The Social Culture-Issue #29

2020 has begun in full force for the world of social media and there are no signs of it slowing down! In January we saw new TikTok dances pop up (again), viral challenges, memes such as the “Dolly Parton challenge” and plenty of updates from social media giants such as Instagram and TikTok. Continue reading below for the full roundup of the latest news and updates for social!

Byte (A.K.A Vine 2.0) is here!

Vine 2.0 is here and is coming for TikTok! Byte is the successor of the video-sharing app that launched the careers of social media stars such as Jake and Logan Paul (not the best examples, but hey… you know their names don’t you!). The new platform released at the end of this month for users to create and share six-second looping videos. Although similarities between Byte and TikTok exist, at launch Byte currently lacks some functionalities that TikTok has such as; remixability, AR filters, transition effects and longer uploads. Vine was shut down in 2016 after views declined and the app failed to provide monetization opportunities for creators, which led to some of the top stars abandoning the app. It will be interesting to see just how many users will bite (pun intended) and jump ship from TikTok to Byte. For more info on Byte, click here.

Instagram launches new layout mode for stories

For those of you who have been dying to add more than one image to your Instagram story, this new update is for you! Instagram has recently released a new layout mode that offers various grid styles to place your photos in. Users can now upload up to six images in a single story via several different grid patterns. For now the feature is limited to images and doesn’t allow videos or the option to include Instagram’s “Live” feature. For more info on Insta’s new layout mode, click here!

TikTok is developing a curated content feed

TikTok is in the works of rolling out a feed of curated content showcasing a range of user videos in an attempt to give advertisers more control of ad placements. The concerns raised over ads being placed alongside controversial posts has sparked TikTok’s new development. The Curated Content Stream has taken inspiration from Snapchat’s Discover Stream and will allow TikTok moderators to have more control over viewer experience and ensure that ads do not get wedged in between controversial posts. In the past, TikTok has definitely had its fair share of controversies including dangerous viral challenges and videos that spread misinformation, leaving advertisers scratching their heads over whether the app is worth the risk. Find out more about TikTok’s new content stream here.

Are influencers old news?

If you open Instagram right now and scroll through your timeline you’ll most likely find at least one post of someone promoting a brand, whether it’s a celeb or social media influencer. With the growing influx of brand’s adding influencer marketing to their mix, just how effective are these paid partnerships anymore? Recent studies found that only 3% of consumers are influenced by celebs or social media stars to purchase which isn’t a lot considering how much money some businesses are willing to fork out for influencers. Instagram engagement rates have also hit an all time low with sponsored posts falling to 2.4%. Although some influencers are struggling to keep a high engagement rate, it doesn’t mean we should say thank you, next to them just yet! It means that influencers and brands have to find more creative and authentic ways to engage with their target audience (not just have Kylie Jenner holding a bag of weight loss tea…) To find out why people are switching off influencers and for ways to better engage with your audience, click here.

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