Another month, another batch of exciting social media news! Lots happened in September, including the continuing TikTok saga, a new Twitter Retweet prompt and YouTube’s new Shorts platform.
Instagram have released an update for Reels, looking to maximise on its popularity.
Reels can now be up to 30 seconds in length.
Filming timer is now up to 30 seconds.
Native editing updates, with improved trimming and deleting for easier editing on the app.
IGTV videos can now use ‘Auto-Generated Captions’ when uploading a video.
It obviously works best if the audio quality is clear, but this helps to make your content more appealing and accessible.
Facebook recently found that video ads designed with ‘sound-off viewing’ in mind had a 42% higher buying intent in their studies.
Always consider silent viewers!
With the Oracle/Walmart takeover suspending the original ban date of 20th September by seven days to the 27th, the deal needs to be officially signed off before then to ensure a blanket ban from the app store in the US.
If you have the app after the ban you’ll still be able to use it, but it will no longer be downloadable meaning those without it won’t be able to get it.
TikTok has filed an injunction against the impending ban. They cite a lack of just cause and evidence in Trump’s executive order.
A US judge has stopped the WeChat ban due to a lack of evidence.
This is an interesting turn of events as this ban also affects TikTok. So if the Oracle deal falls through or isn’t signed off in time, will it still be banned or will it be allowed to continue due to the lack of evidence? (The same in WeChat’s case.)
Claims for both apps were that they were data-gathering and promoting Chinese propaganda.
Or will the US government not allow a Chinese app to overrule it? We’ll find out soon!
The EU sent a preliminary order to FB, asking it to stop sending EU user data to America.
Facebook threw a tantrum and responded with an underhanded threat of pulling Facebook and Instagram in Europe.
“It is not clear to [Facebook] how, in those circumstances, it could continue to provide the Facebook and Instagram services in the EU.”
This order is likely spurred by the TikTok saga, highlighting concerns on sharing data between countries.
There’s no way they’ll pull out of Europe though as they’ll lose a massive part of their user base and revenue.
YouTube launched its TikTok competitor in India: Shorts.
Yet another platform trying to cash in on what used to be the largest user base for TikTok. They’re still after a replacement, so Google is having a go.
Youtube has more than 265 million active users in India, compared to pre-ban TikTok’s 200 million, so it makes sense to fill this gap.
Videos are 15 seconds long, with music overlays, hands-free timed recording, segment recording options and speed controls. Just like TikTok.
TikTok may have come to a deal with Oracle, but it’s still very unclear whether that will include the app’s sophisticated algorithm.
This follows on from a new rule in China where proprietary technology must have approval before being sold overseas.
Without the algorithm, Oracle will just be buying the brand name and user base.
The algorithm is what makes the app work so well, showing content from literally all types of accounts, and being based on trends.
My Company is a new feature for Company Pages with over 201 employees. Here you can celebrate promotions, anniversaries and new company hires.
It also shows any trending content from any of your coworkers and also gives connection recommendations of users you may know at your company.
They’re looking to add more features in the future, including curating and sharing unique content and measuring the reach of employees.
The initial test of prompting users to read articles before retweeting was reportedly a success.
33% of users actually clicked on an article before retweeting it, with users opening 40% more articles than without the prompt.
Twitter is now looking to expand this for all users.
This increase in clicks means that this prompt will potentially give better quality content more traffic, whilst having the opposite effect for low-quality sites and articles.