New social media features and updates to know this week

New updates from YouTube, Instagram and more.

Social media updates

No summer lull here: social media apps are unveiling major new updates, like LinkedIn’s newsletter overhaul or WhatsApp’s new group video call features, or aggressively testing new features, as we see in Instagram and LinkedIn.

Lots to cover today — let’s get to it.


Instagram is ramping up the ads.

Just a few weeks after it began testing unskippable in-feed ads, Instagram is going even further. Now, ads are appearing under Stories. This presents interesting new opportunities for advertisers — but also presents a risk for Instagram pushing users beyond their annoyance limit.

Instagram is also making it easier to identify potential creator partners. Some users are now seeing a Creator Insights tab that shows followers, accounts reached and accounts engaged — and offers to identify similar creators. A handy little feature for PR pros.





X has formally rolled out the new analytics we discussed last week. They’re similar to the old-style Twitter analytics, but now you’ve got to pay for them. They’re available only for Premium subscribers.


YouTube announced a flurry of new experiments.

These tests may never make it to the broader market but are interesting to watch all the same. They include:

  • Allow users to add text notes to videos. This seems broadly similar to X’s Community Notes feature, which can fact-check or add helpful context. The community will vote on whether notes are helpful or not, and only helpful items will be added to videos.
  • AI summaries of live chats. We’ve already seen similar features summarizing comments on Facebook.
  • Channel QR codes that can be generated by viewers or channel owners and can be scanned online or off. A handy tool for in-person networking or sharing your fav channels with friends.
  • Select Android YouTube app users will be able to try Google Lens, its AI-powered image search function.
  • Giving users the ability to create effects for use in Shorts.
  • Testing the ability to tag other channels in the comments using the simple, classic @username style.

Features that are exiting testing and will be available to all soon include “Test and Compare,” which allows A/B testing of video thumbnails. The success metric is currently total watch time. This could be a game-changer for creators.


Threads is trying out the ability to share Instagram posts or carousels to its sister app without including a link preview. It’s just one more way these two sites are growing more and more connected.


It wouldn’t be a social media updates story without one app including new AI-driven advertiser tools. This week, Pinterest is the lucky winner, unveiling AI background generation, collage creation and boosting ad performance.


In a big move, LinkedIn has rolled out Premium Company Pages aimed at small and medium businesses. Features for these pages include custom CTAs, automatically inviting engaged users to like the page, premium analytics, the ability to add testimonials, $500 in LinkedIn ad credits and more. Packages start at $44.99 per month when billed annually.

LinkedIn is also beefing up its newsletter feature, which it says has seen a popularity boom in the last year, with 59% more people authoring newsletters on the site. The new features include a redesigned reading page with comments directly to the right of the content. Authors also have access to Microsoft Designer, an AI-driven tool from LinkedIn’s parent company, for their cover images, plus new user notifications when a new edition drops, the ability to embed user profiles or pages directly in the newsletter, and staging links and more.


The Meta-owned app has added a number of quality-of-life improvements, including the ability to screenshare with audio, have up to 32 people on a video call and a “speaker spotlight” to make it easier to see who’s talking.

Could WhatsApp be making a play for the Zoom throne?

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


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