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Social Media News: The 5 Biggest Stories of the Week

Samantha Scott

Dec 5, 2023

We get it! You're busy scheduling content and engaging with your followers, so it can be difficult to make time to sit down and read about the latest Facebook algorithm update or how brands are leveraging TikTok. But, hey, it's also important to carve out time to learn about new ways to improve your social media strategy. So, put down your phone (we know: it's a big ask!) and indulge in reading about recent social media updates.

Top Social Media and PR News Stories This Week

If you work in social media marketing, these are the stories you need to read this week!

New Features for Reddit Conversation Ads

Just in time for the busy holiday shopping season, Reddit has announced some updates to their Conversation Placement Ads to help marketers make the most of their advertising efforts. Moving forward, both carousel and product display formats will be available in chat streams. This provides a valuable new touchpoint for reaching relevant and niche audiences.

TikTok Adds New Ways to Support Artists

TikTok has introduced a new “artist profile” feature, that up and coming musicians and creatives can use to promote their music or artwork. Boosted visibility for these accounts will also help drive new followers and fans to their pages! 

More Ways to Drive Direct Traffic From Pinterest Ads 

Another great holiday-time update for marketers! Pinterest is expanding where direct links can be added on the platform to help streamline traffic acquisition. Direct links can now be included on video and image ads for both consideration and conversion goals.

“Product Drops” Now Available to More YouTube Creators

YouTube has expanded their “Product Drops” livestream feature so it is now available to more creators. Previously a Product Drop was only accessible to those users who had a Shopify or Google Merchant Center account connected. Going forward, anyone who has a first-party store connected will be able to share product highlights and links during a livestream

Update from November 14

Opt-out of Sharing Threads Posts on Facebook or Instagram

Great news for Threads users who like keeping their social accounts separate. Meta has introduced a new toggle option that lets you opt-out of automatically sharing Threads posts on Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, people can now delete a Threads account without having to also delete their Instagram account.

Audio Chat in WhatsApp 

A new Audio Chat feature in WhatsApp allows large group discussions, in the same manner as Slack and Discord. This update gives more control over who in the group receives a call notification, and makes facilitating joining, participating, and leaving a chat easier.  

TikTok Introduces a New Way to Save Music Tracks

TikTok and music go hand-in-hand and the app is making this even more apparent with a new “Add to Music App” feature. Now users will have a way to save tracks they discover on TikTok to a music streaming service such as Amazon Music, Spotify, or Apple Music. 

More DM and Private Sharing Features Coming to Instagram

Instagram is testing some more ways that users can communicate with smaller groups and use DMs. New Notes responses such as stickers and GIFs are in the works, and users can now officially share Reels and Feed Posts to close friends only. 

Update from November 7

Meta Cracks Down on the Use of AI in Political Ads

Meta is taking a stand against the use of generative AI in political ads and other key industries where AI could prove harmful and misleading to consumers or voters (these include housing, health, and financial services. It’s a key step towards preventing the spread of disinformation. 

New Topic Summary Feature Being Tested on YouTube

YouTube is experimenting with a new “topic summaries” feature, currently being tested on a small selection of videos with large comment sections. The feature generates summaries of what viewers are commenting on most during certain points of the video. This could be a great way for creators to participate in the conversation, and get new video ideas based on the moments that resonate. 

Additional Metrics Available for Reels 

Some handy new updates are coming for Reels. Creators now have added incentive to post with the promise of increased visibility and exposure when they use Reels. An AB test feature is also in the works which will mean more insights into the elements that make certain posts perform better than others. Additionally, Meta is taking a leaf out of YouTubes book and giving users new ways to create Reels from existing, longer, video clips, which is a valuable repurposing tool. 

Meta Adds Holiday Bonus for Select Creators

In anticipation of a busy holiday season, Meta is encouraging creators to produce holiday content during a specific time-frame for a special holiday bonus. This incentive is invite-only, which means Meta is focusing on a combination of high quality content and large audiences to see that content, as a way of encouraging broader content production in the new year.

