Social Media News: The 5 Biggest Stories of the Week

Looking for the latest social media news? This blog has it. This image of a retro-looking microphone against a solid background conveys the message that news is being broadcast
Looking for the latest social media news? This blog has it. This image of a retro-looking microphone against a solid background conveys the message that news is being broadcast

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!

1. Making Twitter A Trustworthy News Source

Misinformation and disinformation on social media networks have been an ongoing issue since the 2016 US Presidential Election, and now Twitter is collaborating with The Associated Press (AP) and Reuters to provide more credible information to users. Twitter’s Curation team is responsible for finding and distributing content from reliable sources when a conversation that may be “noteworthy, controversial, sensitive, or may contain potentially misleading information” is trending. With this new partnership, Twitter’s team will be able to elevate credible sources of information to users more quickly. They have also expanded upon how users will see these warnings when engaging with content on the platform. 

2. LinkedIn Launches a Premium News Option

We’ve all been there: You’re scrolling through social media, see a news story you’d like to read, but after you click on the link, you’re hit with a paywall. Well, according to DigiDay, LinkedIn is testing a new service that offers LinkedIn Premium members five credits they can use every month to view the content behind publishers’ paywalls. The publishers hope that the referral traffic will lead to new subscribers while the users benefit from a better user experience on the platform. 

3. In Paid Partnership with Pinterest

Most people are already familiar with the “Sponsored” or “Paid Partnership” label on social media networks, and Pinterest is adding the tag now along with several new ways for Creators to monetize their posts. By allowing Creators to make their Idea Pins shoppable, these individuals will earn commissions through affiliate links and sponsored posts. Pinterest is a platform where users exhibit a high-shopping intent, meaning B2C brands will want to note these new features that make it easier for users to discover and purchase your products. 

4. Will Shopping on Twitter Become a Thing?

eCommerce has not been a significant focus for Twitter since 2015, but now it’s giving it a second go. The platform announced a pilot program testing the introduction of a Shop Module. When a user lands on a profile with the Shop Module enabled, “they can scroll through the carousel of products and tap through on a single product to learn more and purchase -- seamlessly in an in-app browser, without having to leave Twitter.” This feature is certainly something worth testing if you’re already experimenting with shoppable marketplaces on other platforms. 

5. Making Instagram Safer for Younger Users

Instagram is rolling out a significant privacy update aimed at protecting its younger users. According to the company’s newsroom, the update includes: 

  • Defaulting young people into private accounts.
  • Making it harder for potentially suspicious accounts to find young people.
  • Limiting the options advertisers have to reach young people with ads.

Previously, advertisers would reach younger users based on their interests or web behavior; however, that option is going away. Now, advertisers will only have the option to target ads to people under 18 (or older in certain countries) based on their age, gender, and location. 

Catch Up on Social News from Weeks Past

Update from July 27

1. Collaborate with Insta-nt Success

Instagram's new 'Collab' option offers "a new way for people to co-author Feed Posts and Reels." If you invite another user to be a collaborator and they accept, the post would appear with two profile bubbles. The followers of both accounts will be able to view the content. Brands could use this feature to encourage the influencers that they work with to collaborate on posts or influencers to tag the brand's account as a collaborator. 

2. TikTok Launches' Spark' Ads

The new ad type from TikTok allows brands to sponsor already trending organic content that aligns with their offerings. A few weeks ago, we shared how the app wants brands to 'make TikToks not ads'; this is how brands can quickly turn organically trending TikToks into paid ads. The new ad format, which combines influencer marketing, UGC, and paid advertising, is an easy way for a brand to begin experimenting with influencer marketing. The challenge for brands will be to make sure they can identify the UGC that mentions their brand through social listening. 

3. Twitter Testing Up and Downvote on Comments

The company has added a thumbs up and thumbs down icon to comments for a small set of users. These votes are a way for Twitter to learn which types of replies people find most relevant. The downvotes will not be visible to the public, and the upvotes will be shown as likes.

