SPARKS

September 2020

September 2020 Roundup

The year is flying! Does it feel to anyone else like September didn’t even happen? But it did, and there were plenty of social media updates to prove it. Let’s dive right in!

YouTube – YouTube Shorts

Usually a fairly stable platform, this month we are going to start off with YouTube. This autumn, YouTube have launched a beta of “YouTube Shorts” in India. Yes, you guessed it – it’s another alternative to TikTok!

Users will be able to create videos up to 15 seconds in length, edit them, add music, and then upload them. It’s a brave move by YouTube, but they may be a bit too late to the game. Reels moved in once TikTok had become banned. It will be interesting to see if YouTube are able to put their stamp on the market, not only in India but in other markets too. Who will try to imitate TikTok next? We’ll have to wait and see!

Facebook – Good News!

I think it’s fair to say that 2020 hasn’t been a good year for many of us – it’s been filled with disappointments and trying times, and we haven’t even hit Q4. But sometimes, every now and then, something happens which brightens up our day… and have we got good news for you! Facebook has announced that they have removed the <20% text rule for ad images. Need a bit of fine print in to satisfy legal? Does your product image label count as text? Fear no more! It’s pretty great, we know!

Another update from Facebook: they are carrying out a very small test at the moment – some users may notice that they are able to view Instagram Stories on their Facebook account. There could be a few reasons for this test. Firstly, they could be trying to boost exposure on Stories, or pull traffic from Instagram over to Facebook. Secondly, Facebook could be trying to merge the backend of their networks, and this could be a test for them.

Our final Facebook update for this month is that Facebook Messenger have announced the launch of “Watch Together”. Two friends can now watch video clips, TV series & movies together on Messenger. Due to the current pandemic, this is Messenger’s way of trying to connect people together.  This is an interesting update, but similar to YouTube Shorts, it could be a bit too late to have a significant impact. After all, Netflix Party was launched in March, and there are lots of similar screen/app sharing extensions that people have sought out in the 6 months since.

Linkedin – Stories!

We’re now moving on to LinkedIn, where they have finally fully launched a very interesting update which we’ve all been watching for a while – LinkedIn Stories! This will be available to Irish users over the next few weeks. What will be really interesting to see is what type of content people will be posting. Will it be behind the scenes in their workplace? Will it all be very serious? How will the surge in working from home affect what would otherwise have been posted? We can’t wait to see what type of content will be going up!

That’s not the only new update from LinkedIn, they have also announced that their platform will be getting a slightly new look, nothing too drastic. You will notice your screen might look brighter, with less blue. You will also be able to edit direct messages as well as delete them. Nothing worse than sending a message and realising there is a typo, especially on a professional platform – right?! There is a risk of abuse in allowing an ‘edit’ button, of course, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

Instagram – Reels

Finally, over to Instagram Reels – already making changes, which was inevitable, Reels are now allowing users to record for up to thirty seconds. The fifteen second limit was always going to be changed – much like any new software, it’s not always perfect when originally launched. We expect to see some more functionality updates over the next few weeks as they continue to struggle to steal some of TikTok’s thunder.

That’s all for September! We hope you’re all wrapping up and keeping warm – it’s getting chilly out there! We’ll see you again in October for some spook-tacular stories of what’s happening out there in digital world.

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