5 Social Media News Stories You Need to Read This Week.

Quick bites of social media goodness.
Veena Ramakrishnan
Veena Ramakrishnan
November 26, 2020 - 37 min. read

Social media is constantly being updated—so you should be, too. Here are 5 of the top social media news stories from this week that you don’t want to miss.

Latest update: November 26th

1. Snapchat launches a TikTok-like function called Spotlight.

Surprise, surprise. Another TikTok-like functionality enters the social media realm — this time, by the name of Spotlight. Snapchat has introduced a new option in the app to create short video clips that lets users (both public and private accounts) create and submit their videos directly to the ‘Spotlight feed’. Snapchat also added that the best video clips stand a chance to earn a share of more than $1 million that they’re distributing to creators every day! And if you’re not too keen on creating short video clips, you can always just sit back and watch the ones that appear on the Spotlight feed.

2. Facebook announces new fundraising tools as part of their ‘Season of Giving’ initiative.

‘Tis the season of giving back and Facebook has introduced some new fundraising and community tools to kick off their ‘season of giving’ initiative. As explained by Facebook; “The holiday season is a time when many of us think about how we can give something back. Today, we’re kicking off our Season of Giving campaign to encourage people to give however they can. Next week on GivingTuesday — a day when people all over the world come together to support great causes — we will match up to $7 million in eligible donations to US nonprofits made on Facebook.” Facebook also added that 100% of what’s being raised for nonprofits on Facebook and Instagram will go directly to the organizations and that all donations will be securely processed via Facebook Pay.

3. TikTok launches a holiday tool kit for SMBs.

TikTok shares holiday hacks and webinars to help SMBs tap into the growth potential of the platform this holiday season. According to TikTok, 47% of users made a purchase decision based on what they saw in TikTok content. And a whopping 80% of Gen Z TikTokers have influenced their parents’ purchases. Keeping this in mind, TikTok encourages SMBs to consider using the platform to connect with the 75% of consumers planning to support small businesses this year. The webinars will focus on how to set up campaigns and other best practices for SMBs from TikTok’s top strategists and executives.

4.YouTube introduces audio ads.

To reach new users tuning into an audio-only platform like YouTube Music, YouTube has introduced audio ads to connect brands with audiences engaged in non-video consumption. In YouTube’s own words, “To help you tailor your media and creative approach to the different ways consumers are engaging with YouTube, we’re introducing audio ads, our first ad format designed to connect your brand with audiences in engaged and ambient listening on YouTube. Audio ads, currently in beta, help you efficiently expand reach and grow brand awareness with audio-based creative and the same measurement, audience, and brand safety features as your video campaigns.” Another brilliant opportunity for brands to advertise to their target audience!

5. Twitter slows down the rollout of Fleets to fix some performance and stability problems.

It looks like Twitter underestimated the surge in users after expanding the rollout of Fleets to all users. As more and more people started using the latest Story-like function, users took to Twitter to report the lag in using the function leading to a clumsy user experience. That’s why Twitter announced that they would slow down the rollout of Fleets to fix performance and stability problems. Since ephemeral content has become a full-fledged engagement powerhouse across multiple platforms, it’s a good thing that Twitter is taking some time out to fix their problems before expanding the feature to all users.

Scroll on to read more social media news from this month!

1.Twitter’s November events calendar is here.

As much as we would all like to be done with 2020, we’ve still got a few seasonal celebrations and holidays ahead of us before we move into (what will hopefully be) a more promising new year. So, for those who are scrambling for ideas to tweet about this month, Twitter comes to your aid. There’s still a good chunk of November left before December rolls in, so Twitter released an overview filled with fun seasonal celebrations that brands can tweet about. Twitter also shared some techniques for how brands can craft the perfect Tweets around these holidays. If you need more, you should download the 2020 Twitter marketing calendar.

2. Facebook shares ad copy tips for creating strong brand awareness.

Writing ad copy descriptions that are just under 70 characters is (as you know) not as easy as it sounds. That’s why Facebook shared five tips to help you up your game. Facebook says that brands should look to personifying their brand and give it a unique voice to stand out. Facebook also suggests adding value propositions to ads that feature your products, explaining why consumers should use them, what makes them unique from others, and what benefit they’ll get. Read the full list of tips here.

