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Talk Social: 30 March, 2022 – Instagram expands product tagging and Pinterest unveils new shopping features

Instagram will enable all users to tag products in feed posts

As part of its continued focus on eCommerce, Instagram is expanding the ability to tag a product in a post from just brands and select influencers to all users.

Instagram first rolled out product tagging in 2016 as part of its initial push into online shopping, later expanding its use into videos, Stories, and eventually Reels. Further along in its eCommerce evolution, the app added its native checkout feature.

This latest addition could prove to be a big boost for brands on the platform. As users become more accustomed to tagging the products that they love in their posts, the opportunities for product discovery and direct transactions go up.

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Meta to crackdown on misleading ‘watchbait’ videos

Meta is cracking down on what it terms as ‘watchbait’. This includes video titles, descriptions and thumbnails that sensationalise the video’s content, withhold key information, or mislead viewers.

This could be a big concern for some brands and marketers on the platform. An eye-catching title or thumbnail is a crucial tactic for getting users to watch your video but you don’t want to be tagged as watchbait or you could see your page hit by penalties.

Meta has published an overview of best practices to help users avoid this. It includes tips, such as using titles and descriptions that set appropriate expectations, using thumbnails that include actual content from your video, and not to exaggerate or sensationalise a topic.

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Pinterest unveils new shopping features

Pinterest held its second annual global advertising summit, Pinterest Presents, where it premiered a raft of new features and updates that make it easier for users to purchase directly within the app.

In addition to rolling out the Checkout tool to more users, Pinterest will be introducing a new programming interface to help automate catalogue updates and uploads. The app will also be rolling out a new feature called ‘Your Shop’, which will provide users with tailored shopping pages based on their preferences and activities.

Many small businesses rely on Pinterest to attract customers to their products, so with these updates there’s now a greater opportunity to sell products as well.

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TikTok is testing a ‘Watch History’ so you can finally find that video you watched

TikTok is reportedly working on a new ‘Watch History’ feature that could save you from the mental anguish of desperately trying to find that video you could’ve sworn you saved.

The absence of this feature is a frequent source of annoyance for TikTokers and has led to some users attempting convoluted workarounds, such as downloading your entire data from the app in a zip file and scouring through it for video links.

The potential new feature was uncovered by reverse engineering experts examining the back-end of TikTok’s code and the platform has yet to confirm if and when the new feature will be rolling out.

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Instagram is working on a full-screen immersive feed

In other testing news, Instagram has been experimenting with a new TikTok-inspired display format that would combine feed-posts, Stories and Reels into a single full-screen experience.

In many ways, the new display would be a more intuitive way to present content from the app. Stories and Reels would be integrated into the main feed allowing for algorithmic delivery based on a users’ behaviour.

The display was again uncovered by reverse engineering coders and at this stage we don’t know whether this is a guaranteed update or just a back-end prototype that will never see the light of day. However, the display would bring Instagram closer in-line with the current TikTok-led usage trends as it attempts to fight off the rival app’s rising dominance in the social video space.

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