This week in social media news, Instagram adds a Reels tab and Shop tab to its home screen, Snapchat shares insight into users’ holiday shopping behavior, Twitter launches a new ad format called Carousels, App Annie predicts TikTok will exceed 1 billion users in 2021, WhatsApp adds a shopping button to the top of chats, TikTok lets users publicly display their nonprofit of choice in their profile and Facebook tests new visual effects for posts in the news feed.

Instagram Announces A New Reels Tab And Shop Tab 

Instagram has announced a new Reels tab and a Shop tab, which will live on the platform’s home screen.

Why it matters: The addition of the new tabs marks the first big update to Instagram’s home screen in a while and follows its launch of TikTok-like Reels a few months ago.

The details: Instagram says the pandemic has led to an explosion in short videos on Instagram and more users looking to buy from their favorite influencers.

The Reels tab is meant to be “a kind of a stage” where people can share their videos and find an audience. Through the Shop tab, users can discover personalized recommendations, editors’ picks curated by Instagram’s @shop channel, shoppable videos and new product collections.

Snapchat Publishes Insight Into User Holiday Shopping Trends

Snapchat has published a short guide on its users’ holiday shopping behavior as 80 percent of Snapchatters plan their holiday gift-buying via the platform, according to Snapchat.

Why it matters: This year, 76 percent of Snapchatters plan to buy their holiday gifts online, up from 47 percent last year.

The details: Despite pandemic concerns, Snapchat says that its users are planning to spend 147 percent more on presents this year than non-Snapchatters.

High on nearly half of users’ wishlists (42 percent) is a new smartphone. In addition, 20 percent of users are planning on buying from brands that are helping the community while 72 percent plan to give gift cards to someone this season.

Twitter Debuts Carousel Ad Format

Twitter has globally launched a new ad format called Carousels that lets users swipe right horizontally through two to six images or videos to open a website or app.

Why it matters: During its testing, Twitter found that app Carousel ads increased installs per impression an average of 24 percent compared to single-asset ad formats. Website Carousel ads promoted the average clickthrough rate (CTR) nearly 15 percent.

The details: Available via Twitter’s Ads Manager or through the API, Carousel ads feature edge-to-edge design and can link to either one website or app destination. Advertisers will have the option to run Carousels as organic or promoted only.

App Annie: TikTok Will Exceed 1 Billion Users In 2021

According to App Annie’s 2021 mobile trends report, TikTok is set to reach 1.2 billion average monthly active users (MAUs) next year.

Why it matters: As of Q3, App Annie’s data shows that TikTok was the second non-gaming app by consumer spend, a feat that points to the success of the platform’s positive feedback loop, which encourages creativity and spending via in-app transactions such as tipping streamers.

The details: As per App Annie, TikTok’s combination of short looping videos, creative editing tools and user-generated content represents a powerful opportunity for marketers looking to reach a large global base of engaged consumers.

WhatsApp Debuts Shopping Button In Business Chats

WhatsApp has announced a new shopping button at the top of chats that will direct its 2 billion active users worldwide to a product listing in-app where they can purchase the item.

Why it matters: Streamlining in-app shopping on WhatsApp would enable its parent company, Facebook, to monetize the app, which it failed at when it tried introducing ads. 

The details: The new shopping button comes after India approved the expansion of WhatsApp Pay in the nation, as well as a feature that enables users to transfer funds within the app.

TikTok Lets Users Show Non-Profit Fundraisers On Their Profile

TikTok has rolled out a new option that lets users publicly display a nonprofit organization on their profile via a direct link to donate, as spotted by Sam Schmir.

Why it matters: The feature is an extension of the donation stickers TikTok launched in April to help users raise awareness and money for charities via their videos.

The details: To use the new feature, social media expert Matt Navarra shows how users can choose a nonprofit to support from a list of approved organizations in their profile settings. The organization they select will appear on their profile with a note encouraging others to donate.

Clicking the listing in someone’s profile will direct a user to information about how much money that user has raised for the charity.

Facebook Tests New Visual Effect Features For News Feed Images

Facebook is testing new visual effect features that add motion to still images posted in the News Feed, as spotted by social media expert Matt Navarra.

Why it matters: The new tool will make static content in the feed more engaging and potentially boost user activity, which is likely a priority for the platform given it reported a drop in daily active users in Q3 for US and Canada—from 198 million in Q2 to 196 million.

The details: As seen in this video posted by Navarra, Facebook’s new motion effects include an option to slide, flash or highlight your static image. Facebook renders a video slideshow using the effect for your picture to add to your post.