Social media updates: January 2023

Your monthly roundup of the social media updates from the past month.
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Get your latest fix of social media updates to stay up to date with algorithms, functionalities, and relevant news.

Welcome to the first social media platform update of the year! As has been the case for a few months now, there’s a lot going on at Twitter.

YouTube seems to be prioritizing portrait short-form content more and more. And TikTok are trying to battle trolls, whilst Instagram has some interesting developments to help marketers attract leads. 

Fill your boots below, and let us know how you’ll be reacting to some of these updates strategically.


Adds New Video Insights Element

TikTok have released a powerful set of insights for your videos. Providing data such as frame-by-frame engagement, comment sentiment, and even benchmark metrics, this new reporting dashboard with TikTok Ads will allow marketers and creators to understand what’s working for them and their audience on a deeper, more forensic level. 

Launches New Strikes-Based Penalty System

In an effort to improve their community, inclusivity, and safety, TikTok are launching a new strikes-based penalty system, aimed at repeat offenders of community guidelines. TikTok have found such offenders tend to repeat the type of offense they originally committed. 

To clamp down on this, their new system aims to remove these offenders from the platform after initial warnings. This should be good news for keeping the platform a positive and safe place to explore content. 

tiktok penalty system screenshot


Rolls Out ‘Notes’ to More Regions

Instagram’s new Notes feature is being rolled out throughout Europe and Japan after testing last month in other regions. The feature allows users to post short 60-character statuses which appear at the top of your inbox. 

Your followers can respond to these, but they your Note is only  active for 24 hours. Feedback on this feature has been mixed, with some users feeling it feels a little busy fro a design perspective. Instagram recognise more people are interacting through their inboxes, and so are attempting to make this easier. Time will tell on the popularity of this one. 

Adds Lead Forms as CTA Button Option on Business Profiles

Here we have a potentially useful feature for businesses. You can now have a lead capture CTA button at the top of your Business Profile. You are able to include different fields that offer multiple choice or short answer responses. 

This could be a genuinely positive addition for your business, so it’s worth testing out to see whether you can drive all important leads through visitors to your profile. Simply navigate to the Edit Profile section and choose ‘Tap Contact Options’ to utilize this new feature.

Photos Will Get More Focus on the App in 2023

After the backlash last year, that saw many demanding a return to the way Instagram used to be, it seems as though they’re listening. Adam Mosseri took to his weekly Q&A in late January to say he believes they leaned too heavily into video last year, and are looking to bring far more balance to what content users are served. 

This is a great example of how Instagram will roll out an update, gauge user sentiment, and then take action where necessary (even if that means somewhat reversing the initial action). This seems to suggest your content marketing strategy for this platform is going to be far more multimedia than we saw at points last year. Copy-based posts in Notes, videos in Reels, and now an equal waiting got images for your Feed posts. 

instagram notes screenshots


New Location Tagging for Shorts

With the introduction of Shorts, YouTube has added an element to their experiences that functions more like the rest of the social media landscape. This continued further as they’ve now added the ability to tag the location in your Shorts posts. 

YouTube will use this in a similar way to TikTok, to offer more localized content to users. This will be particularly useful for local businesses but also great for event activations or similar. 

Adds New Analytics Updates

YouTube have added a few new elements to their analytics which are there to show which formats (Shorts vs traditional) are providing the most value. First, they’ve moved the analytics that show which format types are attracting the most subscribers to a more prominent position in the reporting dashboard. 

Alongside this, YouTube has released the ability to choose your Shorts thumbnail by scrolling through your video’s frames, as well as the ability to see which formats your viewers are viewing the most in the YouTube Studio app. Finally, they’re also rolling out Creator monetisation for Shorts from February onwards. 

All of these updates should be enough to convince you that 2023 is going to be the year of Shorts for YouTube’s algorithm. 


Canceling Free Access to its API

Let’s start with the big one. Twitter announced this week that their API is no longer free to access, impacting hundreds of businesses and softwares. This latest installment of Musk’s reimagining and restructuring of Twitter seems to already be having an impact as a number of usually free (or freemium) social media tools messaged their customers to say they were now going to be purely pay-for services. 

Applies for US Licenses to Facilitate In-App Payments

This isn’t something we’ll see the effect of immediately, but it certainly could be a game changer. Twitter seems to be taking the necessary steps to enabling payments through their platform. Inspired by the likes of WeChat, Musk made it known from the get-go that this was an ambition of his. Watch this space as this could be yet another step forward in the world of social commerce. 

Other Twitter updates

Other updates include moving the Tweet view counter to the right of the other metrics; as requested by many in the community, the cancellation of their collaborative Tweet experiment, and the ability to filter and search your comments and likes. 

The latter could be helpful for marketers as it will enable you to see exactly who is engaging with you, to spot trends and double down on, or stop, particular types of communications. Finally, users’ feeds continue to evolve as Twitter will now remember whether you prefer your Following or For You feed. This is one to watch as it may mean some of your followers are being drowned out by algorithmically-suggested content, whilst other followers may become higher engaged if they’re using the Following feed. 

Both come with their positives and negatives but should lead to a better user experience overall. 


Removes ‘Curious’ Reaction Option on Posts

A far less controversial addition to this month’s updates. LinkedIn has removed their curious quick reaction option. They’ve not released an official statement either confirming this or giving reason. 

However, the fact they added the laughing reaction in 2022, this could be a case of the curious reaction not being used as much as the others. There may also have been design considerations, wanting to keep the quick reactions to a limited number. Who knows, but we can’t say we’re too upset by this development.  

New Newsletter Showcase Tools

Newsletters have become a big hit on LinkedIn. Whilst other platforms scaled back their promotion of this type of feature, LinkedIn have reported a 10x increase in their usage across the platform. Arguably unsurprising given the nature of the platform. 

To help wider adoption of the feature, and to support subscriber growth for newsletter users, there are now new touchpoints and functionalities being introduced. These include the ability to include  one-click subscription, the appearance of your newsletter subscribe option in searches, and the ability to embed a subscribe button on third party touchpoints (such as your website or blog). 

Users will also be able to schedule their newsletter sends, improving workflow and efficiency considerations for creators. 

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