4. The Importance of Employer Branding

According to LinkedIn, 41% of people are considering leaving their current employer this year. More people are switching companies, and they are weighting factors other than salary and the number of vacation days in their decision-making process. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they were looking for "a sense of purpose" in their next role. This year, brands may want to reexamine their incentive structures or benefits packages to align with what job seekers are looking for in today's market. 

5. Instagram Adds Sensitive Content Control Feature

Instagram is putting content censoring in the hands of its users with three new parameters that restrict the type of content that you are shown in the app. According to the company's blog, the three controls are:

  • Allow - You may see more photos or videos that could be upsetting or offensive
  • Limit (Default) - You may see some photos or videos that could be upsetting or offensive
  • Limit Even More - You may see fewer photos or videos that could be upsetting or offensive

Update from July 20

1. Facebook is Investing $1 Billion in Creators

The company is rolling out several new ways for creators to earn money for the content they create on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook has introduced several tools over the past few weeks that creators can use to engage their audiences, such as Bulletin and Live Audio Rooms. Still, they need creators — and their audiences — to begin using these tools. The company's new "bonus program" rewards creators for hitting certain milestones or trying out different features within the company's bevy of content creation tools. For example, a Live bonus "rewards creators when they meet certain milestones with badges, such as going Live with another account." 

2. Twitter is Deprecating Fleets

After a year of testing the Instagram Story-like feature, Twitter is pulling the plug on the format. The company mentioned in its blog that user adoption failed to take off after the initial release. The social media platform will use its learnings from Fleets to improve other existing features and devote the top of the timeline to promote Spaces instead. Guess this is one less content format you and your designer have to worry about...

3. Group Experts on Facebook Receive a Special Badge

Group admins can now elevate the voices of the community members driving the conversation within their Facebook group. Admins can designate certain members of their communities as "Group Experts," giving them a badge that appears alongside their name within the group. Admins are also getting a new feature that allows them to invite non-group members to join the group. This new feature is great for brands that run community-based groups and want to evangelize members who actively contribute to the group. 

4. TikTok is Hosting an Educational Block Party for SMBs

On August 5, 2021, TikTok is kicking off a workshop series to educate small business owners or employees on how to succeed on the platform. Becca Sawyer, TikTok's Global Head of SMB, commented on the program, saying, "Our goal is to give every business owner in America the same opportunities as the biggest brands and to help them turn their dreams into a reality." If you want to learn more about how to use Tiktok for your business, you can learn more about the event and RSVP here.

5. Save Your Instagram Stories as Drafts

Sometimes you don't want to post your Instagram story the second after you capture the moment, which means having to save the post to your camera roll later. Instagram is removing that friction by giving all users the option to keep their Instagram Stories as drafts within the app. This update should make it easier for social media managers interested in posting their content in-app. 

Update from July 14

1. How does the Facebook algorithm work?

Social media managers have been asking this question for years now, and Facebook is providing some context. The company's video explainer doesn't give you the recipe for how to ensure your posts go viral, but it's a good reminder of how your posts are displayed in the news feed.

Plus, this video could be a good reference for a client or manager that is wondering why more people don't see their posts.

2. Two-factor authentication is coming to Instagram

You're probably familiar with two-factor authentication when logging into your work email or intranet, but it's not something social media users have encountered often. However, Instagram is launching Security Checkup, "a new feature to help people keep their Instagram accounts secure." The company's blog post outlines several steps you can take to secure your account, including enabling login requests.

3. Get Personalized Video Messages from TikTok Celebs

TikTok users can request and pay their favorite content creators for video messages, like Cameo. The new feature is called 'Shoutouts,' and users can use TikTok coins, the virtual currency you can purchase to spend in-app.

