The Post #2 – What’s Happening in Social?

Posted 05.05.20

We are back with the second edition of our monthly social platform update.

Amidst the coronavirus outbreak we face, the fact that online activity has increased everywhere during lockdown is no surprise – figures show almost half of internet users spending longer on social media – but marketers may be more interested in how much of this new behaviour sticks after the COVID-19 outbreak passes. Data from GlobalWebIndex (GWI) indicates that 47% of internet users aged 16-64 across 17 countries are spending longer on social media (23% “significantly” longer)

Overall, April has been wild with the ever-changing social media landscape changing even further, as some platforms launch new features to help, support and entertain their respective communities during the outbreak. We are eager to tell you all about it. Let’s go!

Introducing Messenger Rooms
Facebook is launching a new group video chat product meant to capitalize on a world now stuck indoors and offer an alternative to services that have exploded in popularity in recent months, like Zoom. Messenger Rooms, a feature that will be available on Facebook’s core social network and its Messenger app, will allow video chats among as many as 50 people, and won’t require participants to have a Facebook account, the company said Friday in a blog post. Chats will be free with no time limit, and eventually users will be able to create a “room” from any of Facebook’s products, including WhatsApp and Instagram.

New Live Video Features for Instagram and Whatsapp
People are turning to Facebook Live and Instagram Live for workout classes, cooking lessons, faith services and more, so it makes sense to add features to make them even more useful.

On Instagram, you can now watch and comment on live videos from your desktop.

WhatsApp calls are obviously another platform people are using to stay in touch. Soon you’ll be able to have group voice and video calls with up to eight people on WhatsApp. As before, these calls are secured with end-to-end encryption so no one else can view or listen to your private conversation, not even WhatsApp.

Instagram Live offers a new way to start a fundraiser
Instagram has launched a new way for users to fundraise for nonprofits via Instagram Live. While it had already offered Donation Stickers for use in Stories, the new Live Donations feature will allow anyone to create fundraisers while live streaming. The feature arrives only a few days after TikTok launched a donations feature that works in both its video posts and their live streams. But unlike TikTok, which only supports a handful of charitable causes at launch, Instagram says its Live Donations feature can be used to create fundraisers for over a million nonprofits.

Instagram has launched stickers to help small businesses.
Businesses can now share new gift cards, food order, and fundraiser stickers in Stories and on their profiles. When you see gift cards or food orders, you can tap to make your purchase through one of IG’s partner sites.

“Small businesses are such an important part of our community and many are facing immense challenges during this crisis. Today we’re making it easier for you to support businesses you love through gift cards, food orders and fundraisers.” tweets Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram.

Facebook announces paid-for livestreams
Amid a flurry of other new video-related features, Facebook has announced that it will allow artists to charge for access to online performances. Recognising the growing demand for real-time video while much of the world is shut indoors due to coronavirus, it will, for the first time, allow organisers to mark events as online only, as well as charge guests for access, enabling artists to monetise live streamed performances.

TikTok tops 2 billion downloads
TikTok continues to grow rapidly despite suspicion from the U.S. as more people look for ways to keep themselves entertained amid the coronavirus pandemic. The global app and its Chinese version, called Douyin, have amassed over 2 billion downloads on Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. TikTok is the first app after Facebook’s marquee app, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger to break past the 2 billion downloads figure since January 1 of 2014.

A number of apps from Google, including Gmail and YouTube, have amassed over 5 billion downloads, but they ship pre-installed on most Android smartphones and tablets. TikTok’s 2 billion download milestone, a key metric to assess an app’s growth, comes only five months after it surpassed 1.5 billion downloads.

Facebook testing 3-day stories
Facebook is testing a new option that would enable users to keep their Stories active for up to three days, as opposed to the current 24-hour expiry.

That’s a significant jump, which also somewhat changes the core concept of the format – but as noted, maybe it will appeal to Facebook’s audience, which is older, on average, than other platforms, and therefore less familiar with the Stories process.

Facebook’s been trying for years to push Facebook Stories, in the hopes that it will gain traction the way that it has on Instagram, but thus far those efforts have largely fallen short of expectation. Sure, 500 million Facebook users now engage with Stories every day, but with 1.66 billion total daily active users on the app, that’s, comparatively, not that much (for measure, half of Instagram’s billion users engage with Instagram Stories daily).

Owais Tambe – Paid Media Lead Wilderness Agency

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