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May 2022 Social Media Platform Updates

Thursday 2nd June 2022

Blog Author Beth Perrin by Beth Perrin

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May 2022 Social Media Platform Updates

Thursday 2nd June 2022

May was another busy month for our favourite social media platforms, with plenty of updates and new features being released across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. Check them all out below to see which ones might be useful for boosting your business presence or improving your experience as a casual user.


Facebook Removes Podcast Feature

In June last year, Facebook jumped aboard the ongoing social audio trend, adding Live Audio Rooms (similar to Spaces on Twitter) and a podcast feature which allowed podcasters to promote and share their most recent episodes on their Facebook page with an embedded miniplayer. However, at the start of May, Bloomberg reported that Facebook would now be removing these options, as a result of decreasing interest and a broader shift away from audio options. The platform is focusing on other initiatives instead, such as the Metaverse, Reels and Facebook Live.



Twitter Circle

Twitter launched a public test of its new Twitter Circle tool, which will enable users to share tweets with a custom group of up to 150 people in the app. It’s different from having a protected/private account, as with this type of account, all of your tweets are only seen by your followers rather than the general public, whereas Twitter Circle lets you choose a specific audience for each tweet - so you can decide if you want a piece of content to be seen by everyone or just a small group. It’s currently only available to a limited number of people globally.



TikTok-Style Display on Instagram & Twitter

Both Instagram and Twitter have begun trialling full-screen scrollable feeds, which are very similar to the display style seen on TikTok. On Instagram, this update will be applied to the main home feed, whereas on Twitter, it will only appear on the Explore page, not the home feed. The Twitter version is primarily focused on video tweets, although regular text tweets are also integrated into this new layout. As for Instagram, the full-screen feed is evidently set up to prioritise Reels, so it’s unclear at this stage how photo posts will look when (or if!) this format eventually gets rolled out to all users. What do you think? Are you happy for TikTok features to be copied by other platforms, or would you prefer each social app to remain unique?



New Meta Business Messaging Tools

Meta announced some new options for businesses that use its range of messaging tools. Firstly, ads with the ‘Start WhatsApp Chat’ objective can now be built directly in the WhatsApp Business app instead of having to be created in Meta’s Ad Manager, making it much faster and simpler to get started with this ad format.

Secondly, WhatsApp messages are now merged into the Meta Business Suite inbox, which previously only showed messages from Messenger and Instagram DMs. This will help businesses centralise their communications and streamline the response process.

And finally, a “Get Quote” button is being tested on some businesses’ Instagram profiles, along with a matching sticker in Stories. This allows businesses to set up custom questions to ask customers prior to starting a conversation. Once they’ve filled out this short questionnaire, people are then able to quickly request a quote from a business.


TikTok Pulse

TikTok unveiled a new program called TikTok Pulse, which the platform describes as “a contextual advertising solution” that lets advertisers showcase their brand next to the top content on the For You page. TikTok explained: “Pulse is designed to give brands the tools and controls to be a part of these everyday moments and trends that engage the community.” Advertisers will be able to choose from 12 categories to place their ads, such as beauty, fashion, cooking and gaming, meaning they can position their branding beside the most relevant content. Ads will only appear alongside verified content to ensure brand safety, and the program is currently only available to creators and publishers with at least 100k followers.



Updated Reels Monetisation Options

Meta has upgraded its monetisation opportunities for Reels on both Facebook and Instagram, with more accurate Reels Play Bonus payouts and a new ‘Challenges’ feature to incentivise original content. Each creator in the program will be able to participate in a series of cumulative challenges each month, ‘unlocking’ the next one each time they complete one. For example, they might start out by earning $20 when 5 of their Reels reach 100 plays each, then continue to earn $100 when 20 of their Reels reach 500 plays each, and so on. Meta hopes that this will entice more users to get involved with Reels and will give people more exciting ways to make money from their creations.


Twitter Spaces Analytics

All hosts and co-hosts of Spaces on Twitter can now access full analytics for their broadcasts, including the total number of people that tuned in, the total speakers in each session, replay counts, duration and more. This will make it easier for users to plan future Spaces and make more informed decisions about what to discuss in their upcoming audio content, based on real data regarding engagement and reach rather than guesswork and assumptions.



