Social Media Updates 2021

Reading Time: 25 minutes

The only thing that is constant, is change – particularly when it comes to social media. Every week I review a number of websites so that I can share all the changes in a weekly email newsletter, and update this blog post.

They include new features, retired features, brand refreshes, financial reporting, algorithm updates and more.

If you would like to receive updates straight to your email inbox at 10.15am (UK) every Monday morning, subscribe here.

Each month I co-host a live webinar discussing the latest changes. Here’s the July 2021 session recording:

 


LinkedIn

July 2021
  • LinkedIn posts record full-year revenue result, continues to see strong growth in active sessions. The platform has surpassed $10 billion in revenue for the first time, up 27% year over year. Read more from Social Media Today. 
  • LinkedIn is bringing together parts of the LinkedIn Live and Events experiences to enhance virtual events on LinkedIn. Find out more, here.
  • LinkedIn explains data scraping amid reports of more data hacks and breaches. Read more from LinkedIn.
June 2021
May 2021
  • No updates shared in May
April 2021
  • Last month, Ryan Roslansky, CEO of LinkedIn, shared that, “We will give companies the tools to invest in their own employees and to incentivize them to learn new skills with the launch later this year of our skill-building platform that will bring all of a company’s learning resources together in one place.” It has now been confirmed that ‘LinkedIn Learning Hub’ will launch during the second half of this calendar year. Read more from LinkedIn.
  • Linked has improved its search experience to help you discover people, jobs, posts, companies, schools, groups and events faster in one organized blended search results page. Read more from LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn has added a new feature to address career gaps on a personal profile. Read more from LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn confirms it’s working on a Clubhouse rival. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • LinkedIn adds Creator mode, video profiles, and in partnership with Microsoft, new career training tools. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • LinkedIn has added a new recruitment and training option called ‘Skills Path’ which enables employers to better qualify potential candidates. Read more from Social Media Today.
March 2021
  • LinkedIn is adding some new features to Company Pages. Find out what’s coming from LinkedIn, here.
February 2021
  • LinkedIn is developing a new freelance marketplace to facilitate new opportunities. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • LinkedIn is also looking to develop a new framework to support content creators on its platform, and encourage more posting. Read more from Social Media Today. 
  • LinkedIn has announced some new initiatives to support the global COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, including free job listings to healthcare organisations, pharmacies, and governments with hiring needs in direct support of vaccine distribution, plus nonprofit organisations recruiting volunteers for the vaccine effort. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • LinkedIn has published a new digital magazine called ‘Return to Growth 2021’, which outlines a range of insights, case studies, interviews and tips to help businesses map out a more effective marketing strategy for the year ahead. Find out more from LinkedIn, here.
  • LinkedIn has announced a new set of measures to address racial bias in both its systems and external recruiting processes. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • LinkedIn continues to see record-high levels of engagement, and beat revenue expectations in the most recent quarter, according to the latest update from parent company Microsoft. The FY21 Q2 update says… “We once again saw record levels of engagement across the platform, as LinkedIn’s nearly 740 million members use the network to connect, learn, and find new opportunities. Sessions increased 30%. Conversations were up 48%. And hours spent on LinkedIn Learning were up 2x, compared to a year ago.” Read more from Social Media Today. 

