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January 2024 Social Media Platform Updates

Thursday 8th February

Blog Author Beth Perrin by Beth Perrin

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January 2024 Social Media Platform Updates

Thursday 8th February 2024

It was a busy start to the year for our favourite social media platforms, with Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and more all releasing updates and new features which will not only make it easier for individual users to connect with their friends and family members, but will also help brands and businesses enhance their marketing strategies. Let’s take a look at a selection of them below so you can learn which ones might benefit your content or customer service as we head further into 2024!


Facebook Link History Option

Meta has confirmed that all Facebook users will soon have a new ‘Link History’ option, which is essentially an archive that will enable you to easily find links you’ve previously interacted with in the app. It could be a handy option for finding something you saw on Facebook one time, but can’t quite remember the details - similar to the ‘Recent Ad Activity’ option that already exists in the app, which tracks all of the ads you’ve engaged with. Link History is currently available on both Android and iOS, but not desktop yet.


Headlines Return to Link Previews on X

In October last year, X rolled out a new display for link previews which removed headlines and preview text from them, making it harder to spot links in the feed - because at a first glance, they just looked like plain images. Then, in November, this update was (somewhat) reversed, with Elon Musk announcing that link titles would now be shown again as an overlay in the upper portion of the image. And now, the layout has been updated once again, with link titles now showing up as white text on a black box in the bottom left corner of the image preview. So, links still don’t look exactly like they used to, but at least headings are now shown, making it easier to tell them apart from regular image posts.


Lower-Cost Verification Package for Small Businesses on X

X has added a lower-cost ‘Basic’ tier to its Verification for Organisations scheme, which could be a more viable option for small and medium sized businesses who want to sign up but can’t afford the full $1,000 package. The Basic tier still comes with a gold checkmark for your brand profile, as well as priority support, access to job listings via X Hiring and more.



Meta Removes Detailed Ad Targeting Options

Meta announced an important update for Facebook advertisers - on January 15th, it began removing and/or consolidating some of its detailed ad targeting options, either because they were not widely used, were too granular, or they related to topics that ‘people may perceive as sensitive’.

Meta explained that: “Existing ad sets with impacted targeting options will continue to run until March 18th 2024, but will require you to update your targeting selections. After this date, we will stop delivering ads to the discontinued detailed targeting options, and impacted ad sets may be paused.” The options regarded as ‘sensitive’ are those that relate to elements aligned with health, race, and/or ethnicity.


Premium User Ad Targeting Option on X

Advertising on X isn’t the most popular option at the moment, with many big-name brands pulling back from the platform due to growing dissatisfaction since its rebrand from Twitter - however, there are still many millions of people using the app every day, which could present a significant opportunity if they’re among your brand’s target audience. X has added a new ad option to consider, with marketers now able to target X Premium subscribers specifically with their campaigns.



Custom Stickers on WhatsApp

WhatsApp has added a new custom sticker creation option on iOS, which will enable you to turn images from your camera roll into your own fun visual combinations. The ability to create stickers from your images has actually been available in the app for around a year (on iOS), enabling you to cut elements from photos to make custom visuals - but this update allows you to add in other elements, like graphics, drawings, animated effects and more.



Hide Like & Share Counts on Threads

A change within the latest version of Threads enables you to hide both like and share counts on your posts in the app. The option is available at the individual post level, so you can opt to hide your likes and shares on each update, or alternatively, you can make this the default setting for all of your posts in the app under Settings > Privacy (although this method will also apply the change to your Instagram posts too).


Post by @mattnavarra
View on Threads


Cancel In-Progress Story Uploads on Instagram

In the latest version of Instagram, users now have the option to cancel a Story midway through uploading, which could be a valuable way to catch errors or issues before they’re seen by others in the app - such as adding the wrong link, noticing a spelling error at the last minute or forgetting to tag a profile.


Post by @theahmedghanem
View on Threads


New Tools for WhatsApp Channels

Some new tools have been added to WhatsApp Channels, the platform’s increasingly popular one-way broadcast feature.

Firstly, Channel admins can now send out Polls to get members’ thoughts and opinions on their chosen topics. Polls will be displayed in-stream, with full vote counts shown on the right side of the display.

Secondly, admins can now send voice notes into the Channel, providing another fun way for creators to engage with their fans.

And thirdly, WhatsApp will also now enable Channel members to share a Channel update as their Status (as long as the Channel in question isn’t private). Simply long press on a chat or image in a Channel and select ‘Forward’, followed by ‘My status’.



Create Custom Sticker from Images on Instagram

Similar to the WhatsApp sticker tool mentioned above, Instagram has also added a new option that enables you to cut out elements of image posts, which you can then re-use as stickers in your own Stories and Reels. A new ‘Create a cutout sticker’ button now appears within the three dots menu on any publicly posted image, which, when tapped on, will identify the focus entity in the image for you. You can then save this as a separate sticker.


Adjust TikTok Text Size

TikTok has begun rolling out a new accessibility option which allows users to adjust the text size in the app via a new slider in the Settings menu, making it easier to read displayed system text. It’s a simple way to improve accessibility - although it’s important to note that this won’t change the size of the text within the actual TikTok video clips themselves.



BeReal Feed of Celebrities and Brands

BeReal has struggled to maintain the huge momentum it gained when it first came onto the scene as everyone’s favourite ‘share an unfiltered pic of what you’re doing right now’ app - but it says that it’s not done just yet, with a new update that will give celebrities and brands their own specific focus in-stream. The platform has announced the launch of ‘RealPeople’, a feed of updates from notable users, as well as ‘RealBrands’, official brand accounts that will showcase promotions and offers in the app.

BeReal hopes that these official accounts will allow users to “see who [their favourite celebrities] are outside of the spotlight”, and they’ll have the option to become a ‘RealFan’ of that person or brand. Users will also be able to tag celebs and brands in their own BeReals, giving them an opportunity to possibly have their content seen (or even shared) by someone they’re a fan of. However, for any users concerned that this update will change the app’s original focus on genuine, down-to-earth content, the platform also noted that: “We can assure you that BeReal will always be about friends and close connections first.”


Opt Out of Read Receipts on Instagram DMs

Instagram has introduced the option for users to switch off read receipts for their DMs, meaning you can now control when ‘Read’ and ‘Seen’ indicators appear (or don’t) for the sender within your DM conversations. This could be a handy update for those who find it frustrating if you don’t respond within an adequate time after seeing a message, potentially preventing unwanted drama between friends and family. You can also turn off read receipts for all users in your ‘Messages and Story replies’ settings, if you want to avoid having to turn this off for each individual chat.



Universal Removes Music from TikTok

This update could have a big impact on TikTok, considering the huge role that music now plays in the app. After the platform failed to reach a new agreement on usage rights during negotiations with Universal Music Group, Universal announced that it would withdraw its music from the app on 1st February, meaning that songs from some of the biggest music stars on the planet - including Taylor Swift, Adele, Drake, and Billie Eilish - will no longer be available for users to include in their videos.

Tensions are running high between the two companies, with Universal claiming that TikTok is “trying to build a music-based business, without paying fair value for the music”, and TikTok saying that it’s “disappointed that Universal has walked away from a free promotional and discovery vehicle for its artists.” Who do you think is in the right?




With 2024 now in full swing, which new features will you or your business be using as we head further into Q1? Have you already tried any of these tools throughout January or in early February? Find us on X @3sixfivepro to let us know which updates you’re planning to utilise over the coming weeks and how they’ll help to improve your social media experience, whether that’s as a casual user or a brand marketer.