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Welcome back to another Spark Social Report by Spark Growth! If you’re looking for the latest social media updates and trends, you’ve come to the right place. This week we’ve got a lot of new trends and updates including Instagram bringing back its chronological feed! Scroll down to stay in the loop. 


Social Media Trends

Instagram launched its first edition of the Instagram Trend Report! The report covers upcoming trends that the company believes will shape social media culture in 2022. Instagram extrapolated these trends by tapping into the minds of its Gen-Z audience to provide insights across categories including fashion, creators, and social justice. 

One of the predicted trends for 2022 is social and AR shopping. Over one in four teens and young adults are expected to shop directly through social media feeds. In addition to this, teens are focusing more on sustainability as 23% of them are expected to do more shopping through second-hand websites. 2022 is going to be a year that provides new online shopping experiences!


Social Media Updates


Meta has brought new features for comment moderation and support for its Facebook app. New moderation controls enable users to hide comments with a “hide action” prompt next to each comment. Users will also have access to “keyword blocking” that will let them automatically hide comments that contain blacklisted keywords even with the use of numbers, symbols, or different spellings. The company is also testing “Moderation Assist” which may make moderating comments easier by setting rules and criteria for comments. 

The company is also bringing moderation support to Facebook Live. Creators will be able to moderate their streams using profanity blocking tools, suspending/banning controls, and stronger comment controls. Facebook is also about to test out “community moderation” for Facebook Live which allows creators to assign moderators to review comments on their behalf. 

Facebook is continuing its efforts to support creators by testing support through live chat. At the moment, English-speaking creators in the U.S. who are logged into their accounts can access a dedicated creator support site. Creators can chat with support agents on various issues ranging from pay-out status to inquiries about new features. Especially with the exponential growth of content creators on social media, it’s critical for companies to provide support to creators when they face issues on the platform. Currently, the support live chat is only being tested but the platform plans to expand the service and send creators invitations to test the new support experience. 

Next, Facebook Live gets a make-over with a new design on desktop and mobile. With a new and improved layout, creators will have an easier time navigating the platform for their next livestream. The update also includes some new features such as “Featured Links,” “Polls,” co-broadcasting, and “Live in Stories.” Featured Links enables creators to share multiple links to their live broadcast and users can even visit these links without leaving the stream. The Polls experience is also being implemented for mobile users so viewers can engage directly with their favorite creators. Creators will also be able to go live with up to three additional guests as Facebook expands the number of people users can co-broadcast with on Live. On top of all this, creators can promote their broadcasts by sharing the stream on their Stories to get discovered at the top of the News Feed. With new layouts and features for Facebook Live, creators and viewers alike will have a more engaging experience on the platform. 


Heads up! Well, now that we have your attention, Meta is partnering up with Ellen DeGeneres to bring her mobile game “Heads Up!” to Messenger and Instagram. Users can compete with their family and friends through a reimagined charade game using augmented reality (AR). It’ll be available in Group Effects for video calls. 


Lastly, Meta launched new 2021 throwback elements for Facebook and Instagram. Facebook gets a “Year Together” option that highlights all the friends, feelings, and places that users are engaged with throughout the year. Users can share these highlights on their profiles for their loved ones to see. 




As for Instagram, the new “Playback” feature showcases Stories highlights from the past year. Users can select up to ten Stories from the collection to share with their followers. With new throwback elements, users can reminisce about special moments that they experienced throughout the past year. 


Speaking of throwbacks, Instagram plans to bring back its chronological feed next year. After five years of an algorithmic feed, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced that Instagram would support giving users the option to have a chronological feed instead. The company has been experimenting with different ways to offer users more control over their experience, so the chronological feed may not be exactly the same as it was before, but users will still have the option to opt-in. As for now, there is no specific release date for the option, but Mosseri states that the company is aiming for the first quarter of next year.



Pinterest introduced a new feature that lets users reply to comments with Idea Pins. With these new Idea Pins, users can save themselves from long explanations in the comments section and simply share visual content instead. Idea Pins in comments will open up the full-screen Idea Pin composer so users can add more context to their response. With the new implementation of Idea Pins in comment threads, users can interact with visual content that will make explanations easier and engaging. 




YouTube has a few updates in the works for both users and content creators. The platform plans to update link formats related to geographical locations, such that places mentioned in the video can be detected and linked in the video description. The feature is being developed to provide engaging access to real places, inviting users to interact with the places mentioned. The update has big implications in terms of marketing for local businesses. 

