Discovery, ‘Unhinged’ Storytelling Top TikTok Trends of 2023

TikTok’s “What’s Next Report 2024,” its fourth annual trends forecast, aims to “arm marketers” with knowledge of the social platform community’s favorites “to shape the year ahead.” Curiosity was the No. 1 “trend force,” with users attesting TikTok “introduces them to new topics.” Unconventional storytelling (which TikTok calls “Storytelling Unhinged”) was the No. 2 trend, with creators employing unusual brand engagement techniques to keep viewers watching “past the first few seconds.” A makeup video viewed half a billion times, animal clips, ASMR with fried chicken and Selena Gomez touting her skincare routine were among TikTok videos most-viewed by U.S. audiences. Continue reading Discovery, ‘Unhinged’ Storytelling Top TikTok Trends of 2023

YouTube Premium Testing GenAI Tools for Long-Form Video

YouTube is testing artificial intelligence features with YouTube viewing Premium customers and the long-form video experience. Paid subscribers on mobile platforms who opt-in can participate in the two experimental tests for AI-assisted functions that include help with the comments section and a chatbot tool that lets viewers get answers to questions about videos and recommendations for related content. To help viewers “dive deeper into content” without interrupting playback, a conversational “Ask” icon will appear beneath videos in progress, inviting questions or letting viewers select suggested prompts. Responses include answers and related content recommendations. Continue reading YouTube Premium Testing GenAI Tools for Long-Form Video

YouTube Connected TV Popularity Prompts Ad Break Testing

YouTube is increasingly popular among connected TV (CTV) viewers who no longer turn to the social video service only for music videos or one-off skits. YouTube says that in the U.S., 65 percent of CTV watch time is on content that is 21 minutes or longer. The shift has prompted the Google-owned platform to change its approach to display advertising. The company is experimenting with longer but fewer ad breaks and limiting creator control with regard to ad placement on new videos. A new countdown timer more prominently displays the time until an ad ends or can be skipped. Continue reading YouTube Connected TV Popularity Prompts Ad Break Testing

YouTube Unravels Shorts, Demystifying Discovery Algorithm

YouTube has shared a video designed to demystify the algorithm that determines which Shorts get recommended, driving discovery and potential virality. Unlike TikTok and Instagram, YouTube didn’t reveal its top secrets by sharing specific details. In the Q&A presentation, Shorts Product Lead Todd Sherman answered frequently asked questions and emphasized the differences in how viewers consume content on Shorts versus YouTube. While the former involves swiping through hundreds of clips, flagship users are exposed to 10 or 20 videos and must proactively click or tap to play. Continue reading YouTube Unravels Shorts, Demystifying Discovery Algorithm

YouTube Shorts Adds Creator Tools Including Collab and Q&A

More than 2 billion logged-in users around the world are watching YouTube Shorts each month. To help creators keep them engaged, YouTube is releasing six new tools to improve creativity. Assists for remixing, adding stickers and effects, going live and more are coming to the platform, which has also begun testing a mobile-first live experience designed to help live creators get noticed in the main Shorts feed. One unusual new feature, Collab, lets creators display a Short in a side-by-side frame with other YouTube or Shorts videos. Collab lets users select from a variety of split-screen layout options. It will debut on iOS with Android to follow.  Continue reading YouTube Shorts Adds Creator Tools Including Collab and Q&A

Facebook Updates Video Features and Renames Watch Tab

Facebook has updated its video features in a bid to be more competitive with popular social video platforms TikTok and YouTube. Improvements from editing to discovery and the ability to upload videos in HDR roll out this week along with some new branding: the “Watch” tab has been renamed “Video,” unifying the streaming experience in one location. Editing tools for Reels are porting over to the main Feed channel, which means users can post and view short- and long-form video content as well as live videos in one place. The company is also making it easier to engage with recommended Instagram Reels directly on Facebook. Continue reading Facebook Updates Video Features and Renames Watch Tab

Snap Promotes ‘My AI’ Sponsored Links Tests, New Ad Slots

Snap is testing sponsored links for My AI, the chatbot introduced a year ago with Snapchat+ and made available free to all users last month. “We’re experimenting with new ways that My AI can surface useful information at the right moment during conversations. This includes early testing of sponsored links to connect our community with partners relevant to the conversation in the moment,” Snap said as part of its NewFronts announcements, emphasizing paid chat links are in “an early, experimental phase.” Messaging is a core Snapchat functionality, making conversational AI a natural enhancement, Snap Americas president Rob Wilk said. Continue reading Snap Promotes ‘My AI’ Sponsored Links Tests, New Ad Slots

