October saw birthdays, milestones, and major updates for our favourite social media platforms. We are so excited about the positive changes we’re seeing take place.
Let’s get you caught up on all things social with this month’s roundup!
Twitter’s updates for October had a major focus on fighting fake news. This is something we’re super passionate about here at Naturally Social HQ. The first of these new features is a prompt that reminds users to read articles before Retweeting them, to make sure they agree with and believe the information they are sharing. So far, tests have shown that people are opening links to articles 40% more often when this pops up.
We’re super excited about this next one—Twitter is rolling out a new system called Birdwatch, which is a community-based way to call out potential fake news and misleading posts. We’re still learning how exactly Birdwatch will work, but it could involve being able to flag tweets, vote on a tweet as being misinformative, and adding notes to tell the public why they might want to steer clear of the information being provided. Twitter is also ramping up efforts to label more tweets as potential misinformation, especially in regards to the pandemic.
The other updates this month were all about the user experience. After loads of feedback, we will now be able to set and crop our own image previews in the app, and can also discover new accounts through a “Suggested Follows” list that will start to pop up when following someone new.
Instagram celebrated its 10th birthday in October and kept busy this month with loads of new updates and features being unrolled. Our personal faves include Stories Maps, which lets you see when and where your Stories from the last three years were taken (super nostalgic for any travellers out there who have been missing their time abroad), a secret menu within your Settings where you can change your Instagram icon on your phone’s home screen, and new ways to shop through IGTV.
There were also updates around user wellbeing, like making it easier for Business and Creator accounts to set age restrictions on their pages, and becoming more strict in enforcing the need for influencers to disclose ads and paid partnerships by using a prompt to link in a paid partnership if the post appears to be sponsored.
The next update we saw from Instagram is one you may have noticed already—the notification icon has moved from the bottom of your screen to the top right-hand corner by the direct messages icon. The Shopping tab is now in its old place in the bottom menu.
The final Instagram update is one we’ve been hearing about for a while—its merging with Facebook Messenger is in full swing! We now know this will include selfie stickers, watching Instagram videos during calls, and disappearing messages, and can’t wait to try these all out.
Aside from the big merge it’s been pretty quiet at Facebook, with only a couple of changes to know about.
One update, which we mentioned in our most recent newsletter, was Neighborhoods, a dedicated part of the platform to let you connect with the people and events around you. To use Neighborhoods, you can set up a profile that shares limited information but allows you to stay in the loop about what’s going on nearby. So far, this is only being tested in Canada, but could be rolled out here in the UK depending on its success.
They are also launching an Accounts Center to make it easier for users to navigate between the various apps in the company’s network (starting with Instagram and Messenger), saving us time on logging into each app as we toggle between them, letting us cross-post on Stories, and making Facebook Pay more convenient as more eCommerce features on the apps emerge.
Another step they’ve taken this month to help users is adding new moderation and engagement features to groups in response to how much more they are being used in the current climate. These include admin assistance, branded content, topic categories, chats and Q&A’s. Public communities can also allow discussion from people who are not members of the group yet.
Our final update is a fun one—the Chief Revenue Officer at Facbook, David Fischer, is hosting a podcast called Boost My Business to spotlight business leaders and owners,and give advice on how to shine online. We’ll definitely be tuning in!
A heads-up on a couple of things to keep an eye out for from Whatsapp: If you’re using Whastsapp Business, know that you will start to see charges for certain features, like purchasing via chat. We’re waiting on more information about when this will start and what the price system will be, but it is worth staying aware of.
A more exciting feature to look out for is that we may be seeing video calls from desktop soon! We hope to see this rolled out ASAP.
Clips uploaded to Stories can be up to 20 seconds long, and can be filmed in-app or uploaded from your phone. Brands so far have found this is a great way to share news and a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Stories can also include text and stickers, as well as a Question of the Day.
Stories are visible to your first degree connections, and like on other social media platforms, Linkedin Stories last 24 hours.
This month saw Snapchat hitting an exciting milestone—nearly 250 million users daily! The company’s research after lockdown has shown that Snapchat is used by over 60% of 13-34 year olds in France, Canada, UK, and Australia. This means it’s definitely an effective tool for brands to market to that demographic.
The app is also working on a music feature for your Snapchats—at the moment there is a limited selection of songs, but we’re excited to see how this develops. However, you are able to link tracks from Soundcloud, which is a great opportunity for smaller artists to reach a bigger audience!
Over at Pinterest, new shopping tools have been rolled out this month. Just in time for Christmas, businesses can have a broader reach through ads and a new visual search option. This can be used via camera or in-app, and shows users similar products to what they may be shopping for.
Companies can also use a new Community Information tab to note any underrepresented communities they are a part of, which is a great move towards inclusivity and could be a great way to connect with a potential audience wanting to support the community your business is a part of.
TikTok is jumping into eCommerce too, with a partnership with Shopify! Merchants can run TikTok ads, and can expect to see a “Shop Now” feature rolling out soon.
We’ve loved trying out these new features ourselves and can’t wait to hear what you think of them too. Make sure to follow us and subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop about social media updates as they happen!