The video streaming platform is also working on a grouping feature for channel subscriptions called “Collections.” The feature being tested is meant to drive discoverability on the platform as users will be able to find new content based on their channel subscriptions. For users with access to the experiment, they’ll be able to see a “Favorites” collection based on recently watched videos as well as create new collections. Though Collections is still being tested, it may add convenience and organization for users who prefer a customizable feed in the future.


As YouTube and Disney’s deal expires on December 17th, the video streaming website wanted to give its users an update. According to YouTube, the two have not been able to reach an equitable agreement as of yet. YouTube wants to be treated like any other TV provider and wants to be offered the same rates that other services of similar pay receive. If YouTube and Disney are unable to reach a deal, then Disney-owned channels will no longer be available on YouTube TV so the company will decrease their monthly subscription price by $15. 

For creators, YouTube is currently testing ways to edit timed auto-captions for its auto-chapters feature. This will allow creators to implement their own text to further inform the user about the content during any segment of their video. There is no certain release date for this option as of yet.

Lastly, a “guided policy experience” is being tested to provide actionable steps for creators that wish to resolve a Community Guidelines violation. If the feature is fully released, users will be able to access information and options on how to resolve policy issues. 



Twitter announced auto-captions for all new videos within Tweets! Auto-captions will be available for web, iOS, and Android users in over 30 languages. The new feature will make content on Twitter more accessible for users who are hard-of-hearing, but also for users who prefer to keep their phones muted. The one caveat of this addition is that users will not be able to tweak captions before posting, meaning they won’t be able to correct any errors or add further context. Nonetheless, the new feature is still a step forward in addressing accessibility concerns on the platform and adds new ways for users to engage with content on Twitter.


The company is testing out a “Quote Tweet with reaction” option. App researcher Alessandro Paluzzi shared the feature that would provide users with more ways to engage in direct and visual engagement through Tweets. Users may be able to attach Tweets as stickers to their images or videos. There’s no official word on when this will be released but it has the potential to capture the attention of younger users on the platform. 


Finally, Twitter is planning on making things bigger and better by experimenting with a reformatted Explore tab. Users participating in the test will be able to experience Tweets in a fullscreen and vertical scrolling format. A fullscreen format creates a more visually alluring and engaging experience for users on the app and may help boost discoverability for trending content. As for now, the test is only available for users in certain countries in English on Android and iOS.




Snapchat’s Spotlight feed launched a new “acts of kindness” initiative in partnership with Kim Kardashian West and her family. Acts of Kindness prompts creators to add their own clips to the #KindnessChallenge initiative. Whether it’s sharing a home-cooked meal or complimenting strangers on the street, creators in the U.S. have the opportunity to share in a $100,000 USD prize pool by submitting how they spread joy. The update is one of many that have made the Spotlight feature successful in increasing users’ engagement with the app.


Snapchat also launched a new “Story Studio” app that enables users to have a streamlined experience when creating vertical video content. Content created on the app can then be exported to the main app and shared as a Story or Spotlight. At the moment, the app is available as an early access release for users in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. If you’re able to get your hands on it, give it a try!


If you’re having trouble finding that perfect Christmas gift, Snapchat’s got your back. With Snap’s new Holiday AR Lens, users can try on digital versions of products ranging from clothing, accessories, makeup, and more! AR shopping saves consumers the hassle of in-store shopping as they can simply try on and purchase in the comfort of their own homes. Users can discover gifts for their loved ones or even treat themselves to something special for the holidays.




Ahem, check, check, one, two. WhatsApp released an option to preview your voice messages before sending. Now users can feel more confident in the voice messages they’re putting out by being able to play it back to themselves first. Although hearing your own voice can leave a shiver going down your spine, being able to listen to your own voice message before sending it can help with improving communication and ensuring that you’re sending the right message.


Meta continues to pursue their cryptocurrency project with a new test pilot for its digital wallet app, Novi. The head of Novi, Stephane Kasriel, announced on Twitter that a limited number of WhatsApp users in the U.S. will have access to sending and receiving money using Novi. Following the pilot trial, Meta is choosing to focus on the digital wallet’s use for fee-free transfers to loved ones abroad.


That’s a wrap for this week’s Spark Social Report! Make sure to check us out on Twitter to keep up with the latest social media news. 

Snapchat’s Spotlight #KindnessChallenge shows how social media can be an effective way to promote important causes. Through content generation and social media, we’ve worked with Engage and Change to raise awareness of the dangers of homelessness. Check our case study below to see how social media can incite acts of kindness.


href="#" data-color-override="false" data-hover-color-override="false" data-hover-text-color-override="#fff">Check out our case study!

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