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This week on the latest digital marketing updates: TikTok releases a separate app for TikTok Now, Meta introduces a new ad type for brand and retail store collaborations and launches the Facebook Reels API, TikTok increases the character limit for video descriptions, and Instagram introduces the longer stories feature. Here are the latest news, trends, and updates in detail:
TikTok copies BeReal and expands the reach of TikTok Now to markets outside the United States by releasing a separate app.
TikTok has recently launched TikTok Now in the US, a new feature that’s a copycat of BeReal, a rising photo-sharing app whose monthly active users have grown 315% year-to-date. In markets outside the US, users can download TikTok Now as a separate app and it’s already available on the App Store and Google Play.
TikTok Now works by inviting users to capture what they’re doing in the moment using their device's front and back camera. Everyone receives a daily prompt at the same time to capture a 10-second video or a static photo and share it with friends.
The TikTok Now app is a standalone app that functions the same way as the feature that’s available within the TikTok app. It also links a user’s account across the two apps. You don’t need to download the TikTok app in order to use the TikTok Now app, but you must create a TikTok account.
It’s worth noting that a user must be at least 13 years of age (or 14 in South Korea and Indonesia) to use TikTok Now. Users aged 18 years and over are given a bit more advantage as they have a 3-minute window to take a TikTok Now.
You can view TikTok Nows in the following areas:
Now feed: TikTok Nows posted by followers that you follow back appear here, so as those posted by suggested accounts (if aged 18 and over) from the TikTok community. Some users will have access to “Now” from the “Friends” tab.
Memories: Here your current and past TikTok Nows are displayed. Only you have access to your past TikTok Nows.
TikTok Now app
Friends feed: TikTok Nows posted by followers that you follow back appear here, as well as those posted by other suggested accounts from the TikTok community.
Explore feed: Any TikTok creators (aged 18 and over) who post public TikTok Nows in your region appear here.
Memories: This displays your current and previous TikTok Nows. Only you have access to your past TikTok Nows.
To learn more about how TikTok Now works, visit this help page.
Aside from seller collaboration, Meta’s new Collaborative Ads local delivery makes purchasing more convenient for customers.
A new ad type has been introduced by Meta and they’re rolling it out globally. Collaborative Ads local delivery allows local businesses and consumer packaged goods brands to advertise their products alongside their partner retail store or delivery service. This makes it easier for customers to purchase grocery items and meals right where they discover it.
Collaborative Ads local delivery also only shows products in stock with updated pricing so what customers order is available and at the right price.
As Meta announced, brands and retailers can now use Collaborative Ads local delivery to meet their customers who are on Facebook and Instagram. The partnership between consumer packaged goods brands, grocers, local restaurants, and delivery providers helps create targeted, local interest for your products on the two social networking platforms.
To learn how other brands and retailers are using Collaborative Ads to help sell their products, visit this page from Meta.
With this new solution, creators and brands can now share Facebook Reels using third-party platforms such as social media management tools.
Meta has announced in a blog post that they’re introducing the Facebook Reels API, an enterprise solution API that enables the sharing of Reels to publicly available Facebook pages from a desktop or web-based application. This complements the Instagram Reels API, which was launched back in June.
This new solution enables a “share to reels” feature, a simpler and easier way for you to share video content from your tool or app of choice. This way, you can directly upload your Facebook Reels through the third-party platform you’re using instead of having to upload to Facebook at a later time.
According to Meta, Facebook Reels API is made for content creation platforms that provide enhanced tooling for video creation and editing through the use of templates, subtitles, editing backgrounds, etc. It’s also for social media management platforms that support various social network integrations to help manage, schedule, and post content on behalf of users, companies, and brands.
Others who can benefit from this solution are large publishers and enterprise creators who develop an in-house social media management tool that can directly integrate and publish to Facebook Reels.
Meta also announced their partnership with three platforms who have already integrated Facebook Reels API:
Jellysmack: A technology company that helps creators grow their communities and maximize their earnings across multiple social media platforms.
Sprout Social: A solution that offers deep social media listening and analytics, social management, customer care, commerce, and advocacy solutions for brands and agencies worldwide.
Wix: A website building platform that helps users manage and grow an online presence. Wix and Meta collaborate to provide various social marketing features for users to promote their businesses, including the creation of social media posts that can help drive traffic to their websites and increase conversions.
If you’re already using these third-party tools, try the “share to reels” feature to experience a more convenient way of publishing your Facebook Reels.
With this change, creators and brands can optimize their content for search by using sought-after keywords in video descriptions.
TikTok video descriptions used to have a 300 character limit, but now, users can fill it with as many as 2,200 characters. Social media consultant Matt Navarra shared this discovery via Twitter, saying that “this is huge for creators and massive in terms of TikTok’s plans for becoming a search engine.”
Video descriptions on TikTok are used to add more context and details about the content, which helps creators and brands generate engagement. They also make content easier to search. More importantly, TikTok uses the text in video descriptions to decide which videos to recommend to viewers.
More and more younger viewers are using TikTok as a search engine, and the entertainment app is capitalizing on this by creating ways for brands and creators to make their videos more search-friendly.
Google’s Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, who runs the company’s Knowledge & Information organization, has also acknowledged that TikTok and Instagram are the go-to search engines of a lot of young people. He revealed:
“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”
With the expanded length of video descriptions, creators and brands can optimize their text to cover search terms. For instance, you can include keywords related to the products or services you’re offering and how people are using them. Local businesses can also include their location as a keyword, which can help them rank for a query related to their neighborhood, city, or state. However, it’s important to note that your keywords must be relevant to your video content.
Google indexes TikTok videos, so taking the time to compose a detailed description can help people discover your videos more through the Google search engine and TikTok.
Instagram is rolling out its longer stories feature, which removes the 15-second video limit for Instagram Stories.
As Instagram continues to streamline their video products, they recently updated the Stories feature to introduce longer stories. This means that videos up to 60 seconds long will no longer be broken up into segments, which is what used to happen if you upload a video longer than 15 seconds.
This update was shared by social media expert Matt Navarra via Twitter, along with a screenshot of the in-app alert:
You’ll be able to access this new feature when you update your Instagram app as it’s being rolled out to all users.
Last year, Instagram combined IGTV and feed videos into one format, and a few months ago, Meta announced that new video posts on Instagram that are shorter than 15 minutes will be shared as reels. While these decisions are aimed at simplifying the app experience, it will also help Instagram users maximize engagement as different formats of video content are available in places where people interact.
If you’re paying content creators to publish sponsored content on Instagram Stories based on frame counts, it’s time to restructure your deals to accommodate the longer stories feature.
Create targeted, local interest for your products and ensure that you’re able to deliver what your customers need with Meta’s Collaborative Ads local delivery. You can run these ads on Facebook and Instagram to reach a wider market.
Simplify the way you publish your Facebook and Instagram Reels and save time with Meta’s Reels APIs. You can access their features through third-party tools that have integrated the Reels APIs.
Take advantage of the increased character limit for TikTok video descriptions by optimizing it with search keywords related to your content. This will make your videos easier to search and more likely to be recommended by the algorithm.
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