The biggest updates in social media | February 2023
Finding it hard to keep up with the latest in social media news? We don’t blame you. Social media is a constantly changing field with a number of platforms on which to stay focused. Join us as we round up the top updates and trends from February 2023 so you can stay in the loop without jumping through hoops.
Prefer to watch?
Every month, Andy and Jordan talk us through the key updates that you need to know to stay ahead of the social media curve. Watch their February roundup here:
Social media adoption
We are social reports that 4.76 billion people are now active on social media which is 59.4% of the world’s population. Considering that this report indicates that 64.4% of the world’s population are internet users, this means that only 5% of internet users aren’t on social media. Really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
This same report also reveals that 137 million people joined social media in the past year, a huge testament to the growth and popularity of social media platforms. When we start to break this down per platform, the data indicates that the top most used social platforms are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, and TikTok. However, when we look deeper into which platforms these users are spending the most time on, the front runners are TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, which could be a nod to the increasing consumption of video content on social media as opposed to television.
Media habits across demographics
When it comes down to location, data from GWI shows that many regions across the globe are splitting their time equally between television and social media, while more western locations (Europe and North America) are still consuming slightly more television than they are social media.
When it comes to age, however, it’s clear that the younger demographics are certainly orientating towards social media over television. In fact, this favoritism of social media continues all the way up to the age of 45+ where we begin to see television taking over as the lead preference again.
Instagram reach rate benchmarks
Data from Bazaarvoice compares the reach of Instagram posts versus Instagram Stories, revealing that posts do get more views than Stories across all accounts regardless of size.
Is the Mastodon buzz over?
Data from Mastodon (reported on by WIRED) shows a big leap in adopters of the platform much like when Elon Musk acquired Twitter. However, not all of these new users have stuck around, showing that sudden virality doesn’t equal long-term growth.
Pinterest returns to growth
Pinterest grew massively during the pandemic but began to struggle in the following months. In more recent times, according to data direct from Pinterest, Pinterest looks to be back on track, with a steady incline of monthly active users from Q2 of 2022 and beyond.
LinkedIn is now up to 900 million members
LinkedIn reached a new milestone, with 900 million members across 200 countries and regions worldwide, alongside record-breaking engagement levels.
YouTube Shorts hit 50 billion daily views
YouTube is continuing to push their Shorts feature, and it looks like it’s paying off. YouTube Shorts as a feature is steadily growing and has now reached 50 billion daily views — a great achievement for YouTube.
Instagram introduces “Quiet Mode”
Live for all locations soon
This new feature from Instagram allows you to choose the hours you’d like to enable “Quiet Mode.” During “Quiet Mode” your notifications will be silenced and an auto-reply will be sent to anyone who messages you. This is a great feature for small business owners who want to set boundaries while ensuring that their customers know that they’re not being ignored.
Instagram “Gifting” rolls out more globally
Live for all soon
Instagram is pushing forward with more creative monetization tools. “Gifting” allows users to send gifts to Creators on their Instagram Reels. Viewers can purchase stars and use these to send gifts on Instagram. Instagram will then provide you with a revenue share from your Reels that received gifts.
Instagram refocusing on photos
In a statement from Adam Mozerri, Instagram is going to be putting less focus on video and more focus on where it all started: photos.
“I think we were overfocused on video in 2022 and pushed ranking too far, and basically showed too many videos and not enough photos. We’ve since balanced, so things like how often someone likes photos versus videos, and how often someone comments on photos versus videos, are roughly equal, which is a good sign that things are balanced.”
Capture “leads” from business profiles
If you have a business or creator profile, you can now add a lead form to capture leads from your Instagram account by collecting contact info or other details from your audience — an excellent feature to make your content more intent-driven.
Instagram launches “Story memories”
Instagram is now letting you revisit your Stories from the past, allowing you to look back on Stories you uploaded around particular dates from the past. You can re-share these past Instagram Stories with your followers, or just enjoy them for yourself.
