Social Butterfly: TikTok and Instagram compare Notes

By April 19, 2024 No Comments
Social Butterfly Header April 2024

Welcome to the April instalment of Social Butterfly – TCD’s state-of-social-media wrap with Digital Content Managers Tessa Charters and Jamie Hatch.

Welcome back to the safe space we call Social Butterfly. When the world of social media is brutal and unforgiving, we’ve got your back. 

Here’s what you need to know this month. 

On another Notes

TikTok discreetly rolled out its Instagram contender, somewhat confusingly dubbed ‘TikTok Notes’, this week. 

There have been several hints lately that TikTok would be dipping its toes into the world of still images and text with a fresh app, so we’ve been keeping an eye out for this one. And guess who gets first dibs on downloading the app? Australia and Canada. 

The user interface bears a striking resemblance to TikTok (no shock there), and users can add up to 34 images in a single post, displayed in a carousel-like format for seamless browsing. Additionally, there’s a generous 4,000-character caption limit, along with a dedicated title section to enhance your storytelling. 

We’re uncertain if this app will gain traction, but in true Social Media Manager style, we’ll obviously be downloading it and sussing it out ourselves over the next few months. You can expect us to report back soon.

Speaking of TikTok, Aussie creators have been begging and pleading for access to the TikTok Creator Fund, and the almost overnight mega virality of Australian TikTok star Leah Halton has poured fuel on the fire. 

The Fund allows for creators to earn money based on how their videos perform (in terms of views, shares and likes). When Leah’s account hit super viral status for what many people are saying is just a lip syncing video, it had us all doing the maths and working out just how much the star was missing out on. Hint: It was a big sum of cashola. 

The perfect Blend? 

Instagram has taken a leaf out of Spotify’s book with a new feature in the works. Imagine a Spotify Blend playlist but on Instagram Reels, and you get the gist of this one. The ‘Blend’ feature enables you to invite another IG user to join your Blend; your joint Blend will then contain Reels recommendations based on the type of Reels you’ve shared. It’ll be private between the two of you, so don’t worry – no one can see the wacky stuff you might be into. 

It’s also time to start storytelling, because Reels are (un)officially becoming three minutes long. It seems that Instagram is currently testing this on select accounts, but with the possible ban of TikTok in the US still looming, we can certainly see this feature sticking around and being rolled out across the whole platform as Meta moves in on that territory. 

Meanwhile, Instagram/Threads Chief Adam Mosseri continues to tangle himself in his web of algorithm issues. Taking to Threads (hey, we’re just glad someone’s still using the platform), Mosseri stated that engagement beats follow count when it comes to “account value”. Once again, Mosseri contradicts himself – if followers aren’t the primary driver of account value, then why is a follower count displayed big and bold at the top of an Instagram profile? 

And because it’s a known fact that Instagram doesn’t distribute your content to all of your followers, the platform has now added a new ‘notify’ sticker that you can add to Stories. This could be a great option for brands to add to their Stories to boost reach and prompt their community with a friendly reminder. 

Other new features include ‘Cutouts’ – you can now turn part of any video or photo in your camera roll into a cutout sticker that you can add to your Instagram Story or Reel. Personalised reactions and memes, here we come. Meta has also rolled out ads with promo codes on the platform globally.

Threads gets a facelift

If Threads is really looking at reaching a billion users in a few years, they’ll need to invest a lot more of their time into the development of the platform – and to be fair, that’s exactly what they’re doing. 

They’ve been busy rolling out and testing many new features over the last month. Some new features to look out for include a side-swiping UI, DMs, a “trending now” page, adding live sports scores, and other new Threads improvements including saves, drafts and trends. (Some would say most of these are basic features Threads should have introduced before now, but that’s none of our business.) 

A personal favourite is the side-swiping UI, enabling you to swipe right or left to indicate whether you want to see more or less of this type of content in your feed – theoretically resulting in a more curated algorithm for your feed. 

Much to our disappointment, however, the new DMs feature on Threads isn’t actually housed within the app. If you choose to DM a user, it’ll send your message to their Instagram account. Much like the app itself, this feature seems to have been rushed for launch – move fast and break things, indeed. 

Make ‘poking’ cool again

While Instagram and Threads are out here building new features, Facebook is going back to its roots. 

When we heard about the decade-old Facebook feature making a comeback, we were pretty stoked, to say the least. So what could it be? *Drumroll please* … ‘Pokes’ are back, and are apparently “having a moment”, according to Facebook

Truthfully, they were never actually gone, Facebook had just hidden the feature. But now they’re back and we’re feeling extra nostalgic. 

What’s a poke, you may ask? A subtle but effective way to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Visit their profile, poke them, and they may poke you back. Thrilling and not at all creepy, right? So go ahead and poke a few people, before Facebook becomes bored of the feature and hides it again. 

YouTube appreciation post 

YouTube continues to be the calm in the social media storm. It’s like the outfit in your wardrobe that you know will always work that you can pull out whenever you don’t know what to wear. It holds steady, has minimal disruptive changes and has a consistent and reliable audience. (We sort of abandoned the metaphor there, sorry.) 

In saying that, do we think YouTube holds a strong enough pillar in most social media strategies? Not really.

In our pond, YouTube tends to be a video hosting platform used to distribute content. But according to YouTube, 74 per cent of small- and medium-sized businesses with a YouTube channel agree that YouTube played a role in helping them grow revenue. (And why would YouTube lie about that?) 

This actually checks out, though, with YouTube ranked as the most popular social media platform in Australia and with an advertising reach of 86.8 per cent of the population aged 18 plus. 

So here’s your official reminder to revisit your YouTube strategy. Ask yourself – should you be working on a brand channel? Partnering with high performing YouTube creators? Developing YouTube ad specific content? Maybe! 

Speaking of which, YouTube has actually graced us with a few updates this month, including a new AI-generated labelling tool for content. As with most features of this nature, it relies on the honour system, so we’ll see how well that goes.

The platform is also testing a new ‘Shorts carousel’ on mobile, changing the way audiences view YouTube’s answer to TikTok. This could be a way for the long-form giant to lean even further into the popular short-form content space. 

Oh, and don’t delete your old uploads – we repeat, don’t delete your old uploads. According to YouTube’s product lead for the homepage and recommendations, Todd Beaupré, this is a sure fire way to disconnect from your audience. So unless your old content is problematic or downright detrimental to your brand, he suggests you keep it exactly where it is (or unlist it, at worst). 

That man is playing Galaga 

LinkedIn reportedly plans to add gaming to its platform, which would appear to be an incredibly weird move for a primarily inside-office-hours platform. 

In a more logical update, it’s also added inboxes to all LinkedIn pages. Yes, that means you have another inbox to check, but it’s a good way to engage with your business audience. 

It’s Taylor’s world…

And we’re just living in it. Instagram has dropped an entirely new feature for the Swifties ahead of the release of Taylor’s new album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department’. The platform hid a countdown to the album in the search bar and on Swift’s profile when users swipe down. (Swifties do love a good Easter egg.) 

The feature can only be accessed on the mobile app, and prompts users to download Threads. They’ve gotta get those billion users somehow, right? 

Until next time…