A look back at January’s social updates.

It’s the beginning of a brand-new year, and social is off to an exciting start with plenty of improvements and updates. Snapchat is becoming more tech friendly, Twitter is combating online harassment, Facebook is improving the quality of online news, and LinkedIn is helping you get noticed the right way.

Snapchat is giving websites their own QR Snapcodes.
Remember the days when you were supposed to share websites between phones using QR codes? They’re back, but with a modern twist. Android beta users and iPhone users with the latest iOS update can now create a unique Snapcode for a website when they scan it with the app’s camera. This could create a powerful way for businesses to promote themselves with photographable symbols instead of just a URL.

Instagram will be interrupting your stories with full-screen ads.
It was announced that Instagram Stories has reached 150 million daily active users, and those users will soon be seeing full-screen ads. With the introduction of these ads, Instagram plans to implement an insights tool so businesses can accurately monitor the impressions their ads are receiving.

Facebook announces the Facebook Journalism Project.
Facebook is taking steps to reduce the spread of fake news, including offering ways for people to report it more easily, disrupting the financial incentives for spammers, and working with third-party fact-checking organizations. The Facebook Journalism Project couldn’t have come about soon enough – at a time when our country is very politically charged and people are rushing to social to express their views.   

Twitter combats online harassment.
Twitter has long been a hot spot for online bullying – be it from one user to another or even users attacking celebrities. However, this year, the social networking service is cracking down on faceless bullies. Twitter’s focus this month is to roll out fixes to stop repeat offenders from creating accounts. This is all in an effort to making the platform more enjoyable and safer than ever before.

LinkedIn now has a brand-new design with updated features to boot.
If you’ve been on LinkedIn recently, you’re well aware of its sleek facelift and three new features. First, a new messaging service will help you build your network and stay in touch with people you know. Second, the new design is much easier to navigate and is more visually appealing. (If you don’t have a cover photo, here are 23 free ones you can choose from. Enjoy!) And third, the site is introducing new ways to gently suggest how to improve your profile.

January is just the beginning. Stay tuned for February’s social round up. And cheers to 2017!