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Glue’s Monthly Social Media Round-Up: The Latest Trends and Updates

May 25, 2023

Welcome to Glue and the first instalment in our series of monthly social media round-ups. In this regular blog format, we will be sharing some of the most notable news from the social media and marketing worlds from the last month to help you keep informed and up to date on the latest trends, updates and launches.

Social media is constantly changing, with fresh updates and regulation changes coming around at an often-alarming rate. Staying in the know is crucial for implementing the most effective social media strategy for your business – and that’s where we come in. Take a look at the most recent updates from the last month below!

  1. Meta has announced that it will be launching Broadcast Channels - “a new way for creators to deepen connections with followers”

One of the biggest players in the social media world, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp recently announced that it will be launching “Broadcast Channels”. According to the technology conglomerate, the feature, which will first be rolled out on Instagram, will allow users to interact with their followers on a “one-to-many” basis.

The feature is being touted as a way for creators to broadcast updates and share behind-the-scenes content with their followers, including text, photos, videos, voice notes, and polls. The first “broadcast” was sent out by Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg via the aptly named “Meta Channel”.

According to Meta, the feature is currently only open to a handful of creators in the US, however, in the coming months, we will likely see Broadcast Channels and additional features being rolled out more widely.

  1. Twitter has introduced longer tweets (with up to 4,000 characters) to Twitter Blue users in the US

Arguably one of the most talked-about irritants for social media users over the years has been the character limit applied to Tweets. Content creators, politicians, celebrities and the Average Joe alike have likely, at some point or another, become ridiculously frustrated while trying to cut down their text to fit within the 280-character limit.

The latest change rolled out by the networking service has finally addressed this bugbear – albeit, only for its US-based paying subscribers at this time. For those of us who live outside the US, whether Twitter Blue users or not, it remains unclear when – or indeed, if – we will be able to access the feature.

  1. Meta is developing a new text-based networking app to rival Twitter and Mastodon

In mid-March, it was revealed that Meta was working on a “new Twitter” to add to its plethora of social media platforms. Speaking with the BBC, a spokesperson for Meta explained that the tech company is “exploring a standalone decentralised social network for sharing text updates.

“We believe there’s an opportunity for a separate space where creators and public figures can share timely updates about their interests,” they explained.

The timely move could suggest that Meta is looking to take advantage of the ongoing chaos at Twitter which was taken over by Elon Musk last year. Since the takeover, significant cost-cutting was announced on many aspects of the platform while a paid account verification feature was also rolled out. Like Mastodon, the new Meta venture would be decentralised, meaning that it cannot be run by a single entity or bought or sold.

  1. Instagram is testing full-length reel replays in Stories

We’ve all been there: zoning out on Instagram stories and inadvertently being drawn in by a shared reel, only for it to be cut off at the crucial moment... Well, according to recent reports, some users are now seeing full (up to 60 seconds) reels on stories instead of just a 15-second cut!

It appears that this latest update is a continuation of Instagram’s (and Meta’s) focus on reels which have been extremely successful at keeping users in the app for longer. Over the last couple of years, reels have undoubtedly become a major part of Instagram’s format, though not everyone is pleased with the shift away from photo content.

In January, a number of creators and celebrities (including Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner) even signed a petition to ‘Make Instagram Instagram Again’. Still, it looks like reels are here to stay – and be more widely shared than ever!

  1. Facebook is testing the re-integration of the Messenger inbox into the Facebook app

Nine years ago, countless Facebook users from around the world were suddenly told that, if they wanted to maintain their Facebook messaging chats, they would soon have to download a new app – Messenger. For obvious reasons, this wasn’t Meta’s (then-Facebook's) most popular change; however, many people have now gotten used to communicating across the two apps.

Nonetheless, according to an update from Facebook chief Tom Alison, the platform is looking into the possibility of once again bringing Messenger back under the umbrella of the Facebook app.

He explained: “On Instagram, people already reshare Reels nearly 1 billion times daily through DMs and on Facebook we see private sharing of Reels growing strongly as well. We are testing the ability for people to access their Messenger inbox within the Facebook app, and you’ll see us expand this testing soon.”

  1. YouTube announces a number of new features, including Podcast analytics and Hashtag recommendations

Consistently ranked as the top video-sharing platform in the UK and much of the rest of the world, YouTube has also been at the forefront of Podcast circulation for years. In its latest round of updates, YouTube appears to be leaning into the continued global success of podcasts.

Creators on the platform will now be able to create new podcasts directly in YouTube Studio and to designate existing playlists as a podcast. According to Creator Insider, “the goal of organising your videos into a podcast on YouTube is increased discoverability across YouTube Main.”

YouTube also launched Podcast-specific Analytics which will be distinct from the current analytics offered. Insights will reportedly include aggregated metrics across videos, insights on how viewers find your podcast, demographics and revenue analytics.

So, there you have it – the latest updates in the social media world from the last month! Be sure to check back with us next month when we’ll continue to keep you up to date with everything you need to know about the latest social media trends and changes.

By Emily Ledger

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