What’s new in social media this week: from Instagram reels to LinkedIn stories

The world of social media is fast moving and it’s hard to keep track. To make it easier to keep up each week, we’re collating the latest social media news so you don’t have to.

We’d love to hear what you think and if you’ve used any of these new features - join in the conversation with us over in our Facebook Group.

Your Guide to using Facebook Live.

It's no mystery why Facebook Live is so popular: Videos see 3X the engagement of traditional videos shared on Facebook, and millions of users live stream on Facebook around the world. 

Going live will make a significant difference to your organic reach and it gives you the opportunity to show your personality, expertise and create a more authentic connection with your audiences.

It can be daunting though, which is why we loved this handy step by step guide to help you get started.

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Going live on Facebook -  Hubspot

Instagram Launches its TikTok-Like 'Reels' Function in More Regions

This week, Instagram has announced that it's expanding Reels to users in France and Germany, and adding some new features.

So what are Reels? The Reels video mode enables you to create 15-second, looping video clips, which can be set to music, and spliced together from various clips. Your Reels can then be shared and remixed, while top Reels are also featured in Explore, improving discovery.

As the functionality extends to more regions, will Instagram be able to stem the tide of popularity for TikTok?

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Reels on Instagram - Social Media Today

Facebook is now allowing Instagram ads to be created without linking to a Facebook Ad Account.

After taking several steps to fully integrate Instagram into the Facebook ecosystem, both in terms of branding and advertising tools, a feature just introduced into the US and Turkey seems to go directly against that grain.

Instagram shared details in a help center post on how brands or creators promoting posts on Instagram for the first time, can create ads, manage promotions and view insights, all within the Instagram app.

Watch this space to see if this option rolls out further.

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LinkedIn continues to extent its roll out of LinkedIn Stories

We’re excited to see this week that the roll out of Linked In Stories has reached both Australia and France. 

LinkedIn Stories, which the company confirmed were coming back in February, function pretty much the same as they do on Facebook and Instagram, with a Stories bar along the top of the main feed, and various stickers and tools available to decorate your Stories frames.

There has been some debate about whether stories fit with the professional communications focus of the platform. However broader engagement data shows that Stories is increasingly how the next generation of social media users are communicating so it seems a logical next step to drive deeper engagement and interaction.

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Linked In Stories - Social Media Today

Google Expands Access to its Business Messaging Tools from Search and Maps

Google first launched business messaging back in 2017, but thus far, it's been limited to certain regions and business types. Now Google, will enable all brands to add messaging via their Google My Business listing.

The messaging option will provide a quick and easy way for customers to get in touch direct from Google listings.

In addition to this, Google’s also adding smart replies and customisable welcome messages to improve the messaging experience.

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YouTube’s latest experiment is a TikTok rival focused on 15-second videos

YouTube has announced it’s beginning to test a new feature on mobile that will allow users to record 15-second long multi-segment videos. That’s the same length as the default on TikTok as well as Instagram’s new TikTok clone, Reels.

Users in the new YouTube experiment will see an option to “create a video” in the mobile upload flow. The user can then tap and hold the record button to record their clip. They can then tap again or release the button to stop recording. This process is repeated until they’ve created 15 seconds worth of video footage. YouTube will combine the clips and upload it as one single video when the recording completes. Sound familiar?

YouTube says its new video test is running with a small group of creators across both iOS and Android.

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