January 2021

Facebook

July 2021
  • Following the quarterly release of Facebook’s earnings numbers where the company’s CFO takes time to walk through the company’s financials, CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a moment to talk about the company’s future goals, specifically calling out his ambitions to turn Facebook into “a metaverse company.” Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Facebook is developing AI to find and remove underage accounts and new solutions to verify people’s ages. Read more from Facebook. 
  • Facebook is rolling out features across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to help people discover content and cheer on their teams at the Tokyo Olympics. There is a hub of information, including highlights from official Olympic broadcast partners, team and athlete overviews, explainers of competitions new to the Games, Olympic history, as well as posts from friends and more. Find out more, from Facebook.
  • Facebook onboard another 31 newsletter writers on Bulletin (its newsletter platform). Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Facebook updates policies around the promotion of prescription drugs. Read more from Social Media Today. 
  • Facebook is investing over $1 billion in programs that give creators more ways to earn money on Facebook and Instagram. Read more from Facebook.
  • Facebook has launched a new way for admins to recognize knowledgeable members in their group by designating them as group experts. Read more from Facebook. 
  • Facebook has published its first quarterly update on the Oversight Board. Read more from Facebook.
  • This week, the company’s Vice President, Ads & Business Products Dan Levy has provided a new overview of its evolving business focus, and the key elements that Facebook’s looking to maximize as it continues to build for the next generation of user behaviors. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Looking for ways to improve your Facebook ad creative? Facebook has launched what it’s calling ‘Creative Guidance Navigator’, which is a mini-site of various ad tips and notes that can help improve your ad creation approach. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook has become a $1 trillion company. Read more from The Verge.
  • Facebook has developed a Women’s Safety Hub to centralize all the safety resources women need when navigating the platform. Read more from Facebook.
  • Facebook launching Bulletin, a set of publishing and subscription tools to support creators. It is currently only available in the US. Read more from Facebook.
  • Facebook confirms tests of a new anti-extremism warning prompt. Read more from The Verge.
  • Facebook is testing a Twitter-like Threads feature on some public figures’ pages. Read more from Techcrunch.
June 2021
May 2021
  • Facebook is looking to expands its paid events tools into minor league and local sports, with a view to creating a new revenue stream. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook is bringing some of the biggest brands together for a showcase of products, tips, demos and more through Live Shopping Fridays. Read more from Facebook. 
  • Facebook is testing pop-up messages telling people to read a link before they share it. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Facebook adds new health resources to mark mental health awareness month. Read more from Facebook
  • Facebook introduces a new miniplayer that streams Spotify from the Facebook App. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Facebook is building its own in-app podcast player (this will be separate from the in-app Spotify player). Podcasters will be able to distribute their shows through their Facebook page and will opt into doing so. Read more from The Verge.
  • Facebook will soon enable businesses to create Facebook ads within WhatsApp’s business tools. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook is beginning to test Facebook Neighborhoods, a single destination to build and strengthen local communities on Facebook. Facebook Neighborhoods is a dedicated space within the Facebook app designed to help you connect with your neighbours, participate in your local community and discover new places nearby. This feature is currently available in Canada only. Read more from Facebook. 
  • Facebook will soon enable businesses to create Facebook Ads within WhatsApp’s business tools. Read more from Social Media Today.
April 2021
  • Facebook has shared details about their work on the newsfeed, to use direct feedback from users to understand the content they find most valuable. Read more from Facebook Newsroom.
  • Social audio experiences on Facebook are almost here – including Soundbites, Podcasts and live audio rooms. Read more from Facebook Newsroom.
  • Facebook is announcing some new capabilities for video advertisers on Facebook and Instagram, as well as new numbers about the potential audience that those ads might reach. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Facebook now lets users export posts and notes to Google Docs, Blogger and WordPress.com. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Facebook has added some new volunteer features for Earth Day, and published new data on climate change awareness. Read more from Facebook. 
  • Facebook has launched some new business tools, including Stories scheduling for both Facebook and Instagram, along with a new business discovery process from the News Feed. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook moves into local news market in the UK. An all-new local news section will cluster content by geography, enabling users to see at a glance what is happening within their home town or city simply by adding that location to the feed. Read more from The Drum. 
