Social Updates - August 2020

Social Updates - August 2020

TikTok is making moves and Facebook is bracing itself for the elections.


TikTok has continued to make headlines after President Trump issued an executive order on August 6th, forcing them to sell within 90 days. TikTok is standing their ground and suing the Trump administration, challenging their efforts to ban TikTok in the U.S. and have started selling merch with the phrase “Not going anywhere”.

Amid the various companies bidding to buy out TikTok, Oracle has emerged as the leading candidate to buy them with reports showing that even Walmart has taken an interest in purchasing them. Only adding to the massive changes that are already happening at TikTok, their newly appointed CEO has resigned after reflecting on the corporate structural changes that will be required given the shifts in our political environment.

This has not stopped ongoing TikTok innovations as they have announced a new, advanced feature for the app. TikTok has filed an agreement with Amazon to access the Alexa voice feature for its app. Alexa Voice will offer full voice control for almost all commands that are used to run the application. TikTok aims to ease the life of the users by providing them an easier way to record and compose TikTok videos.


Facebook has kept their word in community guideline enforcement and have outlined a new machine learning process that will remove content that breaks its rules keep users safe from misinformation and scams.

The topic of misinformation has remained heated over the last 4 years and Facebook is bracing itself for post-election concerns in the U.S.. It is looking at several updates to control viral misinformation with a new “Virality Signal” that will help slow the spread of anything that can be considered misinformation. Another new tool being released is a “Presidential Spend Tracker” that will track political ad spend and provide more transparency into how each campaign is using the platform's ad options. The new tools are designed to help researchers and journalists better understand, and demonstrate, Facebook ad spend by politicians.


Instagram released its “Reels” feature during early August and it shares A LOT of similarities with TikTok. While “Reels” has been in beta testing in other countries for some time, it certainly makes you wonder if the US release had anything to do with the Presidents pressure on TikTok.

Reels have taken some creative tactics to captivate TikTok audiences. Quite a few TikTok influencers have reported hefty payments offered to them so they can ditch TikTok for Reels and will be curious to see more of these stars emerge on Reels. Anyone that has felt left out of these dance trends on TikTok (and now Reels) will be happy to hear that Facebook announced that they’ve developed an AI system that is able to outline creative dance moves based on any musical input. Making it much easier for us to live out our professional dancing fantasies.

I realize that’s a lot to unpack, but the Swarm Society will continue to keep you updated on the latest changes within the social landscape. Please reach out with any inquiries.