Instagram is finally making it easy for many users to schedule posts or reels up to 75 days in advance without the use of third-party tools or services.

In the past, the only official solution to scheduling when content goes live on the platform was through the desktop tool Meta Business Suite. 

Now, many users and almost all brands will be able to schedule content drops up to 75 days ahead of time directly from the iOS or Android Instagram apps. The only catch is that users must have a professional account which is free for brands or professionals on the app.

How To Schedule Posts on Instagram

Professional accounts can now schedule posts containing the most popular types of content on Instagram including:

  • Single Pictures
  • Image Carousels
  • Videos
  • Reels

Currently, the feature allows users to schedule these posts up to 75 days before they are to go live. 

To do this, open the Instagram post composer and tap “Advanced settings” to find the option to “Schedule this post.”

From there, you can select the exact time and date you want the content to be published. 

This will let you get the most impact out of content releases by getting in front of your audience when they are most receptive. You can also use this to synergize content releases with the content being published on other platforms or product releases to amplify your content’s influence. 

For more, check out the announcement from Instagram here.

TikTok is once again facing a potential ban in the United States after FCC commissioner Brendan Carr raised dire concerns about the app’s risk to national security. 

This is the second time the company has come under fire by US government officials. During Donald Trump’s presidency, the company was threatened with a ban until one was rejected in federal court. 

The issue now is the same as it was then – TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company. As TikTok continues to become massively popular in the US, some worry there’s an unprecedented risk for the app to funnel data on US citizens to China. Others have suggested the prominence of the app and its current influence on American culture creates a risk for propaganda to influence American citizens.

Is TikTok Getting Banned?

The short answer, for now, is that TikTok is not getting officially banned in the US.

No formal actions have been taken, and the Federal Communications Commission does not have the authority to directly regulate or ban the company. However, the FCC has a significant influence on those that do – Congress. 

For example, it was Carr’s recommendations that largely led to the Chinese company Huawei being banned by Congress. 

What Has Carr Said?

The latest concerns over a ban were sparked by comments made by FCC commissioner Brendan Carr during an interview with Axios

When asked about his view on TikTok and its potential security risks, Carr plainly stated “I don’t think there is a path forward for anything other than a ban.”

Furthermore, the commissioner showed little hope that the company may come to an agreement with the US government that would allow it to remain operating in the country:

“Perhaps the deal CFIUS ends up cutting is an amazing, airtight deal, but at this point I have a very, very difficult time looking at TikTok’s conduct thinking we’re going to cut a technical construct that they’re not going to find a way around.”

How Is TikTok Responding?

For now, the company seems to be confident that they will reach a deal to continue operating and downplayed Carr’s role in any discussions about the issue. As a representative from TikTok told CNN:

“Commissioner Carr has no role in or direct knowledge of the confidential discussions with the US government related to TikTok and is not in a position to discuss what those negotiations entail. We are confident that we are on a path to reaching an agreement with the US government that will satisfy all reasonable national security concerns.”

As such, it is safe to assume that TikTok will remain in the US for at least the short-term future. How long it can withstand the growing concerns remains to be seen, though.

Meta is introducing a slew of updates to Facebook Groups as part of the Facebook Communities Summit, including new ways to share content, new admin controls, and more.

Groups have been a core part of Facebook for years, bringing users together around a central theme. Meta says that most Facebook users are a part of at least 15 active groups, with over 100 million group joins each day. For brands, Groups have also provided a space to become recognized as an industry authority and to build relationships with potential customers. 

The new updates announced for the Communities Summit are:

  • Reels in Facebook Groups
  • Share Facebook Group events in Instagram Stories
  • Customize Facebook Group Profiles
  • New ways to recognize Facebook Group community members
  • Updates to the Admin Assist tool
  • Ways for Group Admin to allow content normally flagged by Facebook

Reels In Facebook Groups

The social network has been making Reels more prominent over the past few months, so it was only a matter of time before the short videos made their way into Groups.

