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October Social Media Platform Updates

Thursday 4th November 2021

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October Social Media Platform Updates

Thursday 4th November 2021


October was absolutely jam-packed with huge updates and new releases from all of our favourite social media platforms. Whether you’re a casual user or a brand marketer, there’s definitely something for you! Read on to discover some of the top features that arrived last month.

Snapchat Monetisation Tools

To kick things off, Snapchat added a range of new creator monetisation tools such as Spotlight Challenges which will pay out cash prizes to users who post the best videos on specific themes. The platform also gave its gifting feature an update, allowing a wider selection of users to become Snap Stars (aka verified creator accounts) and therefore receive Snap Tokens from fans. When a user sends a gift to a creator, their story reply will get prioritised in that creator’s feed and they will be able to see when their gift has been opened. The creator can then reply to the user privately or share their reply to their public story. Lastly, Snapchat also upgraded its Creator Marketplace, enabling businesses to partner with influencers on the app for marketing campaigns and letting Snap Stars tag brands in their sponsored content.


New eCommerce Features on Pinterest

Pinterest added some new shopping features, such as Slideshow for Collections which pulls products from a user’s catalogue into an automatically generated, attention-grabbing collection ad. The platform explained that it developed the tool based on two key insights about Pinterest shoppers: their love for video content, and the fact that they often consider and browse for more than one product at a time, leading to bigger baskets. It also expanded its Verified Merchant Programme to sellers in more countries, granting them access to enhanced distribution on Pinterest, as well as a special “verified” badge that helps build Pinner trust. Idea Ads were the final eCommerce feature launched by the platform this month, offering a way for creators to take part in paid partnerships with brands by sharing sponsored Idea Pins (Pinterest’s version of Stories).


Twitter Spaces Tab

Next, Twitter rolled out a dedicated Spaces tab in the app which will make it easier for users to discover broadcasts that are currently in progress, based on the people and topics they already follow. The platform hopes the tab will encourage more people to tune in and therefore boost listener counts, as it means they can browse Spaces at any time and see a list of all the conversations that are happening right now on the subjects they’re interested in.


Instagram Livestream Scheduling

Staying on the theme of facilitating livestream attendance, Instagram also announced the arrival of a new option to schedule upcoming IG Live broadcasts in the app, meaning that followers who want to view can register their interest in advance and choose to receive a reminder notification on the day of the broadcast. Creators can schedule streams up to 90 days in advance via the Live composer, with the ability to include a title, description and product tags if the broadcast is going to be a Live Shopping experience.


New Shipping Options on Facebook Marketplace

​​To celebrate five years of Marketplace, Facebook introduced a range of expanded shipping options to make it easier for sellers to reach even more buyers and for shoppers to browse items both near and far. Sellers must meet certain criteria to be eligible for delivery and checkout, including:

✔️ Not being new to Marketplace or Facebook

✔️ Not having frequently gone against the Community Standards or Commerce Policies

Facebook states that packages must be sent using a postal service from Royal Mail, Hermes, Yodel or DPD and tracking information must be provided to the customer in order to add more security and liability to the transaction.


Enhanced Data Analytics on Instagram

In order to provide more in-depth data for marketers, Instagram updated its Insights tool for business and creator profiles, offering more specific analytics regarding who is engaging with their content.

The new metrics being added are:

✔️ Accounts engaged: The total number of accounts that interacted with a piece of content within a given time period.

✔️ Engaged audience: Details about the users who interacted with a piece of content, whether they follow your profile or not - including top cities, countries, age ranges and genders.

✔️ Reached audience: Details about the users who a piece of content reached within a given time period - again including top cities, countries, age ranges and genders.


Instagram Collabs

Leaning into TikTok’s engagement approach of getting friends involved and building community in the app, Instagram users can now invite others from the tagging screen in the post composer to collaborate on a post or Reel. Once invited, users will be alerted to collaboration requests with a pop-up notification and if they decide to accept, the collaborative post will then appear on both users’ profiles and will be shown to each user’s audience.


Desktop Uploads on Instagram

In order to provide a more centralised way for social media managers to maintain their Instagram presence, the platform announced the arrival of image and video uploads from its desktop version. At this stage, Stories, Reels and videos over one minute in length aren’t included, but we’re looking forward to seeing how the tool might develop in the future and we think it will ultimately help streamline the overall content posting process.


Facebook Group Member Penalties

In line with its ongoing efforts to reduce negativity in Groups, Facebook introduced some new penalties for group members who repeatedly violate its rules, as well as new control options for admins to police potentially harmful content in their Groups. Posts created by users who have previously spread misinformation or hate speech anywhere on the platform will be demoted and have their reach severely limited, and a new moderation element called ‘Flagged by Facebook’ will let group admins view content that’s been auto-flagged before it’s shown to the broader community. Admins can then either review and remove the content themselves, or request further feedback from Facebook.


Twitter Acquires Sphere

Sphere, a community chat app, was acquired by Twitter this month. Twitter has recently been testing its own Communities option, which will enable users to share Tweets with selected groups of users who have common interests instead of publicly broadcasting them to all of their followers - and its acquisition of Sphere aims to tie in with this, by providing a new level of topic-focused engagement.


Revue Newsletter Cards in Tweets

Brands and creators who send out Revue newsletters can now encourage sign-ups directly on Twitter thanks to the platform’s new Subscribe button. Users have been able to add a Revue information panel to their profile since August, but now followers can join their mailing lists simply by clicking on a CTA on a Tweet. People who already have an email address linked to their Twitter account won’t even need to confirm their subscription via email - they’ll be added straight away from the preview in their timeline.


Instagram Story Link Sticker

Instagram’s team were definitely busy this month! In yet another update, the long-awaited link sticker finally arrived, meaning everyone can now add links to their Stories. Previously, only users with 10,000+ followers could access the swipe-up link tool, but thanks to the sticker, accounts of any size are able to direct viewers to relevant web pages. This is a great step for brands and businesses as it will undoubtedly boost website traffic and CTRs, as well as opening up a new metric of engagement for marketers to monitor. Bear in mind that Story ads, however, will still use the swipe-up option for links. Learn more about link stickers in this episode of our podcast!


Workplace Flexibility Listings on LinkedIn

At the end of the month, LinkedIn announced some new tools for Company Pages in order to align with ongoing changes to the world of work caused by the pandemic. Product Marketer Linh Nguyen explained: “The needs of employees, and what’s important to them in this new normal, have shifted.” With working from home becoming more and more widespread, a Primary Workplace option is now available, which will enable businesses to list whether their employees are generally remote, hybrid or on-site, providing more transparency regarding the choices on offer to potential candidates.


Facebook Becomes Meta

To close October with a bang, Facebook unveiled its new company name: Meta. It stated: “The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection. Our company’s vision is to help bring the metaverse to life, so we are changing our name to reflect our commitment to this future.”

Don’t panic - the Facebook app itself, along with all of the company’s other brands and products (such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger) will keep their current names and identities; the broader business structure is what’s going to change. Meta will launch a new project called Reality Labs which will cover its VR and AR platforms and other evolving tech projects, which it hopes “will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together - and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world.” We think it certainly sounds intriguing!



Have you benefited from any new social features this month? Whether you’ve discovered a new way to connect with your audience or heighten the reach and value of your content, Tweet us @3sixfivepro and let us know.