Update from October 31

Creator Hub Introduced on Pinterest

Pinterest has introduced a new information hub for creators and influencers. The hub dives into ways that your Pinterest content can be monetized, tips for creating eye-catching and high-converting pins, trending styles, a content calendar to keep your feed timely, and other educational content. 

Instagram Adds Reminder Ads in Stories

Brands and influencers on Instagram can now send reminder ads via Stories to their followers, highlighting an upcoming event, livestream, or other announcement. Previously introduced as a Feed Ad feature, reminder Ads can now also be scheduled via Ads Manager.

Instagram Comments Can Now Include Polls

This is an interesting idea. Instagram is introducing an update to post comments that would allow users to leave a poll as a comment. This could be a great way for brands and influencers to encourage more engagement and keep the conversation going. 

TikTok Announces New Salesforce Integration

TikTok will now offer a new Salesforce integration, helping businesses gather richer insights on leads and maximize their ads for higher conversion rate. From TikTok: “Marketing teams will be able to instantly access leads in Salesforce Marketing Cloud, allowing for prompt follow-up and personalized engagement.”

Update from October 24

“Nearby” Feed in Testing on Instagram

Instagram is testing a new feed that would show nearby businesses and users (who are not set to “Private”). This could be a new way for local shops and entertainment venues to expand their content and attract new business, as well as a useful tool for interacting with or meeting friends IRL. 

New Feature on LinkedIn For Job Applicants

This is an interesting new update from LinkedIn. The professional networking app is introducing a way for job applicants to indicate keen interest in a position, by marking it as a “top choice”. This tag will be visible to recruiters and hiring managers and is only available to LinkedIn Premium subscribers.

Snapchat Adds Brand Collaboration Tools for Creators

Snapchat is making influencer and affiliate marketing easier with a few key new updates. These include a “paid partnership” tag to indicate sponsored posts and ads, and a new API through which businesses can find creators to partner with.

New Affiliate Marketing Features on YouTube

On YouTube, creators will now be able to add a timestamp to when a specific product is being displayed, making it easier for viewers to skip around and focus on the products they’d like to see. Also, a useful update in analytics will show creators which products drive the most revenue for their channel.

Update from October 17

Editing & Audio Posts Rolled Out on Threads

Threads is rolling out post editing, which could go a long way towards maintaining user growth and stickiness. Currently, posts may be edited for up to 5 minutes after posting, and will appear with an icon to signify to readers that the original post was edited. 

TikTok Partners With Disney

In celebration of their 100 year anniversary, Disney has partnered with TikTok for a unique campaign designed around several initiatives. These include encouraging UGC with stitched videos, trivia, and collecting digital trading cards. 

CapCut For Business Now Available

Popular video editing app CapCut, from TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, has released a business version to attract more marketers. This is a shrewd move as CapCut is used heavily by TikTok creators, helping them create in certain styles and formats that have become an integral part of the TikTok culture. Now brands can more seamlessly produce content that doesn’t feel out of place.

AI-driven Ad Placement on YouTube

YouTube is introducing another helpful advertising avenue for brands, with AI-driven ad placement. Called “Spotlight Ads”, this option takes advantage of AI to show your ads in conjunction with cultural events and seasonal trends. 

Update from October 10

Share Instagram Stories With Multiple Groups at Once

Instagram users will now be able to share Stories to multiple closed groups at once. This will enable more robust DM sharing and communicating, which has become a stronger and stronger trend among social media users. 

Enhanced Search & Discovery Tools on Reddit

Reddit is making some updates to improve their search functionality, with a simplified browsing view and a new “Media” tab. This tab will display related media such as images, GIFs, and videos. This tab will also be available within subreddits, making it easier to find relevant media items more quickly.

New Interactive Halloween Experience on Snapchat

Snapchat is getting into the spooky season spirit with the launch of a new interactive Halloween experience. Called “Phantom House” this experience invites viewers to join a weekly video series where they can participate in the story and try to help the three main characters escape in time. Snap is welcoming brands to join the fun as well, with opportunities for advertising and co-marketing. 