In the past, users could only post Reels to Groups using a workaround that included publicly posting the Reel and sharing that post to a Group.

Now, Group members can directly post their Reel to a Group without sacrificing the privacy of closed communities.

Share Group Events To Instagram Stories

Public events can now be promoted in Instagram Stories, making it easier to grow communities and attract non-group members to upcoming gatherings. As the announcement reads:

“Whether you’re a group admin hosting a meet-up to celebrate a community milestone, or a Group member sharing your passion with friends, this feature can help you showcase your community more broadly.”

Customize Facebook Group Profiles

To keep Group members up-to-date and build better connections, Meta is adding two new ways to customize your Group profiles.

Firstly, Groups can now customize the information in the About Me section of their profile to highlight important information for the community. 

Additionally, admins and members can now add indicators to their profiles showing whether they’re open to messages from other group members.

Recognize Top Group Members

Facebook Groups are testing a new way to highlight members who are contributing the most to the community. As Meta describes, the new system allows users to earn points through reactions and comments on posts. Users with the most points can then be given badges celebrating their contribution to the group.

Users can also take on a new role within Facebook Groups as a “socializer” or group member who goes out of their way to make others feel welcome, connected, and motivated to participate in the community.

Updates To Admin Assist Tools

The existing tools for admin are being expanded with new moderation options and ways to take action on content posted to the group.

With the new tools, the admin can automatically move or remove posts rated as false by third-party fact-checkers. Along with this, group admin can use the Daily Digest to easily review the latest actions taken in the community. 

Approve Content Flagged By Facebook

Facebook is working with group admins to give group leaders ways to approve non-offensive content which may otherwise be flagged and removed by Facebook’s automated systems. 

In the announcement, Meta gives the example of a group for fish tank enthusiasts. Within these communities, it may be common to call a fish “fatty” in a way that is not intended to be offensive. Previously, Facebook’s tools would flag this content despite the clear context and intent.

The new feature is being granted to eligible groups based on a variety of criteria. For example, the announcement notes that a group may not be eligible if the admin were previously part of a removed group.

For more about these features and all the latest info about Facebook Groups, check out the full announcement here.

Though TikTok is mostly known for its video content, the platform’s latest feature is a throwback. Along with new editing abilities and longer captions for content, TikTok has revealed it is introducing a Photo Mode within its app.

What Is Photo Mode?

As announced in a recent blog post, TikTok’s Photo Mode is a new post format that creates a carousel or slideshow of still images for users to share.

Along with their original images, users can add music, filters, stickers, and more to the carousel.

Ironically, the new post format is very similar to the type of content found on Instagram – which has been repeatedly accused of copying TikTok’s features.

Though nearly every popular social network has incorporated aspects of TikTok’s layout and features in the past year or two, Instagram has received the most criticism for the ways it has borrowed from the newer platform. This may be partially because many view the two platforms as rivals.

Enhanced Editing Features

Along with the reveal of Photo Mode, TikTok introduced new editing tools for videos, photos, and more. 

As the blog post says:

“TikTok’s enhanced editing tools allow you to easily adjust clips, sounds, images, and text in a new editing environment, all within TikTok’s creation flow.”

With the new tools you can:

  • Edit clips: Stack, trim, and split video clips.
  • Edit sounds: Cut, trim, and set the duration for sounds.
  • Edit and position text: More easily edit, position, and set the duration for text.
  • Add overlays: Add photo and video overlays for picture-in-picture (or video-in-video) stacking.
  • Adjust video speed: Speed or slow the pace of video clips.
  • Frame content: Rotate or zoom in and out of frame of individual clips.
  • Add sound effects.

The new features, including Photo Mode, have been rolled out to all users in the U.S. and most other countries.

Facebook rolled out a new version of Pages specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses to grow their brand and connect with customers and other companies.

The new Pages layout is broadly similar to what you are used to, but a little more streamlined to make managing your brand’s Page easier than ever.

Specifically, the new layout makes it easier to swap between your personal and business accounts, introduces a Professional Dashboard to control all your Pages activities in one place, and gives you access to a unique dedicated Feed to interact with your audience.

