Get the need-to-know highlights from the social media industry that happened the week of September 25-28.
Meta + Facebook
This was a particularly update-heavy week for Meta & Associates, as they held their Meta Connect 2023 conference and unveiled several updates aimed at enhancing user engagement and streamlining content sharing.
Here's a breakdown of the key updates and what they mean for you.
- Meta Business Suite has rolled out an improved version of its Stories uploader tool for desktop users. This update could be a game-changer for creators who find desktops more convenient for crafting their stories.
- Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta AI, a new assistant that facilitates interactions across WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram DMs, and soon, Quest 3. For small business owners, this could open new avenues for customer engagement. Imagine automating responses to frequently asked questions or having a virtual assistant manage appointment bookings. The possibilities are enticing.
- Meta is set to unveil new 'sassy' AI chatbots later this week, with one being self-described as a "sassmaster general" with “superior intellect, sharp wit, and biting sarcasm.” Watch for this update; it could be your ticket to resonating with a younger demographic.
- Meta has updated its Ray-Ban Smart Glasses to include live streaming to Instagram. This can potentially open up new, immersive ways to share content and engage with your audience.
Here’s a roundup of the significant updates from Threads.
- Threads will introduce a feature allowing separate account deletion by December. This could provide a sense of security and control for users, a step towards addressing privacy concerns which, in turn, may encourage more creators to join the platform.
- The platform is also testing an edit button.
- Despite its struggles to retain users, The Verge reports that reads could still catch up to Twitter/X. With a significant gap in user numbers compared to its rivals, the platform is still in the game, attempting to carve a niche for itself.
- You can now sort your 'Following' accounts and log into multiple accounts on mobile.
Here’s what’s been cooking at Instagram:
- You can now share AI stickers in Direct Messages. This feature could add a fun, interactive element to your conversations with followers or team members.
- You can now allow others to use your Reel as a template.
- You can now set your avatar interactions under "Settings and Privacy" to either ‘Everyone’, ‘People you follow’, or ‘Only me’.
Let’s unpack the key highlights from Twitter/X:
- Twitter is reportedly working on an ad-free version of its premium subscription, offering a cleaner browsing experience for subscribers.
- Twitter removed the feature allowing users to report misleading information.
- An improved content reporting flow has been introduced, simplifying the process of reporting rule-breaking content.
- Enhancements like in-stream Bookmark button and a 'Verified Only' reply option are in the pipeline
- Twitter/X previews new community features, including private communities, improved reporting, and spam controls to boost niche engagement.
- Audio and video calls are set to become a premium subscriber-only feature.
- Twitter announces the shutdown of ‘Circles’ as of October 31st.
LinkedIn + YouTube + TikTok
- With Microsoft’s Immersive Reader, LinkedIn adds text-to-speech and real-time translations, enhancing platform accessibility.
- YouTube has updated its monetization guidelines concerning sensitive topics, a crucial update for creators to adhere to.
- YouTube retires its ad-free Premium Lite Subscription
- TikTok’s e-commerce venture faces hurdles amidst global backlash, a roadblock in its commercial expansion.
- TikTok's testing on AI-Generated Profile Avatars, added a "Switch Account" feature for anyone with multiple accounts, and has made analytics tools for "Series" content available.
- From a centralized wallet to new account management features, TikTok is enhancing its in-app transaction and user experience.
- The platform may soon integrate Google Search results, expanding its functionality.
Mastodon rolled out updates to improve search functionality, onboarding process, and cross-site interactions, a step towards better user experience.
- Reddit has removed the opt-out option for ad personalization based on user activity, signifying a move towards a more targeted advertising model.
- The platform is piloting an initiative to reward top contributors with real money, incentivizing quality content creation.
- Snapchat is testing a feature that'll give users the ability to extend their images, powered by OpenAI, as well as custom chat colors for Plus subscribers.
- A study revealed a drop in teen engagement, with TikTok leading in daily phone usage among teens - but the study was only based on 203 U.S. teens.
- Super App Ambitions: Telegram's introduction of new features echoes the functionalities of WeChat, indicating a move towards becoming a super app.
The top reads of the week
The following reads cover a broad spectrum of issues, trends, and developments in the social media realm.
Cyber Security and Ethical Concerns
- Facebook Account Hacks: A Vox expose reveals that hackers frequently infiltrate Facebook accounts via cookie theft, a concern for individual and brand accounts.
- TikTok's Bodybuilding Drug Scandal: Alarmingly, some TikTok influencers are pushing bodybuilding drugs to a teen audience, raising ethical and safety red flags.
- Will Twitter Charge Users?: All the speculation about Twitter introducing user fees stirred the pot, although the CEO remains tight-lipped.
Emerging Platforms and Features
- Artifact vs. Twitter: Artifact, an AI news aggregator, adds a new Post feature places it as a direct competitor to Twitter, broadening the social media landscape.
- Louis Vuitton on Discord: The luxury brand's move to Discord signifies a novel approach to community engagement and customer input.
Influencer Economy and Creator Recognition
- Forbes Top 50 Creators 2023: This list, headlined by MrBeast, KSI, and Jake Paul, underscores the evolving creator economy and the influential power of digital personas.
- Influencing Degree: A quirky yet telling sign of the times, an Irish university now offers a degree in influencing.
Platform Evolution and Challenges
- ChatGPT's New Capabilities: With added voice and image prompting, ChatGPT takes a leap towards more interactive and multi-modal AI interactions.
- Shopping on Social Media: Platforms face challenges as they strive to integrate shopping experiences seamlessly.
User Engagement and Demographics
- Gen X on TikTok: The under-targeted Gen X demographic on TikTok presents a potential untapped market for brands.
- Meta's News Blackout Impact: An examination of how Meta's news blackout in Canada adversely affects student journalists.
- Comparative MAU and DAU Stats: A glance at user engagement metrics across major social apps providing a snapshot of platform popularity.