Social Updates: February 2022 - Facebook Gets Restricted in Russia and TikTok Partners with The NHL

Social Updates: February 2022 - Facebook Gets Restricted in Russia and TikTok Partners with The NHL
Photo by camilo jimenez / Unsplash

Meta/Facebook

The conflict in Ukraine continues to escalate and social media has become a key element in raising awareness and connecting Russian and Ukrainian citizens, along with the rest of the world, to real-time updates on the situation. But that just became harder for Russian users, with the Russian Government restricting access to Facebook, over claims that the platform restricted the accounts of four Russian media outlets. Russia’s Service for the Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Communications has opted to take measures to "partially restrict access" to Facebook for Russian users.

Facebook has announced that it’s renaming the ‘News Feed’, the main element of the app, to simply "Feed" to simplify branding. As reported by Alex Heath from The Verge, the "news" label has led some to believe that there are only news stories in the mainstream, but not necessarily posts by friends.

Instagram

Instagram announced that it will soon shut down its separate IGTV app, while also removing its In-stream Video ads option. This seems like a step back for creator monetization. However, Instagram is looking to replace this with Sticker ads for Reels and various other monetization tools that have rolled out over the last few months, such as subscription options and live-stream shopping opportunities for creators. They are moving away from longer-form content, as IGTV ads were likely not a big earner for Instagram. They are going all-in with Reels, as Reels has proven to be the largest contributor to engagement growth in the app. This aligns with industry trends towards short-form content usage, which can be a great opportunity for creators and marketers to connect on a simpler format for partnerships.

Stories likes, a new way for users to engage with Stories content just rolled out, which enables you to ‘like’ any Story in your feed. The creator will be notified of your "like" without having to start up a DM conversation. As demonstrated by Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri, at the bottom of your Stories view in the app, you’ll see a new heart icon, which will send the creator of that Story a like.

TikTok

TikTok announced a new partnership with the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association, which will see the NHL share original content and “unique experiences” in the app to bolster TikTok’s broader content push.

TikTok is starting to roll out the ability for users to upload videos up to 10 minutes in length, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. The official launch comes as TikTok has been testing the change over the past several months. Previously, TikTok videos could be up to 3 minutes in length following a change in July 2021. Before that, the limit was 60 seconds after initially expanding from 15 seconds.

LinkedIn

The platform is testing a new option that would allow users to switch off political posts in their feed. LinkedIn already has a pre-existing policy that does not allow political ads within the platform, and this new feature would only affect the organic feed. While not all platforms are looking to offer this as an option (possibly because it’s one of their biggest drivers of engagement), LinkedIn is, with a new test underway that will provide a way to simply switch off all politics-related posts and updates.

As it seeks new ways to help businesses capitalize on its ad and recruitment tools, LinkedIn wants to maximize performance across its platform. LinkedIn has announced that it’s acquiring Israel-based marketing analytics company Oribi to boost its marketing solutions offering. One of Oribi’s main selling points is its code-free ‘Magic Events technology’, which tracks every action that visitors take on your website to provide more specific insight into key behaviors. You can then use this insight to optimize performance by tracking direct actions and grouping them into behaviors for deeper analysis. The idea is that this will enable better response tracking without the need for third-party cookies or in-app tracing, which could help LinkedIn better align with emerging privacy trends.

Snapchat

Snapchat is adding another new monetization opportunity for Snap creators, with mid-roll ads for Snap Star Stories, providing a directly attributable revenue pathway for the app’s biggest stars. Mid-Roll ads on other platforms have proven to have higher video completion rates and would be beneficial to use for short, fast-paced videos that are introducing a new brand or film to audiences.

They will also be adding a new way to help users discover live events with a new Snap Map feature, created in partnership with Ticketmaster, which will display all listed events near them. The new Ticketmaster Snap Map layer, activated via the toggle at the top right of the map screen, will show all the events that Ticketmaster has listed nearby. Users will then be able to swipe through, and if you find something that you’re interested in, you’ll be able to share it with your connections in the app or buy tickets in-stream.