The biggest updates in social media | May 2023
The social media industry is constantly on the move with our favorite platforms releasing new features and updates, as well as new social media apps emerging and growing. What we’re really trying to say is this: if you’re struggling to keep up, we don’t blame you.
To make your life easier, we’ve put together a roundup featuring all of the key social media news from the previous month so you can stay up-to-date and ready to put your newfound knowledge to the test.
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 May roundup here:
Annual social platform user growth
Data from Semafor reveals that Snapchat is the social media platform seeing the greatest increase in daily active users from Q1 2022 to Q1 2023 with Instagram and then TikTok in second and third places. Twitter, unfortunately for them, saw a 3% decrease.
Data direct from Pinterest shows that Pinterest too is growing with an increase in monthly active users between Q1 2022 and Q1 2023.
LinkedIn is growing on a global scale with more than 930 million members in 200 countries and regions worldwide. LinkedIn remains a fantastic place to generate organic reach and its global growth is a testament to this.
Mind-blowing YouTube statistic
Nearly half of all YouTube viewership (45%) takes place on a TV, which is an increase from below 30% in 2020. This increase also means that time spent watching YouTube on a TV exceeds the time spent watching any other individual network or streaming service on a TV, which is an incredible achievement. There has never been a better time to be more active on YouTube.
Reels is working out
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has shared that time spent on Instagram has risen by 24% since the company launched its short-form video product, Reels.
Further reading: 2023 Guide to Instagram Reels and how to use them
The rise of BlueSky
BlueSky, an alternative to Twitter, debuted on iOS in February, gaining 11,000 downloads that month. BlueSky seems to be overtaking the popularity of Mastodon whose monthly downloads are now seeing a slow decline.
Lemon 8 slips down the rankings
Owned by ByteDance, Lemon8 saw a lot of excitement about a month ago when it was first released and soared to the number 10 spot for free apps, ahead of other social media apps Snapchat and Twitter. However, it appears the popularity was short-lived, with Lemon8 now taking the 74th spot in the lifestyle charts. Lemon 8 is no longer even in the top 200 for free apps.
Collaborate on IG broadcast channels
Broadcast channels allow people to receive one-way updates and messages posted by a broadcast channel admin — kind of like a group chat that you can subscribe to but cannot post messages of your own. A new update from Instagram means that these channels are now collaborative, meaning that multiple people can have the ability to DM within this broadcast channel.
Songs are coming to photo carousels
Music can now be added to your Instagram carousel posts to add to the mood of your Instagram content.
See who liked your Instagram Story for longer
Likes on Instagram Stories will now be available for longer than 24 hours to give you more of a chance to review and assess which Story content is working well for your channel.
Choose who can see your Instagram Notes
You can now select whether your Instagram Notes can be seen by Followers, Followers you follow back, or those in your Close Friends list.
Collaborative Group Stories are coming
Collaborative Group Stories will allow all members of a Facebook Group to be able to upload Stories on behalf of the Facebook Group, visible to all members and moderated by group admins.
“Open to Collaboration” option
This new feature will allow you to signify if you’re open to collaborating with others by displaying a status on your profile, within direct messages, and when your profile appears in search.
Instagram makes it easier to utilize user-generated content
If you have an Instagram or Facebook Shop, you can make the content you keep on your shop more enticing by including the user-generated videos and photos that have been shared by your community.
Add GIFs to comments
You can now add GIFs to comments on Instagram allowing you to be more playful with your responses.
New text-based social network
Meta is working on a whole new social media app intended to rival Twitter as a text-based social network. If you would like to engage with more text-centric content, then this new and so far unnamed platform could be for you.
Big changes for Facebook and Instagram Shops
Meta has announced that by the beginning of April 2024, Shops without checkout enabled on Facebook or Instagram will no longer be accessible. If you’re the owner of a Facebook or Instagram Shop that doesn’t have checkout capabilities enabled currently, then it will be worth getting this process enabled to continue enjoying the benefits of your social media store.
Location tagging on Facebook Reels
It is now possible to tag a location in your Facebook Reels — a big step for location-based businesses who want to highlight where their Reel is taking place.
You need to pay to reach new audiences on Twitter
Elon Musk has announced that verified accounts will be prioritized — meaning that only those paying for Twitter Blue memberships will have their content prioritized in the feed above the content of non-paying users.
New Highlights tab on Twitter profiles
A new Highlights tab on Twitter will allow you to highlight the most important content from your feed, much in the same way as you would with pinned content.
More @handles will soon become available
Elon Musk has also announced plans to purge accounts that have had no activity at all for several years. This will mean a drop in followers for some, but also more available @handles.
Messaging tools come to Company Pages
It is now possible to send messages to company pages — a huge step forward for all businesses looking to interact with customers and new opportunities.
See also: The best time to post on LinkedIn
Post prompts and ideas for creators
If you have Creator Mode switched on for LinkedIn, then you can now get suggestions for post ideas based on the profile topics that you usually talk about (these profile topics are selected by you and appear at the top of your profile to show users what your content is about).
LinkedIn testing AI post assistant
LinkedIn is also said to be testing an AI post assistant that uses AI to draft content for you based on the ideas that you present.
Geo-tagging coming to TikTok
Gen Zers are increasingly heading to TikTok over Google to discover new things, and geo-tagging coming to TikTok is another way to help these users discover new places and locations to visit. This is also great news for location-based businesses.
TikTok adds new “Question” sticker
Question stickers can now be added to TikToks to encourage viewers to create their own TikTok in response to the question presented.
Further reading: 10 tested tips for boosting your TikTok engagement
Add a cover for multiple pictures in Photo Mode
TikTok’s carousel-style photo posts now have the ability to add a cover photo to draw people in from a TikToker’s profile.
New “text” mode is coming to TikTok
As an alternative to adding photos or videos, the option to add text-only content is on the horizon.
TikTok now displays most frequently used words in comments
TikTok Insights now allows you to view the top used words within your comments making it super quick and easy to get an overall sense of how your audience is reacting to your content.
Your key takeaways
- Generative AI is becoming ubiquitous across social platforms.
- Collaboration is a big focus for Instagram.
- User-generated content is essential for brand growth.
- TikTok is shaping up to become the new Google.
- Keep an eye on Twitter alternatives but remember that early hype is often just that.