Welcome to the first edition of our monthly social media news update, bringing you not only the month’s key developments in the rapidly changing world of social media but also how they affect your business.
What's new with Instagram and Facebook?
Instagram live rooms
Following the stellar success of Instagram lives in the past year, this new feature allows up to four users to join a live room at the same time. Previously, only one person could be joined by another on a live.
Instagram live rooms may benefit your business as they’ll allow you to produce differentiated content; like a talk show with multiple collaborators, a Q&A, a tutorial or even a jam session. Collaborating on Instagram lives with other users is a great way for your business to gain exposure to larger audiences and consequently gaining a greater following as well as increased engagement. Live rooms simplify virtual meet-ups by eliminating the hassle of invites and new account creations commonly associated with platforms like Zoom. In addition to this, viewers can instantly buy products mentioned with Instagram’s live shopping feature.
Here are some creative ways to use Instagram live rooms:
- Product demonstrations in the form of a GRWM or makeup tutorial if your brand is in the fashion or beauty space
- Influencer collaborations or campaign magnification with live performances, workouts, cooking classes, etc.
- Livestream with audiences; interactive Q&As; testimonials
- For universities, this can be a great way to do virtual open day events with current students, alumni, teachers and administrators
- Getting your team involved and give your followers exclusive insights with a quiz or behind-the-scenes session
TikTok’s watermark is not to be promoted on Instagram reels
Instagram had earlier posted tips for creators on how to make reels that are seen and promoted widely. One of the key points was to "share original content created in the Reels camera". This was followed by more information that advised against posting reels that are "visibly recycled from other apps (i.e. contains logos and watermarks)."
It’s now recommended that users post vertical videos with music available in the app's library or sounds that can be found on Reels. Recommendations for users to avoid poor video quality and content with all-around borders have also been made.
Instagram is exploring options to prevent feed posts from being re-shared on stories
Sharing a preview of their latest post, sometimes partly obscured, is a hack content creators swear by when attempting to escape the tyranny of the algorithm. However, earlier this year Instagram had blocked some Instagrammers from doing so entirely.
Although, this had little success as research showed the majority of Instagram’s users prefer to see original photos and videos in stories from content creators. Instagram claims their goal is to better understand how people feel about this type of content and to ultimately improve the Stories experience. Instagram's latest experiment on this front sees new labels added to Stories that have been re-posted from a user's feed, i.e. a re-shared post. The social platform hopes to deter content creators from re-sharing their posts in this way by making them appear more cluttered.
Shopify’s Shop Pay is making an appearance on Facebook and Instagram
Shopify is expanding. Consumers can now use Shop Pay for a fast and secure checkout experience when making purchases directly on Facebook and Instagram.
Shop Pay pre-populates users details, speeding them through the payment process. According to Shopify, checkout on Shop Pay within the Shopify platform is 70% faster than a typical checkout, with a 1.72x higher conversion rate.
What's new with Twitter:
Super Follows Feature
Twitter announced a new Super Follows feature that allows users to charge their followers for access to additional content like special tweets, newsletter subscriptions, deals or offers, support badges or access to a community group. The past few years has seen the growth of membership platforms, like Patreon, for content creators to bypass the vagaries of the social algorithm and run a subscription service for their fans. Twitter’s new feature will look to tap into this growing trend.
New communities feature coming to Twitter
Communities, which appears to be Twitter’s take on Facebook groups, is a feature that will allow Twitter users to create and join groups around specific interests, allowing them to see more tweets related to that topic. This could be a massive success for Twitter, as it has been for Facebook, acting as a helpful tool for users to navigate themselves around the platform since the service’s open-ended nature can make it difficult for new users to get started.
Twitter Spaces will be rolled out widely
Twitter’s latest live audio feature Spaces, currently only available to a selected few, will soon be accessible to everyone. As of April, Spaces will allow all users to chat in live audio rooms bringing “Twitter to life”. In the future, there are plans to allow everyone to natively record conversations, as opposed to the live framework now where users will miss out on a chat if they don’t catch it live.
Other new Twitter features rumoured to be under test phase:
An ‘undo send’ button
There’s a possibility this would be as a part of a paid Twitter subscription that enables users to quickly stop a tweet from posting if they spot a last second typo or bad take.
A ‘big overhaul’ of TweetDeck
TweetDeck, a third-party account management app for Twitter, is rumoured to be having a re-vamp. However, it’s not yet been made clear whether this would feature a refreshed visual design, all-new features, or both.
Uncropped and 4K images
This would enable full images to be shown in tweets on Twitter’s timeline, as opposed to cropped previews. Users would also have the option to update their high-quality image preferences in their data usage settings in the app.
It’s evident the next few weeks will be filled with big moves from our favourite social networking sites, from the enhancement of Instagram's and Facebook’s retail experiences with Shop Pay to the introduction of premium subscription Twitter features like Super Follows. All of which begs the question, what could be next?
Stay tuned for April’s social media news updates to discover the latest social movements and how they could impact your business.