This month, we have seen a number of interesting little changes to Facebook, including some new features, metrics and plugins – alongside a couple of Google updates.

Google will now feature icons for PDFs and PPTs in search results

This is a subtle but useful change from Google, showing labels on search results for raw PPT and PDF files uploaded to websites, so the user will know what type of content will open when they click on the link.

It’s clean and consistent with other Google labels, it will only appear if you are linking to a direct PPT file, not one that’s embedded onto a web page. It has the potential for increasing click throughs if people are specifically looking for this type of content – such as people looking for evidence or reports.

Facebook releases a new Messenger Chat plugin for websites

This month, Facebook revealed details about its latest version of the Messenger platform – featuring a customer chat plugin for business websites.

The move was after huge demand, with businesses wanting to reach their customers in new ways – customers are already using messenger, so companies want to speak to their customers in the environment that they are already present on.

The plugin will allow businesses to continue conversations seamlessly between their website and Facebook Messenger without losing any of the chat history.

You can find out more about the messenger plug in on the Search Engine Journal.

Facebook introduces a simple polling feature – including GIF functionality

This month, Facebook rolled out a new feature to both business pages and personal profiles, allowing users to post simple polls and include GIFs to make them engaging and stand out in news feeds.

The polls are simple, they will include one question and a choice of two answers. They are found by creating a status update and scrolling to the bottom of the menu to find the poll option.

I think this is something we will start seeing a lot of on our Facebook feeds!

Facebook inform publishers of the pages who have shared their videos

Another new bit of Facebook news this month, Highlighted Shares. This feature gives brands, publishers and creators more information about who is contributing to their video views.

It’s done via a tab on all pages that will list the top 5 pages that have shared your videos on Facebook. This new Highlighted Shares metric will be accessed through video insights.

It’s hoped that this new ability to see who is engaging with your content the most will encourage businesses to then in turn share their content, creating a network of businesses who engage and share with each other’s content – helping each other grow their audiences.

A really helpful metric, and certainly something worth including in your regular monitoring.