  • Facebook will begin testing a new experience for discovering businesses in its News Feed in the U.S. When live, users tap on topics they’re interested in underneath posts and ads in their News Feed in order to explore related content from businesses. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Facebook is expanding the remit of its new, independent Oversight Board for content appeals. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook launches profile frames that help you encourage friends to get the Covid 19 vaccine. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Facebook has introduced a new tool to give you more control over what you share to News Feed by managing who can comment on your public posts. They are also making it easier to sort and browse News Feed, giving you more control over what you see. Read more from Facebook.
  • Facebook is adding additional labels to posts from Pages that appear in users’ News Feeds in a bid to reduce confusion about their origin. These labels will include “public official,” “fan page,” and “satire page.” The company says it’s already started testing the deployment of these labels in the US, and will gradually add them to more posts. Read more from The Verge.
  • Facebook is rolling out a new ‘Layouts’ option within its post composer tools, which provides a range of frames and formats to add a fresh take to your visuals posted to the app. Read more from Social Media Today. 
  • Facebook has added a new option within groups which enables group admins to slow down comments on a specific group post, which could help to ease tension and angst amid heated debates. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook has launched a range of new tools to help users connect around Ramadan. Read more from Social Media Today.
March 2021
  • Facebook is providing content creators and IP holders with new tools to detect and claim rights over copyrighted content violations. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook is testing out a new ‘green screen’ creation option within Facebook Stories. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • After Facebook briefly cut off news access to new in Australia, they have a new News Corp deal to license news from Australian media outlets. Read more from The Verge.
  • Facebook’s looking to launch its own Clubhouse challenger, with an additional option for its Rooms feature. Read more from Social Media Day.
  • An important read for Facebook Group Managers – Facebook is adding new features to Groups, focusing on safety. These include improving group recommendations and restricting the reach of rule-breaking groups and members. Read more from Facebook.
  • Facebook is bringing ads to shorter videos and Stories. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Facebook is looking to ramp up its push against TikTok with a new test to share Reels clips to Facebook. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook has announced that it will allow political ads on its platform once again, following last year’s ban on political promotions in the lead-up to the 2020 US Presidential Election. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook has announced some new measures to better detect and remove content that exploits children, including updated warnings, improved automated alerts and new reporting tools. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook’s growing eCommerce push is set to see a significant expansion, with the company making its Facebook Shops option available to businesses in the UK and Canada, in addition to the US. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook is introducing Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found, an initiative that highlights how personalized ads are an important way people discover small businesses on Facebook and Instagram, and how these ads help small businesses grow from an idea into a livelihood. Read more from Facebook, here.
February 2021
  • Facebook is restricting publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content. Read more from Facebook.
  • Facebook is expanding and improving its Climate Science Information Center, which connects people on Facebook with science-based news, approachable information and actionable resources from the world’s leading climate change organizations. Find out more from Facebook.
  • Facebook has published the latest version of its State of Small Business report, looking at the impact of the pandemic on SMBs. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook has announced that it will launch a new test that will see a reduction of political content in people’s news feeds, in response to concerns about the impacts of divisive political debates on the platform. Read more from Facebook. 
  • Facebook has published their Community Standards Enforcement Report for the fourth quarter of 2020. This report provides metrics on how they enforced our policies from October through December, including metrics across 12 policies on Facebook and 10 on Instagram. Read more from Facebook. 
  • Facebook launches new platform to highlight the work of black creators, and a new guide to help businesses show their support for the Black community. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook is reportedly in the process of developing its own Clubhouse clone, as it looks to nullify the rapid growth of the audio social app. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook tests new topic exclusions for advertisers within news feeds. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Mark Zuckerberg shared his community update and quarterly results, highlighting the four big themes he is focused on for the year ahead: communities, private messaging, commerce tools for small businesses, and building the next computing platform. Read the update, here.
  • How does the Facebook News Feed predict what you want to see? Facebook share the details, here.
  • Facebook is rolling out Facebook News in the UK, putting original journalism in front of new audiences and providing publishers with more advertising and subscription opportunities. Read more, here.
  • Facebook’s ‘Oversight’ body overturns four takedowns and issues a slew of policy suggestions. Read more, here.
  • Facebook plans newsletter tools (aimed at independent writers and journalists). Read more from The Verge.

