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’s Working on New Sticker Types

Instagram are reportedly working on a couple of new interactive stickers for Stories, adding more options for engagement and presentation within the app.

The new stickers, as spotted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, suggests that Instagram is currently developing a new ‘Link’ sticker for Stories which would theoretically enable users to place a link onto their Stories frame, in the location of their choosing, as opposed to relying on a swipe-up link.

Currently, users with more than 10k followers can already add links to their Stories but only via swipe-up links, and given that the ‘Swipe-up for more’ prompt is displayed at the bottom of the screen, maybe, by adding a Link sticker, that’ll give users more presentation options to help drive traffic to their links, by featuring them more prominently within the frame.

That would enable you to build visuals that draw attention to the link button specifically and/or frame your links with stickers, GIFs, etc. The full functionality is not entirely clear as yet, as it’s still in testing, but that seems to be the key benefit of the option, given that links do already exist. Will that also mean that users with less than 10k followers will also get access? We’ll have to wait and see.

 

Paluzzi has also spotted a new ‘Super Mention‘ sticker in testing, which seems to be linked to Instagram’s donation tools for creators. As you can see above, the Super Mention sticker comes with what looks like a shopping tag and could be a way to help users get their mentions seen by influential users.

It seems like an extension of the badges that Instagram added to live-streams back in October, which enable fans to buy badges, of varying amounts, which are then displayed next to their comments within the live chat.

The more you pay for a badge, the more heart icons it has attached, which also sees that donation allocated to the broadcaster, and highlights your comment, increasing the chances of them responding to your mention.

Super Mention could serve a similar purpose, with fans able to purchase a Super Mention sticker for their Stories, which would then ensure that the user mentioned is alerted to that action, increasing the chances of getting them to respond.

We don’t have much info on the option as yet, but will keep you updated on any progress.

Twitter Adds New Option to Add a Background Video and Images in Fleets

Are Twitter Fleets really catching on at the moment? Or is it a lesser version of Stories that’s not really adding much to the overall tweet experience?

It’s probably still too early to say, but Twitter is slowly but surely looking to add more Fleets features in order to improve engagement through the tool.

On this front, Twitter has added a new Fleets option which enables users to add a background video or image to their Fleets frames, via their device camera or Camera Roll, which significantly expands your visual communications options.

 

As you can see above, now, when you go to compose a Fleet, you’ll be able to tap on the camera and camera roll access icons within your Fleets composer tools (alongside the new ‘stickers’ option shown here, which Twitter added late last month). That will then enable you to add a larger visual element to your Fleet, providing more options for presentation and engagement.

Again, it’s probably too early to say, as Twitter hasn’t released any official usage info, but given the broader trend towards Stories use and vertical communication stemming from other apps, it does make sense for Twitter to stay in touch with that shift via their own option, and again, these new elements, including stickers, do add to the process.

Hopefully we’ll see even more Fleets tools coming soon, maybe even more advanced, AR tools or features that will really spark engagement and sharing from the tool.

Facebook Announces a Range of New Audio Tools, Including Audio Rooms, New Sound Clip Creation Tools

They’ve been in the works for a little while, but now Facebook has made it official, with the announcement of a range of new audio social options across its apps as it seeks to tap into the Clubhouse-led trend.

Facebook’s history of replication suggested that it was always going to copy Clubhouse in some way, with the audio meeting app seeing significant usage momentum as people look for ways to replace IRL meet-ups amid the pandemic.

Given Facebook’s massive reach and established presence in many people’s lives, it could pose the biggest threat to Clubhouse’s growth as yet – especially given the breadth of tools Facebook has announced.

 

First off, in what’s likely the most direct assault on Clubhouse, Facebook is launching an audio-only version of its Rooms feature in Facebook and Messenger, which will enable people to start up audio rooms that their connections can join which will be highlighted at the top of News Feeds and chats within each app.

As you can see above, the new option will have a very Clubhouse-like format, with hosts highlighted at the top of the screen, and listeners tuning in shown below. Users will be able to make their rooms public or private, while they’ll also be discoverable in a separate Rooms tab.

In addition to this, Facebook is also launching a new tool called ‘Soundbites’, which will enable users to create short-form audio clips using a range of effects and tools.

Check out the video below for more info.

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