With the major social media platforms making mainstream news regarding privacy and security concerns, users are more alert than ever when it comes to how their user data is used. Social media users have higher-than-ever expectations when it comes to features, privacy transparency and user data security. Read on to learn about the major social media updates that brands need to know.
Updates to Our Favorite Social Media Marketing Platforms
March 31, 2019 | New Why Am I Seeing This Post Feature
There’s a new feature called “Why am I seeing this post?” to give users more control over what they see from friends, Pages and Groups in the News Feed. Users can tap into posts to see past interactions and how that affects the ranking of posts in their News Feed. The feature also has shortcuts to controls such as See First, Unfollow, News Feed Preferences and Privacy Shortcuts. For brands, the greater transparency into the News Feed algorithm can provide valuable insight into what Facebook deems relevant to users.
There’s also been additional information added to the “Why am I seeing this ad?” feature. Users will be able to see when an advertiser uploaded a list of customer information and whether the advertiser worked with another marketing partner to run the ad. This shows that Facebook is taking further steps to increase transparency when it comes to the information it provides users for ads they’re receiving.
February 7, 2019 | New Group and Page Admin Features
There are new post formatting tools to manage groups. The new tools inform members when they violate a rule, filters for date ranges in the admin activity log and searching through membership requests by name. There’s also a pilot program that lets groups and brands collaborate, allowing relevant pages to join their communities.
Page admins will also now be able to respond to Instagram Direct Messages from their Facebook Page inbox. This allows for more options for brands to more easily respond to customer questions.
January 23, 2019 | Pages Are Being Held Accountable That Violate Facebook Community Standards
Pages have a new tab called Page Quality that shows when Facebook removes content that goes against its Community Standards and when they reduce the distribution of posts that have been deemed false by a third party. They’re also updating their recidivism policy to ensure pages removed for violating Community Standards cannot be recreated with the same content. Facebook continues to enact more policies against malicious page admins who post false content.
September 25, 2018 | The Launch of CodeFWD
Sphero and Facebook partnered to create a coding basics course for kids in 4th through 8th grade. The goal for CodeFWD was to introduce a course about technology and coding to students at a young age so they will become interested in coding and development as a career. These courses are set up in a way that teachers can use them in a classroom setting.
September 13, 2018 | Fact-Checking Photos and Videos
Facebook extended its fact-checking procedures to include photos and videos. Their process involves machine learning and individuals manually checking visual content to ensure false information cannot be distributed on photos or videos posted to the social platform.
June 28, 2018 | Ads Available to the Public
Facebook is now giving users the option to view all advertisements a business is running, even if they’re not getting the ads in their feed. Facebook is hoping to keep businesses in check and reduce the number of bad ads with this update.
June 12, 2018 | Facebook Cracks Down on Advertisers That Provide Bad Customer Experiences
Facebook’s new feature is asking people who have made purchases from their advertisers to rate the experience they’ve had with the business. They’ve already received negative feedback claiming businesses provided a bad shopping experience or misled shipping times. Facebook will then notify a business if they’re receiving many negative accusations and offer advice to fix the experience before Facebook limits their advertising privileges. This is yet another example of Facebook cracking down on their advertising efforts to keep their users’ best interests in mind.
June 05, 2018 | More Ways to Fundraise for Nonprofits
Brands and nonprofits pages are now allowed to start fundraisers and ask their followers to help them support causes and charities. Another new feature is the ability to add multiple fundraiser organizers so you can increase your reach and have multiple people managing your efforts to reach a fundraising goal.
May 23, 2018 | Group Admin Tools to Support Facebook Communities
Facebook Groups are very common in the professional realm to stay up-to-date on industry information with like-minded people. Facebook knows these communities are very important to users and wants to keep them safe, so they’re rolling out new features:
- Admin Support will give group leaders an outlet to ask questions or state concerns to someone working directly for Facebook, who will respond in one business day.
- Educational resources, including tutorials and case studies, will assist admins in keeping their community safe and engaged.
- Removing posts became easier since group administrators can now leave feedback on which rules the post violated, and they can leave notes in the admin log on their reasoning for removing the post.
- Pre-approved members are designated by admins in advance as trusted members of the group. Their content will always be approved to post to save the group admins time on maintaining feeds.
