Social Media Platform News and Updates for FEBRUARY 2024
As the year charges up, new trends evolve in businesses and the social space. And in our usual manner, we dive into the latest social media trends this month with our industry roundup. From Meta's compliance strategies to LinkedIn's B2B tools, explore the dynamic landscape. Uncover Instagram's privacy updates, TikTok's data challenges, and Snapchat's AI-driven features. Discover YouTube's playlist analytics and WhatsApp's channel updates. Stay informed on the evolving world of social media in this concise overview.
Social media updates for Meta
Meta has announced that users in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland using Instagram and Facebook will soon have new choices to manage their experiences across Meta products. This is in response to the Digital Markets Act (DMA) requirements, effective March 2024. Users will receive notifications allowing them to choose whether to share information between Facebook and Instagram accounts. Choices include connecting accounts or managing them separately. The update covers various aspects, such as Facebook Messenger, Marketplace, Facebook Gaming, and ads, with the aim of complying with evolving European regulations.
Meta is implementing a new policy for ads about social issues, elections, and politics, effective January 11. Advertisers must disclose if their content contains digitally created or altered elements, including AI-generated content. The policy aims to prevent misleading depictions, and non-disclosure may lead to ad rejection. Meta's fact-checking partners will assess content for misinformation. The move aligns with global efforts to address deceptive online content.
Meta is introducing a new attribution setting called Engaged-view in response to changing user behavior when engaging with video content. Advertisers can measure conversions within one day of a video ad play, provided the viewer engages with the content for at least 10 seconds. Engaged-view aims to enhance ad performance, offering more insights into conversions beyond clicks. Meta suggests a potential 3% lower cost-per-result for advertisers using this setting.
Facebook has introduced a "Link History" setting that tracks and stores users' clicked links in the Facebook mobile app. While Facebook presents it as a tool to save users' browsing activity, concerns arise about targeted ads based on this data. Users can opt-out, but the default setting encourages acceptance. Despite being portrayed as a privacy improvement, questions remain about the extent of tracking and user control.
Social media updates for LinkedIn
LinkedIn introduces Website Actions, a tool to simplify action tracking for B2B marketers. Integrated with LinkedIn's Insight Tag, marketers can capture and measure website actions without complex tracking codes. This tool facilitates stronger retargeting, accurate measurement, and budget optimization. Companies like Cognism and Bottomline have reported significant improvements in conversion rates and retargeting effectiveness using Website Actions. The tool aims to provide valuable insights into buyer actions and preferences for effective B2B marketing.
LinkedIn, part of Microsoft, reports "record engagement" and hits one billion members. Growth in member sign-ups in Germany and India contributes to this milestone. However, questions arise about the definition of "members" compared to active users. LinkedIn notes growth in skills added to profiles, increased newsletter readership, and AI integration. Revenue increased by 9%, with an ongoing focus on AI features and revenue growth across all businesses.
LinkedIn unveils three job search features to assist professionals in exploring new opportunities. "Job Collections" allows users to discover diverse jobs based on industry, specialties, and values. The "Preferences" page simplifies setting job preferences for quicker job matching. The "I'm Interested" button enables expressing interest in a company, even without specific job openings. Additionally, LinkedIn Premium tools are introduced, including the Top Choice Job feature and Advanced Premium Filters. These updates aim to streamline the job search experience for users.
Social media updates for Threads
Threads is contemplating the addition of a Trending Topics listing. While users request features like lists, an edit button, and trending, Threads chief Adam Mosseri is cautious about their impact on Threads' growth. He notes that while requested features are good to build, their measurable impact on Threads' growth is currently negligible. The consideration of trending topics aligns with the real-time nature of conversation apps like Threads.
Threads emerged as the most downloaded app globally in December, with 54 million new downloads, surpassing TikTok. TikTok secured the second spot with 47 million new downloads, maintaining a balanced distribution between Google Play and the App Store. Facebook, WhatsApp, and CapCut rounded out the top five downloaded apps. The analysis also highlighted Threads ranking 6th in combined downloads, indicating a notable increase in December downloads.
An analysis of the top 50 most followed profiles on X reveals that half of them have not migrated to Threads. The study explores the posting habits of these profiles on Threads and X, indicating trends in engagement. Certain interest areas, like sports, are still more active on X, and notable figures, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, show a higher engagement on X than on Threads. The study suggests that Threads may be facing growing pains and challenges in attracting diverse interest communities.
