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March 2023 Social Media Platform Updates

Thursday 6th April 2023

Blog Author Beth Perrin by Beth Perrin

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March 2023 Social Media Platform Updates

Thursday 6th April 2023

Lots of interesting and useful features were released by our favourite social media platforms throughout March! Whether you’re an individual user looking for some fun ways to connect with your friends and family or a brand marketer hoping to boost your audience engagement, take a look through our monthly recap to discover some of last month’s best new arrivals.


New Facebook Reels Features

Meta kicked off the month by announcing a range of new features for Facebook Reels. Firstly, Reels can now be up to 90 seconds long, which is 30 seconds longer than the previous limit, giving creators a little more time to express their ideas. Secondly, the option to create ready-made Reels from Memories has been added, allowing users to share their favourite posts and archived Stories to their Reels. Next up is a new tool called Grooves, which uses ‘visual beat technology’ to automatically align and sync the motion in your Reel to the beat of the song you’ve chosen. And finally - Reels templates, which were previously only available on Instagram, have now been added to Facebook, making it easier for users to create Reels using trending video styles and formats.



Reddit Watch Feed

Leaning into the ongoing popularity of video content, Reddit has introduced the ability to switch between two different feeds when using the app: ‘Read’, which only shows text-based content and posts with images attached, and ‘Watch’, which only shows videos. Reddit is the first social media platform to offer this type of switchable feed, so there’s a chance we could see a copycat feature coming soon to other apps that include a mixture of text-based and video content, such as Facebook or Twitter, where all forms of content are currently displayed together in one feed.


LinkedIn Podcast Academy

Last February, LinkedIn launched its Podcast Network, a collection of branded podcasts showcasing conversations about all things business and career-related, created by both internal staff and external experts. And now, the platform is introducing a new associated program called the LinkedIn Podcast Academy, which it promises will “connect emerging business podcasts with exclusive programming, coaching, tools and LinkedIn co-branding to expand and better reach their audience”. The 6-month pilot will cover everything from leadership and entrepreneurship to HR and technology, and will give users a chance to engage with hosts directly through their LinkedIn profiles.


AI-Generated Info on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has added some AI-based features to its platform, including the option to automatically generate a headline or ‘About’ summary for your profile, although this is currently only available to LinkedIn Premium subscribers. Users can simply tap on the Start button and select what they want to create, then the system - which uses OpenAI’s GPT model - will come up with a profile summary based on their info and samples from millions of user entries. The second feature is an AI-powered job description tool, which will make it faster and easier for companies to write job descriptions. Businesses just need to provide starter information like the job title, company name, workplace type, job type and location, and the bot will draft a description that the poster can then review and edit.

What do you think of the rise in AI tools on social media? You can read our thoughts in this blog post, where we’ve explained why it’s best to stick to a human approach.

LinkedIn AI tools


Reset Your TikTok FYP

If you no longer like the videos being recommended to you on TikTok, or if you feel that the content on your FYP (For You Page) is becoming repetitive, you can now reset it thanks to a recent update. When enabled, this feature will refresh the FYP back to how it was when users first signed up for TikTok. The app’s recommendation system will then begin to surface new content based on users’ subsequent interactions.



YouTube Shorts Thumbnails on iOS

Since December last year, YouTube creators on Android have been able to choose a frame from their Shorts to use as the thumbnail during the creation process - and now, this option is becoming available to iOS users too, giving them more control over the way their videos look in the feed before viewers hit the play button. Simply record or import a video with the Shorts camera then navigate to the final upload screen, tap the pencil icon and scrub along your video’s timeline to pick a thumbnail. Then tap Done and upload your Short as usual.


Meta Verified

Following in Twitter’s footsteps, Meta has launched its new Meta Verified subscription scheme in the US, which means that users will now be able to purchase a blue checkmark on Facebook or Instagram for $11.99 (USD) per month on the web or $14.99 (USD) in-app - and yes, you have to pay separately for each platform! Signing up to this service will give users a verified badge, increased protection from impersonation, direct account support from a real person and access to exclusive features, such as stickers for Reels and Stories, and 100 Stars (Facebook’s virtual currency) per month so you can show your support for other creators.