4. New Ways to Reshare Content on IG Stories

Nothing to share on your Instagram? Why not reshare something you recently liked? Instagram is hoping that more users will reshare content that they have recently engaged with using a "Reshare" sticker the company is testing out. You can already reshare content to your IG Stories, but the beta users can add an image to the background rather than just the auto-populated gradient background.

5. Are Fleets a thing yet?

Twitter is testing a new feature that displays Fleets from accounts you do not follow once you have viewed all of the Fleets from the people you follow. This test to popularize the story format on Twitter could be beneficial for brands looking to increase their organic reach on the platform.

Update from July 7

1. Why TikTok Doesn’t Want You to “Make Ads”

TikTok has some advice for marketers: “Don’t Make Ads!” The platform is encouraging brands to make ads and promotional content that mimics the type of content their broader user base creates. To do this, TikTok suggests brands either give it a go on their own or partner with influencers using the app and reshare UGC from customers. The blog cites several examples of small businesses transitioning from polished product shots to more realistic vertical videos. This advice is applicable across social media platforms and references the “native advertising” trend popularized by the publishing industry.

2. Pinterest Bans Weight Loss Ads

Pinterest has just updated its advertising policy to “prohibit all ads with weight loss language and imagery” beginning July 1. The new policy bans any weight loss language or imagery, imagery that idealizes or denigrates certain body types, any testimonials regarding weight loss or weight loss products, and more. It isn’t the first time the platform has taken a stance against weight-loss advertising, but it is the first time a social media network bans weight loss ads entirely. Pinterest cited data from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) that eating disorders had risen during the pandemic and its own users’ search behavior around body positivity.

3. Shopping Black-owned Businesses on Instagram

Instagram is making it easier for users to find and shop for Black-owned businesses on its platform with the introduction of a “Black-owned” label. The company said that over the last year, the number of companies that added “Black-owned” to their bio increased 50%+.

4. Facebook Debuts Bulletin

Is your favorite journalist on Substack? Well, if they are, Facebook is hoping they will join Bulletin instead. The company has just announced the first few writers on Bulletin, “a set of publishing and subscription tools to support creators in the US.” Creators can offer written and audio content to their subscribers, and importantly, the creators “will keep all of their subscription revenue for the length of these partnerships, and will have the ability to take their subscriber lists and content with them.”

5. TikTok Plans to Extend Video Length to 180 Seconds

The time you spend scrolling through TikTok may be going up, and that’s because the length of a TikTok is being extended. Instead of a max. length of 60 seconds, TikToks can soon be posted that are 180 seconds long after this update. This gives users (and brands) more time to tell their stories without having to break up those stories into multiple segments.

Update from June 29

1. Instagram Explore Is Coming to Your Instagram Feed

Instagram is bringing in content from Instagram Explore (aka people and brands you do not follow) into your feed in a more visible way. If you’ve ever scrolled through all of the posts from people you follow, you might have noticed that the app would then show you content from people you don’t follow. However, how many people scroll that far? So, for a lot of users, this will be the first time they are seeing content from people they do not follow in their main feed. This update blurs the line between TikTok and Instagram further, as Instagram is clearly taking a cue from the way that content is populated in the most downloaded social media app of 2021. 

2. Facebook Is Making Social Shopping a Thing on WhatsApp

According to Mark Zuckerberg, over 300 million people visit Facebook’s Shops every month and there are over 1.2 million monthly active Shops on the platform. And now Facebook is making it easier for users of WhatsApp to access Shops. The company is also providing businesses with additional targeting options that allow business owners to provide more personalized shopping experiences, with personalized ads promoting special offers to select shoppers in the pipeline. In the company’s post, they mentioned that “one in three shoppers globally say they plan to spend less time in-store even after the pandemic is over,” and Facebook is hoping more of shoppers’ time will be spent in its family of apps. 