Social media updates for Instagram
Instagram has rolled out a new feature that allows users to turn off read receipts for their direct messages (DMs). Users can now control when "Read" and "Seen" indicators appear or don't appear for the sender within message streams. This setting can be activated within individual chats by tapping on the user's name, selecting "Privacy & Safety," and toggling off "Read Receipts." It gives users more control over notifications and could be useful in managing expectations and avoiding unnecessary drama over response times.
Instagram has introduced a new feature called "Flipside," offering users an alternative profile space accessible only to them and their chosen connections. Users can set Flipside as their post audience, ensuring that posts only go to that space. Instagram aims to emphasize more private sharing and smaller engagement communities, aligning with the trend of users posting more to Stories and engaging in direct messages. The feature is currently available to a limited subset of users, and its success may hinge on appealing to younger users as Instagram competes with platforms like TikTok.
Instagram has implemented new measures to enhance teens' safety on the platform. Teens under 16 (or under 18 in certain countries) will, by default, be able to receive direct messages (DMs) turned off from anyone they don't follow or aren't connected to on Instagram. This default setting aims to protect teens from unwanted contact. Additionally, parents using supervision will now have the authority to approve or deny their teens' requests to change default safety and privacy settings. The changes address concerns about unwanted contact and inappropriate content while involving parents in their teens' online experiences.
Social media updates for Pinterest
Pinterest has shared essential tips to optimize product feeds for businesses selling on the platform. A well-optimized product feed enhances performance and increases the chances of attracting potential customers. The tips focus on three main aspects: metadata, product organization, and targeting. Businesses are encouraged to make metadata meaningful by adding comprehensive details, using keywords in titles and descriptions, perfecting product groupings, and making it easy for shoppers to find products. The guide emphasizes the importance of a well-organized and detailed product feed for better discoverability and engagement.
Pinterest has released the "Pinterest Predicts Agency Insights Guide," offering marketers brand-specific insights into the platform's trend predictions. The 26-page guide provides tips for maximizing Pin campaigns by aligning with data-backed trends and user behaviors. With a track record of 80% accuracy in past trend predictions, Pinterest aims to help marketers build deeper connections with key demographics and capture users at the moment they're ready to make a purchase. The guide includes case studies, technical insights, and overviews of rising trends, offering valuable information for marketers who are serious about Pinterest in 2024.
Social media updates for X (Twitter)
X has introduced a new feature allowing community admins to add topic tags to their groups, enhancing visibility in in-app searches. Admins can add up to 10 tags to showcase their community to relevant audiences. Although the exact impact of these tags on search results is not specified, community engineer Dong Wook Chung emphasizes their significance. Tags and other factors like the community's name, description, and activity contribute to search rank. With over 350,000 communities on X, adding tags becomes crucial for discovery.
X faces challenges in content moderation as harmful content, including AI-generated images, is widely circulated. Despite Community Notes and a crowd-sourced approach, X struggles to prevent the spread of explicit content. To address this, X is establishing a 100-person content moderation center in Texas, acknowledging the need for additional human moderation alongside Community Notes. Additionally, X's efforts to eliminate bots, particularly those spreading misinformation, face scrutiny. The German government discovered a network of Russian-originated bots influencing anti-Ukraine sentiment on the platform.
In a reflection on 2023, X highlights key achievements, including doubling down on free expression, expanding Community Notes, and introducing new features like immersive video and long-form video uploads. With over 350,000 communities and 650,000 daily posts, X emphasizes its transition into a video-first platform. The introduction of Grok, an AI search assistant, and various improvements in content safety and creator support are noted. X plans to revolutionize 2024 with AI-powered experiences, peer-to-peer payments, and enhanced ad offerings.
Social media updates for TikTok
Universal Music Group has announced that its agreement with TikTok is set to expire on January 31, 2024. As of the expiration, Universal Music Group, including Universal Music Publishing Group, will cease licensing content to TikTok and TikTok Music services. The announcement comes amid negotiations and indicates a potential shift in the dynamics between music labels and social media platforms.
