This week in social media news, Facebook’s ‘Topics to Watch’ report highlights rising conversation topics on Facebook and Instagram, Google announces new listing options for Google Businesses, Facebook launches a new Independent Artist Program, Instagram adds the ability to run group fundraisers, TikTok signs on as the title sponsor for VidCon 2021 and more.

Facebook Report Reveals Rising Conversation Topics On Facebook And Instagram In Q1

Facebook recently published its ‘Topics to Watch’ quarterly report highlighting rising topics of conversation on Facebook and Instagram. They include Travel Photography, Streetwear, All-Inclusive Resort and Body Positivity Movement — all of which saw sizable growth in Q1.

Why it matters: As consumers and businesses embrace the new normal, Facebook’s analysis of key and rising search terms give marketers valuable insight about consumers’ post-pandemic interests and the demographics driving these conversations. 

The details: With travel restrictions easing up, Facebook found that conversations about ‘Travel Photography’ surged, with 2.65x year-over-year (YoY) growth.

Many are unlikely to leave behind the comfort of loungewear after a year of lockdown, hence why ‘Streetwear’ was also heavily discussed in Q1, with 2.57x YoY growth.

Facebook also observed a steady increase in discussions of ‘All-Inclusive Resorts’ on Instagram with 1.73x YoY growth. Associated topics include: Airport, Beaches resorts, Destination spa, Tourism, Mexico, Caribbean, Travel agency and Passport. 

Lastly, ‘Body Positive Movement’ experienced 2.29x YoY growth on Instagram. Here the associated topics were Self-love, Self-care, Body image, Feminism and Mindfulness.

Google Adds New Listing Options For Business Profiles, Plus Ability To Create And Share Posts 

Google has launched several new listing options to help improve Google Business profiles, including the ability to add details such as contact information and opening hours, and create posts and share updates like special offers or new offerings right from Google Search.

You can add details, such as contact information and opening hours, and create Posts to share updates, like special offers or new offerings, right from Google Search. Starting next week, you’ll also be able to create Posts about upcoming events including when and where they’re happening — whether you’re throwing a reopening party or hosting an online tasting. 

Why it matters: Google says that food ordering on Google has jumped more than 230 percent since last year, and that searches for “who has __ in stock” have increased by over 8,000 percent over the year.

Food ordering on Google has increased more than 230% since last year thanks to a boost in demand (who else is tired of doing dishes?) and new restaurant partners. To help handle the demand, Order with Google lets food businesses accept orders for takeout and delivery directly through their Business Profile on Google Search and Maps. This makes it easier for you to reach new customers and turn searches on Google into orders.

The details: Google has added a new process for businesses offering local services – such as construction, landscaping and auto repair – to include new services and local areas serviced directly from their Search and Maps listing using the Edit Profile menu.

The tech giant is also now alloing businesses that work with one of its Reserve with Google partners to enable online bookings directly from Google Search. Once the business has signed up with a Reserve with Google partner, they can see how many bookings customers have made with their business directly on Google. 

For restaurants, the good news is that they can now update their menus by adding or editing items in their Business Profile on Search and Maps. 

In addition to being able to manually add product information to a Business Profile via Search and Maps, eligible US retailers can get all their in-store product inventory automatically added to their Business Profile by signing up for Pointy from Google right from Google Search. 

Later this summer, Google will allow business owners who’ve started their onboarding journey but aren’t yet verified to complete their verification journey on Search and Maps.

Facebook Launches New Independent Artist Program To Help Unsigned Artists 

Facebook is launching an Independent Artist Program to help undistributed artists and creators get their music on Facebook and Instagram products plus anywhere else Facebook offers a music library.  

Why it matters: Facebook is catching up to the likes of TikTok, who last summer announced a partnership with UnitedMasters that will allow full integration between both platforms directly through the TikTok app. In response to TikTok’s growing prominence, YouTube recently said that it paid over $4 billion to the music industry in the last 12 months alone.

