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 Major Social Media Updates – January 2022

Major Social Media Updates – January 2022

No small talk! Let’s get to business directly! In this social media update edition, we’ll be looking at the top social media updates for January 2022.

We do not have to tell you how huge social media has become every time we come up with a social media update blog! It’s big and you know it already!

The battle between social platforms to drive more audience and engagement on the platform has become fierce than ever! And here’s what social media platforms do to stay in the battle – they constantly innovate!

That said, let’s get to it!

1. Instagram Enables IG Live Badges - More Like YouTube’s SuperChat

Instagram is one of the social media platforms that’s constantly pushing and adding new features to drive more traffic and engagement.

In a recent development, Instagram announced that it’ll be enabling IG Live Badges by default for eligible creators. What this means for the audience is that they can start making donations when their favorite creators go LIVE.

Instagram IG Live badges Notification
Image Source: Specser

As for creators, they’ll be receiving donations from audiences which will want them to go live frequently.

Instagram revealed this feature to a select number of creators last year. But this year, they’ve rolled out the feature for all eligible creators across specific countries. The idea is to draw top talent to the platform and increase the engagement factor by making them go live often. With a good monetization plan in place, creators wouldn’t hesitate as well!

When a creator goes live, the audience will be able to buy a badge from the comments section – badges range from $0.99 for one heart and $4.99 for three hearts. The donation (minus any charges) will be sent to the creator, offering them financial support. And the audience will be given a way to highlight their comments – helps the creator acknowledge the donation and respond to the audience!

This feature is similar to that of the SuperChat option in YouTube where users can donate to creators and respond with a message.

Instagram IG Live Badge Donation

In order to be eligible for IG Live Badges, creators must,

  • Be aged at least 18
  • Have a Creator or a Business Account on Instagram
  • Have a minimum of 10,000 IG followers
  • Strictly adhere to the platform monetization policies and community guidelines

As of now, IG Live Badges are available to creators only from these countries – the US, Spain, France, UK, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Turkey and Italy.

With the creator monetization battle growing huge, especially with the advent of TikTok, Instagram has made it clear that it’s going to ramp up its game here!

2. Twitter Starts Live Testing of Full-Screen & Engaging Tweet Reactions

It’s no surprise that Twitter is trying a lot of new things to stay in the game! Twitter has planned to increase its platform users by 50% within the next two years. And they are constantly coming up with new features to achieve this.

Twitter recently announced that it has started live testing of “Quote With Tweet Reaction” on iOS devices.

As you can see, when a Twitter user wants to respond to a tweet, they can now respond using full-sized images or videos. All they have to do is, click “Quote Tweet with reaction” and they’ll be able to upload the image or video they choose.

It is to be noted that Twitter is taking these features from Fleets, its failed story plan. Apart from this, Twitter is testing an updated text editor option for tweets. This allows users to add colors to their responses, creating more visually engaging experiences.

Twitter Updated Text Editor

You can know more about this by taking a look at Matt Navarras’s Tweet. Twitter is also now following the full-size approach for photographs in the “Explore” section – this is already practiced in the feeds.

Twitter Full Screen Explore Approach

With TikTok following the full-screen approach, almost all other social media platforms have started following the same. And Twitter is no exception to it! 

During the last 12 months, Twitter has added 12 million customers to the platform. And trying out such experiments totally makes sense. Twitter, no matter what, is pushing to increase the followers on the platform by coming up with new features that could possibly improve engagement, experience and sharing.

We’ll just have to wait and watch what else Twitter has got under their sleeve for 2022.

3. LinkedIn Starts Testing Clubhouse-like Audio Rooms

If you’re someone who is using LinkedIn a lot, this update is going to mean a lot to you!

It’s no doubt that the pandemic has brought the world to a halt. Businesses & professionals are looking for alternative ways to improve their networking methods. 

Speaking of which, LinkedIn’s Live feature has got immense traction building up a 150% increase in live events hosted on the platform. After all, LinkedIn is a business community platform and this comes as no surprise!

With the massive increase in usage, LinkedIn has started to leverage this and maximize its potential by introducing new features!

LinkedIn Testing Audio Rooms
Image Source: Social Media Today

As seen in the image, LinkedIn has started to test its own audio rooms within the platform. The interface and functionalities are similar to that of Clubhouse – users will be able to join discussions, raise hands virtually to join as a speaker, or simply respond to chat with likes. 

