Social Updates: September 2021 - Facebook Launches Ray-Ban Stories and "TikTok World" Unleashes Updates

Social Updates: September 2021 - Facebook Launches Ray-Ban Stories and "TikTok World" Unleashes Updates
Photo by Glen Carrie / Unsplash

Facebook

Facebook has apologized for the mass outage that left billions of users unable to access Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger for several hours on Monday, 10/4. The outage was caused by “configuration changes on the backbone routers,” Facebook said in a blog post. The changes caused “issues” that interrupted the flow of traffic between routers in Facebook’s data centers around the world. The blog post went on to say, “This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”

Facebook recently launched Ray-Ban Stories in early September. These are Smart glasses that give you a way to capture photos and video, share adventures, listen to music, or take phone calls. Starting at $299 USD and available in 20 style combinations, the smart glasses are available for purchase online and in select retail stores in the US as well as Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and the UK.

The platform had two new additions to the Portal family of video calling devices: the 10-inch portable Portal Go, priced at $199 USD, and Portal+ with a 14-inch HD tilting display priced at $349 USD with pre-orders open at portal.facebook.com. These are designed to allow conversations to move from room to room, with an integrated handle and long-lasting battery to make portability easier.

Facebook launched Reels within the FB platform for all users in the US, bringing its short-form video competitor to many more people.

Twitter

Twitter is developing a range of new shopping tools that’ll eventually provide in-stream product listings tied to business profiles in the app, which will enable Twitter users to save product listings and make purchases directly from tweeted content in the app. The latest advance on this front comes in the arrival of a new ‘Purchases’ tab in user profiles, which is currently tied into the launch of its Super Follows option and displaying any subscriptions and/or digital tickets bought in the app.

Twitter is taking the next step with its creator monetization push by making on-profile tipping available to all users. The tipping feature enables Twitter users to activate a tip jar button on their profile, which then facilitates direct donations from profile visitors in the app.

TikTok

Despite almost being banned in the US, almost being sold off entirely, and facing various direct challenges from rivals, TikTok has continued to steadily grow and build on its foundations, now reaching one billion monthly active users.

TikTok held its first-ever TikTok World business showcase event, where it shared new tools and options designed to help brands make the most of its platform. In terms of brand/creator partnerships, the main update on this front was the launch of an updated version of TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, which enables brands to find influencers in their niche. Another new element is what TikTok is calling “Open Application Campaigns,” which will enable brands to list their campaigns for interested creators to apply.

Beyond their Marketplace updates, TikTok will be launching a new Creative Center, which is designed to help advertisers understand what's working in real-time. TikTok is also developing a new option called Dynamic Showcase Ads, which enables brands to promote their products with ads aligned to specific user preferences and interests. TikTok also touted a new, dedicated video editor, which will guide users with visual editing tools and copyrighted music. They’ve recently partnered with Vimeo Create to provide video templates and tools to streamline content creation directly from the app. The final new creation element is a new tool called ‘Dynamic Scene,’ which will use machine learning to break up videos into multiple scenes.

TikTok also announced reach and frequency ad-buying while also announcing new partnerships with Integral Ad Science (IAS) and Zefr to provide more assurance on ad placement and performance. There’s a lot to take in here, and interest in these new features will be high in the holiday season.