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Social Media Updates for May 2021

Harry Swayne

The country is opening, the weather is confusing and social media is thriving. Some of the top social media platforms have had some recent updates that are good to know about – especially for you up-and-coming businesses! Shall we begin?
Let’s dive into what’s been going on in the social media updates for May 2021!

Instagram

May has been a busy month for Instagram updates. The most unexpected being that Facebook is currently developing another Instagram – targeted for children! This new platform, dubbed ‘Instagram for kids,’ would act to ward them away from actual Instagram. It would also aim to protect them from the pressures of social media, as well as to give them further protection in the online world.

Meanwhile on ‘actual’ Instagram, and it looks like stories will be getting some decent updates. This first one looks to be a great boost to accessibility and engagement with stories as Instagram has been experimenting with caption stickers! These caption stickers would simply provide subtitles to your stories which means you will be able to keep your sound off and watch the story with ease! (Don’t worry – any expletives will be censored, although we’re sure you won’t need to resort to those!)

The next update for Instagram is an update to their live videos! They are looking to introduce two new features in the forms of being able to turn off the microphone and video, whilst streaming! These features may seem basic at first, but the basic things are usually the most important. Being able to mute and turn off video while still streaming can be extremely beneficial for when you might need to have a private moment during the stream. Or if you need to get yourself ready you could keep the video off but talk to the viewers until you’re ready to present yourself.

It’s been a busy month for Instagram!

Instagram and Facebook are also getting some updates in terms of messaging (We’ll cover Instagram first, scroll down for the Facebook updates!). And it looks like two new features are coming to Instagram messaging, the first of these features are visual replies. This would mean you could reply instantly to an image or video with an image or video of your own, much like rival platform, Snapchat. The second feature looks to be an ‘Inbox seen’ feature. This means that you can see whether someone, in your DM’s, has seen your message without opening the DM itself – handy that!

Facebook is reportedly planning for Instagram 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) codes to be sent through WhatsApp. It looks set to work via the acceptance of text message authentication. This could mean a safer and more private way of receiving said authentication.

The last of the social media updates for May 2021 on Instagram looks at their 14.5 privacy update. It appears that this privacy update looks to combat Apple’s recent App-Tracking feature, which allows iPhone users to deny any apps permission to collect their data; the data that Social Media sites collect especially – since that is the one that causes users the most concern. But it’s not just Instagram that has this update…

Facebook

…Facebook has it too! Facebook’s 14.5 update, like Instagram’s, looks to combat Apple’s recent update via a curious tactic. They have implemented a pop-up on apple devices that follows the procedure of asking for permission to track the user’s data, (So far, so good,). It then leads on to say why it tracks this data, stating that if users accept the data-tracking it will allow for personalized ads, easier support of businesses that require ads and, the trump card, keeping the app free of charge! Could this make for a turning point in the Apple-Facebook feud going on? Time will tell…maybe.

In lighter news, Facebook is also getting some updates for its messaging service. The first of these are chat archives, which will let you archive any chats instead of deleting them. This will be handy if there’s a message you may want to read later, but don’t want it crowding your inbox!
Next up is an easier recording function for voice notes! Rather than having to keep hold of the record button, you can just tap to start and tap to end – much better if you ask us! And if you’re bored of the regular chat display – this update has you covered. With some intriguing new themes for the chat background, we’ll let you explore these for yourself – Instagram gets these new themes as well!

The last Facebook update for today sees Facebook testing out their new live audio rooms product, which they plan to use to rival Clubhouse. With a goal to further introduce podcasts to their own live audio rooms, it seems Facebook is pushing for Social Media Superiority!

"The country is opening, the weather is confusing and social media is thriving."

Twitter

Twitter is next in the social media updates for May 2021, and it looks like Twitter will finally be adding a DM search functionality for Android users! This means that it will be a whole lot easier for Android users to find someone specific in their direct messages. Great that they can join iPhone and Web users for easy navigation. They’re also working on a feature that would allow you to search for a specific message in chats, for an even quicker way to navigate your DM’s.

Twitter, like Facebook, has been readying up to challenge Clubhouse in the live audio room game as they have launched Spaces, their version of live audio conversations. This is basically a host-lead voice chat stream, where viewers may listen or join the conversation. However, users may only use it should they meet the 600 follower’s threshold – while it may ward off the spam and troll accounts, it does also exclude those smaller accounts that may want to explore this feature. Perhaps this is just a preliminary test to see how well it all works before making it 100% accessible?
Further reports have announced that Twitter is going to unveil that there will be Ticketed Spaces, for the already exclusive feature. It will essentially be a premium way to guarantee your spot in a Spaces conversation, like V.I.P access in a way.

Pinterest

Now we’ll move onto Pinterest, which has a couple of updates of its own to share. To start with, Pinterest has stories now! It functions like a multi-slide video, so a kind of Instagram Story and TikTok hybrid. These story updates have been dubbed ‘Idea Pins,’ and act as a way for creators to share their ideas with the wider platform. The inclusion of voiceovers makes this even better – especially for difficult things like music tutorials and crocheting.

Pinterest will also start trialling live stream events through its app! This will be greatly beneficial for Pinterest Creators as they may want to share their passion for whatever they’re passionate about, without the restrictions of an image pin, or not get enough time on an Idea Pin to properly showcase it. Pinterest is going in the right direction with this, so hopefully, it can launch soon – we’ll be waiting eagerly!

TikTok

Lastly, we reach TikTok, who seem to be following Facebook’s example and adding their own marketing space! TikTok has had some shopping experience on the app already. They currently let creators promote and sell merchandise through certain other applications. But this new update, currently being tested in Europe, would be for more general shopping rather than something creator specific.

TikTok have also launched tools for SME’s on their platform. These tools will be used to help small- and medium-sized enterprises reach their customers through the app – which is always helpful. The tools include guides on how to be successful on TikTok and have stories from businesses that show how they became successful on the app. There will even be strategies on how to help SME’s, now that is some wholesome content.

That’s a wrap!

We hope you’re as excited about these updates as we are and that you enjoyed reading the social media updates for May 2021!
If you want to see more social media-related news, make sure to follow us on Twitter and use the hashtag #UpgradeYourSocial. And don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter as well for tips and all things intriguing about Social Media!

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