media Best Practice Guide.

Andrew Chrysostom

Published 1 July, 2016 by Andrew Chrysostom

Andrew is a Social Media Executive at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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