January 2021
  • Facebook has announced a significant update to its Automatic Alt Text – or AAT – process, which will ensure that more images on the platform are readable by screen readers, enabling vision-impaired users to get a better experience within Facebook’s apps. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook’s rolling out an updated ‘Account Quality’ dashboard within Business Manager, which is designed to help Page admins keep track of any suspended ads or impacted posts as a result of rule violations or other enforcement actions, and to better explain the reasoning for each. Read more from Social Media Today. 
  • Facebook is rolling out a revamped Access Your Information, making sure that your information is useful, easy to understand, and find. Read more from Facebook.
  • Facebook has introduced a new Pages experience. Read more, from Facebook. 
  • Facebook has expanded access to its engagement alerts for groups, providing more ways for admins to stay on top of group engagement.Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Facebook is temporarily disabling some Messenger and Instagram features in Europe. Read more from The Verge.
  • Facebook will combat COVID-19 misinformation more directly with notifications to users. Read more from The Verge.
  • Facebook will now list public groups in its Brand Collabs Manager to facilitate sponsored content opportunities. Read more from Social Media Today.

Twitter

July 2021
  • Twitter adds new Spaces sharing options, new search tools to improve Spaces discovery. Read more from Social Media Today. 
  • Twitter has unveiled its new Shop Module, a space in which users can discover, view and shop for products within the Twitter app. It is the platform’s latest investment in commerce capabilities – an area it says it is still exploring. Read more from The Drum. 
  • Twitter is testing new notifications for locked or suspended accounts. Read more from Social Media Today. 
  • Twitter ‘acqui-hires’ the team from the news app, Brief. Read more from Techcrunch. Twitter outlines its Olympic tie-in tools, provides tips for brand campaigns. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter is working on new upvote and downvote reactions for tweets to accompany the usual options to retweet and reply. Read more from The Verge.
  • Twitter is testing a revamp of its TweetDeck social media dashboard, hoping to make it a subscription product. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Twitter is testing new vocal effects options for Spaces, which could help to reduce speaker anxiety. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter has released its Q2 earnings results, which show steady increases in both users and revenue, as the platform works to maximize growth in line with its ambitious expansion targets for the next three years. Read more from Social Media Today.Twitter is shutting down Fleets on August 3, citing low usage. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Twitter now lets you limited who can reply to a Tweet. Previously, you could limit who could reply to tweets when they were created, but you couldn’t go in and change your selection after the fact. Read more from Techcrunch. 
  • Twitter removed 3.8M Tweets for violating Twitter rules in second half of 2020. Read more from Adweek.
  • Twitter rolls out auto-generated captions for voice Tweets. Read more from Adweek.
  • Twitter’s new business profiles get a step closer, with ‘Convert to Professional’ option now in testing. Read more from Social Media Today. Twitter shares its ideas around new privacy features, including a way to hide your account from searches. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Twitter has agreed to adhere to new Indian Government regulations on content removals and censorship, after the Indian Government threatened to remove its legal protection over content posted by users, in the latest escalation of dispute between the platform and Indian authorities. Read more from Social media Today. 
  • Twitter considers letting you limit tweets to ‘trusted friends’. Read more from The Verge
  • Twitter now lets you set a security key as your only two-factor authentication method. Read more from The Verge.
  • Twitter is considering changes to the way it contextualizes misleading tweets that the company doesn’t believe are dangerous enough to be removed from the platform outright. Read more from Techcrunch. 
June 2021
May 2021
  • Twitter to revamp user profiles with About tab, support for pronouns, ‘confirmed’ status and more. Read more via Techcrunch.
  • Twitter opens account verification applications to the public under new guidelines. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Twitter’s getting ready for the launch of its Ticketed Spaces feature, and today, it’s previewing what users can expect when they go to host their first one. Read more from The Verge.
  • Twitter continues to advance its social audio Spaces tool with the addition of Spaces scheduling, enabling broadcasters to plan out and build hype around their upcoming events. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter outlines changes to image posting process, and addressing algorithmic bias in visual previews. Read more from Social Media Today. 
  •  Twitter is working on new folders within bookmarks to categorise your saved Tweets. Read more from Social Media Today. 
  • Twitter launches DM username search tools to Android. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter is testing a new Tip Jar feature. “Tip Jar is an easy way to support the incredible voices that make up the conversation on Twitter,” the company wrote in a blog post confirming the news. “This is a first step in our work to create new ways for people to receive and show support on Twitter — with money.” Read more from Techcrunch.
  • The ‘Tip Jar’ test is also highlighting some key issues around privacy issues and requests for payment. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter rolls out bigger images and cropping control on iOS and Android devices. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Twitter rolls out improved ‘reply prompts’ to cut down on harmful tweets. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Twitter has acquired Scroll, a subscription service that offers a reading a between way to read through long-form content of the web, by removing ads and other website clutter. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Twitter expands Spaces to anyone with 600+ followers, including both iOS and Android users. It has also unveiled some of the features it’s preparing to launch, like Ticketed Spaces, scheduling features, reminders, support for co-hosting, accessibility improvements and more. Read more from Techcrunch
  • Twitter has launched a new podcast that will provide new insight into how the company utilizes user research and understanding to advance its systems. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter has announced a range of new video partnerships at its annual NewFronts event, including exclusive sports content from the MLB, WNBA and NHL, new news broadcasts from NBC. This will expand Twitter’s slate of video content, which advertisers will then be able to promote against. Read more from Social Media Today.
