Social Butterfly: Meta makes moves, X expands and Snapchat snaps back

By March 13, 2024 No Comments
Social Butterfly March 2024 header

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

After another packed month in the land of socials, here’s what made it out of our group chat this time.  

Meta mayhem 

We’ve been on a rollercoaster ride in the Meta realm this month, with a whirlwind of highs, lows, sharp turns and everything in between. 

The first cab off the rank is the announcement that Meta will ‘deprecate’ its dedicated news tab, Facebook News, in Australia and the US from early April. You’ll still be able to access news on the platform, and Australian publishers will still have access to their accounts and pages, but Meta won’t be renewing the deals it struck with these publishers to pay them when their news displays on the platform. 

Essentially, that puts those publishers right back where they were before the Australian Government introduced the News Media Bargaining Code in 2021. (Meta famously responded at the time by removing Aussie outlets altogether, before backing down and agreeing to pay them a few days later.) This puts Zuck and co on a collision course with Albo, who has said he’ll fight the decision. Watch this space. 

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a discussion about Meta without a mention of a copycat update from the copycat overlords. Taking a leaf out of Snapchat’s book, Instagram has confirmed that they’re experimenting with a new ‘Friend Map’ live location display. Now you and your friends can keep tabs on each other’s whereabouts in real-time. Does that sound unnecessary and kinda toxic to you? Yeah, we thought so too. 

On the brighter side, if you’ve been sliding into anyone’s DMs recently, you may have noticed some new features. With more and more personal engagement migrating to private chats, it’s about time Instagram announced some handy updates. New features include message editing (you can now update your DM for up to 15 minutes after sending), pinning up to three chats to the top of your inbox (it’s giving iMessage pins), switching on read receipts for either all chats or specific threads, and spicing up your chat by changing the theme (yes, just like Messenger).

Instagram also now allows you to select multiple highlights for deletion; they’re bidding farewell to the short-lived ‘Events’ feature that will no longer be available from March 19; and they’re looking to limit the amount of hashtags you can use per post (bye bye, #HashtagSpam).

And if you’re still over on Threads shouting into the void, the good news for you is that you can now save the posts you love – a feature many users have been longing for. 

Speaking of Threads, Chief Adam Mosseri has been polling users on whether or not posts should be automatically archived after a month. He thinks it’s the right play, because it’ll encourage users to be more raw and authentic, but so far voters are responding with a resounding ‘hell no’. We’ll check back in to see how it plays out.

TikTok on the clock

TikTok has dropped a brand new monthly series called Trends Digest, which they’ll be using to share insights on the hottest trends making waves on the app each month. For the first edition, they’ve spotlighted users who are ‘embracing a playful sense of delusion’. Sure, why not? 

TikTok’s also testing a new iOS widget for creating Stories. We’re interested to see how this goes, since Stories are a major feature for Instagram currently. (Speaking of which, word on the street is that TikTok has its own Instagram-style app in the works…)

We’ve also got our eyes on TikTok’s new photo app, which is allegedly in development. SpAndroid has reported sightings of back-end code on the existing TikTok app that references ‘TikTok Photos’.  

Contextual shopping app Like To Know (LTK) may be in trouble, with TikTok looking to roll out its own shopping features that identify similar products to those featured in videos, and take viewers directly to a TikTok Shop tab.

And a new social media benchmark report has found that TikTok performed better than any other channel by a mile last year, but brands are still seeing less engagement year-on-year. But with the platform more saturated with branded content than ever, this makes sense, right? It’s simply a more crowded playing field, so you have to do more to stand out. 

X-pansion pack

Every time we think the dust has settled on X, the troubled platform turns up the heat and announces some new features. 

X looks set to take on the hiring platforms of the world, as it announces that there are now over 1 million job postings live on its own platform. While this feature isn’t available worldwide yet, we’re very surprised at the uptake of it – although we haven’t crunched the numbers on how many of those 1 million jobs were posted by the bots that are now running rampant on the platform.

In another move that’s bringing the platform closer to LinkedIn, X has introduced long-form articles. We mourn with you, Twitter fans. 

And that’s not all – Elon will soon be removing the like, repost and reply buttons, leaving only ‘total view count’ and ‘time posted’ remaining. A weird move for a platform that thrives on engagement, no? 

X is also leaning heavily towards influencer marketing, having recently tested and now launched an option for advertisers to run campaigns with specific creators

The sprinkles on top

It was only last month that we were talking about Snapchat’s attempt to brand itself as ‘the antidote to social media’. We didn’t believe it then, and we certainly don’t believe it now that they’ve published a new report looking at consumer sentiment around paid partnerships and promotions within the app. Doesn’t seem like something an anti-social media platform would be interested in… just saying.

LinkedIn is changing up its algorithm, which could see your posts reaching new readers through a ‘suggested posts’ feature. If it means our content will work harder for longer, then it’s a yes from us.

And Google is testing a new carousel feature for ‘most-read articles’ in Search – perhaps in response to recent criticisms that low-quality SEO spam articles are drowning out the useful results that the search engine used to be known for. 

Ryanair takes off

If you’ve been living under a rock and somehow missed Ryanair’s epic moments on social media, it’s time to crawl out and tune in – trust us, you won’t regret it. This month’s must-listen recommendation is from YouTuber Callum McDonnell, and it’s called “Meet The Marketing Genius Who Saved Ryanair”.

In this episode, McDonnell sits down with Ryanair’s social media mastermind, Michael Corcora, to discuss their game-changing social strategy. Michael spills the tea on how they flipped brand perceptions to drive an insanely high organic reach, and explains why 99% of social content is trash. (Sounds about right to us, honestly.)

Until next time…