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Welcome back to Spark Social Report by Spark Growth, your weekly source for social media updates! This week, Twitter is removing inactive accounts which may cause your Twitter follower count to decrease, Instagram shop ads are now only available for brands with in-app checkouts, and TikTok introduces premium ads for big brands. Continue reading for more updates across social media from this week! 


Digital Marketing Insights 

How consumers search online and use search engines has changed over the past couple of years. There are new opportunities to utilize online forms based on search trends. Here are some key insights: 

  • Users were searching on Google with more of a commercial or transactional intent last year, rather than informational.
  • Only around one in five searches led to the user clicking on the first search result in 2022. 

Here’s our Spark insight: For certain types of content, older audiences would typically use Google, while younger audiences are starting to use social media platforms like TikTok as a search engine. 

Learn more about the changes in search trends by checking out this report here!



Meta Avatars Gain New Body Shape Options 

meta avatars


Meta wants your digital avatars to be the best versions of you! They’re rolling out updates to make them more personalized and realistic. Now, you’ll have a wider selection of body shapes to choose from, ensuring better representation. Plus, Meta has partnered with Puma to offer a new range of stylish clothing options for your avatar. 

Provide Feedback on Reel Preferences 

Meta wants to make your Reels experience even better by adding new ways for you to provide input on the Reels shown in your feed. You’ll soon see options to show more or show less of certain Reels, allowing you more control over what you see. They’ll even ask you for direct feedback to fine-tune their algorithm and give you personalized recommendations. 

That’s not all, Meta is also making Reels more prominent by adding a special section at the top of Facebook Watch. 

Meta Integrating AR Into Ads 

Next, the company has unveiled some exciting new augmented reality (AR) and Reels ad options. The AR ads will offer more immersive experiences on Facebook Stories and Instagram Reels. Additionally, Meta introduced new Reels ad features such as larger call-to-action buttons and product carousels. These updates will be launched gradually in the next few months.



Instagram Shop Ads Are Now Exclusive to In-App Checkouts

Meta is revamping its Shop ads on Instagram and Facebook and removing the option to refer buyers to third-party websites. The company wants to streamline the buying process and take advantage of its improved AI ad targeting. The shops with in-app checkouts perform better, so the option to refer users to external websites is being removed. Now, brands can either run a fully enabled shop in-app or not run Shop ads at all. 

Updates and Name Change to Branded Content Ads

Moving on, Instagram is making some changes to its policies around affiliate marketing and rebranding its Branded Content Ads to Partnership Ads. With this update, brands will now be able to promote various types of user-generated content, not just posts with the Paid Partnership label. The permission process remains the same, with creators having control over which partnerships and content to approve. Additionally, brands now have the ability to create Partnership Ads from a creator’s account directly. Find out more here



Creators Can Earn More Cash

The TikTok Creativity Program is expanding, giving more creators the chance to earn some cash. Top creators get direct funding based on their content’s success. The program was initially available to selected creators, but now anyone can join if they meet the content engagement criteria. So, if you have at least 10K followers, 100K authentic video views in the last 30 days, and you’re over 18, you’re eligible! Just make sure your videos are at least one minute long.

New Premium Ads For Big Brands 

branded tiktok ads


TikTok is stepping up its advertising game with a new premium ad option for big brands called, “Pulse Premiere.” Building on its Pulse ads, Pulse Premiere allows advertisers to choose specific placements alongside premium content in lifestyle, education, sports, and entertainment categories. 

Additionally, TikTok is introducing Pulse Seasonal Lineups, focusing on moment-specific ad campaigns, and Max Pulse, which enables ads to run alongside top trending content across all categories. It’s an exciting opportunity for brands to reach their target audience more effectively.



A Rundown of the Recent Twitter Updates

Every week Twitter updates seem to get crazier and more confusing, so here is a rundown on the latest changes across the platform from this past week: 

Twitter is removing inactive profiles from its system, meaning many usernames may become available. This could also mean users’ Twitter follower count may start decreasing if accounts are being deleted. 

New features for Twitter DMs allow users to reply directly to an individual message, choose a wider range of emoji reactions, and send voice notes

Elon Musk said that lower-cost options for the Verification for Organizations program will become available at some point. 

Twitter is working on a new Highlight tab for the profile page to showcase your best or favorite Tweets. Users can choose which to add. 

Coming next month, publishers can charge users on a per-article basis to read an article in the Twitter app rather than paying for a monthly subscription on the site. 

Check back next week for more Twitter updates! 



Enhanced Channel Displays 

YouTube is introducing new features to enhance channel displays and engagement. First off, personalized recommendations will be added to suggest content based on viewers’ interests, topic affinity, and past viewing history. The “Sort by oldest” filter is also making a return, allowing users to view content in chronological order. Lastly, YouTube is simplifying channel displays by hiding empty tabs and removing unnecessary ones, such as the About tab. Watch this video to learn more!

Longer Wait Times for Partner Program 

YouTube is updating its Partner Program application process, introducing a longer waiting period for creators who have been rejected from content monetization. Previously, creators could reapply after 30 days, but the waiting period will be extended from 30 days to 90 days, starting June 5, 2023. For more details on the changes, watch this video

New Placement Options for Shorts Ads

Next, the company is expanding advertising opportunities on YouTube Shorts, including in Video Reach campaigns and YouTube Select. Brands can optimize vertical videos or adapt existing horizontal creative with AI-powered tools. The “First Position on Shorts” feature lets advertisers make a strong impression by having their ad shown first when viewers open YouTube Shorts. These updates aim to enhance ad reach and engagement on the platform.

YouTube Amps Up Creator Music Tools

Lastly for YouTube, users can expect to see exciting updates for Creator Music. Firstly, creators can now filter music license duration and price, making commercial music more accessible. New icons will indicate which tracks are available for revenue sharing. Additionally, improved Shorts analytics will showcase the impact of Shorts on channel growth. Learn about the other updates here!



New Features For Enhanced Polls and Captions

whatsapp captions


WhatsApp is making chats more engaging with these updates. For polls, creators can now set single-vote options, easily search for polls in chats, and receive notifications for poll results. Additionally, sharing media becomes more interactive as forwarding captions can now be used to share documents, and provide explanations or context. These updates are being rolled out globally!



Reddit Enhances Post Sharing

Moving on, Reddit is introducing updates to streamline post sharing. Users can now share Reddit posts directly to Instagram Stories using a native sticker format, eliminating the need for screenshots or URLs. Also, link sharing in messaging apps will automatically display visual previews, similar to the Instagram Stories sticker. 



Pinterest Teams Up with Amazon for Seamless Ad Campaigns

Pinterest has announced a partnership with Amazon, allowing Amazon advertisers to extend their campaigns to the Pinterest platform. This collaboration will bring more brands and relevant products to Pinterest, providing users with a seamless buying experience. 



Snapchat New Ad Options

Snapchat is introducing new advertising options to its platform, including “First Story” ads that ensure advertisers’ content is displayed as the first ad between friend Stories. Additionally, Snapchat will now feature ads within Spotlight, its short video feed. These new ad options provide advertisers with additional opportunities to engage Snapchat’s highly active user base.

That wraps up the latest social media updates for this week! Be sure to check us out on Twitter for more digital marketing trends and news. 

Interested in learning more about how social media marketing can grow your brand? Click the button below to connect with our team. Let’s discuss how we can help you reach your business objectives!

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