This week in social media news, TikTok partners with brands to test in-app shopping in Europe, Reddit is developing an in-house agency to help with brand strategy, Pinterest will host a three-day livestream event with creators via its app, Twitter is reportedly working on new paid tweet options, Facebook Workplace shares a guide for hosting effective livestream company events and more.

TikTok Tests In-App Shopping In Europe

Gearing up for a broader global ecommerce service, ByteDance-owned TikTok has started to work with brands like Hype to test in-app shopping in Europe, reports Bloomberg.

Why it matters: As Bloomberg notes, TikTok’s goal is to replicate the success of its Chinese twin Douyin, on which ecommerce transactions brought in $26 million during its first year of operation.

With the online retail segment set to generate $5 trillion in sales this year as per eMarketer, platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are all developing and testing ecommerce features. TikTok has been working on enhancing in-app shopping features since last year when it announced a partnership with Walmart and Shopify, respectively.

The details: According to Bloomberg, TikTok’s goal is to sell more ads to merchants, increase traffic and take a portion of business. As part of its collaboration with Hype, the streetwear label will run dedicated stores on TikTok, taking orders from and engaging with shoppers directly.

In December, ByteDance co-founder Zhang Yiming noted that their recipe for big opportunities outside of China includes a combination of ecommerce, live streaming and short videos, reports Bloomberg.

Reddit Is Developing An In-House Agency To Help With Brand Strategy

Reddit is creating an in-house creative agency called KarmaLab that will host regular workshops to help brands enhance their advertising strategy under the guidance of the agency’s global director, Will Cady. KarmaLab already names Samsung and Snickers as previous clients, according to Digiday.

Why it matters: The launch of an in-house agency marks Reddit’s larger efforts to bolster its ads business in response to the difficulties brands have faced in being perceived as authentic by Redditors. Last May, the platform hired Pinterest’s former vice president of growth, Harold Klaje, amid a restructuring of its ad sales team.

The details: As Digiday notes, KarmaLab’s aim is to eventually help with overall brand strategy but to start, it will offer brands regular workshops and tips on approaching sponsored Ask Me Anything events, plus ways to enter popular subreddits like gaming via paid and organic posts.

Pinterest App To Host Three-Day Livestream Event With Top Creators

Pinterest is running three days of livestream sessions hosted by top creators from May 24 to May 26 on the Pinterest app, reports TechCrunch. Each day, users can tune in to seven different virtual events covering a range of topics including beauty, fashion, food and DIY.

Why it matters: This marks Pinterest’s formalized approach to virtual events. Last fall, it tested a “class communities” feature enabling users to attend Zoom classes via Pinterest which included a group chat option and shopping features.

The details: TechCrunch says that during Pinterest’s three-day virtual event, users can interact with the creator and shop products that creators can tag via Pinterest’s Product Pins. Moderators will oversee the sessions and will have the ability to remove people from the chat if they violate Pinterest’s community guidelines.

Users will be able to view the virtual event schedule and join the livestreams on the Pinterest app through a new ‘Live’ tab that the platform is adding.

Twitter Tests New Paid Tweet Options Under Monthly Subscription Model

After surveying its users last July on what in-app functions they’d pay for, Twitter is developing a monthly subscription called ‘Twitter Blue,’ as spotted by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong and reported by Social Media Today. The plan would cost $2.99 a month and give users access to a range of new Twitter tools, such as a saved tweet folder, undo tweet option and more.

Why it matters: In preparation of launching its own subscription plans, earlier this month Twitter acquired Scroll, a subscription-based service that removes ads from news sites for $5 per month.

The details: As noted by Wong, Twitter Blue would give paying users access to a ‘Collections for Bookmarks’ tool as well as a feature for retracting tweets within a certain period.

Wong also says Twitter is developing a tiered subscription model, with the higher-priced tier offering premium tools such as clutter-free news reading experience, which is where Scroll would come in.

As per Twitter’s survey last year, some other potential subscription add-ons could be custom profile options, advanced video publishing tools, auto-replies, custom stickers and insights into other accounts.

Facebook Offers Playbook For Hosting Effective Live Company Events

With many companies adopting a hybrid work model this year, Facebook has published a six-step guide on using live video within Facebook Workplace to host effective company events, help build community and improve employee wellbeing.

Why it matters: Earlier this month, Facebook Workplace reached 7 million paid subscribers, up 40 percent from 2 million last May. Comparatively, in April Microsoft’s Teams reported 145 million daily active users, up more than 93 percent from 75 million in April 2020.

The details: First up, Facebook says to avoid overlooking employees who aren’t in the office, users can create polls that help teams build more inclusive agendas.

Next, Facebook suggests using Workplace as a central space to share details of an upcoming event including an agenda and how to join.

Preparing leaders to be more authentic is Facebook’s third tip for more effective use of live video. The platform recommends asking leaders to think of personal anecdotes to share during the event to build trust between team members.

Interactive polls during a Workplace Live are also another great option for engaging and monitoring your whole audience, notes Facebook. In addition, organizers can check the Live Producer’s Stream Health tab to view key metrics and event logs.

For improved accessibility, Workplace Live also gives you the option to enable captions before or after a Live post.

Lastly, Facebook suggests keeping track of unanswered Q&A questions via the Q&A functionality which allows organizers to track all employee questions that need following up.

Twitter May Soon Reopen Verified Profile Applications

Twitter could be reopening its application for profile verification, as spotted by researcher Jane Manchun Wong. This time, though, it’ll be a self-serve process.

Why it matters: Applications for Twitter verification have been on pause for some time now after in 2017, followers expressed confusion over the meaning of the blue tick. Since then, Twitter has provided more transparency on who would qualify for verification once it re-launched the applications.

The details: On May 13, Wong tweeted:

“I was told by multiple sources that Twitter plans to launch the new self-served Verification Request form next week.”

As you can see in these screenshots from Wong, the updated verification process will ask a series of questions to determine if the user qualifies for the blue tick. You must fall into one of these six categories to be considered: activist, organizer or influencer; company, brand or organization; entertainers or entertainment groups; government official or affiliate; journalist or news organization; or professional sports or esports entity.