Happy December! It’s been a hectic year, but luckily, social giants have some news & updates for the last few days. We can see that their biggest news have been already introduced for Black Friday, but it’s safe to say, we won’t be bored in the last month either. Let’s dive into them!
Every news starts with a short summary with the key points, however, if you are willing to dive deeper into a certain topic, you can always find an additional link for further reference.
1. Facebook(Meta) ordered to sell GIPHY
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority ordered Facebook’s parent company Meta to sell its GIF search engine GIPHY. The service has been used on various platforms including Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. The reason for the order is that by the acquisition Facebook reduces competition between social platforms. This move can be important because it is the first time regulators are ordering a social company to sell one of its acquisitions.
2. Microsoft Edge is making Buy Now, Pay Later option the default
Microsoft has introduced a third-party feature called “Zip” that enables users to pay payments between $35 and $1,000 in 4 installments, interest-fee, only with a $1 fee added for each payment. Now, they made it the default in the browser, and it’s really hard to turn it off – that’s why users and merchants don’t like this option. Microsoft is dedicated to turn it into the “best browser for shopping”, however, since users are quite unhappy with recent updates, we’re yet to see their reaction.
3. Now users can use disappearing messages by default on WhatsApp
Meta for Business
WhatsApp definitely has a growing popularity in some countries as users appreciate its respect towards privacy – and that’s why WhatsApp also tries to help businesses to make it easier for them to reach their customers on the platform. In a new update, WhatsApp makes another move to support users privacy – after introducing disappearing messages (and pictures) earlier this year, now they made it one of the default settings. Users can now turn on disappearing messages (after 24 hours, a week, 90 days) as a default in all of their 1-on-1 messages.
4. #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt: TikTok’s holiday gift guide
TikTok for Business
After generating a huge boom in early 2020, TikTok tried to improve its platform in 2021, mainly its monetization strategy. While for ecommerce businesses, Facebook offers a smoother experience (e.g. Instagram Shops), TikTok tries to keep up with the pace, and since not just trends get popular on the platform but also products can be advertised very efficiently, they introduced the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, a collection of the most popular products from the platform. It’s available under http://tiktokgiftguide.com/.
5. Spotify testing with a vertical Discover feed
As TikTok’s popularity and engagement hours soar, other platforms are experimenting with similar features. We could see it on Instagram and Facebook, and now lately Spotify has been testing a Discover feed – where users can listen to new music in a vertical feed, swiping up and down amongst them. Although Spotify hasn’t commented further, they agreed that they’re running several tests – the feature has been spotted on an iOS Beta application. It’s also worth noting that Netflix has been testing a similar feature this year as well.
6. Live Shopping is introduced on Twitter
Instagram has been experimenting with interactive Live Shopping sessions since earlier this year, and now in preparation for the holiday season, Twitter introduced its own version of the feature. In a livestream, users have the option to check out the shoppable banner and shop tab on the live event’s page, toggle between the “latest” and “shop” tabs to not miss a single thing and be a part of the conversation while looking at products, and also Continue to watch the livestream on the merchant’s website within an in-app browser, so they don’t miss a thing while making a purchase. They kicked off the very first Twitter Live Shopping event in a collaboration with Walmart on Cyber Monday with special guest star Jason Derulo, a nice boost for the holiday season.
7. Instagram is Testing 1-minute long Stories
Social Media Today
While for a long time, a shorter format on social media sites was definitely winning, social giants are now experimenting with a bit longer formats – we could see this after TikTok changed it’s limit from 1 minute to 3, and now Instagram changed its limit for Stories from 15 seconds to 1 minute. This could mean that from now on, a 1-minute long video won’t be cut into 4 different pieces after posting, but it’ll appear as one Story. The function is now being tested with selected users. We can see how Instagram is trying to keep up with TikTok: on Tiktok, basically you have just 1 endless feed with videos, that makes it super easy to navigate, while on Instagram, you have Posts, Stories, Reels (IGTV) – and with this move, there’s a chance for Reels to appear amongst Stories. It’ll be definitely interesting to see how Instagram redesigns its platform to make it more easier to navigate.
8. YouTube is pushing it’s TikTok-rival feature Shorts
As an answer to TikTok, YouTube launched it’s vertical, short-format video feature called Shorts over a year ago, and has expanded with the feature over the course of 2021. Now it’s giving the feature another push by taking app users directly to Shorts after opening the app – but only if they were watching Shorts right before exiting. In other words, it’s testing whether users prefer to continue where they left off before exiting the app.
9. Google Ads introduces new features on the Insights page
To help advertisers plan ahead and understand consumer behavior better, Google Ads has rolled out with some new features. Demand forecast uses past search trends and machine learning and helps you to plan ahead for the next 6 months. Consumer interest insights helps you to understand how your customers find your website: it aggregates the top-performing search query themes that drive performance in your campaigns. You can see the amount of people who searched for each theme, its growth and how it performed in your account. Audience insights lets you understand the interests and agginites of your customers – for example, which creative resonates with them the most. Change history and auction insights enables advertisers to understand how shifts in auction competition or changes made in their account impacted campaign performance.
10. Facebook’s Topic Exclusions Rolls out to more advertisers
Search Engine Land
Facebook has introduced its feature to offer more brand safety to its advertisers by making sure their advertisements won’t appear next to certain topics back in January 2021, and so far, the tests have been successful, they didn’t appear next to chosen topics in 94% of the cases. Now they expand the tests to a limited number of advertisers running campaigns in English. With this feature, businesses can make sure their ads don’t appear next to posts about New, Politics, Tragedy, Conflict or Debated Social Issues. This provides businesses more safety and authenticity.