The Latest Updates on Social Media Platforms - Edition Ten

The Latest Updates on Social Media Platforms - Edition Ten

The social media landscape is ever-evolving and marketers need to stay updated to get the best results. To help you stay on track, we’ve researched some of the latest updates to social media platforms in the past few weeks and put them all together in one place for you to gain easy access. 

This edition focuses on TikTok reportedly testing 30-minute videos, Meta’s new Engaged View" metric for ad performance and the introduction of several new features by YouTube to provide content creators more control over their channels. Dive into the myriad of updates that are reshaping the way users and advertisers interact on these platforms.

TikTok 

TikTok is testing a ‘cutout' editing option to replace the background of your videos.

TikTok’s added a handy new video editing tool which makes it easier to add an alternative background to your clips. 



As you can see in the example above, shared by Jonah Manzano, the new “Cutout” editing option enables you to easily replace the background of your video with an alternative scene, by isolating the focus element of the clip.

This is pretty much the same as the green screen effect, which people have been using in the app for years, but this provides more editing capacity without having to plan, which could be good for situations where you don’t like the look of your setting or can’t get the lighting right.

Or there might be something you want to hide in the back, or you might just want to see what other backgrounds look like. Either way, it’s another handy editing tool, which could help you make more standout TikTok clips. 

The new Cutout option is in the editing tools of the TikTok composer.

TikTok trialling 30-minute long videos

According to reports, TikTok is seeking to challenge YouTube by testing 30-minute video uploads, a significant departure from its original format. Initially spotted in the iOS beta version by social media consultant Matt Navarra, this feature is also appearing in the Android beta.

This shift brings TikTok into direct competition with YouTube, as it seeks to attract creators known for longer content. TikTok has gradually extended its video limits, from 15 seconds to one minute, three minutes, and ten minutes. A recent test included a 15-minute upload limit.

The extended 30-minute duration offers creators more flexibility for content like recipes, beauty tutorials, education, and comedy. Most notably, it enables the upload of full TV show episodes, a new opportunity for content sharing.

However, some viewers prefer TikTok's short videos, raising concerns about attention spans. TikTok has been testing a horizontal full-screen mode and introduced fast-forwarding by holding the right side to address these concerns.

The widespread availability of the 30-minute upload option remains uncertain, reflecting TikTok's ambitions amid user preferences.

TikTok's New Search Shortcut Enhances Content Discovery

TikTok introduces a streamlined content discovery method with a new prompt for users to download a dedicated TikTok Search shortcut. This shortcut simplifies content exploration, eliminating the need to navigate through various sections of the app.

By facilitating easier content discovery, TikTok aims to establish itself as a prominent shopping destination by highlighting relevant product matches within the app. This strategy could drive increased user engagement and exploration.

Recognising TikTok's impact, a Google executive acknowledged its potential threat to the core search business back in 2022. Encouraging more search-related activity could integrate searching as a fundamental process for the next generation of consumers.

Inspired by the Chinese version of TikTok, known as "Douyin," TikTok explores generative AI search to maximise discovery both within and outside the platform. This aligns with TikTok's vision to extend its utility beyond entertainment and embed itself as an essential tool for its vast user base.

The introduction of this new shortcut promises tangible value for users, with potential benefits extending to businesses in the future.

Meta

Meta Introduces "Engaged View" for Enhanced Ad Performance Evaluation

Meta unveils a groundbreaking feature for advertisers dubbed "Engaged View," poised to revolutionise the assessment of video ad performance, especially concerning delayed user actions.

Unlike traditional metrics focusing on immediate actions like ad clicks, Engaged View attribution captures conversions following a viewer's engagement with a video ad. This innovative approach considers actions within one day of watching at least 10 seconds (or 97%) of the video ad.

For instance, when Sharon watches a video ad for an on-demand yoga class on Instagram Stories and later signs up for the class, her action is attributed to the campaign as an "engaged-view" conversion.

Meta's adoption of Engaged View attribution aims to provide advertisers with more comprehensive response reporting, enabling them to better understand how their video ad campaigns influence user behaviour over time. 

By accounting for delayed responses, advertisers can refine their campaigns more effectively, optimising ad spending with greater precision.

Instagram

Instagram Introduces "Flipside" for Personalised Profile Spaces

Instagram has launched its new "Flipside" alternative profile option to a select group of users after months of experimentation.

The "Flipside" feature offers users an alternative profile space accessible only to themselves and chosen connections. Users can designate posts to this space, ensuring they are viewable solely within it. The Flipside also functions as an alternative profile gallery, allowing users to customise their profile name and picture.

This innovation aligns with Instagram's efforts to cater to evolving user behaviours, as noted by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri in 2022. Instagram has introduced various features to encourage private interactions and facilitate multi-profile management, catering to users' desire for personalized experiences.

While the success of Flipside remains uncertain, it appears to target younger users, a demographic Instagram seeks to retain amidst competition from platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. 

Similar features like Notes have proven popular among teens, suggesting Flipside could further enhance user engagement, though its wider availability and reception are yet to be determined.