May 01, 2018 | Businesses Can Utilize Augmented Reality in Facebook Messenger
We know chatbots are becoming more prevalent, and businesses are taking advantage of this movement to better engage with customers. Facebook Messenger is providing businesses with the tools to succeed and capture their followers’ attention with the option of creating augmented reality (AR) experiences with their brand. This allows consumers to take a closer look at the product, try on different lipstick shades or see the item in action. If businesses are willing to spend the money on an advanced feature like this, it will assist in moving consumers along in the buying journey while making shopping quicker and more convenient.
April 17, 2018 | New Privacy Protections & Explaining Data Usage
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requested Facebook to be more upfront with how they are using consumers’ data. Facebook rolled out new prompts on the app that asked all users from across the globe to review their privacy settings and make choices about how much of their data is public, according to Facebook Newsroom. Facebook asked users to make choices about:
- Using data from partners for advertising purposes. This means Facebook can use information about consumers’ shopping habits from sites they partner with in order to provide more relevant ads in news feeds.
- Personal information. When people set up their account, they can choose how much information to share about their relationship, occupation, where they live, etc. With this new push for privacy settings, Facebook is double checking if users still want these details to be available for the public.
- Allowing face recognition technology. This feature helps Facebook tag the correct people in photos and also alerts users when someone is trying to post a photo of them. Face recognition has been prominent for many years but is now more available in parts of Canada and the EU.
- Agreeing to the updated terms of service and data policy. Facebook assured users there are not many changes in these policies, but they’d like everyone to review them and better understand their agreement.
April 06, 2018 | Must Be an Authorized Advertiser to Issue Ads
Previously, Facebook made restrictions on the accounts that ran electoral ads, and they extended many of those regulations to all advertisers. To become an authorized advertiser on Facebook, you must confirm your identity and location, to name a few things. Legitimate businesses shouldn’t worry, and it could lead to benefits such as bidding against fewer accounts. Additionally, with more restrictions on Facebook advertising, this could mean the public will start to trust their advertisements and authority again.
March 28, 2018 | More Transparent About Privacy Tools
After complaints about privacy settings needing to be more prominent for users, Facebook has made updates so they are easier to find and more straightforward about data usage. Now, social media users can increase their privacy and restrict the type of content they see, including ad preferences.
February 28, 2018 | New Features for Posting Jobs & Hiring Online
Businesses can easily post job openings on Facebook and more easily find qualified candidates. Besides posting the job, organizations can also manage applications, schedule interviews and send automated reminders through Messenger.
February 15, 2018 | Donate and Respond to Crises with Community Help
Facebook makes it convenient for large organizations, like the Red Cross and Direct Relief, to provide critical information and spread the word through social media of those in need of help. This gives businesses the opportunity to reach out and support their community if it’s impacted by a disaster.
January 18, 2018 | Reducing Fake News and Clickbait
After many negative allegations of fake news at the end of 2017, Facebook decided one of its main initiatives for 2018 would be to fight against false stories and accounts. People spend a lot of time on the platform since Facebook is the favorite social media site for many users of all ages, so they needed to ensure the public that they’re continually working towards a better experience.
According to the Facebook Newsroom, the social media giant is working on this goal by ranking news pieces based on three categories:
- Publications rated as trustworthy
- Informative content
- News from the local community
January 11, 2018 | Bringing People Closer Together
Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook would be making changes this year to give people more meaningful interactions on their app. This means they’re putting users’ favorite people, like friends and family, at the top of the feed. Facebook will determine who to prioritize as a favorite based on how often you interact with that person or page. Their representatives have admitted that this will most likely reduce the number of times people socialize with a business or organization.
March 19, 2019 | Buy From Brands Without Leaving the App
A new feature has been added called checkout on Instagram which allows users to buy products without leaving the Instagram app. To use the feature, tap to view a product from a brand’s shopping post and tap the button “Checkout on Instagram” button. After tapping the button, a screen will pop up and users can pay without leaving the app. Instagram remembers the user’s payment information for next time. The feature is currently in beta limited to a handful of large brands.
Instagram is taking Shoppable Posts one step further, essentially creating an e-commerce transaction platform. Instagram is seeking to create a seamless experience between its app and shopping by reducing friction for the users looking to shop products from the app. While it’s still early, this move from Instagram will result in monumental changes for brands who utilize the platform to sell products.
