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Welcome back to another Spark Social Report brought to you by Spark Growth! In this last report for 2020, we have a lot of Twitter news to update you on. The company finalized its verification process, rolled back its Quote Tweet, and launched Spaces. LinkedIn has also added new Product Pages for brand accounts. Keep reading for more social media updates from Twitter and other popular apps.



With COVID-19 cases rising, Instagram is making sure that people are informed as to how they can help stop the spread. If you’re located in an area that’s seeing a spike in the number of cases, you’ll see a new area at the top of your Instagram feed linking you to the latest information from reputable sources. Similarly, if you’re searching for information on COVID-19 or vaccines on Instagram, the app will now direct you to the most up-to-date information.



Have you heard of Spaces? Twitter is now live testing its new audio-only, virtual rooms. After creating an audio-only meeting, your connections can join the room to participate or listen in. The team behind Spaces has also shared other features they’re testing, such as live transcriptions, reporting and blocking, and sharing Tweets in the room.


Next, Twitter has shared more news about its upcoming verification process, confirming that it will go live on January 20, 2021. After receiving over 22,000 survey responses, the company has already updated some of its initial policies. Previously, to be eligible for a blue checkmark, users needed to have a fully “complete” profile. After reading user feedback, Twitter notes that many users felt this was too restrictive. Now, users no longer need a profile bio or header image to apply for verification. (However, our digital marketing experts will be the first to tell you that a complete bio helps your brand and executives stand out on social media!) You can read Twitter’s updated policy here.

Along with the new policies, Twitter is launching a new portal for users to apply for verification. The option will be located in your Account Settings page.

image of twitter option to request verification on the app



One feature Twitter is rolling back is its Quote Tweet that was launched during the U.S. elections. Quote Tweets required users to add their own comments when retweeting another user’s tweet. The company hoped that this would spark meaningful conversations. However, Twitter admits that this wasn’t the case, as 45% of Quote Tweets included just one word, while 70% of them had fewer than 25 characters.

Twitter users on Android may see something new on their app. When replying to another user that you don’t follow, the app will show Topics both of you follow. Topics are a relatively newer Twitter feature, letting users follow specific topics that will help personalize their feed with relevant content. The reasoning behind this update was to minimize hurtful comments by creating a shared connection between strangers with things they may have in common.

Lastly, here’s another update from Twitter that will get many of you excited. You can now turn off retweets by going to the other user’s profile, tapping the three dots to pull up the menu, and selecting “Turn Off Retweets.” This is particularly useful if you’re following someone and prefer to see just their original content rather than any content they’re sharing from other accounts.



If your company has a LinkedIn Page, this update is for you! Product Pages has been added on a new tab on LinkedIn Pages. This tab highlights product reviews and star ratings from other users and product-related media, such as images and videos. The company notes that this particular section on a LinkedIn Page is meant to generate leads while empowering customers to share their thoughts. LinkedIn has created some Product Pages for its own services, including LinkedIn Sales Navigator.


While Instagram recently made its Reels feature more shoppable, TikTok is hot on its heels by testing shoppable live videos. Walmart was the first to test this out in its livestream, which was hosted by TikTok content creator, Michael Le. When products are shown in the video, a special pin will appear, allowing users to conveniently add the product to their shopping cart. To complete the purchase, users will then be taken to a mobile checkout screen.

Last but not least, TikTok users can update their app to see the new “Year in TikTok.” This end-of-the-year review will show you personalized collections filled with clips that you engaged with in 2020. For users who are new to the app and don’t have a full Year in TikTok review, there’s also a more relevant section that looks at global trends, including the top 100 videos, hashtags, trends, challenges, creators, and more.



WhatsApp’s desktop version will be getting voice and video calling in 2021! Certain users may see these options already as the company is currently experimenting with some features. WhatsApp hasn’t gone into detail on what users can expect so stay tuned for more information.



For iPhone and iPad users, Reddit has launched more widgets that you can add to your home screen. These include a Cat Calendar (see below); Deep Contemplation, which highlights text-based subreddits; Pretty Pictures, which showcases one image; and The Front Page, highlighting subreddits you follow.

image of reddit's new iOS widget cat calendar



Partnering with Oracle Data Cloud, Reddit is bringing Moat to its platform to provide advertisers with more transparency. Oracle acquired Moat, a digital ad analytics tool, back in 2017. Reddit says the new integration of this third-party platform will provide marketers with more meaningful campaign performance metrics.


That’s all for this week. From all of us at Spark Growth, we hope you have a fun and safe holiday season and a happy new year. We’ll see you in 2021!

Be sure to check in next year on January 8th for more social media updates! If you haven’t already, follow Spark Growth on Instagram for interesting social media marketing stats, marketing influencers, and more.


In the meantime, if LinkedIn’s new Product Pages has you interested in the platform, let’s talk about the ways your brand can use LinkedIn to reach your company objectives. Click the button below to learn more!

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