Social Butterfly: Hello Instagram, Goodbye Elon, and Bring on the Third Party apps

By June 9, 2023 No Comments
Social Butterfly June Header

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

Somehow we’ve survived the first half of the year (we’re just as surprised as you are tbh) and the social butterflies are still social butterflying. 

As usual, there’s plenty to catch up on, so grab the popcorn and let’s jump into the piping hot social media tea.

Instagram coming on strong

We’ve all been making educated guesses about the dreaded Instagram algorithm, but now the Instagram god – aka Adam Mosseri – has spoken. 

He’s handed us an in-depth video with everything you need to know about how the algorithm – or in his words, ‘the ranking’ – works across the various Instagram features. The focus is very much on the user experience, to a degree that seemingly says ‘screw you’ to businesses, small creators or anyone new to the app. He also breaks it all down in blog form, for those who would like to jump to the key info.

Adam also addresses shadowbanning (it’s about time), and points to the ‘Account Status’ feature that should help you to understand why your account’s content may not be eligible to be recommended. (Are we the only ones who didn’t know this feature existed?) 

The ‘Account Status’ feature allows you to delete any content affecting your account’s reach, and appeal the decision if you think a mistake has been made. It’s a good step forward and we look forward to hearing more about this as the investment in this feature continues.

Meanwhile, in a move we are very – and we mean very – excited about, Instagram is testing a new feature to help brands source UGC more efficiently and effectively. For right now, it seems to be in testing phases for those who run Instagram shops (something we thought the platform was moving on from, but anyway), but hopefully it branches out to the rest of us who are desperately trawling through location tags, hashtags and profiles trying to find the best UGC for our clients.

Instagram must be feeling playful, because it’s also working on the ability to create your own stickers using AI within the platform, and you can now comment on posts using gifs – which isn’t really what the cool kids are doing these days, but we’ll see how it goes.

Elon Musk has exited stage left (kind of)

There’s been a lot of movement in the Twitter-sphere since our last catch-up. In what might be Elon’s most sane move since he became the overlord of Twitter, he is officially no longer Twitter’s CEO, instead handing the reins over to Linda Yaccarino, who was previously in charge of global advertising at NBCUniversal. This can only mean good things, right? Right?! 

It might just be perfect timing, too, considering the amount of people who are saying goodbye to the app they once loved and watching this new Twitter go up in flames from afar. But watch out – Elon is on a purging spree of inactive accounts, so if you ever want to go back (or you’re just very attached to your handle), you may want to keep up a minimal presence so you don’t get cut.

Elon has also announced plans to enable publishers to charge per article within the app, as opposed to hiding their content behind a paywall that requires a subscription to breach. Not a terrible idea, in theory, but will the publishers agree? Time will tell. 

As expected, the whole Twitter Blue thing continues to be a trainwreck. As well as legacy ticks being reinstated on some accounts, rumour has it they may also be looking at adding a ‘verified since’ label, so we know who the real deals are. Wasn’t that the whole purpose of the blue tick to begin with? We’re getting dizzy over here. 

TikTok may be the next Google

Google has dominated the market as the top search platform for quite some time – because what are you going to use instead? Bing? We think not. 

But now watch out – TikTok may be coming for this crown.

TikTok has been slowly and subtly positioning itself as a discovery and search platform, edging closer to becoming a cross between Google and YouTube. One such example is its recent move to build on its business discovery capabilities by prompting users to add a location to their videos if they want to reach more viewers.

Up until now, TikTok has been running its own race and carving out its own space in the market. But this – alongside its testing of an AI chatbot called Tako *cough* Snapchat *cough* – could see the platform moving into copycat territory, and we all know how we social butterflies feel about that.  

Honourable mentions

Just when we thought third party apps might become irrelevant, we’re now able to schedule Instagram Stories. (Can we get a hell yeah!) 

This is a big step, and while we’re certainly very happy about this – and it is epic for basic Stories posts – we’re desperately hoping and praying for the ability to schedule Stories with link buttons in them ASAP. (Yes, we know, we’re asking a lot.)

LinkedIn is up to 930 million users across 200 countries. You go, LinkedIn. 

Instagram is letting you get your creep on. You can now search your story views, making it easier to see if that person, brand, influencer, boss etc. has seen what you’ve shared. While it hasn’t made it into our current app updates, this news was brought to us by Australian influencer Jemma Rubach, so we believe it. 

Finally, Meta is adding new lead generation tools to Facebook, and YouTube Stories are getting cut so that the app can focus more heavily on YouTube Shorts – which could be a backup option if TikTok ever actually does get banned.

Bye for now, but not forever…