The orange month of the year was not only much spookier than before but post pandemic lockdowns, Halloween felt more a sigh of relief to celebrate. While we were preparing our jack-o-lanterns and costumes throughout the month, social media was having its own party with major developments and announcements.
So what was the party about this October?
While we as a social media management tool popped out exclusive Halloween discounts for all, we got some trendy social media updates for you well. With Facebook turning its brand name to ‘Meta’, Instagram bidding farewell to ‘Swipe-up Links’ and finally stepping up the desktop game for all Instagrammers; October was full of news, announcements, and benchmarks.
Applications Opens for Professional Profiles by Twitter
Twitter introduces a new tool ‘Professional Profiles’, this enables businesses, publishers, developers, and creators to have a unique and clearly defined presence on the platform.
This is the next stage for Twitter to strengthen creators and businesses to have a separate identity on the platform as previously Twitter classified anyone who uses Twitter for work as a professional.
Now all the businesses or creators can fill an application form and apply for Professional Profiles which will then display their business information on their profile page, also providing the option to include the Location, Business Hours, Methods of Contact, and a ‘Shop’ or ‘Newsletter’ module for those that have a Revue newsletter.
Instagram Retires IGTV
The big news from the Instagram headquarters came buzzing as they announced the retirement of their long-form IGTV version of videos and combined them into a general ‘Instagram Video’ format.
As stated by Instagram:
“We’re combining IGTV and feed videos into one format – Instagram Video. We’re also introducing a new Video tab on your profile, where this combined video format will live, to make it easier for people to discover new video content.”
Video previews in feed will now be 60 seconds long, unless the video is eligible for ads. They can be uploaded in the same way by clicking the ‘+’ sign and uploading them from the camera roll. This new update will come along with new features as well including video trimming, filters and location tagging. Watching videos on Instagram will be a different experience now, as viewers can tap anywhere on the video to enter fullscreen. They will also have the option to keep scrolling to discover new video content from creators that may interest them.
Snapchat Introduces New Creator Monetization Tools
Snapchat introduces ‘Spotlight Challenges’ in order to expand its Creator Marketplace, a place on its app for brands and influencers to strike sponsored-content deals, after focusing its initial limited launch in May only on Snap’s AR products – Snap hadn’t been seen as a destination for creators until the 2020.
The company is determined in paying the influencers, their community for their creativity and further democratizing content creation, ensuring Spotlight is a place where anyone can take center stage.
“Spotlight Challenges will offer Snapchatters the chance to win cash prizes for creating top-performing Spotlight Snaps using specific Lenses, Sounds, or #Topics …. Snapchatters can win a share of the total prize amount available for each Spotlight Challenge, which will typically range from $1k to $25k, although occasionally we may make available a larger sum for a particular Challenge. The minimum prize that a Snapchatter can win in a Spotlight Challenge is $250 USD”
Facebook to Count Unconnected Facebook and Instagram Accounts Separately
This month Facebook announced that if Facebook and Instagram are not connected in their ‘Accounts Centre’ then they will be counted as separate entities instead of one for ads planning and measurements.
“Starting today, if someone does not have their Facebook and Instagram accounts linked in Accounts Center, we will consider those accounts as separate people for ads planning and measurement. Facebook and Instagram accounts that are connected in Accounts Center will continue to be counted collectively as a single person.”
Previously, Facebook counted the same email address across Facebook and Instagram with multiple accounts as one person for ads purposes. Now advertisers may see an impact on campaign planning estimates and performance reporting with respect to data metrics. An increase in pre-campaign estimates such as estimated audience size can be seen too, but for most campaigns, it is not believed to have a substantial impact on reported campaign reach.
Twitter’s ‘Best of Tweets’ Ad Campaign Awards for 2021
Twitter opened up the nominations for ‘Best of Tweets’ this year too just like last year since 2016. These are no physical awards but the businesses get additional promotion and recognition as a part of their win.
If a company or business ran a good tweet campaign on Twitter in 2021 they may apply for the nominations and quite certainly win an award in a range of categories.
What is the ‘Best of Tweet’ Award?
