Social media was filled with both turbulence and innovation in January. Major platforms like Meta and LinkedIn debuted tools aimed at empowering content creators and targeting professional users more seamlessly. Meanwhile internet darlings like TikTok unveiled new AI capabilities that could get creative juices flowing. But privacy infractions and cyber scares also abounded across networks scrambling to lock down data and win back public trust. Among the highs and lows, new innovations sprouted to potentially transform how diverse users engage.
Let’s dive into the key trends, launches and controversies that dominated the start of the year.
Streamlining Creator-Agency Relations on Meta
Meta has launched Creator Management Tools on Meta Business Suite, a new centralized platform, to help agencies and content creators easily manage their partnerships on Facebook. The goal is to streamline account management so creators can focus on producing content while empowering agencies to efficiently handle multiple accounts.
Key benefits include simplified onboarding/offboarding of managed creators, optimized payout options to direct earnings to agency accounts, and enhanced security by eliminating credential sharing. The agency tools provide permissions management, access controls, revenue linking to direct earnings, ability to import connections from other tools, terminate relationships, and gain insights into creator earnings. Meanwhile, creators gain Agency Management Tools to easily review and manage agency relationships.
Overall, these updates give creator agencies more scalable and efficient operations management on Facebook without encumbering individual content producers. The new Creator Management Tools aim to facilitate productive creator-agency relationships on the Meta platform.
Meta also flexed its privacy muscles this month. Remember those 2023 promises to beef up user security? They’ve detailed all the new encryption, controls, and protections they’ve rolled out since then. Meta’s hoping this “hey we care about privacy too!” message will earn some trust from skeptical parents and politicians
Instagram Gets Friendlier While Cracking Down on Teens’ Late Nights
Instagram is in the process of creating a functionality to convert a Close Friends story into a regular story. This new option would allow users to seamlessly share content originally posted to their Close Friends list to a broader audience on Instagram Stories.
At the same time, Instagram is implementing a new set of nudges and prompts designed to encourage teenage users to put down their phones and go to sleep at night. The nudges will activate after 10pm and suggest to teens that they wind down their scrolling and go to bed for the night. This change aligns with Instagram’s recent kid-safe updates designed to protect younger users. However, some experts question whether prompts alone will curb excessive nighttime social media use if teens are not intrinsically motivated to log off.
Threads Tests “Latest” Search option and Saves Features
Earlier this month, some users spotted Threads prototyping a new option to sort search results by the latest, newest content. However, Meta was quick to deny that this was a full-fledged public launch, clarifying that the latest search filter was just an internal test, not something being tried externally. The ability to sort Threads search results by recency could have aided journalists, news junkies, and trend trackers trying to follow breaking updates in real-time. However, Meta stated that adding a “latest” filter would create dangerous “safety loopholes” that could be exploited nefariously.
At the same time, leaks have indicated that Meta’s Threads team is also secretly developing post saving and drafts features for the app. While Meta has not confirmed that these leaked features are in active development, the rumors suggest Threads is building more social and content creation tools to better compete with rivals like TikTok. Only time will tell if and when Meta ever unveils post saving or drafts capabilities to Threads users.
TikTok Boosts Creativity with Upgraded Editing and Custom Music
TikTok introduced upgraded creative editing capabilities to help users add some extra visual polish to their videos. The updates include enhancements to TikTok’s location sticker feature, allowing users more flexibility in placing location tags. TikTok also added new text resizing options so users can better emphasize and style in-video text. These boosted editing tools aim to help TikTok creators customize videos beyond just standard filters.
In addition to editing upgrades, TikTok unveiled an intriguing new AI feature dubbed AI Song that generates custom music and melodies using text prompts. Users can type in keywords and AI Song will produce tailored background music and beats to match the textual inspiration. This unique AI song generator gives creators a simple way to make videos with personalized music rather than mainstream hits or repetitive viral sounds. Early testing suggests Al Song has the potential to be a game-changing feature that enables more originality and creativity.
TikTok is so much more than just cute dancing videos these days. This rapidly growing social media platform has evolved into a powerful search engine and marketing tool for businesses. A recent study found that a striking 41% of TikTok users rely on the app to search for information online. This was especially common among young people — 64% of Gen Zers and nearly half of millennials admitted using TikTok this way.
So what are people searching for on TikTok? And how are savvy businesses taking advantage of this trend? Well, over half of business owners surveyed said they actively promote their company on TikTok, posting an average of 9 times per month. One in four even utilize TikTok influencers to push product sales and promotions.
The research signals that TikTok is no longer just a place for teens to share 15-second dance routines. Between the exploding young user base and the app’s uniquely addictive algorithm, TikTok offers businesses a golden opportunity to get their brands, products and messaging in front of millions of eyeballs.
LinkedIn Hit by Data Breach, But Still Top for Engagement
LinkedIn revealed this month that it experienced a massive data breach affecting over 26 billion member accounts, making it the largest hack on record for the professional social network. Compromised information includes LinkedIn profiles, messages, and other account activity. LinkedIn rushed to reassure users that no financial data or passwords appear to have been leaked. Still, the breach is a stark reminder of potential vulnerabilities, even for large tech firms.
But even with the massive breach embarrassment, LinkedIn remains many companies’ ride-or-die social media squeeze. A survey by Good Firms found that even despite cybersecurity risks, LinkedIn remains the number one choice for brands seeking engagement.
A full 93% of poll respondents said LinkedIn is their preferred platform for social media marketing campaigns. This overwhelming preference stems from LinkedIn’s unparalleled access to professional user data that helps employers, marketers, and recruiters target key B2B audiences in ways other networks can’t. So while LinkedIn still faces scrutiny over privacy practices, it remains the gold standard for engaging career-oriented users.
Pinterest and V&A Join Forces to Digitize Sold-Out Chanel Exhibit
Pinterest teamed up with the esteemed Victoria and Albert Museum in London to bring a sold-out Gabrielle Chanel exhibition to wider audiences through a digital experience. Together, they are digitally sharing inspirational images and details from the exclusive exhibit to make Chanel’s iconic fashion pieces accessible to all Pinterest users, not just physical museum attendees. This innovative collaboration allows Pinterest and the V&A to leverage their digital platforms in creative new ways to engage art and fashion lovers around the world.
Pinterest is continuing to ride the viral success of its 2024 trend predictions. Unveiled last month, these forward-looking forecasts spanning fashion, food, decor and more still have people talking. From vintage “Eclectic Grandpa” style to extreme “Make It Big” beauty, Pinterest envisioned bold aesthetics on the horizon. Though 2024 has only just begun, these ephemeral trends still dominate conversations as users and brands evaluate what’s likely to manifest versus merely dazzle digitally. Regardless of real-world staying power, Pinterest’s predictions showcase their knack for identifying emergent online aesthetics. For marketers, these bold trend forecasts offer both creative inspiration and valuable consumer insights straight from the digital zeitgeist.
So as January sunsets with legal spats and cyber scares rocking top networks, innovative features also sprouted to engage audiences in unexpected ways. As the social media landscape continues morphing rapidly, one thing is constant — our team will be here guiding you through the twists and turns ahead! Subscribe to our newsletter today and let us be your social media compass guiding you through what’s new and what’s to come.