3. WhatsApp just made storage management a lot easier.

Are all those GIFs and forwards that get dumped on your family WhatsApp group taking up too much in-app space? Worry no more as WhatsApp has rolled out an improved version of itstheir storage management functionality. This new update gives you a visual overview of how much of your in-app space has been used and what you must delete to make more room. You can also see the files that have been forwarded many times and the ones that are larger than 5 MB, making it easier to spot the files that are eating up all the space.

4. Snapchat introduces ‘Snap Connect’ learning modules for marketers.

To help marketers build more impactful campaigns and drive better results with mobile gaming, apps, and e-commerce, Snapchat launches a video-based certification program called ‘Snap Connect’. As explained by Snapchat, “For the first time, our very own subject-matter experts bring you inside the world of Snapchat to show you how to take your direct-response advertising to the next level. Each specialized Snap Connect certification offers fresh insights, product solutions, creative best practices, and client success stories—all tailored to your industry and region.” No time like the present for a specialized learning experience!

5. New ‘disappearing messages’ functionality arrives in WhatsApp.

Looks like it’s not just stories that have the disappearing functionality anymore. In what appears to be a move to help people have more private conversations and not allow all messages to be everlasting, WhatsApp has rolled out a ‘disappearing messages’ feature which will see messages self-erase after seven days. In WhatsApp’s own words: “When disappearing messages is turned on, new messages sent to a chat will disappear after 7 days, helping the conversation feel lighter and more private. In a one-to-one chat, either person can turn disappearing messages on or off. In groups, admins will have the control.” Guess I don’t have to worry about sending risky texts anymore!

What were the top social media news in October? Scroll to find more of the latest updates

1.Facebook Dating arrives in Europe.

A year after its US launch, Facebook has now expanded its cupid service Facebook Dating in the European region. As explained by Facebook, “Today, we’re launching Facebook Dating in Europe to help more people find meaningful relationships through things they have in common, like interests, events, and groups. Since the launch of Facebook Dating, over 1.5 billion matches have been created in the 20 countries where the feature is available.” (1.5 billion matches, huh? Perhaps there’s hope for me after all.) To allow Facebook to help you find “the one” for you, all you have to do is create a dating profile that’s separate from your existing Facebook profile and then wait for Facebook to works its magic and match you up with prospective partners. We heart this!

2. New prompts from Twitter urge users in the US to vote.

With less than a week to go for the battle of America’s two-party system, it doesn’t hurt to receive as many as a hundred prompts a day from Twitter to urge users in the US to vote for the 2020 Presidential Election. To ensure that people have access to reliable information to exercise their right to vote, Twitter will enable an in-feed prompt with links to resources to alert users to vote early. People will also be encouraged to Tweet out these resources to help spread the word with the aid of a custom emoji, an animated like button, and hashtags like #VoteEarly, #IVoted, #IVotedEarly, and #YoVoté.

3. Snapchat camera can now scan packaged food and wine labels.

Is an app known for its wacky filters really the place to scan your packaged food and wine labels for nutrition info? Apparently, so! Snapchat users can point the camera and scan the barcode on certain food packages and wine labels to get the nutrition information. But Snapchat’s scanning capabilities don’t just stop there. Using the Snap camera, users can identify dog breeds, plants, songs on shazam, and also lookup for products on Amazon. This is wild!

4. WhatsApp announces new in-stream purchase features.

During the global pandemic, WhatsApp had proven to be a simple and convenient resource for businesses that needed fast and efficient ways to service their customers and make sales. That’s why WhatsApp has rolled out shopping, payments, and customer service features to help make messaging the best way for consumers and businesses to connect on the app. As explained by WhatsApp, “We will expand ways for people to check out available products and make purchases right from a chat. We also want to make it easier for businesses to integrate these features into their existing commerce and customer solutions. This will help many small businesses who have been most impacted in this time.”

5. More Instagram creators get a taste of Badges on Instagram Live.

A few months ago, Instagram released a mix of monetization tools to help creators boost their revenue stream through Instagram Live and IGTV. One of those tools included the Badges on Instagram Live that allowed fans to purchase a heart-shaped badge that appeared next to their name in the comment section during the creator’s live video to show their support. Additionally, fans who purchased the badges were also given a special placement on a creator’s list of badge holders and access to a special heart. Today, Instagram has announced that more creators will get a taste of Badges in Live to boost their income. So, if you want to show some love and support to your favorite creator, you know what to do.

