3 of the Latest Key Social Media Updates

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…

Snapchat Adds New Limits on Adults Seeking to Connect with Minors in the App

Snapchat is now implementing new restrictions to limit adults from sending messages to users under the age of 18 in the app.

As reported by Axios, Snapchat is changing its “Quick Add” friend suggestion process so that it’s not possible for people to add users aged under 18 “unless there are a certain number of friends in common between the two users”. That won’t stop such connection completely, but it does add another barrier in the process, which could reduce harm.

The move is a logical and welcome step, which will help improve the security of youngsters in the app, but the impacts of such could be far more significant on Snap, which is predominantly used by younger people.

Indeed, Snapchat reported last year that around 20% of its total user base was aged under 18, with the majority of its audience being in the 13-24 year-old age bracket. That means that interaction between these age groups is likely a significant element of the Snap experience, and restricting such could have big impacts on overall usage, even if it does offer greater protection for minors.

Which is why this is a particularly significant commitment from Snap – though it is worth noting that Snapchat won’t necessarily stop older users from connecting with younger ones in the app, it just won’t make it as easy through initial recommendations, via the Quick Add feature.

TikTok Adds Insights on the Latest Trending Songs by Region to its Trend Discovery Listings

TikTok has added a new element to the Trends section of its Creative Centre, which now provides a listing of the most popular songs in the app, at any given time, which is filterable by region.

TikTok music insights

 

As you can see in this example, over at trends.tiktok.com, you can now check out the most popular songs and hashtags being used in the app, with a range of different time period filters for each (up to the previous 120 days for hashtags and the last 30 days for songs.). You can also check out the most popular TikTok clips in your region, filterable by ‘Hot’, ‘Likes’, ‘Comments’ and ‘Shares’ (over the previous 7 days or 30 days).

Music is a driving force in the broader TikTok experience. Last month,TikTok reported that over 430 songs surpassed a billion video views in the app in 2021 – a threefold increase over 2020 – while over 175 songs that had trended on TikTok throughout the year also charted on the Billboard Hot 100.

Music can also play a part in brand promotions, with 73% of respondents to a recent Kantar survey indicating that they would be more likely to stop and look at ads on TikTok that utilised audio elements, with popular music being a key attention-grabber in the app. Of course, not every brand can afford to license the latest popular songs for their promotions. But it is worth noting the songs that are trending, as not all of them are commercially licensed, while they also point to broader usage trends and habits in the app.

TikTok Looks to Expand Content Horizons with New, Integrated ‘Stories’ Test

More from TikTok… As the app continues its rapid ascent, with it now on track to reach 1.5 billion users in 2022, it’s also seeking to expand its content horizons, with a view to increased monetisation of that collective attention, and providing more capacity for creators to generate revenue from their clips.

Which is where this latest test comes in. As highlighted by social media expert Matt Navarra (via Kev Adriano), TikTok is making a change to its still experimental Stories feature, which would integrate TikTok Stories into the main ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ feeds in the app, as opposed to keeping its Stories element in its own separate space.

TikTok Stories

 

As you can see in the image above, TikTok’s looking to integrate Stories creation into the main feed, which would essentially make Stories another content option, enabling users to create multi-frame sequences of clips and still images that users would then be able to view in-stream, just like any other clip.

Which is a big shift from how TikTok Stories were initially presented in August last year, with Stories added to a new left of screen sidebar, giving them a dedicated space, but also shifting users out of the main feed experience.

This updated format essentially merges Stories presentation into the focal stream, which seems like a much better way to go, as it doesn’t obscure the main screen with an intrusive side bar, while it would also expand Stories viewing, as they’d be included in your regular display, instead of an alternate element.

Users will also be able to view Stories from their connections and users that they don’t follow, adding a new content consideration in the app.

What do you think? Will you use stories on TikTok?

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