Welcome back, we hope you have had a fun and productive November, enjoying a few firework displays and Black Friday deals. We’re back with our social media news update for November 2021, bringing you the latest incoming changes and updates to your favourite social media marketing platforms, lets dive in!
Instagram Testing ‘Take a Break’ Feature
Instagram is currently testing a new feature to get us all to put down our phones and ‘Take a Break.’ This feature will enable and empower users to set reminders to take some time away from the app after a certain amount of time. This could be every 10, 20, or 30 minutes.
Instagram’s very own Adam Mosseri posted an overview of the new feature. The new option, which select users will be asked to activate from their feed, enables the selection of a designated time to be reminded to take a break. This feature will also suggest alternative activities for you to undertake during this time.
Instagram hopes this will give users more control over and be more mindful of their Instagram engagement. Hopefully, it will at least help combat the habit of endlessly scrolling through content for hours on end. It’s great to see more options for Instagram users to manage their time using the app, although it must be noted that both Facebook and Instagram have had time limit reminders since 2018. The aim here, then, is to put this feature front and centre to give new prompts when users hit certain usage limits.
It’s hard to say how effective this will be, although any update to improve wellbeing is worth testing. This could also be seen as Instagram’s response to claims that the usage of their app can be harmful to users. As with all new social media features, time will tell exactly how many users choose to switch on these new alerts to manage their usage time.
Facebook Testing New User Content Controls For News Feed, New Restrictions for Ad Placement
In other social media news, Facebook has begun to test a range of new control options for the News Feed for users and advertisers alike. These are aimed at giving users more control over what they see and allowing brands to avoid unwanted association via ad placement in the app.
For individual users, Facebook is making its News Feed control options easier to locate, whilst also giving them more control over which types of content appear in their feeds. Facebook gave a full breakdown of this new feature on their business blog.
Essentially, the new News Feed preferences provide a lot more control over what appears in your feed, allowing you to select favourite profiles that will get higher priority in your News Feed when they post. You will also be able to unfollow Pages, people and topics, as well as the ability to snooze users/Pages all in one place. Facebook have also mentioned there will be even more control in future, with the ability to increase and decrease content you are shown within each element that appears on your feed, although full details haven’t been released yet. This will provide a great way for individuals to curate their News Feed; putting more power into the hands of the user to control the content they see can only be a good thing.
In addition to this, Facebook is also expanding its Topic Exclusion controls for News Feed to a limited number of advertisers that run ads in English.
As explained by Facebook:
“The advertiser topic exclusion control allows an advertiser to select a topic to help define how we’ll show the ad on Facebook, including News Feed. Advertisers can select three topics – News and Politics, Social Issues, and Crime & Tragedy. When an advertiser selects one or more topics, their ad will not be delivered to people recently engaging with those topics in their News Feed.”
Advertisers will be able to avoid unwanted association with these topics and any related discourse surrounding them, this will essentially keep brands from suffering negatively from these associations and ensure ads aren’t shown alongside discussions that could instantly garner negative comments and reduce an ad’s impact.
Amid broader debates around negative interactions on Facebook, it makes sense that the company would want to improve the platform experience by providing more control to users and advertisers. Time will tell what kind of impact these controls will have in the long term.
TikTok Creates New Guide for Businesses to Get Started in the App
With the festive shopping period in full swing, TikTok has published a new guide to help small businesses hit the ground running with the platform, chock-full of advice on creating their first TikTok and how to get the most from the app.
Key elements of the guide include setting up a business account, establishing a presence in the app, and planning an effective video strategy. It also provides pointers on how to construct your video clips including advice on specific shots and the best practices for putting them together in a sequence.
Also outlined are 20 ideas to inspire creative content, as well as hashtags that are popular depending on a businesses niche. There is some really good info here, albeit a bit basic as it is aimed at brands just starting their TikTok journey. However, even if you have experience creating TikTok clips, there might be a few tips you were unaware of that may elevate your content strategy. With TikTok on track to reach 1.5 billion users in 2022, there really isn’t a better time to ensure your TikTok game is as strong as it can be. If you haven’t already, perhaps it’s time to add TikTok to your social media strategy.
You can also check out Giraffe’s guide to TikTok marketing, which is full of brilliant ideas to ensure you are ahead of the pack when it comes to TikTok strategy.
Well, that’s it for social media news in November… where did this month go? We hope you have all had a productive yet stress-free month – we’re sure all that retail therapy helped over Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Stay tuned as we’ll be back next month with even more updates from the ever-evolving world of social media.