With the new layout, Page managers can easily swap between accounts by tapping or holding down on the top right menu icon.

Along with the new layout, Facebook offered five tips for getting the most out of the new page experience for your business.

1 Set your business profile up for success.

Complete your basic business profile: Add a profile picture and cover photo, description of your business, contact details like your website, phone number, address and business hours so that people can discover and learn about your business.

Customize your page: Add an action button to direct people to take an action from your page, such as Call Now, Send WhatsApp message, Buy Now and many more. Pin posts, shops and upcoming events to a new Featured section to highlight important information at the top of your page and in a simple way for people to scroll through.

Assign Facebook admins: Assign admins to help you manage your Page. Use the Page Access tab in the Professional Dashboard to control who can access and manage your Page. You can give access for only certain tasks, such as Advertising or Messaging.

2 Grow your audience.

Invite your family, friends and existing customers to like your page using the Invite Friends feature. Inviting friends, posting more often, getting page likes and responding to comments can all help grow connections.

Understand your weekly follower growth, get information about your followers, such as age and location, and track how your posts are doing with a simplified Insights tab in your Professional Dashboard.

Turn your top-performing posts into ads to show your content to more people by Boosting your post. Your ad may appear in different placements, such as Instagram.

3 Create better content.

Schedule your posts directly from the composer to publish at a later time, such as when your followers are most active.

Use trending hashtags to get your content discovered by a new and relevant audience. You can also share posts in up to 3 groups and link your Instagram to cross-share to your followers on Instagram.

Add the Get Message action button directly in your post to help get more messages from people who view your content.

4 Engage your community as a business.

Your business page now has its own Feed, which enables you to more easily engage with people, customers and other businesses on Facebook.

Join in on the conversation in the comments section of your own posts to delight and engage your audience. The posts that you engage with may also be shown again in your followers’ Feeds, which can further increase your reach. You can also engage with content from other pages’ accounts. Comment on posts as your Page to help build connections.

5 Account safety and security tips

There are a few safety checks you can do to help make sure your account is set up for success. Here is a quick refresher:

Set up 2-Factor authentication: Turn on 2-factor authentication and add an extra layer of security for your account. On Facebook, go to the 3 lines in the bottom right, tap Settings & Privacy on the bottom, then tap Privacy Shortcuts, then tap Use2-factor authentication. On Instagram, go to settings, tap Security, then tap 2-Factor Authentication..

Use comment moderation tools: Foster positive conversations and have more control over unwanted interactions with Facebook’s comment moderation tools.

Moderation Assist: Proactively moderate new comments on your posts by criteria you set in advance.

Choose who can comment: Limit who can comment on your organic public posts, from Profiles and Pages you follow to Profiles and Pages you mention.

Action on hacked accounts: If you think your account has been hacked or taken over, there are actions you can take to secure your account. Learn more about how to take action on Facebook on Facebook.

For more about the new Pages experience, check out the full announcement or Help Center page.

LinkedIn introduced three new features for Pages recently to make it easier for brands to develop better connections with their audience.

With these new features, your business can improve its content, help guide the conversation in your comments, and highlight your company values more prominently.

While the company only recently announced these features, they have been rolling out to users throughout the past month. So some may just now be getting access, you may have spotted them across the platform already.

Post Templates for Pages

Having trouble generating content that actually sparks reactions and conversation? LinkedIn has introduced new, free, and customizable post templates for Pages to make sharing enticing content easier than ever.

Available in the mobile app, simply tap the “use template option” from the post menu and select from a variety of pre-created templates with clickable calls-to-action. Once selected, each template can be customized with unique colors, fonts, text, and more to deliver a post that stands out and drives conversation.

Pinned Comments

Comments sections on popular posts can be hard to control, but LinkedIn is making it easier to guide conversations with pinned comments at the top of your brand’s posts.

You can also use this to highlight particularly helpful or thoughtful comments from others.

