Platform Update: November

Another month, another bucketful of innovations from our favourite social media platforms. From new ways for brands to get in front of – and speak directly to – new audiences, to measures that can help users manage their screen time, we’ve rounded up the biggest developments of the last few weeks.

Instagram gives your posts a soundtrack

Instagram is allowing some users to enable the music catalogue for in-feed posts. Those users in the test will be able to choose a song to accompany their post  in the feed post composer.

It’s all part of Instagram’s desire to make music a central part of the experience, as is already the case on TikTok. It’ll be a change of direction for brands and creators, who will be used to creating content mainly for sound-off viewing. 

And as audio becomes an ever more crucial element of social content, posts designed with an audio track already in mind are likely to perform well.

Go live shopping on Twitter

Following in the footsteps of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, Twitter is exploring the possibility of offering live shopping on the platform, with users able to browse and purchase products during a live stream.

For brands, this is another way to get products and services in front of different audiences, and is a real opportunity for brands to explore how their products can be communicated through live formats. And as all the platforms mentioned above rely on top creators to host the streams, this once again shows the value of creator partnerships.

A Snapchat ad for every occasion

Snapchat has launched new multi-format ad placements, so that brands can buy multiple ad formats in one ad set, including Snap Ads, Story Ads, Collection Ads and Commercials.

Multi-format delivery means brands can bundle and optimise their creative, delivering more variety in their creative for a single objective, without having to build a new campaign from scratch.

Instagram encourages users to Take a Break

Instagram’s new Take a Break option lets users set reminders to take a screen break after 10, 20, or 30 minutes. Opted-in users will get an in-app notification prompting them to close Instagram, and suggestions for other things to do instead. 

Though social media is known to be damaging to some teens’ well-being, it’s possible the platform may be overestimating how long most users spend on its app. According to Statista, US users spend 2.95 minutes on the platform per session, while Hootsuite reports a 28 minute daily average.

Marketers. TikTok wants YOU.

TikTok has launched a bid to attract marketers. ‘CommunityToks’ focuses on how TikTok can drive engagement within niches, and in turn how businesses can do the same to build their brand presence. 

In short, TikTok is looking to broaden its advertiser appeal by highlighting sub-networks within the app, which may better align with specific products and services. 

But as always, standard rules apply. Brands looking to connect with the TikTok community, you need to speak their language, and create clips that align with user trends and engagement.