Each week the Insights Team at The Goat Agency pull together the latest news from the social space in a weekly social media industry news round-up. This week we cover Ninja’s return to the internet and why it is causing some controversy, Instagram’s new re-post feature and how some brands reacted oh so wrong following the news of the Queen’s passing.
Meta Drops Responsible Innovation Team
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Meta is dropping its ‘Responsible Innovation’ team, which is concerning, considering Meta’s focus on the metaverse and creating immersive worlds.
According to The Wall Street Journal:
“The team had included roughly two dozen engineers, ethicists and others who collaborated with internal product teams and outside privacy specialists, academics and users to identify and address potential concerns about new products and alterations to Facebook and Instagram.“
Meta has since confirmed the news, but highlighting that the team’s goals will still be addressed, ensuring products are assessed, but rather than through a dedicated team, in issue-specific teams, with the majority of employees being placed in similar work roles across the company.
Meta is a company more than any other that must ensure products are responsible, considering the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the research that illustrated Instagram’s connection in being a harmful platform for younger users.
Brands Urged To Read The Room Regarding The Queen’s Passing
A number of brands have come under fire and have been prompted to tread carefully following the death of the Queen.
Brands face backlash due to their performative or insensitive tone of voice on social media regarding the queen’s death. This includes a number of brands sharing branded posts, including logos and branded elements to share their condolences, as well as using the event as a way to position or promote their brand within the conversation online.
Brands must take care during this time and adjust any posts or campaigns. Suitable online communications are often difficult to gauge so sometimes respectfully staying silent is the best way to navigate large, sensitive events such as this.
Ninja Returns To The Internet
Ninja only last week announced he was exiting the internet, seemingly leaving his Twitter and Twitch accounts behind. However, Ninja has quickly returned, but now streaming content everywhere!
Ninja stripped his Twitch channel of a verified status and changed his Twitter handle to ‘user not found.” Looking back now, this was a cleverly crafted stunt that got people speculating, to which the creator capitalized off by later tweeting he’s live on all platforms including Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok!
The creator removing his verification off Twitch now makes sense as agreements typically prevent creators from streaming across multiple platforms, so this move helped avoid breaking Twitch’s rules and potentially resulting in a ban.
However, Ninja has come under fire from his fellow creators for pulling such a stunt, framing it as a fake mental health crisis.
TikTok Copies BeReal
TikTok has announced ‘TikTok Now’, which sees yet another replication of BeReal by another top social media platform.
The new feature on TikTok prompts users to post a selfie using the front and back camera at a random time each day, with the aim to facilitate deeper connections and provide entertainment across the app. Users receive a daily prompt to capture a 10-second video or photo to show others what the user is up to.
TikTok joins Snapchat and Instagram in replicating a similar feature to that of BeReal, with TikTok adding a new tab and in some markets launching a separate app. This move illustrates TikTok’s direction of deepening connections with friends in the app and facilitating direct engagement. This could be a feature that could accelerate this aim, which would prove a huge threat to Instagram.
Instagram Tests Re-Post Feature
Instagram is reportedly testing a new ‘Re-post’ feature, allowing users to show reposted content in the main feed.
Instagram has confirmed this test to TechCrunch stating:
“We’re exploring the ability to reshare posts in Feed- similar to how you can reshare in Stories- so people can share what resonates with them. And so original creators are credited for their work. We plan to rest this soon with a small number of people.“
This test could see Instagram fall for the same mistakes as Facebook, in making the platform look crowded. Does Instagram really need a glorified retweets option?
It seems like another idea to spotlight content, but will users even want a feature like this? Users are already complaining about the feed being filled with accounts they don’t follow, so if this is the case how can users find the profiles easily of those they follow to see this feature?
Only time will tell if this feature is welcomed by the community or rejected like some of the recent updates Instagram has implemented.
Instagram’s Creator Media Kits
First spotted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram is testing a ‘media kit’ option for creators, helping them to show their potential for potential partnerships with brands.
In the first test iteration, creators can write a bio, and spotlight top posts and previous collaborations, whilst providing key analytics and audience insights – operating in a similar functionality to Meta’s Creator Marketplace.
However, in the new Instagram option, creators have more input on how they represent themselves, with Meta’s Creator Marketplace automatically populating information for creators. Furthermore, Instagram’s ‘media kit’ option allows creators to share their information with brands directly by redirecting to Meta’s Creator Marketplace.
Interestingly, YouTube announced a similar tool this year, with platforms understanding that creator retention is critical to success, and to that end, creators need to be able to monetise their content and have platform tools to help facilitate such endeavours.
YouTube Experiments With New Engagement Insights
YouTube has begun experimenting with new analytics options to be released within the creator studio. The aim is to help the creator gain more insight into their audience’s unique interests, viewing and engagement habits.
The platform previewed three new tools within the creator studio:
‘Watch Interest’ – creators will be able to review the top, rising and most recent videos shared within a topic/niche. This will help creators gauge what’s relevant and popular with their audience
‘Watch Activity’ – this will help creators see trending topics related to their niche/audience interests
‘Personalised Insights’ – based on a creator’s own interests to highlight potential topics to their passion point.
YouTube has been developing tools to help creators maximise their content strategy and audience insight since 2020. This helps creators grow a presence and ultimately better monetise their content by identifying key & relevant trends and topics of interest, meaning a greater incentive to stay on the platform.
YouTube Shorts Gets A New Reply Option
YouTube Shorts is following in the direction of Instagram and TikTok with the option to create a Shorts clip based on a comment posted on previous videos.
The new option will provide a quick link to create a Shorts from a posted video, transferring the comment to a sticker within the Shorts camera. This element is exactly the same as what is present across TikTok, which has become an important engagement element across the app. Shorts is now generating 30 billion views per day, so it makes sense for YouTube to further develop the feature, so we should expect more TikTok-like features to be added to Shorts in the near future.
Meta’s Messaging Plans
Meta’s plans for full messaging integration between its apps have progressed, with users noticing the feature to activate end-to-end encryption in IG direct chats.
The new feature appears as a pop-up and will mean encryption will be available for all messaging platforms, helping to make room for full integration of WhatsApp, IG and Messenger chats across each app.
There are concerns that this move to encryption has implications for criminal activity, ensuring such exploits are out of sight with the UK Home Affairs Secretary calling on Meta to reconsider plans.
Currently, WhatsApp and Messenger offer full messaging encryption and aside from the fear of increased criminal activity not being able to be investigated, there could be positives including research that suggests encryption strengthens online safety for children.
What we can expect next is a universal inbox across Meta-owned apps, helping to consolidate all messaging for ease and convenience.
Twitter Adds New Social Sharing Buttons
Twitter has added a new WhatsApp sharing button in India, as well as a LinkedIn sharing option.
For the new WhatsApp functionality, users in India can see a WhatsApp icon in their tweet engagement options, enabling users to share a tweet with their WhatsApp contacts. This test is exclusive to India for now, due to a huge audience base in this market, which will enable the feature to be streamlined before further expansion.
LinkedIn sharing has also been added along with Snapchat and IG Stories, which have been expanded to Android and iOS users. This idea is that Twitter gets further exposure across other apps, a direct connection is best as previously users reshare screenshots, ensuring Twitter can’t track activity and bring traffic to the platform.
As Twitter is facing issues following the Elon Musk lawsuit, it makes sense that Twitter is working all angles to maximise usage of the platform and raise awareness of the fact that conversations start on the platform.