This week in social media news, TikTok and Oracle approach a potential deal to mitigate US data security concerns, TikTok expands the pilot of its Stories feature, Twitter tests a new clipping tool for Spaces and more.

TikTok May End Up Storing Its US Data On Oracle Servers

In an effort to address US regulatory concerns over TikTok’s data integrity, TikTok and Oracle are nearing a deal that would make it so the latter stores US users’ information without TikTok parent company ByteDance having access to it, reports Reuters

Why it matters: The agreement in discussion comes a year and a half after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CIFU) ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok due to fears China’s government could collect US users’ data. While the order wasn’t enforced after President Joe Biden succeeded Donald Trump last year, sources tell Reuters CIFU still has concerns over data security at TikTok.

The details: Under the new proposed partnership, Oracle would store all of TikTok’s US user data on its data servers and a dedicated US data management team of hundreds of people serving as a gatekeeper for US user information will be formed. The companies are also discussing a structure under which that team would function autonomously and not be under TikTok’s control or supervision.

Currently, some of TikTok’s data is stored on Alphabet’s Google Cloud.

TikTok Expands Pilot Of Stories Feature

TikTok will be expanding the pilot of its Stories feature, which the app tested in summer 2021.

Why it matters: With TikTok Stories, brands will have more opportunities to reach users and the freedom to showcase their products and services in ways that don’t necessarily follow the short-form, quick style of content that users have come to expect in their For You feeds.

The details: Like Instagram Stories, TikTok Stories last for 24 hours before being automatically deleted. They appear on users’ For You pages and can be accessed by navigating to a user’s profile and clicking on their profile picture. 

TikTok doesn’t currently allow the poster to view who viewed their Stories, as Instagram does, but they can see how many people viewed them. 

Only some users will have access to this feature, and, according to TechCrunch, only users with the feature currently can view others’ Stories.

Twitter Tests New Clipping Tool For Spaces

Twitter has begun testing a new clipping tool for Spaces, its live audio conversation function, the platform announced in a tweet

Why it matters: The new tool will give users’ Spaces more exposure and the ability to tease a part of their live audio conversation rather than the entire recording. 

It comes as pandemic-related restrictions start to ease and users who once enjoyed live audio rooms on the platform need incentives to stay.

The details: Select Spaces hosts on iOS will now be able to clip 30 seconds of audio from a recorded conversation to share on Twitter. Currently, all iOS users can view and listen to Spaces clips on their timelines while access will open up to Android and web users soon. 

Twitter will expand the new feature to all users beyond just hosts in the near future. Currently, hosts can create any number of audio clips, with each one living on the platform for 30 days.

Pew Study Shows Motive Of Twitter Users Who Tweet Infrequently

For its latest study, Pew Research Center set out to uncover the motives of Twitter “lurkers,” or users who have posted an average of fewer than five tweets per month since they first created their account, compared with frequent tweeters.

Why it matters: Pew’s findings about Twitter lurkers could prove useful for brands looking to capture an audience they thought never existed but is actually active behind the scenes. For example, Twitter lurkers are more likely than active users to say the most important reason they use the platform is to see different points of view. This cohort also uses Twitter primarily as a way to stay informed.  

The details: According to Pew, about 60 percent of infrequent tweeters are ages 30 to 49—nearly double the share among more active tweeters. Comparatively, adults under 30 account for just 14 percent of lurkers but make up 41 percent of more active users.

Twenty-one percent of lurkers say they visit the site every day, compared with 55 percent of more active tweeters. Another 38 percent of infrequent tweeters say they visit weekly, if not daily. The remaining 41 percent visit only a few times a month or less often.

When asked whether they use Twitter to express their own opinions or to see what others are saying, 76 percent of lurkers say they use the platform primarily to see what others are saying, according to Pew. Just 6 percent primarily use the platform to express their own opinions.

Replies to other users account for roughly half percent of lurkers’ tweets, compared with 30 percent of those from more frequent tweeters.

Snapchat’s New Custom Landmarkers Feature Aims To Inspire Local AR Experiences

Through its new Lens Studio feature Custom Landmarkers, Snap is giving creators the ability to develop community-driven augmented reality (AR) experiences for places they care about including statues and storefronts.

Why it matters: The platform says the feature is part of its efforts to grow its AR platform, Lens Studio, and give its community of 250,000 Lens creators—which have collectively made 2.5 million lenses that have been viewed more than 3.5 trillion times—more ways to create experiences.

The details: The AR experiences built via Custom Landmarkers are discoverable through physical Snapcodes displayed at the landmark or on a Lens creator’s profile.