The Latest Updates on Social Media Platforms - Edition Four

The Latest Updates on Social Media Platforms - Edition Four

The social media landscape is ever-evolving and marketers need to stay updated to get the best results. In order to help you stay on track, we’ve put together some of the latest updates to social media platforms in the past few weeks. 

This edition focuses on Twitter's rebrand to 'X', the platforms new Ad revenue sharing programme as well as Instagram's upcoming Generative AI features and many more exciting news for advertisers.

TikTok 

TikTok Unveils Text Posts Feature: A Game-Changer for Creators

In a move reflecting the dynamic digital advertising landscape, TikTok rolls out its newest feature: text posts. Drawing parallels with Instagram Stories' text-only mode, TikTok now offers its vast user base an alternative content avenue.

After several months of meticulous testing with a select group of users, the text post feature has finally seen the light of day. This unique content mode lets you pen down a full screen of text, amplifying your creative flair with the option to integrate music, stickers, and more. Dive deep into customisations with selectable background hues, a plethora of text fonts, and flexible positioning.

The feature’s generous 1,000-character limit ensures ample space to captivate your audience, echoing TikTok’s statement, “With an array of content formats, from LIVE videos to photos and Duets to Stitch, the new text addition diversifies content creation. Creators can now unveil stories, poems, lyrics, and a myriad of written content. This not only redefines expression but also streamlines creation.”

For those hesitant to be in the limelight, this could be a game-changer. It stands as an invitation to budding writers, offering them a platform to gain traction. Even before this rollout, a surge in poetry-centric accounts sharing musical poem snapshots was evident. This update merely formalises and elevates this trend, enriching your content strategy with a novel, engaging twist for word-centric posts.

Ready to get started? The 'text' tool is just a tap away from your camera utilities. It guides you seamlessly to a designated text creation portal. Plus, the integrated tagging feature lets you weave in-app elements, enhancing discoverability.

Considering integrating this feature into your TikTok strategy? Whether you see it as a prime tool or a nifty experiment, it’s undeniably a fresh avenue to interact with your audience.

Who knows, with a splash of creativity, one might just find themselves as TikTok's next poet laureate. A lofty dream? Maybe. But at its core, it’s a testament to TikTok's evolving capabilities to bridge connections.

TikTok and Warner Music Enter Transformative Partnership

In what is poised to become a landmark move in both the music and digital sectors, TikTok has forged a significant partnership with Warner Music Group. This collaboration culminates after intense and drawn-out discussions with leading music labels, highlighting the tug-of-war over the true valuation of TikTok's musical content.

What does this mean for both entities? Undoubtedly, mutual growth and expansion. By accessing Warner’s expansive music catalog, TikTok can offer its global user base an enriched auditory experience. In return, Warner artists stand to benefit from TikTok’s vast reach, being presented with groundbreaking avenues for monetisation, including but not limited to merchandise, ticketing, and brand collaborations.

TikTok's influential role in the music industry, capable of launching tracks into viral stardom and driving unprecedented record sales, underscores why labels like Warner are keen on establishing solid relationships with the platform.

Warner's proactive approach not only ensures its continuous presence on the ever-evolving TikTok landscape but also signals a potential trend for other industry giants. Given Warner's pioneering step, it wouldn't be surprising to see other labels explore similar partnerships with the app in the near future.

Meta 

Meta Ramps Up Ad Placement Control

Meta is reinforcing its position in the advertising space by introducing enhanced ad placement control options. These new features are designed to solidify the trust of their advertising partners and provide greater brand visibility, especially within the rapidly emerging realm of Reels.

Meta's recent enhancements include refining its brand suitability verification for Instagram Feed. Moreover, Zefr is augmenting this process by embedding this feature into its Meta ad verification suite. 

As described by Zefr, “In today’s evolving digital realm, Zefr's AI-powered third-party brand suitability verification for Instagram Feed stands out. It offers unparalleled transparency for Meta campaigns, ensuring GARM brand safety and suitability across both Instagram and Facebook Feed placements.”

Such innovative steps are set to instill further confidence among Meta's advertising collaborators, broadening the horizon of ad control capabilities. A look back reveals that in March, Meta pioneered its Facebook feed verification. Now, they've incorporated the Instagram Feed into this innovative ecosystem. Additionally, there's buzz in the industry corridors about the potential inclusion of Threads in this verification system. But it's worth noting that Meta has conveyed monetization for Threads might only be a future endeavor, contingent upon achieving a substantial user base.

