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Platform Update: April 2021

Welcome to our Platform Update blog series, keeping you in the loop with industry news and platform changes. Read on to see what's been making the rounds in the last few weeks; from Instagram's new duet feature to Twitter's in-app YouTube video streaming - let's go!

Instagram

Instagram has officially launched 'Remix', which is esentially their TikTok duet clone. If you head to Reels and click on the three buttons in the bottom right-hand corner, the new function is readily available. However, as it stands, it’s only available side by side, a far cry from TikTok who have developed the feature and enabled the user to have more creative licence with reactions and content opportunities. Let's see what Instagram does with it!

They’re also developing the opportunity to save Stories as drafts, giving users a lot more scheduling options. It seems like they’re getting on board with the fact that content isn’t usually created or shared immediately, which is promising. Whilst it’s a small update, it could be quite useful for users, brands and agencies alike, giving them more flexible content sharing opportunities.

And finally, IGTV ads are now available for select creators in the UK and Australia, having rolled out a test in the US last year. And they’re really encouraging the use of the format by sharing 55% of the ad revenue with creators (which is the same as the Youtube partner programme) so expect to see a lot more IGTV ads coming soon.

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Twitter

In a bid to keep users on the platform, you’ll now be able to watch YouTube videos within Tweets, instead of being taken off the platform to view the video. It’s a small test in a few different markets, but hopefully there’s a view to roll it out further.

We’ve also had a sneak peak of some new community tools - soon you’ll be able to share tweets with a subgroup (a bit like the close friends feature on Instagram). There’ll also be a community page, showcasing a stream of tweets per topic or group, encouraging more engaged interaction from users when seeing more relevant content. Exciting!

And finally, the Periscope app is closing for good and will only be a feature within Twitter, enabling live streaming capability on the platform. It's interesting to see yet another single format social network get absorbed by a bigger social platform. Let's see what Twitter do with it!

Snapchat

Surprise! Snapchat are also creating their duet TikTok clone, and like Instagram, have also called it Remix. However, they've enabled more options in line with TikTok, in the way users can react to content, which sounds promising. It's currently only available in private conversations, with a view to roll it out to the public if it takes off.

LinkedIn

Linkedin are looking to rival Clubhouse with their own audio feature. Linkedin are normally quite late to the game when trialling different platform formats and features, but it feels like a natural fit for them in the context of networking. Excitied to see where they take it.

Clubhouse

The audio-only app are planning their Android launch, so keep your eyes peeled in late spring/summer 2021. However, there has been quite a siginificant drop in downloads and active users on the platform over the last few months, so it’ll be interesting to see whether there’s another peak with the wider roll out. Only time will tell.

TikTok

TikTok are releasing a playlist feature for a load of select creators, enabling users to collate a series of content, a bit like YouTube playlists, where you can piece together content and watch it all in a stream. It means that content isn’t reliant on the algorithm to watch a series of videos. This might be quite interesting down the line for brands if you want to collate campaign content or make more use of UGC.