This week in social media news, Snapchat’s downloads increased 29 percent year-over-year in August, China’s new rules on technology exports could complicate the TikTok US deal, Twitter adds example tweets to add more context to trending tweets, LinkedIn offers tips for balancing brand building and lead generation in its latest playbook, Instagram lets checkout-enabled brands to sell on Live and more.

Snapchat Downloads Grow 29 Percent YoY In August

Snapchat saw nearly 28.5 million new downloads across iOS and Android in August, new data from Sensor Tower shows.

Why it matters: Snapchat’s strong performance amid the pandemic comes after it launched third-party micro apps “Minis” in July, and as TikTok’s fate in the US is up in the air after China enacted new rules on technology exports.

The details: Snapchat’s 28.5 million new installs in August mark the platform’s single largest month for first-time installs since May 2019, when it received 41.2 million new downloads. By the end of Q2, Snapchat’s daily active users increased to 238 million, a four percent increase from April.

China’s New Export Rules Could Push TikTok Deal Past Elections

After Chinese officials announced new restrictions on technology exports that could require Chinese approval for TikTok to sell its algorithm, ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming is considering new options that would please both the US and China, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: China’s involvement with TikTok selling its US business will complicate the deal and likely push it past the American deadline.

The details: Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Yiming’s new options to finalize the sell of TikTok US include: selling TikTok without the algorithm; negotiating an up to a year-long transition period with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States; seeking China’s approval to sell the algorithm to the chosen US company; or to have the new buyer to license TikTok’s algorithm from ByteDance.

Twitter Launches Example Tweets To Add More Context

Twitter is adding pinned tweets and descriptions on trends to help add context about why something is trending. The platform also explained how its algorithm determines if a tweet represents a trend.

Why it matters: In a company blog post, Twitter says last year, the question. “Why is this trending?” was asked over half a million times.

The details: As per Twitter, “Descriptions will provide straightforward, clearly sourced context around why something is trending.” These descriptions, developed by Twitter’s curation team, will be available on desktop, Android and iOS in the US, the UK, plus 15 other countries.

Twitter also clarified that a combination of algorithms and its curation team decide if a tweet is reflective of a trend.

LinkedIn Releases New Brand And Demand Playbook

LinkedIn’s new “Brand and Demand” guide offers tips on how to use its tools for balancing brand building with lead generation with advice from marketing experts and global brands.

Why it matters: As LinkedIn’s guide notes, a study from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising shows the optimal impact of brand and demand in both digital and traditional marketing is a 60/40 split. A separate survey LinkedIn conducted among advertisers using LinkedIn Marketing Solutions found that 50 percent want to run brand and demand campaigns together. 

The details: Retargeting by engagement, the newest addition to LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences suite, enables advertisers to remarket to members based on the actions they’ve taken on LinkedIn including retargeting video viewers and retargeting lead gen form opens or submitters.

LinkedIn says soon it’ll launch company engagement insights so brands can target accounts both on LinkedIn and with their website.

TikTok Could Soon Announce Deal Selling Its US Business

After choosing a bidder for its US, New Zealand and Australian businesses, TikTok could announce a deal as soon as Tuesday, according to sources familiar with the matter, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: The deal to sell TikTok’s US business comes as TikTok’s CEO Kevin Mayer resigned last week. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance said it would need a license from the Chinese government before it can sell to a US company, a snag that could push the deal’s date past the US government’s September 20 deadline.

The details: Top bidders for the TikTok deal include Microsoft, in partnership with Walmart and Oracle, according to CNBC.

People familiar with the matter told CNBC that Walmart, in a consortium with Alphabet and SoftBank, originally sought to be the majority owner in the deal, but the US government denied the request as it prefers a tech company to steer the deal.

Instagram Extends Checkout To All US Businesses, Debuts Shopping On Live

Instagram is expanding checkout within the app to all eligible US business and creators accounts with a Shop, is waiving selling fees for brands that use checkout through the end of the year and is enabling checkout-enabled businesses to sell products on Instagram Live.

Why it matters: Instagram first tested checkout, a feature that lets users shop within the app, with a small number of partners in 2019, but has expanded the function as COVID-19 ravages small and medium-size businesses. In addition, its new Instagram Live shopping feature comes after the platform saw a 70 percent increase in use of Live in mid-March when stay-at-home orders took effect.

The details: To open up an Instagram Shop with checkout capability, business owners can use Commerce Manager or go through Instagram platform partners like BigCommerce and Shopify. Instagram says it plans to support more partners soon.

Enabling the checkout feature will grant brands additional shopping tools such as the ability for creators to tag your products in their posts as well as real-time shopping on Instagram Live.

Instagram is also adding new features for Shops, the online storefronts it introduced in May, including new layouts for featuring products, a real-time preview of collections as you design them and insights in Commerce Manager.

Pinterest Launches Collection Featuring Black-Owned Beauty And Fashion Brands

Pinterest is launching a new Pinterest Shop collection featuring over 20 black-owned fashion and beauty brands with over 600 products, as part of National Black Business Month.

Why it matters: The new collection comes as Pinterest searches for “Black-owned business” is up 13 times, according to the platform.

The details: Pinterest’s collection of black-owned beauty and fashion brands follows previous collections the platform has created, such as one in November featuring small brands to shop for the holidays and one in April featuring small sustainable brands in celebration of Earth Day.