3. Twitter Introduces a New 15-second Video Ad Unit

Since when is 15 seconds considered “long-form content”? Well, in spite of our dropping attention spans, Twitter is launching a new "longform" 15-second ad unit. Data from the app’s test suggests that “advertisers who used the 15s view bid unit saw an average of +89% higher completion rate, at a 25% cheaper cost per completed view.” 

4. Pinterest Identifies the 5 Types of Shoppers Coming Out of COVID

There’s no doubt about it: Coivd changed consumer behavior. From the way we shop to the way we commute (hello, from my kitchen table), our routines have changed. Pinterest examined how consumer behaviors have shifted and the new audience segments that have arisen out of the pandemic. The five personas are The Routine Ritualist, The Prioritized Parent, The New Nomad, The Eco Evangelist, and The Emerging Entrepreneur. Have you considered how your target audience’s routines may have changed? If not, this research can put you in the right mindset for evaluating and reimagining your customer segments. 

5. Share Your Tweets on Instagram Stories

The rivalry between Facebook and Twitter is as old as, well, social media. However, a new update to Twitter allows users to share their tweets directly on Instagram Stories. Clicking on the tweet does not take a user from Instagram to Twitter, but maybe that’s something to come in the future as well as a way to share content from Instagram directly to Twitter. It’s an interesting update that can help brands and influencers reach their followers more easily across platforms.

Update from June 23

1. Facebook’s Version of Clubhouse Is Live

The company has released Live Audio Rooms, which allow you to “listen in on and join live conversations with public figures, experts and others about topics you’re interested in.” Not just anyone can host a Live Audio Room. Additionally, you can now listen to podcasts on Facebook. The company is going all-in on the pivot to audio, as evidenced by the “diverse catalog of podcasts” they are building for Facebook users.

2. Ads Within IG Reels Roll Out to More Regions

Instagram has launched ads in Reels globally. Maybe you’ve already seen a few (Did you click?). Like the content found within Reels, “these ads will loop and can be up to 30 seconds. People can comment, like, view, save and share Reels ads."

3. New Tools for Facebook Group Admins

At least 70 million active group admins are on Facebook, and the social media network knows it can be a difficult job. So the company has released a new set of tools like ‘Conflict Alerts’ to help group admins spot potential arguments and Admin Home to help them manage all of their notifications. For the brands using groups to share and disperse their content, under these new rules, admins can restrict comments that include a link to a third-party site.

4. Snapchat's Marketing Strategies for Small Business

Even if you’re not a small business, I’d recommend you check out these tips from Snap on how to put together a marketing plan. The tips apply to businesses of all sizes, even companies that are not using Snapchat. From why you need to understand your audience to why tracking online behavior is important, this 9-step plan provides an outline you can use to validate your marketing strategy.

5. TikTok Jump Offers Embed Mini Apps

We all know that adding a “link in bio” isn’t ideal, so TikTok is trying to make it easier for Creators to share links to content such as recipes, quizzes, or other tools right in their videos. The company has been testing the TikTok Jump feature for several weeks but is just now beginning to roll it out more widely. The company’s statement said, “New providers including BuzzFeed, Jumprope, IRL, and WATCHA will also be launching their own Jumps in the coming weeks.” 

Update from June 16

1. Explaining How the Instagram Algorithm Works

One of the top executives at Instagram will be publishing a series of blog posts outlining how the Instagram algorithm works. Apparently, Instagram has more than one algorithm, and those algorithms use "thousands" of signals to decide what appears in your feed.

The four main signals include: Information about the post (how popular it is, what type of post it is, tagged location, etc.), Information about the person who posted (how frequently others engaged with that person in the past several weeks), Your activity (what you've liked in the past and how often), Your history of interacting with someone (how frequently do you engage with that person).

Adam Mosseri said, "The more likely you are to take an action, and the more heavily we weigh that action, the higher up you'll see the post." 

