The new Snapchat AI bot knows where you live and how to lie and gaslight you.
Instagram actually launched some decent new features for once.
The TikTok ban is getting closer to passing in Montana.
April was eventful, to say the least. In this post, we’re going over what happened on your favorite social media platforms.
Montana Moves to Ban TikTok Entirely in the State
While there has been no nationwide ban on the Chinese app, over 30 US states have banned the app on government phones. But Montana looks to take the ban to the next level.
Montana lawmakers moved one step closer to a total ban, proposing a bill to ban TikTok from operating in the state. This big move will likely serve as a testing ground for the TikTok-free America that many national lawmakers have envisioned.
If passed, Montana’s bill will prohibit downloads of TikTok in the state.
From what I understand of this bill, if there are violations of this law, the penalties would not apply to users. The penalties would instead apply to any “entity” that offers a user access.
For example — an app store or TikTok itself — would be liable for $10,000 for each time a user accesses TikTok or “is offered the ability” to access the social media platform or download the app. An additional $10,000 fine would be imposed each day the violation continues.
To be clear, the bill hasn’t been approved yet, so it’s not banned in Montana right now. Even so, it’s the most significant action taken against TikTok thus far.
Snapchat launched My AI Bot, a conversational AI chat powered by ChatGPT. Many users are already going to social media to share the strange conversations they’ve been having.
Some users have shared how amazing the chat is and how it feels like you have a friend, therapist or even an AI boyfriend.
Other users are showing evidence of the chatbot capable of lying, gaslighting and showing extreme bias.
User @evanpackardfinance was talking to the bot when it brought up where he lived. He asked the bot, “Where do I live?”
The bot proceeded to say, “I’m sorry I don’t know, I don’t have access to that sort of information”.
Later in the conversation he tried again asking, “Where do I live?” and it said the city he lived in. Here’s his TikTok video:
Another user, @ariel_kc, showed the bot gaslighting her when the AI bot wrote a song. When asked, the bot said, “I’m sorry I didn’t write a song, I don’t have the ability to create lyrics.”
Finally, if you search “Snapchat bias” on TikTok, it shows multiple videos of Snapchat’s AI bot having bias and personal opinions on politics, women’s rights, gender equality and so many other topics.
There’s A LOT coming out and more will be uncovered as more users continue to play with this chatbot.
I feel like AI is like the modern-day Furby. Always listening and aware of everything going on. Speaking at the scariest moments. Turning off when it’s convenient for itself.
Do we all share the same furby trauma or is that just me?
Something Good on Social Media
Now let’s jump to a new section of our monthly news. I want to highlight some good that social media is doing. We’re surrounded by so much darkness and bad news, I want to talk about good news!
TikToker David Cohen, otherwise known as @niceguyenterprise, posted this video of him buying some artwork from a homeless woman, Monika, who sells her artwork to make money.
David proceeded to list the pieces he bought and put them for sale on Etsy. The full amount of money they sell for, he will be giving back to Monika.
At the time of filming, Monika’s artwork was being bid at $800, $1,000 and her most popular painting at $4,000!
David’s TikTok and YouTube channels utilize the power of donations from his followers so he’s able to help people he comes across. He then documents the stories that the donations have helped him pursue, helping people go from being homeless to having a home.
If there’s a creator you want to support or if you want to give back, check out David’s content. Remember, views and followers are a way to support Creators. You don’t always have to invest or donate if you’re not able.
Top Memes in April
A top-trending meme that has carried March into April is, “Are you sure about that?”
Are You Sure About That?
This is probably the most popular meme I’ve seen from March to April. This is a video clip of Tim Robinson asking, “Are You Sure About That?” from a clip from the Netflix sketch comedy series I Think You Should Leave.
People have been putting pictures behind Robinson with a lie you tell yourself like,
“Me: I’ll just get gas in the morning before work” with a picture of a gas station and Tim saying, “Are you sure about that?”
Or, “Me: I need to stop a Barnes and Noble real quick to pick up one book” and the picture behind is of someone carrying like 10 books.
It’s easy to apply to any niche and easy to use with the CapCut app. Just go to ‘templates’ on the bottom and then choose the ‘Memes’ category. It should be one of the top ones.
Barbie Movie Posters
I’m sure you’ve seen the Barbie Movie Poster Memes all over your feeds. If you haven’t, I’ll explain!
This meme originates from a series of promotional movie posters for the 2023 film, Barbie. The memes were inspired and based on a set of these posters uploaded to Twitter in early April 2023 that featured various actors in the film, such as Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and Michael Cera.
