This Week’s Social News — 19 March

Welcome back to Café Social’s regular weekly social news updates. We’ll keep up to date with all things digital and social so you don’t have to.

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Instagram Stops Adults Messaging Teens

To further protect their users in a broader push for online safety, Instagram is now preventing adults from messaging users under 18 who don’t follow them. It won’t necessarily stop things like the James Franco saga a few years ago but it is a step in the right direction.

Instagram Lite Relaunching

Instagram’s also launching their Instagram Lite app again in 170 countries. The Lite version is only 2MB rather than 30MB for the full-size app with most of the same features except for AR filters. The app’s designed to cater to the developing world where data and storage is more finite. As a parent company, Facebook has been focused on expanding into emerging markets over the last ten years as it looks to capture the 37% of people not online in the rest of the world vs. the 10% offline in North America.

Twitter Brand Profiles Changing

After we mentioned last week that Twitter is looking at new brand profile options to better incentivise monetisation, Matt Navarra has scooped more info on exactly what these profiles would look like. You’ll be able to choose from possible app links, directions buttons, shop previews, image galleries, pinned tweet showcases, and even customer reviews.

Twitter Tests 4K, Full Image Previews

Among other tests on the microblogging platform, they’re also testing new image displays for single image tweets that are closer to Instagram than their current image crops. Alongside, Twitter’s also experimenting with ways for users to upload and receive 4K images on mobile. Those with access to 4K will be able to turn ‘high-quality images’ options on and off for cellular data so that UHD pics don’t drain their allowances.

Clubhouse Turns One

As it reaches its first anniversary, Clubhouse remains invite-only and iOS-only but it’s about to crack 13 million downloads. Not bad for such an exclusive platform. Of course, it’s largely replaced the pub chat to which we’re so desperate to return so it will be interesting to see how it holds up to a reopened world — and to the competition of Twitter Spaces. As part of these anniversary celebrations, it’s launching a new Creator Accelerator Program to help support 20 frequent broadcasters with cash, equipment, and expertise.

Twitter Spaces Launching For All In April

Related, Twitter’s planning to launch Spaces to all users next month. Whether that dethrones Clubhouse is yet to be seen — Spaces could well devolve the way that many a viral tweet does — but Twitter does have nearly 100 times the users Clubhouse does. Twitter’s also testing a tip jar function that lets you pay creators for their time through Bandcamp, Cash App, Patreon, and Venmo.

Snapchat Partners With OMG

After Snapchat last week partnered with a media company to sell ad space, Reddit is doing the same but with a much bigger org — Omnicom Media Group. Like TikTok’s partnership with WPP, Omnicom clients will benefit from better creative, education, and training support from Reddit to help advertise to the platform’s 100,000 communities. Reddit boasts 52 million daily active users and we’ve found it useful organically but we’ve not advertised on the platform before so we can’t comment on their advertising effectiveness.

Pinterest Fighting COVID-19 Misinfo

Like every other platform (and the European Union…) at the moment, Pinterest is fighting COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. To ensure Pinners are given accurate, reliable information about the vaccine, they’re providing free ad space to the AdCouncil for their national COVID-19 “It’s Up To You” campaign as well as support for medical organisations.

Facebook Advertising In 60-Second Videos

Facebook is expanding monetisation tools for creators, including new ad placements in short videos up to one minute long. It’s not quite the Reels bolster the network’s likely looking for, with Reels still only running to thirty seconds, but it is at least a step in the short-form direction. For reference, creators now need 600,000 total minutes viewed in the last 60 days and 5 or more active video uploads or previously Live videos.

Facebook Developing Their Own Substack

In this push to expand on-platform monetisation options, Facebook’s also developing their own newsletter creation and distribution tools. Twitter recently acquired Revue for the same purpose but, as Facebook expands its native News platform globally, it’s looking to better support writers to distribute across the platform. A userbase of 2.8 billion people certainly helps and unfortunately Twitter’s 192 million users pales in comparison.

Vote In The Brand Twitter Bracket

And, finally, if brand Twitter is your favourite part of the platform (weirdo…) Twitter’s launched a Brand Bracket to narrow down who the best brand on Twitter is. It’s a good exercise in understanding the variety of brand strategies on the platform but don’t get personally involved because you should love yourself instead.

Stay tuned next week for more.

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