Social Media Updates 2021

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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.

If you would like to discuss what the changes mean to you and your business, get in touch.


LinkedIn

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

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

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

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