May 2023 Social Platform Updates

This is a monthly newsletter about social platform updates and new features. To receive Social Navigator in your inbox each month, subscribe here.

TikTok launched a new creator fund. YouTube is getting rid of stories. And Pinterest enabled users to add external links to pins (finally!).

Here's everything you missed from social platforms last month:

Discord 💬

✦ Made the controversial decision to get rid of its four-digit username discriminators (e.g. #0001) and switch to handles.

Facebook 👍

✦ Introduced new discovery and personalization options for Reels (i.e. 'Show More' and 'Show Less' options).

✦ Added labels to Reels to explain why you’re seeing a specific video.

✦ Enabled users to scroll between Reels and long-form video.

✦ Spun out the Kustomer CRM platform it acquired for $1B in 2020 as a standalone company at a $250M valuation.

✦ Announced new editing tools for Reels, including playback speed controls and the ability to split clips.

Instagram 📷

✦ Testing an option to help brands feature UGC in their IG shop.

✦ Enabled support for gifs in comments. (Finally!)

✦ Added Stories to its Graph API to enable post scheduling via 3rd party tools.

✦ Officially announced “Collaborators” as a way to invite other creators to join a live broadcast channel.

✦ Reportedly working on a feature to play voice messages outside chat and control playback speed.

LinkedIn 🤝

✦ Rolled out a custom CTA button for LinkedIn Premium member profiles.

✦ Reportedly testing a 'Draft Using AI' feature. (Who isn't at this point?)

Heading to VidCon later this month?

Chris Erwin and I are hosting a media x commerce exec cocktails event on Tuesday, June 20th in LA. Space is limited, so register soon.

A big thank you to our presenting sponsor Tipalti, a finance automation platform for global payments! We're also grateful to our other sponsors, Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and Wheelhouse.

Other sponsorship spots are available, so ping me if you'd like to get involved!

✦ Partnered with Amazon for ad campaign extensions on Pinterest.

✦ Enabled individual users (not just business accounts) to add external links to Pins -- a big win for affiliate marketers!

Snapchat 👻

✦ Rolled out Spotlight ads globally.

✦ Introduced ads from My AI in the form of sponsored links.

✦ Launched its own Creator Marketplace called the “Snap Star Collab Studio.” (Really rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?)


✦ Testing a disclosure tool for AI generated content. (Read more.)

✦ Rumored to soon launch a book publisher called 8th Note Press. (Get it?)

✦ Launched a new creator fund called the Creativity Program Beta, which is open to U.S. creators with 10K followers and 100K video views in the last 30 days.

✦ Unveiled a TikTok search widget for iPhone.

✦ Announced a new Effect Creator Rewards fund to compensate creators for effects they make in the AR development platform Effect House.

✦ Launched a “#NewMusic” search feature to improve music discovery.

✦ Got banned in Montana, effective Jan 1, 2024. (Read my take here.)

✦ Launched TikTok Sans, the app’s official new typeface.

✦ Testing an AI chatbot called Tako.

Twitch 🎮

✦ Introduced a Clip Editor that converts clips to portrait mode, ads creators’ Twitch usernames, and automatically uploads the videos to connected accounts on YouTube Shorts and TikTok.

Twitter 🐦

✦ Enabled media publishers to charge users on a per article basis.

✦ Extended the max video upload for Twitter Blue subscribers to 2 hours.

✦ Reportedly adding a playback speed feature for videos.

✦ Introduced a new Pro pricing tier for its developer API subscriptions at $5,000 per month.

YouTube 🎥

✦ Brought back the “sort by oldest” option on channel pages.

✦ Added podcasts to YouTube Music.

✦ Introduced 2 new ad targeting options: "Gen Z Music” and "Trending Music on Shorts.”

✦ Experimenting with ways to stop ad blockers on the platform.

✦ Rolled out 30-second non-skippable ads and "Pause ads" on connected TVs.

✦ Decided to no longer delete videos from inactive accounts.

✦ Introduced a new mental health awareness hub.

✦ Announced plans to deprecate the YouTube stories feature on June 26th.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on LinkedIn for the latest insights into social media and the creator economy.

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