TikTok is facing challenges in walling off U.S. user data, according to reports. The special unit, Project Texas, created to protect U.S. data, has struggled with data-sharing issues and frequent updates to the algorithm by ByteDance workers in China. Employees in Project Texas find it difficult to verify every change, raising concerns about data security and potential Chinese interference. The struggles highlight the complexity of protecting U.S. data across a global social media app.
TikTok is reportedly planning to open live-stream studios in Los Angeles, allowing creators to film content in a more professional environment. These studios would support TikTok's push into live-stream commerce, similar to the success seen on its Chinese sister app, Douyin. The move aligns with TikTok's efforts to make live-stream commerce more embedded in user behavior and explore new initiatives, including expanded shopping options and potential AI-hosted live streams.
Social media updates for Reddit
Reddit has launched its Conversions API to help advertisers optimize and measure performance while maintaining control over shared data. Tealium is announced as Reddit's first Conversions API partner, facilitating the direct connection of advertisers with Reddit. The collaboration seeks to enhance data efficiency and compliance in measurement integrations. The Conversions API is part of Reddit's efforts to empower advertisers with advanced measurement solutions.
Reddit's IPO valuation, originally targeted at $15 billion, is reportedly reconsidered in the mid-single-digit billions. Market conditions and comparisons with social apps like X and Snapchat are influencing this adjustment. The revised valuation reflects challenges in the tech sector, with Reddit seeking a balance between maintaining value and attracting investor interest. The IPO is anticipated in March, offering insights into Reddit's growth prospects and market positioning.
Social media updates for Snapchat
Snapchat is rolling out Bitmoji pets, allowing users to create and customize digital pets that accompany them on the Snap Map. While the AI element is primarily in the creation process, where users design their pets, this feature adds a playful and creative dimension to the Snapchat experience. Snapchat continues to explore generative AI options to enhance user engagement and align with broader AI trends in social media apps.
Snap Inc., the creator of Snapchat, has entered into a strategic partnership with Samba TV to provide outcome measurement to Snap advertisers in the entertainment vertical. Samba TV's measurement capabilities will help advertisers understand the impact of advertising on Snapchat, measure conversion outcomes, and optimize their spending on the platform. This collaboration aims to offer Snapchat advertisers a comprehensive and data-driven approach to analyze the effectiveness of their campaigns and improve return on ad spend (ROAS).
Snapchat has introduced updates to its parental control and supervision tools, making it easier for parents to manage their kids' exposure levels in the app. The new overview of safety and privacy settings provides parents with a quick overview of their child's settings, improving accessibility and ease of use. Snapchat has also made its Family Center more prominent in the Settings menu and searchable from the main content screen. Additionally, parents can now opt their teens out of Snapchat's "My AI" generative AI chatbot tool, addressing concerns about inappropriate responses. These updates aim to address parental concerns and improve the safety of teen users on the platform.
Social media updates for WhatsApp
WhatsApp has introduced new features for Channels, including in-stream polls, voice notes, and the ability to share public Channel posts as personal Status updates. Channel admins can engage their audience with polls, and members can forward updates as Status updates. With increased admin capacity and other updates, WhatsApp aims to enhance engagement within Channels and connect with audiences.
WhatsApp has added a custom sticker creation option on iOS, allowing users to edit images from their camera roll into unique visual combinations. While the capacity to create stickers from images has been available, this update introduces additional elements like graphics, drawn-on updates, and animated effects for more creative customization.
Social media updates for YouTube
YouTube has introduced new playlist analytics, allowing creators to compare playlist performance in the "Content" tab. This feature enables a side-by-side analysis of grouped analytics for videos within a playlist, providing insights into viewer behavior and the impact of content grouping on engagement.
YouTube is constantly testing new tools and features through feature experiments. These experiments, or betas, are short-term and limited to a small user group. One recent experiment involves Super Chat likes during live streams or Premieres, allowing users to "like" Super Chat messages. This feature aims to enhance engagement and prompt discussions during live-streamed content.
YouTube has launched AdBlitz for the 2024 Super Bowl, showcasing all Super Bowl ads before, during, and after the game. AdBlitz, now in its 18th year, has become a significant platform for Super Bowl ad viewership, surpassing traditional TV viewership. The hub categorizes ads by genre, providing insights and inspiration for marketers based on creative approaches from top brands.