ICYMI: Social Media News April 2023

April 4, 2023
By
Kyra Goodman

The latest social media news. What happened and what it means for your business and your clients April 2023.

April 14 Update

Meta launches new Reels features, your Instagram bio can now have 5 links, users can replace Reels audio that's no longer available, Twitter Inc. is now X Corp., Twitter will publicly label tweets that violate policies, Montana passes legislation to ban TikTok (but it still needs to be signed in and will face legal issues), LinkedIn launches new free verification options, Meta enters into a $725 million settlement.

Instagram News

What happened:

Meta launches a bunch of new Reels features including improved editing capabilities, a dedicated destination to see trends, new Reels insights and improved + expanded gifts.

What this means for you + clients:

We're still waiting for these to fully rollout and it's unclear if business accounts will get all of these features or just creator accounts.

  • Improved editing capabilities: Instagram is bringing together all of the video, audio, text, and sticker elements onto one editing screen so that you can better align and time your elements. They say that they're investing more into the editing side of Reels so keep an eye out.
  • Find out what's trending: In your professional dashboard, there's now a dedicated spot to find out what's trending in Reels. You'll be able to see trending audio, topics and hashtags.
  • New Reels insights: Instagram is adding two new metrics: total watch time and average watch time. Total watch time captures the total amount of time your reel was played, including any time spent replaying the reel. Average watch time captures the average amount of time spent playing your reel, calculated by dividing watch time with the number of total plays. Plus now it's easier to see your insights while viewing your Reels directly.
  • Improving and expanding gifts: Instagram is expanding the ability to send gifts to creators to more countries. They're also adding a feature to show you which fans have sent you a gift so you can recognize your supporters.

What happened:

Users can now add up to five links in their Instagram bio.

What this means for you + clients:

You're probably using a link in bio tool (like Sked Link from Sked Social) so this doesn't mean much. It's nice to have the option to have more links, but link in bio tools offer way more customization like color selections, clickable galleries and UTM tracking.

What happened:

Isn't it such a pain when one of your old Reels audios get deleted and it no longer has sound? Well now when this happens, users can replace the audio.

What this means for you + clients:

This option is better than deleting a Reel that lost its audio. Note that you can only change the audio one time though and you can only replace it with music from Instagram's library.

Twitter News

What happened:

Twitter provides an update on their enforcement policy claiming ‘Freedom of Speech, not Freedom of Reach.’

What this means for you + clients:

Twitter says they are trying to be more transparent with their visibility filtering (ie restricting the reach of Tweets that violate policies by making the content less discoverable). Soon they'll add publicly visible labels to Tweets identified as potentially violating policies letting you know that Twitter has limited the visibility of the tweet.

Tweets with these labels will be made less discoverable and they will not place ads adjacent to content that they label. Currently these labels only apply to a set of Tweets that potentially violate the Hateful Conduct policy but they say they're going to expand in the coming months.

What happened:

Twitter Inc. is now X Corp.

What this means for you + clients:

Twitter as a social media platform will still be known as Twitter, they're just now conducting official business under the name X Corp. This change doesn't affect users hardly at all but you may see the new name reflected on billing info.

TikTok News

What happened:

Montana has become the first US state to pass legislation banning TikTok.

What this means for you + clients:

Nothing yet! The governor of Montana still has to sign the bill into law (which reports say that he declined to say whether he would or not). As it stands, the legislation doesn't prevent people from using the app but makes it illegal to offer TikTok on the app stores. Even if it does get signed in, the bill will be challenged legally. TikTok told Politico that they “will continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach.”

LinkedIn News

What happened:

LinkedIn rolls out new FREE verification options that allows users to prove identity and employment.

What this means for you + clients:

While every other social media platform seems to be rolling out paid verification subscriptions, LinkedIn is providing away for users to prove their identity and employment (and get a verified badge) for free! The verification options include:

  • Verify your identity with CLEAR and show it on your LinkedIn profile
  • Verify where you work with your company email - currently only 4,000 companies are eligible for this
  • Verify where you work with Microsoft Entra - this program issues digital workplace IDs for free

Meta News

What happened:

Meta has agreed to enter into a $725 million settlement covering numerous lawsuits.

What this means for you + clients:

This might be good news for you! You may be eligible to claim some of that settlement money. U.S. residents who used Facebook between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, can file a monetary claim by filling out some basic info on the claim site. You have until August 25, 2023 at 11:59 PM PT to file your claim.

In other news...

