You’re listening to Digital Drop. Our monthly round-up of digital trends to keep you and your digital up-to-date.
So the first thing we wanted to mention this month is Instagram’s controversial trial move to a full screen feed. A few weeks ago, they started testing a new full screen feed with more suggested video content.
It means that posts in your feed would take up all of your screen and you need to swipe up to see the next post.
If this is sounding very similar to TikTok, then that’s because it is.
Instagram says the update is to make content more discoverable and immersive.
That may be true, but it’s clear that the move is Instagram’s latest efforts to compete with TikTok.
You may have seen the Instagram already experimented with full screen to highlight videos back in May, but the test received negative reactions from users.
The main complaints were that captions and comments were hidden, images that didn’t fit the new alignment were given blurred borders, and white spaces appeared between posts.
Not forgetting the elephant in the room, that user signed up to Instagram as a photo-sharing app.
Inevitably, there was a lot of criticism around the fact that Instagram wasn’t prioritising and enhancing its photo sharing capabilities, in its bid to compete with TikTok in video.
This time around Instagram has addressed some of these design concerns (elephant aside) hoping for a better response.
So, whether you’ll be boycotting Instagram from your personal account or not, what does this mean for your business account and your organic content strategy?
It means that if the platform is a key space for your target audience, then it’s never been more important to bring Reels into your content production for reach and engagement.
Instagram is prioritising Reels, so you need to too. If you’re yet to venture into Reels then don’t feel like you need to start with anything too elaborate.
There are simple ways of creating basic Reels using a selection of images and the right audio track.
If you run paid ads on Instagram, then the positive takeaway is that the new full screen feed will make your video ads blend even more with organic content.
They’ll become part of the immersive stream of content that users are engaging with in the new feed, in a similar way to native advertising.
Next, Twitter’s recently rolled out a new test feature called Twitter Notes. The feature allows users to write and publish long-form content within the channel.
Has been designed to allow users to share more in-depth thoughts in an article based way outside with the restrictions of a short-form tweet.
In complete contrast with a Tweet, a Note will offer users a lengthy 100 word title limit and 2,500 words body limit.
Users will also be able to embed photos, videos, GIFS, and tweets within their Notes and each Note will have its own link which can be tweeted.
If you’re wondering how clicking through from a Tweet to a Note is any different from clicking through from a Tweet to a web page,
Then those in favour would argue that Notes is a great feature for individuals who don’t want the hassle of setting up a website to house occasional long-form content.
Or, the businesses with websites that have limited long-form content templates and spaces.
Twitter says it’s developed Notes “to provide an additional experience for writers on Twitter outside of Tweets.”
It has also said that it wants to “learn how we might improve the feature to best serve both writers and readers before it’s more widely available.”
The final thing that sparked our interest this month was Facebook’s focus on Groups.
Facebook has recently added some new engagement options to its Groups and is testing new sidebar access to Group updates.
The new design means you’ll be able to swipe right from your main news feed to see a listing of the groups that you’re a member of, displayed in order of most recent activity.
It will also allow you to discover new Groups as well as pin your favourites. Facebook’s also added some sub-group engagement options, such as Community Chat Channels, topic feeds and audio rooms.
So what does this mean for your Facebook channel strategy? Well it’s definitely a sign that Facebook is investing further in its
Groups offering and so should you. If like most businesses, your page’s organic content is only achieving around 5% reach, then Groups could be the most effective way to be seen by your audience, with Facebook prioritising posts from Groups.
This means that your Group posts will have a much better chance of showing up, than your page posts. It’s clear to see why Facebook is focusing on Groups, because while reports are showing overall channel engagement is dropping, especially with younger audiences, Groups remain a key engagement space, with users preferring the smaller, more relevant areas to interact.
And from a business point of view, any engagement route that allows you to circumvent the ruthless newsfeed algorithm to connect with your audience has to be a good thing. So they were our main highlights from this month.
Keep an eye on our Insights page for more updates, tips and trends.
See you in August.