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Twitter is saying goodbye to Fleets, its take on the popular Story format across most popular social networks, after launching the feature just nine months ago.

In a recent announcement, the company said it would stop supporting Fleets as of August 3, 2021.

As Twitter explained, it had hoped that Fleets would help drive new engagement and new users. From what they’ve seen, that just wasn’t happening.

The official statement stated:

“We built Fleets as a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts. We hoped Fleets would help more people feel comfortable joining the conversation on Twitter.

“But, in the time since we introduced Fleets to everyone, we haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped.”

That isn’t to say the feature wasn’t being used. Instead, the people who took to using Twitter Fleets were already active and engaged on the platform before the feature was rolled out. 

“Although we built Fleets to address some of the anxieties that hold people back from Tweeting, Fleets are mostly used by people who are already Tweeting to amplify their own Tweets and talk directly with others.

“We’ll explore more ways to address what holds people back from participating on Twitter. And for the people who already are Tweeting, we’re focused on making this better for you.”

It is somewhat surprising to see a company be so candid about an underwhelming launch, though Twitter isn’t treating the shutdown of Fleets as a loss. Instead, they say they will apply what they’ve learned towards future improvements.

What Comes Next

When Fleets are removed from the platform, Twitter will use its current place to highlight live audio streams and chats through Spaces.

“The top of the timeline continues to be a good spot to highlight what’s happening right now so you’ll still see Spaces there when someone you follow is hosting or speaking in a live audio conversation.”

There’s no need to worry about lost content, however, since Fleets were already designed to disappear after 24 hours.

Facebook Groups have been a clever way for entrepreneurs and business leaders to establish themselves as an important figure in both their local community and their national industry. Now, Groups are getting the chance to formally tag those authority figures as the experts they are.

In a new update, Facebook Groups administrators gained the ability to tag specific group members as “subject matter experts.”

This title will come with unique labels when posting or participating in streams or audio chats, as well as a few unique abilities to help generate and lead discussions. 

According to the social network, the new tag is designed to help acknowledge those who regularly share helpful knowledge and provide a bit of clout to those voices. 

“There are more than 70 million admins and moderators running active Facebook groups around the world. Many of these groups are home to subject matter experts who love to share their knowledge, from fitness trainers to highly skilled crafters.

“Now, it’s easier than ever to help experts stand out in groups and offer ways for them to engage with their communities.”

What Comes With Being a Facebook Group Expert?

The most obvious perk of being a Facebook Group Subject Matter Expert is the small badge that displays under your name when posting in that group. 

This will make it easier to spot comments that may have important information among even the biggest comment chains.

Along with this badge, Facebook is also working on a few unique ways for group experts to help generate community discussion, including:

  • Ask Questions: When people write a post that looks like a question in their group, the post will automatically be upgraded to a format that encourages others to share advice, information or perspective. 
  • Create Live Audio Rooms in Groups: A low-pressure way for subject matter experts and communities to get ideas and inspiration from each other through audio-first conversations. Live Audio Rooms are coming to Groups this summer.
  • Host Q&As: A way for people to lead real-time question-and-answer sessions with their communities, in a text-based format. Answered questions are featured in an interactive, swipe-able stack, while all questions may be viewed in the Q&A’s comment section.

How To Designate a Facebook Group Expert

There are two ways for group admins to mark someone as an expert.

The first way is by searching the group member list for an individual by name, then selecting “Make group expert” from the member menu.

The other method is by choosing the option within the drop-down menu on posts or comments.

Note that this role must be accepted by the member in question, and admins can revoke the title at any time.

TikTok announced this week that it is extending the maximum length of videos on its platform, tripling the limit from sixty seconds to three minutes.

The update began rolling out to users over the past few days. As users get access, they will be notified with a notification in the app, as shown below:

As the company says in the announcement:

“There’s so much that can happen in a TikTok minute, from crowdsourced musicals and sea shanty singalongs to feta pasta recipes, roller skating revivals, and more. Now we’re introducing the option for our global community to create longer videos – paving the way for even richer storytelling and entertainment on TikTok.”

