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ICYMI: Social Media News February 20, 2023

February 22, 2023
Kyra Goodman

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

Meta is testing a new "Meta Verified" subscription program, Instagram is testing broadcast channels and GIF replies in comments, brands are reporting declining Reels views, SMS two-factor authentication will become a Twitter Blue paid perk, TikTok is testing a “Creativity Program,” VLOPs (very large online platforms) are going to be subject to more restrictions in the EU and more!

Instagram News

What happened: 

Meta is testing a new "Meta Verified" subscription program for USD $11.99 (on web) and USD $14.99 (on iOS and Android). Meta says you'll get:

  • A verified badge, confirming you’re the real you and that your account has been authenticated with a government ID.
  • More protection from impersonation with proactive account monitoring for impersonators who might target people with growing online audiences.  
  • Help when you need it with access to a real person for common account issues.
  • Increased visibility and reach with prominence in some areas of the platform– like search, comments and recommendations. 
  • Exclusive features to express yourself in unique ways. 

What this means for you + clients:

This feature is currently being rolled out to personal accounts in Australia and New Zealand. It's unclear whether this subscription will roll-out globally (IG says more countries to come) and if it will be available to business accounts (business accounts are not currently eligible) but as of right now,

  • Accounts must meet minimum activity requirements, such as prior posting history, and be at least 18 years old.
  • Applicants are then required to submit a government ID that matches the profile name and photo of the Facebook or Instagram account they’re applying for. 

In regards to the increased visibility and reach, Meta notes, "Increased visibility may vary depending on a subscriber’s existing audience size and the topic of their posts. Subscribers with a smaller following may see a more noticeable impact to their reach since their audiences are smaller."

If you do sign up, let us know how it goes!

What happened:

Instagram introduces broadcast channels to creators. We're still waiting to hear if this will be available to business accounts too.

What this means for you + clients:

"Broadcast channels are a public, one-to-many messaging tool for creators to invite all of their followers into and engage with their most interested fans." Creators can include text, videos, photos, voice notes, polls and more.

It could be a unique space to connect with followers, share announcements and build an engaged community. If you have access to the feature, we recommend trying it out. Creator broadcast channels will live in your Instagram bio section and will be viewed via DMs.

What happened:

Adweek reported that some brands and social strategists are seeing around a 20% decline in their Reels views while seeing photo performance increase. Back in January Adam Mosseri had admitted that Instagram had overused video and there was the whole Kardashian outrage "make Instagram Instagram again" thing. So it's not really surprising to see that the algorithm is always does!

What this means for you + clients:

We've long been strong advocates for diversifying your content types. And this is one of the reasons! Mix up the type of content you're posting. Plus certain content is just easier to digest in other formats. Carousels are AWESOME for educational content that people might need to refer back to. Photos can now have sounds on them which can create a whole experience just from looking at an image. Stories are a way to connect with followers on a more personal level. A good strategy will have a mix of all these formats.

What happened:

Instagram appears to be testing GIF replies in the comments.

What this means for you + clients:

There hasn't been any official announcements on this but more users are seeing the ability to use GIFs in the comment section. Previously, users could only use GIFs to reply to Stories.

GIF replies could potentially boost engagement and interactivity - ie CTAs that prompt people to drop a GIF in the comments. We'll see if it rolls out to everyone though because I've already heard of people complaining it makes the comment section crowded and disorganized.

TikTok News

What happened:

TikTok has launched a beta test of the "Creativity Program" - basically a revamped Creator Fund.

What this means for you + clients:

This feature is currently invite-only as they continue to test. TikTok says the program is another monetization tool "designed to help creators foster their creativity, generate higher revenue potential and unlock more exciting, real-world opportunities." If you're already part of the Creator Fund, you can choose to switch to the Creativity Program. To earn money creators have to produce "high-quality, original content longer than one minute."

Twitter News

What happened:

Twitter announced that SMS two-factor authentication will now only be available to people who pay for Twitter Blue.

What this means for you + clients:

This change will go into effect on March 20. Users still have free 2FA options - mobile app and security key. Twitter says they have "seen phone-number based 2FA be used - and abused - by bad actors" so accounts can no longer enroll. If you currently have SMS 2FA, you have time to switch to another option - we recommend a mobile app like Google Authenticator. And if you don't have 2FA set up should do that.

Tech Giants News

What happened:

New rules in the EU, known as the Digital Services Act (DSA), classify companies with more than 45 million users as very large online platforms (VLOPs) and will now require them to do risk management and external and independent auditing.

What this means for you + clients:

Nothing really for us but VLOPs will have four months to comply with the rules or face potential fines. This is part of the ongoing conversations about data privacy so continue to monitor it.

In other news...

📱 TikTok quietly added dedicated feeds for sports, fashion, gaming and food

📍 Instagram is testing listing users' location on Reels

🔍 TikTok expands access to its research API

🔒 TikTok is planning two more data centers in the EU

✂️ Meta is cutting more jobs

👇 Meta Quest users can tap and swipe without controllers

🔁 TikTok rolls out 'repost' tab

📲 ByteDance launches new app that is said to be a mix of Instagram and Pinterest - and it's paying people to post

🛍️ TikTok adds 'Top Products' section in its creative center

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