Friends Tab on TikTok

As platforms grow bigger and bigger, it can sometimes feel like they’ve forgotten about the ‘social’ part of social media, prioritising content shared by famous figures and those with large followings instead of friends and family members. However, in May, TikTok announced a new Friends tab in the app, which will highlight posts from followers that you follow back and accounts that you follow, differing from the current Discover tab which shows videos posted by people you don’t necessarily know. You can now also link your Facebook account to connect with your Facebook friends, creating a more interpersonal experience.



Duplicate Content Ban on Twitter

In line with its ongoing efforts to reduce the amount of spam and duplicate content on its platform, Twitter released a set of new rules and policies which clarify what is now classed as a violation. ‘Copypasta’, or content that gets deliberately, directly and excessively copied in order to amplify a specific message, will now be downranked in Twitter’s algorithm and will have its reach severely limited. Extreme violations, such as using automation, bots or multiple accounts to post repetitive content, will result in removal or even permanent suspension from Twitter.



YouTube Clips Option

YouTube’s Clips option was first tested last January, but this month, the platform announced that all creators will soon be able to access it. The tool enables users to select and share small portions of videos or live streams (up to 60 seconds in length), which they can then share onto other platforms. This could be a helpful way for YouTubers to generate more interest in their content, by sharing small snippets and highlights to intrigue viewers and get people interested - especially with short-form being the most popular video format right now.

YouTube video tools with red box around the new Clip option


Super-Follow-Only Twitter Spaces

Twitter creators who offer paid subscriptions, aka Super Follows, can now offer subscriber-only Spaces, which will help them grow their in-app communities and build a sense of proximity between them and their most dedicated fans. These Spaces will use a different colour for the link in the feed to make it clear that they are separate from regular broadcasts, with a note at the top saying it’s for ‘Super Followers only’. Users who aren’t paying subscribers will still be able to see these Spaces if someone else retweets them onto their feed, but they’ll need to sign up as a Super Follower to get access.



Credit Trend Originators on TikTok

TikTok is often criticised for its amplification of trends without credit to the originators, particularly when dances and challenges started by small accounts suddenly gain popularity after being ‘copied’ by famous TikTokers with larger audiences. That’s why the app recently rolled out some creator credit tools which will give users the ability to directly tag, mention, and credit a video in their description. Prompts are also being added throughout the posting process to remind people to credit the makers of previous videos, along with an educational pop-up that encourages and explains the importance of crediting.


Snapchat eBay Integration

Snapchatters can now easily share eBay listings with their friends using the Snapchat Camera on Android and iOS, thanks to a new integration between the two platforms. This means users can show their followers which items they’re currently browsing, or even access a bit of free advertising by sharing what they’re selling. All you have to do is open the eBay app and select the listing you want to share, tap the Share icon and then choose the Snapchat option to jump to the Snapchat Camera, which will automatically add the new eBay link sticker.



Recurring Notifications on Messenger

Messenger users can now opt in to receive automatic notifications from brands and businesses. Explaining the decision to add this feature, Meta said: “After people purchased their product or got the help they needed, the conversation ended and businesses couldn't provide important updates to people who’d like to hear from them”, so these new notifications will help to “drive re-engagement and keep the conversation going”. They can be sent daily, weekly or monthly, enabling brands to reach customers at any moment in their journey, and can include product alerts, discount codes, loyalty rewards, behind-the-scenes news and more. Will your business try out this update, or will you stick with real person-to-person messaging instead of automation?



TikTok WooCommerce Partnership

TikTok has expanded its eCommerce opportunities by announcing a new integration with WooCommerce. Up until now, only Shopify merchants have been able to connect their storefronts with their TikTok accounts, but now, sellers who use WooCommerce (a flexible, open-source commerce solution built on WordPress) can also join the fun and reach TikTok’s global customer base. Brands can sync their store catalogues, install the most advanced TikTok Pixel for campaign performance tracking, and create ads to target their audiences in minutes.



Shared Snapchat Stories

Much like Instagram’s Collab feature, Snapchat has introduced Shared Stories, a tool which allows users to “build community around the content they love to Snap.” Snapchatters can now create a Story and invite friends to view and contribute to it by adding their own extra content - and those who have joined the group can add their own friends as well. The Shared Story will then be viewable by the followers of everyone involved in the creation process, providing greater exposure potential and the chance to make new connections via mutual friends.



Did you benefit from any social media updates throughout May? Whether you’re an individual user who has discovered some fun new features to try with your friends, or a brand marketer looking for a better way to distribute content and gain more fans, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Find us on Twitter @3sixfivepro and let us know!