Keeping with how videos have always been handled in the app, users can record, edit, and share their videos entirely within TikTok, or choose to upload pre-edited videos.

Is TikTok Challenging YouTube?

For the most part, videos on social media have tended towards short-form clips. From Vines to Snapchat Stories and YouTube Shorts, most platforms have prioritized keeping videos easily consumable while on the go. 

Until now, TikTok has worked within these limits to establish itself as the platform for bite-sized videos. 

This marks the app’s first foray into longer videos, which can demand more attention and focus from users.

The question is whether users will be willing to invest this energy in longer content, though the announcement is optimistic:

“With all the ways our community has redefined expression in under 60 seconds, we’re excited to see how people continue to entertain and inspire with a few more seconds – and a world of creative possibilities.”

Google’s take on the popular Story format hit a big milestone, as the company recently reported more than 100,000 new Google Web Stories are getting added to the search index every day. 

Combined, these daily new stories have helped accumulate more than 20 million Web Stories total since the launch of the content format. 

The report also notes that more than 6,500 new domains have published their first Web Story since October 2020, when Web Stories were launched for Android and iOS devices, as well as being added to Google Discover

This led to a significantly larger reach for Google Web Stories and a significant increase in interest from brands.

“Last October, we created a home for Web Stories in Google Discover so users could find a personalized stream of the best Web Stories from around the internet. The goal with Web Stories is to enable publishers and creators to easily build and take full ownership of their content.”

Unsurprisingly, putting the short video clips front-and-center on Google’s content discovery page has also helped millions of users check out and engage with Web Stories every day.

For those who are still skeptical about Google Web Stories, or those who just want to improve the stories they are putting out, Google compiled data from users to create five suggestions for creating the most engaging and exciting stories for your audience. 

Five Tips For Engaging Google Web Stories

  1. Lifestyle content, complete with inspirational imagery and messages, informative how-to info, or relevant product-partnerships drive the most engagement of any vertical.
  2. Thanks to a diverse array of visually engaging topics and videos, the Arts and Entertainment and Food and Drink verticals consistently get the most impressions.
  3. Users show a clear hunger for new Arts and Entertainment, Celebrity, and Sports/Gaming content. “With new TV, movie, and game releases rolling out all the time, these verticals offer opportunities for growth.”
  4. Though Google has seen successful Web Stories of all sizes, users are typically willing to click through an average of 11-15 pages before ditching a Web Story. 
  5. Users watch an average of 1.7 Stories for every Web Story opened on Google Discover. However, this can vary significantly across industries and demographics. 

For more information about Google Web Stories, check out the latest announcement in this blog post or explore Google’s playbook for creating the most engaging Web Stories here.

Following the massive success of online shopping through Facebook and Instagram, Facebook announced it is bringing Shops to WhatsApp along with a slew of other new e-commerce features.

According to the announcement, nearly 75% of people said they use Facebook-owned social networks to discover brands or products online. 

Even more, some industries have seen wild gains with over 85% of people surveyed saying they had purchased a fashion, beauty, furniture, or electronic product they first found through a Facebook platform. 

Now, the company’s goal is to streamline the process while bringing in new features and expanding shopping capabilities to the often forgotten WhatsApp.

To achieve this goal, the latest updates include:

  • Bringing Shops To More Places
  • Introducing Customer Reviews on Instagram
  • Creating Personalized Shop Ads
  • Opening AR Features To More Brands

Let’s look at each of these a bit more in-depth.

Bringing Shops To More Places

Facebook Shops on WhatsApp and Marketplace

When setting up a Shop, brands have been presented with two options for where their products can appear: Facebook and Instagram. Now, those options are finally getting expanded. 

First, brands in the U.S. will have the option to also showcase their products in Marketplace.

With over one billion people using Marketplace every month, it only makes sense that Facebook would be making it easier to get their products included.

