As we bid farewell to October it’s time to look back on the exciting social media platform changes that have shaped the landscape this month.
We’ve scoured the internet to pull together an overview of the key changes that unfolded over the past 31 days. Keeping you ahead in the ever-evolving world of social media.
Let’s jump in…
With new law passed, we’re starting this months round-up a little differently than usual!
The Online Safety Bill has now received royal assent and is officially law. If you’re not too sure what this means, we got you!
Essentially, the Government are aiming to make the UK the ‘safest place in the world to be online’. They plan to do this by imposing rules on platforms and websites like Meta, Wikipedia and Apple. It’s hoped that these rules will mean that dangerous and inappropriate content will be kept away from vulnerable eyes.
The new law also aims to ensure that platforms are held responsible for any illegal content and stop underage children from being able to create social media accounts.
With a coroner ruling that the death of a teenager was, in part, as a result of content including self-harming material. This law is very much needed and is being backed by organisations like the NSPCC.
But there are some areas to keep an eye on. Including proposals for platforms like WhatsApp to go against their messaging encryption so that private messages can be reviewed for illegal content.
The enforcement of this bill will fall under Ofcom with a breach of this law seeing a massive fine of £18m or 10% of their annual turnover (whichever is higher). The act is due to be phased in with the majority of measures being in place in the coming couple of months.
Let’s jump into those social media platform changes!
We’re starting with some great news out of TikTok HQ as they’ll be automatically enabling captions on videos. This is a great update, and a step forward for making the platform for accessible as well as leaning into sound off viewing.
With so many platforms appearing in the news about varying kinds of subscriptions, we’re starting with TikTok’s potential Ad Free Subscription.
First off, this subscription is being tested outside of the US and it looks like this subscription will cost $4.99 per month. So what do users get for that? Well, users could benefit from less ad’s in their feed…BUT this might not extend to brand sponsorship or paid partnership content from influencers. From what we’ve seen, this doesn’t seem to be worth it. So we’ll be sticking with the ad’s for now…
This next update could be music to the ears of a lot of social media managers!
TikTok are expanding their direct post offering for third party scheduling tools (Hooray!). In essence, this update will mean users will see an increased number of scheduling options on your favoured scheduling platform. But not only that a range of video editing tools will also be available!
Lastly for TikTok, they’re expanding their ad offering for brands! The new ‘Out of Phone’ element will allow brands to use their TikTok campaigns on other surfaces including Billboards, Cinema Screens, and other screens like Bars, Shops, and Airports.
With TikTok content known the world over, this could be a great step for advertisers and may result in more engagement as well as ads resonating more with the target audience.
Despite experiencing a huge drop in monthly users earlier in the year, it looks like Threads is continuing to build momentum.
Firstly, Threads is looking to increase engagement… to do that they’re going to need direct messaging and of course hashtags. Now DM’s, they’re working on those, but there isn’t much of an update to provide when it comes to hashtags! So what update do we have for you?
We’ll, Threads HQ are working to on API, which is another win for social media managers everywhere! Like with the TikTok update, Threads is working to allow users to schedule content via their scheduling platform of choice!
This next update may mean Threads isn’t ready to compete with rival X… Adam Mosseri, head of IG, has said that the platform isn’t planning to ‘amplify’ news. In our opinion, this isn’t a bad thing! Especially as it’ll open the door to more creative content from users. This update is one to keep an eye on!
You’re in luck, an edit button is being rolled out and better yet it’s not behind a paywall!
We all have to give Meta a massive pat on the back for this update…in a matter of months they’re introducing a feature that took Twitter years!
So, make sure to keep an eye out for a small icon (on the right-hand side) that will indicate whether a thread has been edited! Now unlike X, users won’t be able to see an edit history but we’re not going to grumble about that.
Voice Threads… That’s our next update and it’s exactly what it says on the tin! Users will now be able to record audio posts within the platform. We mentioned this feature was available with IG (in their notes function) back in August. We’re not sure how popular this update will be, but it’s worth a mention!
Lastly, and probably the most anticipated update for Threads. Trending Topics might be on it’s way, and if that’s true they could very well compete with X.
Now, don’t get your hopes too high! There isn’t any word on when this will be rolled out. But if and when it does launch, it’ll look a little different from trending topics on X (and other platforms). It will also be a welcomed addition to help increase user-ship and engagement. So watch this space.
We’re kicking off the Instagram section with an update on Reels, and something that seems to be a trend this month… Instagram have followed suit and announced that the sharing to Reels function is now available for all app developers.
What does this mean? Well, if you’re been previously editing your Reels in another app, exporting and then uploading – you may be able to publish directly from your chosen app.
