Welcome to Rose Media Group’s monthly social media round up for November! As always, we’ve got a lot to get through, so get your beverage of choice ready and we’ll get straight into it.
Meta – Legal Troubles & Ad-Free Offering
Earlier in the month, Meta was threatened with legal action over the ‘Threads’ name. Threads Software Limited, a UK-based software company providing an ‘innovative messaging hub’ for businesses, says that they have owned the ‘Threads’ trademark since 2012, with Meta making four attempts to purchase the ‘threads.app’ domain from April 2023 to the app’s eventual release in July 2023. Upon the launch of Meta’s Threads platform, Threads Software Limited was removed from its Facebook platform for alleged community standards violations, however there had been no warnings received since the page’s creation in 2021.
Dr John Yardley, Managing Director of Threads Software Ltd, stated that taking Meta on (worth US$150 billion) “is not an easy decision for us to make. We have invested 10 years in our platform, establishing a recognised brand in the name, Threads. Our business now faces a serious threat from one of the largest technology companies in the world.”
The company has given Meta 30 days to cease usage of the Threads name, and will ‘seek an injunction from the UK courts’ if Meta fails to comply. This case will likely resonate with many other smaller businesses facing similar issues over the years, and we will hopefully have an update to bring you on this case in the December round up!
Meta has also announced the introduction of an ad-free subscription in Europe. Users of Meta-owned platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will be able to pay €9.99 a month for an ad-free experience on said platforms, with an additional €3 added on if the subscription is paid for via iOS or Android apps (due to fees taken from said platforms).
This subscription appears to have stemmed from Meta’s €390m fine at the beginning of this year for breaking EU data rules around ads, and Meta themselves have confirmed that this was introduced to address EU concerns rather than to make more money, stating that they ‘respect the spirit and purpose of these evolving European regulations, and are committed to complying with them’.
There have been no confirmed plans to bring this subscription to the UK, United States, etc., however we shall look out for any updates on this going forward.
TikTok – Updated Analytics & More Creativity Support
TikTok have made further improvements to their analytics, which now support real-time updates of the following:
- Total play time
- Average watch time
- Watched full video
- Traffic source types
- …and more!
The video-sharing platform has also now done away with its original Creator Fund, officially replacing it with the recently introduced Creativity Program (cast your mind back to our September round-up for information on that). The Creator Fund was originally launched in 2020 and aimed to financially support eligible users by monetising their TikTok content, however many users had reported issues with the fund and that they were struggling to effectively monetise their content. The Creativity Program currently remains in beta testing and to US-based creators only, and there will be certain criteria to be fulfilled for eligibility.
TikTok has stated that the Creativity Program was developed off the back of feedback from the Creator Fund and promises new ways to support content creators and give them the potential for higher incomes.
In another new initiative for supporting creators, TikTok has recently launched a brand-new tool called Creative Cards – data-backed prompts providing tips on how creators can make their posts more effective with their audience; these tips are split into five categories:
- Community – to help creators actively engage their audience and build loyalty, e.g. content based on user comments, integrating testimonials
- Creator Tools – ways to enhance likeability and boost views, e.g. music, captions, storytelling
- Edutainment – creative ways to share lessons, showcase products and offers
- Storytelling – different approaches to telling stories, backgrounds, journeys, etc.
- Trends – brainstorming how to participate in different trends, e.g. hashtags, memes
In their statement announcing the release of the new feature, TikTok said: “TikTok Creative Cards help you to develop new ways to communicate with concise ad concepts displayed on a collection of digital cards. With so many thought starters at the ready, it’s easy to keep your content fresh and avoid going stale, which can help you attract attention to seasonal products and gift ideas. Actively engage your audience, show off your expertise with a side of fun, and make your small business relevant and relatable with innovative ideas for celebrating the holidays.”
It is great to see TikTok actively encouraging small businesses to boost their presence on the platform and supporting them to do so, and we’re looking forward to seeing the feedback on Creative Cards come in over the next month or two.
There has also been another interesting development regarding TikTok’s ever-increasing influence on the music industry. Users are now able to add songs from content to their respective Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon Music libraries without leaving the app itself. This is a great step for artists heavily utilising TikTok in their promotional strategies, and will no doubt have a notable impact on streaming statistics as we go into 2024.
