Industry Analysis

Social Platform Update August 21, 2020 (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, Spotify, Reddit)


An audit was conducted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, and the following brief has been populated with the results. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all had three new changes, while Snapchat had only two effected changes in the last two weeks.


  • Facebook announced a week ago that it is launching a “new paid events option for businesses and creators.” This new addition will improve earning options for businesses during the pandemic.
  • Businesses and creators will now be able to charge their audience for live events directly through Facebook. By using the “purchase access” button, users will be able to make instant payments for upcoming events. This feature will be made available in 20 countries.
  • Facebook has reduced its ad targeting options by 1,000. The company has stated that the targeting options, which will be, henceforth, excluded are either rarely used or can be easily replaced by other targeting options.
  • Multicultural affinity segments will also be excluded. The platform is positive that this change will not affect the majority of advertisers.
  • Facebook will be improving its post-level analytic options in groups to include new insights such as photo views, post hides, and active members.
  • Including the number of active members on the group at the time of the post will help improve knowledge and insights which concern post reach and engagement.


  • At the end of the “you are all caught up” notification, which indicates the end of a user’s main feed, Instagram now adds a new listing of suggested posts, which may include ads.
  • This new feature will generate more exposure, help keep willing users engaged, and improve e-commerce activities on the platform.
  • Instagram has replaced its Nametag codes with QR codes. The codes were created to help users connect with other people and businesses through the app.
  • The QR codes, unlike Nametag codes, can be scanned using standard iOS and Android camera tools. Although QR codes are not popular in most countries, they are used often in Japan, which is one of Instagram’s fastest-growing markets.
  • Instagram will now notify users when their private posts or story will not be seen by one or more of their audience due to their settings. This notification will appear before users upload pictures or videos on their profiles or story.
  • This update will also address artificially inflated following gotten by making accounts private and forcing other users to follow them before gaining access to their content.


  • Users can now get more information on direct messages from other users they do not follow. The additional details will include the handles of mutual accounts followed on Twitter.
  • The receiver of the message will also be able to view a short profile summary at the top of the screen. This new feature was made available to all users on the 20th of August.
  • Users will now be able to choose who can reply to their tweets before posting. Twitter provides three reply options, which include everyone, accounts following, or only accounts mentioned.
  • If either of the last two options is chosen, every other user will be able to view, retweet (with comment), share, and like these tweets but not reply as the button will become inactive.
  • Twitter has updated its detection methods and expatiated on how it categorizes offensive language.
  • According to the company, these new prompts are not designed to control what users say, but rather to help reduce cases of “unintended offense.”


  • Snapchat is testing new features that will allow users to share its premium Discover content outside the app using shareable links. This function will expand the audience and reach of its premium content offerings.
  • Snapchat is optimistic that the new feature will attract new users to the app as they receive the shareable links, which can only be viewed on the app, web, or mobile.
  • A new set of AR Lenses have recently been added to Snapchat, prompting users to participate in TikTok dance challenges using Snapchat’s toolschat’s new lenses.
  • Of the four lenses added, only two have music embedded in them. This creates a disadvantage as users will have to play the corresponding music on a different device to participate in the challenge.


  • TikTok has released a new update that will allow users to control the app through Alexa voice activation on enabled mobile devices. While collaborating with Amazon, TikTok can now provide more flexibility and control options to users.
  • This feature can be helpful to TikTok creators as it will aid recording and launching other features on the app.
  • TikTok recently launched a new information center to help counter rumors surrounding the app. The purpose of the information center is to reassure users that the app is safe and trustworthy.
  • With a way to quell rumors concerning their integrity, TikTok now positions itself as The Last Sunny Corner of the Internet.
  • Considering that they may be banned from the US, TikTok has been working on marketing itself as a “ubiquitous part of everyday American life.”
  • They recently launched an ad campaign to highlight the benefits of TikTok and the various ways in which the platform has played a part in spreading joy and bringing people together while performing other functions.


  • YouTube has ceased sending email notifications to users when videos are uploaded on channels they are subscribed to. However, users will continue to receive notifications on the YouTube app and Chrome browser for desktop.
  • The company has also stated that these emails are often ignored, with only 0.1% of them being read by users. They have also received feedback suggesting that these emails are an annoyance to the recipients as they clutter up their inbox.



  • Spotify, on the 19th of August, experienced a short outage that hindered users from using the platform comfortably for about an hour.
  • Although the company has not made any clear statement concerning the cause of the outage, there are speculations that it may have been a result of the company’s expired TLS certificate.


Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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