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New Updates to YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and X

December 22, 2023

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It seems just about every major social media platform made some changes last month, which doesn’t always happen!

Let’s go over what those changes were and what that means for you as Creators.

Instagram News & Updates

In November, Instagram announced they’re shelving the “Guides” feature.

And that change has already taken effect, since as of December 15th, all existing Instagram Guides on profiles have been converted to Collections.

Instagram was a new feature launched back in 2020, as an attempt to showcase themed, in-depth material in an engaging, interactive, long-form blog manner.

Guides provided an alternative display format, allowing creators and brands to share explainers and image collections, accompanied by short text descriptions. However, Guides never gained too much traction, resulting in Instagram ending support for the option, with Collections serving as a replacement.

And I think this makes complete sense! Guides launched before the short-form video craze when Instagram was going to up their competition with Pinterest. But with the rise of TikTok, Instagram pivoted. So, I think it’s smart for the direction they want to go.

Achievement Awards

In November, Instagram also rolled out Achievement Awards as milestones for creators.

Instagram created another way to incentivize their creators with a new “Achievements” display (available in the app’s “Creator Mode”), which has different badges to track engagement milestones.

For those who have a Creator Account, the new “Achievements” display can be found in the “Your Tools” section of the “Professional Dashboard”.

Some of these milestones include reaching 100 total post likes, 1,000 video plays, and much, much more. Instagram says that Creators can be awarded different levels of badges based on Post Likes, Reels Plays, Accounts reached with Stories, Follower Count, and more analytics.

In addition, there are also special Achievement badges for things like using Instagram Collabs, or remixing a reel, basically using specific features.

I think this is a step in the right direction for Instagram. These new milestone Achievements can be a lot more rewarding for Creators, especially while Instagram burnout remains a very real thing.

It’s similar to how YouTube recognizes their Creators’ growth with the YouTube Play Buttons and milestone notifications.

It’s very refreshing to see Instagram rewarding their Creators for doing a good job.

Staying Up to Date With All Platforms

If you’ve read any other of my monthly news posts here on the blog, you already know the deal.

You’re here because your goal is to grow on social media. Not just quickly, but organically. I have plenty of platform-specific tips for your goals to grow on Instagram, YouTube or TikTok.

Sn important strategy for sustainable, long-term social media growth is staying up to date on platform updates, news and trends. If you want to be a YouTuber, but you’re not staying aware of algorithm changes, new platform features or even the latest trends, you’re making it harder for yourself.

One of the best ways I know how to stay up to date is with Storyy’s free weekly Trend Report. As you may know, Storyy is my team of video editors for my YouTube channel, but I also use them myself to stay in the know of what’s happening in the social media space.

Every week they send out a Trend Report, updating their subscribers on the biggest news, updates and trends. That’s a pivotal step in making the most of your Creator career.

Additional ways of doing this are following your platform on social media and reading their blogs or community posts.

You can find each platform’s blogs here:

Now, let’s move on to more updates.

TikTok News & Updates

TikTok is making moves in order to solidify its connection to the music industry with a new “Add to Music App” option within the app. This new integration will allow users to add tracks to your preferred streaming service that you hear in TikTok clips.

So when you hear a song you like on TikTok, you’ll now be able to add it to Apple Music, Spotify, or Amazon catalog.

Even further, the system will learn your which music streaming service you use, and provide you with more options to save your tracks to selected playlists or categories in your listings.

As said by TikTok:

“TikTok is known for being one of the world’s best places to discover both new and catalogue music, constantly creating viral trends which drive music listening on streaming services. The new Add to Music App feature has been designed to help music fans capture songs that they love on TikTok in the moment of discovery, and to easily save the song to their preferred music streaming service to enjoy whenever they like.”

Research shows that around 75% of TikTok users discover in the app new artists to listen to and 63% of users hear music that they’ve never heard before for the first time wathcing TikTok clips. To prove the point even further, 72% of of TikTokers said they associate certain songs with TikTok.

It’s clear that TikTok has been incredibly instrumental (no pun intended) to helping musicians succeed in the music industry. So, it only makes sense for them to have some sort of strategic partnership with other music giants.

TikTok says that “Add to Music” is being launched initially for users in the U.S. and the U.K., with further expansion coming soon.

X News & Updates

X announced a new Job Search feature, and so far, it’s pretty straightforward.

Just enter the position or related keywords and a location for the role you’re seeking, and boom, the search tool will provide you with a list of all the job ads that match those terms.

Each job listing has an “Apply Now” button, which takes you to the respective brand’s website to go through their application process.

Now, before you think LinkedIn is done for, it’s worth noting that in order for brands to use the feature to post jobs, they need to pay X $1000 each month for organization verification. Yep. You read that right. $1000.

Lately, it seems like every feature X has announced, you have to pay to use it. That’s why I personally don’t use that platform.

Youtube News & Updates

YouTube is doubling down on pushing Shorts in an attempt to compete with TikTok. They’ve released a test of a new random feed prompt, which takes users to random Shorts content.

This is a very different strategy for YouTube given that people typically go to YouTube to watch a specific YouTuber or watch a specific niche/topic. That’s almost the total opposite of how users engage with platforms like TikTok, where they just open up the app and directly see the “For You” page. 

The new feed’s algorithm seems to show users clips based on a number of factors like watch history, subscribed creators/channels, video likes, and so on.

This test just goes to show that Youtube is still focused on growing Shorts, which means it should definitely be in your content strategy.

I also think the way YouTube has gradually been pushing Shorts is a much more smooth and brilliant strategy than the way Instagram pushed short-form content.

YouTube has been treating Shorts like a marathon, slowly featuring minor updates, and the results have been working in their favor so far.

So good job, YouTube!

With all that said, which update are you most excited about? What are your thoughts on these updates overall? Drop them in the comments below and remember, let’s keep the conversation respectful!

Remember to sign up for Storyy’s Trend Report for weekly news and updates like this.

Follow your joy!

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