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The Biggest Social Media News from July

August 18, 2023

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Threads is here.

Twitter is now called X?

Barbie and Oppenhiemer have become Barbenheimer.

July has been one busy month! Luckily for you, all those topics and platform updates are covered right here in your monthly social media news and trend recap.

Let’s get into the news!

Meta Released Threads

In July, Meta released its long-awaited Twitter Competitor app, Threads.

Threads is a text-based platform linked directly to your Instagram. In fact, you need an Instagram account to even sign up. And when you do sign up, you can carry your Instagram followers to the new platform!

While the initial version of the app is incredibly minimal, it was extremely successful with the app topping 100 million users in just under a week which became one of the fastest-growing apps ever.

The Meta team has been hard at work rolling out key features to the app, but its simplistic nature is attracting millions of creators who just want to have fun on a simple social media platform again!

Clearly, there is a lot to cover when it comes to Threads. If you want a detailed breakdown or a Threads tutorial to have a basic understanding of how to use the app, check out this blog post.

Twitter is Now “X”

Elon Musk made the biggest change yet to Twitter. He rebranded it to “X”.

Twitter users have likely noticed a simple black-and-white “X” greeting them in place of the iconic blue and white bird logo on their phone home screens.

Shortly after Threads released and started popping off, Musk announced his plans to rebrand in a series of tweets over the weekend, saying in one of the tweets:

NBC reported that in another step toward reimagining the company’s image, the removal of the original “Twitter” signage on the San Francisco office building began on Monday but was stopped halfway through due to permit issues.

Now, this isn’t the first time Musk has taken interest in a company called “X”. Actually, I think he has an obsession with the letter. Let’s just look at his past.

  • X was the online banking company he founded in 1999 that later merged with PayPal. When he was with PayPal, he pushed incredibly hard for them to rebrand to X, so much so that he was ousted as CEO.
  • In 2017, Musk bought the domain, and he now looks to use it with Twitter resources to build his “Everything” app.
  • His son’s name is X-Ash-A-12.

And I don’t even have to mention Tesla Model X or SpaceX, right? Right. We’re all on the same page now.

So… not only am I curious what your thoughts are on the Twitter rebrand, but what are your thoughts on Musk’s obsession with X? It’s a little weird, right?

Trending Memes in July

Let’s get into the trends that happened in July, starting with memes.


Two of the biggest movies of the year were released last month on the same day, July 21, 2023.

Barbie and Oppenheimer.

Barbenheimer is the fan-created nickname for the simultaneous release of the two blockbusters to capture the stark difference between them.

This stark difference in tone sparked a humorous response from internet users because of how different they are from each other.

Both movies have sparked tons of memes and conversations on social media and it’s been so fun to see creators tie this trending topic into their content.

I’ve seen Barbie makeup tutorials, Barbie fashion tip videos, you name it. And I’m pretty sure at this point, all the Barbie movie fans in the world have agreed to dress up as Barbie for Halloween so we can all say “Hey, Barbie!” to each other.

Have you used this trending topic to your advantage in content? If not, what are you waiting for?

Grimace’s Birthday

Grimace’s Birthday is a promotional campaign that was run by McDonald’s in June 2023 centered around one of the company’s mascots, Grimace… who’s like a Wish version of Barney.

The campaign, and particularly the introduction of their purple Grimace Shake, amused the internet following its debut, leading to a swell of Grimace-related jokes, memes and content across social media.

The most notable of these memes is the Grimace Shake Trend on TikTok which hit its peak this July.

Honestly, this meme is stupidly hilarious. I’m sure McDonald’s was wanting to launch another successful shake like the Shamrock shake but of course, we all just had to take it for a spin.

People started speculating what made the shake purple… was it because Grimace’s DNA was used to make the shake? Do you have to milk Grimace to get the shake?

Then it all snowballed into ridiculous content of people dying after drinking this shake that Grimace created or straight up turning into Grimace after trying his shake.

