Apr 30th 2021

Looking back at the 5 biggest social platform updates in April

social update

Find out all about some of the biggest social updates of the last month from the Social team at Electric House, and how marketers and publishers can make use of these initiatives.


Audio rooms

Good artists copy, great artists steal. Every social platform has been testing and rolling out audio features in response to Clubhouse’s seemingly overnight success. Facebook and Reddit are next to follow with a bunch of updates that bring audio tools to the platforms.


As Head of On A Budget, George Smith, notes:

“Facebook has previously been accused of jumping on ideas and tools from other networks. It, therefore, comes as no surprise to see the rollout of audio rooms, likely a response to the popularity and growth of Clubhouse. 

It could, however, be a beneficial addition to Facebook groups and it will be interesting to see what the take-up and interest will be from members. It is likely that certain groups will warrant the inclusion of audio chat rooms more than others, with visually focused groups perhaps not seeing as much usage.

It will be perhaps more interesting to see whether brands and publishers see this as an opportunity to take a piece out of the podcast market, reaching their audiences in a way they may have otherwise not considered.”


Twitter’s Professional Profiles

Twitter is officially launching a live test of ‘Professional Profiles’. Businesses, organisations, and publishers can take advantage of this new format to provide more information about themselves, including an address and other contact information.

As it stands, only a small group of US brands have been offered the opportunity to create a Professional Profile. However, they have expressed intent to provide access to more accounts in the coming months.


TikTok’s auto-captions

Tiktok has introduced an option to auto-caption videos that are published on the platform. This will enable creators to switch on automated text overlays in the app. When captions are available, viewers will be able to read a text transcription of the audio. Social team member James McGrogan notes:

“Auto-captioning receives two thumbs up from my perspective. From a brand standpoint, creating more accessible content for deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers is obviously a massive tick. Furthermore, many viral trends in TikTok often involve changing a word from a sound to suit a trend and make it more relevant to a niche audience.

For example, On The Tools recently put their spin on a trending sound, “they call themselves the guardians of the galaxy”, but applied it to tradies. This new feature allows us to edit just one word in the caption, which is much more efficient, in comparison to typing out “they call themselves tradies.””

YouTube has been offering automatically generated closed-captioning for over a decade, and publishers have reaped the benefits from an SEO perspective. As content creator, Average Joe, explains:

“We often think of captions being solely for those hard of hearing or for when people choose to watch a video with the sound off. Captions can also serve a huge purpose when it comes to SEO too though.

Google collects data not only from the title, description and tags from a video but also from the video itself. The captions help to feed the algorithm with lots of relative keywords for that video which in turn helps it to rank higher.”

Using the automatic closed captioning feature on TikTok is not only a notable benefit for accessibility purposes but also an opportunity for publishers to improve their SEO.


Facebook upvoting

Facebook has been testing up and down votes for group comments since November 2020. The aim of the experiment was to help users find the most useful comments and maximise group engagement.

Facebook has now updated the up and down vote experiment. In an initiative titled ‘complimenting comments’, users can now allocate a badge to the commenter to indicate why they found their comment valuable.

The icons pictured above can be attached to a comment, encouraging more activity from the commenter by indicating that their remark was ‘on target’, for example.


Scheduling on Facebook and Instagram 

Facebook users have been able to use the Business Suite to create and schedule posts for a while. However, an April 2021 update now means that Facebook users can create and schedule stories to both Facebook and Instagram.

This functionality is operational across desktop and mobile devices, meaning stories can be scheduled anywhere. In addition to this, users now have the ability to edit their scheduled posts and stories before they go live.

Read the previous Electric House article here.