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Social Media Industry News- April 2024


Social Media Platform News and Updates for APRIL 2024

Come with us as we highlight the updates and changes shaping user experiences and industry trends on social media. From Meta's ad-free subscription price cut in Europe to YouTube's new #WomenofYouTube Mentorship Program, this update covers significant developments across platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Reddit, and more. With enhancements in features like dedicated video feeds, collaborative articles, and algorithm refinements, platforms aim to improve user engagement, content discovery, and monetization opportunities. These updates reflect the dynamic nature of social media, where innovation and adaptation drive platform evolution and user interaction. Happy reading!

Social media updates for Meta

  • Meta's Ad-Free Subscription Package Price Cut in Europe: Amidst concerns from privacy activists about Meta's compliance with the EU's Digital Markets Act (D.M.A.), Meta has announced a reduced price for its ad-free subscription package in Europe, aiming to align with the D.M.A.'s requirement for data privacy options. The move seeks to balance revenue opportunities with user privacy concerns, although critics argue it still undermines GDPR protections. Despite Meta's effort to address complaints by halving the subscription cost, debates persist over the balance between compliance, business interests, and user privacy.

  • CrowdTangle Phased Out by Meta: Meta has confirmed the discontinuation of its platform monitoring tool, CrowdTangle, citing a shift in focus towards new research tools like Meta Content Library. CrowdTangle faced criticism for its data insights, particularly regarding political content amplification. While researchers can access alternative tools, the phase-out reduces overall research capacity around Meta's apps. Despite its usefulness, CrowdTangle's retirement aligns with Meta's evolving priorities and privacy standards. 

  • Meta Ceases Payments to Australian News Outlets: In a move away from news content, Meta will cease payments to Australian news outlets, citing declining usage of Facebook News. This marks the end of Meta's truce with Australian government officials over news content payments, reflecting Meta's broader pivot away from news partnerships globally. The decision underscores Meta's focus on user-preferred content and raises questions about the role of social media platforms in the news landscape. 

Social media updates for LinkedIn

  • LinkedIn's Dedicated Video Feed: LinkedIn is testing a new dedicated video feed in its app, showcasing content in a TikTok-style format to capitalize on the vertical video trend. This move aligns with broader shifts toward video communication and engagement, particularly among younger demographics. The feature presents opportunities for increased user engagement and content discovery within the LinkedIn ecosystem. 

  • LinkedIn's Evolution of Collaborative Articles: LinkedIn's Collaborative Articles feature, powered by AI prompts, has seen significant user engagement and readership growth. The platform is enhancing its prompt framing and algorithm to drive more specific and relevant contributions. Additionally, LinkedIn is expanding Collaborative Articles to more languages and improving search functionality to facilitate content discovery and contribution.

  • LinkedIn's Expansion of Thought Leader Ads: LinkedIn is expanding its Thought Leader ads to allow businesses to promote content from any user on the platform, not just their own employees. This expansion offers brands new opportunities to showcase industry expertise and customer testimonials. While the feature lacks a revenue share system for content creators, it allows brands to leverage organic content endorsements for increased reach and engagement. 

Social media updates for Instagram

  • Instagram Tests "Blend" Feature for Private Reels Sharing: Instagram is experimenting with a new feature called "Blend," which combines Reels shared between friends into a single feed. This integrated approach aims to facilitate private Reel sharing by recommending content based on users' shared Reels and interests. As Instagram focuses more on private sharing, Blend could enhance in-app content discovery and make content sharing a group experience. While not yet live, Blend shows the potential to enrich user engagement if implemented effectively. 

  • Instagram Trials Commenting on Specific Carousel Images: Instagram is testing a new feature that allows users to comment on specific images within carousel posts by referencing their assigned numbers. This feature enables users to engage more precisely with individual images or videos in carousel posts, potentially fostering focused interaction and reducing confusion. With carousel posts gaining prominence on Instagram, this targeted commenting option could enhance user engagement and interaction within the app's main feed. 