“Twitter’s Best Of Tweets is our hall of fame, our GOAT, our crowning achievement for the brands that creatively leveraged Twitter this year to launch something new, or to connect to what’s happening like no one else could. And we want to hear from you, does your brand deserve to be crowned a winner?” – Twitter
From last year’s event, the much recognized campaigns were from Gatorade, Uber, Ben & Jerry’s and more. To be eligible for the nominations, you’ll need to summarize your campaign into a few sentences, and then provide an explanation as to why it should be crowned as one of the best. This can be tougher than it sounds, but by looking at the awards from last year, you can likely get some idea as to what Twitter’s award judges are seeking, in terms of impact, reach, etc.
Pinterest Announces ‘Watch’ Tab, ‘Takes’ and More
At the second annual Pinterest Creators Festival, Pinterest announces some great new features as the platform continues to evolve to become home for the next generation of creators.
Among all the features, few are:
- Pinterest’s ‘Takes’ – a new way for Pinners to respond to a creator’s idea with their own Idea Pin.
- Pinners option to “browse” or “watch” when looking for inspiration and ideas. The new “watch” tab is a full-screen display with ‘Browse’ and ‘Watch’ options that puts the power in users’ hands to choose how they’d like to get inspired. This will be a scrolling, vertical feed of content to both align with the latest social content consumption trends, and provide a new means to discover a broader range of Pins.
As explained by Pinterest:
“A Take is an Idea Pin that is created in response to another Idea Pin. Takes appear as responses to the original Idea Pin and can also be seen in your home feed, from people you follow or on your profile.”
- Pinterest integrates AR tools with Idea Pins.
- Pinterest is rolling out its “Creators Rewards It is their first-ever in-product monetization program for creators, and the latest initiative to pay creators for producing inspirational content.
This allows creators to tag their Idea Pins with a new ‘Try on’ sticker to add lip products, empowering Pinners to try on and shop right from the Idea Pin.
Facebook Expands Access to Live Audio Rooms
Facebook announced an expansion of its live audio rooms being made available to public figures globally, and a new, dedicated space within the ‘Watch’ tab to help users connect to all of the platform’s various audio options.
As explained by Facebook:
“From today, all verified public figures and creators will have the ability to host Live Audio Rooms. We’ve seen it become a great tool for lightweight connection and conversion among various types of communities.”
Live Audio Rooms will be available in Groups too providing the ability to host Live Audio Rooms – giving access to an easy, low pressure way to build deeper engagement with their community.
Twitter Adds Multi-Destination Functionality for Carousel Ads
Twitter in an effort of meeting the needs of more marketers and their performance goals placed another brick in the process to strengthen the Performance ads by launching Multi-Destination Functionality for Carousels Ads driving to a website.
Carousel Ads were announced last year and now with this new update, Multi-Destination Carousels, the advertisers can now customize headlines and landing pages to help drive the right actions for their audiences. This will provide more capacity to utilize different ad creative within a single campaign, highlighting specific features or use-cases to help broaden appeal. This will help in basic targeting segmentation, with each click highlighting the specific elements of interest for each user, helping to categorize responses.
Instagram Adds New Data Analytics
In an attempt to give back more to their creators, Instagram announces new experiences in Instagram Insights that will help creators and businesses learn more about their audience. Today, we’re introducing accounts engaged, engaged audience, reached audience and new transparency for creators who partner with brands.
The new data points will guide your posting decisions, and provide more opportunity to optimize your approach based on more specific data points.
The new metrics being added to Instagram insights are:
- Accounts Engaged – This will show the total number of accounts that interacted with your content in a given time period
- Engaged Audience – This data will provide demographic insights into the users that are engaging with your content, whether they follow your profile or not, including top cities, top countries, top age ranges and gender
- Reached Audience – Similar to Engaged Audience, this will provide demographic information about the people you’ve reached with your posts in a given time period, including top cities, top countries, top age ranges and gender.
Twitter Tests Ads in Tweet Replies
Twitter tests ro add a new ad placement in their ad inventory within the Tweet conversations. You can see these ads after the first, third or eighth reply under a Tweet. This will be a big opportunity to build an ad offering that creates value and aligns incentives for creators and advertisers.
As we published this, Reddit announced something similar within its post comments just last month. This option could essentially facilitate direct monetization of tweets as per the revenue product lead Bruce Falck, with the tweet creator able to opt-in to these ads, then get a cut of the resulting revenue.
Instagram Will Enable Photos and Videos Upload via Desktop
Instagram is making the lives of all social media managers easier by finally launching the much awaited feature, Instagram postings via Desktop now.
