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Welcome back to Spark Social Report by Spark Growth, your weekly source for social media updates! No more distractions with TikTok’s new Clear Mode, Instagram adds AMBER Alerts to the app, and LinkedIn tests a divided message inbox. Continue reading for more updates across social media from this week!


Influencer Marketing Insights

Influencer marketing is a way for brands to spread awareness about their products and attract sales by leveraging an influencer’s audience and popularity. Today, many individuals from all age groups on social media are becoming influencers and making an income from posting online. Finding influencers for every niche market is becoming easier for brands and has become a key digital marketing strategy. Research from Izea Insights studied a large group of social media users and their ties to influencing. 

Here are some important points from the study

  • Of the respondents, 20% call themselves influencers. 
  • The largest group of social media influencers are males between 18 to 29 years — which may be surprising to many of you!
  • 68% of respondents said they would accept payment or free items to post on social media. 

For more information on influencer marketing, read the full report here



Instagram Testing Custom Cropped Posts on Profiles

Do you love having an aesthetically pleasing Instagram profile feed? Instagram is testing a new feature that can enhance the ability to be creative with your profile feed. App researcher, Alessandro Paluzzi, reported that Instagram is developing a feature to crop posts on a user’s profile. With this feature, users can choose a portion of their photos to be displayed on their profile to further customize their feed. 

In addition to this, Instagram continues to test its immersive full-screen feed where photos are shown in a 9:16 ratio on the home page. Posts viewed on each user’s profile would be displayed in a 4:5 ratio for a portrait view rather than Instagram’s usual square posts. 


New Avatar Story Reaction

Instagram Stories are gaining a new reaction tool. Meta has been working on making its avatars more engaging and promoting metaverse features for non-VR users. The company is now testing an option to react to Instagram stories with your Meta avatar. These digital characters being brought to Instagram bring new opportunities for users to interact with metaverse features on apps they already love. 


AMBER Alerts on Instagram


Instagram is launching AMBER Alerts, which will allow users to see important notices about missing children. The localized alert will appear on the home feed and individuals can report a sighting to the local law enforcement directly from Instagram. All important information and photos will be included in the alert. To enable AMBER Alerts, users will need to have their location services turned on. This update will be available in 25 countries this week including the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. 


Hiding Followers Count from Instagram Profiles

Instagram is testing the ability that would allow users to hide the number of followers on their profile. Currently, users can hide the number of likes from each post if they choose. When this was first introduced, hiding likes was enabled for everyone but since some users didn’t like the update, Instagram made the feature optional. It seems they have the same intention with the number of followers. Some users prefer to hide certain information for privacy reasons while others may need it to showcase their large audience — an especially important metric for popular creators who monetize their content!



No More Distractions with TikTok’s Clear Mode


TikTok is testing a new feature called “Clear Mode” that allows for a distraction-free full-screen viewing experience. When Clear Mode is enabled, all usernames, captions, sound information, likes, comments, and share buttons will be hidden from the screen. For the small number of users that the feature is being tested with, it can be found by holding on the screen in the menu section. This feature will help users view videos without distractions and remove items such as captions as sometimes they cover important parts of a TikTok. 


TikTok is Celebrating Pride Month

TikTok is adding some in-app features to celebrate Pride month. This includes new themed hashtags such as #ForYourPride and #PrideMusic. New sound playlists for Pride highlight LGBTQAI+ artists and genre playlists. Lastly, there will be a LIVE series that features LGBTQAI+ creators, non-profits, and small businesses. 



Pin Tweets on Communities

Twitter Communities announced a new feature where moderators and admins of a Community can pin Tweets to the top of the Community, a feature previously requested by members! Communities is a section of Twitter similar to Facebook Groups, but the function is not seeing a lot of engagement. This new feature may be a way for Communities to be more functional for users and hopefully, engagement will increase. 


Twitter Shuts Down TweetDeck for Mac

The social media dashboard app for Twitter, TweetDeck, is removing its Mac app. It will still be available for users on the web as Twitter is testing a new preview for the web experience. Twitter has been encouraging users of the platform to move to the web app since 2013 when it shut down the mobile app and the Windows site in 2016. 


Twitter Explores Content Control Tools 

Twitter is working on “Content Control Tools” for third parties that will provide custom timelines within the app. This could mean choosing how the order of Tweets is organized on your feed. This update could create new ways to use the app by providing a more individualized experience. 



Divided LinkedIn Messages

LinkedIn is working on a new feature to divide messages into two inboxes; “Focused” and “Other.” This will help users organize their connections and messages on LinkedIn and filter out any spam. Other platforms such as Instagram have integrated multiple inboxes to filter messages.



YouTube’s New Mobile to TV Sync 

YouTube has never had the same functions for multiple screen use as some other streaming platforms. On the Netflix and Apple TV apps, you can use other apps on your phone with your video still playing in a small window. YouTube does not allow for this functionality but it has now announced a synced second-screen experience for your TV. YouTube recognized that 80% of people use more than one device while watching TV. You can now sync your phone and your TV to use other features such as reading comments and exploring videos while the video plays on your TV.  



Save Disappearing Messages on WhatsApp

WhatsApp is testing a new feature allowing users the ability to save individual messages in a disappearing chat. Users have the option to have their chats disappear after a set time frame. With this new update, users can choose important information they don’t want to disappear and save it in a new “Kept Messages” section. This is similar to the function on Snapchat for users to save individual chats. 



New Shared Stories 

Snapchat has announced “Shared Stories,” where people who have been added to a group can also add their own friends. This can create a large collaborative tool for friends to see stories from new people and share relevant moments. 


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

Are you looking to market your company on social media but you don’t know where to start? Click the button below to learn more about our social media marketing services. From influencer marketing to strategic ads that put you in front of your audience, our team can help!

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