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What Happened in Social Media in May?

June 15, 2023

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Twitter gets a new CEO, Meta gets ready to launch a new platform, and TikTok is ready to fight back at the Montana TikTok Ban.

It’s time for your monthly social media news and trend recap! And boy, do I have updates for you!

May has been a busy month! Today, I’m giving you an update on what’s been happening all across the web.

Let’s get into the news!

Twitter’s New CEO

Elon Musk has announced the appointment of Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter, taking over the role after Musk himself promised to step back.

Yaccarino is a longtime media executive and former chairman at NBC Universal. She will be primarily focusing on business operations, while Musk will concentrate on product design and new technology.

Even though Musk is taking a step back as CEO, he will continue to exert significant control over the company. He will be taking on the roles of executive chairman, CTO, and owner.

Yaccarino is somewhat of a monetization queen. She generated $100 billion in ad sales at NBC and established partnerships with major media companies like Apple News, Buzzfeed, Snapchat, and YouTube.

She’s known for her success in creating unified teams and streamlining operations – something I think Twitter could absolutely benefit from.

Meta’s New Social Media App

In Twitter-related news, Meta is looking to launch a new text-based app to compete directly with Twitter. This app is currently codenamed ‘Barcelona.’

The app is intended to be a simplified version of Twitter. with a chat-based feed reflecting the shifting trend of conversations moving to DMs rather than public posts. The app is rumored to create a giant group chat accessible to anyone, similar to Twitter but with a distinct Instagram touch.

Users will be able to sign in with their Instagram credentials and sync their followers. From there, they can post text updates of up to 500 characters and share links, photos and videos up to 5 minutes long. The app will also feature familiar interaction options such as liking, replying and reposting.

It’s also worth noting that this app is said to be built on a decentralized back-end. This would mark the company’s first venture into decentralized networking.

Decentralized social media platform users can create and share any content on the network without moderation. No centralized third-party can censor their expressions and remove or modify their content. The goal here is to create a more user-centric social network experience.

This move allows profiles to be compatible with other decentralized systems. It could be a big player in Web3 and Zuckerberg’s Metaverse plans.

While the app will be similar to Twitter, it could be more than just a competitor. It’s showing Meta’s effort to adapt to evolving trends and experiment with how Web3 and social media could interact.

TikTok Officially Banned in Montana

The biggest story that happened in May is the TikTok ban in Montana.

Yes, On May 17, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed Senate Bill 419, making his state the first in the nation to ban TikTok over concerns related to its Chinese parent company, ByteDance.

Now, TikTok is striking back against the state’s recently passed ban on the popular video app. They filed to legally challenge the ban in US district court.

“We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana,” a TikTok rep said in a statement sent to CNET. “We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts.”

On the other side, Gianforte said in a press release announcing the ban, “The Chinese Communist Party is using TikTok to spy on Americans, violate their privacy, and collect their personal, private, and sensitive information [that’s] well-documented…Today, Montana takes the most decisive action of any state to protect Montanans’ private data and sensitive personal information from being harvested by the Chinese Communist Party.”

VPNs Are Not A Workaround

The ban, effective January 1, 2024, imposes fines of up to $10,000 per day on platforms offering TikTok for download. There will be no penalty for users who access the app.

That means that even if you as a user use a VPN to access the app, that VPN can be fined $10,000 per day for giving you access to the app in Montana. With that being the case, VPNs, App stores and other platforms may still restrict access to TikTok for their own safety.

Believe it or not, 37 of the 50 states in the US have some sort of active ban against TikTok. Most states are banning the app on state-owned and government devices. To see if your state has a ban and read about what that ban is, check out this website.

Memes, Music & Other Trends

The MET Gala

The annual Met Gala took place in early-May and it dominated the interwebs as always.

From the outfits, interviews, and rumors of Anna Wintor’s new relationship with Bill Nighy (no, not the science guy), the night gave us plenty to meme.

With a cockroach being front and center walking the carpet, Jared Letos Cat Costume, and Jack Harlow and Emma Chamberlains’ reunion, the night was full of memorable moments and forever memes.

I’d be surprised if you didn’t see anything from the Met Gala last month.

The Lorax/Let It Grow Dance

If you didn’t have a childhood, The Lorax is a 2012 animated musical film based on Dr. Seuss’ book of the same name.

The film conveys a powerful message, urging viewers to protect and cherish the natural world.

The movie has been gaining a lot of traction on TikTok recently, with people reenacting the dance in the final scene or using clips as meme templates. Either way, the internet is loving The Lorax right now.

At first, I didn’t understand why this trend became so viral. However, as I kept scrolling through seeing everyone’s different versions and dancing, it just got funnier and funnier.

I guess you could say I had to… Let it grow (insert audience laughter here).

Beige Flags

We can all see green flags and red flags in our relationships, but what is a beige flag?

Couples are posting on TikTok about their partners’ “beige flags” which is a semi-odd, interesting quirk that they chose to look over. The flags range from simple to downright hilarious and are usually something silly and harmless.

The trend is simple to join in on. Just record a quick little video of you, your face, just your eyes, whatever, to the sound “Summer Background Jazz”. Type the beige flag on the screen with text.

The sound is only 6 seconds long. As someone reads through your text, it’s easy to let the video repeat, giving you more watch time and views.

This meme has exploded on Tiktok, causing the sound associated with the meme to take the #3 spot on the sounds chart!

More Trends

Clearly, there were way more than these three trends in May. This is just to highlight my biggest and favorite of them. Also, easy ones you can spot and adapt to for your accounts.

