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August 2023 Social Media Platform Updates

Thursday 7th September

Blog Author Beth Perrin by Beth Perrin

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August 2023 Social Media Platform Updates

Thursday 7th September 2023

Now that we’ve entered September, it’s time to take a look at all of the social media updates and new features that arrived throughout August, which was another busy month for our favourite platforms! Whether you’re a casual user or a brand marketer looking for new tools to incorporate into your strategy, discover some of our top picks from the last few weeks below.


New YouTube Shorts Features

YouTube started off the month by adding a range of new Shorts features that are very similar to those seen on TikTok:

A new ‘Collab’ tool, which looks just like TikTok’s Duet option, will enable users to record a Short side-by-side with another YouTube video or Short. This type of response has become a popular way for creators to reply to other users’ posts.

A Q&A sticker, which will allow creators to collect responses from viewers of their Shorts.

Vertical live streams are also being tested, which will be mixed into the Shorts feed. If a viewer taps into the stream, they’ll be taken to a scrollable feed of other live videos that are currently taking place.

A new Shorts template process has been added, which enables users to tap through to the camera composer and easily use the audio and/or effects from the Short they were previously viewing.



A Better Deal for X Creators

Subscriptions on X are a way for creators’ most engaged followers to help them earn money for the content they post on the platform. When a creator offers Subscriptions, their fans can pay a monthly fee to access bonus posts created especially for them, and will receive a special badge that is displayed beside their name whenever they reply to any posts shared by the person they’ve subscribed to. Previously, X would keep none of creators’ subscription revenue for the first 12 months, then after this time, X’s share would be increased to 10%. However, Elon Musk recently announced that this policy has been amended - so now X will keep nothing until a creator’s payout reaches $100k, then if it exceeds this amount it will go up to 10%.



X Spaces on Desktop

Spaces, which are X’s audio chat rooms, can now be accessed on desktop, providing a new way for users to engage in conversations. People have been able to listen to Spaces on desktop for some time, but haven’t been able to participate vocally, as the feature was originally built around mobile functionality - including the mobile mic. Now, podcasters and those who prefer to use higher-end audio equipment won’t be limited to the built-in mics on their phones, which generally don’t offer anywhere near the same level of sound quality, customisation and control as proper podcasting microphones.


WhatsApp Screen Sharing

Following in the footsteps of traditional video conferencing apps like Zoom and Google Meet, WhatsApp has introduced the ability for users to share their screen during video calls, which will make it easier for businesses and teams to host meetings on the platform. Screen sharing can be accessed by tapping or clicking the ‘Share’ icon while on a call, and users can choose between sharing just a specific app or their entire screen. Up to 32 people can be included in a video call, which, combined with the new screen sharing feature, makes it a great option for anyone looking to host presentations, demonstrations and training sessions on WhatsApp.

Alongside this, users can now also make video calls in landscape mode on mobile, giving them a wider and more immersive viewing experience.



New Tools for LinkedIn Jobseekers

LinkedIn has added a new element to the ‘About’ section on member profiles which enables users to tag up to five of their ‘Top skills’. The ability to include media in the ‘Projects’ section has also been introduced, which can be tagged with the specific skills that were used to create that project. For example, a photographer might choose to link to their online portfolio and tag a mixture of hard skills - such as Adobe Photoshop - and soft skills, like Communication or Collaboration. These quick and easy tags may help catch the attention of busy recruiters who might not have time to read each person’s full ‘About’ section if they’re reviewing hundreds of applicants for a role.


New Threads Features

A handful of small Threads updates were released in the middle of the month:

A new ‘Send on Instagram’ button, which enables users to directly share a post to a friend via Instagram DMs. Before, users could only share Threads to their Instagram feed or Story, but the new DM option leans into the rising popularity of private messaging on social platforms.

The ability to add custom alt text to images, which means users can now add descriptions to the photos they upload to Threads - or edit the auto-generated alt text tags - before publishing.

A new ‘Mention’ button on users’ profiles, which makes it easier for others to mention them in a post straight from their profile.

The ability to sort your following list by who you followed first or last.

A new section within the app’s Settings where users can view the Threads they’ve liked.


HD Images on WhatsApp

WhatsApp has introduced support for HD photos within conversations, meaning users can now choose whether they want to send a photo in regular or HD quality. Standard definition images could be handy for users experiencing low connectivity or those on limited data plans, while the HD option is great for sending photos when connected to WiFi or when more detail needs to be shared. Meta has also confirmed that it’s working on HD video support for WhatsApp too, so keep an eye out for this addition!



Threads Desktop Site

Users have been eagerly awaiting a fully functional desktop version of Threads since its release in July - and it’s finally here! This means users can now log in, view posts, publish their own posts and interact with other users from their desktop computer or laptop. The current version of the web app is fairly limited, with no search bar or post scheduling features available at the moment, however Meta has promised that plenty of updates will be arriving soon.


Post by @mosseri
View on Threads


Snapchat AI Dreams

Snapchat, which is well-known for its wide range of AR, VR and AI features, has introduced another new element called ‘Dreams’ that uses generative AI to create fun selfies by placing users into imaginary dreamscapes. Explaining the decision to roll out the feature, Snap said: “When Lenses arrived in 2015, Snapchatters were delighted as they could take on new personas through augmented reality [such as the beloved dog filter]. Recent advancements in AI are unlocking even more possibilities. Starting today, Snapchatters can create fantastical images that let them try on new identities – be it a mermaid in a deep-seascape, or a renaissance era royal.”

Users can make their first eight Dreams selfies for free, but after this they must pay $0.99 via in-app purchase if they want to create more.



WhatsApp Mac App

Meta has launched an updated WhatsApp desktop app for Mac users, which incorporates most of the same features included in the Windows app that was released in August last year. The main addition to the Mac version is expanded group video calling, with users now able to make calls with up to 8 people. For audio chats, up to 32 participants can be invited. Mac users can now join a group call after it’s started, view their call history and choose to receive incoming call notifications even when the app is closed - plus, files can also be shared easily by simply dragging and dropping them into a chat.



Threads Keyword Search

Another long-awaited Threads feature is now being tested in Australia and New Zealand - keyword search! While the current search results only show usernames matching your chosen terms, the new search function will also show you all of the posts that contain the keywords you’ve entered. Users who are part of the test have agreed that the search bar has helped them discover relevant content and people outside of their immediate contacts. Others have noted that being able to filter the results would make the feature even better, such as by post type, time and/or location.


Post by @mosseri
View on Threads


Easy Reply Option on X

X has rolled out a new functionality for DM interactions on both iOS and Android devices, whereby users can now swipe right on any DM in a chain to directly reply to it, making it a little easier to respond to messages in a chat. The ability to reply directly to a specific message within a conversation was added back in May, so the new swipe-to-reply option will enhance that capacity even more. In addition to this, Elon Musk has also confirmed that video and audio calls will be coming to X soon, which will work on iOS, Android, Mac and PC.




We’re excited to see the continued development of Threads - will it reach a point where it can truly compete with X, and does it have the power to become former Twitter users’ new favourite platform? Share your thoughts with us @3sixfivepro and let us know which social media updates you’ve been enjoying over the past few weeks, whether they’ve enhanced your personal use or improved your brand’s marketing strategy.