Social Media News August 2021
Clubhouse update: now open to all users
Remember Clubhouse? The audio app with its exclusive invite-only approach?
That’s all going to be changing from now on. Clubhouse has announced that everyone can join the app and tune into the latest audio chats. The social network is also available on iOS and on Android phones and has been since May.
According to Andrew Hutchinson from SocialMediaToday, it has become quiet around the app since the huge hype in the beginning. Also, some other social platforms have started copying the audio function, like Twitter with Spaces. With that tool, they created a more open and accessible option shortly after Clubhouse started in Germany. Nevertheless, Clubhouse is still growing, especially in India.
The question is whether Clubhouse can now keep up with Twitter’s Spaces or Facebook’s audio options. The first step is already complete, by giving access to everyone. We will see how the app develops and how the accessibility will influence the content and capacity.
YouTube Shorts update: now available in Germany
YouTube’s TikTok clone “YouTube Shorts” is now available in Germany and worldwide! The vertical short videos are all about new creative ways of communication but also about the consumption of these videos, the time spent watching them as well as YouTube creator activity. According to Jan Firsching from Futurebiz, the difference to a “normal” YouTube upload and Shorts are the integrated features. The link to YouTube videos and YouTube music plays an important role.
Unlike TikTok, Shorts are an extension of YouTube and not the core. Shorts are displayed on the main page of the platform. If you open a short video, a vertical video feed opens, as we know it from Reels on Instagram. Furthermore, there will be a new tab in the mobile app to access the YouTube Shorts feed.
It is interesting how YouTube links the format with existing content. For example, if users go to a song that is used in Shorts, they can not only select the song for their own short video, but there are also links to the official music video and the artist’s channel. The links work in both directions. This means that Shorts can be created directly from music videos or other content published on YouTube.
YouTube Shorts have already been averaging 6.5 billion views a day. YouTube benefits above all from the Google and, of course, YouTube search. It remains to be seen whether Shorts will be integrated into Google search results and Google News, too.
Now is the chance for creators and brands to get a head start and achieve high organic reach through YouTube Shorts. How the feature will develop remains to be seen, but we think this would be a great platform to invest in.
Instagram tests new “Collab” option
“Collaborating is a huge part of how people connect on Instagram” (Vishal Shah, Instagram’s VP of product). That’s why Instagram is testing a new feature that allows users to post collaborative updates in the main feed and in Reels. “Collab” posts will appear with two profile bubbles, one for each creator. People can be easily added via the tagging screen where you will find a new option for collaborators. According to Andrew Hutchinson from SocialMediaToday, these posts will be shown to followers of both accounts. Also, each creator will get access to the post statistics and the comments.
The new feature could maximize engagement and gain more reach since two communities will be addressed. Right now, the focus is still on creators, but this could also be a great opportunity for brands and influencers.
The new option is currently being tested with selected users in the UK and India. We’ll just have to wait now and see how it goes.
Instagram tests re-share sticker
The new Re-Share Sticker for Instagram Stories now makes it possible to include feed posts more interactively in Stories. From a list of saved posts and Reels, you can then select content and place it on your video or image like a sticker. The new feature is designed to allow followers to interact more creatively with feed posts, bypassing a simple post-re-share in the story. However, the feedback on the new function was not entirely positive. For the test of the new sticker version, Instagram completely removed the option to share a post in the Story for some users. According to Andrew Hutchinson of SocialMediaToday, this has been particularly damaging for business profiles that use the Re-Share feature to highlight their posts. Despite the criticism, the new re-share sticker certainly creates a good balance between creative posts and pure re-posts for business purposes.
YouTube tests live-stream shopping
With a new type of online shopping, YouTube continues to expand its field in eCommerce. They are currently testing a new live-stream feature where viewers can look up and buy products simultaneously with the stream.
Since the pandemic, YouTube has seen a shift towards product-related content. In response to this movement, they are considering more and more product related features on YouTube.
The viewer should be able to buy any product directly, regardless of whether the creator has linked the product or not. According to Andrew Hutchinson from SocialMediaToday, this means a new level of online purchasing. Viewers and followers are increasingly made aware of new products and have direct access to them without having to interrupt the video.
TikTok launches new “Spark“ ad option
TikTok now makes it easier for companies to sponsor organic posts without having to create content or request creators themselves. The new “Spark” ad option helps companies find relevant organic posts that match their campaigns. Through these new features, brands can more easily contact creators and use organic posts for their own promotional purposes. According to Andrew Hutchinson from SocialMediaToday, brands can now boost their organic reach through the new “Spark” function and convert them into In-Feed ads or Topview ads. This feature is a helpful tool to bring advertising closer to the users. TikTok has its own presentation style, which makes it difficult for brands to reuse content from other channels. That’s where the new spark function comes in: This way, the brand message can be transported to the follower without them having the feeling that the media style of the brand does not fit TikTok.
For a good media presence on TikTok it is important to “make TikToks not ads”. For this, the “Spark” ad option can deliver good content and find appropriate organic posts.
Johanna Leffers & Anna Lemke