The nights got shorter, Twitter’s CEO stepped down, Pinterest lost a swath of active users, Instagram removed features, and in between big announcements came the addition of new and exciting features on other platforms.
Here’s our monthly roundup of all that’s new, changing and more!
Say hello to Twitter’s new CEO
In a shock announcement, Jack Dorsey, one of the original co-founders of Twitter, announced he was resigning as CEO, effective immediately. Despite pushback from recent investor groups, recent years have seen Jack spearhead a number of innovations, including various revenue-focused tools such as Twitter Blue, professional profiles, and more recently, native eCommerce functionality.
As CEO, Jack has been replaced by Parag Agrawal, previously Chief Technology Officer and long-time engineer at Twitter, having first joined the company in 2011. We’re excited to see what happens next at Twitter; Agrawal recently revealed he wants to tackle platform moderation, and make Twitter a safe space for a “healthy public conversation.”
But the Twitter news doesn’t stop there, with Twitter announcing the acquisition of Threader, an app that enables users to compile and share tweet threads in a readable format. There has been no official word on how Threader will work post-acquisition, and at the time of writing, the Threader app has been shut down, and there is speculation that the functionality will be rolled into the paid Twitter Blue subscription, but as we know more, we’ll provide further updates!
Before we move on to other platforms, here’s a quick update on some other features in the making on Twitter:
- Long in the making, reply downvotes are soon to be made available to more users. Many view this as a pointless feature, because the feature won’t be public and won’t impact the ranking of individual replies, at least not in the immediate term.
- The second feature being rolled out to more users is on-profile search, enabling you to perform keyword searches of tweets from a specific user, direct from their profile page.
TikTok’s trials, tests and tags galore
TikTok is continuing to make strides in the social media landscape. The platform has seen astronomical growth; according to HubSpot, the term “TikTok” saw a 61% increase in mentions year-over-year during the beginning of 2021, and is the first non-Facebook app to reach 3 million global downloads.
There’s no doubt that TikTok will dominate in 2022 (and beyond), which gives credence to recent announcements of new features to rival other platforms. For one, TikTok is testing a new business registration option, which TikTok is describing as not the same as a verification badge, but instead provides an extra level of assurance and authority about your business identity. Our prediction is that this will form a fundamental part of TikTok’s upcoming eCommerce functionality, which we’ve reported previously.
Another interesting feature announced was the TikTok TV app becoming available in North America. This was originally launched with Amazon Fire TV as the first partner, but is now available via Google TV and other Android TV OS devices, LG Smart TVs and Samsung Smart TVs. We think this is going to open a world of new possibilities with the platform, and we’re excited to see what happens next.
Finally, TikTok also announced a new feature to tag other profiles in your video clips. Whilst not a big change functionally, this will provide another integrated means to link to other creators and/or profiles, and thus promote your own and other people’s profiles to boost community engagement.
Instagram’s long overdue new features
Fans on Instagram have been waiting with bated breath for two long overdue features that were rolled out in October. The first is a live test of 60-second videos in stories, which have had businesses cheering over the fact they’ll no longer need to split their ads and videos into 15-second segments.
Secondly, Instagram launched the ability to delete individual photos from a carousel. Now as you’re editing a carousel, a trashcan icon will appear in the top left of your photo, below your profile, giving you the ability to delete single carousel images without having to delete the entire post and start again.
Audience Insights have also been improved, allowing Instagram users to view demographic insights on reached and engaged audiences, such as number of accounts engaged and much more granular detail. You can see that in action here.
Facebook continuing with community building tools
The idea of building communities or metaverses is something Facebook is continuing to go all in on, so much so they’ve announced a raft of community building tools for Group admins to take advantage of. These include the ability to:
- Customise the look and feel of Groups, including changing colour themes, post backgrounds and fonts.
- Create a unique “Group culture” by selecting hand-picked reaction emojis.
- Automatically send unique welcome messages to new users.
- Pin announcements in a new “Featured” section, visible to all users when they first open a group.
- Shops in Groups and Live Shopping for Creators.
These community tools extend to Group members too, with a new easy-access “post” button available when browsing a group, and therefore removing the need to scroll all the way back up to write a post.
There are a number of other community tools still being tested, including the ability to create subgroups, community fundraisers, shops for group merge and paid subscriptions that members can join on an “opt-in” subscription basis.
Groups will also soon see the launch of community awards, community chats and recurring events.
Finally, a little-known update for Facebook was announced at the start of November, which was the “Creative App Platform” for Facebook stories. This will enable developers to create and promote Stories-related apps directly within the Stories ecosystem. This is currently in its early stages and limited beta and we’ll update you as more information is announced.
Miscellaneous social media announcements
To wrap up, here are some other updates from various other social media platforms that are worth knowing:
- YouTube has added the option for users to reuse details from previous videos, in effort to streamline the upload process for creators. In addition to this, the YouTube Studio will now come with new mobile analytics, with desktop functionality being brought to the mobile app.
- Snapchat is continuing to advance its AR “try-on” tools, suggesting they believe that the future of online shopping is AR-based. The functionality isn’t perfect, but it’s great to see Snapchat continuing to improve it.
- Finally, Pinterest recently shared its latest performance update, which sadly has once again shown a continued decline in active users. In fact, Q321 saw 10 million users leave the platform, primarily due to COVID-19 restrictions easing and bringing shoppers back to physical stores. It will be interesting to see how Pinterest adapts to this change in buyer behaviour.
Which new feature are you most excited about?
Social media continues to grow, and we love analysing new features and seeing what each platform is bringing to an ever-growing table.