It’s just all so good and hilarious.

This definitely isn’t what McDonald’s planned on happening, but they’re embracing it and riding the wave. Good for them.

And good for all of you Creators, using your “powers” to influence a major brand’s marketing campaign and turning it into something so beautiful.

Trending Music in July

Here’s all the trending music for you to use in your future videos.

Taylor Swift – August

Taylor Swift continues to dominate TikTok, this time with some help from Amazon’s series, The Summer I Turned Pretty.

Earlier this month, a trailer for the new season of Amazon’s teen drama was released with a new, more epic version of Taylor Swift’s “August”.

People were obsessed with the new arrangement. So, of course, the best way we express our excitement is by grabbing our phones, recording ourselves running as fast as we can and being as dramatic as we can to a song and posting it on TikTok.

This trend is essentially just the “Ceilings” Trend from March, where you run on the beach, in the rain, or even just in a parking lot while the song plays.

Jimmy Fallon even got in on the action, running through a rainy upstate New York.

Travis Scott – Utopia

Rapper/Producer Travis Scott’s long waited “Utopia” album is finally out and it’s the talk of the town.

Utopia features tracks in collaboration with the Weeknd, Bad Bunny, SZA, and tons of other artists, with the most popular track being “K-POP”, featuring Bad Bunny & The Weekend.

The album was also joined by an A24-produced visual film directed and produced by Travis Scott himself, called “Circus Maximus”.

The album is blowing up on TikTok and expects to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100!

Now that you know this, you can ride the wave of trending music by using songs from the album in your upcoming posts!

And if you need a reminder to stay on this trend or if you just want to always be up-to-speed on all trends, subscribe to Storyy’s free, weekly Trend Report. Every week, you’ll get an email with trends, news, platform updates and more.

Use their Trend Report as part of your strategy!

Meta / Instagram / Threads Updates

Let’s now move on to platform-specific updates and news, starting with Meta.

Threads Finally Gets a “Following” Tab

Meta’s new text-based social media app, Threads, launched with very few features. Hashtags didn’t even work.

But over the past few days, Threads has added a few new key features including a “Following” feed!

The new “Following” tab allows users to see chronological posts from people they follow instead of the less cohesive, algorithmically curated content that appears in the “For you” feed. Many users have been asking Meta executives for the feature since Threads first launched in early July.

I’m happy to see this feature roll out as quickly as it did and I’m excited to see all their updates and how quickly they’ll push them out.

Instagram Adds Improved Reels Template Options

Instagram’s looking to help users create better Reels by making it easier to discover and use templates based on high-performing, short-form clips.

If you haven’t noticed, when you’re scrolling through Reels, there’s an option on some Reels that says, “Use template”. When you select that, you can use that template to create your own short-form videos

Now, Instagram’s launching a new and improved Template Browser process. This will enable users to search Reels templates in different categories, organized by ‘Recommended’, ‘Trending’, and those that you’ve previously saved.

The goal is to use a more centralized approach to using templates, which could make it easier to lean into key trends and formats and help you come up with more effective video approaches.

TikTok Updates

Now, let’s move on to all the TikTok updates in July.

TikTok Adds Text-Based Posts

It seems everyone wants to be a text-based platform these days. TikTok announced that it’s launching text posts in the app, providing another way for TikTok users to share a different form of content with their community.

I think social media execs are starting to realize that 100% video-based platforms lead to burnout for their Creators. Adding other forms of content creates new ways for Creators to connect with their audience without grinding to post multiple videos a day.

In their release statement, TikTok said:

“Creators have been able to make content on TikTok across a variety of formats — from LIVE videos to photos, Duets to Stitch. Text is the latest addition to options for content creation, allowing creators to share their stories, poems, recipes, and other written content on TikTok – giving creators another way to express themselves and making it even easier to create.”

