“The social media world is boring”
Said nobody ever!
Because let’s face it — the tech industry is many things. Fast-moving, unpredictable, thrilling, and sometimes a little pretentious (but in a charming way!)
But, boring is definitely not one of those things.
We’re only just into the second quarter of 2021 and we’ve already seen some radical disruption (hey, we’re not above the pretentiousness!) in the social media landscape. Like, who would have predicted that Clubhouse (an app that’s all audio and no video) would be shaping up to the biggest newcomer of the year?
And, the innovation just keeps on coming. From TWO new players in the live audio game to Remixes on Reels to new ways to collaborate on Instagram here are the latest social media updates you need to know about.
LinkedIn is launching its own version of Clubhouse
If this feels like groundhog day, it’s because LinkedIn isn’t the first platform to attempt their own answer to Clubhouse. Twitter gave it a crack with their recently launched ‘Spaces’ now in beta testing. Now, everyone’s favorite (read: only) professional networking platform is jumping on the bandwagon, too. LinkedIn recently announced that they’re testing an audio feature that would allow creators to network and communicate via audio chat. So, how is it different? LinkedIn believes that it’s differentiated due to the accounts being linked to a users’ professional identity, not just a social profile.
“We’re seeing nearly 50% growth in conversations on LinkedIn reflected in stories, video shares, and posts on the platform,” Suzi Owens, a spokesperson for LinkedIn. “We’re doing some early tests to create a unique audio experience connected to your professional identity. And, we’re looking at how we can bring audio to other parts of LinkedIn such as events and groups, to give our members even more ways to connect to their community,” she said.
It comes as the platform has also started formally rolling out its ‘creator mode’, which will allow LinkedIn users to follow and get updates from their favorite creators. While we don’t know when these audio features will launch, it looks like LinkedIn are well on their way to becoming the go-to platform for thought leadership!
….And so is Spotify
Yep, the streaming platform is expanding into the live audio world, too! The platform recently announced that they’ve acquired Betty Labs, the company behind popular sports audio app Locker Room. The new feature will allow creators to connect in real-time and directly communicate with their audience, including answering questions.
Gustav Söderström, chief R&D officer at Spotify, told The Verge that anyone will be able to host conversations on Spotify, not just approved creators. However, he also hinted that monetization options for creators may be available down the track, meaning that you may be able to charge for conversations.
Given that many people already record their conversations on Clubhouse and Twitter spaces, we think it’s a smart move from Spotify that’s going to streamline the process!
You can now monetize your Clubhouse content
Speaking of Clubhouse, it seems the platform has found a way to incentivise users to stay on the platform (vs. switching over to LinkedIn or Spotify’s alternatives) They’re rolling out their first monetization tool, which will allow users to give coins to their favorite Clubhousers to thank them for their content. And, unlike many other social platforms that offer monetization, Clubhouse won’t take a cut. That means creators will pocket 100% of their earnings!
Currently, Clubhouse is rolling this account out in batches, “starting with a small test group,” according to a spokesperson. To pay a Clubhouse creator who is eligible to receive receive payments, click on their profile, then tap ‘Send Money.’ From there, choose how much you want to send them. It’s a great way to spread the good Clubhouse karma!
Reels is introducing remixes
Can we get a r-r-r-r-remix? We can now, thanks to Reels’ newest feature! Instagram’s answer to TikTok’s ‘Duets’ tool is the newest way to collab on the platform. When you watch someone else’s Reel, you’ll now be able to hit ‘Duets’ and film your own reaction or response to it.
To use this ‘Reels’ click the three-dot menu on a reel and tap ‘Remix this Reel.’ From here, you’ll be able to film your reel or upload pre-recorded footage. You can also adjust the volume for the original audio or your recorded audio or add your own voiceover. You’ll only be able to remix new Reels that have this feature enabled automatically. But the good news is, if you have a new Reel you want to allow people to remix, you can turn that on by tapping that three dot menu on your own video and selecting ‘Enable Remixing’
As with any of their new features, word on the street that Instagram is pushing Remixes pretty hard right now. So, getting your remix on is a great way to get more engagement, visibility and interaction on your new and existing Reels.