Add “Topics” to Instagram Reels
“Topics” is a new feature from Instagram that allows you to tag your content by subject type. This can be incredibly useful for getting your content in front of the right audience by allowing you to indicate exactly what your Reel is about.
Instagram is allowing you to choose with whom you share Reels
When posting a Reel, you can now choose whether you want to share your Reel with “Everyone,” your “Close Friends,” or “Followers Only,” enabling you to create and share content privately with your community.
Instagram introduces “Broadcast channels”
This new feature allows users to join a channel around a specific topic and then receive news and updates from this channel in their DMs. Followers of the channel can react and view the messages but cannot leave responses.
Meta to launch a paid-for subscription for Facebook and Instagram
Meta has announced its intention to launch a paid-for subscription for Facebook and Instagram in a move not dissimilar from Twitter with Twitter Blue. This subscription is rumored to include increased reach to your audience so it’s worth keeping an eye on how this initiative progresses in the near future.
You can now add collaborators to Reels
You can now add collaborators to your Reels, allowing you to post a Reel and have it appear in feeds as if posted from both named accounts.
You can turn Facebook Lives into Reels
You can now easily chop up your Lives from the past and transform them into Reels to help your content go further.
Save Facebook Reels as a draft and download
As Facebook’s video editing capabilities get stronger, you can now either save a Reel as a draft to come back to later or download the Reel to your device.
Twitter introduces 60-minute video uploads for Blue subscribers
In a move to give Twitter Blue subscribers more privileges over unpaid users, Blue subscribers can now post long-form content up to 60 minutes in length.
Twitter introduces 4000 character tweets
Live for all soon
Similarly, the character count on tweets has also been expanded to 4000 characters, creating a higher allowance for Twitter users to fully express their thoughts.
Twitter introduces “Blue for Business”
This new feature allows employees to display their place of work on their Twitter profile; it is currently available for businesses with a Blue subscription.
Twitter post boosting
It’s now possible to boost posts on Twitter from individual non-business accounts. Any user can now put some money behind their Tweets to help them go further.
Twitter introduces a swipe-able feed
Much like TikTok, Twitter now allows you to view two different feeds that you can swipe between. The two feeds show content from those you follow versus a feed that allows you to explore content from other users.
Twitter adds view counts to Tweets
The number of times a Tweet has been viewed will now appear beside the date of publication. This figure is visible to all. View counts will not appear on community tweets, Twitter circle tweets, or older tweets.
LinkedIn is testing post suggestions
When creating a post on LinkedIn, LinkedIn will now suggest topics or give you prompts for content.
LinkedIn improves newsletter discovery
Newsletters on LinkedIn can be really powerful, especially thanks to the latest improvements from LinkedIn. You can now embed links to your LinkedIn newsletter, allowing people to subscribe to your LinkedIn newsletter from outside of LinkedIn. LinkedIn newsletters now also appear in search results, aiding discoverability and helping your subscriber base grow. You can even add SEO titles and descriptions to your newsletter to help with newsletter discoverability outside of the LinkedIn platform.
TikTok introduces a “Draw and guess” feature
This new feature from TikTok allows creators to make livestreams more playful, allowing them to host a game of “Draw and guess” where creators will draw an image and viewers will be encouraged to guess what it is.
Save your TikToks for later use
You can now edit your TikTok captions without needing to delete and re-upload, save your videos without the TikTok watermark, and even turn on auto-scroll.
YouTube updates analytics
YouTube has made some improvements to their analytics to help us understand whether our subscribers are being driven by long-form or short-form content.
New features for YouTube Shorts
You can now add a thumbnail image to your YouTube Shorts to entice users to watch and present your content in the best possible light. You can also add a location.
Your Key Takeaways
- Social media continues to have an incredible impact on society.
- Facebook continues to invest in Reels, which means good growth potential.
- YouTube Shorts continues to offer a great opportunity for small businesses.
- LinkedIn’s strong growth, organic reach, and SEO value maintain its status as a solid platform.
- Twitter appears to be tilting more towards a “pay to play” model.
- Instagram’s re-focus on photos and community could invigorate reach.