The parody posters were made using the website BarbieSelfie.ai, which is a generator tool launched by the company to create custom variants.
People have been making their own posters with themselves, pets, or even random objects, and it’s pretty hilarious.
Another fun CapCut template, this scene is cut from The Office where Oscar is asking Dwight over and over, “Where, Dwight?”
This is simply a fun and easy meme to adapt to. An example from a TikTok I saw:
They put a picture of Target behind the two characters and then add text saying, “When I tell my husband we have errands to run.”
Trending Music in April
Jay Z – Young Forever
If you’ve ever wondered how you will look when you’re older, you might be able to tell now…
Many users have been posting photos of their aged selves with a Faceapp filter that’s pretty convincing. They post these photos with Jay-Z’s “Young Forever” playing – a remix of Alphaville’s 1984 classic “Forever Young”.
Post Malone – Chemical
Fresh off his redesign of a Raising Canes restaurant, Post Malone dropped a new single “Chemical”.
Gen Z carries TikTok so since Gen Z loves Post, we can expect this song to be trending for quite some time.
Tyler the Creator – CMIYGL (The Estate Sale)
The musician, designer, and actor released a deluxe version of his 2021 album Call Me If You Get Lost this month, with tons of new songs he recorded around that same time.
The album was huge on TikTok when it was released 2 years ago, and the deluxe version has caused a resurgence in popularity.
If you’re someone who likes staying in the know on trends like memes and music in the social media space, you can stay in the know by subscribing to Storyy’s Trend Report.
Storyy is my video editing team and they did all the research for this post. They know their stuff!
If you want weekly emails from a team that will keep you up to date on all the latest social media trends, getting on the Trend Report is the way to go.
Meta & Instagram News
Let’s talk about the recent Instagram updates.
New Analytics for Reels & Updated Creation Flow
Instagram has announced a slew of new updates for Reels which are designed to help Reels creators tap into the latest trends and shifts, in order to maximize viewer engagement and build a community around their content.
What are these new features?
- Reels Trends
- Improved Editing
- New Insights and analytics
Now, you can go into your professional dashboard, scroll down and you’ll see Reels Trends.
This is a list of trending songs and hashtags that are currently revolving around Reels.
They’re also releasing new editing capabilities within the Reels app. Users will now be able to edit audio and visuals separately.
I’m a little bummed that I don’t yet have access to play around with this feature, but it looks really cool and similar to other third-party editing apps like CapCut, InShot or Videoleap.
Finally, Reels released all new insights we’ve all been asking for, which will tell you your Reels average view time or total watch time.
This will tell you how long people view your videos for and the average length of time people view your videos to tell you when people are dropping off so you can improve your future videos.
It’s definitely an analytic we’ve needed.
5 Links in Your Bio
Instagram has launched one of its most requested feature updates, giving users the ability to add up to five links in their Instagram bio, expanding on its capacity to drive traffic.
As per Instagram, they said:
“Starting today, the update will make it easier for creators and other users to highlight their passions, bring awareness to causes they care about, promote brands they love, showcase their personal business, and more.”
Your Instagram bio will now display how many links you have available, via profile linking. When tapped, users will then get a Linktree-like overview of the various link options that you’ve enabled.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about this. I already have my Stan Store built out and I’m a huge fan of it.
I don’t really think the way Instagram designed the 5 links is really eye-catching for me, so I’m not a huge fan. But for those who don’t have a Linktree built out, it’s a great tool to start using.
TikTok launched a new push for in-stream shopping.
TikTok really wants to make in-stream shopping a thing, following the success of its shopping initiatives in China, which have become the key revenue driver for local versions of the app.
The Chinese live-streaming economy increased 320% in eCommerce sales last year and is projected to be worth more than $500 billion in 2023, which would equate to around half of all US eCommerce activity.
These are the types of figures that have sparked massive interest in in-stream shopping in virtually every social media app over the past two years. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest – almost every app is trying out some form of in-stream shopping, which may be viewed as a key bridge to the next stage of online spending.
And while Western audiences have yet to warm up to TikTok shopping, the platform’s not giving up just yet. They launched a new push with a range of sellers designed to boost shopping in the app.
Plus, TikTok’s recently seen big success in boosting its new app Lemon8 in several markets by enlisting TikTok influencers to promote the more product-focused platform.
