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Social Media Buzz Weekly: Roundup of Social Media Updates

Welcome to Social Media Buzz Weekly, your weekly bulletin of the latest social media updates. With the social media landscape evolving with each passing day, it can be challenging to keep a tab on the rapid developments. Well, not anymore, as we have taken it upon ourselves to keep you abreast of every happening in the social media space.

So, without any further ado, let’s look at some of the most significant developments from the last week in the world of social media.

1. Meta Announces New Ad Options for Facebook Reels Ahead of the Holiday Push

With the biggest shopping season of the year fast approaching, Meta has announced some new updates for Reels ads, in order to help brands tap into its fastest-growing content surface.

First off, Meta’s adding Collections Ads for Facebook Reels, which are already available on IG. Meta’s been testing the option on both Instagram and Facebook since October last year, and now, it’s making its Collections ads available to more brands within the Facebook Reels display. Meta’s also testing new Multi-Destination Reels Carousel Ads, which will enable brands to drive viewers to multiple product pages based on each of the images shown in the display (this is already live for Carousel Ads on Instagram).

Moreover, Meta is adding a new “Swipe Left” functionality for Facebook and Instagram Reels ads, which will make it easier for viewers to easily switch across to learn more about the product/s in an ad. The social media giant is also making its new music selection tool available to all advertisers on iOS, which enables marketers to automatically apply free music from Meta’s Sound Collection library, matched to your ad.

2. TikTok Announces All Videos Will Have Default Auto Captions

TikTok is looking to improve accessibility in the app, by implementing auto captions by default on all videos, as of next month. TikTok already enables users to switch on auto captions to ensure that more users can engage with their content. But now, they’ll be enabled on every clip, with the optional toggle to “Allow auto-captions” to be removed from the upload process.

TikTok further notes that creators will still be able to edit and delete and captions after posting. But you won’t be able to opt-out, which will mean that a lot more TikTok clips will now have text captions available.

3. TikTok Announces New Partnership With Disney

TikTok has announced a new partnership with Disney to celebrate 100 years of the iconic entertainment brand, which will provide a range of new opportunities for Disney fans to engage within the app.

As part of the limited-time activation, Disney fans will have the opportunity to watch video clips from across Disney’s brands, create their own videos with Disney music and effects, play daily Disney trivia, collect and trade digital character cards in the app, and more. TikTok says that it hosts more than 48 Disney-affiliated channels, which will all be participating in the 4-week activation.

4. Utah Sues TikTok Over Harmful Impacts on Young Users

The state of Utah has filed legal action against TikTok, and parent company ByteDance, over the app’s use of algorithmic sorting, based on user engagement, to create an addictive experience, especially for younger users.

Utah’s seeking civil penalties, as well as an injunction that would prohibit TikTok from violating state laws around deceptive business practices in future. Late last year, Indiana filed suit against TikTok for exposing minors to inappropriate content, as well as making user data accessible to China. Arkansas has also launched legal proceedings against TikTok, along with Facebook, over mental health impacts and privacy concerns.

5. TikTok Expands Its AR Creator Rewards Program to More Regions

TikTok has announced an expansion of its Creator Effects Rewards program, which offers cash incentives to effects creators via TikTok’s Effect House platform.

Originally launched in six regions back in May, TikTok is now opening up the program to more creators, with those residing in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam all now eligible to sign-up to the program. In addition, TikTok’s also lowering the required number of videos to qualify for the program.

6. TikTok Adds More Direct Publishing Options to Its API To Facilitate Third-Party Posting

TikTok’s looking to make it easier to post direct to the app via third-party platforms, with a new “Direct Post” element within the TikTok API, which will enable creation tools to build in TikTok posting as a publishing option.

So soon, you’ll see a broader range of TikTok scheduling options added to more third-party social media management apps, while a range of video editing tools will also now gain TikTok as a direct sharing option, streamlining the posting and content management process.

