What happened on social media in May 2020?
We’re into our third month of the Coronavirus pandemic, and more than ever, we’re seeing the main social channels adapt to the new way of life that we, as individuals, have had to as well. With channels launching messenger chatrooms and adapting the way we use them in line with current circumstances, we investigate how social media has changed this month.
Facebook Updates May 2020
With some big updates to the platform, it’s been a very busy month for Facebook. In light of the recent rise in video-chat demand, this month, Facebook launched ‘Messenger Rooms.’ This enables users to host video rooms, similar to Zoom, Webex and Skype. Messenger rooms allows chat rooms with up to 50 people, and friends are able to see when you have a room ‘active’ at the top of their Facebook feed. This means they can drop in if they want to join the discussion. Months into the global pandemic, is Facebook too late to the party with this one?
Facebook also had another important update this month; it finally announced ‘Shops’ for Facebook and Instagram. This will allow businesses to link to a new ‘Shop Builder’ platform, in which they can upload product listings one-by-one to promote across the platform.
As explained by Facebook:
“Facebook Shops make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalogue and then customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand. This means any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them.”
Facebook have also stated that they will make it easy for customers to message businesses from their shop listings, via WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct. In the future, customers will be able to view a business’ shop and make a purchase through messenger itself.
Instagram Updates May 2020
This month, Instagram launched its ‘Guides’ option to users. This enables selected business users and creators to highlight recommendations, tips and other content in a new, dedicated tab (similar to IGTV and tagged photos) specifically for this.
As explained by Instagram:
“When viewing a Guide, you can see posts and videos that the creator has curated, paired with helpful tips and advice. If you want to learn more about a specific post, you can tap on the image or video to view the original Instagram post. You can also share a Guide to your story or in Direct by tapping on the share button in the upper right corner.”
It’s a unique option offering another great way for accounts that have a large following to share their content in a different way.
Also this month, after a long wait, Instagram finally launched the option to share Instagram Live Broadcasts to IGTV. Up until now, Instagram Live Broadcasts were only available to viewers during the broadcast, or in other words when they were ‘live’. Now, with this new feature, they’re available to re-upload these to their IGTV channel.
Twitter Updates May 2020
Twitter has had a busy month of testing, as they began testing new controls of who can reply to tweets. Twitter has officially confirmed that a limited group of users will have access to a live test of its audience control options for tweets, which will enable people to restrict who can reply to their updates.
As explained by Twitter:
“Before you Tweet, you’ll be able to choose who can reply with three options: ‘Everyone’ (standard Twitter, and the default setting), ‘Only people you follow’, or ‘Only people you mention’. Tweets with the latter two settings will be labeled and the reply icon will be grayed out so that it’s clear for people if they can’t reply. People who can’t reply will still be able to view, Retweet, Retweet with Comment, and like these Tweets.”
Twitter has also reported testing ‘Audio Tweets,’ which provides an insight into the future of the platform. The basics of the concept are not exactly new. In 2018, Twitter launched audio-only live-streams, which technically provides a way to share audio in tweets.
LinkedIn Updates May 2020
This month, it had been highlighted that LinkedIn should consider some new reactions to express more emotive responses during Covid-19. In light of a LinkedIn user identifying the lack of diversity within reactions, CEO at LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, responded to the comments agreeing.
LinkedIn launched its ‘Reactions’ feature last August, with five different emoji responses to choose from, enabling you to quickly share how you feel about each post and update, but not giving you much choice on different feelings.
As Abedin notes, none of those really fit for the COVID-19 stories that currently dominate LinkedIn’s feed. As such, LinkedIn could look to add in a new reaction type, which is what Facebook did with its ‘Care’ Reaction, which it launched last month.
In other news
After originally announcing the change last year, Google has now made its Discovery Ads available in all regions, providing another consideration for your campaigns. Social content platform, Reddit launched a new 12-week online advertising school programme, perfect for people at home who are looking for something new to learn.
As May comes to an end, we’re eager to see what summer has in store for us when it comes to social media. Hopefully, some more positive news surrounding seeing our friends and family at least. Make sure you follow again closely next month to see our June Social Media round-up!