  • Instagram Introduces New DM Features for Enhanced Messaging: Instagram announces several new Direct Message (DM) features to enrich user engagement within the app. Updates include message editing, chat pinning, read receipts customization, chat theme customization, and the ability to save favorite stickers. These enhancements align with the growing trend of private messaging as users' primary mode of engagement on Instagram. As the platform evolves towards algorithm-driven content discovery, DMs become the primary channel for user interaction, highlighting a fundamental shift in social media usage. 

Social media updates for Pinterest

  • Pinterest Expands Body Type Ranges Search Filter: Pinterest is expanding its "Body Type Ranges" search filter to women's fashion and wedding-related searches, aiming to provide more inclusive search results. The feature allows users to select from four body type ranges to customize search results based on their preferences. Built on Pinterest's AI technology, the system identifies various body types in images to deliver personalized and inclusive search experiences. 

  • Pinterest Highlights the Importance of Inclusivity in Marketing: Pinterest shares insights on incorporating inclusivity into marketing and advertising strategies to resonate with a broader audience. The platform encourages brands to integrate inclusivity into their planning processes, ideate for diverse audiences, use insights to build understanding, diversify visuals, employ inclusive language, and evolve strategies based on feedback. By adopting inclusive practices, brands can create more relatable and authentic campaigns that appeal to diverse consumer demographics.

  • Pinterest's Algorithm Refinement: Pinterest has unveiled a strategy to enhance its algorithm by incorporating "non-engagement signals" alongside direct engagement metrics. Recognizing the limitations of relying solely on likes and comments, Pinterest aims to improve user experiences and avoid promoting low-quality or harmful content. Partnering with UC Berkeley and the Integrity Institute, Pinterest's approach includes user surveys, item quality proxies, and diverse engagement signals to provide more beneficial content ranking and user experiences.

Social media updates for X (Twitter)

  • xAI's Grok Chatbot Upgrade: xAI has announced the upgrade of its Grok chatbot, focusing on enhanced reasoning, particularly in math-related tasks, and expanded contextual logic. The latest version, Grok-1.5, aims to match or exceed other chatbots on the market in performance benchmarks. Despite being available primarily to X Premium+ subscribers, Grok's potential differentiation lies in its real-time data access and potential capabilities. 

  • X's Removal of Pronoun Functionality: X (formerly Twitter) is phasing out pronoun functionality on its platform, aligning with Elon Musk's stance against user-selected pronouns. This shift is a departure from Twitter's efforts to facilitate more excellent user representation. The removal of pronouns reflects Musk's personal views on the topic and may impact X's appeal to specific user demographics. 

  • X's Adult Content Community Feature: X is testing a feature that allows users to create communities around adult content. However, it clarifies that it's aimed at filtering NSFW content for user safety rather than promoting adult content. This move suggests a cautious approach to adult content monetization, considering potential risks to brand reputation and user experience. X's decision reflects ongoing challenges in balancing content moderation and revenue generation. 

Social media updates for TikTok

  • TikTok Expands Live-Streamer Perks: TikTok is testing new perks for live-streamers, including performance requests, live shoutout prompts, and gaming partnerships, to enhance subscription incentives. The move aims to boost live-streaming engagement and revenue, leveraging the success of commerce streams on TikTok's Chinese counterpart, Douyin. With live-streaming becoming a key revenue driver, TikTok's expansion of perks seeks to capitalize on creators' monetization opportunities. 

  • Expansion of TikTok's Effect Creator Rewards Program: TikTok expands its Effect Creator Rewards program to more regions, enabling AR creators to monetize their effects with lower entry barriers. The move aims to drive more AR experiences on the platform and incentivize creators with revenue opportunities. As AR gains momentum, TikTok's program seeks to attract and retain creative talent amidst growing competition in the AR space.

  • Rumors of TikTok Photos App Development: Reports suggest TikTok is developing a new "TikTok Photos" app, potentially as a way to compete with Instagram. The app would focus on still images, aligning with TikTok's emphasis on photo posts and in-stream shopping features. ByteDance's experimentation with new apps reflects its strategy to enhance eCommerce appeal and explore alternative platforms amidst regulatory challenges. 

Social media updates for Reddit

  • Reddit's Partnership with Cision: This partnership enables Cision users to access Reddit data via its social suite, allowing for more comprehensive trend analysis and consumer insights. By leveraging Reddit's Data API, Cision aims to enhance its products with real-time insights from Reddit's engaged communities, empowering marketers to develop data-driven strategies more effectively.

