This week in social media news, TikTok launches a six-week program to help small businesses grow on the app, YouTube rolls out updated analytics in Shorts, Instagram tests a Live Producer tool and more. 

TikTok Launches Six-Week Program To Help Small Brands Drive Results

TikTok is launching a new multi-channel educational program called Follow Me to help small and medium businesses build community on TikTok and achieve their business goals.

Why it matters: TikTok says it’s heard from several small businesses that the app helped them launch or build their business, with some saying it helped them survive the darkest days of the pandemic.

TikTok recently partnered with Hello Alice to survey 7,000 small businesses and 43 percent of owners said they’re now likely to join TikTok because they’ve heard reports of efficacy from fellow business owners. The survey also found that at 67 percent, TikTok gets top marks as a storytelling platform.

The details: TikTok’s Follow Me program will offer businesses a six-week email series that will outline different learning roadmaps based on visitors’ goals and best practices for running their first-ever TikTok campaign and integrating their brand’s story into their videos. 

This will include a guide to setting up a free business account, access to the creative center for content inspiration and insights into how TikTok’s ads manager and promotion features can be leveraged to further reinforce campaign outcomes.

Participating brands will learn the latest tips from TikTok’s small business ambassadors, Cassie Sorensen, owner and founder of Tassel Amor and Jacob Zander, owner and founder of Feel Your Soul. Cassie and Jacob will share their TikTok journeys and provide tips on how to best tap into the power of community and entertainment to drive real business results.

YouTube Updates Analytics For Shorts

YouTube has made some changes to its Shorts analytics and added comparative audience tools in the performance stats section, as announced in its latest Creator Insider video.

Why it matters: As of now, updates primarily benefit creators and brands looking to maximize their engagement but advertisers may soon be able to throw ad money at Shorts. During its Q1 earnings call, YouTube chief financial officer Ruth Porat said:

“We are experiencing a slight headwind to revenue growth as Shorts viewership grows as a percentage of total YouTube time. We are testing monetization on shorts, and early advertiser feedback and results are encouraging,” she said, adding that the team is working on closing the gap with traditional YouTube ads over time.

The details: YouTube has updated the visual display of its Shorts data with the inclusion of more specific stats.

The platform is also adding more advanced audience behavior data into YouTube Studio to help creators and brands better understand how their audience is discovering their channel.

Instagram Tests Live Producer Tool To Enable Desktop Streaming

In an effort to provide more opportunities to its creators, Instagram is testing a new Live Producer tool that’ll enable in-app broadcasters to go live using streaming software such as such as OBS, Streamyard and Streamlabs.

Why it matters: Livestreaming has become an increasingly popular way of consuming online content. Research from Livestream shows that 80 percent of consumers would prefer watching a brand’s live video to reading their blog post. So Instagram’s tool in testing could be a major game-changer for brands and creators aiming to create more polished, organized livestreams.

The details: Instagram says that you can view, share and download your completed broadcast within the Live Archive but that you can only share and download a completed live video from within the Live Archive if you have it enabled. The Live Archive can be accessed on Instagram mobile from your profile.

The tool is currently only available to a small pool of beta users, Instagram told TechCrunch

Meta And Google’s Ad Spend Projected To Dip Below 50% In 2023

By Insider Intelligence’s estimates, Meta and Google’s ad spend duopoly will dip below 50 percent to 48.7 percent in 2023 amid rising competition from TikTok.

Why it matters: The increase in the number of companies vying for total ad spend is reducing the share Meta and Google enjoyed for so long, with Walmart and Apple trying to secure a larger share of the ad spend market. Walmart is one of nine new platforms that’s expected to have a billion-dollar advertising business by next year. The other eight include Spotify, Roku, Snapchat, Instacart, Pluto TV, Yelp, IAC and Tubi.

The details: Meta and Google’s ad share will decline even further to 47.7 percent by 2024, according to Insider Intelligence.

TikTok Launches New Brand Safety Solution

TikTok is hoping to help brands better manage the environment where their ads show up with a new brand safety solution. The TikTok Inventory Filter will give advertisers more control over the content that appears adjacent to their in-feed ads on the For You page.

Why it matters: As TikTok notes:

”TikTok’s Community Guidelines are built with the safety of all of our users in mind, though sometimes content that is not violative still might not resonate with a particular brand’s identity. For example, a family-oriented brand might not want to appear next to videos containing even mild or comedic violence, whereas an advertiser promoting an action movie could benefit from showing up in that environment.”

“Enter the TikTok Inventory Filter, a proprietary solution embedded directly in the TikTok Ads Manager, that empowers advertisers with more control over where their ads appear on TikTok.”

The details: TikTok says that while all content on its app goes through careful moderation, the TikTok Inventory Filter offers additional layers of content filtration to help brands achieve their own unique goals by choosing the type of user-generated content (UGC) they’d like adjacent to their branded content.

Powered by advanced machine learning technology, the brand safety solution offers advertisers three distinct types of video inventory—full, standard and limited—which are informed by TikTok’s own policies and the industry-standard GARM Brand Safety Floor and Brand Suitability Framework. Brands can choose their desired tier within the TikTok ads manager when setting up a campaign.

The filter is now available in 25 countries and in more than 15 languages.