State of Social 03: So, what happened in March?

Snow, sun, and a whole lot of rain. It might feel like Spring is taking a while to get moving, but that's certainly not the case for the world of social.

Instagram, X, Meta and LinkedIn are not hanging about.

So if you’re after an update of what's trending, algorithm updates and all the other juicy happenings – you’ve come to the right place!

Let’s get intimate

The shift towards increased engagement via messaging continues to rise. From Instagram's Broadcast channels ‘one-to-many’ style messaging, and Meta’s plans to re-integrate Messenger into the main Facebook app, more intimate communication on social, and the use of DMs is only continuing to rise.

LinkedIn is the latest platform to jump on this trend – with the release of Pages Messaging.

The feature has been in test phase since last June, where a select number of brands were able to trial the ability to reach followers directly from Company Pages. Visitors will now be able to message a company's page directly using the new ‘Message’ button. It's a feature that can be disabled or enabled, with admins able to see messages from the Company Page alongside their personal inbox. Admins can also assign topics to messages to manage them, and the platform has released new API integrations to facilitate the update – with Brandwatch, Hootsuite and Sprinklr among the first six partners announced.

LinkedIn’s steer towards the rise of using DMs as a connection tool not only gives brands more ways to interact with users and in-app freedom, but also increases opportunities for job hunting and career progression. With X increasing its Group Chat limit to 256 and announcing other ‘improvements to DMs’ this week (March 26th) – we’re expecting other platforms to follow suit.

How much more intimate can things get on social?!

Return of the static?

Following the success of TikTok ‘photo mode’ – and the platform encouraging users to get ‘1.9 more likes and 2.9 more comments’ by posting photos over videos, it’s rumoured that TikTok are working on a photo-only app to rival Instagram.

TikTok owners, ByteDance, have previously dabbled in photo-only apps – with the release of Lemon8 in early 2023. The platform gained quick traction and popularity with influencers due to the app’s link to e-commerce. But it seems life’s giving the platform lemons as of late, with the app losing both momentum and daily active users – with the latter declining by almost half this year in the US.  

Xiaohongshu (China’s own version of Instagram) has seen growing success since incorporating eCommerce features. Could it be this shift that’s now prompted ByteDance to diversify into the photo-only space?

An expansion of TikTok’s in-stream shopping? The potential US ban? Identity crisis? Or trying to reduce bandwidth and storage 🤔 Whatever’s encouraged this shift – we’re excited to test out the new TikTok-branded platform!

Looooooonger Reels!

It’s finally here!

After a long wait (!) Instagram has finally announced that some users are able to add up to 3 minutes of imported clips when creating new Reels.

With the shift to longer form content proving popular (just like we predicted back in January) each Reel now has the potential to be upped from 90 seconds to 3 minutes in length – with a further extension potentially on the horizon. It’s been rumoured that 10-minute uploads are in current testing phase internally at IG HQ – mirroring the latest TikTok video length update.

After TikTok’s recent Creator Rewards Program offered cash incentives for users uploading lengthier videos – this longer watch time is a step away from traditional bite sized, short-form video content. But, longer watch time means more engaged users on the platform with Meta reporting Reels consumption to be up 20% year on year this January.

Could this mean the return of IGTV?!

Pinterest’s body type filter launches

Designed to deliver more inclusive search results – this month, Pinterest has launched an innovative AI-powered technology within its search feature. The new tool gives users the choice to select and filter what body types are featured in search results for areas such as women’s fashion, and wedding dresses.

This step towards inclusivity is designed to create a space where diverse body types are celebrated and embraced – rather than shunned for a curated, unrealistic feed.

Pinterest believes that ‘inspiration starts with inclusion’ and that body ranges will enable Pinterest users greater control and power when searching, saving and inspiration-collecting on the platform. Within their search, users will be prompted to select one of four body type ranges to tailor search results that resonate better with how they view themselves.

The feature is to be rolled out this year – including a development for men’s fashion too.

Roll on inclusive searching!

Want more insider intelligence?

Pick up the phone and get chatting to Verity. She'll be able to help you on your way to nailing social media in 2024.

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