Newsletter: December 11, 2020

Research & Reports

  • Reddit reported on its daily active users for the first time in its history, allowing for apples-to-apples comparisons with other social platforms. Reddit averaged 52 million daily active users in October, up 44% year over year. (WSJ)
  • Shareablee’s “State of Social Video” report revealed that Facebook video views from publishers rose 51% year-over-year, although overall social video growth is in line with social networking growth overall. View the entire presentation here.
  • YouTube Gaming reports explosive growth in 2020, with 100 billion watch time hours and 40 million active gaming channels. YouTube took big strides this year in becoming a competitor to market-leader Twitch. (YouTube)

Social Media Headlines

  • The FTC and 46 states filed an antitrust complaint against Facebook this week, alleging that their acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp led to a monopoly on social networking. (
  • A US judge has halted the Trump Administration’s ban on TikTok, and the Justice Department has declined to enforce the missed December 4 deadline to reach a deal for Bytedance to sell its US operations. (NPR)
  • A report on the early impact of Facebook News for participating news publishers accounts for low, single-digit percentage increases in a story’s traffic. (Digiday)
  • Facebook tweaked its algorithm in the days after the election to “emphasize news ecosystem quality,” resulting in engagement and traffic boosts for CNN, The New York Times and NPR. The algorithm tweak was temporary. (New York Times)
  • Twitter has published its planned process for account verifications, set to launch in early 2021. Twitter will first focus on accounts relating to government officials, companies, news organizations, brands, nonprofits, and individuals in news, sports, entertainment and activism. Accounts must be active and “notable,” which may result in some already verified accounts being stripped of their badges. (TechCrunch)
  • The Center for Media Engagement examines the use of group chats on Facebook Messenger for newsrooms to improve online discussions. (NiemanLab)
  • Google Maps has introduced a social media element to its product: a news feed with a like button. (TechCrunch)
  • TikTok is testing out videos up to three minutes in length, versus the current 60-second constraint. (The Verge)

Case Studies

  • Researchers using social media data have digitally reconstructed the Beirut explosion in August. (Gizmodo)
  • The BBC and HBO are using interactive AR to promote series “His Dark Materials.” (AdWeek)
  • A ‘choose-your-own-adventure’-style adventure has launched on Twitter to promote a new online game. (PC Gamer)

Social Media Best Practices

  • Three video best practices from Facebook (Facebook)
  • Podcast: Grow your brand on TikTok by focusing on educational, livestreaming and business content, and duplicating popular videos and trends (Social Media Examiner)
  • Facebook has launched a Social Good for Business website to help companies make a social impact. (Facebook)
  • Brand voice: What it is and why it matters (Sprout Social)
  • A step-by-step guide to setting up, formatting, publishing and promoting the new Instagram Guides (Social Media Examiner)
  • Ideas on getting people to engage with social media content around fundraising (Business 2 Community)
  • Advice from social media managers on how to effectively handle a crisis. (The Drum)

Platform Updates

  • Twitter turns off threaded replies because they made conversations hard to read (The Verge)
  • YouTube’s “Premieres” feature gets tons of new features including trailers, redirects from live pre-shows, and customized countdown timers. (The Verge)
  • Twitter launched an integration with Snapchat: users can share tweets as a sticker in Snap Stories. (Social Media Today)
  • LinkedIn launches a new hierarchy of Page Admin roles: Super Admin, Content Admin, and Analyst. (LinkedIn)
  • Facebook Creator Studio adds a content calendar tool for Instagram. (Social Media Today)
  • Instagram Stories has a new feature where you can “level” your images for better alignment. (@MattNavarra)
  • Facebook launches “Drives,” a tool to help Americans donate to holiday charity drives. The feature is coming soon to Instagram. (TechCrunch)
  • Most Page Admins should now see the “New Pages Experience” options on Facebook. (@MattNavarra)
  • Live stream analytics come to TikTok insights. (@MattNavarra)
  • Snap’s new feature called “Spotlight” promotes the most entertaining posts from users, and as encouragement to creators are awarding $1 million a day to featured users through the end of 2020. (Variety)
  • Twitch bans blackface, swastikas, and the Confederate flag as part of updated hate-speech guidelines. (CNN)
  • TikTok has a new “Skip All” option that enables users with photosensitive epilepsy to skip videos with effects like flashing lights that can trigger seizures. (TechCrunch)
  • In an attempt to increase civility on the platform, YouTube will now automatically ask users if they’re sure they want to proceed before posting offensive comments. (The Verge)
  • YouTube plans to start asking users if they’re sure they want to proceed before posting offensive comments, but won’t stop them from going ahead
  • You can now select a default audience for Instagram posts shared to Facebook. (@MattNavarra)
  • Twitter adds to its “Topics” options, letting users now follow influencers, TikTokers, Twitch streamers, and YouTubers. (@MattNavarra)
  • Twitter now supports hardware security key logins on iOS and Android, a feature useful for enhanced account security. (TechCrunch)
  • YouTube Giving is rolled out to all YouTube Partner Program channels. (Google)
  • Facebook will sunset its free “Facebook Workplace” option for organizations. (Facebook)
  • YouTube has launched HDR support for livestreams; it has supported HDR videos on YouTube channels since 2016. (TechCrunch)
  • Pinterest adds new features to Boards due to their increased popularity during the pandemic. New features include private notes, favorites and a board toolbar. (TechCrunch)

Weekend Reads

  • On TikTok, fans are making their own Ratatouille musical (New York Times)
  • The social media addiction bubble (Axios)
  • How Twitter could become the Spotify for news (OM)
Do you have a public media colleague who might be interested in this newsletter? Encourage them to sign up here:




Article by: Tory Starr

%d bloggers like this: