New social media features and updates to know this week

New updates from Instagram, X and YouTube.

Social media updates

Last week’s IAB NewFronts event unveiled plenty of updates in the advertising space, but there are also lots of small but significant quality of life improvements on apps this week. Let’s dive into what these new features mean for you and your audiences.


Another week, another platform incorporating AI to improve ads. This time it’s Instagram and Facebook Reels that are cashing, using AI to create brands with and creator partnerships, deploying Image Expansion to ensure images in ads fit all formats and Reminder Ads to nudge users about sales or other important dates.


In other Reels news, IG is testing a “Clear” mode for Reels that would hide descriptions and UI buttons, allowing viewers to just focus on the video.

And Instagram has rolled out a series of new stickers for Stories. One encourages users to add their own music to a video, while others includea Polaroid-esque frame to photos, a reveal sticker that blurs the image until the sticker is tapped, and cutouts, which allows images to be cut out of one photo and overlaid onto another.




In a seemingly small but important update, Facebook has added the option to label content as AI when posting, an important part of its transparency initiatives.


WhatsApp is augmenting its Communities feature with the ability to add events and for users to reply to messages from the administrator.


Universal Music Group and TikTok have finally reached a new agreement allowing some of the biggest artists in the world back onto the app after months away. In addition to more royalty money for artists and songwriters, TikTok has also agreed to take steps to address the use of AI to mimic the artists’ iconic sounds.


X is making changes to one of Elon Musk’s most hated features: block. Now, you will be able to see replies made to your posts even if the user has blocked you. X says this feature “enables you to identify and report any potential bad content that you previously could not view, safeguarding both your account and the overall integrity of our platform.”

The app has also improved its live video capabilities, moving from the old Periscope platform (remember Periscope?) to X’s own video platform, with all the features that come with it.

Grok, Musk’s AI tool, is also becoming more closely integrated with X. Grok can now summarize trending topics, though this tool is only available for Premium subscribers.


In a nice nod to allowing users to control their experience, Threads has enabled users to choose who can quote their Threads: everyone, only the people you follow or no one at all. This move can help avoid nasty pile-ons when posts are shared outside their intended community.


YouTube is testing a new tool that would give creators content ideas with some help from AI, including: “1️⃣ What kinds of content / topics your viewers want to see more of, 2️⃣ fresh angles for creative content you haven’t made in the past and could explore creating, and 3️⃣ outlines / talking points to jump start your creative process.”

This could be a great way of parsing data in more human terms – or usher in a new era in which content feels increasingly similar.


Games have officially arrived on LinkedIn. Taking a page from the New York Times’ playbook, LinkedIn users can now play three games – Pinpoint (a category guessing game), Crossclimb (a trivia game) and Queens (a riff on Sudoku) – then discuss them on the platform. It’s an interesting attempt to get people coming back to the site and could signal a move beyond purely business content on the app.


Snapchat announced a number of new features at last week’s NewFronts. AR Extensions will enable the use of AR lenses and filters on all ad formats, while new tools will make it easier for brands to create those lenses and filters.

The platform also announced a number of new features for end users, including editable chats, the ability to react with any emoji and to use emojis on Snap Map, and set reminders via AI.


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


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