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Hayley Peters
Digital Updates

TikTok, Instagram, Meta, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest all battle it out with big digital updates

Digital Updates

September 18, 2023


It has been a week of big digital updates, with TikTok, Instagram, Meta, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest all stepping up their game and bringing new features to the table. Nothing like a little competition to give the users what they want (finally). So step on through and see what’s new.

Instagram adds a new “following” option for the Reels tab

Adam Mosseri recently announced on his IG Channel that Instagram has added a new “following” tab for Reels. This will allow users to switch to view only the Reels created by people they follow. This new feature is just another one of the improvements the app has been making to get more users engaging with their followers, in a bid to improve engagement. We’re here for it.

Meta drops holiday cheer with new ad tools

Meta has introduced new advertising tools using AI-powered tools just in time for the silly season to help brands and advertisers manage campaign spend and maximise their results.

Some of the updates include:

  • Budget Scheduling: Enabling advertisers to strategically allocate their budgets for peak sales periods and promotional events. This feature simplifies the process by automatically reverting to the regular daily budget once the promotional period ends, removing the need for manual adjustments. This is PERFECT for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day and other time-sensitive sale events.
  • AI-Powered Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns: Designed to streamline the campaign process by delivering tailored ad creative to drive sales. Advertisers will soon have the ability to indicate the value of specific audiences and increase their bids when targeting these audiences within Advantage+ shopping campaigns.
  • Promotional Ads: Facebook is expanding the availability of promotional ads to more advertisers in select countries, simplifying the process of offering and redeeming promo codes. Relevant discounts and offers are presented more effectively, enhancing conversion rates and encouraging purchases.
  • Reminder Ads: Reminder ads, which build awareness and anticipation for brand events, will become more accessible for advertisers. They can now upload creative content in Ads Manager, and the Stories format will be introduced as a placement option for Reminder ads, increasing their visibility on Instagram.
  • Shops Ads Integration: To facilitate direct purchases within the Facebook and Instagram apps, Facebook is testing integrations with Adobe Commerce, Magento Open Source, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. This extends their ecosystem of compatible platforms, making it easier for businesses to set up Facebook and Instagram Shops and utilize Shops ads.

If you’ve been looking to maximise your sales over the silly season, and you’d love a hand managing your paid ads, book a chat here with Hayley. We’d LOVE to help!

Sneak peek at Budget Scheduling from Facebook Announcements

TikTok Shop launches in the US

TikTok has introduced a game-changing feature in the US. TikTok Shop is now officially launched, offering a new way for people to discover and purchase their favourite products directly from the app. This initiative is set to redefine the shopping experience by integrating community-driven trends and shoppable content, empowering brands, merchants, and creators to connect with their highly engaged customers.

What TikTok Shop offers:

  • In-Feed Video and LIVE Shopping: Shop tagged products directly from videos and LIVEs in the For You feed.
  • Product Showcase: Browse product tiles, read reviews, and purchase directly from a favourite brand’s profile. Businesses can curate custom product collections directly on their profile page.
  • Shop Tab: Businesses display their products on a new product marketplace and customers can easily search and discover promotions. Product recommendations are showcased via product listings and shoppable content, and customers can manage orders, all within a single tab.
  • Affiliate Program: Creators can connect with sellers through new commission-based product marketing opportunities. Creators have a new way to monetize their creativity by sharing products in short videos and livestreams, and sellers can choose the Affiliate plan that’s the right fit for their brand.
  • Shop Ads: New TikTok Shop Ads bring more opportunities for sellers to promote their TikTok Shops, so customers can discover and complete purchases all within TikTok.
  • Fulfilled by TikTok: A new logistics solution that lets merchants focus on their products while TikTok Shop stores, picks, packs, and then ships sellers’ products to customers.
  • Secure Checkout: TikTok works with trusted third-party payment platforms to facilitate transactions on TikTok Shop, to ensure a quick, smooth, and secure checkout process. All TikTok-protected US user data is stored in the US and managed by USDS.

Read more about their Services with Partner Integrations here.

We have seen some mixed user opinions about shopping on TikTok, about whether it might make the user experience feel too “marketed” to and damage the native feeling of the app. But we’re curious to see whether brands can adapt and create a user experience that still feels very genuine and not like they’re selling to their customers. We know we’re excited to see it roll out in Australia (fingers crossed it’ll be soon!)

A look at Shopping on TikTok directly from TikTok Announcements

Pinterest announces new product updates and ad solutions

Pinterest recently hosted its annual global advertiser summit, where they shared their roadmap announcing new and updated products and features. “We are innovating faster than ever before with a robust slate of relevant, personalized products to reach consumers with intent, and we’re building with the goal to be the industry’s best full funnel solution,” said Bill Watkins, Chief Revenue Officer, Pinterest. “We’ve made Pinterest more measurable from first impression to last click and we’re excited to share more about our new products that span the consumer journey, all in a more positive place online.”

