Social Media Updates August 2020

In today’s fast-paced digital world, our favorite social media platforms are introducing new updates and features almost on the daily. In today’s review, we’ll touch on the latest happening with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Is Instagram the new TikTok? 
As of August 5, 2020 Instagram launched its new TikTok-esque “reals” in an additional 50 countries. Reels allow users to create 15 second video content with effects and audio. Sounds pretty much exactly like TikTok, right? Instagram, and its parent company Facebook, have placed more emphasis on this feature as TikTok faces scrutiny and potential shutdown from the US government. Learn more about this new creative tool
here.

Or wait… Is Facebook the new TikTok? 
The digital giant is throwing some of its eggs into the short form video basket as well, giving TikTok an additional run for its money. Facebook is currently testing in-feed short form video in India, one of Facebook’s largest markets and one of the countries that banned TikTok. This new update came just 11 days after the social network launched a similar version of this on Instagram. Read
this article to find out more about the update.

Snapchat’s also on the TikTok trend? Now this is just getting confusing. 
With TikTok taking the main stage these days, it looks like many social media platforms are copying the new kid on the block. Snapchat created a group of augmented reality (AR) lenses, in collaboration with TikTok influencers, that are meant to be used on TikTok. These lenses track the movement of a person while dancing and change in response. More on this new development here.

Facebook encourages its users to get out and vote. 
In light of the upcoming presidential election, Facebook took it upon itself to encourage an additional 4 million individuals to vote. How is Facebook doing this? By introducing a
US Voting Information Center which will be available on both Facebook and Instagram. Facebook describes the information center as, “a one-stop-shop to give people in the US the tools and information they need to make their voices heard at the ballot box.” Users will be able to access this center directly from their home menus on both platforms.

Twitter is working to create a safer community. 
Have you ever withheld Tweeting your thoughts or opinions on a topic for fear of being attacked by other Twitter users? You no longer have to be concerned as Twitter just launched a set of
reply controls for Tweets. In their announcement about it, Twitter said, “Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about what’s happening when they can choose who can reply. We’ve seen people use these settings to have conversations that weren’t really possible before.” Reply controls will pop up when an individual is ready to publish a Tweet.

Facebook cuts out 1,000 targeting options. 
A big change affecting the Facebook marketing community happened on August 12, 2020. Facebook chose to remove over
1,000 targeting options for advertising. Because the platform offers a wide variety of targeting options, there are quite a few that go unused. Facebook says that, “infrequent use may be because some of the targeting options are redundant with others or because they’re too granular to really be useful. So we’re removing some of these options.” For more on the changes in ad targeting, read Facebook’s article about it.

Short form video, voting, safe communities, and ad targeting sum up some of the largest changes hitting social platforms in August 2020. Who knows what these social giants have up their sleeves for September.

Social Media Madness

Can Social Media Be Used to Predict March Madness Results?

Happy March Madness 2018! For the next few weeks, some of the most talented student athletes in the country will try and decide who is the best on basketball courts all over the country.

Our student social media athletes decided to put their own spin on the madness this month by deciding which school would come out on top if the game were played on social media instead of the hardwood. The above bracket are the results.

Methodology
They say defense wins championships and offense wins games, but on social media, engagement wins all. In deference to that fact, our team analyzed all 64 teams in the main bracket (apologies to the teams who lost their play-in games) and measured the following metrics:

  • The number of followers of their team social accounts compared to the currently enrolled student body
  • The volume of content produced by those accounts
  • The amount of engagement the social content received compared to its following

These numbers were combined using our super-secret, proprietary formula (as well as an equalizer metric to convert those numbers into digestible basketball scores) and then we bracketed out the teams according to their social media engagement score.


Insights
While we won’t publish an exhaustive list of the data we collected and each team’s score (that would be dreadfully boring for all but the true data junkies out there) here are a few insights people may find interesting:

  • Nevada vs Texas, a 7 vs 10 matchup in the real tournament, was decided by less than one tenth of a point on our ranking system. Nevada then becomes the victim of slim margins with a loss to Cincinnati by .05 points–the closest game in our bracketing system.
  • Though we have Davidson losing in the first round to Kentucky, it’s not for a lack of engagement. Davidson finished 9th of the tournament teams with a social engagement score of 789.49. Unfortunately, they were a victim of poor scheduling, falling to Kentucky’s 5th-best 12,041.66 points.
  • St. Bonaventure has the 2nd-smallest enrollment of any of the 64 tournament teams. However, they finished 10th in total engagement score.
  • San Diego State, though falling to Houston in the first round of our tournament predictions, has the highest Instagram rate of engagement of all the teams. Unfortunately, lack of additional, dedicated and active social accounts for their team stalled them in round 1.

Takeaways
Duke basketball is the king of engaging its fan base online. In fact, they have a social engagement score higher than all the other Final Four teams combined! Is this the year they win both online and on the court? We’ll know in just a few crazy weeks.

Here’s to hoping the tournament is great and that you, dear reader, start engaging with your alma mater’s accounts to give them a boost to their engagement score.

We’ll leave you with just one final question: Is social engagement a good predictor of the outcome of basketball games? Follow our bracket to find out!