Important Social Media Updates for Summer 2022
Summer 2022 has seen some huge social media updates, as the major apps battle it out for our attention and screen time. We’ve rounded up our 6 need-to-know updates and what they mean for marketers.
1. Instagram Pauses Video-Focused Redesign, and Tests 9:16 Photos
Instagram has received criticism over the past few months that they are becoming too similar to TikTok. In fact, the company’s own data showed that Instagram’s overhauled design which focused on video content was so disliked by some people that they began using the app less frequently. It even caused backlash from celebrities including the Kardashians.
Whilst this insight has halted their plans to redesign the platform, for now, it has led to several important changes. Most notably it is testing 9:16 portrait images. The introduction of slimmer, taller 9:16 photos will help them fill the entire screen as you scroll through the app’s feed. This is also a nod to the complaints Instagram received about not supporting photography despite this continuing to be a popular content type.
Social media marketers should review content banks to ensure that there are plenty of high-quality images that would support being cropped into this ratio. Being ahead of the curve with new trends and tests can skyrocket your engagement rates.
The 9:16 size is already available for video in the form of Reels, so the introduction of this new 9:16 image format support is no surprise. It will give photographers or even bloggers much more room for creativity, without mandating it across the board.
2. It’s All About Reels
In July, Meta announced that nearly all video uploads would automatically become Reels. Any video, up to 15-minutes long will now be fed into the Reels stream if the account is public. The video will also appear in the Reels tab on a user’s profile.
Reels is the fastest growing content format in the app, and the popularity of TikTok means that users are now instinctively more aligned to the format.
Instagram has also added a range of new creative tools for Reels as it fully commits to the short video format. These include a host of new Remix options, where you add someone else’s clip to your Reel and they show alongside each other. New features include Remix for photos, expanded Remix layouts (rather than side by side), and adding a clip after the original so it plays sequentially.
The move is clearly a move to reduce the number of people leaving Instagram to spend more of their time on TikTok, but critics highlight that the move makes Instagram less differentiated, and less unique.
However you feel about the move, it’s a big change for marketers that will require reaction in your content planning and creation.
You may have also noticed this summer that Instagram has launched Boosted Reels. To be eligible for boosting, your Reels clips must be less than 60 seconds and have a 9:16 aspect ratio, “which means they’re filmed vertically and have a full-screen format”. Reels that use copyrighted music, GIFs, interactive stickers, or camera filters are not eligible for boosting. It’s also worth noting that Reels which have been shared to Facebook are also not eligible.
If you haven’t yet started with Reels, it needs to be a big part of your Instagram strategy moving forward.
3. New Facebook Feeds Tab
Facebook has recognised that people want more options when it comes to sorting and consuming content. In July, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook is making it easier for us to control what content we see and discover on Facebook. The introduction of Feeds means you can easily see the most recent posts from your friends, Pages, and groups as well as curate a Favourites list of the friends and Pages you care about most and filter their content in this new tab.
A result of this new tab is your “Home” tab (the first tab you see when you open the Facebook app) will become more of a discovery engine for you to find and follow new content and creators through recommendations. The Feeds tab will provide an easy way to access the content from the people and communities you’re already connected with on Facebook.
Feeds appears as a tab in your shortcut bar; found at the bottom of the app on iOS, and on Android, it’s at the top. There are no Suggested For You posts in Feeds and ads are included.
Whilst this could make it more challenging for brands to be seen by potential customers who are likely to spend less time on the Home tab, the aim appears to be keeping consumers on Facebook as long as possible.
This update once again highlights the importance of a paid Facebook strategy, with organic reach of Pages likely to suffer.
4. LinkedIn Carousels (and Highest Levels of Engagement Ever!)
LinkedIn has introduced a new ‘Carousel’ post option to your update tools. This is currently only available to some users, as LinkedIn is testing Carousels with ‘thousands of creators’ at first, before rolling it out to all users later in 2022.
For the rest of us, for now, we’ll have to continue posting DIY carousel using its PDF attachment option to create individual frames! This style of post has proven to be incredibly engaging, with Social Insider revealing in June that documents generate 3x more clicks than any other type of content on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn says it hopes the update will ‘empower creators to share knowledge in a more visual way.’ Social media marketers can prepare for this by gathering visual content to support upcoming planned blog posts and articles. Carousel posts work well to demonstrate research, case studies, and listicles.
LinkedIn has also revealed it is seeing record levels of user engagement on the platform, so now is certainly a good time to address your LinkedIn activity.
5. LinkedIn Business Manager
LinkedIn Business Manager is the latest way to organise your company assets on LinkedIn. The dashboard allows you to manage company pages, ad accounts, matched audiences, and account permissions all in one place.
LinkedIn began rolling out Business Manager in July and is still testing a variety of tools and features, which means there are likely to be numerous updates over the coming weeks.
Using Business Manager won’t be compulsory to use (for now) but there are lots of reasons to give it a go, particularly if you manage more than one Company page or you’re in charge of ad accounts for your business or agency.
Business Manager is a much more efficient way to organise multiple pages and ad accounts, grant access to colleagues and manage permissions. It also makes collaborations with agencies, freelancers and other contractors much simpler. If you’re freelancer or work for an agency this is going to make your life a lot easier!
To get started with LinkedIn Business Manager, just visit their dedicated page to get set up, which is here.
6.YouTube Product Tagging
In July, YouTube announced it is launching new shopping features for viewers and creators.
Most significantly, YouTube has partnered with Shopify to allow creators and sellers to feature products on their channels by linking Shopify with their YouTube channel.
This new feature is currently only open to eligible creators.
It’s very similar to Instagram’s product tagging process, meaning creators can display their products across their channels and use several of Shopify’s features. Creators in the United States can also offer onsite checkout to allow viewers to complete their purchases without leaving YouTube.
YouTube plans to roll out this feature to more countries later in 2022, so it’s something that UK brands can look forward to.
Eligible creators can also tag products directly from the Live Control Room to a live stream. Here’s how.
YouTube is focusing huge effort on transforming its platform into more of a shopping destination with new features likely coming soon. One of these new features will allow two creators to co-host a single live shopping stream, increasing the potential audience size.
Which new features are you looking forward to testing out over the coming weeks?