February 27, 2019 | Title Option for Instagram Live
Instagram is testing an option to add a title to Instagram Live. When a person or brand goes live, followers will receive push notifications (unless opting out in the settings) and can choose to join the live video. Adding titles could further help the platform show relevant content to users.
February 23, 2019 | New IGTV Layout and New Features Being Tested
IGTV has a new layout to improve search capacity and suggested channels. IGTV is still relatively new and is a great way for brands to post their long-form video content.
February 8, 2019 | IGTV Preview Comes to Feeds
Instagram has integrated videos from its stand-alone app, IGTV, to show one-minute previews in the Instagram app, prompting users to watch the full video. The previews act as a teaser to get followers more interested in using IGTV.
November 19, 2018 | Instagram is Reducing Inauthentic Activity
November 05, 2018 | Facebook Stories Now an Additional Ad Placement
Facebook Stories is now an additional placement that advertisers can add to one’s Instagram Stories ad campaigns. With automatic placements enabled, ads have the widest reach across both Facebook and Instagram.
September 17, 2018 | Shopping for Stories and Explore
Shopping is now a feature available in Stories for all business accounts. Business accounts can add product stickers in Stories that have the option to click-through to the mobile site. Business accounts that are approved and set up to use Shopping will be able to add one product sticker to any Story with customizable text color. There is also a topic channel for Shopping in Explore which is being tested and will roll out in the coming weeks. Advertisers can optimize their Stories to capitalize on this new level of interactivity on the platform.
August 20, 2018 | Instagram is Testing Recommended Posts in Feed
Instagram is testing recommended posts in Feed based on the accounts users follow and the photos and videos they like. The recommended posts in Feed could open users up to business accounts they do not currently follow, allowing brands to be discovered if their content is relevant to the user.
July 10, 2018 | New Questions Sticker Introduced
Instagram introduced a new interactive questions sticker in Stories that lets businesses submit questions for followers to answer. Brands can capitalize on the questions sticker to get feedback from their followers, create hype for upcoming events and/or have contests with followers. For example, a coffee shop can have followers reply to the question of what their new coffee blend should be named. Followers would see the question in the Story and can type directly into the sticker giving their input.
June 20, 2018 | New IGTV App
Instagram launched a new stand-alone app for long-form video content for creators called IGTV. It’s also available within the Instagram app. To create content for IGTV, upload your videos in the app or on the web to start a channel. Brands now have an outlet for their long-form content that’s longer than a minute, which is the cap for uploading videos directly on Instagram. Brands can create and repurpose long-form content for their followers on IGTV to increase brand awareness and stay top of mind.
June 07, 2018 | Mention Sharing for Stories
When someone mentions you in their Story, you’ll now be able to share that video or photo to your own Story. Only public accounts can have their stories shared. Brands can repost content they’re tagged in and share it making it easy to share Stories that mention your brand and to crowdsource content.
May 17, 2018 | Share Feed Posts to Stories
Users can now share posts directly to their Story. To do so, click on the paper airplane button of a post in your Feed or someone’s profile and then tap to add it to your My Story. It’s easier than ever to share inspiring/relevant posts as a brand and put your own unique spin on it.
May 08, 2018 | More Features for Businesses
New features have been added to Instagram Direct messages. New messages will be in the main Direct inbox, instead of the pending folder. Quick replies are also being tested so businesses can easily respond to common questions. There are also action buttons to make a reservation, get tickets, start order, or book through popular third-party partners without having to leave the app. For brands, quick replies and action buttons make it easier to respond to customer’s questions and make transactions right from the app.
March 29, 2018 | Full-Screen Support for Ads in Instagram Stories
When advertisers upload Instagram Feed creative to Ads Manager, it will be transformed into the full-screen format for Stories with a background gradient. When a business uploads a single photo or a video under 15 seconds it gets converted to a full-screen making the image or video look more native to the Story. This makes the image look more natural and like a Story. Instagram is automatically optimizing images or video in Ads Manager to make the ads feel more native to the platform in Stories.