  • Reddit's Free Form Ads: Reddit introduces a new ad format called "free form ads," designed to resemble organic Reddit posts for maximum engagement. These ads offer advertisers more space to share information using various media types within a single promotion. Despite potential confusion among Redditors, this format has shown effectiveness in testing, boasting higher click-through rates and increased community engagement.

  • Reddit's Ad Creation Updates: Reddit introduces several ad creation updates, including AI-generated headline suggestions, custom asset cropping, and improved bid management options. These updates aim to streamline the ad creation process, providing advertisers with tools to optimize their campaigns and maximize results. With Reddit's focus on enhancing its revenue streams post-IPO, these improvements reflect its commitment to catering to advertisers' needs and driving ad revenue growth.

Social media updates for Snapchat

  • Snapchat Introduces New Creative and Collaborative Tools: Snapchat is rolling out several new features aimed at enhancing creativity and collaboration within the app. These include AI-powered Lenses for customizable visuals, Templates for creating highlight videos from Memories, extended video length limits for Chats, Stories, and Spotlight, improved access to the Snap camera throughout the app's UI, and Snapchat+ updates for subscribers, such as combined avatar displays and more realistic Bitmoji depictions of pets.

  • Snapchat Partners with Integral Ad Science for Brand Safety: Snapchat has partnered with Integral Ad Science (IAS) to provide advertisers with detailed insight into ad placement within the app, ensuring brand safety aligned with the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) framework. Additionally, Snapchat is enhancing brand safety controls at the campaign level to give advertisers more control over ad placements, particularly within Creator Stories. 

  • Snapchat Tests Message Retention Feature: Snapchat is experimenting with a new feature that allows users to keep their messages in the app beyond the current 24-hour auto-delete threshold. The "Infinite Retention Mode" enables users to select "Never delete" for their messages, a departure from Snapchat's traditional disappearing message model. The feature is being tested in selected markets, allowing participants in conversations to update retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. 

Social media updates for WhatsApp

  • WhatsApp's Pinning Feature: WhatsApp beta tests expanded pinning capabilities, allowing users to pin up to five chats and three messages per conversation. This update enhances user convenience by providing easier access to important chats and messages within the app.

  • WhatsApp's Tagging Feature for Status Updates: WhatsApp tests a feature allowing users to tag contacts in status updates, similar to tagging on Meta apps like Instagram and Facebook. This feature enhances communication and engagement within WhatsApp's private messaging environment, facilitating easier sharing of status updates with specific contacts.

  • WhatsApp's Extended Video Length for Status Updates: WhatsApp beta tests an increase in the maximum duration for status updates from 30 seconds to one minute. This update simplifies the process of sharing longer video clips as consecutive status updates, providing users with more flexibility in expressing themselves through status updates.

Social media updates for YouTube

  • YouTube #WomenofYouTube Mentorship Program: YouTube launches the #WomenofYouTube Mentorship program, pairing seasoned Shorts creators with emerging talents in the YouTube Shorts Creator Community. This initiative aims to provide female creators coaching, advice, and support, fostering camaraderie and shared success within the short-form content landscape. With Shorts' increasing popularity, this program underscores YouTube's commitment to empowering creators and maximizing Shorts engagement.

  • YouTube Auto-Generated Captions Crowdsourcing: YouTube introduces a feature allowing viewers to suggest corrections to auto-generated captions on select English-language channels. Viewers can suggest corrections directly within the video player, with the option for others to upvote suggested corrections. This crowdsourcing approach aims to improve the accuracy of auto-generated captions, enhancing the accessibility and searchability of YouTube content. 

  • YouTube Tests Audience Filters for Viewer Retention Charts: YouTube tests an update in YouTube Studio that enables creators to analyze viewer retention based on various audience segments, such as subscribers vs. non-subscribers, new vs. returning viewers, and organic vs. paid traffic. This feature gives creators deeper insights into audience behavior and engagement patterns, helping them optimize content strategy and maximize performance. With YouTube's ongoing improvements to analytics tools, creators gain more avenues for data-driven decision-making and content optimization. 


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