What makes LinkedIn’s audio rooms different from similar platforms like Clubhouse and Twitter spaces is that LinkedIn suggests highly relevant audio sessions to members of the platform. Considering the nature of the users on the platform, this is a good feature – allows users to stay away from irrelevant sessions. 

The audio room testing began sometime during the March of last year and it took them a couple of months to roll out. Apart from this, LinkedIn is using the same audio room layout for its other features like live meetings – both video events and single-user live streams.

LinkedIn believes that with more companies switching to hybrid working models and the pandemic nowhere near the end, these new connection features could play a major role in helping businesses stay connected and network efficiently. 

As of now, only a few thousand creators will be able to test the new event options. It is expected that more creators will be able to host events in the upcoming months. Also, LinkedIn will start rolling out its Video Events Format later this spring.

4. Facebook Launches New Privacy Center Tool

User privacy and data-sharing have always been the topic of discussion when it comes to social media platforms. How platforms collect data and what they use it for is one of the biggest concerns of social media users today.

Meta recently came up with a new tool called Privacy Center on Facebook that lets users know how their data is being utilized and how one can control the same.

The Privacy Center tool is mainly focused on five modules with every single one of them containing related guides and controls. We’ve listed them out below,

– Security: General information on account security, options to set up two-factor authentication and learn more about steps taken by Meta to fight data scraping.

– Sharing: A guide that lets you know about your post visibility and ways to clean old posts on your profile. 

– Collection: Information about the different types of data that Meta collects and how the same can be viewed.

– Use: Information about how and why Meta uses your data and the controls offered to manage the way information is being used. 

– Ads: How collected data is used to display ads and options to control them.

Though most of these options were previously available, Meta has given a clear approach on how people can use it with the new Privacy Center tool. As of now, the privacy center is available to only a couple of Facebook desktop users in the US and it is expected to roll out to other users in the coming months.

5. Twitter Tries Out New Place for the Tweet Composer

Here’s another important social media update from Twitter. Though this might seem small, it could really make a huge difference to the platform users. 

Twitter recently launched a new feature (currently tested by a few iOS users) where the tweet composer is pushed directly below the main feed. The image below can help you understand better.

Twitter's New Composer Bar

As opposed to the blue color “+” button in the current version, Twitter is opting for a new composer bar. The motive behind this is to increase the activity on the platform by allowing users to tweet more.

Honestly, new users would have no idea or find it difficult to tweet when they are scrolling through their feed. And the new composer bar puts an end to those sorts of questions. 

Like we said earlier, Twitter is planning to increase its users base by up to 50% over the next two years and every small change or feature they introduce is going to help the bigger picture!

6. YouTube Tests New Resource Called MediaKit

If you’re a YouTube creator, this new tool could be a gamechanger for you. The new MediaKit feature will allow you to exhibit the value of their channel for branded promotions in a more streamlined way. It will give you a shareable overview of your channel’s audience and viewer statistics, such as: 

  • Subscriptions
  • Unique viewers
  • Recurring viewers
  • Average viewing time per clip and more.
YouTube's New MediaKit Tool

In this display, channel managers will also be able to update their channel bio and more, which is visible to brands. This will not influence their public channel bio   ̶ which is visible to their viewers. 

Giving them a leg up to gain more collaborations while also giving businesses more options for ad placements in the app based on reach and shopping information.

Brands will be able to search your YouTube data for prospective partnerships and transactions. And channel managers will be able to download the same to share with prospective partners. 

YouTube stated that the MediaKit option will be made available to creators from the UK, US and Canada in the next few months.

7. Twitter Tests New “Flocks” Feature for Enclosed Tweet Sharing

Twitter is working on a new feature that will allow users to share tweets with particular groups of preferred contacts, which your personal preferences may set. 

Twitter is naming this new option “Flocks”, as seen in this screenshot below shared by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi. 

It will allow you to select your Flock of chosen Twitter users to be in a group and you can post specific tweets to the group.

Tweet from Alessandro Paluzzi

Users can include up to 150 people in their Flock, so the audience size is pretty large for an enclosed group. Your flock will then appear as a sharing option when composing your tweets.

People in your Flock would be notified that a tweet has been shared within the group.