The details: Facebook has partnered with preferred third-party music distribution companies DistroKid and TuneCore to help unsigned artists get their music on Facebook and Instagram quickly and at no cost to the artist. 

To sign up, musicians can select from a list of Facebook’s third-party distribution partners, fill in their information, then start sharing their music across Facebook and Instagram music products. Artists will get paid for the use of their music based on the terms of their chosen distributor. Plus, they’ll get access to insights about the music’s performance.

Instagram Launches Group Fundraisers

In an attempt to help people activate together around a cause, Instagram has launched a group fundraising tool that lets people invite others to join their fundraiser, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting their non-profit of choice.  

Why it matters: Instagram launched personal fundraisers last July and Instagram Live fundraisers shortly thereafter in August. Facebook reports that users have raised over $5 billion through Facebook and Instagram combined.

The details: The process is similar to launching a personal fundraiser except after adding and sharing a fundraiser, users must tap the ‘Share’ button on their fundraiser page then ‘Invite Group Members.’

TikTok Overshadows YouTube In Becoming The Title Sponsor For VidCon 2021

This year, TikTok will be the lead sponsor for VidCon 2021, which is set to return to Anaheim Convention Center in late October, and will offer both a digital and in-person ticket option, according to Variety.

Why it matters: Since 2013, YouTube has been the title sponsor for VidCon, which debuted in 2010. Though YouTube said it will be among one of the secondary sponsors of the event, the shift reinforces TikTok’s growing influence in the social media and influencer marketing landscape.

The details: As per Variety, as the title sponsor, TikTok will have the keynote address spot and invite top creators and executives involved in all three of VidCon’s tracks — Community, Creator and Industry.

Among the creators confirmed to attend include TikTok stars Andre Swilley, Sarah Lugor, Devon Rodriguez, Alex Warren, Benji Krol, Michael Le and Ben De Almedia, to name a few.

Snapchat Launches Creative Kit, Enabling Developers To Integrate Their Apps In Spotlight

With the launch of its new Creative Kit for Spotlight, Snapchat is enabling developers to promote their apps on its TikTok-like feed called Spotlight, reports The Verge. Snapchatters can then use the creation tools available on those apps to create videos that get directly published on the Spotlight feed.

Why it matters: Giving its users more creative freedom via developer apps is a surefire way to boost Snap’s downloads. In 2019, Snapchat reported that about 7 to 9 million users joined the platform as a result of viral face filters.

The details: Using the new Creative Kit for Spotlight, users can browse content made by developers then easily download them. Developers can track the performance of their tools and effects and content created by users through hashtag topics. Snapchat won’t take a percentage from the developers even if their app charges a fee for use.

According to The Verge, initial partners for Creative Kit for Spotlight include Lightricks, Splice, Powder, Piñata and Farms.

Instagram Debuts Reels Ads Globally

After a test in select countries, Instagram announced it’s launching Reels ads globally. The expansion comes almost a year after first launching Reels in August last year.

Why it matters: Reels represents Instagram’s effort to compete with TikTok. Through videos of up to 15 seconds, Reels aims to give creators the same creative freedom that TikTok users are loving — through fast, multi-clip videos customizable with music and augmented reality effects.

TikTok recently launched a new ads library, new ad tools for small businesses and in-stream shopping tools such as collection ads, dynamic product ads and promo tiles.

The details: As Instagram noted in a company blog post, Reels ads will be full screen and vertical, akin to ads in Instagram Stories. The ads, which can be up to 30 seconds, will appear between Reels and will loop.

Reels ads will be served in the Reels tab, Reels in Stories, Reels in the Explore tab and Reels in users’ feeds. In addition, people can like, view, save and share Reels ads.

Instagram said that it’ll give people controls on the Reels ads they’re served. For example, if they see an ad they dislike, they can skip it or tap the menu on the post to hide or report the ad.