New Community Notes Feed on YouTube Mobile

YouTube is experimenting with expanding their text-based community function to mobile devices. The new feature would incorporate a community posts only feed, making it easier to find updates from your favorite creators. 

Threads Launches New Features

After a fairly significant plateau in user engagement, Meta still hasn’t given up on Threads, and recently introduced plans for some key new features. These include: trending topics, and post creation additions such as GIFs, audio posts, and polls. All of these aren’t new ideas, but they could be instrumental in making Threads feel more like the Twitter experience, for those users seeking a more similar alternative.

Update from October 3

TikTok Considers a Paid Option Free of Ads

You may soon have the option to enjoy TikTok without any ads. The app is reportedly testing a monthly subscription model that would enable an ad-free user experience. Given the many stricter data-privacy laws in the EU and elsewhere, this could be an important move for TikTok and other platforms who want to keep users interested. 

LinkedIn Profile CTAs Will Now Show in Feed Posts

This could be a very useful update. LinkedIn users will now be able to display profile CTAs in their feed posts. LinkedIn introduced profile CTAs earlier this year, for Premium subscribers, to help users direct people to actions such as signing up for a newsletter or visiting an online shop. These CTAs can now show up on a feed post, which means you can make it easier to connect your thought-leadership and brand-awareness posts to an audience-building action, cutting out the extra step of them visiting your profile page.

Subscriber Analytics Available on YouTube

This could be an extremely useful way for YouTube creators to understand their channel subscribers. YouTube is continuing to provide its users with analytics to help them hone in on the content making an impact. Their latest new metrics provide more insight into new and returning views, as well as what content leads to canceled subs.  

New Creative Assistant Will Help You Create TikTok Ads

TikTok has introduced a new Creative Assistant that marketers can take advantage of when creating ads. The AI-powered assistant helps guide marketers, providing idea generation, copy suggestions, and more.

Update from September 26

New AI Tools and Editing Suite for YouTube Creators

YouTube has announced a new way to create on Shorts using generative AI. The new “Dream Screen” feature will allow creators to enter text prompts for various backgrounds to use in their videos. Additionally YouTube has launched their own Editing app called YouTube Create (currently only available in select countries), which will be very useful, especially for beginners. 

Meta Announces New AI Chatbots

Meta’s new chatbots are being released, and they come with different personas. These bots can communicate in the voice of several different personalities such as “surfer dude”, making them more fun and interesting to interact with. The platform has also announced celebrity chatbot voices for its new AI Assistant.

Use Multiple Facebook Profiles

This is an interesting new update from Facebook. The platform will now allow its users to create multiple profiles geared toward specific interests. This will help people cater what they share and engage with different communities on more interest-based feeds.

Labels For AI Generated Posts on TikTok

With the advent of more AI generated content being created than ever before, TikTok is working to make it clearer when a post you’re seeing has generative AI elements. The video app has introduced a new “AI generated” label for greater transparency.

Update from September 19

TikTok Partners With Billboard

Trending music on TikTok is its own microculture, and TikTok is bringing this front and center through a new partnership with Billboard. This partnership will see a new weekly chart from Billboard detailing the top 10 trending songs of the week.

New Pinterest Ad Features

Pinterest has added some new ad options for marketers to take advantage of. These include “Showcase” ads where viewers can swipe through multiple cards, and “Quiz” ads that encourage engagement. Additional placements for Premiere Spotlight ads have also been added.  

More Generative AI Tools on LinkedIn

LinkedIn continues to incorporate AI tools for its users to take advantage of, including some new ways for sales professionals to find and nurture leads. New AI assisted search within Sales Navigator is making the process of honing in on relevant and opportune leads much quicker and easier.

New Following Filter for Instagram Reels

This is a small, but useful update for Instagram Reels users. You will now have the option to scroll a “Following Feed” in order to see Reels only from those people or brands you already follow. (TikTok offers a similar feature and has for some time).

Additional Insights for YouTube Videos

YouTube is continuing to provide marketers and content creators with more insights to help improve watch time, grow subscriber count, and their general video approach. The newest insights offer the ability to see what clips from your videos have been repurposed by other creators, and the views they get.