TikTok Adding Paywall for ‘Series’ Videos of Up to 20 Minutes

TikTok is introducing a new feature called “Series” that lets eligible creators post collections of premium content behind a paywall. One Series can include up to 80 videos, each up to 20 minutes long, and creators can charge anywhere from $0.99 to $189.99 for access. Creators will set pricing for their Series, which can be purchased via in-video links or via the creator’s profile. Series participation is currently limited to “select creators,” who TikTok is reportedly allowing to keep all revenue, after applicable fees. However, that is expected to change as the program expands in the coming months. Continue reading TikTok Adding Paywall for ‘Series’ Videos of Up to 20 Minutes

Reddit Tests Split-View Text and Video Feeds, Other Updates

Reddit is introducing changes designed to make it easier for users to browse and navigate its communities. Currently testing is a concept that separates text and video into separate streams, dubbed “Read” and “Watch.” Users can toggle between the split-view feeds. In the current format, both “Read” and “Watch” will include recommendations as well as posts that users subscribe to. “In 2023, the product and design improvements you’ll see from us will simplify and streamline how people discover, join, and contribute (post, vote, comment) to communities and bring new ways to engage in conversations and content,” Reddit explains. Continue reading Reddit Tests Split-View Text and Video Feeds, Other Updates

TikTok’s New Toolkit Adds Photo Carousel, Allows More Text

TikTok is debuting new editing tools and one of them, Photo Mode, is drawing comparisons to Meta’s popular Instagram app. “For when you’d prefer to express yourself in formats other than video, we released Photo Mode, a new carousel format available on mobile for photo content that’s ideal for sharing high quality images on TikTok,” the company writes. The launch occurs just as Instagram has begun shifting its emphasis to video, to the consternation of many users, disapproval TikTok may have noticed as it seeks to pick up market share. Continue reading TikTok’s New Toolkit Adds Photo Carousel, Allows More Text

Twitter Emulating TikTok with Its New Scrolling Video Viewer

Twitter is the latest social media company to emulate TikTok by introducing an infinite video scroll. Tapping a video will expand it to full screen, which Twitter is calling its “immersive media viewer.” Once opened, users can then scroll up to start browsing. Tapping the back arrow exits the viewer and takes you back to the original tweet. And Twitter is making it easier to find “some of the most popular videos on Twitter” by adding a video carousel in the Explore tab “alongside Tweets and Trends.” The updates are rolling out beginning now, starting on iOS in English-speaking countries. Continue reading Twitter Emulating TikTok with Its New Scrolling Video Viewer

Instagram Enables Its Users to Upload Longer Video Stories

Photo- and video-sharing social app Instagram is introducing the option for users to upload longer uninterrupted Stories of up to 60 seconds in duration, without automatically converting the video content into 15-second mini-clips as was previously the norm. The Meta Platforms-owned network began testing the update with select users in December 2021 and just announced that the feature is rolling out to all global users. Allowing content creators to share 60-second Stories in one slide is expected to be a welcome change for both users and viewers. Continue reading Instagram Enables Its Users to Upload Longer Video Stories

Instagram Paying Media Companies to Create Popular Reels

Instagram is opening its wallet to media companies that can generate viral Reels, even as it cuts back on personalization. The step is the latest development as the Meta Platforms social app continues to experiment with its configuration, including algorithms and UI. On Thursday, the company said it will discontinue the full-screen feed it has been beta testing and will also be scaling down plans to increase force-fed recommendations. This rather abrupt reversal is said to be in response to the public criticisms of potential updates by users and notable influencers. Continue reading Instagram Paying Media Companies to Create Popular Reels

Streaming Viewership to Surpass Cable TV Before Year’s End

Streaming is expected to overtake linear TV viewing by the end of the year, according to a study by research firm Omdia. The Gauge, Nielsen’s latest media analysis report, found that streaming claimed 34 percent of total TV time in June for a fourth consecutive monthly record. That’s what cable claimed in June 2021, only to decline to 35 percent in June 2022. Nielsen SVP of product strategy and thought leadership Brian Fuhrer says what is unusual is “the extraordinary breakout that a number of the streamers had,” with Netflix jumping the most, a full share point. Continue reading Streaming Viewership to Surpass Cable TV Before Year’s End

Meta Takes on TikTok with Updated Video Features for Reels

Meta Platforms announced new features for Reels on Facebook and Instagram, including the ability to import audio, new templates to assist in video creation, a Suggested Reels feature, the ability to generate short-form Reels directly from Live content, upcoming editing and scheduling tools and more. These updates — in addition to a Sound Sync feature for Facebook Reels and Instagram Reels of up to 90-seconds — should help Meta keep up with ByteDance’s TikTok on the social media front, even as it has one foot planted in the metaverse. Continue reading Meta Takes on TikTok with Updated Video Features for Reels