2. New Ways to Monetize Instagram and Facebook for Creators

Instagram wants to become the internet's virtual shopping mall, and now it is letting influencers share their Shops filled with their merchandise on their business and personal profiles. Additionally, the platform is testing out a new "Eligible for Commission" tag that allows creators to "earn commissions for the purchases they drive" after sharing a shoppable post where the product is tagged. 

The Facebook, Inc. platforms also made updates to their Badges and Stars programs to unlock more earning potential for creators by "adding the ability for supporters to purchase multiple badges during an Instagram livestream, testing the ability for fans to send Stars during recorded content and expanding Stars to nine new markets."

3. Twitter to Add a Newsletter 'Subscribe' Button to Profiles

This announcement is for the writers, journalists, or creators that have a newsletter (or have thought about starting one). Twitter has announced plans for creators to add a new, prominent 'Subscribe' button on their profiles. The button will "enable users to easily sign-up for a newsletter direct from the app." Now, users with engaged audiences will be able to monetize their following further. The app recently rolled out Tip Jar, which allows people to send money to their favorite users.

4. Turning Up the Volume on TikTok

You probably already know that videos auto-play silently within most social media platforms' feeds — but that's not how TikTok users want to experience video! Sound is "it's fundamental to the platform," and apparently, it can prevent people from scrolling past your content so quickly. And for brands looking to advertise on the platform, it's time to listen up because their research study revealed: "73% of respondents said they would 'stop and look' at ads on TikTok with audio." The study's findings also showed that users who experienced ads with sound were more likely to purchase from the brand and view the brand more favorably. 

5. LinkedIn Shares Tips on How To Increase Your Following

As with all social media platforms, maximizing your reach requires growing your social media following. And now, LinkedIn has shared a few best practices for brands looking to do just that. Some of the tips are what you'd expect, like "complete your Page by filling out the overview, logo, organization info, and call-to-action button," but others are a bit more insightful. The company provided a four-step process for how to activate your employees on the platform best:  

  1. Re-share your employees' best LinkedIn content. 
  2. Notify employees of a recent Page post (you can notify employees 1x per day)
  3. Tag employees in posts from your Page.
  4. Use the My Company tab to create an employee-only community

Update from June 8

1. Twitter Blue Subscription Service Starts Rolling Out

Twitter has announced a paid subscription service, Twitter Blue, that has already begun rolling out in Canada and Australia. The service allows subscribers to “undo” tweets before they go to your timeline 30 seconds after publishing the tweet. This isn’t the edit button people have been asking for since the social network launched, but it’s progress. Subscribers can also view threads in an easier to digest “Reader Mode” and group your saved tweets using the new “Bookmark Folders.” This is a big test for Twitter—and other social media networks will be watching the adoption of a paid subscription service closely.

2. New Ways to Shop—and Sell—on Pinterest

Pinterest is introducing A LOT of new shopping features that will make it easier for Pinners to buy products directly from the platform. A new “Shopping List” feature displays all the product Pins that you’ve saved on Pinterest in one place (like a giant shopping cart) and a new “Shop” tab will be available when you search for ideas displaying only shoppable results. Merchants can also get that coveted blue checkmark through a new Verified Merchant Program and create a virtual storefront on their profile by adding a “Shop Tab.”

According to Pinterest, people who visit Pinterest weekly outspent non-Pinners by 2x every month, meaning B2C brands should be monitoring all of these innovations.

3. New Feature Announcements Out of Facebook’s F8 Refresh

According to the giant blue social media network, 90% of Instagram users today follow at least one business. And now, those users are going to have more ways to interact with the brands they follow. Facebook announced at the virtual event that all businesses will now have access to the API for messaging on Instagram, making it easier for businesses to communicate with followers directly. The company also announced new tools for WhatsApp, like “list messages” that provide users with a menu of predetermined responses to select from. Again, this feature is about improving the interaction between brands and consumers on the platform.

