Social Shorts: TikTok for Business, Instagram Reels, Audio Tweets

TikTok’s new advertiser hub

TikTok debuted its new studio hub for brands and agencies Thursday. TikTok for Business is available globally across the app’s 20-odd markets and will host services and ad formats for advertisers. It also debuted Brand Scan, an AR ad format, with tech partners Bare Tree Media, Subvrsive and Tommy. 

Why we care. TikTok for Business is further evidence that as its audience grows, the company is focused on building up its ad business.

Instagram “Reels” now in 3 countries

After launching in Brazil last November, Instagram is extending its TikTok-like short-form video product “Reels” to France and Germany, TechCrunch reported. With this roll out, Instagram added the ability for users to share Reels to their Feeds instead of just limiting them to Stories. Reels is also more prominent in the app with dedicated space on users’ Profile and in Explore.

Why we care. If there’s one thing Facebook doesn’t like — and has no shame in copying — it’s upstart threats. Like TikTok, Reels give users all kinds of editing tools for their videos, which are limited to 15-seconds. Will it be the creator lure from TikTok that Facebook’s been striving for?

Instagram Shopping opening to creators

Instagram is expanding access to Instagram Shopping to more types of businesses. That includes content creators, who will be able to sell merchandise on directly on Instagram. With this change come updates to the Commerce Eligibility Requirements. Businesses must tag products on Instagram from their own websites “so that people have a consistent and trusted shopping experience.” The change goes into effect July 9.

Why we care. Commerce is a key focus for Instagram (and parent Facebook). This move brings creators and more small businesses into the Shopping fold. YouTube already enables creators to sell merchandise on the platform.

TikTok’s algo doesn’t care about your followers

While a video is likely to receive more views if posted by an account that has more followers, by virtue of that account having built up a larger follower base, neither follower count nor whether the account has had previous high-performing videos are direct factors in the recommendation system,” TikTok explained in a post about how its recommendation algorithm works.

Why we care. One of the big reasons TikTok’s #ForYou page feels like a regular shot of serendipity is because of what it doesn’t take into account. Unlike Instagram and other social media networks, videos from “no-names” can go viral in a heartbeat on TikTok because follower count and past performance aren’t signals the algorithm uses. That means there’s a lot more opportunity for discovery — and for anyone, including brands, to strike #ForYou gold. 

TikTok’s moves into YouTube territory: Education content

TikTok videos tagged with #LearnOnTikTok have already amassed nearly 8 billion (with a “b”) views. And it’s thinking bigger. Much bigger. TikTok is paying universities, charities and others to create professional educational videos for the platform, the BBC reported.

“Going forward, LearnOnTikTok is about us investing in partners and content creators with a breadth of professional content,” TikTok’s general manager for Europe told the BBC.

Why we care. The potential for what’s being dubbed “micro-learning” is huge. It also crowds in on the how-to genre that’s become a YouTube staple. 

Take a video from Tastemade on “How to cut an onion like a chef.” The TikTok version has been up for about a month and garnered more than 20 million views, 3.6 million likes, 12.1 million comments and nearly 50 thousand shares. The stats on the YouTube version of that video, which has been up for more than a year: 19 thousand views, 595 thumbs up and 34 comments.

You can hear me now: Audio Tweets arrive

Twitter debuted voice Tweets on iOS yesterday. It’s a test and available to a limited group of users now, but the company says it will be available to everyone on iOS in the coming weeks.

“There’s a lot that can be left unsaid or uninterpreted using text, so we hope voice Tweeting will create a more human experience for listeners and storytellers alike,” Twitter said. Voice tweets can be up to 140 seconds long, but if you go over the time limit, a new voice tweet starts automatically in a thread.

Why we care. This brings yet another media dimension to Twitter. Sure, we could see a bunch of people yelling back and forth at each other, but we can also see the possibilities for users — and brand voices — to engage people in new ways.


About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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