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Welcome back to another Spark Social Report with Spark Growth! Grab your popcorn because this week we’ve got tons of new social media trends and updates including TikTok adding Disney character voices to its text-to-speech feature! 


Social Media Insights

An SEMRush study on viral TikTok content reveals insights on key trends and traits that marketers should keep an eye out for. The report found that one in three viral TikTok videos focused on a person speaking within the first three seconds and that happiness was the most common emotion triggered by viral videos. 

Viral content on the app is really just organic and authentic content. 37% of viral clips on TikTok focused on a person speaking to the camera, and 83% of the viral content stemmed from non-verified accounts. Another trait of a viral video is having music as the primary backing sound. More than half of viral TikTok content have music in their video, and trending music genres include pop (25.2%), hip-hop (15.7%), and rap (15.7%).

For digital marketers leveraging TikTok in their strategy, SEMRush’s study makes it evident that organic content that is authentic is the most effective in reaching an audience. Adding some tunes in the short clip is also a plus to engage with audiences. SEMRush does note that the study overall is not representative of successful TikTok content and that trends are rapidly changing. Even though the results of the study are not archetypal, they do act as a helpful guideline for what marketers should focus on when advertising on the platform. 


Social Media Updates


TikTok partnered with Disney to implement character voices in the app’s text-to-speech feature. Users will now be able to choose from a range of Disney character voices for their TikToks such as C-3PO or Chewbacca. The partnership makes for more engaging content for users to enjoy and interact with. 

TikTok is getting more professional with its partnership with Contra. The partnership gives users the opportunity to showcase their professional portfolios by adding a “View My Profile” link to their content. Viewers will be able to access creators’ Contra profiles for services and can even send in a request for a collaboration. The integration of professional profiles on TikTok not only gives creators the ability to present their professional work but is also an engaging way to develop newfound partnerships and collaborations with brands or other creators. 

Lastly, TikTok also updated its policies and “Safety Center” resources in light of dangerous viral challenges on the app. The platform’s safety team will now be alerted to sudden spikes in violating content linked to hashtags and will be able to investigate the causes to combat potentially harmful trends or behavior. TikTok also worked with experts to develop new resources dedicated to challenges and hoaxes as well as improving language used in the apps warning labels. The platform strives to be an engaging and safe environment, and in order to do so, the company will continue to refine how content is moderated and what resources should be available for users to better educate themselves on potentially harmful or sensitive topics.



Facebook introduced new shopping tools such as “Product Recommendations,” “Shop” in Groups, and “Top Product Mentions” in News Feed to bridge the gap between community and commerce. With these new tools, users will be able to get inspiration from close peers, creators, and groups they trust. 

With Shop in Groups, users will be able to shop from groups to support the communities they care about. An example Facebook uses is “OctoNation,” an octopus fan group and nonprofit organization. Members of the group can now purchase stickers, mugs, and apparel to show their undying love for octopuses while supporting the nonprofit.  


Product Recommendations in Groups is another way to ask others what they thought about a specific product. With Product Recommendations, the platform will show products that other members have recommended in order to let users make a more informed purchasing decision. 


On top of that, the platform is adding Top Product Mentions in the News Feed to help users discover products that were recommended by fellow group members. The feature also gives brands another way to be discovered by a wider audience.


Next, with GivingTuesday approaching on November 30th, Facebook expanded its tests for “Neighborhoods.” Neighborhoods is a dedicated space on the app that enables users to connect with their neighbors and participate in their local communities. The Neighborhoods section was previously only available in Canada but is now being tested for 132 additional cities in the United States. The platform is also testing a “Giving Exchange” feature that allows users to donate items they no longer use. Although Neighborhoods and Giving Exchange are still being tested, it can be an opportunity in the future for users to strengthen and support their communities.


Lastly, Meta launched its “Creative App” platform to improve the Facebook Stories experience. Creative App enables users to discover new apps featuring photo, video, and audio editing tools directly on Facebook Stories. After editing photos and videos for Stories, users will be able to share the content directly with friends and family. The platform is partnering with B612, Smule, VivaVideo, and Vita in order to put together a unique experience for users to create Stories. Creative App is still in beta and the platform will continue to innovate the feature to give users an engaging experience.



Instagram added Text-to-Speech and Voice Effect options to Reels. These new tools on Instagram might seem familiar, as they are already popular on TikTok as well! The new tools for Reels will come in handy for users who are participating in the Reels Play bonus program. The program supports creators by enabling them to earn money based on the performance of their Reels clips. Although the program is still in its early stages, it’s something that content creators can look forward to in terms of monetizing their content on Instagram.

Text-to-Speech allows an autogenerated voice to read your text aloud. For users who may not want to speak in their own videos, Text-to-Speech can narrate your content while adding some spice to the short-clip video. 


Another creative element that can be added to Reels clips is the addition of Voice Effects. Voice Effects allows users to modify audio and/or voiceover in their Reel. Users can mix things up and make voices sound like they’re a robot, an announcer, or even as if they’ve been sucking on helium! 