Pinned comments can be changed at any time so you can shape the conversation happening in real-time. 

Any responses to the pinned comment will also appear at the top of the thread, encouraging others to continue the conversation in that direction.

Featured Commitments Section

The new “Our featured commitments” section of LinkedIn Pages makes it possible for brands to showcase their company values to job seekers or potential business partners.

In this section, you can highlight up to 5 commitments to specific values, including:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Career growth and learning,
  • Work-life balance
  • Social impact
  • Environmental sustainability

Once you have selected your values, you can also host content that specifically demonstrates the ways your company upholds these values, such as videos, reports, certifications, or other types of content.

Creators on TikTok are receiving way more space to describe their content and optimize it for the platform’s search engine. Over the weekend, many users started to notice that the limit for descriptions has increased from just 300 characters to over 2,000 characters.

The increase doesn’t just give creators more space to explain their video or page. Longer descriptions will also make it easier for TikTok to understand the content better, better include it in search results, and make more informed recommendations for users.

When you consider the impact these descriptions will have across the platform, it becomes clear that content descriptions are becoming a powerful optimization signal for those wanting to stand out on the increasingly competitive app.

How We Learned About Expanded Video Descriptions

It is unclear exactly when the feature started rolling out, but social media analyst Matt Navarra called attention to it Friday with a screenshot of a notification he received in TikTok’s app.

The full message says:

“You can now type up to 2200 characters in your posts’ descriptions: This allows you to express more details about your creations, describing what your videos show, giving you the opportunity to get closer to your audience, generating more engagement while becoming more searchable and better recommended by TikTok to viewers.”

TikTok is Becoming a Search Engine

If you haven’t spent much time on TikTok, it may come as a bit of a shock to learn that young people are increasingly using the platform as an alternative to Google’s search engine.

The phenomenon is so widespread, that Google has publicly addressed the shift, with Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan stating:

“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”

The longer descriptions signify that TikTok is also fully aware of this phenomenon and is prioritizing ways to improve its search results. For example, creators now have more flexibility to describe what happens in a video, include keywords that will help their videos be found by the right people, and provide links to a professional website or other social accounts.

Plus, longer video descriptions will even improve your TikTok content’s chance of being found on Google since the search engine has confirmed it indexes TikTok videos.

TikTok continues to gain more interest from brands – especially ecommerce brands – as it proves that the social app is here to stay. New data collected from over 5,000 stores shows that ecommerce brands spent 60% more to advertise on TikTok in Q2 of 2022. Even more, analysts believe the trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

This information comes from Triple Whale ecommerce analytics, which gathered the data from all the stores using their tools to estimate the overall growth of ecommerce ad spend on the increasingly popular social video app.

“It’s time to get on TikTok while the needle’s still moving in the upward direction, or before users are completely inundated with ads from new brands,” advises Triple Whale. TikTok “is no longer a channel serious paid media buyers can avoid without cutting into revenue and profit.”

Other Findings About Ecommerce Q2 TikTok Ad Spend

Notably, the most significant increases don’t come from major brands. Smaller retailers with annual sales between $1 million and-$5 million are instead leading the charge.

Along with these findings, the report also included a few other interesting facts:

  • Overall ad spend across the 5,000 online retailers rose by 11% in Q2 to a total of $529.7 million
  • Retailers with revenues between $1 million and $5 million are contributing to the biggest increases in ad spend
  • In the first two quarters of this year, retailers spent a total of $48.4 million on TikTok ads – which was a 231% increase over the previous 6 months
  • CPMs vary by industry. Baby, books and collectibles niches have a CPM below $10, while health & beauty & digital products are over $14 CPM
  • Stores with over $25 million in sales have the highest average order values and ROI

How TikTok Compares To The Competition

While TikTok is showing impressive growth in popularity among online retailers, it still trails Facebook and Google by a significant amount. Specifically:

  • Despite only growing 5.6% from Q1, Facebook remains the leading ecommerce choice for advertisers by a wide margin
  • Google grew 20.5% in Q2
  • Snap declined 10.8% in Q2

If you’ve been writing off TikTok as just another social network that will be here today and gone tomorrow, it is likely time to reconsider. The platform seems to be cementing its place among users and winning over brands through increased ad revenue.

