From the development of platforms to the implementation of innovative features, the growth of social media is never-ending.

To help you keep up to date this autumn, we have put together a list of what’s going on in the world of social media this season.

Twitter Launches Test of “Communities”

As part of its mission to increase platform usage and engagement, Twitter has announced a live test of its new ‘Communities’ option.

The new feature will enable users to share tweets with selected groups of users within the app, rather than publicly sharing all of their tweets with all of their followers, all of the time.

Instagram Requires Date of Birth to Sign Up

As part of their efforts to better protect younger users (in line with upcoming changes to regulations), Instagram will now be asking all users who’ve not previously entered their date of birth to do so in the app.

Although many are unsure of the difference they will make as the prompts can be easily fooled by entering a false birthday. With this in mind, the platform is thinking of ways to combat this too.

According to an Instagram representative: “As we shared recently, we’re using artificial intelligence to estimate how old people are based on things like “Happy Birthday” posts. In the future, if someone tells us they’re above a certain age, and our technology tells us otherwise, we’ll show them a menu of options to verify their age. This work is still in the early stages, and we look forward to sharing more soon.”

Twitter Launches Test of Full-Width Images and Videos

After a couple of months of testing it internally, Twitter has now launched a live test of its new, full-width display of images and videos in-stream on IOS devices.

The feature will see images, GIFs and videos in tweets take up more of the tweet space, as well as removing the rounded corners of the current display format.

Facebook Publishes New Guide to Testing Ad Creative

The social media giant Facebook has recently published a new guidebook to “Creative Prototyping”, providing a variety of help to guide advertisers in testing and optimising their ad creative.

Whilst the guide is aimed at gaming advertisers, there are some really useful tips that can be applied to all Facebook advertising campaigns.

You can download the 29-page guide here.

TikTok Expands Platform Features

It may be the new kid on the social media block, but that doesn’t mean it can’t keep up with the rest of them.

This autumn will see TikTok both add and test new features to the platform including:

  • 5-minute video uploads
  • Shopify Shop tab for approved merchants
  • Boosting organic posts

Snapchat Adds New Birthday Reminder Feature to Boost Engagement

Snapchat has added a new way to remember friends’ birthdays, and share the celebration within the app, with a new ‘Birthdays Mini’ reminder tool.

According to Snapchat, users will be able to: “see a list of upcoming and recent birthdays, as well as birthdays organized by Zodiac Sign. Wish your friends a happy birthday with unique stickers and fun Lenses to commemorate their big day! You can even countdown your own birthday, right down to the second!”.

Twitter Tests New Control Options

This season, Twitter is upping its game across the board - from “Communities” and full-width media to new user controls.

According to Bloomberg, some of the new control options now in testing include:

  • Archiving old tweets
  • Removing individual accounts as followers
  • Removing yourself from a conversation
  • Hiding tweets that you’ve liked

LinkedIn Shuts Down LinkedIn Stories

And just like that, we wave goodbye to LinkedIn Stories. By the end of September 2021, roughly a year since the disappearing video function was introduced to the platform, LinkedIn Stories will no longer be available to the platform’s 700+ million users.

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