March 22, 2018 | Instagram Feed Changes
Instagram added a New Posts button that gives users more control of their Feed. If you tap the button, you’ll be taken to new posts at the top of your Feed. New posts are also now more likely to be seen at the top of a user’s Feed with this update. This ensures that time-sensitive events and sales for brands will more likely be seen before the end. Historically, Instagram had posts in chronological order and then moved to a Feed that finds most relevant posts for users; with this update, Instagram is ensuring the posts that users see are timelier.
March 21, 2018 | Add Profile Links to Bio
Accounts can now add profile links and hashtags to their bio. When you include a “#” or “@” in your bio, they become live links that lead to a hashtag or profile page. To use this feature, go to Settings and tap on Edit Profile and go to the Bio section and use the “@” or “#” and start typing. Brands with multiple other brands can now directly link to those in their bio. Brands can also put hashtags in their profile to highlight current campaigns.
March 21, 2018 | Shopping Added to More Countries
Shopping on Instagram has been added to even more countries. Shopping on Instagram has been added to more countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. For brands with international customers, the Shopping feature is now available for them to interact within Stories.
February 01, 2018 | Carousel Ads Come to Stories
Instagram is introducing Carousel Ads for Instagram Stories, which allow advertisers to have up to three pieces of media per Stories ad. Previously, there was only one piece of media available for Stories for advertisers. This change allows brands to display more ad creative and enhances available opportunities for users to interact with Story ads.
January 30, 2018 | Schedule Posts with the Instagram Graph API
Businesses can now schedule photo posts, view posts they’ve been tagged in, and view other business profiles within the Instagram Graph API. In addition, the Instagram API Platform, which is separate from the Instagram Graph API, will begin ending support in early 2020. With the ability to schedule posts, brands can now manage their content more effectively within Hootsuite and other social media management tools.
September 25, 2018 | Introducing Policies With Help from the Twitter Audience
Twitter has been developing a new policy to address dehumanizing language on the platform. Instead of rolling this out immediately, they’re trying a new method. The social media giant is asking for feedback about the policy from its followers. Once the survey is submitted and possible changes are made, they will continue with their regular policy processes.
August 30, 2018 | New U.S. Issue Ads Policy
To provide enhanced transparency on ads that typically have controversial subjects, Twitter is asking advertisers to get additional certifications if they release ads regarding:
- Elections or political candidates
- Legislative issues of national importance
July 30, 2018 | Working Towards Measuring Healthy Conversations
In March, Twitter asked the public to brainstorm steps they could take to quantify and measure the “health” of the conversations and interactions on Twitter. Calculating health would take factors like positive and productive conversations and actions, as well as negative interactions into account. The goal was for Twitter to work towards providing helpful information that does more good than harm. After Twitter formed a committee and reviewed over 230 proposals, they have finally chosen a couple of groups as finalists. They will be working with these teams to start calculating the conversational health of Twitter.
July 27, 2018 | Live Video Safety
Twitter’s focus on safe and healthy conversations will soon expand to live videos. They want broadcasters and users who are tuning in to feel safe and report negative chats and comments that do not follow Twitter’s guidelines.
May 03, 2018 | Password Security Bug
When you sign up for a social media account through any platform you choose a password to authenticate your account. Once you sign up with that password, it is sent to the company in a masked format, so they don’t know what your password is, but their system can still validate your account. Recently, Twitter security professionals identified a bug in their system that was storing the unmasked version of users’ passwords. It does not appear that the list of passwords was misused. This list was deleted, and the bug was resolved. However, Twitter still recommends all accounts change their passwords, especially if you use this password for other networks.
May 01, 2018 | The New Twitter Experience on Windows
Twitter is updating the user experience for the mobile apps and desktops that use Twitter through Microsoft Windows. Along with the improved speed and usability, social media users can enjoy new app features such as:
- Extended 280-character limit
- The Explore tab which finds topics related to your interests
- Bookmarks that allow you to come back to a post
- Improved accessibility for screen readers
April 05, 2018 | Serving Reliable Information on Breaking News
Many people turn to Twitter for the latest news and information on groundbreaking events. For this reason, Twitter is cracking down on accounts that are purposely trying to manipulate the conversation negatively. They have many policies and regulations in place, including:
- Rules on abusive behavior that gives Twitter the right to suspend people whose content is meant to harass or abuse another user.