In a nod to global inclusivity, Meta is expanding its linguistic palette by adding Arabic, Chinese, French, and Portuguese to its inventory filters and third-party brand suitability features for Facebook and Instagram, complementing the already available English and Spanish.

A notable development is that Reels, Meta’s rapidly popularizing platform, is now in the testing phase for a new inventory filter. This initiative is poised to amplify brand safety assurances for content placement. Given the meteoric rise of Reels, it offers a golden opportunity for marketers keen on tapping into the short-form video segment to bolster their brand presence.

These strategic additions by Meta are well-timed and aim to solidify its bond with advertising partners. This is particularly significant in light of some skepticism associated with competing platforms. 

As the festive fervor looms large and the industry prepares for a significant uptick in advertising campaigns, these proactive measures by Meta are likely to position them favorably for a robust ad revenue closeout for 2023.

For those intrigued, a deeper exploration of Meta’s evolving ad verification landscape is just a click away.

Meta Provides New Guide to Ads Manager

Amid the chaos of the various platform changes and updates of the past few months, it may have been hard to focus on the key element for your business, in running ads, and maximising your audience reach across social apps.

For that, you need to know where your specific audience is most active, rather than chasing the latest trends and changes, though both, of course, feed into one another, as user migrations lead to new opportunities, new ad tools, etc.

But with the holiday period coming up, it is important to focus on the platforms that work best and generate the best response for your business. This is why this new overview of Facebook Ads Manager could be timely, if not hugely in-depth.

The below guide provides some basic tips on how to maximise your use of Facebook ads, and while there are no real tricks revealed, it could be a handy reminder of the need to understand your social media ad fundamentals, as opposed to jumping onto the next trend.

Worth a look. You can learn more about Facebook Ads Manager here.

X (Twitter) 

Goodbye Twitter, Hello X 

Twitter, now renamed as "X", marks a monumental shift in its brand identity, showcasing a transformative vision laid out by its new owner, Elon Musk. With the iconic bird logo replaced by a glowing "X", the brand redirection aligns with Musk’s vision of molding Twitter into a "super-app", mirroring China's WeChat.

Musk, who acquired Twitter for $44 billion in 2022, envisions a platform where users can seamlessly post varied content, including extensive video durations. He has hinted at the platform's evolution to support a myriad of online activities, from shopping to video consumption. 

The rebrand signifies not just a name change, but a broader ambition to redefine online user engagement.

Nii Ahene from marketing firm Tinuiti notes that while Twitter has expanded its features, turning it into a revenue-sharing subscription model like Patreon might require significant effort and investment. The transformation journey also raises speculation about Musk’s long-term plans, with analysts suggesting that a swift resale seems unlikely following this rebranding.

In essence, "X" represents more than just a new identity; it symbolises a prospective revolution in the digital sphere.

Twitter's Shift to X: A New Dawn for Advertisers?

Digital brand consistency is vital, and while Twitter stands as an iconic name, its transition to "X" stirs questions about its appeal to advertisers. As "X" fights to cement its place, it’s spearheading efforts to woo back ad partners.

High-profile figures like Elon Musk are boosting ad campaigns on "X", aiming to enhance the platform's value. However, with no feature akin to retweets on "X" and signs of slowed ad intake, there's room for skepticism, despite Musk's upbeat July projections.

X Corp has made intriguing moves, dangling 50% discounts to advertisers and leveraging verification badges to ensure continued ad investments.

The Wall Street Journal recently noted:

"X offers slashed prices on video ads alongside its 'Discover' section's trending topics, especially for pinnacle events like the Women's World Cup."

This strategy, while showcasing "X"'s appeal, also hints at Twitter's declining ad revenue, down by 50% YoY. The shadow of Musk's $13 billion acquisition loan, causing an annual interest of $1.5 billion, looms large over these numbers.

In conclusion, "X"'s rebrand may not be the silver bullet to counter Twitter's fiscal challenges, but Musk's vision of a holistic super-app indicates hope. The ad landscape's future dynamics remain to be seen.

X Expands Creator Ad Revenue Share Program

X has unveiled a comprehensive creator ad revenue program, making it available on a global scale. This initiative is meticulously crafted to benefit creators who consistently demonstrate elevated engagement metrics. 

By participating, these creators have the opportunity to generate revenue from their X posts, primarily based on the advertisements integrated within the response threads.

From the program's inception to date, it has disbursed significant remunerations, marking its efficacy and attracting widespread industry attention. To ensure structured participation, X has instituted a set of rigorous eligibility benchmarks:

Formal affiliation with entities recognized as Blue or Accredited Institutions. Demonstrable traction, reflected by a minimum of 15 million impressions across posts over a preceding three-month span.