Additionally, businesses in several countries around the world are also getting the ability to put their shop on WhatsApp, the popular Facebook-owned message and phone call app. 

With this, users will be able to browse your entire product catalogue, share products with friends, and ask you questions they might have about your products without leaving the app. 

Best of all, you only have to set up your store once to have it up and running on all three apps. 

Introducing Customer Reviews on Instagram

In the coming months, users will begin getting the ability to rate and review products they’ve purchased in Shops on Instagram. 

Instagram Product Reviews

Similar to most modern online product reviews, users will be able to leave a simple star rating, write a longer in-depth text review, and share pictures of the real-life products with others. 

Brands will also be able to leave responses to address any concerns or manage customer-service opportunities. 

As the announcement says:

“We always want shoppers to feel confident in the purchases they make, so we’re giving people more information before they buy…

“These changes will help people make more informed decisions on what to buy, and will let businesses know if they are meeting customer expectations.”

Creating Personalized Shop Ads

Facebook is introducing a new type of personalized ads for shops which will showcase curated collections to those most likely to purchase. 

Personalized Ads For Product Collections

By comparing past shopping behavior, the platform is attempting to connect users with the products most likely to excite them. 

Facebook says:

“Personalized ads are often the beginning of the shopping journey and businesses want to offer shopping experiences that are seamless and personalized. That’s why we’re introducing Shops ads solutions that provide unique ads experiences based on people’s shopping preferences.”

Opening AR Features To More Brands

Augmented Reality (AR) has been predicted to be a major force in product advertising since the earliest days of the internet, and it is finally making good on that promise. 

Smartphone cameras and increasing processing ability are making it possible for users to virtually “try on” products without having to deal with dirty dressing rooms or pushy attendants. 

The last hurdle is making these tools widely available to brands that don’t have millions to spend on developing AR systems. 

That is exactly what Facebook is hoping to do by developing new APIs that will make it easier for brands to integrate AR into their product catalogues. 

The APIs will begin rolling out to beauty product brands in the near future, with support for other industries coming shortly after. 

Along with these features, the social network says it is testing a new ad format which would use AR technology to allow users to “try on” products from your ads. Though it is only in testing currently, Facebook says it expects to roll out the ads to more brands by the end of the year.

By partnering up with a range of online marketplaces, Instagram is making it easier for brands and creators to establish shops that are directly accessible in the social network, as well as introducing new features for affiliate links and other ways to monetize your social media content.

Facebook and Instagram Emphasize Monetization Tools for Creators

The wave of new and upcoming monetization features and tools come as part of a broader initiative to attract creators and influencers to Facebook and Instagram by offering a broad array of ways to monetize your online presence.

As the announcement says:

“We want Instagram and Facebook to serve as a home base for creators to tell their story, grow and make a living.

“…Today’s updates are a big part of a broader effort to support creators as they build their careers. …we are committed to building the right mix of tools to help them accomplish their goals.”

As such, the new tools and features are designed primarily with social creators in mind. Still, many brands may see opportunities to diversify and monetize their online presence by also taking advantage of the latest Instagram and Facebook features.

Opening a Shop on Instagram Gets Easier

One of the more interesting new features for many smaller businesses and entrepreneurs will be the announcement that the social network is making it easier to launch a shop directly within your Instagram profile. 

By working with an array of merchandising companies, you can now quickly and easily set up and link stores, rather than manually establishing a version of your shop through Instagram.

“For creators who already have their own product lines, they can now link their shop to their personal profile in addition to their business profile.

“Creators will also be able to set up a new shop and drive excitement with exclusive product launches from the Instagram app by linking their account with one of our four merchandise partners: Bravado/UMG, Fanjoy, Represent, and Spring.”

Currently, the tool is limited to creators and brands in the US and may take through the end of the year to fully roll out.

Native Affiliate Links

The announcement also mentions another tidbit which may be attractive to brands with their own partnerships or to entrepreneurs is the testing of a “native affiliate tool” which lets you earn revenue from promoting other brands of products.