Hungry for more social media updates? Scroll on to read the latest industry updates!

1. Facebook announces a season of support for small businesses.

The holiday season this year might look and feel a lot different than it did in the previous years. To help small businesses not just survive but thrive through this holiday season, Facebook announced the launch of their three-month-long “Season of Support” to provide small businesses all over the world with free resources, education, and training to help. In addition to that, Facebook announced #BuyBlackFriday in the US to celebrate and support Black-owned businesses and their communities. As explained by Facebook, “Black-owned businesses have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, closing at twice the rate of other small businesses. But we know that millions of people want to help. More than 3.5 million people on Facebook in the US have joined new groups created to support Black-owned businesses since March.”

2. Pakistan bans TikTok for “immoral and indecent” content.

Boy, it looks like every country has its own reasons to ban the controversial video-sharing app TikTok. After India, and maybe even the US (we still don’t know), Pakistan announced the ban of TikTok in their country after receiving complaints against immoral and indecent content on the app. As posted on Twitter by Pakistan’s Telecommunication Authority, “In view of [a] number of complaints from different segments of the society against immoral/indecent content on the video-sharing application TikTok, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has issued instructions for blocking of the application.” Considering that only 35% of Pakistan’s 212 million citizens have access to the internet, this may not seem like a big blow for TikTok. Nevertheless, this is still a concerning issue for the app amidst the ongoing speculations in the US.

3. Twitter is testing whether to make ‘Quote Tweet’ the default retweeting option.

It looks like Twitter is working on a prototype that removes the current retweet menu option and directly opens the “quote tweet” composer window instead. While this new option still allows you to retweet tweets without adding your two cents to them, it’s important to notice that Twitter is pushing to help users boost their engagement and sharing on the app. By making the “quote tweet” the default retweeting option, users not just get a moment to consider what they’re re-sharing but also get prompted to make more informed decisions.

4. Instagram released new features to celebrate its 10th birthday.

Well, looks like it’s been 10 years since that picture of a dog surfaced on some app that launched the social media giant Instagram a.k.a. one of the most influential social media platforms in the world. To mark the occasion of their 10th birthday, Instagram released some fun and celebratory features to the app that includes Stories Map, in-stream shopping for IGTV, and a range of variable icons for the app to help users customize their home screens. My personal favorite is the Stories Map feature that gives a nice calendar view of the days you’ve posted a story alongside a map that shows where you’ve posted these stories using the location sticker in the last three years.

5. More new updates on Instagram Reels.

For people who’ve been going gaga over Reels these past few months, you’d be interested to know that Instagram released more new updates focused on audio to their TikTok clone. Users now get the option to save audio in-app, which they can then use in their clips, share collections of Reels which use a specific piece of audio via DM, and search for sounds and music and the Reels clips that use them. Music is a big part of TikTok videos and these new updates from Reels tell us that Instagram is constantly evolving to match up with their competitor.

Hungry for more social media updates? Scroll on to read the latest industry updates!

1. TikTok announces bans on ads for weight loss related products.

Given the young demographic audience that TikTok has, it’s important to take the necessary steps to make sure users are protected from harmful content. That’s why TikTok announced the ban on ads that promote fasting apps and weight loss supplements. As explained by TikTok, “As a society, weight stigma and body shaming pose both individual and cultural challenges, and we know that the internet, if left unchecked, has the risk of exacerbating such issues. That’s why we’re focused on working to safeguard our community from harmful content and behavior while supporting an inclusive – and body-positive – environment.”

2. Say hello to Story Pins.

Stories on Pinterest are nothing like the ones you find on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. To begin with, Pin Stories don’t even disappear after the 24hr window. As explained by Pinterest, “Story Pins can be saved to boards for later and will be discoverable over time. They’ll also be distributed across home feed, search results and places like the Today tab, and benefit from the visual discovery engine that matches new ideas to people with relevant interests and tastes.” Using the Pinterest camera, creators with access to Story pins can record videos, add multiple images as well as text with custom fonts. It’s also important to note that these Stories are contained within a pin and not on a separate Stories feed. Since the feature is still in the beta version, only a small number of creators have access to Story Pins yet.

