ICYMI: Hashtags Are Back Edition
Here's what happened on social media this week, June 4
Welcome and thanks for reading my curated list of trending social content and key platform updates!
🔵 Is Twitter Blue worth a $2.99 subscription? That’s the decision for Twitter users after the platform confirmed its new premium feature. Twitter Blue will roll out in Canada and Australia before expanding to the U.S. later this year.
The main features announced include Undo Tweet (which is not even close to an edit button), Reader Mode (to streamline Twitter threads into an easier-to-read format) and a Bookmarks Folder (which, if you do a lot of tagging and saving tweets, looks really useful). Twitter Blue subscribers will also have access to dedicated subscription customer support.
It’s not exactly ground-breaking stuff but as this Nieman Lab review points out, it’s not priced to be:
“It’s interesting Twitter is aiming this low. Maybe that’s a sign of how inessential most of its initial feature offerings are. Or maybe it suggests Twitter sees a market opening at this price point — that $2.99 is the “aw, hell, why not” price level that will trigger a sale in a meaningful number of people.”
👍 Instagram won’t penalize you for sharing Feed posts to your Stories. The app had favored original content in Stories but after being accused of suppressing pro-Palestinian messages, they’re shifting to equal treatment of original Story posts and re-shared Stories.
🗄 Facebook announced they’re opening up the Messenger API for Instagram to all developers which means brands can have their DMs feed into their CRMs to manage all customer communications in one place.
💰 Instagram is updating its Branded Content tools to make it easier for brands and creators to manage sponsored content requests and approvals. The changes include giving creators the ability to tag up to two brands in a single piece of Branded Content.
👀 Instagram is testing a new link in Stories format. Instead of a swipe up (accessible only if you have more than 10K followers), I spotted this website link on a story from @TheDelicious.
👆 Click Thru
#️⃣ TikTok is bringing hashtags back. Blame the companies that will pay influencers to use specific hashtags and TikTok’s algorithm, which treats hashtags as an important signal in determining what shows up in its main feed. “For anyone hoping to get rich off viral videos, the incentive to append hashtags, corny or not, is strong.”
A great example of people jumping on a random hashtag is #KateSpadeNYHappyDance. Despite the brand’s efforts to claim a viral success, the hashtag is now being used in unrelated content. This tagged dog-in-a-pool video on the Daily Mail account has millions more views than anything actually featuring a Kate Spade product.
📣 No special treatment for politicians. That’s Facebook’s new policy as it plans to end its controversial policy that mostly shields politicians from the content moderation rules that apply to other users
🎾 It’s all going down on Instagram: Will Smith and the Calm app both used Instagram to share posts expressing their support for tennis pro Naomi Osaka. A few days earlier she posted a statement to her Feed to announce she was withdrawing from the French Open as an act of self care and the sports world showed up in the Comments.
📲 Tell me your app idea without telling me your app idea: “It is very much a case of people in their 20s and 30s being funded by people in their 30s, 40s and 50s trying to make products for people who are 12 to 17 years old while also creating a product that appeals fiscally to the 30-50 crowd with all the money.”
🇮🇹 Meet the unexpected breakout star of TikTok: Khaby Lame. (When I tweeted this out, it got such an overwhelmingly positive response. I guess I was the only one sleeping on this Senegalese-Italian creator.)
🐶 William White (aka Whitey18) has been impossible to ignore on my FYP (For You Page) this week. The Canadian construction worker turned TikTok thirst trap started trending with #MomofTikTok but quickly made his way to #DadofTikTok, #LesbianofTikTok and so on and so on. Now, he’s on his way to your FYP. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
🐝 Texas Beeworks is either the best — a beekeeper who saves hives, or the worst — a fake who endangers bees and sets a bad precedent for people watching her videos. Either way this is the video that’s got people buzzing this week.
👑 Ellie Kemper (of The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) trended on Twitter for being crowned beauty pageant queen at a 1999 ball that once excluded Black and Jewish people. There’s a lot of collective shrugging on social because so many American institutions have elements of racism in their past. Which seems like an even better reason to release a statement and denounce racism but so far Kemper’s kept quiet.