This new feature is basically an extended version of Twitter’s reply control option, which enables users to choose who can see and reply to their tweets. This allows users to lean into the more private conversational space that Twitter’s seeking to enhance with its Communities feature. 

Flock will allow users to segment their Twitter audience – you can share more specific discussions with specific groups rather than sharing everything with all of your followers all of the time. This will give Twitter users more opportunity to communicate about a broader range of topics, as they won’t feel constrained to post issues that they think their established audience will respond to and like.

Twitter released this feature to a limited number of users in July of last year, it was called “Trusted Friends”.  

The other feature of Flocks is that users’ tweets appear first in your timeline, which could be an even more important feature if Twitter chooses to deploy it. It is expected that Twitter would be rolling out these features very soon.

8. Instagram is Developing Video Remix Option for All Videos

In another attempt to be more like TikTok, Instagram plans to introduce new features that allow users to remix all videos, not restricted to reels. Remix on Instagram means taking existing videos and reels posted by others and recreating or responding to them. This will help users respond and engage more creatively.

Instagram's Remix This Video Option
Image Source: Social Media Today

As seen in the image above, you can select “Remix this video” when viewing any video. This will create room for more participation and boost video content consumption on the platform. However, users will have the option to turn off the remix option for their posts.

Instagram Remix Video Option

9. Twitter Releases New NFT Profile Images

Twitter has been testing this new feature for a few months, and they are finally ready to launch its new NFT display option. However, this will only be released for Twitter Blue subscribers in iOS. Twitter Blue is a subscription of Twitter, it offers users more options and tools to navigate the app.

Paying Twitter subscribers will now be able to show off their NFTs in a more certifiable capacity, with photographs directly connected back to the ownership data on OpenSea.

People who do not own the image will not receive the new hexagonal logo or other connection options, which may reduce illegitimate NFT use.

Twitter NFT Profile Feature

Twitter Blue users will see a new feature in their profile picture settings that will walk them through the process of connecting their NFTs.

As shown in the image above, users can connect their crypto wallet, which links to their NFT collection, directly connecting their image and ownership information. 

This then changes your profile image to the new hexagonal shape that provides extra information about the displayed image to profile visitors when people tap on it. This change will also be visible on your Twitter Space chats. 

The move to make this feature available only on Twitter Blue is an interesting decision. In November, Twitter launched its $US2.99 per month subscription offering in the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, which provides access to a range of add-on features like undo tweets, new color themes ad-free articles.

It is safe to assume that Twitter Blue has not been a huge success, but capitalizing on the popularity of NFTs could be a wise move because the people who spend thousands on JPG images are also likely to have enough disposable income to pay a few extra dollars to display those graphics in this new format.

You can rest assured that at least 1% of Twitter users are interested in NFTs and with Meta also wanting to enter the NFT market, now is the time for Twitter to make a move and a more significant push in the NFT field.

10. Instagram Plans to Launch a Fan Subscriptions Option

Instagram has begun testing its new Subscriptions option for Instagram creators, which will provide another monetization avenue for platform stars. Ideally, this motivates them to continue posting to IG rather than being tempted to TikTok or YouTube instead.

Instagram Fans Subscription

The new subscriber icon is a purple crown, as seen in the above screenshots. It will be connected to subscriber comments on posts, highlight subscriber views on Stories and indicate live streams exclusively accessible to paying members.

The feature is currently under extremely exclusive live testing with only a few notable creators on the app. Those people now have a “Subscribe” button on their profile, which directs admirers to the sign-up process.

Creators who have access can charge a variable monthly subscription fee ranging from $0.99 to $99.99, giving paying members access to: 

Subscriber-Only Lives: Creators can stream Lives exclusively to their subscribers, allowing them to engage to a greater depth. 

Subscriber-Only Stories: Creators can share exclusive stories, especially for their subscribers, in which they can offer behind-the-scenes clips, make polls and many other features. They will also be able to add these stories to their highlights but only for subscribers.

Subscriber Badges: To help creators identify their subscribers, a subscriber badge will appear next to comments and primary and request inbox messages.

And with that, we’re done with this social media update blog! With social media usage reaching new heights every day, it’s no surprise that social media giants are continuously finding new ways to make their platforms better! 

Stay tuned for our next social media updates blog! Also, let us know in the comments section if you’ve come across any major social media updates we possibly might have missed out on!

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