Social media is forever changing which makes it easy to miss an update from time to time. Here, we look into three key updates from the past seven days on Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp…

Facebook Shares Insights into Key Topics of Discussion Across Facebook and Instagram in 2020

Facebook has released its annual ‘Topics and Trends’ report, which outlines the key topics that saw increased discussion across both Facebook and Instagram in 2020. The addition of Instagram data is new for this year’s report – as explained by Facebook:

“We explored thousands of topics that grew on Facebook and – for the first time in this report series – on Instagram. In our 2020 edition of The Topics and Trends Report, we looked at data from January 2018 through June 2019; for our 2021 edition, we shifted our date range by three months (April 2019 through September 2020) to capture some of the major changes in people’s lives during the pandemic.”


The 40-page report looks at trends across eight markets, providing insight into key discussions in a range of areas. Each topic includes a regional breakdown, providing an overview of how the discussion has evolved in different parts of the world.

With lots of interesting insights, which could be of relevance to your brand, it’s definitely worth checking out as it could help to shape your approach based on the topics that are gaining traction in relation to your niche.

Download the full Facebook ‘Topics and Trends Report’ for 2021 here.

Instagram Tests Adding Timers to Stories to Boost Engagement

According to screenshots posted by user Kyle Harris (and shared by Matt Navarra), Instagram is now testing new timer listings beneath Stories bubbles, which show how long each Story has left before it’s erased.

That could prompt more people to get onto them while they last, which could boost Stories consumption – though how exactly those timers would work seems a little complex.


Also, it has also been noted that the Stories are not listed in chronological order, which could be a point of note for Instagram marketers.

Whether this is a good or bad thing is hard to say. It could help Instagram juice up its Stories engagement stats, but it might also make more users feel pressured into checking out more Stories as they appear. In this sense, it taps into the ‘FOMO’ element, and while it could make more people check out Stories more often, it could have addictive side-effects, and increase anxiety within the app.

WhatsApp Adds ‘Carts’ to Further Facilitate Shopping Within Message Streams

As WhatsApp continues to build on its eCommerce potential, it’s continually adding more ways to facilitate business-to-consumer connection, and make it easier for users to buy items via the messaging app.

Its latest addition is ‘Carts’, which will enable WhatsApp users to add items as they engage with a business, then submit a larger order all at once via the app.


As explained by WhatsApp:

“Starting today, we’re excited to bring carts to WhatsApp. Carts are great when messaging businesses that typically sell multiple items at once, like a local restaurant or clothing store. With carts, people can browse a catalog, select multiple products and send the order as one message to the business. This will make it simpler for businesses to keep track of order inquiries, manage requests from customers and close sales.”

Carts is the latest in a range of eCommerce tools being added to WhatsApp as it looks to maximise its monetisation potential. Ads in WhatsApp proved unwelcome, so parent company Facebook has now shifted its focus to building a digital marketplace within the messaging network, with growth in developing markets like India and Indonesia, where WhatsApp is already popular, set to lead the way in ushering in a new wave of digital transactions in the app.

You can find out more about WhatsApp’s new Carts feature here.

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