3. Watch out for these new Reels updates on Instagram.

Looks like Instagram is already making updates to their new functionality Reels to allow longer videos and improved editing options. Previously, users had the option to record videos for only 15 seconds, but now Instagram has added the ability to record videos for 30 seconds. In addition to this, the company has extended the timer option to 10 seconds when users record their clips and also improved the trimming and deleting options to make editing a lot easier. Good to know that Instagram is listening to people’s feedback and making changes to the feature this early on since the initial launch.

4. Facebook announces the launch of a management tool for Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook announced the launch of their management tool, Facebook Business Suite, for a faster and easier way to manage business on Facebook and Instagram. Considering the dwindle in customers walking into stores due to the ongoing pandemic, small businesses are left to find new ways to sell and reach new customers. To help businesses save time and manage their pages and profiles across their apps, Facebook launched this all-in-one tool to help businesses post to Facebook and Instagram at the same time, and manage and receive messages, notifications, and alerts in one place. You also get Facebook and Instagram insights within the same tool to help you understand what’s working and what isn’t. While this is a pretty neat tool that covers the basic functions, you’ll probably need an even more comprehensive social media management platform if you really want to succeed with social… Okay, I’m done with the product plug, for now, have a nice day :)

5. Twitter shares insights on prompts that gets users to read content before retweeting.

It’s been a little over three months since Twitter launched a prompt that asked users to read the content in the article before retweeting it. Last week, Twitter shared insights into the effectiveness of the prompt and how it has changed user behaviors in the last three months. Turns out, people open articles 40% more often after seeing the prompt, and people opening articles before retweeting increased by 33%. Even better, some people didn’t end up retweeting after opening the article. Simple prompts like these could go a long way in curbing misinformation, amirite?

What were the top social media news in September? Scroll to find more of the latest updates:

1. New TikTok-like functionality from YouTube launched in India.

Well, well, well. If it isn’t yet another TikTok-like functionality making its way to the social media hub. Honestly, at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if LinkedIn or Reddit came up with their own version of creating short videos on their apps. As explained by YouTube, “Over the next few days in India, we’re launching an early beta of Shorts with a handful of new creation tools to test this out. This is an early version of the product, but we’re releasing it now to bring you—our global community of users, creators, and artists—on our journey with us as we build and improve Shorts. We’ll continue to add more features and expand to more countries in the coming month.” Much like TikTok and Reels, Shorts allows you to create 15-second video clips, add music of your choice, set to different recording options, and more. We really are spoilt for choices now, aren’t we?

2. Twitter tests audio clips in DMs.

While some of us (myself included) haven’t had a chance to try out audio clips yet, Twitter has already begun testing new options of the functionality. What we’ve heard through the grapevine is that Twitter is testing audio clips in DMs with users in Brazil. Much like how audio messages on Instagram DM work, you can record and send audio clips via direct messaging on Twitter. The audio clips in DMs are limited to a duration of 140 seconds, same as in audio tweets. We just can’t wait for the broader roll-out of this audio messaging option!

3. More news on the Oracle partnership with TikTok.

I’m so over the whole ‘who’s allowed to use TikTok now’ conversation but apparently, it’s not over yet. Of the many companies showing an interest in taking over TikTok, the latest company to join the buzz was Oracle. While Trump issued an executive order banning the app, it now looks like the White House will indeed support the decision of Oracle becoming a ‘trusted technology provider’ for ByteDance’s TikTok. The specifics of the deal are yet to be disclosed but the general belief is that Oracle will get to license TikTok’s technology from ByteDance rather than taking full ownership over it. And the plot thickens, again. Sigh.

4. Facebook launches ‘Facebook Campus’ to help students connect with fellow classmates.

Looks like Facebook is going back to their roots by launching a college-only space designed to help students connect with fellow classmates over shared interests. With campuses shifting to partial or full-time remote learning, students across the country will find it difficult to stay connected to their college life. But the launch of the Facebook Campus makes it easy to find and start conversations within their college community. Some key features include campus-only newsfeed, campus directory, real-time chat rooms, and more. We love this!

5. Twitter’s “Holiday Hub” to help marketers prepare for the holiday season.

Believe it or not, there’re just 99 days left for Christmas this year. Seriously, where the heck did all the time go?! 2020 was (and still is) just awful from the get-go and you all know why. But with cases reducing in many countries and advances in vaccine trials taking place as we speak, we could all use some holiday spirit and something to look forward to. That’s why Twitter launched the ‘Holiday Hub’ resource center to help marketers prepare for the upcoming holiday seasons. From inspiration for holiday ads to downloadable planning resources, Twitter’s got the full package to help marketers make the most out of the holiday season. A big thank you to Twitter for this amazing resource!