Update from September 12

More Ad-display Options Coming to YouTube

YouTube is adding some new advertising updates and display options for creators. Starting in November, creators will no longer have to choose ad formats themselves, this will be automatically handled by YouTube, which will show the most relevant ad format based on audience-matching. Additionally, the platform is testing some different viewing layouts for CTV ads, as more users enjoy YouTube on their home TVs as opposed to mobile or desktop.

New Guide From Meta on Using AI in Holiday Campaigns

As the holidays near, Meta has released a new guide to help marketers incorporate AI into their advertising campaigns. The guide covers all aspects of AI, from messaging to visuals, and could be incredibly useful to marketers who are either new to marketing with AI, or looking to level up.

TikTok Tests New “Shopping” Tab

Select US users are starting to see a “Shop” tab prominently displayed at the top of their TikTok feed screen. Situated to the right of the For You stream, Shop is designed to showcase popular products featured in TikTok videos and facilitate an easy purchase flow.

Expanded Filters for Different Body Types on Pinterest

In their continued effort to be inclusive and mindful, Pinterest has added several new filters into their search functionality, to allow for broader body types to be searched, identified, and represented in search results.  

TikTok Partners with TransUnion

TikTok has partnered with credit-monitoring company TransUnion. Through this partnership marketers can take advantage of “TruAudience Analytics”, a privacy-first data collection framework. The data reveals omnichannel insight on various customer touch points, helping marketers further improve their targeting and messaging at key stages of the customer journey.

Update from September 5

Mobile Gaming Comes to YouTube

YouTube is inching into the mobile gaming space with a new release called “Playable”. Given that watching gaming content is one of the most popular video viewing pastimes on YouTube, the evolution into offering in-stream gaming is a natural step. The beta test is still in early stages so as of now, only a select group of users will be seeing Playables as an option.

Location Tagging for Instagram Notes

 Instagram’s Notes feature is getting another feature: location tagging. Now, users can tag where they are in a note, facilitating even more conversation starters and IRL meet-ups with friends. 

Share Instagram Feed Posts With Close Friends Only

This could be a very useful update. While Instagram currently offers the ability to share your Stories with a pre-selected list of “Close Friends Only”, your feed posts are still posted to your entire follower base, which could include strangers, acquaintances, colleagues, or even bots. Now, Instagram is testing extending the “Close Friends Only” functionality to feed posts, which could encourage certain users to share more often.

More Targeting Keywords Available to Reddit Advertisers

Reddit is continuing to improve their advertising model, as more marketers start using the platform to expand their reach. Their newest update includes wider keyword targeting capabilities, suggested by AI based on your past selections. This could help you find more adjacent audiences and attract new customers.

Update from August 29

TikTok is where it’s at when it comes to cultural trends, and music is no different. A new report from TikTok outlines the top music trends based on what creators were using for their videos. Many trending sounds on TikTok are seasonal, so it will be interesting to compare usage of these songs in Summer vs the upcoming Fall season. 

New Ad Measurement Update on Reddit

Reddit is continuing to try and entice marketers to utilize advertising on the platform, particularly ahead of the holidays. A new update now offers two more options for ad measurement: brand lift and conversion lift metrics. Brand lift helps marketers get audience feedback on their ads, while conversion lift will analyze consumer actions based on exposure to your ads. 

Job Listings Launch on X

In the ongoing pursuit to create the “everything app”, X has now launched job listings, a feature available for verified accounts. It’s a clear bid to inch into LinkedIn’s space, and will be interesting to watch how this feature performs.

Livestream Integration for Ray Ban Stories Glasses

This will be one to watch. A recent leak revealed a plan to test livestreaming capability with Ray Ban Stories Glasses. This update would also allow viewers to speak directly to streamers, making it easier and less conspicuous to steam on-the-go and reply to comments. 

Update from August 22

Threads Announces New Features and Adds a Web App

In the wake of declining interest, Threads is trying to inspire more momentum. This week they launched a web version, which has been a main ask from users since day one, and could go a long way toward getting more people using the site. Other new features include voice notes and a tab where you can see what users have reposted. 

