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Random Round Up: Social Media News and Updates, April 2024

Kristin Fang
May 1, 2024

It’s no secret that social media platforms are always changing. App developers for the likes of TikTok, Meta, and X are constantly rolling out new features that redefine the ways in which brands and creators interact with audiences. With how often things change, it’s hard to keep track of everything. Lucky for you, we’re here to share some of the latest social media news and updates that you need to know right now (cos nobody likes getting left in the digital dust). 

Meet Your New Assistant: Meta AI is Here

Meta AI is Meta’s latest addition to Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. It enhances functionality within feeds, chat, search, and more, allowing users access to real-time information without the need to leave the app. Think of it like a Google search built right into the Meta platforms that you know and love.

As social media platforms continue to evolve into search engines themselves, Meta’s AI feature solidifies its role as a one-stop shop for all types of research. This new function broadens the opportunities for visibility on the platform. So whether you’re planning a dinner with friends and trying to find the best place to eat or looking up hacks to save money, you can now do it while also liking pictures of your friend’s vacation and giving your hot take on the new Taylor Swift album. Thanks for the assist, Zuck!

The TikTok-ification of Social Continues: Short-form Video Coming to LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is experimenting with a TikTok-like short-form video feed, TechCrunch confirmed in March. This places LinkedIn among a long list of other platforms — which includes Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube — that have adopted similar features in response to TikTok’s surging popularity.

LinkedIn’s version still focuses on career-oriented and professional content, but the short-form video feed aims to boost user engagement and content discovery with easy-to-consume, quick-scroll videos. While the feature is still in its preliminary testing phase and not widely available, it’s possible that LinkedIn might eventually monetize this feature to attract more creators to the platform. 

“Blend”-ing In: An Instagram Collaborative Reels Feed Could Be On the Way 

Instagram is allegedly developing a new feature called “Blend,” which generates a private feed of Reels tailored to you and a friend’s shared interests. This internal prototype, not yet available to users, is comparable to Spotify’s collaborative playlist feature launched in 2021. The feature aims to enhance the discovery and viewing of Reels by leveraging the videos you and a friend have previously shared together. 

If launched, Blend could offer Instagram users a collaborative experience that is not yet available on its rival app, TikTok. By using direct message interactions to boost Reels content, this feature could give Instagram a competitive edge in the short-form video space, which TikTok continues to dominate.

Go Long! Longer Videos Are Making a Comeback

While social platforms have trended towards short form video since TikTok took the world by storm, longer videos seem to be coming back into fashion as platforms increase their maximum video lengths. Instagram users can now use up to three minutes of clips in Reels, while TikTok is reportedly testing 15 minute videos. 

As users turn to social media to answer questions they might normally type into a search engine, creators are encouraged to utilize longer videos to provide more in-depth answers and engage viewers looking to social media for entertainment and information. “Time” will tell (see what we did there) if it catches on!

Slide Into More Engagement:  Instagram’s Focus Shifts to Direct Messages

In an episode of the 20VC podcast, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri noted that much of  “Instagram’s growth has been in stories and DMs.” As users increasingly share personal updates and photos on private stories or “Finsta” accounts (what the cool kids call “fake Instagram” accounts), Instagram has responded by launching several new direct message-focused features. These features include notes, text-only status updates in the DMs page, and broadcast channels – a public, one-to-many messaging tool for creators to invite all of their followers into and engage with their most interested fans.

Image source: Instagram Blog

As user engagement shifts toward more private spaces, it’s advisable for brands and organizations to leverage these channels, especially as social media evolves into a more significant customer service tool in the near future. So check in with your community managers; their DMs are probably blowing up!Want to work with social media experts that are always plugged in to the latest and greatest trends? Then you’ve come to the right place. Get in touch with us today!

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