Summer Social Scoop
August 20, 2020
Even before COVID-19, social media was an industry marked by rapid evolution — and the pandemic’s acceleration of core trends can be difficult to keep up with. Check out our summer social scoop, with the latest buzz around our favorite platforms:
Impact of Facebook Boycott Remains Unclear
Beginning in July, more than a thousand businesses halted advertising spend on Facebook in response to the platform’s tolerances of hate speech and disinformation. The total impact remains unclear: Facebook reported that July ad revenue was in line with predicted growth, but a number of major advertisers are still withholding spend with the belief that the company’s updated policies and procedures are not enough to create change.
Twitter Seeks to Lead Social Platforms in Transparency
Responding to growing pressure and in an effort to distance itself from the Facebook ad boycott, Twitter has recommitted to enforcing accuracy. The platform has updated how it handles misleading and malicious information, which includes processes for flagging or removing content. Twitter has since complemented this framework with a feature encouraging users to “read it before your Tweet it” — which warns users that haven’t clicked a link before they retweet it . In early August 2020 and for the first time, Twitter removed a tweet by President Trump that included a false claim that children are “almost immune” from COVID-19 (for what it’s worth — Facebook removed that post, too).
Instagram Pushed IG Live for Business + Broadcasting
Instagram is implementing features that incentivize the use of IG Live for broadcasting. After viewership skyrocketed in March 2020, opportunities to encourage engagement and increase profitability became priorities. Instagram is helping people get paid, creating pathways for users to celebrate favorite creators with a tip and donate to a non-profit in-platform.
Instagram Stories Launched TikTok Competitor Product: Reels
TikTok is threatening to unseat Instagram as the king of the social media platforms, and Instagram has responded with an almost exact carbon copy of TikTik’s music-inspired video sharing platform. Meet IG Reels: “15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools.” In the past, Instagram has had success with cribbing functionality — when Instagram Stories launched in August 2016, it was widely criticized as a blatant rip off Snapchat, but users quickly adopted it. IG Reels might have a huge opportunity to pick up users if (and it’s a big if) TikTok is actually banned in the U.S. next month.
LinkedIn Adds Tools to Encourage Engagement + Support Job Seekers
LinkedIn during a pandemic is an interesting place — ad revenue is up 10% and sessions are up 27%, but the platform has eliminated close to 1,000 jobs in its global sales and talent acquisition teams. LinkedIn has added “quick creation” features such as “find an expert” and “share that you’re hiring” in an effort to continue to foster professional connections. It’s also catching up to Facebook and Twitter, adding poll and livestream functionality.
TikTok is Open for Business — For Now
After months of discussion about how businesses could use the viral video app, TikTok for Business arrived in June 2020 with audience and advertising options for brands. However, hype has been somewhat quelled by the U.S. government’s promise to ban the platform if it is not acquired by a domestic company — Oracle has entered the ring alongside Microsoft as a potential buyer — by mid-September.
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