Hungry for more social media updates? Scroll on to read the latest industry updates!

1. Pinterest is building a more inclusive company.

You can’t be inspired if you don’t feel represented, can you? Pinterest takes the future of beauty to a whole new level with inclusive product updates. In a move to increase the utility of their product, Pinterest made new updates to skin tone ranges that allow users to discover products and tutorials personalized to individual skin tone, style, and preference. According to Pinterest, “the skin tone signal is now 3x as likely to detect multiple skin tone ranges in top search results, compared to previous technology.” We love this new update!

2. Snapchat launches new AR lenses in collaboration with TikTok influencers.

It seems like everybody (including every social media network) wants a piece of TikTok. This is true for Snapchat as well who just recently started collaborating with popular TikTok creators. Word on the street is that they’re building new augmented reality (AR) lenses to encourage users to participate in TikTok dance challenges using Snapchat. The idea is to make users add the lens effects to their video clips on Snapchat and then post the videos, made using Snapchat tools, to TikTok. Smart move, right?

3. LinkedIn outlines a new process to detect InMail harassment.

Unsolicited advances in any form are simply not acceptable. And for a career-oriented platform like LinkedIn, the last thing you want is for people, especially women, to be harassed with inappropriate messages on the platform. To curb InMail harassment, LinkedIn has built an algorithm to detect and hide inappropriate InMail messages. It’s a three-step process that first scans the sender’s behavior using a behavioral model, then scores the content from the message using a message model, and finally reads the interaction between the two members in the conversation using an interaction model.

4. Reels vs TikTok: Can Reels replicate what TikTok does best?

What TikTok does best is to deliver content in such a way that doesn’t involve too much thinking. It removes the paradox of choice. Unlike Instagram, users aren’t spoiled for choices. The central focus of TikTok lies in watching and creating fun short clips. But that’s not the case on Instagram. Instagram Reels is just one of many functions that Instagram provides for its users and is often not the first thing that you see when you open the app. While Reels makes people go seek out that function, TikTok does a fine job at surfacing the content without any manual work. Could this pose a problem to Reels in making people switch to using their competitive service? Can Reels replicate what TikTok does best? We don’t know!

5. Facebook cleans up their ad targeting options due to low usage.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has removed certain ad targeting options. In 2018, Facebook removed over 5,000 ad targeting options to protect people from discriminating with advertising on Facebook. This time, there are other reasons. Facebook announced the removal of over 1,000 ad targeting options due to low usage. As explained by Facebook, “As part of our latest efforts to simplify and streamline our targeting options, we’ve identified cases where advertisers – of all sizes and industries – rarely use various targeting options. Infrequent use maybe because some of the targeting options are redundant with others or because they’re too granular to really be useful. So, we’re removing some of these options.” Facebook has assured us that these changes will not have any impact for the majority of advertisers and that there’s still plenty of options available to target your ads.

Hungry for more social media updates? Scroll on to read the latest industry updates!

1. You can now play official music videos on Facebook.

The music video experience on Facebook just got a whole lot better as the app introduced new Music Video Playlists on Facebook Watch in the U.S. As explained by Facebook, ”Today, we’re adding a new way for people to come together around music by bringing official music videos to Facebook in the US. Starting this weekend, you’ll be able to discover, watch, and share music videos from today’s top artists to up-and-coming bands and classics across various music genres on Facebook.” Like with any Facebook video, you can like, share, and comment on them across News Feed, Groups, and Messenger. Facebook also added that “you can discover new artists from music videos shared by friends in News Feed, connect with fans who share your passion in a Facebook Group dedicated to your favorite artist, and react to a video in real-time as it premieres.” Pretty cool, right?

2. Snapchat released its first-ever CitizenSnap report.

Snapchat’s first-ever CitizenSnap report outlines the social and environmental initiatives the app has taken over the past year. The report is split into three areas of focus: society, planet, and people, and lists the efforts taken by Snapchat in each of these key areas. Now, to give you a few examples… Snapchat globalized their voting initiatives and activated a campaign for the EU elections that boosted youth voter participation in the 28 member states. They also reduced disposables in their cafeterias by 29%. The app prioritized bullying prevention, mental health, and suicide prevention on the Snapchat platform. Snapchat increased the diversity of its leadership team and committed to paying a robust living wage to all employees, regardless of job function. Trust me, this is just the tip of the iceberg! For a full overview of the report, click the link here.