April 2021
  • Twitter has added a new Fleets option which enables users to add a background video or image to their Fleets frames. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter is testing new ‘Super Follow’ and Tipping buttons for profiles. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter is also now officially launching a live test of its new ‘Professional Profiles’, which will provide a new way for brands to present themselves on the platform, with dedicated tools and features aligned specifically with work use. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter is starting a new initiative, Responsible Machine Learning, to assess any “unintentional harms” caused by its algorithms. A team of engineers, researchers, and data scientists across the company will study how Twitter’s use of machine learning can lead to algorithmic biases that negatively impact users. Read more from The Verge.
  • Twitter now lets you add stickers to Fleets. Read more from The Verge.
  • Periscope, the app that popularized live streaming from smartphones, has shut down, just over six years after it launched. Twitter has owned Periscope since March 2015. Read more from The Verge.
  • Twitter has announced a re-branding of its ad products, streamlining its options from 22+ individual ad format names to just 5 advertising categories. Read more from Social Media Today.
March 2021
  • Twitter is looking to improve DMs, while considering new search features for messages. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter has previewed a number of new safety tools in development, along with an update to its Birdwatch fact-checking tool. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter Spaces will soon be accessible via desktop. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter is exploring the use of Facebook-style emoji reactions. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Twitter is also working on a new option that would enable users to create sub-communities, and share their tweets within those selected groups only. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter begins testing a way to watch YouTube videos directly from your home timeline within the Twitter iOS app. That means you’ll be able to click and play a video without having to leave the conversation you’re currently viewing. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Twitter is looking to add a new option to Fleets which would enable users to add custom visual backgrounds when re-sharing tweets. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • As Twitter continues to develop its new audio Spaces tool, it’s now looking at how it improves Spaces discovery and how to maximize awareness of in-progress conversations. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter is working to advance its audio Spaces tool quickly, adding new features and tools for users in the initial test pool, while it also looks to add more users into the expanding beta group. Read more from Social Media Today. According to Techcrunch, Twitter Spaces is set to launch publicly in April.
  • Twitter is testing better image previews and fewer cropped photos. Read more from TechCrunch.
  • Twitter adds option to switch off Fleets reactions via DM. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter will now enable advertisers to limit who can reply to their promoted tweets. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter is working on a ‘big overhaul’ of TweetDeck. Read more from The Verge.
  • Twitter will soon start labeling tweets that share misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines. Twitter plans to enforce a five-strike system for repeat offenders that can lead to locked accounts and permanent suspension. Read more from The Verge.
  • Twitter is opening up its live audio chat rooms, known as Twitter Spaces, to users on Android. Previously, the experience was only open to select users on iOS following the product’s private beta launch in late December 2020. Android users will only be able to join and talk in Spaces for the time being, but won’t yet be able to start their own. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Twitter has launched an updated version of its Privacy Help resources in order to better connect users with relevant information about their data, privacy, and security options on the platform. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter has announced that, due to low usage, it’s retiring the Likes, Collections and Moments embeddable timelines as of June 23rd, 2021. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter has confirmed it’s testing a new way to display tweets that link out to e-commerce product pages. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Twitter has announced a pair of big upcoming features: the ability for users to charge their followers for access to additional content, and the ability to create and join groups based around specific interests. Read more from The Verge.
  • Just ahead of its 2021 virtual investor day on Thursday, Twitter announced its three long-term goals focused on user base and revenue growth, and a faster pace of shipping new features across its platform. The company said it aims to “at least” double its total annual revenue from $3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion or more in 2023. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • After first launching a limited test of warning prompts on tweet replies containing potentially offensive remarks in May last year, Twitter is now re-launching the alerts, with a new format, and further explanation as to why each reply has been flagged. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter is working on a new ‘Safety Mode’ to limit the impact of on-platform abuse. Read more from Social Media Today. 
February 2021
  • As audio social platform Clubhouse continues to gain momentum, Twitter is working to upgrade and roll out its own variation on the same. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter shares news of ‘an extraordinary’ year, exceeding $1bn ad revenue despite the challenges of election misinformation and banning ex-President Donald Trump. Read more from The Drum. 
  • Beginning next week, Twitter will add labels to the personal accounts of heads of state as it expands its policy on government-affiliated accounts. Read more from The Verge.
  • Twitter has revealed a new visual identity which hopes to “fully reflect the complexity, fluidity and power of the conversations today”. Read more from Design Week.
  • Twitter is working on integrating newsletters on its site, following Revue acquisition. Read more from Techcrunch, here.
  • Twitter is opening up its full tweet archive to academic researchers for free. Read more from The Verge.

