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Social Media Updates Round-Up: Instagram and TikTok August Edition

As summer comes to a close, we at Collabary are here to offer you another social media round-up! Whether you’re looking to up the ante on your Instagram presence, or take advantage of everything that TikTok has to offer, here are the newest updates from across the social media landscape. 


Instagram

New Stories Fonts

If you use Instagram Stories as much as we do, then you’ll have surely noticed by now that there is a bevy of new fonts to choose from when getting creative with your posts. 

Photo credit: Bustle

Announced back in April, Instagram first said they would roll out the new fonts with a small percentage of users, before launching the feature platform-wide this month. With over 500 million people using Stories every day, it is now an indispensable part of mounting a successful Instagram campaign. So why not use some eye-catching apps to make your posts really shine?

Shopping on Live 

Last month, we took you through all the new changes that Instagram has implemented with its brand new Shopping feature. No more pesky “link in bio” captions if you’re a brand that needs to sell your wares on the platform—you can now link to products directly in your Insta post. But wait, there’s more!

Photo credit: EmbedSocial

In a move that kind of charmingly echoes the home shopping TV networks of yesteryear, Instagram is launching a way for users to shop directly in their IG Live feature. Now, if you’re talking about a certain product on your stream, you don’t even have to direct your users to your main page—you can invite them to purchase right there on the same screen. With partners like Shopify and BigCommerce, this could be a real game-changer for brands and influencers alike.

Suggested Posts

Remember the good old days of the Tumblr endless scroll (ah, 2011!). Instagram is looking to recreate that infinite content feel with the introduction of “suggested posts” when you arrive at the end of your homepage feed.

Photo credit: Social Media Today

Personally speaking, we haven’t reached the end of our timeline in at least a few months, but now if you ever do, you’ll be greeted with a new feed of posts you may like, following the “You’re All Caught Up!” messaging. This seems like an extension of the tried-and-true Explore page, and Instagram knows that given the chance, hardcore users will jump at the opportunity to scroll through more content. 

QR Codes

A few years ago, Instagram launched “Nametag Codes”, kind of their own version of a standard QR code, as a fun and easy way for users to connect and follow each other (remember, this was at the height of Snapchat when quirky networking features were all the rage). 

Photo credit: Instagram

This month, they’ve evolved this idea by rolling out more easily recognizable QR codes and getting rid of the Nametags entirely. QRs can be scanned through any camera (not just the IG one), so they’re a quicker way to access someone’s profile. Whether these codes will take off or not has yet to be seen, but in any case, it points to the fact that Instagram still sees making connections between users as a priority. 


TikTok

Information Center

If you’ve been following social media news ever slightly over the last few months, you’ll know that quite a lot has been going on at TikTok HQ. Amid accusations of privacy breaches, Donald Trump has threatened on multiple occasions to ban the Chinese app altogether in the US. 

Photo credit: TikTok

In response to this whole situation, TikTok has announced that it has launched a new Information Hub to dispel rumors around the app and what they have planned for the future. Featuring expert opinions on relevant topics, missives from the company’s American senior staff members, and regular updates from the headquarters, TikTok is going all out to try and clear their name while solidifying their place in the US market. The brand has also launched a Twitter page separate from their main account for up-to-the-minute coverage. 

Hate Speech

Hate speech: it’s the bane of social media. TikTok has released new guidelines on their hate speech policy, and how they are working to minimize the problem across the entire platform. Since the start of 2020, TikTok has removed over 380,000 videos for hate speech, and are training their moderators in an ever-evolving skillset—from recognizing new hate symbols and language to making space for marginalized communities to express themselves on the app without being penalized. Here’s to hoping they continue to do the work, and make TikTok a tolerant place for all their users.  

Alexa Compatibility

Is there anything Alexa can’t do? Now, you can add “control TikTok” to the list of commands that can be executed by Amazon’s top-selling virtual assistant, as TikTok has just released all their available Alexa options.

Photo credit: TikTok

As of this month, users can now use Alexa to record their videos handsfree, search for content, open and close the app, and more.


What’s Next?

That’s it for this month, but wait, don’t leave just yet! If you’re looking to have an even better grasp on Instagram and TikTok, and grow your brand on socials, drop us a line at hello@collabary.com and our experts can help you out. To never miss one of our Social Media Round-Ups, subscribe to our email newsletter here.