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Social Media News Roundup January 2022

Social Media News Roundup January 2022

Happy January everyone! We hope you have all been more successful than us at keeping your New Year’s resolutions. For those about to complete Dry January and Veganuary, we salute you! Fear not, whilst you have been smashing personal goals, we have had our heads buried in the latest social media news to bring you the latest goings-on. Keep reading for our headlines.

Twitter Publishes New Guide on What Consumers Expect from Brands

First up in our social media news update are Twitter, the company has published a new report which documents how brands can maximise success on the platform. This is based on evolving consumer trends and expectations in the app.

Called #RealTalk, the guide is the result of analysing a decade worth of brand tweets, and user tweets about brands, along with numerous consumer surveys, to get a real view of what works in modern Twitter marketing, and what Twitter users both respond to and expect.

This is a mammoth effort from Twitter, you can download the full 50-page guide here, keep reading for the standout highlights.

First up, Twitter notes that the brand conversation is rising across the platform, more and more people are looking to engage with brands in the app. This presents a significant opportunity for awareness and connection between brand and consumer and highlights the need for brands to get their messaging right, as times and issues change, so too are consumer expectations about a brand’s Twitter presence.

Twitter has also outlined the kinds of events that people want to see brands tweet about, or not, this will help guide brands in gaining further insight on engaging with their target audience. Basically, no one cares about a business’ opinion on the latest episode of The Mandalorian, no matter how on-brand it might be.

It’s important to remember that the above is based on broad tweet analysis, where nuances can be missed. There will always be that brand that ignores all of these guides, does the opposite, and still sees success. As always, the key to success is knowing your target audience and what they find of benefit from your brand.

And really, that’s the key message of Twitter’s overall guide, that while general advice can be helpful, you need to stick with your brand messaging, and voice, to truly win out.

Meta Developing an ‘Ethical Framework’ for the Use of Virtual Influencers

We now live in a time that sees the rise of digital avatars and fully digital characters, that have evolved into genuine social media influencers, but how are they governed? How are they decerned from the real, and what guidelines exist in apps on how they are to be used? In short, they aren’t, and Meta is looking to solve this. With many virtual influencers already operating, Meta is working to establish ethical boundaries on its application.

As explained by Meta:

“From synthesized versions of real people to wholly invented “virtual influencers” (VIs), synthetic media is a rising phenomenon. Meta platforms are home to more than 200 VIs, with 30 verified VI accounts hosted on Instagram. These VIs boast huge follower counts, collaborate with some of the world’s biggest brands, fundraising for organizations like the WHO, and champion social causes like Black Lives Matter.”

Some of the more well-known examples on this front are Shudu, who has more than 200k followers on Instagram, and Lil’ Miquela, who has an audience of over 3 million on the app.

Some of these virtual influencers are so convincing you wouldn’t realise that it wasn’t a real person at first glance, these make a great vehicle for brand and product promotions 24/7. On the flip, the door is wide open for misuse through deepfakes and false representation, think DeepTomCruise on TikTok for how far these technologies have come and how they could be used to misrepresent a public figure.

This is why Meta is working closely with developers and experts on an ‘Ethical Framework’, setting guidelines and clear boundaries on acceptable use cases. There are lots of benefits from VR and AR technology for brands and users alike, however, it is imperative that what is real and what is not is clearly defined through regulation and transparency moving forward. So this is a welcome move by Meta.

Snapchat Renews Content Deals with Disney, NBCUniversal and Others.

 In other social media news, Snapchat has renewed content deals with Disney, Viacom and NBCUniversal. This will allow Snapchat to broadcast exclusive programming in-app through its Snapchat Discover feature this year. This is yet another boon to the value of Discover and Snapchats push to keep on top of trends whilst connecting with the next generation of viewers.

As Snapchat explains:

“These renewals are a strong validation that Discover continues to be an incredibly important platform for some of the biggest consumer media brands in the world – and these agreements affirm their long-term confidence in Snap and our ability to deliver meaningful outcomes to drive reach, relevance and revenue.” 

Discover has been a smash hit for Snapchat with over 100 million tuning in to watch Discover content monthly. It’s no wonder as it caters to evolving consumption habits, shorter episodes, keeping a vertical screen in mind and partnering with big-name networks. More recently, Snap’s also been looking to evolve its originals even further, which could be another key step in maintaining engagement.

The new agreements will see ESPN sports continue to be broadcast as well as original content from Viacom and NBC, along with highlights from existing programming and more. It’ll be interesting to see how Snapchat’s Discover content grows over the coming years, along with TikTok the company is causing a new shift in digital consumption. With traditional habits shifting towards this model, all content publishers are going to have to consider how to cater to this shift moving forward.

Well, that’s it for another month of social media news updates, be sure to check out some of our other blog posts for killer tips on keeping your social media relevant and impactful, such as giving your Instagram contentthe best first impression possible. Keep it dialled into Giraffe and we will see you next time!