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November 2023 Social Media Platform Updates

Thursday 7th December

Blog Author Beth Perrin by Beth Perrin

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November 2023 Social Media Platform Updates

Thursday 7th December 2023

Plenty of new features and updates were released by all of the top social media platforms throughout November, 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 towards the end of 2023 and into 2024!


A/B Test & Create Reels from Existing Videos on Facebook

Facebook kicked off the month by rolling out a couple of new features for Reels - firstly, an A/B testing tool that allows creators to test different captions and thumbnails on their mobile device to see which one performs best. You can test up to 4 different captions or thumbnails, and the results of the test will appear in your professional dashboard. Facebook will automatically display the winning variant on your profile or page unless you change it.

Secondly, you can now easily create Reels from your existing video posts and livestreams. On mobile, simply select ‘Your content’ within the Reels composer and repurpose one of your previous videos into the vertical format before adding finishing touches and posting as a new piece of content.


Threads Desktop Updates

Threads released a handful of updates for the desktop version:

When posting an image or video, you can now edit the alt text, helping improve accessibility. The ability to add alt text when posting from the mobile app was added back in August, enabling users to add custom descriptions to their media uploads, but now you’ll be able to do the same on the web.

You can now add multiple posts to a Thread before sharing, rather than having to publish them one by one.

You can now add attachments to your posts by simply dragging and dropping them into the composer instead of having to click on the insert button, which makes it much easier and faster to compose Threads.

Some new data insights have also been introduced, including the ability to see a full listing of all the users who have liked, quote-shared or reposted a post.


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Notifications for Community Notes on X

To help raise awareness of misinformation and sensationalised content, X notifies users when a post they’ve engaged with receives a Community Note - and this functionality has now been scaled up to include more types of posts. So, for example, if a user likes or shares a post that later turns out to be a deepfake, an AI-generated image or a false news report, they’ll be alerted whenever a corrective note gets added to the post by a fact-checker; hopefully making them more vigilant about that type of content in the future.



Song Lyrics in Instagram Reels

Instagram will now enable you to add song lyrics to Reels, just like you already can in Stories, which will provide another music engagement option in the app. You can then choose which font you’d like the lyrics to appear in and highlight the relevant section. Music has become a key element in the growth of Reels, much like TikTok, so this update will provide a way for users to connect more deeply with the audio tracks they choose to include in their content, and show their followers which parts specifically resonate with them. Simply swipe left after adding a song to your Reel to add lyrics!


Highlight Instagram Post Replies in Stories

When you swipe across on a comment on one of your Instagram posts or Reels, you’ll see a new option to share it to your Story. If you tap on this, the comment will then appear as a sticker in the Stories composer, allowing you to create a Story focused on that response. Explaining the update, Instagram said: “Sometimes, all it takes is a single comment to spark an idea, or start meaningful conversations with your fans. You can now easily share your favourite comments to Stories, highlighting your most important interactions with your audience.”

This could be beneficial for brands looking to build a sense of community on Instagram, as they can pick out their favourite responses from their customers and fans and put them in the spotlight, making them feel valued and acknowledged. It could also be a great way to:

Highlight positive feedback about your products and services

Announce competition winners

Respond publicly to customer enquiries so that anyone else with the same question gets the answer they need. However, make sure this is only done for broad questions such as those regarding opening times or stock levels, not comments that include information that’s personal to the customer.


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A post shared by Instagram’s @Creators (@creators)


Video Timestamp Links on X

X users on iOS can now include timestamps in video posts, which viewers can then tap on to skip to that specific segment in the video. Simply type a timestamp (in either the x:xx, xx:xx, x:xx:xx or xx:xx:xx format) when composing a post with a video attached, and it will automatically turn into a tappable link.



WhatsApp Voice Chat for Larger Groups

WhatsApp is rolling out a new option that will better facilitate audio calls within group chats, by enabling users to start an audio room that other members can join. Previously, whenever a group chat member initiated an audio call, every member of the group would be called, which could sometimes be disruptive - especially in larger chats with lots of members. However, this new option will give the caller the ability to ‘silently’ activate a group audio chat, wherein any members who are currently active on WhatsApp can see and join the discussion if they choose, while those who aren’t available can continue chatting via text.