Twitter Blue Reply Prioritisation

Elon Musk has confirmed that replies from verified accounts (aka those that have signed up for Twitter Blue) will soon be prioritised in tweet threads, meaning they will appear above replies from unverified accounts, but below replies from people you follow. This comes as part of the platform’s ongoing push to deter and remove bot accounts, as Musk believes that trolls and other fake profiles are unlikely to pay for verification - and of course, he wants to incentivise real users to subscribe to Twitter Blue.



New Instagram Ad Formats

Instagram has introduced two new ad types for marketers and brands to benefit from: Reminder ads and Search Results ads. Reminder ads will help advertisers build awareness and anticipation for upcoming events, both in-app (such as live streams) and in real life, such as TV show premieres and sports games. Users that see the ad can opt in to receive reminders by tapping on the CTA, after which they will get three notifications from Instagram - one a day before, one 15 minutes before and one at the time of the event. Secondly, search results ads, as the name suggests, will appear in search results, allowing advertisers to reach people who are actively searching for related businesses, products and content. These ads will appear at the top of the screen above the rest of the organic search results.


WhatsApp Desktop Update

Meta launched a new version of WhatsApp for Windows PCs which loads faster and has an interface similar to the mobile version of the app. Users can now host group video calls with up to 8 people and audio calls with up to 32 people, making it easier for families and friends to stay in touch, and for coworkers to participate in company meetings. Plus, a Mac app version is also currently in the early stages of development.



Expansion of Twitter’s Verified Organisations Scheme

Brands in more regions are now being invited to register for Twitter’s Verification for Organisations scheme, which enables companies to purchase a gold checkmark for their main account and verify any related profiles (such as employees and subsidiary brands) as affiliates. At £1140 per month, it’s certainly not cheap - although it does give businesses access to premium support, Twitter Blue for all affiliated accounts, exclusive profile customisation elements and more, so it could be a suitable option for large brands with a nationwide or global presence rather than small or local companies. You can read more about the scheme’s features here.



Removal of Legacy Checkmarks on Twitter

Twitter has begun the lengthy process of removing all legacy verified checkmarks (aka those that were issued before it became a Twitter Blue exclusive). Current blue tick account holders are receiving an in-stream notification which says ‘Don’t lose your blue check - subscribe to Twitter Blue or Verified Organisations to keep yours’, with a CTA prompting them to sign up. So, if your brand was previously verified, now is the time to decide whether you want to pay to keep it that way, or if you’re happy for your badge to be removed.



New Ad Options for Facebook Reels

Reels are continuing to grow in popularity on Facebook, so Meta is introducing some new ad formats which will provide brands with more ways to connect and communicate with customers via their short-form video clips. Firstly, Click-to-Message ads are being launched, which will have a tappable ‘Send message’ button, allowing viewers to start a conversation instantly with the brand on Messenger. And secondly, tying in with this, the ability to reach out via WhatsApp is being added as an option, so anyone who prefers to contact businesses using this channel can do so straight from a Reels ad.


New App Alert: Lemon8

With the future of TikTok looking somewhat uncertain in the US due to ongoing concerns over the app’s handling of users’ sensitive data, its owner ByteDance has been quick to push one of its other apps, Lemon8. It first launched in 2020 in Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, and is now rising rapidly up the US and UK download charts. It’s being described as a mix between Instagram and Pinterest, with users sharing inspiring images, carousels and short videos of fashion ideas, makeup, food, travel and fitness, among other topics. Users are also adding graphic design elements to their posts such as overlaid text, making them look similar to the type of templates seen on Canva.

Lemon8 app screenshots


Have you checked it out yet? Do you think it has the potential to become the next TikTok?



We’re looking forward to seeing how brands, businesses and creators incorporate these new tools into their social media strategies over the coming months, and how they will utilise them to create engaging content and enhance their standard of customer service. If you’ve benefited from any of these updates over the last few weeks (or if we’ve missed your favourite feature!) we’d love to hear from you - tweet us @3sixfivepro to share your thoughts.