Twitter has revealed several long-awaited features this week, including new ways to filter the content on your timeline, the ability to limit who can see your tweets to a specific group, and even the ability to edit tweets.

Let’s explore what each feature does in detail and when you might see it in your feed below:

Topic-Focused Timelines

Twitter is publicly testing new timeline options for users which will gather content related to recent events or themes. 

Though the feature was previewed earlier this year, users finally saw the first example of one of these topic-focused timelines on August 24th around the airing of ABC’s “The Bachelorette”

While some are calling these “custom timelines”, these topic-focused timelines will be generated via Twitter’s content algorithms using a combination of search terms, usernames, topics, and manual curation. 

Twitter Circles

The social network is introducing a new way to limit who can see specific tweets.

Twitter Circles allow you to select a number of specific users who will be able to see specific tweets that other users cannot. 

The most obvious use of this feature will be letting public figures publish more casual or personal tweets to their close friends while still maintaining a professional appearance for most users. 

Additionally, brands might use Twitter Circles to give access to an exclusive group of up to 150 followers – potentially delivering exclusive promotions or product sneak peeks. 

Edit Published Tweets

After years of requests from users, Twitter has confirmed it is finally testing an edit feature that would let users change the contents of their tweets for up to 30 minutes after posting. 

The company announced the test via a tweet, though a since-published blog post provided more details about how the feature will work and who will have access.

As the blog post says:

“We’re hoping that, with the availability of Edit Tweet, tweeting will feel more approachable and less stressful,” Twitter said in the blog post. “You should be able to participate in the conversation in a way that makes sense to you, and we’ll keep working on ways that make it feel effortless to do just that.”

Once edited, tweets will also include a timestamp, icon, and label indicating it has been updated.

While the feature is hotly anticipated, users may be disappointed to hear that the edit button will be limited to paying Twitter Blue subscribers – at least initially. 

The company says its next stage of testing will give early access to subscribers so that Twitter can monitor how the edit feature is used by the public.

Anecdotal evidence has suggested Facebook has been losing popularity with teens for years. Now, research from Pew Research Center confirms it.

Based on a survey of American teenagers between 13 and 17, just 32% of teens are using Facebook.  For comparison, a similar survey in 2015 showed that 71% of teens were active on Facebook at the time. Meanwhile, the majority of teens are moving to newer platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat.

However, the most universally popular social network among teens remains YouTube, by a wide margin. Based on the survey results, more than 95% of American teens use the video-sharing platform regularly,

Here’s the full list of most popular social networks among US teens:

  1. YouTube (95%)
  2. TikTok (67%)
  3. Instagram (62%)
  4. Snapchat (59%)
  5. Facebook (32%)
  6. Twitter (23%)
  7. Twitch (20%)
  8. WhatsApp (17%)
  9. Reddit (14%)
  10. Tumblr (5%)

Notably, the report indicates there are some slight differences in social media between genders:

“Teen girls are more likely than teen boys to say they ever use TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, while boys are more likely to use Twitch and Reddit. Boys also report using YouTube at higher rates than girls, although the vast majority of teens use this platform regardless of gender.”

How Often Teens Are Using Social Networks

When the survey asked teens about how regularly they use the top four platforms, here’s what they had to say:

  • Close to 75% of teens visit YouTube at least once a day, with 43% saying they visit several times daily.
  • TikTok is used daily by 58% of teens, with 32% visiting several times daily.
  • More than half (51%) visit Snapchat daily, and 29% say they visit several times daily.
  • 50%  visit Instagram daily, including 27% who visit several times daily.

Additionally, the report revealed that many teens feel attached to social media with over half (54%) saying it would be difficult to give up social media. At the same time, just 36% of teens are concerned they spend too much time on social media.

For more findings, read the full report from the Pew Research Center here.