4. Twitter Introduces Fleet Ads

While the jury is still out on Fleets, Twitter has launched a new full-screen, vertical ad format, like you’re used to seeing on Instagram Stories and TikTok, to try to monetize the content format. The 30-second spots (max. length) feature a “Swipe-up” CTA for brands wanting to drive click-through traffic. While Twitter hasn't shared much around Fleets' performance or user adoption, they hinted that this new ad format could begin appearing in other places in the app. As marketers, it’s always good to keep an eye out for these new types of ad placements. Test everything, right? 

5. Watch All of Social Media Week’s Sessions Online

Okay, this last story is about leveling up your social media skillset. And one way to do that is by looking at examples of other brands’ content. Econsultancy has put together a list of the best social stories and campaigns from May 2021 to help you do just that. And, if you weren’t able to join any of the Social Media Week events, you can now watch all sessions online. So, now’s the perfect time to block off some time in your calendar for self-development. 

Update from June 1

1. Instagram Gives You the Option to Hide “Likes”

Is the “like” dead? Not at all. While Instagram now gives users the option to hide like counts on their profiles, the process requires several steps — and we know friction can inhibit adoption. 

The social network didn’t remove them because they said their research revealed that “People want more flexibility, so we thought it would be important to give people the option.” So, now you have three options: leave things as they are, hide like counts on the posts that appear in your feed, or hide like counts on your own posts. 

Although a like's value is debatable, many brands and influencers still use the metric in their reporting. If users begin to adopt this practice more widely, brands and influencers may have to look to other engagement metrics.

2. TikTok Launches a Radio Channel

You know that TikTok dance you learned during quarantine, well, know you can practice your moves while sitting in traffic on your way back to the office listening to the radio. TikTok has partnered with SiriusXM and Pandora to launch two “audio experiences.” 

On SiriusXM, listeners will be able to tune in to TikTok Radio to hear “the trending sounds that are redefining pop culture from TikTok.” TikTok creators, tastemakers, and DJs will showcase “trending music and stories behind the songs throughout each day, as well as a weekly music countdown dedicated to TikTok’s top trending tracks.”

Listeners tuning in via Pandora will hear from TikTok creators who will “listeners through their favorite songs with special commentary about their selections.” 

Marketer’s are you listening to this? Surely, these new channels will open up new ad formats and placement opportunities. 

3. Twitter Testing Several New Updates

It soon may be time to update your Twitter bio. It may need a refresh anyway, but Twitter is also testing a new 'About' tab. The feature, which is still in testing, will likely provide "a range of additional profile info fields, including preferred pronouns, translator status, interests, etc." The fields displayed in the example below could be expanded in the future to feature relevant links and additional text. 

Twitter is also testing "Reactions," like the ones you see on Facebook and LinkedIn. According to Jane Manchun Wong, the reactions that could soon be enabled are: "Likes," "Cheer," "Hmm," "Sad" and "Haha." 

Both new features would give users and brands more ways to express themselves on Twitter.

4. LGBTQ+ Creators on Twitter Share Advice for Brands

It’s Pride Month, and that means it’s time to update your corporate logo on all your social media profiles! But, that better not be the only thing your organization is doing to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community. Twitter spoke with some of the platform’s most recognizable creators from the LGBTQ+ community to get their take on how brands can show their support during Pride Month (and, hopefully, year-round) in a meaningful way. If you’re looking for ideas, give it a read. 

5. Facebook to Flag Accounts Spreading Misinformation

The spread of misinformation and disinformation on social media platforms has become a highly debated issue since the 2016 U.S. presidential election. And today, Facebook has launched a new way to help inform individuals that they may be interacting with a Page or post that may contain false information or was reviewed by a fact-checker. A pop-up will appear before a person follows a page, letting them know that the page has been flagged for sharing false information in the past. This pop-up may deter people from following a Page.

Facebook says it will also continue to “reduce a single post’s reach in News Feed if it has been debunked.” This could mean lower engagement rates and follower counts for Pages and profiles spreading misinformation. 