YouTube is testing getting rid of dislikes
There’s no doubt that social media platforms have made a serious effort to make their apps a more positive and inclusive space in recent years — such as Instagram removing visible ‘likes’ counts in some countries. In light of this, the ability to ‘dislike’ a video or comment on YouTube feels like a bit of a relic from the past.
So, with this in mind, YouTube’s latest move feels like a positive step forward. The platform recently announced that they’re experimenting with hiding dislikes to discourage ‘dislike mobs’ from intentionally thumbs-downing videos from creators and channels.
While both likes and dislikes will still be visible in the creator studio, the update would mean that bullies will no longer be able to purposely incite shaming or sabotage a creator’s livelihood. Good riddance, we say, as dislikes don’t really bring anything productive to the table.
“In response to creator feedback around well-being and targeted dislike campaigns, we’re testing a few new designs that don’t show the public dislike count. If you’re part of this small experiment, you might spot one of these designs in the coming weeks,” the platform said in a statement on Twitter.
Hopefully, it takes off, as this is one update we’re wholeheartedly on board with!
Instagram is testing ‘drafts’
There’s nothing worse than starting to create an Instagram story… only to get interrupted by another task or lose your internet and have to start from scratch again.
Plus, sometimes when you’re creating content for stories, you don’t necessarily want to shoot and edit all in one go — you want to be able to come back to it. For this reason, creators and influencers have been begging Instagram for stories drafts for years.
And now it seems their prayers have finally been answered! The platform recently made a surprise announcement that ‘something exciting is coming’, hinting that ‘you’ll soon be able to finish what you started with Instagram stories drafts.’
Developer Alessandro Paluzzi digged a little deeper into this upcoming feature, discovering that when you go to leave your story the platform will now prompt you with an option to ‘save draft.’ It looks like that story will then live in a hub of drafts that you can always come back and complete later.
While it may be a small change, it’s one that’s likely to delight Instagram users and help the platform compete with TikTok (who already have this feature) As of yet, there’s no official date as to when this will be rolled out, so be sure to keep an eye out!
Instagram is testing an icon for reshares
It’s no secret that Instagram has been a bit iffy on their ‘reshares’ feature as of late. Recently, it was revealed that they were testing getting rid of the ability to reshare other people’s stories altogether — much to the chagrin of many users.
But now, it seems they may have found a nice middle ground. Some users have spotted a ‘created with Reels’ tag that indicates when Reels have been reshared from the main feed. Previously, this type of tag has only been applied to sponsored content.
TBH, we wouldn’t even mind if there was a huge banner across the story if it meant we got to keep reshares! It’s such a quick and handy way to make sure you’re consistently sharing stories, even on a slow content day.
Facebook is removing analytics
In news that has shocked the tech community, Facebook have announced that they are retiring analytics! In a statement published on their Facebook for Business Help Centre, they quietly announced that their analytics feature will only be available for three more months.
“Facebook Analytics will no longer be available after June 30, 2021. Until then, you will still be able to access reports, export charts and tables, and explore insights. To export data into a CSV file from Facebook Analytics on your desktop, click the arrow in the top-right corner of each chart or table” the statement reads.
While the platform doesn’t give a reason for the sudden change, it seems they’re trying to make Facebook Business Suite a one-stop shop for managing their Facebook, Instagram and Messenger business needs. But while the announcement points to Facebook Business Suite, Ads Manager and Events Manager as potential alternatives, none of these options offer as robust data as Facebook Analytics.
This news is a great reminder important it is to not put all your tools in one basket, and to use a solid scheduling tool that gives you in-depth insights into your account performance (cough: Plann for Instagram) After all, you never know when a platform is going to pull a swifty and remove something you rely on!
We keep up with the latest social media news, so we can tell you what’s working online and what’s no longer worth your effort. Make sure you’re on our list so you can never miss a new feature, update or algorithm change!