A new month means new platform updates. What are the key social media updates you need to be aware of?
TikTok increases caption character count
TikTok has increased the character count for captions to 2,200 from 300. The update comes after the news that TikTok is becoming young users’ go-to app for search and regular news updates.
The update means users can increase their SEO and discoverability on the platform by using more keywords within their captions.
TikTok partners with Penguin Random House
TikTok’s new partnership with Penguin Random House means the US and UK BookTok community can tag books in their videos. The tags are interactive; clicking the link directs viewers to a book details page, including a summary and other tagged videos.
@kimmybookss a new booktok feature is on the horizon!! #foryou #fyp #booktok #bookish #reading #bookclub #bookishthoughts #tbr #reader #greenscreenvideo ♬ the perfect pair – beabadoobee
Once the video is posted, the selected title will be featured above the captions. Users can save titles to their Favourites tab.
TikTok Now feature
TikTok has launched its own version of BeReal: TikTok Now. The new feature prompts users to share a dual camera shot at a random time of each day—exactly like BeReal—but users will have 3 minutes to share either a static photo or video of what they’re doing.
TikTok Now has several safety features for younger users, including friends-only comments for TikTokers aged 13-15. Users 18 and over can share their Now content to the broader community.
The feature is available in-app in the US, and as a standalone app in other locations.
Instagram increases Story frames
Instagram is rolling its longer Stories out to users. Instagram will no longer split Stories into 15-second frames, as long as the video is under one minute. Videos over a minute long will automatically become a Reel unless the video is split manually into separate clips before uploading.
While the feature will eliminate the glitches that often occur between frames, it could complicate practicality—users can’t skip through small clips. In addition, it will change how branded content is contracted; if you’ve agreed on 3 Story clips for an influencer partnership, these need to be manually uploaded.
Instagram develops Branded Effects
Instagram is reportedly developing official branded effects for Reels. Branded Reels effects would likely be similar to Instagram Stories’ branded stickers and GIFs (and TikTok’s Branded Effect ad option…), but would work as a video filter that could include special effects or branded assets.
Discover new creators with Media Kits
Instagram is developing a tool for creators that will allow them to pitch themselves to brands for promotional partnerships. The Media Kit will act as a portfolio, where creators can upload a bio, their audience data and key analytics, and select their best work and previous brand partnerships to showcase themselves to brands.
Unlike the Meta Creator Marketplace, the Media Kit gives creators complete control in how they represent themselves to brands.
Twitter rolls out Communities
Twitter is rolling out a Communities feature that allows professional users to spotlight a community on their profiles. The feature will only be available to those with a free Professional Profile, which you can enable via Twitter’s Business site.
Twitter test Shopping tab
Twitter is testing a dedicated Shopping tab for its users. The tab would let users explore Twitter Shops that appear as virtual storefronts. Twitter has been testing Shopping features for the past few months, and while we don’t know what the tab will look like yet, it will undoubtedly aid discoverability.
New creator feature offers licensed music
YouTube recently announced Creator Music, a new feature within YouTube Studio that allows creators to use pre-approved music in videos while still generating ad revenue. Creators can either pay upfront to use music with no change to their revenue cut or share video revenue with the track’s artist and music rights holders.
Brands currently face restrictions on using copyrighted music in videos across social media due to laws around commercial use. But Creator Music provides a solution for creators who want to enhance their videos without sacrificing ad revenue.
YouTube directly monetises Shorts
YouTube is offering creators 45% of ad revenue from their Shorts videos. YouTube is also lowering the barrier for entry to its Partner Program, allowing creators with less than 1K followers to make money from Shorts ads.
Shorts ads enable gradual monetisation, where creators start monetising Shorts before moving into the more lucrative long-form video space.
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