Instagram Threads Set to Introduce Trends Feature

Instagram Threads will soon incorporate a new feature known as "Trends," confirmed by Instagram head Adam Mosseri in response to a user inquiry. This addition aims to enhance the platform's competitiveness by providing users with access to real-time news and information.

Criticism of Threads has centred on its algorithm favouring posts from creators users don't follow and displaying older content, leading to a stagnant user experience. Complaints regarding low-quality content recommendations are also being addressed by the company. The introduction of Trends could alleviate algorithm-related concerns by surfacing popular topics and discussions, offering users a fresh way to discover relevant conversations.

Reports suggest that Threads has been working on Trends since last October, with leaked screenshots depicting a list of trending topics and the number of active discussions on each item. Unlike its rival, Trends on Threads appears to focus solely on active discussions rather than offering categorised lists or personalised trends.

While users have expressed demand for Trends on Threads, there are potential challenges, particularly if Trends are algorithmically curated. This approach could be exploited by bad actors to promote inappropriate or toxic content. Additionally, integrating Trends adds complexity to the app and increases the potential for misuse, considering Threads' relatively small management team within Meta.

Although Mosseri did not provide a launch date for Trends on Threads, screenshots suggest it may be referred to as "Today's Topics." The exact appearance and functionality of Trends upon public release remain uncertain.

X (Twitter) 

X Offers Sneak Peek of Video Integration in Spaces Chats

X provides a glimpse into its upcoming video functionality within Spaces chats, allowing users to toggle their camera on during broadcasts, as shown in the image above courtesy of X designer Andrea Conway.

While this feature is novel for Spaces, multi-participant live video broadcasting is not new to various platforms like Instagram and Facebook. However, enabling such functionality presents technical challenges and cost considerations, likely leading to limitations on the number of concurrent video streams within a Space.

Details regarding the maximum number of guests allowed are yet to be disclosed. X owner Elon Musk hinted at future enhancements, such as highlighting the speaker during broadcasts, aligning with the platform's ambition to become an "everything app" incorporating features from various online platforms.

This addition supports X's "video-first platform" approach, aiming to enhance user engagement by facilitating more video content. With approximately 80,000 Spaces chats hosted daily on the app, the introduction of live video chat could significantly impact user interactions, although an official rollout timeline remains unspecified.

X Empowers Community Admins with Topic Tags for Enhanced Visibility

X introduces a new feature allowing community admins to boost the visibility of their groups by adding topic tags. Admins can now include up to 10 tags in their group settings, aiming to target relevant audiences effectively.

These tags, selected by admins, will be utilized by X to elevate the community's visibility in related search queries. While the exact impact of tags on discovery remains uncertain, X emphasizes their significance in enhancing search results.

According to X engineer Dong Wook Chung, updating search tags is crucial for improving a community's search rank. While tags are essential, other factors such as the community's name, description, post frequency, and moderation also influence search visibility.

Under Elon Musk's leadership, communities have become a focal point in expanding X's user engagement, resulting in a significant increase in community activity. With over 350,000 communities and 650,000 daily community posts, exploring relevant topic tags can provide insights into ongoing discussions within the app.

For existing community admins, incorporating tags offers another avenue for improving discovery and engagement within their groups.

YouTube

YouTube Studio Unveils New Features for Enhanced Channel Management

YouTube Studio introduces several new features to provide content creators with greater control, insights, and customisation for their channels.

Enhanced Research Tab for Desktop: Building on last year's mobile update, YouTube Studio now offers an improved research tab for desktop users. This feature provides creators with valuable insights into viewer search behaviour, including rising searches, top queries, and potential content gaps.

Publicly Shareable Community Clips: The new "Community clips" section allows creators to showcase short clips made by viewers, boosting engagement and viewership on their channels. Organised by popularity, these clips present additional revenue opportunities for creators.

Expanded Playlist Analytics: YouTube Studio now offers enhanced analytics for playlists, allowing creators to compare top playlists side by side. This feature provides comprehensive data on watch time, total views, and traffic sources, enabling creators to understand playlist performance better.

Scheduled Publishing for Members-Only Content: Creators can now schedule members-only videos for automatic public release at a later date. This selective feature streamlines workflows for early access and member perks, providing creators with greater flexibility in content distribution.

These new additions to YouTube Studio aim to empower creators with valuable insights and tools to optimise channel performance and engage with their audience effectively.

YouTube Introduces Shorts Editing Tools to Repurpose Long-Form Content

YouTube launches a new feature allowing creators to reformat long-form content into Shorts, capitalising on the format's popularity.

Accessible through the "Remix" option, the Shorts editing UI offers a range of tools to seamlessly convert clips into Shorts, eliminating the need for reshooting or extensive editing.

With Shorts being YouTube's fastest-growing content format, generating over 50 billion daily views, the platform aims to enhance Shorts visibility and increase user engagement. These developments present opportunities for brands to amplify their presence and interaction through Shorts clips.

The availability of simple editing tools simplifies the creation of engaging Shorts, especially for creators with existing video assets.  This new feature provides a fresh content avenue to explore in 2024.

That's all for this edition, to get these updates as soon as they are out, subscribe to our newsletter. 

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