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New and Upcoming Social Media Features of 2021

Before we even realize we need a new one, a new social media platform or feature pops up. Clubhouse, Fleets, TikTok, interactive Instagram stickers, there's a long list that's developed over the past few years.

2020 saw a lot of live video and live streams of concerts and events. Snapchat filters continued to advance with augmented reality (AR) features for brand promotions.

As new platforms and features continue to take off, there's even more rolling out in 2021. Already five months into the new year, we've compiled a top five list of what's new so far in 2021, and what's to come.

Facebook & Instagram Scheduled Stories

With 500 million people using Instagram stories daily, there's no doubt on the feature's popularity. Stories provide a less posed, somewhat unfiltered look into people's and brand's everyday life.

Facebook announced that Business Suite will now allow users to schedule stories for both Facebook and Instagram. Creating and scheduling the story within Business Suite allows marketers to plan ahead and add another section to their content calendar.

To Like or Not to Like

Likes are the currency of social media. The amount of likes you receive on a Facebook or Instagram post or Tweet usually correspond with the popularity of your page.

Some posts really resonate with users, and the likes can take off. Other people view likes as a make-or-break deal. If a post receives few likes, users might think their page is losing credibility and popularity.

On a personal, non-brand level, some users can feel the pressure to receive as many likes a possible. In 2020, Instagram started testing features that hid like counts for some users, to try and decrease this pressure.

Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, recently tweeted some like updates the platform will be rolling out. To try and test how impactful likes are, users will have the following options:

  • Not see likes on anyone else's posts
  • Turn like counts off on your own posts
  • Keep the original experience and see likes on all posts

This test will start on Instagram with groups of users and could potentially roll out to Facebook as well.

Reels Gets a Remix

With the popularity of TikTok, and the growing usage of Instagram Reels, short videos are grabbing user's attention. Instagram continues to develop new Reels features to stay competitive in the short form content realm.

The Remix feature of Reels is the newest feature, very similar to Duets on TikTok. Users can enable the Remix feature on their Reel, and other users can create videos alongside it. Popular Duets on TikTok include reaction videos or like the name says, singing alongside in a duet.

It will be interesting to see how Reels continue to develop, and more features that pop up along the way.

The Long and the Short of It

The most common thread of new social media features is the ability to create and share short form video. Quick, flashy, and digestible content pieces capture users' attention for just a few seconds.

In May, YouTube announced they would be incorporating short form video with the aptly named Shorts. Shorts is a new tab within the mobile app that allows users to create videos, up to 60 seconds long.

Shorts are auto captioned, with more features and filters rolling out throughout the year. Shorts integrate into an account's existing channel, with users being able to subscribe to both the long form and short form video.

And the Story Continues

Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Almost all social media platforms have a story format now.

The latest to join the club? Pinterest and LinkedIn. Both sites began rolling out stories in 2020, continuing to streamline features into 2021.

Pinterest stories differ from other platforms in that they don't appear at the top of your newsfeed. Pinterest stories integrate throughout your pins, popping up as you navigate throughout the site. They also don't expire after 24 hours and allow businesses to share what they normally would in a pin, just in a more dynamic content.

With LinkedIn being a professional, business-focused social media platform, their approach to stories is a bit different. While stories on other platforms might show users doing make-up tutorials or more casual content, LinkedIn has a different approach.

LinkedIn encourages users to, "share a unique perspective from your work day, ask a question to your network, share insights on timely breaking news, walk through a product demo or teach others a skill."

Stories naturally appear conversational in tone, but it will be interesting to see how they continue to play out and gain popularity across a more professional platform.

What Top Social Media Features Should You Use?

As social media trends and features come and up go, it's overwhelming to try and stay on top of it all. It can be intriguing to try and make a strong presence on every platform, but it can also be unrealistic.

With Shorts, Reels, and TikTok, there's a lot of short form content to create! Become an expert in one platform rather than spreading yourself thin over three and losing potential customers along the way.

When it comes to social media management and strategy, really focus on your brand's strengths, and which platform and features can best show them. What type of content do you want to create? Who is your target audience?

Not sure where to start implementing these new features, or social media in general? SteadyRain can help. Contact our team today for help on your social media marketing strategy, voice, and content plan.

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