Welcome to our monthly Social Media News Roundup. The world of social media is constantly changing. To keep you up to speed, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 biggest social media news announcements from each month. This edition features the highlights from February of 2022.
1. Instagram is decluttering your DMs with Private Story Likes
No longer will a Like on a Story translate to a DM. On February 15th, the CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced a new feature called Private Story Likes, allowing viewers to react to an Instagram Story (just like a conventional IG Grid Post) with a heart emoji. Creators will be able to see both their views and likes, privately, in the Story’s view sheet indicated by a heart next to the viewer's name.
2. Montage feature allows IG users to convert Stories Highlights to Reels
Creators can reshare their best Stories content as a montage of Stories set to their audio of choice. In an effort to bolster Reels, IG began testing a “montage” feature in September 2021. By simply tapping the Reels icon from within a Highlight, users can convert their Stories Highlight into a Reels clip.
3. TikTok launches “Tactics,” a training course for marketers
TikTok for Business is looking to simplify marketers’ efforts on the platform with an online course for marketers called TikTok Tactics that covers best practices for advertising on the platform, including how to work with creators in the TikTok Marketplace.
The video lessons, which businesses need to sign up for, cover four key elements—attribution; targeting, bidding, & optimization; catalog; and creative. But their Key Takeaways PDF is available for all to see: How to Advertise on TikTok.
4. Meta sets “Personal Boundary” + diverse and inclusive customization for VR avatars
Meta rolled out a new mandatory feature in their virtual reality spaces, Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues. From now on, avatars in Meta’s VR spaces will be surrounded by a two-foot cylinder, creating a total of four feet of space between each avatar—a measure taken to establish privacy and stop harassment.
5. Captions are the default for IG video and an option for Reels
Instagram made captions the default for IGTV in 2020, and for Stories in 2021. This year, auto-captions will be generated for all Instagram feed videos in up to 17 languages. Captions are default ON for creators,” Instagram announced in a FB post. “Adding captions makes Instagram more accessible to those in the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.”
6. Pinterest users can “Try On Home Decor” with augmented reality
Pinners looking for interior design inspiration can now use AR technology to virtually place items in their living spaces. Try On Home Decor uses Pinterest Lens camera and enlists major retailers like Crate & Barrel, CB2, Walmart, West Elm, and Wayfair to create AR versions of merchandise. No more wondering if that sofa is going fit through the door.
7. Brands and influencers respond to Safer Internet Day
Tuesday, February 8th marked the 19th annual Safer Internet Day. “Together for a Better Internet” was the recurring theme, which calls upon stakeholders in the social media and tech spaces to make the internet a safer and better place for all.
Social media CEOs, NPOs, influencers, and celebrities expressed their support, and some took action to make the vision a reality. Many platforms pledged updates to features and controls, issued reminders on protecting identity and safety, and offered prompts for mental health checks. Microsoft challenged users to live up to the four tenets of digital civility: Live the golden rule, respect differences, pause before replying, stand up for myself and others.
8. YouTube adds new monetization features for Shorts
YouTube’s Shorts recently reached 5 trillion views, rivaling IG Reels and TikTok. And as the first platform to monetize creator content, YouTube does not plan to fall behind. Last year, they launched Brand Connect, a program to pair creators with brands. On February 10th. 2022, Chief Product Officer, Neal Mohan announced new features to continue supporting creator content such as new video effects, video replies to comments, super thanks in shorts, collaborative live streaming, NFTs, shoppable videos, live shopping, and upgrades YouTube TV.
9. Snapchat allows top creators to test mid-roll ads in Stories
Snapchat is allowing its star creators to take a cut of advertising revenue with mid-roll ads during Stories. According to Yahoo! Finance, Viewership on Snap Stories is declining while Spotlight (Snap’s competition to TikTok, Reels, and Shorts) is seeing an increase. You think they’d put ads in content where they can get more eyes on it. Go figure.
10. Twitter announces “Brand Bowl” Winners
Twitter gets the most action all year during the Super Bowl, with brands running their best social media ad campaigns. Many brands have gone down in history and won awards for their Superbowl commercials, so it’s no surprise that Twitter would celebrate a social media equivalent of outstanding campaign tweets for Super Bowl LVI.
Most Valuable Player
Pepsi takes the award for the biggest driver of super bowl-related conversation on Twitter. Their strategy combined half-time show footage and sweepstakes giveaways. They are a major event sponsor for the fourth year in a row, so they might have an unfair advantage in this competition.
Retweets went to the moon when FTX promised to give away free Bitcoin (in the amount equivalent to commercial airtime) to four lucky winners. Anyone who watched their TV ad, followed them on Twitter, and retweeted their pinned campaign tweet by 11:59 p.m. was eligible to win. A well-orchestrated engagement strategy!
Highest Engagement on a Video Tweet
They didn’t even give away prizes or talk about the Superbowl. Marvel simply announced the release date of Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness with a video tweet of the trailer. There’s no takeaway here unless you can afford Benedict Cumberbatch for your next social media campaign.
Most Creative Tweet
#TravelTheAds starts with a campaign introduction video, featuring Ewan McGregor, who impresses the value of experiences over belongings, “Do you think any of us’ll look back on our lives and regret the things we didn’t buy, or places we didn’t go?” Follow this with graphic postcard-like tweets of destinations—Turkey, Chamonix, Los Angeles, Transylvania, Oaxaca, Iceland, Ireland—with a chance to win by retweet. Brilliant!
Best Real-time Response
A mysterious, low-budget advertisement aired during the Super Bowl—a QR code bouncing around the screen reminiscent of an Atari game. It had everyone talking and everyone whipping out their phones to scan the code, ultimately downloading the Coinbase app. Well, Mr. Peanut’s social media manager wins the award for being quick on their feet by reacting to and simultaneously imitating the ad.
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