3. What happens to TikTok now?

Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States is ”looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, and added that they are taking it “very seriously”. Looks like they did in fact take it very seriously as this week President Donald Trump said (well, threatened) that he would get TikTok “banned as early as tomorrow” in an official statement. In response to the threat from the President, TikTok released an official statement saying that the company is committed to protecting their users’ privacy and safety and added that TikTok US user data is stored in the US with strict controls on employee access. TikTok also mentioned that the app had created jobs to 1,000 people in the last year alone and has a plan of hiring 10,000 more people in the U.S. To give you some more tea on this speculation, Microsoft released an official statement stating the company is seeking a buy-out of TikTok and is continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including the President. After the discussion, it was revealed that TikTok has until September 15 to sell its business and become American-owned.

4. TikTok creators are getting lucrative offers from Facebook.

Well, well, well. Looks like Facebook is trying to make the most out of the ongoing TikTok speculation by offering lucrative offers to TikTok creators. Facebook-owned Instagram couldn’t have launched their TikTok-like functionality Reels at a better time. With TikTok’s future hanging by the thread, Facebook decided to sweep in and offer financial incentives to the TikTok creators, asking them to share their content on Instagram’s competitive service, Reels as an alternative option. As confirmed by Instagram, Reels will soon be rolled out to most regions in August, while the functionality is already available in India, Brazil, Germany, and France.

5. LinkedIn publishes a new guide to help companies recover post COVID-19.

Sooner or later, the pandemic situation is bound to end, right? While we might not know the exact day and time when WHO will declare planet Earth corona free, we all know that things will eventually get better. (They should, I’m losing it here!). When that day finally comes, the last thing you want is to be unprepared to tackle the business world post COVID-19. That’s why LinkedIn published a new eBook that covers the latest trends, tools, and market research to help businesses plan for a strong recovery. From brand building and strategic planning, to change management and media planning, the guide covers key areas and best practices for driving growth and ROI.

What were the top social media news in July? Scroll to find more of the latest updates:

1. Snapchat launches its first Mini app.

As promised during the 2020 Snap Partner Summit in June, Snapchat this week launched the first of its Mini apps with tools from the meditation app Headspace. This new micro-version app built within the Snapchat platform allows users to engage with friends in meditation sessions together. Users can find six three-to-four minute meditations from Headspace to choose from, including “Just Breathe,” “Get out of a funk,” “Kick the panic,” “Be nice to you,” “Pressure to succeed,” and “Me time.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to the “Me time” session!

2. Touch ID and Face ID lock options to be rolled out in Facebook Messenger.

Worried that people might snoop on your Messenger chats? Well, if you’re an iOS user, you can now breathe a sigh of relief as Facebook has just rolled out Touch ID and Face ID lock options for Messenger. iOS users also have the option to choose a time frame after which they’ll have to unlock again with Face/Touch ID. This new addition to Messenger clearly indicates that Facebook is going ahead with the plan to expand end-to-end encryption across the Messenger platform despite warnings over crime.

3. Facebook to add new labels to posts mentioning voting from politicians.

The next time you see a post on Facebook mentioning anything to do with voting or ballots, be sure to notice the “Get Voting Information” CTA at the bottom of such posts. When you click on this newly added label by Facebook, you will be taken to the official USA.gov website, which outlines a ton of questions and answers related to the voting process. We all know that Facebook’s inaction towards President Donald Trump’s controversial statement on the #BlackLivesMatter movement earned the company heavy backlash from civil rights groups and brands. So, if you ask me, this is a pretty significant move from Facebook to tackle the criticisms the company has been receiving for its hands-off approach to political statements.

4. Instagram shares a list of top hashtags on posts about racial justice.

In its ongoing effort to ensure Black voices are heard and build a more inclusive product, Instagram shared a list of top hashtags from the past couple of months related to social justice on Instagram. The listing provides great insights into the conversations people are having on the app around social justice, which can be of great use to people who are looking to engage with or monitor such conversations. Among various measures, Instagram is also taking a harder look at how their product impacts communities differently, specifically around harassment, account verification, content distribution, and algorithm bias.

