Winter is here as so is our first ever Seasonal Update, a quarterly update reflecting on the last 3 months for us here at The Social Club, the latest updates in the social media industry and our predictions for the coming months.
The autumnal updates include exciting new feature announcements from Facebook, Instagram and Google as well as some surprising growth of the video app TikTok.
It has been a busy few months here at The Social Club, we welcomed two new team members, hosted a Pink Ribbon BBQ with our neighbours at Augusto, and worked on a tonne of awesome campaigns. We’re looking forward to further growth over the next few months with even more team members joining us soon and some exciting projects planned. Watch this space!
The biggest news from Facebook over the last 3 months would have to be the announcement that they’re working on their very own cryptocurrency called ‘Libra’. Facebook says its motivation for making Libra is primarily as a service to the developing world and the parts of the developed world where it’s difficult to access a bank. The project has the potential to be one of the most significant shifts in Facebook’s history.
Facebook has also made a commitment to do all they can to fight hatred and extremism that leads to terrorist violence. They signed on to the Christchurch Call to Action to curb terrorism and extremist content online. A quote from their recent update about sensitive content reads, “To ensure that we stay ahead in rooting out abuse, we’re investing heavily in building better technology, hiring more people and working more closely with law enforcement, security experts and other technology companies.”
Instagram has announced multiple new shopping features including; Instagram Checkout where users can buy products without having to leave the platform, branded content ads where advertisers can run ads through influencers content and shopping from creators where influencers can tag products so Instagram users can shop without even having to go through to the brands Instagram page. Making Instagram even more shopper friendly than ever, while encouraging brands and advertisers to get onboard giving these new features a go.
Instagram’s long-form video platform IGTV is now supporting landscape videos after having limited users to the vertical viewing format popularised by Snapchat. It was a risky move limiting the videos to the vertical format as for the majority of people this is a departure from the way they are used to watching videos. Instagram said: “We’ve heard from creators who want to upload landscape videos for IGTV. Similarly, we’ve heard from viewers who come across landscape videos in IGTV but want to watch them in a more natural way. That’s why we’re announcing support for landscape videos in addition to vertical.” IGTV’s slow uptake may have also contributed to this decision.
Facebook and Instagram are celebrating Pride this month with some special features. Popular Pride-themed hashtags are displayed in a rainbow gradient and Stories featuring these hashtags will show up with a rainbow ring around them. Facebook is also including Pride-themed backgrounds for your status updates and the official Instagram page is featuring some inspiring LGBTQ+ Influencers and their stories. This reflects the growing trend of brands celebrating diversity across the globe.
What else is happening in the world of social?
Tiktok is sitting at second place for overall app downloads for the month of May. The app is for creating and sharing short-form videos and its success is surprising to many. But maybe it should be considering the increasing popularity of video content across all platforms. It is hard to tell if apps like this are just a fad or if they’re here to stay. The now-defunct Vine was similar to TikTok and Twitter decided to shut the app down after it struggled to grow its user base and find ways to make money, TikTok looks to be bucking this trend.
Google is trying to add more social-like options to it’s Google My Business profile. Customers can now follow businesses and they’ll see updates of offers from the business they follow on their ‘For You’ tab. Other features include setting a preferred cover photo, claiming a short name and URL for your business, adding their logo feature, photo captions and more.
Video is going to be an area of focus for social media channels and social media marketers with the popularity of Instagram stories and new apps like TikTok showing this is what consumers are using and responding to. Facebook and Instagram are listening to this and responding by innovating and adding features for both users and advertisers to use and benefit from.
Brands are making moves towards becoming more inclusive and socially aware in their content and advertising. The need for brands and all people to be outspoken and celebrate diversity has become more imminent than ever with incidents across the globe highlighting the work that needs to be done to bring people together in order to overcome the hatred that leads to violence. Brands like Airbnb, Pantene, Facebook and Instagram are all celebrating diversity in different ways and we don’t expect this positive trend to stop any time soon.