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 Major Social Media Updates – April Edition

Major Social Media Updates – April Edition

Hey readers! We’re back with our social media updates for April. Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz about Elon Musk and Twitter – we’ve included details about that and other major social media updates of the month here.

That said, let’s take a look at the major social media updates of April.

1. Google Enhances Product Discovery With New Search Options

Google is all about bringing relevant search results and making the browsing experience better for people. And the recent update perfectly aligns with this.

Google has come up with a new “multisearch” option that will allow users to get more accurate search results by combining visuals and text.

Here’s an image that will help you understand better,

Google's New Multisearch Product Discovery Option
Image Source: Social Media Today
In the above example, search results are initially displayed based on the selected product. But when the term “green” is added to the search, the results become more specific and relevant. This is how the new “multisearch” option will enhance product discovery for users. This feature is powered by Google’s evolving AI and machine learning tools. Here’s what Google said with regards to this, “With multisearch, you can ask a question about an object in front of you or refine your search by color, brand, or a visual attribute.” It should be noted that more than one billion people use Google to shop every day, making it an ideal platform for eCommerce discovery. And this new option to add multiple search parameters can help users discover what they are looking for with extreme ease. This feature is now available in the US as a beta feature within the Google app for English language searches.

2. Twitter Starts Testing Its New “Unmention” Option

Every month, there’s something new happening around Twitter. The platform is continuously bringing new features and updates to improve the user experience and onboard new users.

Twitter has been working on the “unmention” option for some time now and they have launched an initial live test of the feature. What this feature means is that a user will be able to remove themselves from a particular conversation if they do not want to be a part of it.

Here’s Twitter’s tweet regarding the same,

When a user removes themselves from a particular conversation,

  • Their username will be untagged from all the original tweets and replies
  • Other platform users will not be able to tag the person anymore within the same reply chain
  • The untagged user will no more receive notifications or updates about further tweet exchanges

This option could come in handy for users who want to avoid loads of tweets or remove themselves from a conversation they no longer want to be a part of. Twitter also allows users to mute keywords and users, control who can reply to their tweets and more. 

All these combined will help improve the experience of users on the platform. With huge growth targets ahead (315 million monetizable daily active usage or users by the fourth quarter of 2023), it’s no wonder that Twitter is coming up with these new additions.

3. New Social App BeReal Storms With 315% Rise in Downloads

We couldn’t skip past this. BeReal is the new social media app that’s taking the internet by storm.

BeReal Social Media Application

As the name says, BeReal is for people who are focused on the real themselves – the no filter, authentic connections. 

Here’s a statement from BeReal,

“BeReal is the simplest photo sharing app to share once a day your real life in photo with friends. Every day at a different time, everyone captures a photo within 2 minutes. Capture and post in time to discover what your Friends are up to.”

Users will have to share an image of what they are doing when the app prompts them. The best part is the application captures photos using both the front camera and the rear camera. The photos have to be shared within 2 minutes which doesn’t allow time to edit shots, meeting the purpose of keeping things real!

The process is very simple and is gaining strong traction, increasing the downloads by approximately 315%.

BeReal Downloads Chart

The chart clearly shows the rise in momentum and there has been around 7.41 million installations to date, making it the 4th highest downloads in the US, France and the UK for Q1 2022.

BeReal could be the next biggest app trend thanks to the real, authentic feel it gives to its users. We’ll just have to see how it sustains in the near future!

4. Nextdoor Launches Updated Ads Platform - Aims to Help SMBs

Nextdoor, the neighborhood app announced the launch of its expanded self-serve ads platform intending to help SMBs connect with the local communities more efficiently. 

Nextdoor is a social media platform that connects neighbors based on their location. Neighbors who connect on the platform can communicate with each other, collaborate and organize local events, find recommendations for businesses, and pretty much share everything that’s happening around in the community.