The company also made badges in Live available to all eligible creators in the United States. Creators can enable badges for their Live streams as long as they meet Instagram’s eligibility requirements and policies. For creators that have badges enabled, viewers can support them by purchasing badges, and in return, they’ll receive personal thank you messages on top of extra visibility in the creator’s Live. The implementation of badges in Instagram’s Live is yet another means for creators to monetize their content on the platform, and it also acts as an opportunity for community building and strengthening. 


Media consultant Matt Navarra reported on Twitter that Instagram is asking some users to provide a video selfie for user identity verification. A number of users, such as Bettina Makalintal, have reported having to verify their identity through a video selfie. The video requires a user to record their face from different angles to prove that they are a real person. Instagram replied on Twitter stating that in an effort to decrease bot activity on the app, accounts with suspicious activity may be asked to perform a video selfie for verification. Instagram also assures users that Instagram teams review the videos and that the feature does not utilize facial recognition. The process of video selfie verification appears to be a concern for many users, and also requires a lot of work for the Instagram team. With the abundance of bots on the app, hopefully, there will be new technology to combat bots in the future. 




Following in the footsteps of many other social media platforms, YouTube has also decided to get in on the live-shopping fun with its new Holiday Stream and Shop. Creators, such as Gordan Ramsay, Patrick Starr, Jackie Aina, and MrBeast will be hosting live shoppable streams featuring exclusive access to new products, discounts, giveaways, and more. Users will be able to engage with content creators and shop within the platform. 


Holiday Stream and Shop is just the start! YouTube has plans to continue building live shopping experiences on its platform. The company sees YouTube Shopping as a goldmine of opportunities. According to one study, 89% of viewers agree that recommendations from YouTube creators are ones users can trust. By integrating shopping directly onto the platform, it will make the shopping experience more seamless and more engaging for users. There are also content creators that have cultivated their own brand and products so implementing a shopping feature on the video-streaming site will make it easier for viewers to support their favorite creators.   

The video-streaming platform has officially launched a new feature within the takedown webform. The new feature enables users to automatically prevent duplicates of content users have already removed from being re-uploaded. On that topic, the platform has also expanded access to the “Copyright Match” tool to all creators who have submitted a takedown request. Copyright Match is a tool that scans the platform and alerts users for potential duplicate content. For users who may have removed content for legal or personal reasons, the new feature will prevent past videos from coming back to haunt them.


Next, YouTube is also testing new features including “Channel Guidelines” and “Member Recognition Shelf.” Channel Guidelines enable creators to define up to three guidelines for video comments on the channel, which must still adhere to YouTube guidelines and policies. With that being said, Channel Guidelines is meant to act as a guide for viewers to understand what is and what isn’t acceptable on the channel. Even though Channel Guidelines is a feature that is still being tested, creators can look forward to facilitating more positive and better community interactions in their comment sections.

Another potential feature that is being tested is the Member Recognition Shelf, which is a way for members to be acknowledged on the platform. Member Recognition Shelf is meant to showcase users who have a subscription to a creator’s channel and encourage other viewers to consider joining. Members’ avatars will be featured on a new separate shelf on the channel’s Home tab. It can also give active members the opportunity to be discovered by non-members. 


The platform is also testing new features, such as an updated “Paid Product Placement” checkbox and new “Media Kit” audience tools. YouTube is testing out updates for audience summaries within the platform’s BrandConnect interface. The platform’s tailored Media Kit is a means to make it easier for creators to present themselves for brand deals and partnerships. 

In addition, the platform is experimenting with Paid Product Placement where a select number of creators will be able to see a mandatory checkbox to indicate whether the “video contains paid promotion.” If the experiment is successful and released to all creators on the platform, it may boost the confidence and trust of viewers as they’ll be able to differentiate between affiliated and non-affiliated content.



Twitter will no longer automatically crop image previews on desktop! After the platform’s previous update that allows for full-size images on mobile, the app is finally duplicating that experience for desktop users. Simply put, the way images are populated in the Tweet composer will look exactly the same on the timeline. The full-sized image update also makes for a more streamlined experience—even though images may take up more space on the timeline, it is still more convenient than having to click an image to view the entire photo. 


Another feature that Twitter is getting rid of is its auto-refreshing feed. The days of disappearing Tweets are officially over, but only for desktop web users. Web users will now be able to choose when they want new Tweets by clicking the Tweet counter bar. There’s currently no news for this update for iOS and Android users yet, but users who really despise the auto-refresh feature can avoid that by using Twitter on a desktop for now. 

The micro-blogging company also acquired Threader, a third-party app that lets users create and share long-form threads in an article format. After being acquired by Twitter, Threader will be shutting down on December 15th. Threader fans, don’t fret just yet! The acquisition just means that they’ve developed a similar experience on Twitter, which is available on Twitter Blue. Users subscribed to Twitter Blue will be able to read their beloved long threads again completely distraction-free! Subscribers will also have access to a Bookmarks Folder, a feature that was requested by many Threader readers. This will enable them to save their favorite threads. The acquisition of Threader by Twitter brings in more fans from other apps and gives Twitter users more content forms to engage with. 


