This week in social media news, TikTok tests stories and inks a partnership with Publicis Groupe, Instagram highlights top creative in a new section under its Professional Dashboard, Facebook advertisers shift to Amazon after Apple updates and more.

TikTok Pilots Stories As Twitter Terminates Fleets

TikTok has launched a pilot of TikTok Stories, as spotted by social media expert Matt Navarra and reported by TechCrunch. During the pilot, TikTok plans to gather insight before deciding whether it will expand it to all users.

Why it matters: The new feature allows TikTok users who don’t post regularly a more streamlined approach to begin engaging with the platform, an approach they’re likely familiar with if they’ve used a similar feature on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest or Twitter’s newly axed Fleets. The option also allows regular users to engage with the community in a more laid-back fashion without having to be on LIVE. For brands, Stories allows for expanded opportunities to advertise.

The details: TikTok Stories resembles its counterparts on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, for example in duration, the ability to record or upload and more; though it differs in one key respect – users’ ability to comment publicly. Users can view the number of people who have viewed a TikTok Story and whether they’re following those viewers. They can also tap a button via the new navigation bar on the left side of their screen before adding text, stickers, sounds or effects.

TikTok Announces Partnership With Publicis Groupe To Expand Access To Commerce Tools

TikTok is expanding its reach into commerce through a global partnership with Publicis Groupe. The partnership will provide Publicis clients with access to TikTok’s commerce tools and give TikTok more opportunities to help brands and creators maximize potential on the platform.

Why it matters: According to a press release, brands utilizing TikTok to engage with potential consumers will benefit from “unique learning opportunities, insights, and strategic counsel centered around driving product discovery and purchase intent….” The move is a part of TikTok’s ongoing monetization strategy as it attempts to keep creators happy (and paid) and struggles to find ways to monetize short-form video – an admittedly difficult task.

The details: Through the partnership, Publicis will reveal TikTok’s new commerce products, capabilities and creative solutions to an array of markets and clients. Additionally, in Publicis’ multi-week “Community Commerce Sprint’ program, a dedicated TikTok team will provide cross-functional support and coach brands on how to create and develop impactful commerce campaigns ahead of the holidays. 

TikTok will also gain new insights into consumer behavior through these campaigns, further bolstering its analytics offerings and monetization strategy and the ability to refine its commerce tools.

Instagram Highlights Top Examples Of Creative Via Professional Dashboard

Instagram is helping brands improve their presence on the platform by featuring examples of exceptional organic and promoted posts under a new section on the Professional Dashboard of business profiles.

Why it matters: The addition provides brands and creators with fresh ideas on how to expand their profitability on the commerce side of Instagram. Access to this selection of hand-picked posts and ads by Instagram’s creative team will also help businesses in developing their own vision and understand how to promote their own campaigns.

The details: To those who have Business and Creator accounts, Instagram’s Professional Dashboard now features the new “See How Other Businesses Connect With People” and, “See How Other Businesses Are Growing” sections. 

In its ongoing efforts to help businesses of all sizes, these new options enhance Instagram’s Professional Dashboard tool by imploring users of the Dashboard to take note of what makes a “top” post or ad stand out, what about it captures the business’ voice and vision and how those elements can be applied elsewhere.

Advertisers Shift To Amazon After Apple Privacy Shift

Ever since Apple rolled out its iPhone privacy changes in June, Facebook advertising has become less effective as brands seek alternatives such as Amazon, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Amazon holds 10.7 percent of the US digital ad market. However, with iPhone’s privacy update, the retail giant stands to take hold of a larger share of the ad market as the inability to track internet activity has left Facebook with less to offer businesses advertising through its platform.

The details: With consumers bypassing Google to search for products directly on Amazon, and with Facebook’s effectiveness having dwindled, brands are beginning to recognize the value in advertising on Amazon to its 153 million US Prime members. 

The new phenomenon is in its early stages, meaning nothing can be said for certain about its future, though there are several examples of companies shifting significant portions of their Facebook ad budgets into Amazon or keeping Facebook marketing budgets flat while increasing their presence on Amazon. There still remain hurdles to advertising on the world’s largest online marketplace, such as the fear of losing a direct connection with consumers. Still, advertising represents one of Amazon’s fastest-growing and most profitable resources.

Instagram Tests Ads In The Shop Tab

Instagram has launched the ability for brands with product listings to promote them as sponsored posts on the Shop tab front page. The platform says its goal is to “make shopping a habitual response in the app.”

Why it matters: Instagram is endeavoring to make its app more ecommerce-centric with an array of new tools and features, including its newest promotional addition, which allows for more exposure for brands and a more streamlined shopping experience for users.

The details: With this new update, users can tap a sponsored post, which will direct the user to the Product Details section for more details and images, with the possibility of exploring more of a brand’s products and website. Instagram’s new Shop tab ads will be tested with select US advertisers including Away, Clairepaint and Donny Davy, before it makes the feature available to all brands.