Social Butterfly: Subscriptions, subscriptions and more subscriptions

By October 25, 2023 No Comments
Social Butterfly October Header

Welcome to the October instalment of Social Butterfly – TCD’s state-of-social-media wrap with Digital Content Manager Tessa Charters. 

Tessa is back from Europe this month and while the jet lag may be real, the social media obsession is even realer, so let’s catch you up.

Multiple Metas

Facebook has finally caught up with our multiple personalities, and is now allowing users to create multiple personal profiles in order to ‘organise’ your experience within the app. 

With curated feeds based on the live profile, we’re left wondering what this will look like for ad outcomes – on the one hand, it seems you’d be more likely to reach a quality and engaged audience, but on the other, you might experience a drop in reach while Meta learns each profile’s interests. You might also reach the same person multiple times across their different profiles, skewing the results.

Speaking of multiple personalities, Facebook is looking to one-up Snapchat’s My AI bot by launching its own AI Chatbot with 28 different personalities. Somewhat inexplicably, the AI personalities are ‘played’ by celebrities, but go by different names – for instance, NFL legend Tom Brady has signed on to embody ‘Bru’, a ‘wisecracking sports debater who pulls no punches’. Okay?  

While we aren’t sure how often we’ll be chatting with Bru and co, we’re interested to see if this development will also lead to improvements in the tone of voice for automated DM responses, which tend to be pretty… well, robotic at the moment.  

Not strictly Meta-related, but it’s worth noting here that Snapchat is also looking to monetise their My AI feature by partnering with Microsoft Advertising to power sponsored links – so keep that in mind if you start to suspect that the chatbot you’re talking to *might* have a hidden agenda. 

Pay-to-play on the way? 

It seems Mark Zuckerberg might be drinking the Musk Kool-Aid, with reports that Facebook is testing a ‘Meta Verified’ filter for comments. So far we’ve advised against paying for the elusive blue tick, but it may become inevitable if things keep going down this path. Where will it end? Will we see bidding wars to have your comment pinned at the top of a post? We are well and truly in the hands of the social media gods now.

By the way, how many subscriptions do you currently pay for? Because you may soon be tempted to make an addition to the list. Users in Europe could soon have the option to pay $14 a month for ad-free Instagram or Facebook

This development comes in response to the EU threatening to restrict Meta’s ability to show users personalised ads, but we wouldn’t be shocked to see the idea travel beyond European borders. Frankly, Meta can take all of our data and we’ll happily keep $14 a month in our pockets, tyvm – and for the sake of our ads, we hope you feel the same.

Speaking of ads, Meta’s Ads Manager interface continues to change *sigh*, but one thing remains the same – the continued push towards carousel ads. Are they actually more effective for showcasing your products and services? It probably depends on your objectives, but if you’d like to up your carousel game, here’s a good little best practice roundup

An Insta Original?  

Our friends at Instagram have something of a reputation for launching new features that are… let’s say ‘heavily inspired’ by other platforms. But they’ve just launched something that seems to be an original idea, with the introduction of AI-generated stickers for Instagram Stories and chats. (Well, it’s as original as any art generated by AI can be, anyway, which is to say – not very.) 

While not available worldwide just yet, Australia is for once one of the selected few markets to get this feature early, so you should see these popping up as an option now. It should be an easy way for brands to get ‘creative’ with minimal effort. 

Meanwhile, Instagram users in the UK have come across a cheeky new option to share feed posts with Close Friends only. An interesting prospect for brands who shouldn’t be talking to everyone about everything, all the time – segmentation, anyone? We’d like to see this in action before we share too many theories, so watch this space.

TikTok taking stock

TikTok is also looking to jump on the paid subscription train, with a slightly more affordable $4.99 monthly fee for the ad-free privilege. We wonder if this will see an increase in influencer advertising over other methods, or if those will technically count as ads too?

A few months ago we mentioned that TikTok was angling to become the new Google – and now it looks like they’ve decided to take the ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ approach. TikTok is currently testing a partnership with Google to increase its search capabilities.   

TikTok is also opening up the app’s accessibility even further, with captions now defaulting on all eligible videos in supported languages (don’t worry, you can still edit them after posting). Nice one, TikTok!

Come on, X

X has been moving towards exclusive, subscription-only benefits for its users for a while now, but in its next insane move, the platform is testing a $1 annual subscription fee for all new, unverified accounts. You can also now filter replies to verified users only – hmm, wonder where Meta got that idea from? 

Both of these moves seem wildly ambitious, at best, considering less than 0.5% of X users are signed up to the platform’s Premium package, and 80% of users are read-only, rather than contributing themselves. Good on them for supplying us with wacky new ideas to talk about every month, anyway. 

Dead Threads?

Threads continues to tick away in the background, but honestly, we’re struggling to care at this point. Would love to hear your thoughts – should we keep you posted on what they’re up to over there, or is it time to bury Threads in the graveyard of failed social media apps? 

For those still on the bandwagon, Threads is working on an edit feature, giving you precisely five minutes to take back your unhinged thoughts. In a win for social media managers, the platform also now gives you the option to switch between accounts, so you can be logged in for business and pleasure. (Yes, they seriously only just added this feature.)

And in our favourite update, we may soon be able to delete our Threads accounts, without also deleting our Instagram profile! #yay

That’s it for now, but not forever…