The Social Short: Week 41

People Are Mourning The Loss Of Instagram’s Following Tab 

Instagram has just announced that it would be phasing out its Following Tab this week. According to Instagram’s head of product, Vishal Shah, very few people were using the tab anymore, with and a number of users unaware of its existence;  “people didn’t always know that their activity is surfacing. So you have a case where it’s not serving the use case you built it for, but it’s also causing people to be surprised when their activity is showing up.”

Instagram launched its “Following” tab back in 2011, long before its Explore tab debuted. At the time,  ‘Following’ was the best way to discover new content, as users could see what their friends were liking. However, with the introduction of the Explore tab, this feature has become rather obsolete. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri attributes this change to simplicity and keeping the app focused on the key functions people use.



Instagram May Finally Add DMs To Desktop With Messenger-Like Interface 

Instagram is testing DMs for its desktop site with a Messenger-like interface. This potential new feature was spotted by developer Jane Manchun Wong. It could be particularly helpful for influences and those running business accounts, as responding to hundreds of messages on a keyboard would be a lot more convenient.



Slowly but surely the web app is becoming more useful and if this new feature rolls out, in the future Instagram could also look into allowing users to upload images from the desktop.


Google Wants A Piece Of TikTok’s Pie, And Purchasing Firework Could Take It 

TikTok has become one of the fastest-growing social networks in history. With more than one billion active users, the app is valued at $75 billion.

Google has taken note of this success and is thought to be considering the acquisition of TikTok-like “Firework,” an app that allows users to make and share 30-second videos with strangers. This one has over a million users and has just launched in India. Valued at more than $100M, it is currently a part of a suite of apps by Redwood City, California, based company Loop Now Technologies. 



Facebook Provides New Stories Templates For Businesses

Stories continue to gain momentum on both Instagram and Facebook. As a result, Facebook has launched two new features for brands to make use of this momentum. The first element is a new set of customisable Stories templates for use across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. the new templates provide simple, visually effective Stories presentation options that brands can use to showcase their offerings. 

Using these new templates is relatively straightforward and can be accessed via Facebook Ads Manager.

  1. Create your image ad at the Ads level
  2. Choose ‘Select a placement to customize’ then select Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories or Messenger Stories
  3. A pop up will open (you can also reach the pop up by choosing the Edit button above Ad Preview)
  4. Choose ‘Change Template’ to choose a template. Preview your ad on the right.