5. Pinterest shares a new guide on effective Pinterest marketing in 2020.

For those of you who wish to step up your Pinterest game this year, you need to read their new guide on Pinterest Advertising. The guide covers everything from reaching the right audience at the right moment, mapping Pinterest marketing solutions to client objectives, to choosing the most effective campaign type to set yourself up for success. The report says that Pinterest engagement hit an all-time high globally in 2020 and that 9 in 10 weekly Pinners used Pinterest for inspiration in a recent purchase. Interesting, isn’t it? You can download the full guide here and share it with your team to strategize your next big Pinterest marketing campaign.

Hungry for more social media updates? Scroll on to read the latest industry updates!

1. India gets Tik Tok-like functionality from Instagram.

In case you missed it, earlier this month the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps including Tik Tok because of border tension with China. Translation? Tik Tok just lost a little over 120 million monthly users from India. Bummer, right? Well, yes, for Tik Tok but not for Instagram though. Instagram just launched a Tik Tok like functionality called Reels that allows users to create fun and engaging videos that last up to 15 seconds which you share like stories. There’s even a music library from which you can choose your favorite track and add it to your short clips. Well played, Instagram. Well played.

2. Possibly the U.S. could be banning Tik Tok too.

Now this is brand new information even for me! But then again, this is not the first time the U.S. government is concerned about the safety of its people’s private information being in the hands of China, right? Earlier this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States is “looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including Tik Tok, and added that they are taking it “very seriously”. Looks like Tik Tok might have to face yet another roadblock real soon.

3. Twitter is testing collaborative fleets.

While it hasn’t been too long since the launch of Fleets, Twitter’s very own story-feature has yet to be rolled out in most regions. To further rock the boat, Twitter just announced that they’re working on a collaborative fleets function. This functionality would enable two contributors to engage and co-create double-bubble fleets. This is a cool idea that I think will come in handy when two brands engage in co-branding or collaborative campaigns. Can’t wait to see what will come out of this one.

4. Instagram tests the “Shop” tab feature with a select group of users.

For those of you who missed out on Instagram’s announcement of the shop functionality, here’s what it means: With Instagram shop, you can browse selections from your favorite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and buy products you love all via the Instagram Explore tab. Instagram also added that they’re looking into adding a new shop tab in the navigation bar, so you can get to Instagram Shop in just one tap. Well, it looks Instagram has made progress with that last part as the app has officially begun testing the shop tab in the navigation bar with a select group of people. How cool is that??

5. New prompts on Facebook urges people to wear a mask.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase in the U.S., Facebook this week added new prompts that urge people to wear a mask when they leave their homes. Now, that’s a sentence I never imagined typing even in my wildest dreams! To quote Facebook, “With the rise in COVID-19 cases in the US, we’re putting an alert at the top of Facebook and Instagram to remind everyone to wear face coverings and find more prevention tips from the CDC in our COVID-19 Information Center.” Seriously people, just wear a damn mask already!

What were the top social media news in June? Scroll to find more of the latest updates:

1. Brands and civil rights groups join the #StopHateForProfit campaign.

We all know what happened after President Donald Trump’s controversial statement on the #BlackLivesMatter movement blew up on social media. While Twitter chose to put a warning on the President’s tweet, Facebook chose not to respond. Facebook’s inaction in this case has made a group of civil rights groups and brands hit pause on all paid advertising on Facebook. A campaign in the name of #StopHateForProfit was launched to call on major advertisers to pause their Facebook ad spend in July. As explained by StopHateforProfit.org, “We are asking all businesses to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality, and justice and not advertise on Facebook’s services in July.”

2. You can now tweet your voice.

Tired of typing your tweets? Worry no more. It’s now possible to record and tweet with voice tweets! After giving us sneak peeks of test versions of audio clips, Twitter has finally rolled out the option to tweet audio clips for up to 140 seconds for iOS users. If you, like me, can’t wrap up your train of thoughts under 140 seconds, Twitter allows you to start a new voice Tweet automatically and so create a thread of voice tweets. Exciting as it is to have an option to send out voice tweets, can you imagine having to listen to your own voice on Twitter? *Shudders*.

