New social media features and updates to know this week

Updates from Facebook, TikTok, Snap and more.

Social media updates

While the updates this week aren’t major, many show ongoing trends in the social media space. From Facebook’s pivot to vertical video to TikTok’s move toward Instagram and Snapchat’s consideration of mental health, you’ll see several major shifts happening in this week’s updates.

Let’s get to it.




As every social network gradually becomes TikTok, Facebook has announced a revamped video player with a vertical orientation. This applies to Reels, Lives and longer videos, though horizontal videos can be flipped to be viewed fullscreen. Facebook also says it’s improved its recommendation algorithm in the player, in your feed and on the video tab. It’s an interesting step in the continued merging of Instagram Reels within Facebook proper, as well as yet another mark in favor of strong vertical video.


Meanwhile, TikTok is copying Instagram as it moves toward the release of a photo app that appears to be called, somewhat confusingly, TikTok Notes. While no formal announcement has been made, some TikTok users are receiving notifications that photos uploaded to the platform, past and present, will also be available on TikTok Notes, unless they opt out. If this app is powered by that magical algorithm, it could be a whole new game for photo discovery and content. It might be time to brush off your photography skills and put down the video mode.


Threads is offering cold, hard cash in return for good content. The Meta-owned platform is currently testing its bonus program for creators on an invite-only basis. Exact details of how payouts are calculated is not offered in the announcement, but payments may be calculated based on the performance of the content and/or the number of posts created. They’re far clearer on what content is ineligible for payouts: the posts must include text, can’t be branded, can’t include watermarks, must not violate other rules on the platform and must receive at least 2,500 views.


The parent company of Threads, Facebook and Instagram has updated its AI labeling policies in an attempt to keep up with the storm of deepfakes and other manipulated media. It noted that its policies were last updated in 2020 and were more geared toward video manipulation and not prepared for the quality and quantity of today’s AI generation.

Required labeling of AI generated content will begin in May; content will begin to be deleted beginning in July. In addition to prominent labels, images that are shown to be manipulated may be served less in the news feed to reduce its reach.


X Daily News posted a demo of what appears to be an updated Explore page. This page, which contains trending topics, would feature summarized explanations of the trend provided by the Elon Musk-owned xAI Grok.


YouTube CEO Neal Mohan posted on X that auto-generated chapters in videos will help users more easily scan forward to pivotal moments while watching on their TV. It’s a reminder that YouTube is consumed in a variety of ways and on a variety of devices – make sure you’re considering them all when creating content for the platform.


Snapchat published a lengthy blog post clarifying and announcing changes for its Solar System feature. Only available to Snapchat+ subscribers, Solar System is a private measure of how close you are to a friend, displaying them as the sun and your avatar as a planet which is closer or farther away based on the frequency of your communications. Snapchat said that while the feedback in general was positive, it was moving it to an opt-in status.

Part of the post reads:

“It is very clear that we are at an important moment of reckoning when it comes to the impact of smartphone technology. We believe there are countless benefits to being able to stay in touch and build relationships online with our friends when we are physically separated from them, and we are committed to mitigating the potential downsides of online communication wherever possible.”

An important moment indeed. We’ll see how other networks begin to react to a reckoning around social media and mental health.

Which updates are you most interested in?

Allison Carter is editor-in-chief of PR Daily. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.


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