This week in social media news, Snapchat releases a new ‘Trends’ resource center around popular moments and keywords, YouTube explores the rise of aesthetics, Facebook releases the first in a series of reports that give an overview of the most widely viewed content in News Feed, Pinterest launches an inclusive hair pattern search filter, Facebook tests ‘Facebook Reels’ in the US and more.

Snapchat Releases ‘Trends’ Resource Center Highlighting Popular Keywords

For the first time, Snapchat is giving marketers a glimpse of the topics and moments most relevant to its community of 293 million daily active users with Snapchat Trends—a new tab under its Resources section that highlights the most popular keywords shared with the Snapchat community via public Snaps Stories and My Stories that have been viewed by a large group, in addition to a searchable database of terms.

Why it matters: Snapchat Trends offers marketers a new source of information about users of the platform and how they can be incorporated into marketing strategies. Using a consumer packaged goods brand as an example, Snapchat says that within the last few months they’ve seen a marked increase in the volume of conversation around seasonal summer flavors like strawberry, watermelon and rhubarb, which could serve as inspiration for new product flavors.

The details: Snapchat Trends will share insights around trending topics, keywords and more. For example, Snapchat said it recently saw a 100 percent increase in mentions of the phrase “third-wheeling” and that mentions of the term “streaming” reliably surge every Friday.

YouTube Releases ‘The Rise Of Aesthetics’ Report

In its latest report, ‘The Rise of Aesthetics’ YouTube explores the origin of “aesthetics” given the use of the term surged on the platform during the pandemic. Using the ‘cottagecore’ trend as a point of entry, YouTube breaks down the history of aesthetics, which, as social media strategist Amanda Brennan notes, offered people during the pandemic, “a way to [escape] the pandemic with pre-Internet, romanticized imagery.” 

Why it matters: YouTube is positioned to help users create and explore variations of ‘aesthetic’ trends through its algorithm of endless tutorials, discussions, music and quizzes. Marketers offering products or services in line with a given aesthetic now have YouTube’s analysis of key aesthetics to assist in determining who to target and when.

The details: YouTube defines “aesthetics” as the thematic expression of visual and musical tastes as a representation of self. In the report, the platform explores how aesthetics are enabling users to express themselves through five key genres: ‘cottagecore,’ ‘Y2K,’ ‘dreamcore,’ ‘bardcore,’ ‘dark academia’ and ‘royaltycore’—each of which surpassed 5 million annual views on YouTube in 2020 to 2021.

Facebook Releases First ‘Widely Viewed Content Report’

Facebook has released its inaugural ‘The Widely Viewed Content Report,’ the first in a series of reports that will provide an overview of the most widely viewed content in News Feed, starting with domains, links, Pages and posts in the US.

Why it matters: Facebook’s insights tool CrowdTangle was built to assist users in grasping the type of content that gets the most likes, comments and reshares. Facebook’s release of this data, along with such reports as the Community Standards Enforcement Report, is in support of its efforts to increase transparency and accountability. Facebook notes that despite what the report discloses about the most-viewed content, it still comprises a minuscule amount of what users actually see on the platform. Consequently, in order to portray a thorough picture of what users see, Facebook will release quarterly Widely Viewed Content Reports in the US first, with international data incorporated soon. 

The details: According to the report, fewer than 13 percent of content views were on posts with links, and the most-viewed news domains account for only 0.31 percent of all content views in News Feed, with mainstream media views dominating.

The report also sheds light on the kinds of posts and Pages that are actually the most widely viewed, with many of the most-viewed Pages focused on sharing content about pets, cooking, family and relatable viral content. Facebook will update the report quarterly in its Transparency Center and release it along with each quarterly Community Standards Enforcement Report.

Facebook Launches ‘Facebook Reels’ To Compete With TikTok 

Facebook has just announced its newest feature, ‘Facebook Reels,’ offering users the ability to create and share TikTok-like content.

Why it matters: The new feature comes months after TikTok achieved a milestone for social apps that, until this year, only Facebook (and its assembly of apps) had achieved—3 billion downloads worldwide. In order for Facebook to retain its 2.85 billion monthly active users and keep its younger users satisfied, it must follow in TikTok’s footsteps. 

The details: With Facebook Reels, US users are able to create and share short-form video content directly within their News Feed or within Facebook Groups. The feature was first tested in Canada, Mexico and India. 

Facebook will also be testing a new feature that allows US-based Instagram creators the option to have Instagram Reels recommended on Facebook. Opting in will display Instagram Reels in the Reels section in users’ News Feed on Facebook. 

Pinterest Launches Inclusive Hair Pattern Search Filter

Pinterest has rolled out a new hair pattern search filter with black, brown and Latinx pinners in mind that will allow them to refine hair searches by six different hair patterns: protective, coily, curly, wavy, straight and shaved/bald.

Why it matters: In the past month alone, Pinterest says there were over 120 million searches for hair and over 5 billion Pins created related to hair on Pinterest. The platform has also observed that top hair searches on Pinterest are personalized—for example, “natural hair twists protective” (15x) and “best haircuts for thick wavy hair” (13x).