💸 Twitter adds more 'government-funded' media labels to global news outlets

🏆 YouTube TV wins first technical Emmy for 'Views' feature

🚫 Microsoft drops Twitter from its advertising platform

📃 Twitter removes transgender protections from hateful conduct policy

☁️ Jack Dorsey-backed Twitter alternative Bluesy hits Android

April 1 Update

TikTok has been fined £12.7m by UK watchdog for misusing children's data, Facebook adds ‘broadcast’ channel chat option for Groups, Australia bans TikTok on government devices, LinkedIn is testing ‘Suggested’ posts in users’ feeds, Instagram NFTs will be deactivated on 11 April, TikTok is rolling out an ‘edit post’ button, users can now @mention user in Instagram Notes, Meta launches new Reels ad options, Twitter changes their logo to Doge, takes their algorithm open-source, and starts removing legacy verified checkmarks.

Meta News

What happened:

Meta launches new Reels ads options.

What this means for you + clients:

Click-to-Messenger Ads and WhatsApp Conversion optimization are now available for Facebook Reels Ads. They've also rolled out support for the Ads on Facebook Reels post engagement objective which lets you measure interactions like reactions, comments and likes, and compare them to engagement from other ads or campaigns.

Facebook News

What happened:

Facebook adds ‘broadcast’ channel chat option for Groups.

What this means for you + clients:

Broadcast channels are a one-to-many group chat. They were launched earlier this year for Instagram creators and it looks like they're making their way to Facebook Groups. If you have access to the feature, broadcast channels could be a good space to connect with your audience on a more personal level, get feedback from members and share news + updates.

Instagram News

What happened:

You can now @mention user in Instagram Notes.

What this means for you + clients:

Notes were launched as a way to spark conversation between you and followers. Adding the capability to tag someone in the note will continue to foster those conversations.

What happened:

Instagram NFTs will be deactivated on 11 April.

What this means for you + clients:

Some users are getting a popup notifying them that "any collectibles you've shared will remain on Instagram as posts, but no blockchain info will be displayed. This comes shortly after Meta announced they were "winding down" their work with NFTs. We'll see what the future of digital collectibles entails as the Metaverse expands.

TikTok News

What happened:

Australia bans TikTok on government devices. The US, UK, New Zealand, Canada, Belgium and the EU have already banned the app from official devices over security concerns.

What this means for you + clients:

The future of TikTok for the public is still up in the air. If you run ads on TikTok for your business, you might want to think about contingency plans just to be safe.

What happened:

TikTok has been fined £12.7m by UK watchdog for misusing children's data.

What this means for you + clients:

Information Commissioner John Edwards said in a press release that TikTok allowed as many as 1.4 million children in the UK under age 13 to use the app and collected and used personal without parental consent. While this may not directly impact you, it adds to the scrutiny facing TikTok and contributes to its unknown future.

What happened:

TikTok is rolling out an 'edit post' button.

What this means for you + clients:

Once a day, you'll be able to edit your copy, hashtags, mention and video cover.

Twitter News

What happened:

Twitter takes its algorithm 'open-source' giving us more transparency around how Twitter ranks, filters and recommends content in the For You timeline.

What this means for you + clients:

Elon Musk has long been promising to take the algorithm open-source and they've now given the code to GitHub. The Verge notes that it won't be truly open-source though until they figure out "systems for governance that decide what pull requests to approve, what user-raised issues deserve attention, and how to stop bad actors from trying to sabotage the code for their own purposes." GitHub says they are working on that.

So now researchers are diving into the algorithm code to see how marketers can better show up in recommendations. Aakash Gupta is giving great updates via Twitter.

What happened:

Twitter started removing legacy blue check marks.

What this means for you + clients.

These days you might see three different color check marks on Twitter - blue, gold and grey. Blue checks are people that have paid for Twitter Blue, gold is for official business accounts that pay to be part of the Twitter Verified Organization, and grey is primarily for government organizations or officials.

LinkedIn News

What happened:

LinkedIn is testing ‘Suggested’ posts in users’ feeds that are based off of their engagement activity and interests.

What this means for you + clients:

This just means LinkedIn is the latest social media network to add algorithmically recommended posts. They say, "To help you discover more relevant content that you might not otherwise know about, we are testing Suggested Posts in your Feed. With Suggested posts, we’ll do the heavy lifting to find out what’s trending amongst professionals in your field and surface great conversations on topics that might be very relevant to you."

In other news...

⚖️ France moves forward with new laws for influencers

📱 Facebook is getting rid of its Code Generator authentication option

🐕 Twitter changed it's logo to Doge

🚫 Twitter cuts app developers' API access

🌎 Pinterest expands Creator Inclusion Fund to Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria

💸 Germany accuses (and may fine) Twitter of failing to remove illegal hate speech

🔒 Snapchat adds safeguards around its AI chatbot

💰 TikTok is testing an affiliate program for US creators

💾 Instagram is working on the ability to turn on Reels downloads

🔕 You can now open TikTok on mute

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