Lemon8 was downloaded over 650,000 times in the US over the last week and a half, which saw it reach the top 10 in the ‘Lifestyle’ category. That alone shows the level of influence that TikTok can have on interest and usage trends, which bodes well for this new shopping push in the app.
Twitter Removes Legacy Verification Checkmarks
Twitter’s recent move to remove previously verified check marks has caused controversy among users. The platform’s owner, Elon Musk, has followed through on his threat to remove all of the 400,000 previously verified checkmarks allocated in the app before the arrival of Twitter Blue.
This means that after this move, the only checkmarks displayed on user profiles will be from paying users.
However, there are exceptions to this rule.
Gold checkmarks for brands have been gifted to the top 500 advertisers and top 10,000 most-followed organizations in the app, as a means to boost broader take-up for Twitter’s business verification program.
This move has created problems as the perceived value of the blue tick in the app has been eroded. Selling the blue tick to anyone who can pay for it has rendered it meaningless. Some users now view it as a negative marker, especially as the older blue ticks have been taken away.
Many people don’t want to be associated with Elon’s new non-verification verification process.
Things aren’t looking great for Twitter this month, with news of Microsoft dropping the blue bird from its social media management platform, as well as reports of hate speech rising on the app.
This brings me to…
Twitter Removes Restrictions on Chinese and Russian State Accounts
Elon Musk has continued his push to enable more free and open speech on Twitter, this time by removing restrictions on Russian Government affiliated accounts, which previous Twitter management had implemented at the beginning of the Ukraine invasion.
In February last year, after Russia’s initial acts of aggression in the region, Twitter announced that it would be adding labels to Tweets that share links to Russian state-affiliated media websites, while also reducing the circulation of this content by removing it from recommendations, downranking it in the algorithm, and more.
Now, Twitter has rolled back all of these restrictions, with Musk stating that people should be able to judge all the information for themselves.
The update aligns with Musk’s broader push for free speech, which has also included the removal of similar restrictions on Chinese state media accounts.
Creator Subscription Program
Twitter is trying to make its platform more appealing to creators by re-launching its creator subscription program, which will provide a means for users to monetize their tweets, and build a business on the app.
The new ‘Subscriptions’ program is a re-naming of its ‘Super Follows’ initiative, for which Twitter is also reducing the entry requirements. This will enable more users to sign-up and begin making money for their content.
Like Super Follows, the program will allow Twitter users to charge subscribers for exclusive tweets, subscriber-only Spaces, special badges on their tweets to display their affiliation, and a Subscriber-only tweets tab on creator profiles,
In the first iteration of Super Follows, users needed to have at least 10,000 followers to qualify, but now, Twitter reduced that to 500. Still, different elements of its documentation still refer to the 10,000 limit.
Creators also have to have tweeted 25 times in the preceding 30 days and be over 18. Currently, US users are the only ones able to monetize via the program (though users around the world can sign on to be a subscriber).
Creators will have the option to charge $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99 per month for access to their exclusive elements, with all of the revenue being passed on to creators for the first year.
Personally, I think Twitter’s Super-Follows program is the coolest (if not, only cool) thing they’re implementing. I’m excited to see what comes of it, how it grows and how users make the most of it.
YouTube’s announced some new updates for Shorts across both Android and iOS devices.
Thumbnails for Shorts
First off, Shorts creators on iOS can now also select a specific frame to act as the thumbnail for their Shorts clip.
YouTube added this capacity for Shorts creators on Android earlier in the year, and now iOS users can also customize their Shorts thumbnail display.
It’s a bit weird since when Shorts was first implemented on mobile, you were able to add a thumbnail anywhere. Then they removed it, gave it to only Android, and now iOS users have access, but desktop doesn’t.
Not sure what’s going on there, but I’m sure they have a plan… even if we don’t understand it.
YouTube will also now enable creators on Android to reply to a comment with a Short.
That same functionality has been available for iOS users since February – but finally releasing to Android, brings each platform into alignment.
YouTube’s also expanding its image poll character limit from 14 characters to 36. This provides more capacity to generate engagement with visual polls, while also updating its permissions in YouTube Studio, which enables channel managers to better assign different duties.
These are relatively minor updates, but if anything, I love that. It shows how consistent and stable YouTube is as a platform and that they don’t have to be changing every two seconds.
That’s it for April
What news stuck out to you? What are YOUR thoughts?
Let me know in the comments below, and as always, let’s keep it a respectful place because everyone is entitled to their opinions.
And don’t forget to sign up for the weekly Trend Report for weekly trend updates if my monthly posts aren’t enough for you!
Follow your joy!