January 2021
  • Twitter has outlined its new verification guidelines ahead of its re-opening of public applications for the verification badge. Read more from Social Media Today
  • Twitter has signed a new hosting deal with Amazon Web Services, which will enable it to utilize the capacity of AWS to improve the app’s performance, and the services it’s able to provide. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter has confirmed that it will shut down its separate Periscope live-streaming app in March. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Twitter has acquired the social podcasting app Breaker, team to help build its audio-based networking project, Twitter Spaces. Read more from Techcrunch, here and here.
  • Twitter announced it will remove tweets making false or misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccinations. Read more from The Verge. 
  • Twitter is returning ReTweets to how they used to be –  no longer automatically show the quote tweet prompt when you try to retweet. The change to the way retweets worked was first implemented in October ahead of the 2020 US presidential election. Twitter’s aim with the change was to encourage people to tweet and amplify information more thoughtfully. Read more from The Verge.
  • Twitter bots and memorialized users will become ‘new account types’ in 2021. Read more from TechCrunch.
  • Twitter is launching a new test which will show users topics, people in common, and other things that they have in common within the tweet composer. Read more from Social Media Today
  • Twitter users complain of timelines being overrun with ‘Promoted Tweets’. Read more from Techcrunch. 
  • Twitter introduced its own take on stories—fleeting tweets called Fleets—last month. Now it’s making it easier to share tweets inside stories on other platforms (Snapchat and Instagram Stories).Read more from Fast Company.
  • Twitter has acquired multi-participant video chat app Squad, which could pave the way for new video streaming features in the app. Read more from Social Media Today.

