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Updated by Sherrilynne Starkie on Dec 03, 2017
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Top five: Messaging gets a lot more engaging

News from Google, SnapChat, Facebook and Instagram. New tools, features and functions in major social media platforms.

1

Ok Google. Find me a plumber!

Ok Google. Find me a plumber!

Voice search is about to get a lot more important to local business as lead generation comes to Google Assistant and Google Home. The search engine company is working with local home service companies Home Advisor and Porch. You will be able to ask to be connected by phone to a contractor or get a list of prescreened contractors.

2

Snapchat rolls out new design

Snapchat rolls out new design

This week Snapchat started rolling out a redesign that separates brand and friend snaps into different streams. Snap says its introducing this change to help fight fake news. It’s bad news for brands who fear engagement levels will plummet as a result of the separation.

3

Messenger streaks coming to Facebook?

Messenger streaks coming to Facebook?

Facebook ‘borrows’ another great idea from Snapchat and introduces Messenger streaks. Tests of the new feature have been showing up for some Facebook users. The feature will add an emoji status for anyone you are currently in a streak. The idea is to encourage users to spend more time in the Messenger app which will in turn encourage more brands to advertise there

4

Doodle on your Instagram friends' photos

Doodle on your Instagram friends' photos

Instagram messages just got even more fun to use. Users can now doodle on friends' photos and resize and remix them and send them back. Also you can now ‘Allow Replay’ or ‘One View’ of Instagram messages. It’s all about getting users more engage in messaging (see above item).

5

Visit Santa's Village via Google

Visit Santa's Village via Google

Santa’s Village is back thanks to Google. Now you can learn to code the famous elf dance with Code Boogie, create original artwork in Santa's Canvas, and take part in what could be the world’s largest virtual snowball fight. It’s a fun way to learn how to use more of Google’s platforms and tools.