Social Butterfly: TikTok tests our attention spans as Instagram retools

By November 22, 2023 No Comments
Social Butterfly November 2023 header image

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

Welcome back, social butterflies. We’ve got a lot to catch up on, so let’s skip the pleasantries this month and jump right in!

15 minutes of TikTok 

From the start, we feel like TikTok has been the model social media sibling, never straying too far from what it does best, and never tattletailing when the other platforms steal its ideas. But now it seems like it wants to change things up and ruffle a few feathers. 

TikTok has a notorious reputation for being the reason we no longer have any sort of attention span, so it’s interesting to hear they’re testing 15 minute videos (up from the 10 minute option) – especially when we feel like 3 minute videos are already pushing our limits. Creeping in on YouTube territory, are we, TikTok? 

TikTok has also integrated with music streaming platforms Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify, so users can add the tracks they discover on TikTok directly to the streaming platform of their choice. New artists have been flirting with TikTok for a while now, looking at the app as an effective way to get discovered, and it seems like TikTok is finally ready to go steady. While this feature isn’t available in Australian waters yet, it’s only a matter of time. 

Meanwhile, TikTok is growing as the platform of choice for news consumption, especially with Gen Z. Worse yet, users pay more attention to news from ordinary people and social media influencers than they do from reputable news companies. We’ve gone from ‘don’t trust everything you read’ to ‘sure, trust everything you watch, probably’. 

Users are also spending more money than ever before on TikTok, but not how you think. Most of these funds are going to the creators themselves, rather than to brands that are advertising. TikTok isn’t getting disheartened, though, with the announcement that your TikTok leads can now be integrated with your Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform. 

Tools of the trade 

Instagram has been grinding away again, and we’re here front row and centre, popcorn in hand. This month, it looks like the platform has been going into overdrive as it races to keep up with TikTok’s in-app editing tools. 

They’ve announced multiple new and improved content creation tools, making in-app editing much more user-friendly, in their constant effort to deter users from leaving the app to use CapCut, VSCO, Colourtone and other editing tools. 

Their new and improved content creation tools include:

  • Text-to-speech: Instagram now offers a text-to-speech feature to use when editing your Reels, with multiple voices to choose from. 
  • New photo filters: Valencia 2.0, is that you? Instagram has released loads of new photo filters to use when editing photos to upload. 25 new filters to be exact – this feels like something we needed a decade ago.
  • Font and text style: Get ready to stylise your Reels with new fonts and text styles. While these aren’t available just yet, keep an eye out for them to become available on your account very soon. 
  • Song lyrics: You can now add song lyrics to Reels, as you could already do in stories.
  • Custom stickers: Create your very own custom stickers from your camera roll photos and videos. We now expect to see everyone’s furry friends plastered onto all content moving forward.
  • Clip Hub integration: Meme lovers, this update is for you. Instagram is testing the ability for you to pull from your Clip Hub to add clips with audio to your Reels. Yet another reason to say adios to CapCut. 
  • Individual clip editing: Save your precious time going back and forth between IG and your camera roll, because now you can crop, scale and rotate individual clips directly in Reels. 
  • Undo and redo tools: Fingers a little clumsy? Instagram now provides undo and redo tools to save time during editing.
  • Layering in stories: Instagram has finally introduced the much-awaited feature of layering in stories. You can now add a photo to the background under a Reel you’re sharing on your story. Goodbye to the days of struggling for 15 minutes to create the perfect layers. 

Meanwhile, after just three short years, Instagram will be saying goodbye to Guides as of December 15. With video content and direct messaging becoming the most popular ways for people to use the platform, the brochure-style format of Guides – which were something of a cross between Instagram carousels and blog posts – just didn’t hit the mark. 

While it’s out with Guides, it’s in with Broadcast Channels. Searching for a fresh and authentic avenue to engage with your audience? Broadcast Channels – billed as ‘a public, one-to-many messaging tool for creators to directly engage with their followers’ – could be the next big thing for creators on Instagram.

There are very few brands utilising this feature at this moment, so you could be one of the first to give it a shot.

Finally, Instagram has rolled out the option to share Reels and feed posts exclusively with your “Close Friends” list. If this is the closest we can get to a solid algorithm, we’ll take it. 

Around the other platforms

You may no longer have to worry about being left on read, with Meta trialling the removal of read receipts on both Facebook and Instagram. They’re also making improvements to post-performance insights by refining the definition of Reels Plays to include replays, in addition to initial plays, in the Reels metric on both Facebook and Instagram. 

After we mentioned it last month, you can now delete your Threads profile without deleting your Instagram page – one of the biggest initial concerns with the app. 

YouTube is experimenting with AI-generated music, which could be the solution to the massive headache of finding good royalty-free music. 

And LinkedIn has not only seen record levels of engagement, but it’s also reached one billion users. We feel like proud mums. (By the way, have you noticed that link previews are looking a little different in your LinkedIn feeds? We haven’t quite gotten used to the change yet.) 

You’ve probably noticed we haven’t mentioned X, and honestly, it’s because we’re over it. There are only so many times we can tell you Elon has sh*t the bed (which he has again this month, of course; with Apple, IBM and Disney all pausing advertising on the platform after Musk’s latest ill-advised missive). But if you want it back, let us know.

Well, we’re heading into our cocoons for the festive season now, but we’ll be back with all of your social media updates in the New Year!