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Digital Marketing

What’s happening in Social Media in February…

Social media is constantly evolving, and keeping up to date with all of the latest trends and innovations can be difficult! Luckily we’ve written a useful summary of our top 8 social media innovations for February to make sure you’re up-to-date and ready for the month ahead…

1. Early promise for Advertisers in TikTok’s self-serve ads platform

Boasting an incredible 1.5 billion active users over the course of 2019, no social media app has seen growth quite like TikTok. It’s no wonder that advertisers looking to reach a Generation Z audience are now considering how this app can be utalised as part of their marketing strategy. However, due to TikTok still being a relatively new platform compared to the likes of Instagram and Facebook, there are still some questions surrounding its profitability. TikTok is attempting to infiltrate the market as an ad-supported platform, however as it is still a new network, they are likely to encounter some growing pains along the way. 

Currently, the self-serve ad platform is only available to a limited number of advertisers who have beta access. Yet the platform has already been called out for its restricted audience targeting and its inferior analytic metrics. Industry users are calling for more robust targeting through the use of hashtags, as well as a less manual, more seamless customer-relationship-management options. There also needs to be improvements surrounding advertisers’ ability to track conversions.

2. Vine has finally come back as “Byte”

Two years after its founder Dom Hoffman announced he was making a predecessor to Vine, it’s finally available for download! Just like its predecessor, the focus for Byte (aka Vine 2) follows a “creativity first” approach. The app still consists of creating looping videos, yet this time instead of 7-second videos like before, the Byte app only uses 6-second videos. Byte also features a community forum which will prioritise communication with its creators. With TikTok becoming such a huge success during 2019 it poses the question of whether Bytes will be able to compete with its main rival.

Byte Promotional Content

3. Pinterest launches “Try On” feature powered by AR

Millions of people use Pinterest as a visual search engine as much as they do a social media platform, with many users searching for beauty tutorials, advice and recommendations. Now, Pinterest is taking this one step further by incorporating AR technology into their offering, with the addition of the “Try On” feature which is available on mobile and powered by Lens. This tool lets users try on different lipstick shades contingent to their skin tone and offers them the ability to buy it from a collection of retailers or save it for later.  Some of the retailers who are able to use this feature with their content include bareMinerals, Neutrogena, NYX, Urban Decay and Lancôme.

4. Instagram brings DM’s to Desktops

It’s good news for businesses and influencers as Instagram finally gives the option to send/receive Direct Messages (DM’s) from Instagram’s website! This update also helps to integrate users’ experience across devices and boosts Instagram’s app consolidation by improving the user experience across its services. This update is still fairly recent, so a wide-scale rollout is due to come in the future as it’s currently only available to a select few. 

5.Instagram ‘Creators’ account  

Instagram is on a mission to maintain strong engagement level with its current creators while also pushing for continued platform growth.  In a bid to achieve this, they have launched a new @Creators account which is set to be “the place to learn about what it takes to be a creator from the team at Instagram+”. One useful feature of this account is a ‘FAQ’ story where you can find out answers to common questions such as “how do I get verified” and debunk common platform myths for boosting engagement and followers.

Instagram Promotion

6. LinkedIn update introduces 3 new features

The new LinkedIn update reminds us all why its user base is growing faster than anticipated… Currently, there are over 50 million companies that use LinkedIn to maintain customer relationships and engage with employees/communities and this update serves to make life easier for those frequently using the platform by introducing: 

  1. Invite to Follow:  Works by inviting your first-degree connections to follow your LinkedIn Page. It will make it easier to grow your Page audience among the professionals you already know and network with.
  2. Stream with LinkedIn Live for your business page:  The idea is to increase engagement with members and the organizations by interacting with their communities in real-time. This functionality is now available on business pages. 
  3. Post or engage as a business page or as a member: A new toggle switch available on the homepage lets you choose how to post without having to search for hidden settings.

7. Tinder announces more Anti-Catfishing features such as a ‘Panic Button’ to increase users’ safety

In an ideal world, the worst-case scenario when being on a Tinder date would be that you and your match don’t click in real life. However in reality, the downsides of online dating can be incredibly dangerous, ranging from being a victim of catfishing or being in physical danger.  A new Tinder update works to eradicate some of that fear and reduce the risk of danger. Working alongside personal safety app Noonlight, Tinder are rolling out a Panic Button which gives users the option of uploading all the details of an upcoming date into the app which can be sent to emergency services if the panic button is pressed.

Tinder panic button

8. Spotify launches stories for influencers

Spotify is in the midst of testing a new ‘Stories’ feature which will be exclusive to influencers and will allow them the ability to upload videos to their public playlists. With this Stories feature, influencers can also share video clips that contain small song snippets along with album artwork as a way of previewing the songs that are featured in the playlist. Spotify isn’t currently rolling out the feature to its artists as it’s meant to be more a tool for music discovery rather than one for promotional purposes. The initial group of testers is being determined by varying factors such as follower count, engagement and how active the influencer is on Spotify.  It’s no surprise that Spotify has chosen to follow suit with Stories, given their huge amount of success on Instagram and the popularity of short-lived content with younger generations!

Spotify Screen Grab

Will you be using any of these new social features in your online marketing this month? If you want to keep up to date with all of the latest social updates and innovations, make sure you’re following Social Circle on Instagram and Eventbrite! We’ll see you at the next event!

Chris Thomas


Chris Thomas

CEO & Founder

Chris has been at the forefront of eCommerce and a pioneer of online retailing since the early 00s. A 5-time Drapers Award winner, Chris has extensive experience in developing fashion brands online.

Chris founded Cake in 2016. Based in Birmingham, with offices nationwide, Cake specialises in helping fashion brands understand their market online and then helps to develop appropriate strategical direction to achieve their plan, all backed by his 20 years of operating in the retail market.