Social Butterfly: The king is Threads, long live the king

By July 14, 2023 No Comments
Social Butterfly July Header

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

We are back! Apologies for the delay – one of our social butterflies momentarily turned into a migratory butterfly and was living it up in Europe. 

But as the saying goes, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If not, it was never meant to be.” And lucky for us all, Jamie has returned and is ready for another month on the tools.

Picking up the Threads   

OK, obviously we have to start with the new kid on the block. If you’re not up to speed with what’s been going on with Threads, quickly go and read this epic explainer from our Director of Strategy, Kurt Sanders, and come back. We’ll wait.

As Twitter continues to dig its own grave (more on that later), Mark Zuckerberg – somehow the least hated of the social media billionaires atm – has seized the opportunity and launched Meta’s own Twitter knock-off, Threads. 

In an interesting turn of events, the team at Meta pushed the launch early, which we can only assume was to capitalise on the Twitter bin fire. They’ve been very open about the fact that while the platform is live, it certainly isn’t perfect (at least not yet).

But getting the minimum viable product out the door seemed to do the trick, with the platform gaining over 100 million users in mere days – a rate of growth we’ve never seen before. 

The platform has attracted an interesting mix of users in its early days as it tries to find its identity. We’d like to give a special shout-out to those Instagram natives who, no matter how many times they are advised against it, continue to post their aesthetic morning coffees and flawless selfies on a largely text-based platform. (We say this with love because we are both Instagram natives). 

We look forward to checking back in next month to see if this platform lives up to its hype, or is just enjoying its 15 minutes of fame. Either way, it seems to have made much more headway than any of the Twitter alternatives that have come along so far – and it’s almost doing well enough to make us forget about the whole ‘Metaverse’ debacle. 

Really, Twitter?

Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, whatever are we going to do with you? We can’t say that either of us were ever truly Twitter stans, but honestly, this is low key starting to get embarrassing for you.

After a particularly shocking weekend that included limiting the amount of Tweets users can view and blocking non-logged in users from viewing any Tweets at all, well, you didn’t just open the door for Meta – you practically invited them in and gave them the guided tour. 

And Elon himself actually encouraged users to take time off the platform? We aren’t sure what your game plan is here, buddy, but it isn’t looking good.

Gram Theft Auto

Instagram is at it again, testing a new AI Chatbot experience in DMs that feels suspiciously similar to the AI chat tool Snapchat introduced a few months back. (You can read about that feature in a recent Social Butterfly). If we were Snapchat, we’d be taking all of this copycatting pretty personally by now.

Instagram is also starting to feel a bit like Myspace (for those of us who remember that archaic beast), now that it’s given us the option to add music tracks to notes (i.e. the status-like updates that sit at the top of your DMs). What’s next? Top Friends? It’s a no from us.

And in news that could be game-changing for those of us managing UGC and influencer content, Instagram is now allowing users to download publicly posted Reels content. As always, the US is seeing this update first, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed this update reaches our shores soon. 

Tok ‘til you drop 

As part of TikTok’s ongoing effort to crack into in-stream shopping in the Western markets, they’re testing a new ‘Visual Product Search’ feature that most certainly has our attention. Users can search TikTok by simply taking a photo of an item and discovering similar matches in TikTok’s shop listings – yet another way TikTok is becoming the new Google.

And on the back of TikTok’s LIVE Subscription launch last year (a feature that enables creators to interact closely with fans through live stream videos), the ever-growing app has launched a new perk: Subscriber-Only videos. Giving creators the opportunity to make extra cash from their loyal followers – sounds to us like a G-rated version of something that rhymes with ‘Lonely Cans’.

In unsurprising news, TikTok has also waved goodbye to its BeReal clone. A simple app notification from TikTok laid the ‘TikTok Now’ feature to rest after its nine-month lifespan. Nice one, TikTok – let Instagram hold the copycat title.

While we’re here, if you haven’t jumped on the CapCut template bandwagon already, it’s fair to say you’re being left behind. CapCut templates are on constant rotation in TikTok trends and are always evolving – so if you aren’t sprinting towards Later’s CapCut Template tutorial and sharing your creations, what are you waiting for? 

Beats by Zuck

Meta is really out here doing the most this month. Aside from their brand new app, Threads, they’ve whipped up an AI music tool, ‘MusicGen’. It’s not available yet, but you can play around with the demo here. Basically, to create music on MusicGen you can use text or audio prompts and it will output variations of audio for you.

So we’re social media managers one day, music producers the next? Whether we like it or not, it’s looking like we’ll be creating our own original audio for our Reels in the near future. 

Meanwhile, third-party platforms are gaining more functionality and features and we are here for it. Meta is expanding the functionality options that third-party apps can offer, including:

  • Auto-publishing content for Instagram Creator accounts
  • Tagging users in Reels
  • Renaming original audio for Reels

While these new functionalities are a step in the right direction, it could take a little while for the third-party platform developers to integrate them, so stay tuned!

In other news… 

A new report from Entribe found that consumers are more likely to make a purchase decision based on UGC from actual customers than Influencers. 90 per cent of those surveyed even stated they would prefer to see brands share content from actual customers over influencers.

Sprout Social has brought us new insights into the best times to post on social media across all of the major platforms. Take this with a grain of salt, because gosh knows what the algorithms are constantly up to. 

In creepy news, Pinterest is testing a new system that would scan your emails to understand your interests. RIP privacy, yet again. 

Reddit is looking to get a slice of the advertising pie and is introducing keyword targeting and product ads. Something to keep an eye on.

Finally, LinkedIn has changed its algorithm. Here’s what you need to know to maximise your reach on the platform. 

That’s all from us, but we’ll be back. Sooner rather than later this time, we promise.