Audio Clips Will Soon be Available for Instagram Notes

Instagram is continuing their audio push with a new feature for Notes, which has seen strong adoption as more people turn to DMs for communication. This update (still in testing) would allow users to leave a voice note as their status. Notes already offers the ability to add a song, so this is a natural extension of incorporating audio into Notes.

Multi-ad Display in Reels

An interesting update could be coming from Instagram. The app is currently testing a multi-ad display within Reels. This would show users four ads at once, from related brands, giving consumers another easy way to discover new products and businesses based on what they’re interested in.

New TikTok Advertising Guide

TikTok has released another advertising guide, geared towards beginners who want to get started with marketing on TikTok. The app has produced some similar guides this year, as they try to entice more marketers to use ads and other features.

New API Feature for Shopify Merchants on TikTok

As they try to incentivize more social commerce activity, TikTok is introducing some additional features that Shopify merchants can take advantage of. In particular, a new “Events API” will eliminate the need for 3rd party code on a merchant website, making it easier to set up tracking and capture more leads. 

Update from August 15th

New AI Discovery Tools on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has added some new AI tools to help sales and hiring teams find new opportunities. In their Sales Navigator tool, users will now be able to better prioritize various accounts, as well as track any important changes to listings. A new “personas” feature is also in place to help recruiters build templates of their ideal candidates.

TikTok Launches Webinar Series For Black Business Month

In celebration of Black Business Month, TikTok has launched a two part webinar series highlighting black creators and business-owners. The series features a wide range of speakers who have had success using TikTok to broaden their reach, and increase exposure for their businesses.  

New Music Discovery Feature Added on YouTube

YouTube has introduced a new way to discover music artists with a dedicated tab within the YouTube Music app called “Samples.” This feed will showcase snippets of music videos and, like TikTok, when you engage with a like, save, or tap to play the full song, the algorithm will become tailored to show you more music you might like.

Myspace generation, this one’s for you! Instagram has revealed that you can now add music to carousel posts, adding an extra layer for engagement and enjoyment. Additionally, this option is also available on collaborative posts!

Update from August 1

Video Messaging on WhatsApp

In a small but useful update, WhatsApp has added video messaging capabilities in the app. Video messages can be up to 60 seconds long. Similar to most platforms, videos play automatically (on mute) when the recipient opens the app. It’s a great way to blur the lines between the simple messaging usage in WhatsApp and a more social-media-esque feel. 

“Following” Feed Added to Threads

New app Threads has added a following feed to allow users to only see posts from people they follow. It has been a welcome update as after the initial Threads launch, which used your Instagram activity for suggested “For You” content in the main feed.

New Features for YouTube Shorts

YouTube announced that it has added 6 new features to help creators when producing Shorts, the YouTube version of TikTok. These new updates share many similarities with certain popular TikTok features including side-by-side collab videos, new effects and stickers, and a mobile live version (still in testing).

LinkedIn is Testing AI Image Creation

You might soon be able to add an AI created image directly to a native LinkedIn post. Through a new Designer integration, users can enter text prompts for an image that is then generated by AI and added to your post. For those who frequently post natively on LinkedIn it could certainly minimize time spend hunting for images to use in your post!

Update from July 25th

New Starter Guide for TikTok Marketers

A new starter guide has been released by TikTok to help marketers make the most of their social advertising on the platform. A series of questions about your goals and your business will help you design a campaign that meets your needs. 

Snapchat Prepares for the Women’s World Cup

Snapchat is getting in the Women’s World Cup Spirit! The platform is launching special AR lens experiences to help fans celebrate their favorite teams. New exclusive Bitmojis and stickers will also be available, in partnership with sports apparel company, Adidas.

Instagram Adds New Reels Templates

Instagram Reels are continuing to improve their functionality and creation flow with some updates to their templates. Templates are great for helping brands jump on current Reels trends and audios, which can be useful for getting in front of more eyes. 