Instagram

July 2021
  • Instagram now supports 60-second videos on Reels. Read more from The Verge.
  • Instagram expands insights data to 60 days, providing more analytical capacity. Read more from Social Media Today. 
  • Instagram has added new features to support its youngest users, including defaulting young people into private accounts, making it harder for potentially suspicious accounts to find young people and limiting the options advertisers have to reach young people with ads. Read more from Instagram.
  • Instagram rolls out language translation options within Instagram Stories. Read more from Social Media Today. 
  • Instagram has launched “Sensitive Content Control,” which allows you to decide how much sensitive content shows up in Explore. Read more from Instagram.
  • Instagram has launched a new test of a feature that would enable users to post collaborative updates, both in the main feed and in Reels clips. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Instagram confirms test of new anti-harrassment tool, Limits, designed for moments of crisis (eg racist abuse that followed the Euro 2020 final). Read more from Techcrunch.Instagram has launched ‘Security Checkup’, a new feature to help people keep their Instagram accounts secure. Read more from Instagram.
  • Instagram is testing a “reshare” sticker that can be placed in Stories. When selected, a “recently viewed” tab will surface and let users choose from posts they’ve seen in the last hour, saved, or posted, which they can then share in their story. Reach more from The Verge.
  • Instagram Stories drafts are now available to all users. Read more from Social Media Today. Instagram is rolling out a new option to combat on-platform abuse, this time focused on limiting actions from groups of users, as opposed to muting or restricting individual profiles. Read more from Social Media Today. 
  • Head of Instagram says Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app. The company is looking to lean into entertainment and video after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube. Read more from The Verge.
  • Instagram making it easier for people to discover Black-owned businesses directly on Instagram. Businesses based in the US with Shops on Instagram will now be able to designate as Black-owned and display a “Black-owned” label. Read more from Instagram.
June 2021
  • Instagram is testing a desktop posting feature. Read more from The Verge.
  • Another test from Instagram mixes ‘Suggested Posts’ into the feed to keep you posted. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Instagram Reels now has ads. Read more from The Verge.
  • Instagram adds group fundraisers, facilitating new awareness opportunities. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Shedding more light on how Instagram works: Read the updates from Instagram.
  • Instagram has published a special edition of Instagram Insider – The Creator Issue to kick off Instagram and Facebook’s first-ever Creator Week.
  • Instagram is introducing new ways for creators to make money. In the coming months, Instagram will start testing a native affiliate tool, which allows creators to recommend products available on checkout, share them with followers and earn commissions for sales their posts drive. When creators make these posts, the text “eligible for commission” will appear beneath their username in the same way that sponsored content labels appear. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Instagram is expanding Reels ads to Canada, France, the UK and the US. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Instagram is adding a new range of data insights for both Instagram Reels and Instagram Live broadcasts. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • As it gradually moves further into eCommerce, and facilitating direct-purchase processes in-app, Instagram has launched a new product showcase option today called ‘Drops’, which will highlight the latest product launches from brands you’ve engaged with, or may be interested in, at the top of the Shop tab in the app. Drops is currently only available to users in the US, and only on mobile devices. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Instagram has announced some new updates to its Branded Content tools, which are designed to further increase transparency, while also making it easier for brands and creators to manage Branded Content requests and approvals. These will be rolled out in Live, IGTV, Reels and Stories over the coming weeks. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Access to Instagram messaging API is being expanded, enabling improved customer message management. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Instagram has been testing hiding like counts on Instagram for a while (to see if it might depressurize people’s experience on Instagram). Everyone now has the option to hide their public like counts on all posts in your feed. You also have the option to hide like counts on your own posts, so others can’t see how many likes your posts get.  Read more from Instagram.
  • Instagram has made changes to its algorithm after a group of its employees reportedly complained that pro-Palestinian content was not viewable for users during the conflict in Gaza. Instagram typically surfaces original content in its stories before reposted content, but will now begin to give equal weighting to both. Read more from The Verge.
May 2021
  • A number of Instagram users have complained that they can’t post multiple photos after a recent update – here’s a workaround.
