The social media world has always been fast-paced, but over this last year, there’s no doubt that it has gone into overdrive. The ongoing pandemic has us more glued to our screens than ever, causing social media platforms to invent and reinvent new ways to hold our ever-shortening attention spans. As we wrap up the first quarter of 2021, here’s a round-up of all of the social media updates you may have missed:
One of the main virtual trends that skyrocketed over the past year was Instagram live. This feature jumped in popularity by 70% in the first month of the pandemic and has not lost steam. On Instagram lives, users were limited to only two guests up until this year, when Instagram took “going live” to the next level by introducing Rooms. This update now allows up to four participants to live stream together at the same time.
Instagram has also announced a new “recently deleted” feature to protect your content from potential hackers. Unfortunately, deleting posts is a common occurrence if hackers gain access to your account, so now, with the added security of a recently deleted feature, you can still access any deleted content for up to 30 days.
Soon, Instagram users will also be able to save their Instagram Stories as drafts to be posted at a later date/time. According to Instagram, it has been a highly requested feature. Stories drafts will be especially beneficial for brands and influencers that are looking to post their updates at the most relevant times for their audience.
First, there was TikTok; then there was Reels, now enter YouTube Shorts. While YouTube has always been a favorite for long-form content, the platform is now trying its hand at video clips of 15 seconds or less.
In addition to host short-form videos, YouTube is also making their longer videos even more convenient with the help of YouTube chapters. This feature breaks up the videos into time-stamped sections that make navigating and re-watching a whole lot easier. Chapters will also benefit search engines by recommending a specific section of a video in the Google snippet.
When it comes to updates, Facebook never seems to stop. In addition to a new AI tool to create audio photo descriptions, the leader in social media also updated the look and function of Pages and added new admin controls.
For those interested in having a blue checkmark of approval next to your Twitter handle, you’re in luck. In late January of this year, the platform announced they would be relaunching their verification application. It’s worth noting that the requirements to become verified are still pretty strict. The company also announced the release of its 2021 planner to act as a guide to content strategy. This PDF helps you plan for upcoming events and hashtag holidays. For a traditional calendar to keep track of social media holidays, it’s never too late to download TargetMarket comprehensive 2021 calendar.
TikTok’s updates have stayed relatively under the radar (probably out of fear that other platforms will steal whatever they come up with), but the latest has been geared more towards their users’ safety. It’s no secret that TikTok’s bread and butter is Gen Z, so in order to keep this younger generation of internet users safe, the app has enhanced the default privacy settings, including limiting commenting options for users aged 13-15, making the “duet” feature available for only users 16 and up, and restricting messaging for anyone under 16. The platform has even started including prompts to think twice before sharing (though my guess is that most teenagers will breeze past this reminder). Still, many of us watched “The Social Dilemma,” so I think we can agree that tightening the reins on some platforms isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
For those interested in TikTok ads, the platform has launched a new Ad Library tool to offer valuable insight on the top-performing ad campaigns by region, ad type, and industry. Whether you’re new to the platform and need some ideas on how to get started or you’re just seeing what the kids are into these days, this ad library tool is sure to take your ad game to the next level.
And moving on from TikTok, we have the opposite end of the spectrum: LinkedIn. In 2021, LinkedIn followed in the footsteps of Twitter and debuted a new reply control tool to help restrict comments on their platform updates. This tool’s idea is to facilitate on-topic conversations without having anyone outside the network adding their two cents. With this feature, you can allow anyone, no one, or only your connections to comment on your posts.
Social media never stops, so if you’re having trouble keeping up with the latest updates, let TargetMarket be your guide. Our team specializes in full-service social media management including paid social media advertising. Get in touch with us to learn more about how targeted digital advertising campaigns can help increase the quantity and quality of new customers for your business.