Opt Out of Suggested Threads on Facebook & Instagram

Threads is rolling out a new toggle that will enable you to opt out of having your posts displayed on Facebook and Instagram, where they are currently being shown as ‘suggested Threads’ for users with public accounts. This could be handy for users who want to keep their Threads presence separate from their Facebook or Instagram network; for example those who post different types of content on each platform that’s designed for different audiences, or those who use one platform for personal reasons and another for business purposes.


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Share Reels & Posts With Close Friends on Instagram

Since 2018, Instagram users have been able to share Stories with just their Close Friends rather than all of their followers - and now this option has been extended to regular posts and Reels, leaning into the rising popularity of private sharing vs public posting. Last year, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri noted that: “Friends now post a lot more to Stories, and send a lot more DMs, than they post to Feed”, so it makes sense that the platform has recently been rolling out updates that facilitate more enclosed group interactions within intimate circles, instead of features that prioritise mass sharing to all followers.


Topic Tags in Threads Posts

Ever since the platform’s launch, Threads users have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of hashtags - and now they’re finally being tested within the app! A button with a ‘#’ icon will now appear in the post composer, where users can type a keyword or topic which, when tapped, will become a clickable link. The only difference between these topic tags and the hashtags we see on other platforms is that they don’t have the ‘#’ symbol in front of them - they’re just clickable blue words within posts. Currently, topic tags are only available in Australia, but Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Threads will be expanding the test to more countries soon.


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Create AR Effects on TikTok

Last year, TikTok launched the Effect House - a desktop AR effect creation platform that allows anyone to design effects and filters that can be used on TikTok. Now, to inspire continued creativity and make the process accessible to more of the app’s global community, TikTok has launched a mobile version of the tool. Simply open the Effects tray in the app, go to the Create tab, tap on the plus button and add an object to start creating! TikTok hopes that the mobile effects editor will enable “anyone - no matter their skill level or access to advanced tools or software - [to] become an effect creator and make effects that spark trends.”



Inbox Notes on Messenger

Notes, which have proven to be popular on Instagram since their launch back in January, are now being added to Messenger. Notes are essentially micro-posts (up to 60 characters long), which are displayed at the top of your DM inbox above each user’s name for 24 hours, acting as a mini status that aims to prompt conversations. This might be beneficial for brands and businesses that use Messenger for customer chats, as it could be used to let people know your customer service operating hours - or to say something like “Got an enquiry? We’re here to help!”. People can then choose to start a conversation directly in response to your Note, or just start a chat as normal.



Link Titles Will Return on X

Last month, X rolled out a new display for link previews which removed headlines and preview text from them, meaning it’s been harder to spot links in the feed, as on first glance, they just look like plain images. Thankfully, this update is being (somewhat) reversed, with Elon Musk recently announcing that link titles will soon be shown again as an overlay in the upper portion of the image. So, links won’t look exactly like they used to, but at least the heading will be shown, making it easier to tell them apart from regular image posts.



Threads Expands Keyword Search to All Regions

In August, Threads began testing its long-awaited search feature in Australia and New Zealand, before expanding the tool to Argentina, India, Mexico, the UK and the US in September. Now, the search function is available to all users in every region, which - combined with the aforementioned topic tags - should make it easier for users to find relevant, topical content in the app.


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Delete Threads Profile Without Deleting Instagram

Another handy Threads update! When the platform first launched, one of the initial concerns surrounding it was that if a user decided to delete their account, they would also have to delete their Instagram account, due to the two platforms being linked. However, there’s now an updated section within the Threads app settings under ‘Account’ > ‘Delete or deactivate profile’, which enables you to remove your Threads profile. If you don’t reactivate it within 30 days, it will be deleted entirely, but thankfully now your Instagram profile will be unaffected by the change.


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The end of 2023 is in sight - which new features will you or your business be using as we head into the festive season? Are you hoping for any last minute updates from your favourite social media platforms before 2024 arrives? Find us on X @3sixfivepro to let us know which tools you’re planning to incorporate into your marketing strategy throughout December and how they’ll help you boost your brand’s results during the remainder of Q4.