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What Happened on Social Media in January 2021? 

Our social round-up is back and better than ever in 2021 and a few of our favourite channels are making changes again to their platforms this month, including minor tweaks to major updates. From Twitter re-branding itself after five years of enjoying the same, steady design, to LinkedIn’s Story new Swipe-Up feature, and Facebook’s various rollouts, 2021 has been off to a busy start.  

Read on to discover how the social channels have developed so far in 2021…  

Facebook Updates January 2021   

Facebook Begins Rolling Out ‘Facebook News’ in the UK 

Facebook News, which is Facebook’s dedicated tab for news items within its app, launched its first test run in the U.S. back in October 2019.  

Through the news tab, users will scroll daily top headlines, which is supported by a curated feed of additional news from Facebook-approved sources, all customisable to the user’s interests. It works like the home newsfeed, where a user has control over the newsfeed, which supplies headlines based on your preferences and chosen stories and sources, meanwhile decluttering your feed with irrelevant news.  

Facebook News is officially slated to launch in the UK on January 25th. 

‘Our Story’ Section is being Removed from Pages in February 

Facebook is prompting page owners to shift their ‘Story’ description to the ‘Additional Information’ section instead, which will alter how that extra information is presented on a Facebook Page.  

For business page owners who currently display an ‘Our Story’ section, this is something you should change promptly before the end of this month. 

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Facebook Updates its Automated Alt Text Process  

Facebook has scheduled a significant update to its Automatic Alt Text (known as ATT) process, which will ensure that imagery is more easily readable by screen readers, which will support vision-impaired users when it comes to a better experience across Facebooks apps.  

Instagram Updates January 2021  

Instagram’s Begins to Test an Option to Unhide Total Like Counts on Posts 

it might seem like Instagram is gearing up to give users the option to re-display the total like counts on their posts.  

According to sources, the Instagram platform is currently testing a new feature that would allow users to hide or display like counts against their posts. This would allow users on the platform in the countries where like counts were hidden to display them again. Originally, Instagram removed likes for some of its users back in 2019, as a focus to nurture user wellbeing. Will this feature conclude the argument for or against social media gratification and its “liked” posts?  

We’re yet to see. 

Twitter Updates January 2021   

Twitter Enjoys Imperfection with its New Makeover 

It has been five years since Twitter has significantly upgraded their branding. However, a refresh of its creative expression, helmed by their marketing team, has brought about this change.  

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Twitter’s CMO Leslie Bertrand revealed the rebrand in the above tweet, and went on to explain the process that went into the redesign. 

LinkedIn Updates January 2021   

LinkedIn Adds Swipe-Up Links to LinkedIn Stories 

After its early testing in September 2020, LinkedIn has now officially released the capacity to add links into your own LinkedIn Stories – though it’s on limited availability. As shown in these screenshots, posted by social media expert Matt Navarra, the new feature enables users to add a ‘See more’ prompt into LinkedIn Stories.  

You can add a URL via a new ‘link’ icon in your Stories options, at the top right of the composer screen.  

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According to LinkedIn, the Swipe Up feature for LinkedIn Stories is only currently available for limited us: 

  • LinkedIn Pages. 
  • Individual members who have at least 5,000 connections or followers and the Follow button as the primary action on their profile (instead of Connect). 

In Other News 

There has been recent growth in TikTok, ecommerce, and other key mobile trends. Core findings were as follows:  

  • The average hours spent per day on mobile devices increased significantly in 2020, across all measured regions.  
  • People spent more time using TikTok than they did Facebook in 2020. 
  • TikTok ranked in the top 5 by time spent and its average monthly time spent per user grew faster than nearly every other app analysed, including 70% in the US and 80% in the UK — surpassing Facebook. TikTok is on track to hit 1.2 billion active users in 2021. 
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We look forward to seeing what the future of 2021 unfolds for the social channels. Stay tuned for our guide to future updates in the world of social media.    

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