Hello again, PR and comms pros. It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for your weekly social media roundup. Social media land has been brimming with news that could help streamline your posting tasks and improve your content. There are also a few updates that may leave you scratching your head. In the wake of his extremely controversial announcement that he would get rid of the block function, Elon Musk posted on Aug. 19 about the possibility of X imploding.
“The sad truth is that there are no great ‘social networks’ right now,” Musk said. “We may fail, as so many have predicted, but we will try our best to make there be at least one.”
Musk’s late-to-the-party realization isn’t an epiphany for users who already feel jostled by the platform’s erratic actions, which are enacted seemingly at Musk’s whim. One of the latest issues is X’s failure to protect advertisers from inappropriate ad placement. Two brands, NCTA-The Internet and Television Association and Gilead Sciences, recently stopped advertising on X when they learned that their ads were next to pro-Nazi content, CNN reported. X’s CEO Linda Yaccarino told advertisers that X would prioritize brand safety and neglected to do so in this case.
Now onto the updates — which include more from the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Musk posted that the ability to block will be deleted as a feature except for direct messages, according to his post on X. According to Reuters, users will no longer be able to block another account from contacting them, looking at their posts or following said user. Musk said that the mute option would still work, but many aren’t satisfied.
Even reliable allies like conservative actor James Woods slammed Musk for the move, asking how X removing “the ability to block concerted harassment by trolls or organised political entities, how will ‘X’ be any different from Jack Dorsey’s horrid Twitter”?
Musk responded by taunting and blocking Woods, The Independent reported.
X Graphic Designer Andrea Conway recently announced on X that a timestamp and tagging element is coming soon to the platform. Users will be able share a video post queued up to a certain start point rather than having to scroll through.
X is also phasing out a product that allowed advertisers to push their accounts on the social media platform’s timeline to gain new followers, Axios reported. X is saying goodbye to follower ads because they don’t use multi-media elements such as video, which X is getting into, per the article.
X also got rid of its popular, free TweetDeck platform, (now called X Pro), Mashable reported. The feature is now only available for Premium subscribers at $84 a year. In July, the platform’s support account announced the changes to then-TweetDeck.
Meta’s Threads is preparing for a web version debut soon, The Wall Street Journal reported. While daily active users are down by 82%, the struggling social media platform is trying to gain traction with its current users (and attract more) with new app features. The platform’s desktop rollout is expected this week.
Instagram is looking at a new Reels display option for multiple advertiser ads, Social Media Today reported. Multiple ads could appear grouped on one screen by common brand themes and elements. The ads are shown between Reels and have appeared for some users. This advertising format was only on IG’s main feed page last October and on Facebook feeds and Stories.
IG is dabbling in a new way to display post metrics for all to see in-stream, per Social Media Today. The post would show share and comment data along with Likes, given that option is turned on. The updates would easily give all users (not just brands) more understanding of how people are engaging with their posts.
YouTube has some features coming down the pike, including the ability to edit any Short in YouTube Studio Desktop, YouTube’s Creator Liaison Rene Ritchie posted under YouTube Liasion on X. Users will soon also have the ability to add a link to a related video whether it is long, Short, Live, public or private, per the post. Users will also soon be able to remix a Short with one click and use that to turn Shorts into longer-form videos and link multiple Shorts.
Sherri Kolade is a writer at Ragan Communications. When she is not with her family, she enjoys watching Alfred Hitchcock-style films, reading and building an authentically curated life that includes more than occasionally finding something deliciously fried. Follow her on LinkedIn. Have a great PR story idea? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.