Social media is forever changing which makes it easy to miss an update from time to time. Twice a month, we look into three of the latest key updates from the past few weeks from the various social media giants. Here’s what’s been happening recently…

Instagram to No Longer Split 60 Seconds Stories into Segments

Instagram has continued its gradual process of merging its video products into one, with the announcement that videos in Stories that are under 60 seconds in length will no longer be split into 15-second segments in the app.

Instagram Stories update

 

As you can see in the in-app alert screenshot above, posted by social media expert Matt Navarra, when you update your IG app, you’ll get a notification letting you know that your videos in Stories will no longer be cut up, making it a more seamless viewing experience.

Instagram’s been testing the update with selected users over the past year, as part of its broader process to integrate its video options, in line with the short-form video shift and general engagement trends.

Instagram has confirmed the new Stories video expansion to TechCrunch, explaining that:

“We are always working on ways to improve the Stories experience. Now, you’ll be able to play and create Stories continuously for up to 60 seconds, instead of being automatically cut into 15-second clips.”

That’ll also make it easier to skip through those longer videos that you’re not interested in (as you’ll only have to skip once, as opposed to tapping through each individual frame) – though it may also have implications for creators who’ve structured sponsored content deals based on frame counts, as opposed to Story length.

But finally, an Instagram update at least the majority of us are happy with! 🙌

WhatsApp Launches ‘Call Links’

WhatsApp has announced the launch of a new Call Links feature, which, as it sounds, will enable you to share a link to invite others to join a group chat in the app.

WhatsApp Call Links

 

As you can see above, you’ll now be able to create dedicated URL links for WhatsApp group video and audio chats, which will make it easier for others to join the discussion in the app.

When available (with the option is being rolled out this week), you’ll be able to see the Call Link option within your ‘Calls’ tab, enabling you to create a shareable link to get people into your chats.

It could be an easy way to help enhance community connection, and facilitate engagement, while brands could also use the option to better connect with influencers and advocates, in a more direct, intimate way.

TikTok Announces a Huge Increase to its Video Descriptions as it Leans into Discovery

TikTok’s giving users more room to explain their content, and connect with interested users, with a massive expansion of its video description field.

As you can see in this notification, posted by social media expert Matt Navarra, TikTok has expanded the post description field from 300 characters to 2,200 – a 730% increase in the space available to outline your clip.

As explained by TikTok:

“This allows you to express more details about your creations, describing what your videos show, giving you the opportunity to get closer to your audience, generating more engagement while becoming more searchable and better recommended by TikTok to viewers.”

ikTok is fast becoming a key search platform for younger audiences, with Google’s VP Prabhakar Raghavan recently noting that:

“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”

That presents significant opportunity for TikTok, using its highly attuned, personalised, algorithmic approach to refine and showcase relevant search matches, which will increasingly relate to each users’ interests.

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