Social Updates: June 2021 - Facebook is Working on a Smartwatch as Twitter Rolls Out a Subscription Service

Social Updates: June 2021 - Facebook is Working on a Smartwatch as Twitter Rolls Out a Subscription Service
Photo by Obi Onyeador / Unsplash

Facebook

Facebook is developing a new smartwatch which, according to reports, could go on sale sometime next year. The new device would add to their growing hardware line, which now includes its Portal video calling device, its Oculus VR range, and will soon include AR glasses. According to The Verge, the new Facebook watch will include two cameras, with users able to detach the face of the watch to take pictures and videos on the go, which could then be easily shared across Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook is now bringing its live audio rooms feature to selected public figures and Facebook Groups in the United States. Audio rooms that are launched by people and/or groups that you follow will appear at the top of your Facebook News Feed, above the Stories panel. Users will be able to sign-up for reminders of upcoming audio rooms, while also being able to tap into audio rooms from feed posts. This could provide more ways to discover and engage with audio content, positioning Facebook higher in the new audio social race.

In line with its growing eCommerce focus, Facebook announced a range of new shopping and discovery tools including Shops on WhatsApp, Shop listings in Facebook Marketplace, as well as a new, familiar-looking visual product search option on Instagram. The announcements were made in a live stream by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Instagram

Instagram is pushing ahead with the expansion of Reels ads, as the new format will now be available in all regions. Reels ads will be full-screen and shown in between individual Reels. As per Instagram, "After testing in select countries, today we’re launching Reels ads to the world. Reels is the best place on Instagram to reach people who don’t follow you and a growing global stage where brands and creators can be discovered by anyone. These ads will help businesses reach greater audiences, allowing people to discover inspiring new content from brands and creators." This creates a potential for advertisers as Instagram continues to push Reels into a bigger element in the app.

Instagram provided some extra insight on the infamous feed algorithm, and how it dictates content reach within the app. As explained by Instagram, "We want to do a better job of explaining how Instagram works. There are a lot of misconceptions out there, and we recognize that we can do more to help people understand what we do. Today, we’re sharing the first in a series of posts that will shed more light on how Instagram’s technology works and how it impacts the experiences that people have across the app." The post linked above covers a range of key elements that can facilitate understanding and improve organic strategy & planning.

Twitter

Twitter has announced they will be testing ads within Fleets. Fleets ads are much like TikTok or Instagram Stories promotions, appearing between Fleets from the people you follow on the platform, and designated with a 'Promoted' tag beneath the profile info in the top left of the screen. This adds another format consideration for Twitter advertisers, with the prominent placement of Fleets helping to prompt further attention, while also, for the first time, providing full-screen, vertical format ads within the app. Twitter will launch the initial test of Fleets ads with selected partners in the US on both iOS and Android, with more regions to follow soon.

Twitter is launching its new 'Twitter Blue' subscription service, which will enable users to pay a monthly fee to gain access to a range of additional tweet features and tools. Twitter Blue will give users access to a range of new tools to enhance their tweet experience. Those tools, in this initial offering, are undo Tweets, bookmark folders, reader mode, color theme, app icon, and dedicated support.

After launching an initial test in December of last year, Twitter is now giving all iOS users the ability to share tweets directly to Instagram Stories, providing another way to interact with tweet content. Now when you go to share a tweet, you'll see Instagram Stories as an option, which, when tapped, will add your chosen tweet into a blank Instagram camera frame, which you can then edit as you see fit, be it with your own image or video, or the available background and editing options in the app.