The details: Over the coming weeks, through Pinterest’s computer vision-powered object detection, pinners can narrow searches such as “summer hairstyles” by choosing one of six hair patterns. Pinterest says it has detected a hair pattern in over 500 million images on the platform.

The new hair pattern search builds on Pinterest’s skin tone ranges launched in 2018 which allows pinners to refine their beauty-related searches based on a set of skin tone ranges.

Twitter Introduces Search Endpoints

Along with the second version of its new API, Twitter is launching new Spaces endpoints so developers can create tools, apps and services that help people get more out of Spaces. The company said it plans to launch API support for Spaces in phases, with discovery as its first focus area and tools for Hosts as its second.

Why it matters: From its conversations with its developer community, Twitter has gleaned that the first API functionality it should build is one that helps people discover interesting Spaces and set reminders. Twitter also heard that developers would like data to help Spaces Hosts understand the performance of their Spaces.

The details: All developers using Twitter’s new API v2 can look up live or scheduled Spaces using criteria like Spaces ID, user ID or keyword. With Spaces lookup, developers can also understand the public metadata and metrics associated with an active Space, according to Twitter.

YouTube Releases Features That Help More Users Search And Find Content More Easily 

YouTube has responded to its community’s requests with new features that make searching for select content easier, including the ability to jump to a specific chapter in a video and automatically translated captions, titles and descriptions when content in the local language isn’t available. 

Why it matters: With these new features, YouTube is encouraging people from different backgrounds to use its platform and to spend more time on the platform by simplifying their experience.

The details: YouTube has released a number of new features that make searching for content easier. For example, users can now view a time-stamped image that details the various topics covered in the video. The new feature also allows users to jump to a specific chapter. 

YouTube will also be releasing the ability to preview a snippet of a video on the mobile app—something desktop users have been enjoying. Additionally, a new feature will display foreign language search results with automatically translated captions, titles and descriptions where relevant content in the local language isn’t available. 

Lastly, YouTube has begun testing a new feature in India and Indonesia that complements search results with links from Google Search, a feature that may expand to other countries pending analysis of performance.

Facebook Business Releases Its 2021 Creative Forecast 

In its 2021 Creative Forecast, Facebook has assessed key creative trends for the future based on an analysis of key 2020 cultural shifts, examples from standout brands and creative springboards that can assist marketers in their own campaigns.

Why it matters: Harnessing the five ‘ascendant behaviors’ witnessed in the last year or so will provide brands with the insights necessary to meet customers’ expectations and evolve with their changing needs.

The details: Facebook’s Creative Shop assessed 100 high-performing creative campaigns that were selected based on several factors, the most notable of which being business impact. The study pinpointed five ‘ascendant behaviors’ that are likely to continue shaping creative, including building inclusivity, creative edutainment, selling with ideas and more.

LinkedIn Publishes New Brand Building Playbook

In LinkedIn’s new brand building guide, the platform offers advice on developing and optimizing for a memorable brand image that connects with customers. The 33-page guide provides the basics of brand building, balancing short and long-term strategies and case studies on brands like Lenovo, Callaway and more who have found success on LinkedIn.

Why it matters: As LinkedIn research shows, 95 percent of buyers are “out-of-market” future buyers and over time, those buyers gradually come in-market when they need to make a purchase. By this point, it’s important that brands have built up enough mental availability that these buyers would consider, or pre-select, your brand.

The details: According to LinkedIn, emotional messaging is key to capturing the 95 percent of buyers who are out of market when they’re in-market. LinkedIn suggests priming customers with repeated, memorable exposure to your brand. Then once the buyers come in-market, leverage rational messaging to capitalize on your brand strength to achieve short-term results.

To help grow your community on LinkedIn, the platform suggests organic methods, namely via Stories, Pages, LinkedIn Live and Events, while also boosting content through paid ads. Brands can then use LinkedIn’s Reach Optimization to bolster ad performance as well as use its A/B testing, brand lift testing and forecasting tools to measure.

Using LinkedIn to build awareness about their new program offerings, upGrad leveraged a mix of organic content and sponsored posts, embraced always-on content marketing and monitored campaign KPIs to find their sweet spot. The result: a 56 percent increase in unique visitors to their LinkedIn page, an 87 percent increase in organic following in just 60 days and 2.3x lift in brand mentions on LinkedIn.

Read LinkedIn’s full playbook here.

Facebook Launches Open Beta Of ‘Horizon Workrooms’

Facebook has released the open beta version of Horizon Workrooms, its “flagship collaboration experience,” allowing users to come together to work in one virtual room.

Why it matters: ‘Horizon Workrooms’ brings Facebook one step closer to its goal of launching humanity into the metaverse. Because of continuing uncertainties involving the pandemic, the new virtual space will allow for at least temporary solutions to some of the hurdles around working remotely.

The details: Facebook’s ‘Horizon Workrooms’ is a virtual meeting space that compiles some of the platform’s newest technologies into one experience, such as a mixed-reality desk, keyboard tracking and hand tracking. Users can meet in virtual reality (VR) as avatars, or dial into the virtual room from a computer. 

Horizon Workrooms is available for free downloads on Oculus Quest 2 and wherever Quest 2 is supported, offering users the connective tools necessary to work remotely with minimal hurdles.