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Welcome back to Spark Social Report by Spark Growth, your weekly source for social media updates! This week, Instagram started testing 90-second Reels, Snapchat’s Partner Summit brought lots of new announcements, and Facebook is shutting down its podcasts platform. Continue reading for more updates across social media from this week! 

Digital Marketing Insights

Snapchat had a lot to say at the Annual Snap Partner Summit. They wanted brands to know that they are a successful platform for digital advertising and have the research to back it up. 

Snapchat is aiming to be considered a place for brands to market their products just as much as other social media sites. Here are some statistics from the article that might help your business:

  • Snapchatters are 30% more likely to make a purchase online than non-users
  • Consumers that feel happy and upbeat on a platform increase the effectiveness of digital advertising by 40% 
  • 87% of Snapchatters feel like their honest and true selves on the app
  • 82% of users engage with brands and drive purchases 

Check out the full article and watch highlights from the Snap Partner Summit for more insights!



Virtually Try On Clothes with Snap AR Shopping

Snapchat AR try on with American Eagle


Skipping a trip to the mall just got way easier with Snapchat’s new capabilities for AR shopping, an online shopping experience that enables users to try on clothes at home virtually. Snapchat has had AR shopping lenses since January 2021 and reported that more than 250 million Snapchatters use the feature.

The new AR shopping additions aim to make it easier and cheaper for brands to implement the technology both on Snapchat and on their own platforms. Three new technologies were introduced as part of the New AR Creation Suite:

  • Snap’s 3D Asset Manager for businesses to create their own 3D models or utilize existing models from other well-known brands. 
  • The new AR Image Processing technology makes it easy for businesses to use product photography to build AR-ready assets for the Lens. 
  • AR Shopping Templates allows brands to create catalog-shopping Lenses for free with no AR development skills. 

Outside of the Creation Suite and Snapchat, brands can bring AR Shopping to their own application with the Camera Kit. This feature works on Android, iOS and websites.

Read more about the new capabilities for brands here.

Snapchat also introduced a related new feature, Dress Up, for shoppers. This is a community to browse for new clothes with the try-on experience, share with friends, and add items to their cart. This brings all aspects of online shopping to one platform for users to have a quick and immersive experience. 

Become a Director with Snapchat’s New Director Mode for iOS

Snapchats users can seat themselves in a virtual Director chair with the new Snap Director Mode. Snapchatters can create improved video content with new camera and editing tools. This update follows Snapchat’s previous launch in December 2021 of the standalone video editing app, Story Studio. Director Mode expands the ability to create high-quality videos for all users for entertainment purposes. 

Other features of Director Mode include Green Screen mode for changing the background of videos and Quick Edit, allowing users to simply edit multiple Snap videos together. 

Snapchat and Live Nation Create an Immersive AR Experience for Concerts 

Experience your favorite concerts and connect with artists on a new immersive level. Snapchat announced a multi-year deal with Live Nation to bring Augmented Reality to live concerts and expand the connection between the artists and fans. Additional features for all attendees include being able to try on merchandise through Snap AR, find friends at the venue, and explore landmarks from the festival grounds. 

Snap AR x Live Nation will be coming to Lollapalooza, Wireless Festival, Rolling Loud and EDC Las Vegas in 2022. 

Snapchat Partners with Cameo for Business Advertising

Snapchat and Cameo have introduced a new advertising program. With this program, companies will be able to hire celebrities, athletes, and influencers for short-form video ads posted on the Snapchat app. This partnership will make it more convenient to match popular talent to your business’s advertising campaign. 

Within the announcement, Cameo produced a case study showing the success that Mattress Firm had when using Cameo for Business. The Snapchat ads reported 3x higher than the average for other retail companies within their category. Click here to read the other case studies with Kraft, Molson, and 37Games. 



Instagram Testing 90-Second Reels

Instagram is testing longer Reels as more users are reporting the ability to create 90-second Reels. Instagram is working to shift all video formats around Reels to make a more compact feed and add profit for the company (Mosseri via Instagram). This includes the removal of IGTV videos, which was decided in October 2021, and this new potential extension of Reels. Meta reported that Reels take up more than 20% of users’ time when on the app, showing its increase in popularity. Currently, users can post videos up to one hour long, but this is expected to decrease to align with the Reel format and work towards an immersive feed. 

Instagram is Testing out Communities 

Instagram has Facebook Groups now… oh wait, they are calling it “Communities.” Instagram has been continuously working on a Communities platform within the app that is similar to Facebook Groups and Discord. New updates show that members of communities will be able to share posts, Reels, stories, and chat in a public or private setting. 



Twitter Tests New Option to Attach Multiple Elements to a Single Tweet 

After users have been asking for years, Twitter is finally testing out an option that allows users to include video, images, and GIFs in a single Tweet. This element has not been confirmed by Twitter and all projects are on hold due to the purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk. If this does get rolled out, this update would allow users to attach multiple elements to their tweets making more creative and expressive opportunities possible. 

Bring your Social Circle to Twitter

Bring your besties and social circle to Twitter! On May 3rd, Twitter announced Twitter Circle, a feature that allows users to share tweets with a smaller group of followers of up to 150 people. This element is similar to Instagram’s Close Friends list, which shows Stories to a select list of followers. Some Twitter users are disappointed with the low number of people allowed in a Circle, as they were hoping for the option to share tweets with followers only rather than in a Twitter Circle.  




TikTok is Celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

API creators on TikTok


For the month of May, TikTok is highlighting Asian and Pacific Islander (API) content creators. TikTok emphasizes the importance of celebrating API heritage due to the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes since the COVID-19 pandemic. To support API creators, TikTok is hosting an API Night Market, a live shopping event for Asian small businesses who have created a community on TikTok. This will bring awareness and sales to these small businesses and give the creators a chance to share their stories and more about their API heritage. 

TikTok’s Advertising Solution: TikTok Pulse

TikTok has announced a contextual advertising solution for brands to place advertisements among videos in the top 4% of a chosen category. In the new program, TikTok Pulse, TikTok says it will drive engagement and broaden exposure for brands. TikTok Pulse will have 12 categories of culturally relevant content that a brand can choose from to relate their products or services to. With this feature, brands can be more confident that their ads will be seen by viewers who are interested in their products. 

Would you consider advertising on TikTok with these new additions? 



Say Goodbye to Facebook Podcasts 

Hurry to find a new platform for your podcasts, because Facebook is shutting down its podcasts. Meta stated that they will be shutting down Soundbites and all short-form audio features in the next coming weeks. According to Bloomberg, Facebook does not plan on informing users directly, but will put the responsibility on publishers to inform their clients. Just over a year ago, Facebook launched podcasts, but Meta has now stated that they want to focus on other initiatives. The podcast market continues to be dominated by Spotify and Amazon, while Meta finds most of its users’ time is spent on Reels and photo content. 



New WhatsApp Quick Reactions 

Whatsapp quick reactions


WhatsApp is adding Quick Reactions to the status updates feature. The element is similar to reacting to an Instagram story with emojis. When a user reacts to a status update, the reaction or emoji will be sent in the user’s personal chat. WhatsApp wants to upgrade its new status update feature as it is not as popular as the company had anticipated. This includes this new quick reaction feature, as well as displaying status updates to the chat section on the iOS app. 

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

Do you want to use these social media updates for your brand? Click the button below to connect with our team. Let’s discuss how we can help you reach your business objectives with social media marketing!

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