New social media features and updates to know this week 

Updates to X, Facebook, TikTok and more.


Happy Wednesday, PR and comms pros! We have the latest social media news to keep you at the top of your game.



An X blog announced that starting Feb. 1, new brand safety guidelines will offer protections against ads appearing next to offensive content. These rules will conform with GARM (Global Alliance for Responsible Media) guidelines. Advertisers will be allowed “maximum control” on where they want to place their ads on vertical video feeds on the platform. Learn more here.

In other news, an X Business post announced a platform partnership with Shopify. Exec Joe Benarroch posted that the partnership will:

  • “Bring awareness to X through the Shopify Sales Channel.”
  • “Make it seamless to upload product catalogs onto X.”
  • “Help merchants optimize their ad dollars to maximize their outcomes on X.”
  • “Highlight the role X plays in a merchant’s marketing stack.”



Threads will allow users to follow Mastodon brands and people before the end of 2024, TechCrunch reported. TechCrunch noted that a blog post from Tom Coates. Coates co-founded Planetary, a decentralized app. Coates detailed the meeting with Threads, which discussed their plans.  First, Mastodon servers will be available in Threads. Later in the year, the following ability is set to come online. “The team also discussed how they would approach content moderation as they moved forward with fediverse integration, saying they would exclude content from the wider fediverse from being visible in the Threads app if it breaks their rules,” TechCrunch noted. Fediverse is an open social network with various third-party servers. Threads would connect with other people on fediverse platforms. Learn more here.

Find out more information here.



Meta announced that it is sunsetting some of its targeting features due to a lack of use, overlapping features and sensitivity around topics like ethnicity, race and health. Meta will let people know if they have impacted campaigns. The company will give people a warning banner on Meta’s Ads Manager campaigns site and current ads under the impacted categories will run until March 18. Users have to update their targeting selections until the March 18th cutoff date. Targeting products like custom audiences, broad targeting and Meta Advantage+ audience are still available.



Jonah Manzano, social media enthusiast and singer-songwriter, posted on Threads that Instagram has a new Friend’s Story feature that lets users send a story to select people. To make this magic happen, Manzano said users can:

  • Make a story for their friend.
  • Share the story.
  • After a friend approves the story, public accounts can see the story without replies or likes.

Lastly, the sender’s name is visible.



WhatsApp posted on Threads that users can turn their pictures into stickers via iOS app instead of only via desktop. Users can pull a photo from their gallery, remove the photo’s background, add text and other interactive options and send their sticker in a WhatsApp chat.


TikTokComms posted on X that people can view their fav TikTok videos on television. TikTok casting is available on Chromecast built-in devices, according to the post. Users should have an iPhone using iOS 12.0 or newer or an Android 6.0 or newer. To cast TikTok on a television from a mobile phone, simply:

  • Ensure the TV and phone are linked to the same Wi-Fi network and select the TikTok app on the phone. Select the desired video.
  • Hit the share button and select cast to TV at the bottom. Users casting for the first time might have to choose the option to allow access to their local network to cast their devices.
  • Choose the TV for casting.
  • Enjoy the show!
  • To end casting, hit the casting device near the bottom and select tap to disconnect.


TikTok  also no longer lets people access its Creative Center, which provided trackable information on well-performing hashtags on the platform, the New York Times reported. The Creative Center gave information about videos connected to hashtags and the viewers who watched them. “The company’s critics had harnessed the tool to argue that TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, fails to adequately moderate content on the app and that Beijing influences the posts that appear on it,” according to the Times. In early January, the Creative Center’s search button was no longer available. TikTok noted that the tool is just for sharing data on the “top 100 hashtags” in industries like travel or pets.



A YouTube blog post announced that YouTubers can turn their long-form video into a Short. To do so:

  • Click on the chosen video.
  • Hit the remix button.
  • Select edit into a Short.
  • Trim to where you want the video to be played.
  • Hit layout and choose a video format like single or split screen.
  • Pinch and drag in the preview frame to your liking.
  • Then save the layout.


Sherri Kolade is a writer and conference producer at Ragan Communications. She enjoys watching old films, reading and building an authentically curated life. Follow her on LinkedIn. Have a great PR/comms speaker in mind for one of Ragan’s events? Email her at


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