This will facilitate the posting of photos and videos of less than one minute in length, and will not include Stories or Reels uploads at this stage. But it will make it a little bit easier for social media managers to stay across their various apps and posts, by providing a way to upload content for each platform from the one place – so you won’t have to keep saving images in varying ways to then upload from your phone, etc.
Initially it was tested with a few users back in June but now it is globally available.
Twitter Launches Ticketed Spaces on Android, Now Available to All Us Users on iOS
After first providing the option to selected iOS users back in August, Twitter is now making ticketed Spaces available to all iOS users in the US, while the option is also now being rolled out to Android broadcasters as well, providing another monetization option in the app.
Initially, a Space was limited to those with at least 600 followers while all Twitter users have been able to tune into Spaces chats, but only those above that 600 follower threshold have been able to start up their own audio broadcasts. But now, it’ll be an all-in, as it will provide increased capacity for people to communicate in more formats on the platform.
Instagram Makes Links in Stories Available to All Accounts
The company recently ditched the “swipe-up” link in Instagram Stories with new Link Stickers. Both the previous “swipe-up” link and new Link Sticker feature have been historically limited to businesses and high-profile creators in a way to direct them to their websites where they can learn more about the product.
As explained by Instagram:
“When we first introduced Stories links, the feature was limited to verified accounts or those with a certain number of followers. We’ve heard from the rest of our community that they also want to share things that matter with their friends and family. Whatever you’re into, from cooking to volunteering or shopping, you now have a space to share in Stories – regardless of your account size.”
The addition of link stickers, as opposed to swipe-up links, gives users more creative control over how links appear within their Stories frames, which could be a good way to drive more referral traffic.
TikTok’s Testing a New ‘Tips’ Option for Selected Creators
TikTok is experimenting with another new creator monetization option that allows TikTok users to tip some creators directly on their profiles.
According to a video of the tips feature shared this week by TikTok creator Jera Bean, who noticed the feature in-app and applied for approval, any money tipped to creators will go directly to that individual (meaning TikTok won’t take a cut).
As per TikTok’s description, to be eligible for Tips, users need to have at least 100k followers and their account needs to be in good standing, in line with TikTok’s platform rules and regulations.
Facebook Company Is Now ‘Meta’ – A Social Technology Company
At Connect 2021, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Facebook’s overarching company name will be ‘Meta’, which brings together all Facebook apps and technologies under one new company brand.
So basically, Facebook, the app, will remain, as will all of its other brand names and identities. But like Google switching to ‘Alphabet’ as a broader company title, Facebook’s various projects will now all come under the ‘Meta’ banner, reflecting its evolving focus on the next generation of digital connection. Meta’s focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.
As explained by Facebook:
“The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together – and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company.”
Twitter Opens up Super Follows to All Users on iOS
Super Follow, which was launched in beta last month, is now open for all users on iOS with more than 10k Twitter followers to set a monthly subscription fee (up to $9.99) to monetize additional, exclusive content for their most engaged followers in the app.
This feature will provide more monetization potential for creators, expanding the capacity for them to draw direct income from their biggest fans.
Once activated, creators are provided with a new ‘Super Followers’ audience selection option for their tweets, which limits the reach of their content to their paying subscribers only.
If you Super Follow someone, their specific tweets for you and other Super Followers will be right in your timeline. You’ll also get a public badge that appears when you reply to anyone you Super Follow.
Facebook Tests New ‘Spotlight’ Conversation Option
Facebook is testing out a new way to host more focused public chats in the app, via a new ‘Spotlight Conversation’ post option, which, when enabled, separates replies from specific users into a new chat thread. Facebook’s new spotlight feature gives the creator and guests, a dedicated comments tab.
The original post will show the invited contributors to the chat, and the discussion between the host and guest/s will be displayed in a dedicated ‘Spotlight’ chat stream, with all other replies on an ‘Other Comments’ tab.
That’s all folks for the spooky month of October..
This month was just not about the cobwebs, jack-o-lanterns and Halloween preparations but some major social media announcements became the head turners this time. With Facebook transforming into ‘Meta’ and Instagram finally stepping up its desktop game, October was the highlight of 2021.
We will be back again with another set of buzzing news and some major Black Friday and Cyber Monday highlights but till then try these new exciting things from your favorite social media platforms and share your experience in the comment section below.
Stay tuned with Social Champ for more updates in the coming month. Cheers 😀