30 Sep Say Hello to 60-Second Instagram Stories
Welcome back to Spark Social Report by Spark Growth, your weekly source for social media updates! This week, TikTok has increased its caption character count to 2,200, Instagram is introducing 60-second Stories, and Facebook has a new early access feature. Continue reading for more updates across social media from this week!
Digital Marketing Insights
Reels are taking over the Instagram space and now, brands may benefit even more from creating additional Reel content. Emplifi completed a study on Reels over the past year. Here are some key insights:
- Instagram users spend 20% of their time on the app watching Reels.
- Single image interactions have declined by 41% since 2021 but Reels interactions have only decreased by 10%
- Reels receive the top level of engagement compared to other post types.
Read the full study here!
Say Hello to 60-Second Stories
Instagram is rolling out its longer stories feature
Videos will no longer be split into separate story segments if under 60 seconds long. pic.twitter.com/Rc2L8WVVmp
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 23, 2022
Instagram Stories are undergoing a major change as video clips will no longer be split up into 15-second segments. Now, Stories can be up to 60 seconds in length! Instagram has been shifting its focus to video formats so this update could be intended to encourage more video posting on the app. The feature is being rolled out globally this week.
Switch Between Meta Accounts
Next, Meta is testing a way for users to switch between accounts across Instagram and Facebook. With this new feature, users can see notifications and accounts in the same place for both sites. This is currently being tested with the goal of increasing interactions between Instagram and Facebook.
Testing Public Message Option
#Instagram is testing a new section in DM, “Public” pic.twitter.com/LifLpLaC81
— Hammod Oh (@hammodoh1) September 23, 2022
Instagram is working on an interesting way for creators to reach followers by introducing a public folder in the DMs. The feature states that creators can share posts directly with followers via this message option. The feature is very broad right now as no specifications have been declared just yet. Users similarly use Stories to share new posts, but this feature would directly notify each follower.
Is In-App Instagram Shopping a Dying Trend?
And lastly, Instagram is testing the removal of the shop tab and going back to the old feed options such as having a notification tab. The company has been moving away from shopping features as it puts its focus elsewhere. However, that’s not to say social shopping on the platform is completely dead. They have been testing various ways to improve in-app shopping.
Multi Guest on TikTok Live
Moving on to TikTok, creators can now add up to five guests on their Live streams. This feature opens up opportunities for creators to hold larger discussions on the platform and reach new audiences.
Video Description Character Limit Increase
Woah…! TikTok has increased video description character limit to 2,200 characters!
This is huge for creators and massive in terms of TikTok’s plans for becoming a search engine pic.twitter.com/kGhnL97uUM
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 23, 2022
TikTok has made a “huge” expansion to its video descriptions. The description character limit has increased from 300 to 2,200 characters! This could help your content find its way to more users. TikTok is quickly becoming a search engine tool for younger users. Almost 40% of young people go to TikTok or Instagram rather than Google Search for everyday research, like where to go for lunch.
Thumbs-Down Button to Identify Inappropriate Comments
Next, the company has launched a thumbs-down comment option to flag negative interactions on videos. The new thumbs-down button appears beside the like button on each comment. It is not intended to be a dislike button but rather a way to identify inappropriate comments. The number of times the button has been clicked will not be publicly displayed. The feature was developed with good intentions but how TikTok will control misuse of the button is unknown.
TikTok Now App
This is the TikTok Now app on-boarding.
Take a look: pic.twitter.com/YTsRenzkBv
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 21, 2022
Lastly, one of TikTok’s newest features — which is a copy of the BeReal app, called TikTok Now — has been launched as a standalone app. The app is available in the Apple Store and Google Play stores around the world. Launching TikTok Now as a separate app sets it up as a direct competitor to BeReal. Although BeReal introduced this trend of posting more authentically, it now has to play catch-up as it is not available in all regions.
Features for Company Pages
LinkedIn has officially launched some features for company pages that have been in testing recently. The first updates are new post templates and link stickers for company pages. These will allow companies to create visual content directly in-app and also link to outside pages. Additionally, companies can pin comments on posts to highlight favorite comments. Lastly, a new section for pages called “Featured Commitments” will showcase a brand’s top values. With all of these new features to play with, which one are you looking forward to using?
Early Post Access
Facebook added an early access for subscribers with timing @MattNavarra pic.twitter.com/qmLLlXkRzx
— Jonah Manzano (@jonah_manzano) September 26, 2022
Facebook is testing an early access feature for subscribers that enables them to see a post either 24 hours, 48 hours, or even a week before others. This could encourage more creators to turn to Facebook as a platform where they can monetize their content.
Comment Removal Transparency
Based on the new comment removal guidelines, users will get a more specific reason of why their comment was taken down. Additionally, if a user is leaving multiple comments that are against the guidelines, they can be temporarily banned for up to 24 hours.
Voice Status Feature in the Works
In a new app update, WhatsApp is working on a “Voice Status” feature. Users can upload short voice messages to their contacts as a status update. No specific details are known at this time as the feature is still in development. We will keep you updated!
Call Links Feature
WhatsApp has launched a new Call Links feature for users to share and join a voice or video call. Within the Calls sections, users can create a new call link and share it with groups or individuals. WhatsApp is also looking to expand video and voice call capacity to up to 32 people, making the platform a possible competitor to Zoom.
That wraps up the latest social media updates for this week! Be sure to check us out on Instagram for more digital marketing trends and news.
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