  • Instagram is working on a new ‘bonuses’ payment option to incentivize Reels creators. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Instagram has announced a new ‘Creator Week’ program, running from June 8th to June 10th, which will provide education and insight on platform best practices and processes. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Instagram adds a dedicated spot for your pronouns. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Instagram Live takes on Clubhouse with options to mute and turn off the video.Read more from Techcrunch
  • Instagram has published the first edition of its new ‘Instagram Insider’ digital magazine, highlighting key content trends and influential creators. Read more from Instagram.
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced plans for coming monetization tools for Instagram creators. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Instagram has provided an update on its efforts to address systemic bias within its systems. Read more from Instagram.
  • Instagram is making its video Stories and Reels more accessible with the launch of a new captions sticker that will allow users to watch without having the sound on. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Over the last few months, Instagram has been working to address a key problem which not all users agree is an actual issue: The re-sharing of feed posts to Instagram Stories. They are testing a new ‘reshare’ sticker to better highlight feed posts re-shared to Stories. Read more from Social Media Today.
April 2021
  • Instagram launches tools to filter out abusive DMs based on keywords and emojis, and to block people, even on new accounts. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Instagram is testing ads in Reels. The ads can be up to 30 seconds long, like Reels, and will look similar to the ones you see in stories in that they’re vertical and full-screen. Unlike those story ads, though, people can comment on, like, view, save, share, and skip them in Reels. Ads using stickers are also being tested. Read more from The Verge.
  • Instagram will test giving people more control over where they see like counts on posts. The company announced a “small global test” that will present users with three options when it comes to the like count: choosing not to see like counts on anyone’s posts, turning them off for their own posts, or keeping the original experience. Read more from The Verge.
  • Instagram officially launches Remix on Reels, a TikTok duets-like feature. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Instagram is expanding IGTV ads to creators in the UK and Australia as it continues to add more revenue-share tools. Read more from Social Media Today.
March 2021
  • Instagram’s adding a new option to save your Stories as drafts to be posted at a later stage. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • To help people find credible COVID-19 information, Instagram has introduced a COVID-19 Information Center globally, helping connect people to more information about the pandemic from health authorities, directly on Instagram. Read more from Instagram.
  • Instagram has also introduced new features and resources as part of its ongoing efforts to keep their youngest community members safe. Read more from Instagram.
  • Instagram is testing a new option that would highlight when feed posts have been re-shared to Stories. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Instagram is currently testing out a new ‘Closed Captions’ sticker for Instagram Stories, which generates automated captions for your Stories clips in a range of text formats. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Instagram launches a revised Instagram Lite app in 170 regions. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Instagram has introduced Live Rooms, giving you the ability to go Live on Instagram with up to three people. Previously, you could go live with only one other person in a stream. Read more from Instagram.
  • Instagram is introducing new ways to support people on Instagram who may be affected by negative body image or an eating disorder. Read more from Instagram.
February 2021
  • Instagram has shared an update with some new measures to tackle the abuse that sometimes occurs on their platform, including removing the accounts of people who send abusive messages and developing new controls to help reduce the abuse people see in their DMs. Read more from Instagram.
  • Instagram says its algorithm won’t promote Reels that have a TikTok watermark. Read more from The Verge.
  • Instagram will soon enable users to go live with up to three people at a time on a single stream. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Instagram is rolling out ‘Recently Deleted’, a feature to help manage content. Read more, from Instagram.
  • Instagram confirms it’s working on a ‘Vertical Stories’ feed. Read more from Techcrunch.
  • Instagram launches a new professional dashboard. It’s essentially a management overview platform that provides basic performance insight, as well as access to relevant tools to help creators maximize and monetize their platform presence. Read more from Social Media Today.
  • Instagram is making its Stories feature more complete on the desktop. In a small interface refresh, the company is updating its Stories feature so that it opens up to show a carousel of videos, which previews what’s cued up next and the content that just played. Read more from The Verge.

January 2021