7. Snap Inc. Shares Rise on the Back of Optimistic Growth Projections for 2024

Interest in Snapchat is on the rise once again, based on an update that Snap CEO Evan Spiegel recently shared with staff, which projected that the app could reach 475 million active users in 2024, beating market estimates. Spiegel has additionally projected that Snap’s full-year ad revenue growth for next year could best 20%, which is also significantly above market predictions.

Snapchat’s currently used by 397 million people every day, which sees it ranked well behind Instagram and TikTok, but ahead of X in comparative numbers. Snap’s has been able to carve out a niche among younger users, with many teens using the more private app to share messages and interact, in favor of the more generally popular platforms.

8. New Reports Show That X Continues to Restrict Links to Rival Apps and News Publishers

A new investigation has found that X is restricting links to what it considers rival platforms, with users of Patreon, WhatsApp, and Messenger seeing significant load-time delays when linking through from the app.

Earlier this year, reports indicated that X was throttling links to rival social media and publishing platforms, including Bluesky, Facebook, Instagram, and Substack. Further investigations found that X was also delaying load times for links to The New York Times, Reuters, and various other media outlets that had been singled out for criticism by Elon in his posts.

9. X Fined $384K in Australia Over Failure to Outline CSAM Detection Efforts

Australia’s eSafety Commission has issued X with a $US386,000 fine for failing to meet its obligations on content detection and reporting, specifically in relation to child sexual abuse (CSAM) material.

Under Australia’s Online Safety Act, which was enacted in 2021, the eSafety Commissioner can call on online services to provide specific insight into how they’re meeting their obligations under the act, which covers various forms of unlawful activity. As a result, in its second report since the Act was enacted, Australia’s eSafety Commission has found that both Google and X (formerly Twitter) are failing to meet its parameters, though for many of the violations, X simply failed to provide an answer, as opposed to falling short, as such.

10. EU Investigates X Over Distribution of Misinformation Around Israel-Hamas War

The EU has launched an official investigation into X over how it’s facilitated the distribution of “graphic illegal content and disinformation” linked to Hamas’ attack on Israel over the weekend. Various reports have indicated that X’s new, more streamlined, more tolerant approach to content moderation is failing to stop the spread of harmful content, and now, the EU is taking further action, which could eventually result in significant fines and other penalties for the app.

The EU’s Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton had previously issued a warning to X owner Elon Musk, calling on Musk to personally ensure that the platform’s systems are effective in dealing with misinformation and hate speech in the app. Musk responded by asking Breton to provide specific examples of violations, though X CEO Linda Yaccarino then followed up with a more detailed overview of the actions that X has taken to manage the rise in related discussion.

11. X Launches Expanded Profile Bios for Web Users

X has launched its new expanded profile bio display to X Premium users on the web. Now, when you visit a profile that has the expanded profile option available, you’ll be able to tap on a “View more” prompt to get more info about that user. That’ll provide more room to explain what you, or your company, is about, or interested in, while you’ll also have more space to provide, say, your personal mission statement, or to publish your manifesto for life, etc.

12. LinkedIn Announces More Job Cuts, as Ad Revenue Growth Continues to Decline

LinkedIn has announced that it’s culling another 668 roles, as it looks to rationalize expenditure.

The redundancies will primarily be within LinkedIn’s engineering team, with over 500 engineering staff given notice. At the same time, LinkedIn is also reportedly increasing hiring activity in India, in line with market demand and opportunity. India is now LinkedIn’s second-largest user market, and rising fast. While LinkedIn, overall, has seen continued usage and engagement growth, its ad revenue growth has been slowing for the past two years, in line with broader market trends.

Wrapping Up

And that was a wrap of this week’s Social Media Buzz. We’ll be back next week with more news and updates for you from the social media world. Till then, stay tuned!

If you want to read more on the latest developments taking place in the social media space, take a look at ClickInsights’ Social Media Buzz, wherein we bring to you monthly reports on everything going on in social media, ranging from platform updates to policy changes that influence the way we market.

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