This Week in the Social Sphere: No. 6

As we gear up for the best food day of the year immediately followed by the craziest shopping day of the year, a digital detox ‘holiday edition’ may be on order.

Being present in those fleeting moments with family and friends will provide peace as the sprint towards 2020 heats up. In the Social Sphere, that sprint feels more like an all-out dash as social media news heats up.

TikTok is taking a page from Instagram’s playbook with ‘link in bio’ capabilities while Facebook has a new meme maker. Pinterest continues down its admirable path of digital wellness and a lot more in this week’s Social Sphere. Let’s get to it:

Facebook Adds Option for Brands to Control Ad Placement

In an effort to combat the negative efforts of ad targeting, Facebook has created a tool to allow brands better control of where their ads appear on FB. Dating back to issues that hit a fever pitch back in 2017, Facebook now provides sections for Business Manager/Ads Manager to allows brands to create blocklists, strategize based on delivery reports, and ultimately define ad delivery through tighter filters. Facebook hopes these measures will improve targeting methods.

Pinterest Develops New Tools to Help User’s Manage Emotions

Pinterest is working to measure its success not by the way users react to their products but how those products make users feel. Continuing to narrow in on emotion wellness through the expansion of their Compassion Search Experience, Pinterest aims to curtail self-hurt related searches with a list of coping mechanisms that can help users work through emotional trauma. Each of the exercises is laid out in guided steps. They aim to help release tension, redirect angry, and create a calming environment. To learn more, click the link above.

TikTok is Testing a “Link in Bio” Feature

Learning from the successes of tried and true social media platform, Instagram, newcomer TikTok is currently testing out a “link in bio” feature in the US. Select users now can add clickable links in their bio to direct viewers to their websites or web stores. They’ve also added functionality for digital commerce links directly in posts. TikTok is making a play to ensure that their app is more profitable for influencers.

Facebook Partners with Meme Creation App Whale

Facebook’s internal NPE team – a division tasked with amplifying experimental consumer-facing social apps – expands its third-party app count to three after recently announcing it had partnered with meme-creator, Whale. The app allows users to decorate images with stickers, text, and other graphics to create shareable memes for social media and text. You can currently use Whale without any subscriptions or in-app purchases, which makes it quite unique from the many image-editing apps in the App Store and/or Google Play. Other Whale features include making your own stickers, in-app photo capabilities, and crop/cut tools for when creating or editing stickers. Whale is currently available for download in Canada. It’s expected in the US soon.

Twitter Testing Scheduled Tweets Built into Tweet Composer

Although the biggest shared complaint about Twitter has been the lack of an ability to edit a tweet, the social platform is working near that direction with the confirmation that they’re testing scheduled tweets built into the tweet composer. This budding update would allow Twitter users to compose and then schedule tweets for a chosen time without so much as leaving the composer screen. There will simply be a calendar icon to “Schedule Tweet” which then leads users to a screen showing date, time, and even time zone.

Instagram Testing New Display Layout for IGTV

The push for Stories and video content in 2020 continues to reveal itself as Instagram tinkers with a new display layout for IGTV. All signs point towards IG placing a greater emphasis on its dedicated video platform. The fact that they’re working on new layout options is further proof of that hypothesis. As Jane Manchun Wong points out in some leaked screenshots, the display layout has visibly shifted to look more like a feed than just a collection of videos. This switch will support your main IGTV feed turning into a vertical scrolling list. This new display layout is currently in test and may or may not find its way to your feed.

That’s it for this week in the Social Sphere. To check out past editions of the series, click here. And stay tuned for a new installment of the Social Sphere next Friday.

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