Reddit is rolling out its own TikTok-like video feed
From Instagram’s Reels to YouTube Shorts, more social media companies are trying to emulate TikTok. Now, even Reddit, the discussion-based focum platform, is looking to TikTok for inspiration, announcing it is making short-form videos more pronounced on the app.
Reddit app users now have a button to the right of the search bar that, when tapped, takes them to a stream of videos in a TikTok-like configuration. Feeds will be customised depending on users’ subreddits, allowing them to upvote or downvote, comment, gift an award, or share the content.
Reddit has had a growing interest in short-form video for some time. In December 2020 acquired Dubsmash, a TikTok competitor.
Instagram to bring ads to its shopping feature
Instagram continues to invest in its e-commerce business, Instagram Shops, with the company confirming it is starting a test that will involve placing adverts into its feature.
Similar to other Instagram advertising options, ads in Instagram Shop will involve either a single image or carousel and, of course, will be shoppable.
Currently, a select few brands, including Away, Donny Davy, Boo Oh, JNJ Gifts, DEUX and Fenty Beauty, are working with the platform to test the feature. If successful, we should expect the placement option to roll out more broadly soon.
Instagram plans to boost Reels engagement with audio tab
Instagram users can now search for audio, thanks to the addition of the ‘Audio’ tab within the search menu. This will make it easier to find trending content based on music clips and, potentially, improve visibility on Reels.
When searching on Instagram, users will now be able to switch to the ‘Audio’ tab, highlighting the current tracks available. After selecting a track, users can then scroll through Reels that have utilised samples of the mentioned song.
This new feature is essentially replicating TikTok’s ‘Sounds’ tab and is the latest in a run of updates to push Reels engagement and combat TikTok and other competitors.
Facebook shut down an independent probe into the Instagram algorithm
Researchers at non-profit group AlgorithmWatch say they were forced to abandon their research project monitoring the Instagram algorithm after legal threats from Facebook.
AlgorithmWatch was a web browser plug-in that allowed users to collect data from their Instagram feeds, providing insight into how the platform ranks pictures and videos. In the past, they have published findings showing the algorithm prioritising photos that featured bare skin or faces to rank higher than images with a high text percentage.
The group has now had to close down its operation after receiving legal threats from Facebook that claimed their data-collecting browser extension violated its Terms of Service and Europe’s GDPR laws.
Facebook has defended its actions, saying “We collaborate with hundreds of research groups to enable the study of important topics, including by providing data sets and access to APIs, and recently published information explaining how our systems work and why you see what you see on our platform. We intend to keep working with independent researchers, but in ways that don’t put people’s data or privacy at risk.”
Snapchat influencers are leaving the platform
Snapchat’s top influencers are starting to move to other platforms, such as TikTok and YouTube, as they see their revenue from the company start to dwindle.
When Snapchat launched its TikTok clone feature Spotlight, the company also established a creator fund that would pay out $1 million per day to its top creators. Now, according to a CNBC interview with some Snapchat creators, recent updates to this creator fund program mean that influencers are receiving far less income.
These reports come shortly after Snapchat announced its second-quarter earnings reports for 2021, surpassing expectations across the board on earnings, revenue and user-base. However, if Snapchat can’t sustain and attract creators to its platform, then it may prove difficult to continue this level of growth in the future.