Nextdoor Social Media Application

The app is already being used by 1 in 3 US households (as claimed by Nextdoor) and a majority of users are inclined to support local businesses. The recent update regarding the ads will help SMBs find it easy to connect with the local audiences. 

Here’s their explanation,

“Nextdoor Ads is an easy-to-use expansion of Nextdoor’s proprietary self-serve campaign management platform, designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) advertise on Nextdoor. By providing a guided experience for creating and managing effective ads on Nextdoor, Nextdoor Ads empowers SMBs to build stronger brands with local audiences, turn neighbors into customers, and grow their business through advertising on the neighborhood network.”

The app has somewhere more than 69 million users. The ads platform update is about to fully launch in the US in the upcoming weeks. SMBs will have to sign up for a business account to launch a campaign on Nextdoor.

5. Elon Musk and Twitter - A Quick Timeline of Everything that Happened

Over the last couple of days, social media has been all about Elon Musk and Twitter. Pretty sure you would have known about this but here’s a quick timeline of how things unraveled and Elon Musk became Twitter’s largest shareholder.

January 31, 2022: Elon Musk started buying Twitter shares on this date and by the 14th of March, Musk had purchased over 5% of Twitter’s stake.

March 24, 2022: Musk started coming up with a series of Tweets criticizing the platform. Tweets included,

  • Is a new platform needed?
  • Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?

April 4, 2022: Elon Musk’s stake becomes public and by the end of the day, Musk was invited by Twitter to join the board and the next day, i.e. on April 5th, Parag Agarwal, CEO of Twitter came up with a Tweet about appointing Elon on the board.

April 9, 2022: And when Elon Musk had to join the Twitter board of members, he rejected the offer and came up with several criticisms and suggestions for the company. Twitter made the news public that Elon won’t be joining the board and also said that they believed it was for the best. 

April 11, 2022: Elon Musk filed an amended disclosure with the SEC and now, he can purchase as many shares as wishes. Now that Elon Musk isn’t a part of the board, he is also not obliged to act in the best interest of the shareholders of Twitter.

And that’s how Elon Musk became the biggest and most influential shareholder of Twitter.

6. Introducing Communities on WhatsApp…

Just when we thought this month couldn’t get any more interesting, this came in. 

WhatsApp, the global mobile messenger platform that has over two billion users recently announced a new Communities feature with a wide range of new, exciting features like emoji reactions, group audio calls and more. 

The baseline is that WhatsApp’s new communities feature will help people stay connected with the help of a broader community-like structure.

Here’s what WhatsApp has to say about this new feature, 

“Parents at a school, local clubs, and even small workplaces now rely on WhatsApp as their primary way of keeping people up to date. These groups need private ways of communicating that are distinct from social media but provide more tools to facilitate real-time conversations than e-mail or broadcast only channels.”

Here’s an image that will help you understand this better,

As seen in the image, WhatsApp’s new community feature will have a number of sub-groups under it allowing users to join whichever group they prefer to be in. This allows users to stay connected and be informed about related happenings. 

With this comes exciting features like, 

  • The option to react to messages using emojis
  • File sharing option with a size cap of 2GB
  • The ability to have 32 people join the same call and anyone can drop out anytime they wish.
WhatsApp Communities Feature

That’s not all! WhatsApp has ensured that the community remains a safe space to be in by allowing admins to have most of the control. Also, Whatsapp has imposed restrictions on message forwarding within the community. Communities are also not visible during searches and an individual cannot join a community without an invite link.

Community admins have the ability to unlink a specific group from the community and the ability to completely remove a member from the community. All messages are encrypted and the members wouldn’t have anything to worry about. 

WhatsApp has been making significant improvements on the platform for some time now and this new community feature is really great. We’ll just have to see how this feature is being adopted and used in real-time by the users.

7. Instagram Tests New Feature - “Use As Template” for Reels

Another social media platform that has been making great improvements within the platform is Instagram. 

Last month, we saw Instagram coming up with a major update – an algorithm-free feed for users. And this month, Instagram is testing a new way to create and promote reels. 