The company also made improvements for its “Labels” feature. After the initial rollout last year, Labels were criticized by users for being too small or unclear. Labels will now be presented with varying messages and alert colors. The updated format provides more context and clarity as to why a Tweet has been flagged and makes users more aware of any misleading claims. Twitter also mentions that on top of labeling, they do remove Tweets that pose immediate and severe harm. Updates such as Labels help deter misinformation on the app, give users more valuable information, and create a safer online environment. 

App researcher Alessandro Paluzzi gave users a sneak-peek of Twitter’s Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Profile Pictures that will be presented in a special hexagonal shape. The nifty shape makes it known to other users that the profile picture is an NFT and adds uniqueness and novelty to the profile picture. Albeit, this is just a sneak peek, but users can look forward to showing off their NFT collection on Twitter in the future. 


On the same topic, social app hacker Jane Manchun Wong brought to light more details on the possible feature. Wong was able to uncover how the new profile pictures may look like and how users will be able to connect their NFT to their Twitter account. From Wong’s Tweets, users can choose between “Select NFT” or simply selecting from their photos. When users choose Select NFT, they may be prompted to connect their crypto wallet in order to link their NFT collection directly into Twitter’s display tool. Even though this has yet to be confirmed by Twitter at the moment, it still adds excitement for Twitter users who are eager to display their collection of NFTs. 


Last but not least, Twitter rolled out new Tweet Analytics enabling users to get more insight into their Tweet performance. Twitter users will be able to tap into analytics which is not only limited to the number of replies, retweets, or likes received, but also specific data such as Tweet impressions, link clicks, or new followers for each post. For marketers and content creators, the new Tweet Analytics can come in handy in terms of analyzing Tweet performances to see what content is actually resonating with their audience. 



Snapchat had partnered with Sony Music Entertainment to include its artists’ music in Snap’s Sound Library and revealed the development of new AR music lenses for its Lens Carousel. In due time, users will be able to engage with “Sound Lenses.” These are lenses with preselected embedded tunes that transform photos of people to look as if they are actually singing the song.

Things just got more magical as the company is collaborating with Disney PhotoPass Service to release new Lenses. With Snap’s augmented reality technology, Disney fans will be able to show off their icy powers like Elsa in Frozen or share spaghetti like in Lady and the Tramp. Disney PhotoPass Lenses can be found when in the My Disney Experience app along with a purchase of Disney Genie+ service. If you’re not planning to visit Walt Disney World Resort anytime soon, don’t worry! Disney fans on Snapchat can still try out the lenses by going to Disney PhotoPass Service’s Snapchat profile. Snapchatters can now experience the magic of Disney with their loved ones right on the app!


Next, Snapchat will also be rolling out “Cameo Sound Lenses” that will apply visual effects to make it seem as if users are starring in their own music video. Users will be able to identify the new Lenses by looking for a musical note icon when searching through Lenses. With new developments in Snapchat Lenses, users will be able to engage in an immersive music experience while sharing and supporting music artists on Snapchat! 

The company also launched new layers for its Snap Map which include “Memories” and “Explore.” With Memories, users will be able to see old Snapchats that they’ve sent from particular places. Snapchatters will be able to check out their old memories, but keep in mind that Memories are private, so users won’t be able to see their friends’ content. 


Explore uses the concept of a heat map by highlighting activity on Snap Map. Users can simply tap on highlighted areas to see public photos and videos from other users from just about anywhere in the world. Snapchatters can plan their trip itinerary by looking into events or popular restaurants in specific locations! So whether it be looking back on fond memories or making new ones, Snap has got users covered. 


Next, Snapchat has introduced “Food Scan” in partnership with Allrecipes for users in the U.S. Food Scan is an addition to Snapchat’s Scan feature and will help users discover recipes. Snapchatters just need to scan a food item and relevant recipes from Allrecipes will pop up! Food Scan has a catalog of over 4,500 recipes based on over 1,200 ingredients that can be picked up through the Snapchat camera. The Food Scan option can also provide users with food facts pulled from Wikipedia, allowing users to learn more about what they’re consuming. This goes hand-in-hand with the “Nutrition Scan” option on the app that gives users insight into packaged food products. The addition of Food Scan enables users to discover new recipes that they can cook up and for them to also make healthy food conscious choices. 


Lastly, Snapchat is launching its “Multiple Formats” delivery ad option. The feature allows for multiple video ad formats to be incorporated into a single ad set. According to Snap, brands will be able to purchase several ad formats in a single ad set. By Q2 of 2022, the product launch will include all of Snap’s video ad formats which include Snap Ads, Story Ads, Collection Ads, and Commercials, as well as all of the app’s camera and augmented reality (AR) offerings. Multiple Formats delivery can provide marketers with additional options to make their ads more efficient and in turn, may maximize ad response and drive results. Multiple Formats delivery option is set to release this week with AR placement being added by Q2 next year. 


That’s a wrap for all of this week’s latest digital marketing insights and social media updates! Make sure to follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with social media news and more. 


Ever thought about how leveraging social media can make a positive impact on your community? Check out our case study for our Engage and Change campaign, a nonprofit organization. Click the button below and see how we achieved over 13 million total hashtag impressions!


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