3. Google launches a Pinterest-style app called Keen.

While there is a stark difference in the monthly active users(MAU) on Pinterest (367 million MAU) versus Google (2 billion MAU), Google knows that Pinterest is growing in popularity. Hence, Google decided to launch a new app called Keen. To quote Google, Keen is, “a place to grow and share your interests with loved ones and find things that will help in making this precious life count.” Google also added that Keen allows you to “curate the content you love, share your collection with others, and find new content based on what you have saved.” So yeah, if you ask me, this does sound a lot like an app that starts with P and ends in T — and has an interes in the middle. But that’s just one woman’s opinion.

4. Pinterest shares insights on e-commerce behaviors.

Speaking of Pinterest. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many changes in ways we didn’t think was possible. For instance, who would have thought that online grocery shopping would be an absolute necessity to keep ourselves alive and socially distant from others? In fact, a recent study from Pinterest on emerging e-commerce behaviors revealed that pinners are now more likely to grocery shop online — and spend more too. The study revealed that the number of online purchases from Pinterest increased by nearly 70% from March to February and that an estimated 50% of all US consumers have now grocery-shopped online — a whopping 40% increase from last year.

5. Snapchat launches a certification course on advertising essentials.

For advertisers and agencies who are always trying to stay on top of Snapchat advertising, a new learning portal called ‘Snap Focus’ is here to makes things easy for you. As explained by Snapchat, “The Snap Focus curriculum features six courses that will give you a foundational understanding of Snapchat, the Snapchat Generation, advertising formats and opportunities, how to deploy media and creative campaigns in Ads Manager, and creative best practices.” You can either choose to complete the entire certification or hone in on the courses that matter most to you. And guess what? It’s absolutely free. Enjoy learning!

Scroll on to find more of the latest social media news stories!

1. LinkedIn offers free courses in diversity.

With everything that’s going on right now, I think we all could stand to learn a thing or two about how we build a better workplace and society. This week, LinkedIn shared the company’s decision to offer free courses on how to create more inclusivity and build a sense of belonging in the workplace. The course covers topics such as Skills for Inclusive Conversations, Communicating about Culturally Sensitive Issues, and Confronting Bias: Thriving Across Our Differences, to name a few. This initiative calls for a huge shout out to LinkedIn for providing us with the resources in moving toward a better world.

2. YouTube adds new features to boost channel performance and merchandise sales.

YouTube is launching its own version of a Google Analytics-like performance overview which will display subscriber count, watch time, views, and revenue performance within a single dashboard. The platform also released a ‘Live Alerts for Merch’ feature, which will promote the merchandise sales within the comments thread during a live stream. With live stream viewing increasing in popularity during the COVID-19 lockdowns, this feature is seen as a welcome move by creators to help them promote their merch sales and boost their revenue. Way to go, YouTube! 🙌

3. Facebook’s Manage Activity feature gets a refresh.

Is it just me or does everyone else also cringe when Facebook reminds you of the stuff you posted 10 years ago? I’ll take that as a yes. I mean, it is fun to look at the stuff your younger self posted but you kind of want to keep that to yourself, right? Here’s where Facebook’s archive feature comes in handy. For content you no longer want others to see on Facebook, but still want to keep for yourself, can now be archived in the manage activity tab. Phew! According to Facebook; “Manage Activity also allows you to move posts you no longer want to the trash. Posts sent to the trash will stay there for 30 days before being deleted unless you choose to manually delete or restore them before then.”

4. Twitter is guiding people to take action against racial inequality.

Learn. Ask. Show up. Speak up. These are the golden rules that Twitter provides on how to act and respond to the racial inequality prevailing in the society. According to Twitter, the first step is to “understand the historical and structural contexts that have led to racism and discrimination that are so ingrained in society.” To help with that, Twitter also shared resources like ‘Anti-Racism Resource Guide’, ‘How to be an Anti-Racist’, and a few others. Twitter advises people to speak up and “address anti-Black sentiments when you see them and discuss the violence and injustice that Black communities face” with friends and family, in meetings, and on social media. It’s important we stand up for what’s right and there’s no time like the present.

5. Instagram is testing a ‘double-story stories’ feed.

Seeing double? Don’t worry, your vision is just fine! Instagram is testing a new format for stories that will feature them more prominently in your feed. A double-story stories feed might be the new normal for stories if the test results come back with positive responses. For all we know, this could either be a fun experiment that Instagram is testing out or a clear indication that the app is moving towards a stories feed approach. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. What are your thoughts on this new format? Yay or nay?

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