This week in social, Twitter announced two new features to enhance users’ experience with lists and Instagram said it will crack down on branded content featuring vapes, alcohol and diet supplements. Also, Instagram launches layout mode for stories, LinkedIn adds new features to groups in a hope to revamp the community and Snapchat gives users a split-screen reaction lens.

Twitter Replaces Long URLs With Images For List Sharing

Twitter added two new features to enhance users’ experience with lists.

Why it matters: Improving discovery through updates to Twitter lists will help foster relevant conversations on the platform.

The details: The new feature lets users share lists via a title link card that replaces URLs with a preview image in a range of basic colors. When creating or adding people to a list on iOS, users will also now see suggested accounts to add based on the list’s title or who’s already on it.

Instagram To Enforce Vape, Tobacco Content And Boost Collab Tools

The company announced today that it will remove branded posts that promote certain products such as vapes, and is also giving influencers a way to more formally work with brands via Facebook’s brand collabs manager.

Why it matters: Instagram says that it has always prohibited branded posts that promote tobacco, vapes and weapons, but it’s going to enforce the rules more strictly. 

As part of a closer relationship with its parent company, Instagram has introduced a more closely aligned relationship with Facebook’s brand collabs manager pool for all creators across Instagram. The feature will allow for more data transparency, which is the underlying issue of influencer fraud today.

The details:  In addition to removing branded content that promotes tobacco, vapes and weapons, Instagram will place special restrictions around the promotion of products such as diet supplements and alcohol. In the same announcement, Instagram said it plans to open up Facebook’s brand collabs manager to a select group of Instagram influencers, giving them the ability to source new deals, manage partnerships and automatically share insights with brands.

Instagram Launches Layout Mode for Stories

The platform has officially launched layout mode, a range of grid display styles for stories after testing it back in August.

Why it matters: Until now, users were forced to create multiple image stories via third-party tools. Thanks to the layout mode, Instagramers will have more reason to stay in the app, scroll, create and shop.

The details: With layout, users can now capture and share multiple photos in their story using one of six different grid styles.

LinkedIn Adds Features To Help Boost Groups Engagement

LinkedIn is trying to make groups relevant again with the addition of new features like member filters, blocking abilities and refined notifications.

Why it matters: LinkedIn groups lost user focus due to random spam and self-promotion. This new set of tools aims to make groups a more valuable, useful option.

The details: Adding to the control and functionality of groups, new LinkedIn group features will let group admins exercise power over new potential members, delete posts from a chosen member, block members direct from a comment in a group, review posts before they go live in the group, locate members by location or industry and find group posts that have been recommended by admins.

Snapchat Announces New Movie Trailer Reaction Lens

Snapchat launched a “trailer reaction lens” for the upcoming film Top Gun: Maverick.

Why it matters: Snapchat’s new lens is similar to TikTok’s react option, which lets users share their video responses to TikTok videos. 

The details: The new lens switches users’ view to split-screen, with the trailer on top and their reaction below. In addition to the split-screen lens, Snapchat rolled out games, “Leaderboard Games,” in which people compete against their friends on and offline.

Facebook Releases Trending Topics Guide To Inform 2020 Decisions

The report is an expansion of the platform’s monthly “Topics to Watch” reports.

Why it matters: Facebook’s reports have shown to be highly accurate in predicting shifts that turn into trends, so this more detailed report could be beneficial for 2020 strategic ad targeting.

The details: The “2020 Topics and Trends Report From Facebook IQ” shows trending topics according to region. Hot topics include consumers making small lifestyle changes in the name of sustainability including beekeeping in Canada and eco-friendly fashion purchases in Sweden and the UK. In the US, podcast lovers are keen on seeing companion podcasts for television shows come to life. Tactile activities such as 3D printing and laser printing in Brazil are emerging while people’s desire to live simply has led to minimalistic beauty routines in the Philippines and the use of apps in France to detect harmful ingredients.

Twitter To Revive Political Candidate Labels For 2020 US Elections

Twitter’s labeling of politicians and candidates is part of the platform’s efforts to drive authentic conversations.

Why it matters: Twitter said that 1.4 million users interacted with Russian trolls during the 2016 presidential campaign, resulting in the spreading of false information. Election labels will help Twitter identify original sources and authentic information. 

The details: Twitter’s election labels will show information about political candidates including which office they’re running for, their state and district number. Candidates’ accounts and their tweets will be marked with a small ballot box icon to accompany this information. Twitter first launched the featured during the 2018 US midterms. The labels will appear once a candidate’s account is qualified, which will occur on a rolling basis.

Facebook Introduces Limited-Edition Star Wars Messenger Features

The features were launched in honor of the premiere of the final installment in the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Why it matters: Facebook once collaborated with Google to create a tool to let users choose app themes for Gmail, YouTube, Chrome and Google Maps. A few years ago, Facebook also allowed users to change their profile picture into a Star Wars-themed photo. 

The details: Designed in partnership with Disney, the features include a chat theme, augmented reality (AR) effects, reactions and stickers that let users express themselves via characters from the movie. To enable the limited-edition features, users can open a messenger thread and tap the name of the thread at the top to open its settings. From there, they can select “theme” and let the force be with them.

Yubo Raises $12.3 Million For Forthcoming Teen Social App

According to TechCrunch, the French startup is working on a social media app to help people under the age of 25 years old meet new people and create friendships.

Why it matters: The new funding round will help Yubo attract users in new markets in Japan and Brazil. Currently, Yubo is most active in the US, Canada, the UK Nordic countries, France and Australia.

The details: Unlike Instagram, Yubo’s app for teens isn’t focused on likes and followers. The app will instead help users build their own micro-community of friends via video streams and live chat. 

Instagram Will Use Artificial Intelligence To Flag Hurtful Comments Before They’re Posted

The platform announced that starting today, it will warn users when they’re about to post a potentially offensive caption on a photo or video that’s being uploaded to the main feed.

Why it matters: Instagram says that asking people to reconsider posting potentially hurtful comments has had promising results. The new AI-powered reminder builds upon the platform’s anti-bullying efforts which include the “restrict” feature it launched in October.

The details: Instagram’s AI-powered tools will generate a notification that says the caption “looks similar to others that have been reported.” The alert will also encourage the user to modify the caption or post it without editing it. The feature is rolling out in select countries first.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, December 20. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at