TikTok Introduces Post-Purchase Surveys

This could be a very useful way to improve your social shopping strategy on TikTok. The app is introducing post-purchase surveys, asking consumers about their experience with your shop, and how they first heard of you. 

Twitter Rebrands as “X”

The big news of the week on social media is of course the disappearance of the bird logo on Twitter, replaced by an “X” symbol. Effectively a rebrand, the change is all part of Elon’s wider goals to create an “everything app.”

Update from July 19th

Twitter Revenue Sharing with Top Creators

Threads Could be Getting DMs Soon

TikTok Testing Shop Feed

Facebook Adds New Video Features

The Most Popular Emojis of 2023

Twitter Revenue Sharing with Top Creators

This week Twitter began sharing ad-revenue with creators who earn more than three million tweet impressions per month for the past three months. The payments are only for Twitter Blue subscribers, and are calculated based on tweet impressions, with some users claiming payments of over $24,000. 

Threads Could be Getting DMs Soon

Business Insider claims to have seen a leaked document from Meta stating that its new Threads platform will soon get updated features, including Direct Messages, as well as trending topics and improved search. No word yet on the following-only timeline, which many users are desperate to see implemented. 

TikTok Testing Shop Feed

TikTok is experimenting with a new “shop feed” feature for some users as a way to integrate ecommerce into the platform. This new third tab appears to offer users a curated list of products to purchase based on their preferences and behavior. 

Facebook Adds New Video Features

Meta has announced several upgrades to its video features in a nod to the format’s increasing importance for Facebook users. All video types (Reels, long-form, and live) will now be aggregated in the Video tab, editing tools previously only available for Reels can now be used for videos in your main feed, and new video search and discovery features have been added. 

July 17th was World Emoji Day, and to celebrate the event Emojipedia shared the most popular emojis of the year so far, as reported by USA Today. The good news, nine out of the top ten emojis are positive, with only “Loudly Crying Face” dragging down the mood, at number five in the list.

Update from July 11

New YouTube AI Tool Provides Creators With Video Title Ideas

YouTube is rolling out a new AI-powered tool that will help creators come up with titles for their videos. Like your thumbnail, the video title is a key factor in whether or not a user clicks and watches. So having AI assistance could be a game changer, particularly for businesses and newbie content creators looking to grow subscribers. 

TikTok Tests Download Option Without the Watermark

TikTok is testing an option that would enable users to download videos from the app, without the TikTok watermark. This could greatly help creators when uploading their content to other platforms. This is especially important when sharing to Instagram, which de-prioritizes TikTok-branded videos in the algorithm.

Video and Voice Calls for DMs in Testing at Twitter

Twitter is testing a new option that would allow users to leave voice and video calls in DMs. It’s an interesting idea, and inches the app closer to the vision of being an “everything app”, though it remains to be seen how robust user adoption will be.

Update from July 4th

Meta Launches Threads

Meta has finally launched their long-anticipated Twitter alternative, called Threads. The Threads app is connected to Instagram and does look and feel very much like a Twitter feed. Unlike Twitter, posts can be up to 500 characters. Links, photos, and videos can be attached to a Thread post.

Tip: Read our first thoughts on Meta Threads

Linked Keywords in YouTube Comments

YouTube is exploring more ways that users can discover new content and creators. The platform is currently testing a feature that will automatically hyperlink certain keywords in video comments to a new search result for videos related to that keyword. Channel managers have the option to turn this off, so that comments will not be hyperlinked. It’s an interesting idea, though how it will look in practical every-day application and use of YouTube will be interesting to watch.

2+ Collaborators on Reels & Instagram Posts

Instagram is rolling out a small, but potentially significant update to their collaborative posts feature. Now, two or more users will be able to be tagged in a collaborative post, widening the scope and possibilities of what collaborations will look like going forward. 

Additional E-commerce Options for Retailers on TikTok

TikTok is continuing to forge ahead with social commerce features. The app is introducing a few new updates to help encourage companies to take advantage of e-commerce on TikTok. These include free product listings, free shipping, and zero-commission sales, for an undetermined amount of time.