If you want more updates (and more timely updates), I highly recommend subscribing to Storyy’s weekly Trend Report.

Every week, you’ll get an email of the latest trends, memes and news going around social media. And knowing and adapting to current trends is a vital aspect when growing, whether it be on TikTok, YouTube or Instagram.

How do I know it’s good information and worth subscribing to? Because Storyy is my video editor and even gave me all the information for this post. So, if you thought this was full of good information, just wait until you get Storyy’s Trend Report.

Updates With Meta & Instagram

For Meta & Instagram, we have three main updates to talk about.

Scheduling Stories With Third-Party Platforms

Social media managers, rejoice! Third-party platforms like Metricool will soon be able to provide Instagram story scheduling.

In case you didn’t know, you can schedule your stories to auto-post for you. You don’t have to be there live, you can plan stories in advance, schedule them to post at a specific date/time and BAM, it’s posted. Story automation. We love it.

Now, Meta is adding the capability to schedule Story posts with third-party schedulers. This is going to make managing content from a single platform so much easier!

Meta’s press release said:

“Stories are now an eligible media type on the Instagram Graph API, giving third-party developers the ability to empower businesses to publish Stories to Instagram for the first time. This adds another media post type to third-party platforms and gives businesses broader access to a highly requested feature that is integral to the Instagram experience for businesses, creators, publishers, and users.”

Now, this is something! I feel like this helps take the pressure off Content Creators and Influencers of “having to show up every day”.

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but… good job Instagram!

Meta Expands Reels Monetization

We all know there’s no shortage of opportunities to make money on Instagram. But that’s not stopping them.

Meta is updating its monetization program for Reels creators, which will now see creators paid based on the performance of their content, as opposed to the ads shown alongside their clips.

Earlier this year, Instagram stopped its Reels Bonus payment program and has been experimenting with its Reels ads program, which it first launched last year.

This feature will expand to thousands more users, as Meta continues to develop new models ensuring payment for its top stars. This will ideally keep them posting their Reels content to its apps.

This seems to follow the same type of approach as YouTube in paying creators from a pool of Reels ad revenue, as opposed to monetizing based on the specific campaigns displayed.

Expanding new monetization opportunities is of course something I’m all for, as I’m sure you are too.

Broadcast Channels

Instagram’s also adding a new element to its Broadcast Channels feature.

This new feature will now enable channel hosts to invite other participants as guests to join their chat channel for a conversation.

The new guest’s option will enable chat managers to add another voice to the chat, which will then see the subsequent conversation shared with all channel subscribers.

This brings more ways to invite collaboration across the platform, which isn’t a bad thing.

Updates With TikTok

Obviously, this is news outside of the ban. Let’s focus on the good right now!

TikTok for Independent Musicians

If you’re a musician trying to make it on Tiktok, you’ll want to hear this!

TikTok is adding more support for musicians in the app via a new Artist Impact Program. This program will help lesser-known artists add their music to TikTok’s Commercial Music Library for consideration in ad campaigns.

That could help more musicians get recognized via ad campaigns, while also giving advertisers access to unknown tracks to help their branding efforts.

As this rolls out, I’m curious to see if the artists will get some kickback. At some point, perhaps artists will be able to generate income from businesses using their music.

I guess for now, we’ll have to wait and see.

New In-App Prompts

TikTok is building on its business discovery potential by prompting users to add a location and share their experiences with brick-and-mortar stores in the app.

TikTok’s now trying to get more users to add a location to their posts by luring them with potentially more reach for their clips if they do. If the location they add is a business, TikTok will prompt users to add in-app reviews.

That could be another step towards building its discovery potential.

40% of young people use TikTok and Instagram to search for restaurants, as opposed to Google. So, this could be a big opportunity for TikTok! I’m calling it “The Keith Lee Effect”!

If you know who Keith Lee is, we can be friends. If you don’t… we can still be friends, just go check him out on TikTok okay!?

Updates With Twitter

Besides getting a new CEO and changing the direction of the company, it’s been a slow month for Twitter.

One update that’s been rumored for a while went live this month: Twitter Blue subscribers (all 650k of them) can now upload videos up to two hours long in the app.

To be quite honest… I don’t use Twitter. I have no idea how to feel about this news. If you’re an active Twitter user, please voice in the comments!

Do we WANT to see longer videos available and posted on Twitter? Is this an update that’s been asked for? 

My first impressions are, do we really need ANOTHER video app competitor? 

Updates With YouTube

YouTube is expanding access to its Community Posts feature, allowing all creators to use the tool to connect to their audience.

In case you don’t know, Community Posts live on your YouTube channel and provide a text-based way to keep your subscribers informed of updates and notes – similar to other social media apps.

The feature was originally only available to channels with over 1,000 subscribers, but now all YouTube channel managers will be able to activate Community Posts via the Advanced Features tab in the app.

Removing Stories

In other news, Youtube is removing its “Stories” feature from the platform.

Originally launched in 2018 in order to latch onto the Stories trend, YouTube Stories aimed to provide a full-screen engagement option and provide more ways for creators to connect.

But it never caught on or saw a full launch to all users. And with Shorts and Community Posts now gaining much more traction, YouTube’s moving on from the Stories format to enhance its focus on community engagement.

Y’all. This is what I love about YouTube.

They launch a feature and test it out. If it doesn’t land with their audience? They remove it so their users can focus on what matters and not have to spread themselves thin trying to utilize a million features! *cough* INSTAGRAM *cough*

That’s it for May

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.

I’ll see you in next month’s New Recap (or if you sign up for the weekly Trend Report, I’ll see you there!).

Follow your joy, bye!

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