A robust digital footprint, evidenced by a minimum follower threshold of 500. Of significant note is X's strategic departure from traditional lexicon, evident from the omission of the term 'tweet'. 

This linguistic evolution can be perceived as an alignment with X's broader branding aspirations, differentiating it from the conventional Twitter narrative.

Prospective participants are advised that the program's monetary transactions are streamlined exclusively through Stripe. To ensure economic viability and minimise transactional frictions, X has stipulated a minimum accumulation threshold of $50 in ad-generated revenue before processing any disbursements.

For those who resonate with the aforementioned criteria and are diligent in aligning with X's operational protocols, the pathway to monetisation is now accessible. However, a word of prudence: amassing 15 million impressions within a 90-day window is an intensive endeavor. 

Given the revenue structure's dependency on advertisements exhibited to verified users, there's a latent potential for an uptick in content that is polarising or sensationalist in nature. Empirical evidence underscores that content eliciting potent emotional responses, predominantly of an adversarial nature, tends to magnetize maximal audience engagement. 

This could implicitly guide creators towards circulating more controversial narratives, especially on topics that resonate deeply with the platform's user demographic.

Instagram 

Instagram Embraces Generative AI: What It Means for Marketers

Instagram is making waves in the digital sphere as it pivots its developmental strategy. Notably, Meta's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, highlighted some pivotal strides taken in generative AI in recent months, indicating:

"We've witnessed transformative advancements in generative AI recently. This empowers us to embed this innovation across all our products."

For digital advertisers, this is exciting news. Already, Meta has debuted generative AI tools catered to ad creation. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Instagram is crafting a suite of inventive AI solutions designed for everyday users, destined to revolutionise the IG landscape.

Here's a Sneak Peek:

Generative AI Sticker Creation - Revealed in a test phase in May, this feature is poised to give marketers a novel way to personalise their content. It enables tailor-made graphics based on text cues, streamlining visual content creation for IG posts.

Visual Editing Capabilities - With tools named 'AI brush' and 'Restyle', marketers will have newfound control over content customization, from tweaking backgrounds to modifying specific elements with AI-driven alternatives.

AI Chatbot Interface - Envisioned as a DM-integrated assistant, this tool, activated by typing @ai, could change how brands engage with audiences by offering instant responses about products, events, and more.

Message Summarisation - With IG DMs becoming a primary communication channel, this AI-driven summariser might be a game-changer for brands looking to sift through customer feedback or queries efficiently.

Transparency Protocols - In a bid for clarity, any content crafted using Meta's generative AI will bear distinct markers. This push for authenticity will prompt creators to disclose AI-generated content, ensuring users are always in the know.

While some may argue that the initial offerings, like chatbots, are underwhelming, it’s important to realise that we're only at the genesis of generative AI's potential. Especially for marketers, these tools could reshape content strategies.

In essence, while AI may still lack the human touch in creative outputs, its evolution will undeniably refine its efficacy. Leveraging these tools can redefine human-centric content in a digitally dominated age.

Though Instagram remains tight-lipped about the official rollout of these features, marketers should stay on their toes. A wave of AI-integrated functionalities is on the horizon, promising to redefine the Instagram experience. 

Instagram's New DM Control Options

Instagram is rolling out enhanced DM control features, aiming to protect users from undesired content, notably unasked-for images and videos.

A glance at the available previews illustrates Instagram's latest move. Since its initial trials in June, Instagram plans to restrict direct messages from unfamiliar users to mere text-based invitations. The catch? The recipient needs to greenlight any further interaction. A single invitation per user is the rule.

This step is a strategic move to fend off bots and other nuisances that spam users with inappropriate or attention-seeking content in their DMs.

One significant point Instagram emphasises is how this will serve female users, who unfortunately often find themselves at the receiving end of unwarranted explicit content.

From Instagram's desk:

"Our mission is to ensure every user feels empowered and in charge when they access their DMs. This is why we're innovating. No images, videos, or bulk messages from unknown users will arrive in inboxes unless given a nod. Our ears are always open to our community's feedback. It's all about fostering a more secure Instagram."

To jog your memory, Instagram broadcasted this modification in June. This was part of a larger initiative to bolster safety across both Facebook and Instagram. The goal? To enrich the overall messaging journey. The shift to direct messaging, especially among the youth, propels Meta to sharpen safety protocols. This is to shield young users from undesired advances and approaches in the application.

By widely introducing these fresh features, Instagram is taking a robust step towards curbing unwanted interactions and potentially creating a safer platform for its users against the lurking 'IG nuisances'.

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