- The hateful conduct policy is aimed at social users who are trying to incite fear against a protected category.
- Rules on violent threats mean Twitter can act on conversations that misrepresent someone in a way that could cause real-world harm to them.
- Rules against spam refer to Tweets that seek to manipulate or disrupt the conversation.
- Enforcement options prevent users who have previously been suspended on Twitter for inappropriate behavior from opening new accounts.
March 01, 2018 | Twitter Asks the Public for Conversational Health Metric Proposals
As a social media giant, Twitter sees the need for their brand to encourage positive behavior, conversations and debates on its platform. On the opposite side of the spectrum, occurrences of spam, abuse and false news would count as a negative impact on their social health. Twitter is looking for proposals from the public for feedback on how they should quantify and measure their conversational health.
February 28, 2018 | Introducing Bookmarks
A new feature for Twitter feeds is the ability to bookmark interesting threads and conversations you want to come back to. Your Bookmarks will be saved under your profile for only you to see. This allows social users to keep up on comment threads, save articles for later and more. For example, marketers can use this when a new Google algorithm update is posted. Instead of just reading the article, we can save the post for later to see all the conversations around the update.
April 16, 2019 | Add Work Colleagues as Teammates
There will be a new feature in the coming months called Teammates that prioritizes your colleagues’ updates in your feed. This can be a great way for individuals to stay connected with business updates across teams and departments.
April 11, 2019 | New Reactions For Users to Express Themselves
LinkedIn is rolling out new reactions over the next few months which include Celebrate, Love, Insightful and Curious. Previously, the only reaction was Like. This move from the platform is aimed at boosting user engagement.
February 28, 2019 | Job Posting Notifications
LinkedIn now offers the option for job seekers to receive notifications for new job opportunities as soon as they’re posted. To opt-in, go to the career interests dashboard and enable mobile notifications. When searching for job titles, there’s also a new feature that shows the top skills associated with that job title, the top companies hiring for specific roles and your first-degree connections with that job title. These features are available when users search for job openings.
February 26, 2019 | New Jobs Insights Features
New job insights give job-seekers more information about potential salaries. With this update, job-seekers in the U.S., UK and Canada will receive personalized insights about jobs where they could make more money. Users must submit their salary within the LinkedIn Salary tool to get personalized insights. These new features highlight the steps that LinkedIn has taken to improve transparency with salary information.
November 17, 2018 | New Account Overview Page in Campaign Manager
There’s now a streamlined Account Overview page making it easier to access account information, campaign groups, campaigns, ads, reporting analytics and campaign details. New features include a new navigation bar, new campaign tabs that provide more data, metrics/data and bid indicators for multiple campaigns, the ability to search for campaigns by name, and the ability to sort performance data. With these updates to the Overview page, it’s easier than ever to get the info you need about your ad campaigns.
November 13, 2018 | New LinkedIn Pages Redesign
The redesigned LinkedIn Pages now allow company pages to associate their Page with hashtags, share more media-rich files like PDFs, Word Documents, and PowerPoint presentations. There are also content suggestions related to your Page’s industry. Adding more features to company pages makes it easier than ever to share content and grow a brand’s community.
November 09, 2018 | LinkedIn Events in Beta
LinkedIn is rolling out a LinkedIn Events beta and it’s being piloted in San Francisco and New York. The full feature will be rolled out within the next couple of months. LinkedIn Events users will be able to create, promote and manage their events. The feature will allow companies and brands to interact with those that RSVP to their event and better gauge attendance. It can be a great way for brands to create awareness for events.
August 22, 2018 | Updates to Job Search Make It Even Easier to Find the Right Job on LinkedIn
LinkedIn released new updates for job search. The updates are to search experience, remote jobs search, and LinkedIn Salary. With search experience, users can now browse through different jobs all in the same tab and save jobs for later. For remote jobs search, there’s now an option to select remote-only jobs. LinkedIn Salary now allows users to search by company, not just by job title, to understand how different titles are paid within the company. Brands can now more easily post remote jobs and job-seekers can see your company profile to learn more when applying. LinkedIn is a fantastic hiring tool for businesses and with the updates to job search, there are more features to showcase the information about your open positions and company to find talented job candidates.