Stories has an update that’s being tested too. Previously users were able to select an audience list to share their stories too (for example close friends). But now, IG are testing the ability to share stories to multiple audience lists which will give users far more control over who is viewing their content.
This next update is looking at data collection, and Instagram are going to let user prevent IG from collecting data from apps and websites they visit. With this platform update, users will be able disable tracking and review what businesses share information with Meta.
Finally, and one of the most recent updates from Instagram. Live testing has launched for collaborative carousel posts! This update will allow users the ability to have other content creators submit video or photo that can be included within a carousel.
Our first Facebook update is something that was launched on Instagram a few months back, and that’s broadcast channels. If you’re not familiar with broadcast channels, these are public and ‘one-to-many’ messaging tools and they’re coming to pages! This update is going to allow users to feel even more connected with public figures and creators, but it’s also going to allow businesses to directly reach and engage with their communities.
Our first mention of AI is next, and Facebook are experimenting with Generative AI. The first part of this particular update relates to using AI to generate a profile picture. Which is very similar to the avatars which can be created on SnapChat and TikTok.
The next part of this update sees the introduction of AI when writing a post. This feature was introduced to LinkedIn a couple of months back now, so we’re not surprised to see it come up on Facebook. So, what do we think? Well, AI is likely to be appearing more and more. So be sure to use this to support your content and not replace your creativity.
Next for Facebook, new ad features for Facebook and Instagram Reels are being rolled out. With this update, Meta are hoping that they will increase engagement as well as optimise campaign performance.
The new features include Collection Ads which will allow users to upload a carousel for their targeted audience to scroll through.
Multi-Destination Reels Carousel Ads which are available on Android and iOS. These ads will allow advertisers to send users to multiple website pages, which could result in increased sales.
And finally, swipe left functionality. This feature does exactly what it says on the tin! Users will be able to swipe to find out more information about a product, which (again) could help increase sales.
It’s all about collaboration with this first LinkedIn update. Collaborative Articles have some new features which is using AI as a starting point. This content is calling on specific LinkedIn users to share their expertise and experience on varying topics. You may have spotted this in your LinkedIn feed already, and for those users taking part they’ll be awarded Community Top Voice Badge!
This next update will likely be something all social media platforms will be rolling out very soon. Verification is being rolled out for LinkedIn Users. Firstly, this process is free and secondly, you’ll get a verified badge on your profile once you’ve completed the verification process. There is no date as to when this will be rolled out for UK users but keep an eye on your app for the prompt!
As LinkedIn continues to be pro AI, they’re testing fully automated Ad campaigns with Accelerate. This option will allow the platforms AI system to put together a full campaign with the only information needed from the user is the website address… Impressive!
New comment controls are being tested on YouTube. While users are able to turn off comments for their content, this update would allow for comments already received to be shown but prevent future commenting.
This update seems to be more of a short cut for commenting instead of something new! Users can already turn off all comments and/or hold comments for review before they’re posted to videos!
It’s more AI news next, as YouTube are offering AI based Ads! Spotlight Moments are ads which can be placed in the most popular content with certain themes, for example Halloween or the Oscars. But what does that mean? Well, AI will identify the most popular content and place the ad within that video. Users are more engaged around those specific events, so for brands it will help create a more ‘native-looking’ in stream promotion.
We’re finishing this month’s round-up with a stop at X. In recent months, the social media platform changes from Elon Musk have been coming thick and fast! So lets go…
Let’s start with subscriptions! X is testing an $1 annual subscription for users who are unverified which will give them access to tweet and retweet options! This subscription is already live in New Zealand and the Philippines and there isn’t any update on when (or if) this will be rolled out to UK users yet. It’s worth a note that this new subscription relates to new users, so existing users won’t be affected.
With a new feature, X users will be able to limit the replies they received on their content… specifically to only allow verified users to interact. Just another ‘perk’ for paid subscription users.
Next, a new ad format has been rolled out and this one is potentially worrisome. This new ad format doesn’t allow users to retweet or like the ad posts, which isn’t too much of a big deal. The biggest issue we have with this update is that the Ads won’t show who is behind the ad or even that it’s an ad at all… So, why are we worried? Well, it has the potential to lead to an increase in fake news, mistrust, and harmful clickbait. It also goes against what the ASA say about advertising on social media.
For anyone who loves to go live, this next update is for you! X are looking to make it easier for users to go live by testing a new button option in the composer icon (+). This is a great addition as X continues to build out it’s live streaming functionality.
And lastly, this update might look familiar to Facebook users. X is rolling out entry questions for communities. Like with Facebook, this update is going to help group admins to ensure users that are joining their community are going to contribute.
We hope you enjoyed this look back at the month’s social media highlights. And as always, we’ll be back next month to review another months of social media platform changes. In the meantime don’t miss a thing – subscribe to our newsletter!