The tool streamlines the process of sharing affiliate links entirely within the Instagram app and ensures sponsored content is appropriately tagged for audiences.

“When people come across an affiliate post from a creator featuring a tagged product, they will see “Eligible for commission” at the top of the post, so it’s clear that their purchases help support that creator.”

Though currently limited to a small group of well-known brands and creators, the feature is expected to be more widely available somewhat soon.

“Affiliate will test with a small group of US-based creators and businesses including Benefit, Kopari, MAC, Pat McGrath Labs and Sephora, and will expand to more partners in the future.”


Social networks like Instagram and Facebook have been gradually expanding to include storefronts and marketplaces for some time. With these new features, it is clear they hope to ensure this benefits everyone involved, including the brands and creators helping to promote those products through partnerships.

Since its launch, brands of all sizes have been using Snapchat as a major tool for connecting with younger audiences. Despite this, the platform has been slow to meet brands halfway. 

The social sharing platform has provided very few widely available tools to facilitate branded content, and – until very recently – didn’t even provide specific profiles for brands.

That changed in the past couple of weeks, as Snapchat has finally launched Public Profiles for Businesses. 

What Are Snapchat Public Profiles for Businesses?

Snapchat Public Profiles For Business - City Boutique

Similar to the separate profiles available for creators, Snapchat’s Public Profiles for Businesses provide a place to collect all your content, provide branded media like lenses, connect with your brand directly, and even house an online store full of your products (note: this feature does require directly working with Snapchat to implement in its current form). 

To help craft all this content with your team, Public Profiles are linked to mobile and web management tools via the Business Manager, where you can collaborate, review analytics, and manage your store in one place. 

Best of all, these features are all linked to analytics and insights for your brand to help refine your message and content as you go. 

Snapchat Public Profiles For Business - Universal Pictures

While Public Profiles for Businesses provide a lot of tools for brands, the announcement highlighted these four key features:

  • Public Stories: Share what’s happening in your world, from behind the scenes to daily activities, to drive deeper connections with the Snapchat community. 
  • AR Lenses: Publish Lenses to your Profile to ensure your most immersive AR experiences can be discovered by all Snapchatters and engaged with time and time again. Once linked to the Profile, these Lenses will also be discoverable through both Snapchat Search and Lens Explorer. 
  • Highlights: Permanently showcase your best Public Snaps, Stories, photos, and videos. This is the best way for Snapchatters who aren’t familiar with your brand to get to know more about your business, products, and services. 
  • Native Store: Link your US-based Shopify store on your Profile so Snapchatters can browse, try on, and buy through the “Shop” feature, turning Snapchat into a new point of sale. 

Setting up a Public Profile for your business also makes you eligible to be found through an array of new placements, including in Search, @ mentions, Discover, Lens Explorer, and through Snapchat Ads.

Snapchat Public Profiles For Business - Dior

How To Set Up Your Snapchat Public Business Profile

Setting up a Public Profile for your business is a simple, three-step process:

1) Log-In or Create a Snapchat Business Account

If you have already run ads on Snapchat, you simply need to log in to your Business Manager Account. If not, create an account by using your account sign-in info on the Snapchat Ads Manager. Once signed in, select ‘Public Profiles’.

2) Create Your Profile

On this page, connect your existing username (or establish a new one specifically for your business) and provide any additional business information to help others understand what you do. Click “Update Profile’ when you’re finished to make your account public. 

3) Add Content!

The last step is to start filling up your profile with great content that will excite users and drive engagement, such as sharing Lenses, posting new Stories, and creating Highlights for people to engage with.


Snapchat has been steadily expanding its audience to more than just Gen Z-ers. Now that the platform is also providing more robust tools for brands, there has never been a better time to dip your toes in to see if Snapchat is the best social network for your brand.

New data extracted from the Twitter app gives us the clearest picture so far of what the company’s upcoming subscription service will look like when it reaches the world. 

