This is the end of social media as we know it.

Last month Twitter announced that they are shutting down Vine, Snapchat removed their autoplay feature, and Pinterest pulled their ads from Instapaper.

Is it just us, or has the social media scene been through so much change this year, it’s hard to see what direction it’s headed? We’ve seen channel after channel copying each other. We’ve seen social channels increase personalization and give users more control. We’ve also seen social giants doubling down on ads across the board.

Going into 2017, the social media scene is poised for change – it’s clear we’re headed towards a very different landscape.

What platform is the best place to grow an engaged, robust community? Which platform’s ad offerings will drive the highest ROI? What medium will keep growing?

These are some of the questions every brand will have to answer in the New Year.

In the meantime, here are some popular features we’re saying goodbye (and hello) to this month:

1) Twitter Pulls The Plug On Vine

Last week, the Internet collectively mourned the death of Vine. Many people took to social media to share their favorite Vines shortly after Twitter announced that they would be shutting down the video platform.

Twitter didn’t mentioned why they are shutting down Vine, but it comes after a round of layoffs and talk of plans to refocus on its core app.

Most likely, the biggest challenge for Twitter was figuring out how to monetize Vine. The video content space has grown increasingly competitive over the past two years, with other social media giants like Facebook and Snapchat taking pretty big cuts of the pie.

Vine just stopped growing. In March, the top 10 accounts on Vine were posting 29% fewer videos than in 2015. Last year, Vine also ranked in the top 50 apps, and now it’s ranked around 200.

The moral of the story is that video is hard – for both the platform and the marketer. Viral videos don’t always convert or lead to subscriber growth, as seen with Dove’s #LikeAGirl initiative. Many brands are increasing their video budgets, but they face major obstacles in keeping consistent quality and measuring ROI.

Facebook is still working this out as well. Back in September, it was discovered that the platform has been miscalculating video viewership for the past two years. There are rumors that the company is struggling to get Facebook Live to take off.

Vine won’t immediately go away, and will stick around for a few more months. In the announcement, the team said, “We value you, your Vines, and are going to do this the right way… You will be notified before we make any changes to the app or website.”

2) Snapchat Sunsets Auto Advance

At the beginning of October, we also bid goodbye to Snapchat’s autoplay feature, Auto Advance. Auto Advance was built into Snapchat Stories (the section of Snapchat where videos and photos last for 24 hours), so that stories would automatically start playing in succession.

Photo from Daily Mail

Feelings are mixed on this one – businesses and influencers got a nice boost in viewership from Auto Advance, but users often found the feature a nuisance. “

As a user, I was never Auto Advance’s biggest fan,” says NYMag writer Madison Malone Kircher.

But influencers like Sarah Peretz say that they’ve already seen a big drop in their video count views after the removal of Auto Advance. “It’s really difficult to explain to brands why I’ve lost 35 percent of my views on Snapchat… I can barely prove my influence after this plunge in views,” says Peretz.

3) Pinterest Eliminates Ads From Instapaper


Photo from Marketing Land

Pinterest removed not one, but two things from Instapaper in October.

First, the social network pulled all ads from the newly acquired online bookmarking service. Second, Instapaper’s premium service was discontinued, so now paid features are free to all.

The removal of ads is an interesting move, considering how most other tech platforms are in an arms race to boost revenue through ad content.

But the two features that are now unlocked for all users, full-text search of articles and unlimited notes, has a lot of potential for Pinterest Ads. These features give Pinterest an opportunity to learn more about what people are organically searching for within articles, which in turn can power ad targeting on Pinterest.

3) Snapchat Helps Record Your Memories With Spectacles

This update is something straight out of a sci-fi series like Black Mirror… or 2013 (Google Glass, anyone?) Snapchat – or should we say Snap Inc. – has now released Spectacles,

5) LinkedIn Refreshes Company Pages

LinkedIn recently announced that there will be new Company Pages rolling out for all brands. This new experience will include:

– A fresh design with a cleaner look

– A dedicated admin experience with a lot of familiar tabs, but a handful of new ones too (About, Recent Updates, Showcase Pages, Similar Companies, Company Photos, etc.)

– A more comprehensive analytics dashboard.

Earlier this week, LinkedIn sent out an email to a select group of Company Pages users about the upcoming update and also shared that businesses will be able to toggle between the old and new pages before the release is finalized.
Ultimately, it looks like a lot of the old features will remain untouched. In the email, LinkedIn said that businesses will still be able to post content to and sponsor content from their page.

Head on over to LinkedIn’s own company page to get a sneak preview.

6) Twitter Adds Quick Reply

Customer service is all about speed these days. A majority of customers (75%) believe it takes too long to reach a live customer service agent.

Twitter recently launched two new features that will help create more efficient conversations between customers and businesses:

Welcome Messages – Businesses can create several welcome messages to greet people, so followers don’t have to send the first message. Welcome messages can also be deep linked to bring people directly into a tweet, website, or app.

Quick Replies – Businesses can set up a few messages for people to select from to quickly reply to a Direct Message. Businesses can also prompt users to enter specific text values.

When used together, Welcome Messages and Quick replies can significantly cut down on the turnaround time. Businesses can get conversations started instantaneously, and users can quickly report their issues.

7) Snapchat Is Now Snap Inc.!

Snapchat has now renamed itself Snap Inc. in a shift towards becoming a camera company. “Snap Inc. is a camera company—we believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate,” says CSO Imran Khan.


The team explained that the business has outgrown the name “Snapchat,” because the company is no longer just an app, but a company that is now developing other features and moving into the hardware space as well, with products like Spectacles.

What Will Be Left Of The Features We Know And Love?

Social media isn’t what we knew it to be five years ago. It isn’t even what we knew it to be a year ago. There are no longer “go-to channels” that focus on just video, just photos, just news.

Snapchat is now a camera company. Twitter is cutting costs. Pinterest is gearing up for what looks like a big ad push.

How’s a marketer supposed to prepare for the new year when so much is in flux?

The landscape might be shifting, but the data will tell all. It will be more important than ever to track marketing campaigns and test the effectiveness of various types of content across all channels.

Keep a close pulse on where your audience is, what mediums they’re engaging with, and carve out your own path.