From visual updates to new features and even the relocation of buttons, social media is constantly evolving to keep up with growing trends and the changing habits of users, creators, influencers and businesses.
We’ve come a long way from many of these platforms’ humble beginnings and though it’s sometimes hard to keep track of yet more updates, many are beneficial to businesses in ecommerce. Over the past few months we have seen multiple updates across all of the big hitters. Some we’ve been asking for almost as long as we asked for a dislike button on Facebook - and others are just a nice surprise.
You can now add longer captions on TikTok!
Captions on TikTok have never really been a point of interest - they’re short, snappy and to the point. Because, let’s face it we’re here for the videos and not the descriptions! That said, the 280 character limit can hinder creators looking to hit those all important #hashtags, as well as keywords and searchable phrases. Well, not for long. TikTok has announced a massive shift when it comes to the length of their captions.
Creators are now allowed to put in a 2,200 character description reminiscent of that of Instagram. Longer captions will allow those posting to the app to give more of an insight into what the video is about. Having longer captions will also improve the searchability, and allow you to connect with the correct audience. So whether you use the app for fun, for marketing purposes or as a commerce platform you will now be able to better target your intended audience.
Finally - an edit button on Twitter!
Well, not quite. Twitter have announced that they have now updated their platform to include an edit button. Something that users have been requesting for quite some time now. But it isn’t quite as straightforward as it seems. These new edit buttons are only available to “Twitter Blue” users. And even then it doesn’t come without its complications.
The new ‘edit tweet’ button will only be available to users for 30 minutes. This allows users who have made a mistake to quickly edit the tweet rather than having to completely take it down and repost it. But if you catch it a little too late, you’ll unfortunately be in the same situation as the rest of us - doing the old “delete and re-tweet”.
As of right now this feature is only available in certain regions and there are no known plans to roll this out beyond Twitter Blue users. So it looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer to see the full benefits of this feature.
Instagram & TikTok are pulling a Freaky Friday!
We’ve all heard about TikTok and Instagram becoming more and more similar every day. But new updates to both platforms have seen them almost “switch lives”. TikTok has announced that its latest addition to the platform is “photo mode.” Photo mode will allow creators to share still images in a carousel style format, allowing followers to swipe through images just as they are used to on Instagram. With a monthly “photo dump” taking precedence over regular posts this new addition to the viral social media app will allow content creators to give further insights into the life of an influencer.
On the flip side, back in 2020 we saw the introduction of reels on Instagram. Instagram reels are vertical short-form videos which are up to 60 seconds in length. Since the introduction of reels, businesses, brands and creators have seen a boost in engagement due to the TikTok-esque nature of this content. However, up until recently you were able to separate videos posted to your “grid” and reels. Instagram’s update has now seen all videos posted to Instagram shared as “reels” meaning there are more ways for people that don’t follow you to see your content. This update seems to be hyping up the importance of video on the app - and creators using images over videos are finding it much harder to reach their audience.
Schedule posts directly through the Instagram app!
Of course there are plenty of ways in which you are able to schedule posts to go out ahead of time on Instagram using third party apps such as Hootsuite, or through the Meta business suite. However the time has come, and content creators are now able to schedule directly through the app removing the need for 3rd party tools.
As of right now this feature is only available to those with professional accounts, but will allow you to schedule up to 75 days in advance allowing influencers and content creators to film, edit and schedule posts over two months ahead, something which will definitely benefit those using Instagram professionally.
Add music to static images!
Adding our favourite songs to stories, or reels has been a well received feature on Instagram over the past few years. But more recently we’ve had the update which allows us to add music to our static images. This feature brings pictures to life and encourages an emotive response from social media users, from pictures of your specialty Christmas products set to Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’, to Valentines deals backed by Wet Wet Wet’s ‘Love is All Around’, scrollers will be stopped in their tracks and made to feel something whilst indulging in your content.
As with other aspects of the digital world, social media is constantly changing and adapting to the way that we use it, and as social commerce takes more of a precedence on the way that we utilise these platforms we can expect to see more changes for the benefit of those using the app as a social platform, those using it as a commerce platform and those using it as a sales and marketing tool. Whether we welcome these changes, whether we’ve been asking for them or if they’ve taken us by surprise we can definitely say that future changes to these growing platforms are inevitable.
Note: Please forgive us if the Twitter sections of this article are out of date by the time you read this; it's increasingly difficult to keep up with Elon Musk's erratic behaviour and constant changes to the platform!