Rumors have swirled for quite some time that the company was planning to launch a paid service, which was confirmed earlier this year. However, pretty much nothing has been known about what features would be included, it’s pricing, or even the name of the subscription service. 

Information pulled by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong may potentially change that, though. 

In a series of Tweets, Wong revealed the service is tentatively being called “Twitter Blue” and will offer prices starting at $2.99 a month. 

She also revealed the service will include the ability to “undo” sent tweets, manage bookmarked tweets, and access to ad-free news articles. 

All of this information is subject to change until an official announcement is made, but here’s what we know about the paid features currently. 

Undo Sent Tweets

Obviously, it is pretty much impossible to completely remove something from the internet once it’s out there. Still, Twitter wants to give you the next best thing. 

With the undo sent tweets feature, the social network will give users a short chance to rethink what they are about to send out to the world.

When enabled, the feature delays the publishing of your tweet for about 6-seconds after hitting Post. This gives you the extra chance to look over your tweet for any typos or reconsider publishing something incendiary. 

This means literally no one will have the chance to see impulsive, poorly written, or incomplete tweets if you hit undo within the short time window. 

Bookmarks Collections

Twitter Blue seems set to also offer users the ability to organize and manage their Twitter bookmarks into separate folders. 

Currently, bookmarked tweets are all put into a single “Bookmarks” list. This means the feature unfortunately becomes less effective the more you use it, as it gets harder to find what you are looking for in your growing list of saved content. 

With Collections, users will be able to keep their increasing bookmarks collection organized and easy to search through. This also opens the potential to being able to share Collections with others in the future, similar to creating and sharing pinboards on Pinterest. 

Ad-Free News Articles

Following Twitter’s recent acquisition of Scroll, it has been widely assumed the social network planned to integrate the news service into its paid subscriptions. 

Wong’s discoveries confirm this, with ad-free news offered to higher-tier paid users.

The reason for the heightened cost is that Twitter plans to share revenue with publishers on the news platform – making the service a win-win for both readers and publishers alike.


Given where the data was pulled from, it seems likely we are getting close to the official public reveal of Twitter Blue to the world. Until then, however, Wong has given us a glimpse into just what Twitter is planning for its upcoming subscription service.

YouTube is launching a series of new features which aim to make community posts more engaging and give creators data on how their community posts are performing.

Since their creation in 2019, creators have had very little information on how many people are seeing their posts, instead having to rely entirely on likes, dislikes, and comments directly on the posts. 

Along with finally providing analytics data on these posts, YouTube is adding the ability to include more images in community posts, as well as letting iOS users schedule their posts ahead of time. 

Let’s explore all these new updates in more depth:

YouTube Community Posts Get Analytics Data

Creators can finally see data on their community posts directly in YouTube Analytics, after years of waiting. 

Specifically, the analytics suite will start showing information on how many times your posts have been shown and how the content is performing without having to look at individual posts. 

For the moment, these metrics are exclusive to the desktop version of YouTube Analytics, though the company says it will be bringing them to its Studio Mobile app at some point in the future. 

As the video announcing the features explained, the company wants to help creators who have been asking for community post analytics better understand their content’s performance and use this information to help create more engaging posts in the future. 

Add Multiple Images To YouTube Community Posts

Since their launch, YouTube community posts have limited creators to just a single banner image which was used as a thumbnail for each post. Thankfully, that is starting to change.

Creators can now add up to 5 pictures per each community post, allowing you to express yourself more, better engage readers, and create an experience more in-line with other social platforms. 

For example, you can use a post to tease an upcoming project with preview images, show the process behind your videos, or even showcase your experiences interacting with fans or clients directly in your content. 

At launch, this ability will only be available to users on Android devices. Support for iOS and desktop should arrive later this year. 

Schedule Community Posts on iOS

The last update is short and simple, but it has been something Apple device users have been begging for. Creators can now schedule their community posts ahead of time from iOS versions of the YouTube app. 

This feature has been available on desktop and Android for some time, so this means post scheduling is now available to everyone with the ability to create community posts. 