This move makes a lot of sense as text-based posts are already common in the app. There are poetry accounts sharing static shots of poems, accompanied by music so this update gives these accounts more content options.

This new update just makes this a more formal offering, but it will expand your posting considerations and could be a more responsive, engaging format for word-based updates.

The new ‘text’ option will be available from your camera tools, which will then take you to a dedicated text creation page where you’ll be able to type out your post. You’ll also be able to include tags and hashtags to link to other elements of the app.

Twitter X Updates

Besides a complete rebrand, one other thing worth noting is the launch of their Creator Ad Share program.

After the much-awaited announcement a few months ago, Twitter has now successfully distributed its new creator ad share payouts. The delayed rollout strategy for this program seems to be a wise decision, especially considering the substantial amounts shared.

To recap, Twitter’s owner, Elon Musk, revealed back in February that the platform would start sharing ad revenue with participating Twitter Blue subscribers, as part of its broader effort to monetize creators.

Information about the program was pretty minimal until June when Musk disclosed that the first creator payments would be made for ads served in replies to verified users only. The initial block payment was set at an impressive $5 million.

Ad Share Qualifications

This week, more details about the program’s qualification thresholds have emerged, indicating that participating creators must have generated at least 5 million tweet impressions per month for three consecutive months.

While this requirement is demanding, the first payouts already reported by Twitter users are substantial. The payouts range from $25k to $30k, and even higher in some cases.

These impressive figures are likely to generate significant interest among top Twitter users who want to learn how they can also benefit from the program.

While it looks nice to get paid $30k+ to tweet, it’s important to remember that the payments have been retroactively calculated from Musk’s original announcement in February, which means the reported amounts are likely higher than the normal payment expectations for creators.

Twitter’s approach is actually quite clever. By distributing five months’ worth of revenue share in a single payment and focusing on the most engaged users, Twitter ensures that all reported payouts appear highly appealing, thereby attracting more individuals to the program.

Youtube Updates

We have 3 exciting YouTube updates from July! The first is a long-awaited feature…

Thumbnail A/B Testing

A/B testing thumbnails is something I already do for my YouTube channel, but I use TubeBuddy, a third-party platform, for this.

Finally, YouTube has announced they’re working on this feature internally to roll out to Creators.

And it gets better. You will have the ability to test up to three thumbnails against each other. So, I guess you can call it A/B/C testing.

While this feature isn’t live, it’s exciting to know they will release it relatively soon.

Thumbnails and titles are key to increasing your click-through rate, so I’m glad they’re creating internal tools to help us Creators track and maximize our growth on YouTube.

AI-Suggested Titles

YouTube is now rolling out an AI-powered tool that will suggest video titles for you based on the video’s transcript and description.

The new title suggestions will appear below the title field in the upload flow in your YouTube Studio.

This could make coming up with more effective titles a lot easier and more seamless.

YouTube says that the suggested video titles will be available within a few hours after your initial video uploads since the system will need that time to assess the available information from your content.

And, of course, suggested titles are optional so Creators can still go with whatever titles they see fit. At the very least, this new feature can help Creators craft the perfect video title, so I say this is a huge win.

‘Channel Permissions’ Expansion

In July, YouTube announced that they are expanding their ‘Channel Permissions’ element.

YouTube has enabled Creators to allocate management roles for their channels for some time, but this was done solely in the YouTube Studio. Now, users within the main YouTube page on desktop and mobile will be able to post on an owner’s behalf.

As explained by YouTube:

If you’re curious where to find this, channel permissions are listed in your YouTube Studio under “Settings” then “Permissions”. From there, you invite other users to manage your channel or you can update your existing delegations.

That’s All for July!

What news in July stood out to you? What are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments! As always, let’s keep in a peaceful and respectful place.

It’ll be a while until I post August’s news, so until then, sign up for the free, weekly Trend Report to stay up-to-date.

So until next month, follow your joy!

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