The new feature, called “Use as Template” allows users to make a template out of their reel and use it to create another reel in the same format.

Here, this image will help you understand better,

As shown in the image by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, the image shows an option called Use as template. When used, the user can see a series of clips based on the timestamps of the reel. Users can then insert clips of their choice into the frame markers and come up with a similar kind of reel. Instagram has currently said that this feature is being tested with a small group of creators for now. 

That’s one social media update from Instagram. The next one is where Instagram is looking at a new way to boost interest in Reels.

The image (shared on Twitter by Marsella Dondi), explains the new approach Instagram is going for – highlighting several Reels in a single frame and adding a CTA button at the bottom of the screen. 

In December 2021, Adam Mosseri, the Instagram chief said that they would be focusing heavily on videos for Instagram in 2022. Here’s the statement, 

“We’re going to double-down on our focus on video and consolidate all of our video formats around Reels”

And it seems that Instagram is going all in on this. 

As we already said, Instagram has been making several improvements to its platform. And since TikTok is on the rise as well, it makes total sense. 

So, those are the important social media updates from Instagram. Let’s head to the next social media update.

8. Twitter and Its New Closed Caption Button

Twitter is now all about enhancing user experience and improving the platform by taking care of even the small details.

This is one such update that’s minor but does make a significant difference in the user experience.

Twitter is testing a new “CC” button on videos, which makes it easier to utilize closed captions.

The new CC option seen in the top right corner of the video will allow users to enable captions in all possible videos. Going forward one can assume that Twitter will have auto-captions as well. This along with the CC button will help improve the experience of watching videos on the platform. 

Twitter has been all about improving accessibility for some time now and this feature is another small step in making the platform a better place for users.

9. YouTube Allows Public Videos to be Remixed Into YouTube Shorts

It seems YouTube is now taking its place as one of the strong contenders for TikTok and Instagram Reels. YouTube Shorts has been familiar for some time and the usage is growing significantly. With this new option to remix public videos available on YouTube into shorts, there will be more engagement on the platform. 

Creators can simply choose a video that they want to remix (a qualified video and the one that’s available). The remix options include “cut” and “sound”. The second option apparently allows you to use the sound from the respective video.

YouTube Shorts Remix

If a specific creator does not want their videos (long-format ones) to be remixed, they can simply opt out of this option available on the YouTube Studio. As for the shorts, there’s no option to restrict them from being recreated.

YouTube stated that creators will be able to see the option in their accounts within a few weeks. Also, users will be able to view and access YouTube Shorts on different platforms like Tablets, iPads, Mobile browsers and more. Earlier, it was only available on the mobile app.

10. Elon Musk Acquires Twitter In a $44 Billion Deal

Honestly, we saved the last one for another social media update. But when we came across this, we thought what else could be bigger! 

So, it seems that finally, Elon Musk has acquired Twitter. Though the deal is expected to be closed later sometime this year, Twitter’s board has unanimously approved the offer.

We already saw a timeline of how Elon became the most influential shareholder of Twitter in the fifth point of the same article and right after that, on the 13th of April, Musk announced his offer to acquire Twitter. 

Speaking of the same, we couldn’t stop ourselves from sharing this,

Elon Musk Tweet

That was a tweet put out by Elon Musk five years ago. And now, he has made it true. Elon has been focusing on the concept of “free speech” for some time now. He also came up with Tweets asking whether he should start a social media company and whether Twitter should have an “Edit” button.

But it all doesn’t matter now. Twitter is now acquired by Elon Musk and one has to wait and see what changes the platform is about to get.

Final Few Words

Social media space has always been fascinating. New applications are on the rise, they compete with existing platforms, making the world a better place for users. And things became even more interesting with the recent activities of Elon Musk!

Now that he has acquired Twitter, we’ll just have to wait and see what Musk is going to do. So, that’s pretty much the top 10 social media updates for April. Let’s catch up next month!