Some of the highlights included:

  • More ad formats to reach and engage an audience full of intent
    • Pinterest is extending Premiere Spotlight from search to the home feed to help advertisers reach users from the moment they open Pinterest.
    • Showcase ads are a new interactive ad solution that allows users to preview and explore a brand’s content by swiping through branded images.
    • Quiz ads offer a deeper level of personalization to a brand’s idea on Pinterest.
  • Improvements to its automated business tools to help agencies and platform partners manage their clients’ presence on Pinterest. Including Pinterest’s Business Manager, a tool for advertisers that helps them efficiently automate complex workstreams.
  • Creative Studio will give brands a speedy way to generate lifestyle imagery for product Pins. Brands will be able to simply add their Pin link, select the prompts that match their need, and Creative Studio will then generate a selection of custom background images. Creative Studio will be available for testing with select US advertisers later this year. Brands who are interested in participating in early testing can reach out to the respective Pinterest team.
  • Making Pinterest more shoppable.
    • Mobile deep links and direct links. Mobile deep links were recently introduced for Pinterest-managed advertisers and now Pinterest is adding direct links as new ways to help shoppers on Pinterest go from discovery to purchase while increasing conversion for retailers.
    • eCommerce integrations. Pinterest is now expanding its integration ecosystem with two new integrations for Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Adobe Commerce native applications to all monetized markets.
  • Collages are a new feature designed to help users personalize ideas, visualize the possibilities and creatively refine their vision to bring their inspiration to life.

If you aren’t already using Pinterest for your brand, and you’d like help digging into whether your audience is actively using Pinterest we’d recommend booking in a chat. We can help you uncover any other channels or opportunities you’re currently missing out on, and give you a roadmap to conquer them!

A first look at Pinterest collages directly from their recent Advertiser Summit

LinkedIn expands its AI foundations with Sales Navigator

LinkedIn has recognised the importance of keeping up with the way that AI is taking over the working world. So they’ve announced that they’ve expanded their Sales Navigator features with a pilot of two features. AI-assisted search and Account IQ – that make account research and lead prospecting more effective. At this stage, they look like they’re only available in North America, Asia Pacific and Latin America for a limited number of customers.

So, what’s new?

  • AI-assisted search, which includes a new GAI interface that enables sellers to use their existing search functionality more efficiently by entering casual, conversational language search prompts, helping them better find the type of leads they’re looking for. They gave the example of how it could be used by popping in “Find me marketing decision makers at LinkedIn on the U.S. East Coast with whom I have a second-degree connection.” AI-assisted search automatically does the work of selecting the right search filters, based on the prompt, to help unlock a new level of ease in sellers’ lead identification workflows. Apparently, the new feature may also suggest a prompt to the search for past customers who have previously purchased, and who may still be interested in purchasing again from their new employer.
  • Account IQ, helps sellers with the heavy lifting of account research by using GAI to gather key information across different sources and create an easily digestible summary, directly in Sales Navigator. Instead of having to search for information across many different places, with one click, sellers can use Account IQ to understand key highlights about an account in a single view. This can include information from public filing data and financial reports, to their LinkedIn insights about workforce trends and what’s top-of-mind for company leaders.  
An example of the new Account IQ Feature from LinkedIn’s recent announcement

LinkedIn adds Brand Partner Search to its Ad Library

LinkedIn hasn’t been slowing down lately when it comes to innovating and keeping up with the development of its app. They’ve just added a new feature, Brand Partnerships Search, which allows users to search for posts by LinkedIn creators who have been tagged with the label.

Users can search for posts using keywords and filter them by the date they were posted, with options such as “Past 24 hours,” “Past Week,” and “Past Month.” Brand Partnership Search is a component of the LinkedIn Ad Library, a publicly accessible database that contains information about advertisements on LinkedIn. This allows you to peep into the advertising strategy of any company or advertiser currently running ads on LinkedIn.

If you’ve been thinking about exploring LinkedIn ads for your brand, feel free to reach out and book a chat to see if we’re a good fit. We’ve been seeing some killer results lately, and there aren’t any signs of this slowing down anytime soon!

Threads adds new features and restrictions

Determined to make Threads happen, Meta has included some new features, and some controversial new restrictions to the app.

What’s been added:

  • Follow a specific Thread in the app for 24 hours (without following the user)
  • Threads comes to web (and now allow you to quote other posts)
  • Updated post-activity display (see likes, reports and quotes separately)

What’s being moderated?

In a controversial update, Meta has decided to moderate some keywords or terms, starting with COVID. Instead sending people searching for the term to the official CDC website. The Washington Post discovered that Threads is actually censoring search activity for a range of terms, including “sex,” “nude,” “gore,” “porn,” and others.

Post notifications on Thread from Social Media Today

YouTube tests vertical video

YouTube has been following TikTok’s lead, by testing more vertical videos on the popular video-focused app. According to YouTube “We’re running an experiment with a new full screen viewing experience on vertical live streams for mobile viewers. This new vertical live experience includes a scrollable live stream feed and easily accessible fan funding features. During this experiment, creators can stream vertically, either on mobile devices with the YouTube app or through desktop streaming software, and their vertical streams will be visible to eligible viewers browsing Shorts on the YouTube app.” Given how popular Shorts has been, it looks like vertical video is here to stay.

Instagram tests hiding your like activity

In a recently spotted test, it looks like Instagram might be considering removing like activity as another move to protect user privacy. If the user chooses so, it looks like you could hide your activity from non-followers, limit your activity visibility to only close friends or remove it from everyone.

Instagram tests removing like activity spotted by Matt Navara

So many big updates this week, with TikTok, Instagram, Meta, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest all listening to their users and embracing AI, we can’t wait to see what’s next.




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