Social in Short

Social in Short: July 2021

Each month, our team of social experts dig through the trenches of the internet to find the biggest, best and most important news coming out of the social platforms we and our clients use daily.

Facebook Gets in the Newsletter Game with Bulletin

Facebook has recruited dozens of writers to launch its newsletter product, Bulletin, a challenger to the popular (and controversial) platform Substack. Readers can discover, subscribe and support newsletters on topics like science, fashion, sports and finance—but not politics. Facebook hopes to avoid divisive subjects and has not yet made Bulletin available for creators outside its selected group. Eventually, Bulletin may expand to more independent creators, allowing them to earn revenue by building paying fan bases.

What it means for brands: Bulletin, Substack and other newsletter platforms have the potential to change the way people consume news, continuing the shift away from established outlets and perhaps opening up new opportunities to partner with journalists and creators.

TikTok Ads Elicit More Emotional Response

In a recent study with neuroanalytics firm Neuro-Insight, TikTok uncovered that its ads may be more memorable than ads on other platforms—even Broadcast TV. The study found that TikTok ads were 44% more likeable and had 15% more engagement than other social platforms. The hypothesis from the data is that the full screen, immersive experience, paired with TikTok’s targeting and For You page algorithm, allows for a promoted TikTok clip to have a stronger mental response and brand recall. 

What it means for brands: While TikTok ads can satisfy many KPIs, brands that are looking for more awareness and brand recall-based KPIs should consider TikTok in their media mix.

TikTok Launches New Ad Format

TikTok has launched a new ad format called Spark ads, which allows brands to tap into content creators in a more efficient way. These ads are essentially sponsored posts of content influencers are already creating. For instance, if a creator posts a video about their favorite face cream, that face cream brand can reach out to the creator and repurpose their clip in an ad. In simpler terms: It’s boosting organic content and converting it to In-Feed or TopView Ads, utilizing TikTok’s robust targeting capabilities. 

What it means for brands: Brands could leverage TikTok content without having to make an investment in creative, allowing them to test and learn with the platform and targeting approach. This all hinges on creators making that organic content for brands to use. It could also allow brands to take a more authentic testimonial approach, showing real, un-paid, influencer-like responses to their product.

Instagram Allows All Users to Save Stories Drafts

Now everyone on Instagram can save Stories drafts that last for one week before disappearing. Previously, the only way to save in-progress Stories was to download them or use a third-party app—neither of which was a great solution for preserving tags, location stickers and other native features. This update will make the Stories creation process more convenient and allow users to spend more time crafting the perfect content over seven days. To save a draft, simply go to exit while composing a Story and find the new option on the “Discard edits?” screen.

What it means for brands: Although drafts of Stories don’t last forever, being able to access them for a week could make things easier for social media managers who prefer to create or upload content in batches and then publish different pieces at optimal times.

Twitter Fleets are Disappearing for Good

Not every social media platform needs an ephemeral posting option, as Twitter has learned with the flop of Fleets. This functionality is expiring permanently, and the bar at the top of the Twitter app will instead feature Spaces—social audio rooms, another trend taking off among major platforms. Will Spaces stick around or be another fleeting attempt to keep up? Time will tell.

What it means for brands: Fleets allowed users to share full-screen media for the first time, and Twitter was testing new vertical ad formats there. Although Fleets is disappearing, Twitter is looking to bring back some of those composer options. Keep an eye out.

Other updates of note

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