It goes without saying, that the first half of the year has brought significant change across all social media platforms. From the launch of LinkedIn reactions to the incredible rise of the music video app, Tik Tok, 2019 has been nothing short of exciting and new updates. Let’s take a look at the top 14 major social media events from the past six months.

1. We waved bye-bye to Google+

In December 2018, Google announced its decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019. The social network platform was phased out due to low usage and because it could have potentially become a security liability for Google. Originally created with the intention to rival Facebook, Google acknowledged that it failed to meet the company’s expectations for user growth and mainstream pickup. Read more about it here.

2. IGTV added support for landscape videos

Almost a year after Instagram launched IGTV, the platform finally announced its decision to support horizontal format videos. In a bid to boost IGTV viewership, Instagram explained: “We’ve heard from creators who want to upload landscape videos for IGTV. Similarly, we’ve heard from viewers who come across landscape videos in IGTV but want to watch them in a more natural way. That’s why we’re announcing support for landscape videos in addition to vertical.” Read more about it here. 

3. Facebook announces the launch of ‘Libra’ Cryptocurrency

Facebook has finally released the official outline and documentation for its new digital currency, Calibra or ‘Libra’ for short. Calibra will let you send Libra’s free, with a view to expanding transactions for varying purposes in future. In a recent Facebook press release, they stated: “From the beginning, Calibra will let you send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone, as easily and instantly as you might send a text message and at low to no cost.” Read more about it here.

4. Instagram tests a new feature that hides post likes

Earlier this year Instagram tested a new feature that would hide your post likes. In a bid to reduce the sense of competition amongst users, Instagram stated: “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get” Read more about it here.

5. LinkedIn launches new ‘Reactions’ for posts

LinkedIn has been adding a heap of new features of late. However, this year saw the arrival of ‘Reactions’. Users will now be able to express more than just a like, on posts that pop up on their feed. Find out more here.

6. Twitter adds labels to rule-breaking tweets

In June, Twitter announced that they would be going live with warning labels. These labels will appear on tweets that Twitter has chosen not to remove even if it violates its guidelines. Read more about it here.

7. WhatsApp turns 10!

WhatsApp celebrated its 10th Birthday in February this year. To mark the anniversary of the Facebook-owned platform, WhatsApp released an infographic which outlines some of the key milestone moments for them. Read more about it here.

8. Snapchat launches an in-app gaming platform

Snapchat made a major move into the video game space this year. The platform joined the likes of Google and Apple with the launch of Snap Games. Accessible through the chat feature, Snap Games allows users to access real-time, multiplayer games made in-house and by other mobile game developers. Read more about it here.

9. Facebook rolls out Messenger ‘Unsend’ feature

In February, Facebook announced its ‘unsend’ message option in Messenger to all users. The process is fairly straight-forward as explained by Facebook: “Simply tap on the message you want to remove and select the option to ‘Remove for Everyone’.” Read more about this feature here.

10. Instagram introduces ‘Checkout on Instagram’

After the launch of its eCommerce feature for business profiles, Instagram took the next step with the introduction of a new checkout option in the app. Users will now be able to shop directly in the app without leaving the platform. Read more about the feature here.

11. LinkedIn adds new ‘Teammates’ feature

In ongoing efforts to boost engagement, LinkedIn is adding a new option called ‘Teammates’, which will enable users to prioritise updates from their company and colleagues. Read more about it here.

12. Instagram stories now being used by 500 million people daily

While the impact of Stories varies across the different social media platforms, it is harder to deny the growing influence of the form in general and the way in which its changing user behaviours. Read more about it here.

13. Facebook to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger

Earlier this year, Facebook revealed plans to integrate its messaging services on Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Although all three will remain independent apps, at a much deeper level, they will be linked so that users can send messages between all three apps. Read more here.

14. Twitter launches ArtHouse

In more recent news, Twitter announced the launch of their latest initiative to help connect brands with influencers and creators. Twitter ArtHouse will integrate the platforms video editing and live broadcasting asset and offer it to creators, who will help brands “launch new products and connect to what’s happening in culture.” Read more about it here.