New social media features and updates to know this week

Including a big-picture look at Instagram and AI.

Social media updates

Usually this feature includes lots of little updates. But let’s start this week with a big-picture look at the conflict between humans and AI as it’s playing out on Instagram.

Instagram appears to be struggling to navigate a future between the human creators that have long defined its platform and AI-driven updates (ostensibly) intended to assist with content discoverability for viewers.

Its Meta AI virtual assistant, which rolled out in place of Instagram’s traditional search bar in April, has been lambasted for — among other complaints — making it difficult to find creator content, and even pretending to have a child.



And perhaps antithetical to its goals, the AI tool was observed last week recommending YouTube and TikTok as a better source for video content that’s available on its own platform. D’oh!

The PR Daily team has also noted that searching for parameters that used to be much easier to access, such as searching by geotag and location for local restaurants and attractions, is now buried and difficult to find.

For those who find the updates to the platform’s search function unhelpful, this feature can be disabled, though the platform will continue to use content on the platform to train the feature.

But are these changes off-putting enough to drive creators away? Even its advice for creators has been confusing and conflicted, with a recent video from the platform muddling instructions for engaging CTAs and captions on Reels. In an April poll from Creative Boom, 75.8% of respondents agree with the statement “Instagram is dying for creatives in terms of reach and engagement.”

With these updates, Meta is, perhaps rightly, thinking ahead to an AI-driven future — but at what cost if it loses the users that originally made Instagram a hit?

In other Instagram news, Meta continues to consolidate its Extended Social Media Universe by testing the ability to crosspost from Instagram to WhatsApp. Instagram is quickly becoming the hub for all Meta social media, with Reels and posts radiating out from there to other Meta-owned apps, underscoring the importance of the app in today’s ecosystem.

Instagram is also encouraging more experimentation, especially with Reels. It’s currently testing the ability to share Reels only with non-followers so that creators can find out to what extent their content resonates with new audiences. You may later choose to share the Reel with your followers, but if you don’t, it will be archived and not appear on your profile. It’s also tinkering with the ability to share a draft Reel with a friend from directly within the app but without publishing — which could be very handy indeed for social media teams.

Instagram also introduced a number of new perks for Broadcast Channels, including the choice to go live only with channel members, create custom themes, hide specific emojis from chat (no more poop or eggplant spams!), and ability to export a QR code that can take users directly to the Broadcast Channel.


X continues to be an interesting place for brand safety as it now explicitly welcomes the sharing of adult content. Basically anything goes as long as it is consensual (no word on how that will be determined) and prominently labeled.

Users who regularly post adult content must flip a switch in their account settings that puts all their images and videos behind a warning. Users can opt out of seeing all adult content or choose not to open labeled pieces. Users under 18 or who do not include an age on their profile will not be able to view the content.

While Twitter/X has looked the other way on adult content for quite some time, now it’s officially permitting it. But since X has gutted its trust and safety departments, one must wonder how they will determine which content is consensual or even legal, as CSAM continues to proliferate on the platform.

In less salacious news, X is testing new analytics tools, which will be available only to Premium subscribers. It’s not as robust as the free suite that was available to all users just a few years ago, but it’s a step in the right direction.

X will also soon allow iOS users to sort replies by “verified” users. A reminder that users are not actually verified — with the exception of brand accounts with a golden check and some public figures for whom the check was restored — they’re just those who pay for a checkmark.


Threads continues to nip at X’s heels with plenty of new features. It’s even eyeing a return to Twitter’s roots by encouraging users to add hashtags “so your post reaches the right people.”

The app is also looking to fine-tune its algorithm by allowing users to swipe, Tinder style, on posts they like or dislike. “We’ll use those signals to show you more posts like the ones you swipe right on and fewer of those you swipe left on,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri said.


YouTube is once again trying to become more of a social media platform rather than merely a video platform. All creators will now be able to create posts — think Instagram or Facebook posts — that allow them to interact with their audiences. This feature has been available for some users since last year.

The new “Ideas and Outlines” feature uses AI to show what topics users are interested in, then create an outline to help guide your content. This could be helpful … or it could help make content more homogenous.

Finally, “Breakout Videos” will show creators high-performing videos from similar creators, again as a way to spark inspiration.


Last but not least, LinkedIn is rolling out new B2B advertising options. It’s  testing the ability to promote short-form video ads alongside “trusted publisher content.”

And it wouldn’t be a weekly social media update story if someone wasn’t doing more with AI in advertising. This week, it’s LinkedIn bolstering its Accelerate program with the ability to exclude companies and get guidance from AI on their best-performing ads.

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


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