June 28, 2018 | New LinkedIn QR Code Feature
A new feature called LinkedIn QR code gives users their own QR code to scan and connect with others on the LinkedIn app. To use it, tap on the QR code icon on the right side of the search bar and scan someone else’s code or select your unique profile QR code. For brand representatives and business owners, it can be a simple way to connect digitally without paper business cards that can get lost.
June 28, 2018 | Translations Now Available in the LinkedIn Feed
LinkedIn users can now see translations of posts written in different languages. The See Translation button in the LinkedIn Feed is powered by Microsoft Text Analytics API and translations are available in more than 60 languages. This is great news for brands with international customers - followers can see the content of brands/companies they follow in their native language.
June 13, 2018 | Show Appreciation with LinkedIn Kudos
LinkedIn users can share an appreciation for people in their professional community with LinkedIn Kudos. To use it, go to post an update and click on the ribbon icon and sort through the various kudos available. LinkedIn Kudos is an excellent way for companies to show appreciation for employees in a fun way and showcase their culture.
June 11, 2018 | Carousel Ads Announced
LinkedIn has announced carousels for sponsored content. Carousels feature multiple visuals that people can horizontally swipe through while on the LinkedIn feed. Carousels offer a new way to interact with sponsored content and stand out from other content.
March 28, 2018 | Video Added to Sponsored Content and Company Pages
Video is now available for Sponsored Content and Company Pages. Sponsored content ads live directly on the newsfeed as standalone posts. Videos for sponsored content help advertisers achieve their marketing objectives by building brand awareness, driving traffic and collecting high-quality leads. Video is more engaging than images (54% of customers prefer to see videos over other marketing tactics from brands they support) for users and gives advertisers another interactive way to engage their followers and create awareness for their brand.
March 20, 2018 | Add Stickers and Text to LinkedIn Video
There are two new ways to enhance videos on LinkedIn; stickers and text styles. To add a sticker or text style, upload a video or record one and tap on the icons on the right side of the screen. Brands now have more features for video to engage their audiences in a fun and engaging way like Snapchat and Instagram has.
April 4, 2019 | App Stories and Ad Kit
Snapchat is introducing App Stories to allow Snapchat Users to share content from their Snapchat camera to a Story inside other apps. It’s still early, but for brands, this can mean that your Snapchat stories can have further distribution. There’s also a new feature called Ad Kit which brands Snap Ads to different apps.
September 25, 2018 | Register to Vote on Snapchat
If you’re 18-years-old or older in the US, you’ll see a link to register to vote on your User Profile Page. There’s also a video message from ‘Team Snapchat’ using filters to encourage your friends to register. This feature shows that Snapchat is placing importance on real-time events. In the future, we may see timelier event-based filters from the app.
September 24, 2018 | New Visual Search Feature
Snap introduced a new feature called Visual Search. It allows users to search for products on Amazon with the Snapchat camera. Simply open the Snapchat camera and tap to hold on the screen of the physical product or its barcode. The results will be the Amazon page for the exact product or one similar to it. The feature shows Snapchat is utilizing its platform to become an e-commerce hub. While the feature is new, it can be expected to be more widely utilized and advanced in the future.
July 10, 2018 | Lens Explorer Announced
Snap is introducing Lens Explorer—a way to discover and unlock thousands of Lenses built by Snapchatters around the world. Anyone can create a Lens. To use it, tap the icon that appears when the Lens Carousel is active. Brands can use Lens Explorer to create their own augmented-reality Lenses for the entire Snapchat community to discover. There’s also a program called Lens Creative Partners that pairs businesses with certified AR creators to build branded lens for Snapchat filters.
May 23, 2018 | Introducing Snap Kit
Snap introduces Snap Kit to help developers build products powered by Snapchat. It provides resources and tools developers can utilize to develop for the Snap platforms. Snap introduced the Snap Kit to have developers create for its platforms only (it won’t work with any other platform outside of what Snap has to offer).
May 15, 2018 | Privacy by Design
Snap is embracing the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): data minimization, short retention periods, anonymization and security. While the GDPR is not in effect in the United States, Snap is following the principles of the regulations for all its platforms to show it values privacy. While other major social media platforms in 2018 had privacy and security scandals, Snap is showing that it is a leader when it comes to protecting its users’ privacy and keeping data secure for following the GDPR regulations.
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