Finally, is TikTok moving away from short-form content? According to a recent article by The Information, “…over the past six months, creators who post videos longer than a minute have five times the growth rate in followers of those who post only short videos”. Interesting stuff given that one of the eligibility criteria for the new Creativity Program is videos being over a minute long – watch this space to see how this develops!
X – Advertising Issues & More ‘Everything’ Features
The unpredictability of Elon Musk and what he might do with X (Twitter) next certainly keeps us social media people on our toes, with his latest whim being a complete U-turn on link preview headlines. Headlines will soon be rolled out again, however with another tweak in that they will appear overlaid over article images as opposed to below them. This will surely be a welcome return given X’s character limitation, with manual inclusion of headlines taking up valuable space.
In a startling but perhaps not so surprising development, tech giant IBM has been the latest multinational corporation to pull advertising from X, after their ads were displayed adjacent to white supremacist content. IBM joins Apple and Google in this step, and only seems to exacerbate the clear devolution of the platform. In fact, Musk launched into a tirade against these advertisers boycotting the site, accusing them of blackmailing him and warning that they will “kill the company”. How to make friends and influence people? Not so much in this case.
Other X updates for the month include:
- The launch of Grok, an AI chatbot exclusively for X Premium+ subscribers
- X Premium+ subscribers can also now DM the Premium account for support
- Twitter Circles has officially been removed
- Timestamp links for videos have been launched
- A Job Search function for the web
- An initial roll-out of audio and video call functionality
Each month has brought more and more surprises with X, but with that has also come the sense of the platform (and Musk) treading on increasingly thin ice, particularly with large corporations. Other updates above show Musk’s intent to still move towards an ‘everything app’, however we can only see what happens next!
Instagram + Threads – New Creation Features & Continuing Rivalry
Instagram has had another busy month of introducing a whole host of new content creation features, including:
- New photo filters
- Updated fonts and styles
- Custom sticker creation
- Undo/redo for video editing
- The ability to preview what your post will look like in your grid
- Posting in-feed content and Reels exclusively for Close Friends lists
- A meme-it option – allowing friends to create memes out of posts shared in DMs
- New tools for Reels creators – including a feature allowing comparison of up to four versions of a Reel
There have also been more audience engagement-orientated features being tested, including polls in comments, sharing comments to Stories and requesting a mention in Stories. Another interesting development in the testing stage is a ‘My Week’ feature – essentially showing a Story for seven days, thus providing more opportunity for wider reach to your audience.
In terms of Threads updates, they have now rolled out the ability to delete your Threads account without deleting your existing Instagram account (an arguably vital function for those who want to opt out of Threads); polls and native GIFs have also now been introduced, along with a test of tagging topics to categories your posts by theme or interest – a similar concept to the humble hashtag.
Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, has announced that Threads API is in the works, but there is no tangible release date yet.
Mark Zuckerberg has also been rubbing salt in Elon Musk’s wounds, with Threads being a direct competitor for X. He has been reported as wanting Threads to ‘practice kindness’, stating that “the goal is to keep it friendly as it expands. I think it’s possible and will ultimately be the key to its success. That’s one reason why Twitter never succeeded as much as I think it should have, and we want to do it differently.” Clearly referring to various incidents of hate speech on the X platform, in particular recent white supremacy and antisemitic content (at times perpetuated by Musk himself), it is commendable that Zuckerberg wants to make Threads a more positive environment than its counterpart. With that being said, however, perhaps more attention could be drawn to safety on Zuckerberg’s other platforms?
- LinkedIn has officially reached 1 billion followers!
- LinkedIn are also removing any native carousel posts (PDF carousels are safe, don’t panic) and profile videos from December 14th.
- Google is now showing creator statistics in search results, including follower counts, content popularity and social handles.
If you’re feeling a bit lost with your business’s social media profiles, why not get in touch with us here at Rose Media Group? You can contact our Rosy team at email@example.com or give us a call at 01444 241 341 to find out more about how we can help you.
We look forward to hearing from you!