Social Media Updates Round-Up: Spring 2021 Edition

The year is well and truly underway, and with the changing of the seasons comes a new array of new social media features to explore. It seems like every time we turn around Instagram or TikTok are releasing new updates to wrap our heads around – so we went through some of our favorites so you can stay up to date. From Q&A capabilities to battling misinformation, there’s a lot to get through this month, so let’s get started!

Instagram Updates

Instagram launches “Professional Dashboard”

If there’s one thing we’re positively sure of, it’s that Instagram influencers are here to stay. Instagram itself seems to agree, since they have just launched a brand new “Professional Dashboard” to help its influencers with tracking their performance and growing their business. 

Photo credit: Instagram

All the features on the dashboard already existed on Instagram in some form or another, but now there are all conveniently compiled in once place. The include data highlights, spotlights on tools like Badges, Branded Content and Monetization, and even access to educational resources to inspire content creation. What more could a budding influencer ask for?

New way to use Instagram Stories on Desktop 

Are people really using Instagram Stories on their desktop computers? Apparently so! This month, Instagram revealed an update to the way Stories looks on desktop and we must say, it’s a much cleaner design. Take a look!

You can now manually click through Stories in a carousel, instead of the one big tile that used to take up the whole page. It’s easier to save your space and you can scroll backwards and forwards—so if you want to quickly check your Story feed on your laptop during your lunch break, it’s all the easier.

Instagram to Launch Multi-Participant Lives This Month 

Two’s company, three’s a crowd, and now up to four people can jump on an Instagram live stream at once and really get the party started.

Apparently, Instagram have already been testing this feature since late last year in the Indian market, but they’re now ready to debut it worldwide. In a year where online video connections have been more important than ever before, this feature could really take off and lead to some pretty fun content!

TikTok Updates

TikTok Launches Warnings Against Questionable Sources

Misinformation: of all the pitfalls of the internet, it’s one of the most dangerous. How many times have you come across a video and said to yourself, “There’s no way that can be true?” Well, at least on TikTok, that might shortly become a concern of the past. 

Photo credit: TikTok

As of this month, the short-form video giant will start automatically flagging videos for unsubstantiated content, thus making it way easier for the normal user to spot misleading videos. The app will prompt you to “think before you share”, in hopes to stop the spread of misinformation before it begins.

TikTok launches Creator Portal 

Not one to be outdone by Instagram, TikTok have also recently launched a creator portal to help their influences stay on top of their game. TikTok creators are some of the most prolific out there, so it makes sense that the platform would prioritize a portal that lets them better organize and maximize their output. 

TikTok’s Creator Portal is broken down into six learning categories, which include topics like “Foundations for Success” and “Getting Paid”. These subjects will serve as guides to showcase all the ways creators can leverage TikTok to build their brand while making the best content possible. While memes and trends are definitely still TikTok’s bread and butter, it will be interesting to see how its most popular influencers (like @flossybaby, who stars in portal’s launch video) will be able to expand their reach even more. 

TikTok Unveils new Q&A Function 

A big part of being an influencer in fan interaction (after all, what’s the point in having hundreds of thousands of followers if you don’t engage with them?), and forging relationships between creators and their followers just got a little easier on TikTok. The platform as announced plans to roll out a Q&A feature for creator accounts in the near future, that will allow fans to ask influencers questions directly to their profile. 

Photo credit: @mattnavarra

When a fan asks a question, it prompts the creator to make a video answering it, and their followers can see an ongoing list of unanswered questions that they can react to, making sure their favorite ones get addressed. Creators have been able to answer questions in Lives on TikTok for a while now, but this feature would let fans leave questions as they come up with them, and not have to wait for a stream or an event. This could mean big things for TikTok in terms of follower engagement—time will tell if this new feature pays off. 

TikTok Debuts Black Creatives Program

February is Black History Month, and like many media companies across the internet, TikTok is doing their part to uplift Black voices and give their Black creators a platform. They’ve just announced that 100 creatives have joined their inaugural TikTok for Black Creatives Program.

From art to fashion to comedy to music, these creators will participate in educational programming, town halls, and other inspirational content to make sure TikTok remains a safe space for its Black creators. It will no doubt be exciting to see what comes from this important initiative. 

What’s Next?

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