Update from May 25

1. Twitter Revamps Its Verification Process

Twitter’s verification process which allows high-profile individuals and organisations to receive the coveted blue tick on their profiles has long been a source of mystery. But this week the platform relaunched verification and provided some transparency into how the process will work, along with criteria for who is eligible to be verified.  

Users will now be able to apply for verification directly and, Twitter says, can usually expect a response within a few days.

2. Snapchat Adds Business Profiles

The ephemeral chat app introduced public profiles for businesses this week, giving brands an opportunity to build a presence on the platform for the first time. Snapchat says these free profiles are for businesses to build an organic following, engage with followers and sell products via a Shopify integration that turns the app into a new point of sale.

3. New Insights for Instagram Reels and Live

This week Instagram unveiled new analytics features for its Reels and Live formats, to help brands and creators get a clearer picture of how their content performs. A range of new metrics will give users insights into how their audience engages with them through Reels and Live videos, and the platform is also expanding the information provided about Reach to provide a better view of what type of accounts your content reaches.

4. A New Facebook Transparency Update

Facebook has released its most recent community standards report, in which it outlines the steps taken to enforce standards on the platform. The report includes data on the volume of hate speech, harassment, and other illegal or inappropriate content that has been identified on the service, and the steps Facebook has taken to combat such material.

 The company also announced a new Transparency Centre – a microsite featuring information on how Facebook creates its policies and how they’re enforced.

5. More Brands Are Working With Influencers

Recent research from eMarketer shows that the number of US marketers who plan to run influencer marketing campaigns continues to grow. A survey of American businesses with over 100 employees found that 68% plan to use influencer marketing in 2021, compared to 63% last year. Next year the figure is expected to rise even further to 72.5%.

If you’d like to learn more about how to implement a social influencer marketing campaign, get in touch with us today!

Update from May 18

1. Reddit Offers Brands Creative Services

Good news for brands keen to tap into Reddit’s huge online community. The platform has launched an in-house creative agency, called KarmaLab, to help advertisers build campaigns that will play well to the site’s unique audience.

Reddit can be a great place to reach your audience, thanks to its many hyper-focused subreddit niche interest communities. But, like any online community, it’s too easy for brands to blunder in without understanding how best to engage with the members, and KarmaLab aims to help them get it right. 

2. Facebook Experiments with Live Shopping

Starting this week, Facebook is running an initiative called Live Shopping Fridays, in which three leading brands will broadcast “shoppable” streaming videos around the same topic such as “Glow Up” or “Self Care Spotlight”. The experiment will run until July and is currently focused on beauty and fashion brands.

It appears that this is an early experiment with the format, and if it proves successful perhaps we’ll see it being rolled out to a wider range of businesses so others can try this style of social selling.

3. New Pinterest Video Content Format

Pinterest this week rolled out “Idea Pins” to all of its users, a new video content format. The feature is an evolution of an earlier one called Story Pins which, as the name suggests, was Pinterest’s take on Instagram Stories – short video clips. The concept has been updated based on user feedback, and given a new name to reflect that. Read more about it here.

4. Twitter Improves DM Access

After a busy month from Twitter, there were no major announcements this week except the promise of an improved search capability for DMs. This is one feature upgrade that’s likely to be of more use to social media managers than average users, since they often need to interact with fans or customers through DMs, and the ability to find a particular conversation thread more easily will be welcome.

5. Instagram Adds Pronouns

In an effort to improve inclusivity, Instagram has added the ability for users to specify their preferred pronouns on their profiles. Up to four different pronouns can be specified, chosen from a preset list of commonly used ones, and these can be changed at any time. There’s also an option to limit the visibility of these pronouns so that only your followers can see them.

The feature is currently available in a few as yet unspecified countries, and will roll out to more in due course.

That's it! Come back next week for another recap of the biggest social media news and PR stories of the week.