How To Create YouTube Community Posts

If you’re unfamiliar, community posts are a type of social content found in a channel’s “Community” tab which creators can share between or alongside proper video uploads. 

These posts can contain images, videos, text, playlists, GIFs, and even polls – making them a great way to directly connect with your audience. 

The only requirement to be able to create community posts is having 1,000 subscribers on your channel. Once you have hit that benchmark, the process to create a post is simple:

  • Sign in to YouTube
  • Click the “Create” button
  • Click “Create Post”

Though community posts might not be the most visible content on YouTube, they allow a way to directly communicate with your community without having to stream or record a full video on your channel. Additionally, this is where many turn for information about when to expect videos, what you’re cooking up, and find out exactly what your viewers are most interested in.

That makes these new features – all of which are available now to those eligible to share community posts – a valuable tool to build a robust community around your content. 

For more, check out the creator Insider video below:

Facebook is making major changes to its news feeds in a new bid to create a better experience for users in the near future. Before it can do so, though, the company is seeking feedback from users.

As the company recently announced, it is revamping parts of the news feed system to encourage four specific types of user feedback to better understand content. In the future, Facebook intends to use this information to create new ranking signals to directly decide what content users see.

Specifically, the company says it aims to gather answers to these four questions to get better at providing quality content in the future:

Is This Post Inspirational?

Facebook’s feeds have a bad reputation for highlighting negative content which can turn into a feedback loop of endless “doom scrolling.” With this in mind, the social network is looking to deliver more inspirational or uplifting content for users.

As the announcement says:

“To this end, we’re running a series of global tests that will survey people to understand which posts they find inspirational. We’ll incorporate their responses as a signal in News Feed ranking, with the goal of showing people more inspirational posts closer to the top of their News Feed.”

Is This Content Interesting?

Perhaps the most important factors for users scrolling through content is whether any of it is actually interesting to them. At times, it can feel like you can scroll for hours without seeing anything exciting or particularly relevant to their interests. 

“… we know sometimes even your closest friends and family share posts about topics that aren’t really interesting to you, or that you don’t want to see. To address this, we’ll ask people whether they want to see more or fewer posts about a certain topic, such as Cooking, Sports or Politics, and based on their collective feedback, we’ll aim to show people more content about the topics they’re more interested in, and show them fewer posts about topics they don’t want to see.”

Do You Want To See Less of This Content?

A huge part of Facebook’s reputation for negative content is the huge amount of political content shared on the social network. 

Since many turn to social media to connect with family, friends, and get away from the pressures of the real world, a large amount of political content can be tiresome and potentially make them less likely to check their feed regularly. 

Further, there are times where you might show an interest in a topic and start seeing an influx of tangentially related content that is not especially useful to you. Think clicking one particularly interesting headline and suddenly seeing tons of content on that topic, even though it’s not really that interesting to you.

To help with this, the company will start surveying users about content they have responded negatively to in order to create a ranking signal to deliver more relevant and positive content.

Was Giving Feedback Easy?

In some form or another, Facebook has given users the ability to deliver this type of feedback for several years. The problem is that finding the tools to do so was often a game of hide and seek. 

To make it easier for users to give feedback, the company is testing a new post design which will include a more prominent button to hide “irrelevant, problematic, or irritating” content and see less content like it in the future.

How This Will Affect Facebook Rankings

For now, it is unclear exactly how much this will change the content appearing in our news feeds every day. 

The company appears to know it has gained a nasty reputation for being overly political, sharing divisive information, and generally being a somewhat negative place to spend your time. 

Still, it remains to be seen whether this will lead to a massive shift or if these ranking signals will be too little to effectively change what gets highly ranked and what people are sharing on the platform in general.

“Overall, we hope to show people more content they want to see and find valuable, and less of what they don’t. While engagement will continue to be one of many types of signals we use to rank posts in News Feed, we believe these additional insights can provide a more complete picture of the content people find valuable, and we’ll share more as we learn from these tests.”