Newsletter: March 5, 2021



Social Media Headlines

  • TikTok has moved from being perceived as a potentially risky, experimental platform to one of the mainstream players. (Digiday)
  • Social audio is having a moment via platforms including Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, Discord and Fireside. (Social Media Examiner)
  • It took a minute, but brands are now in the Clubhouse app (Digiday)
  • Twitter’s new “Super Follow” will let you charge for tweets, and journalists are drooling (NiemanLab)
  • Facebook News grows as a referral source for publishers (Digiday)
  • Why incumbent brands prefer reels over TikTok (Modern Retail)
  • Facebook lifts its ban on political, electoral and social issue ads, instituted to “avoid confusion or abuse” around the 2020 election. (Axios)
  • Netflix adds a TikTok-like feed to its mobile app to showcase content (Variety)
  • Why Clubhouse is a great tool for journalists (IJNet)
  • YouTube launched a PG version for parents of kids who have outgrown YouTube Kids programming but are still not old enough for unrestricted YouTube viewing (Variety)

Research & Reports

The average American spends an average of two hours and seven minutes on social media daily, according to a new study. (We Are Social/Hootsuite)

Podcast: Snapchat surprises and alternative social media platforms challenging the giants (eMarketer)

Don’t sleep on Pinterest; its popularity now rivals TikTok and Snapchat. (Search Engine Journal)

Tubular Labs’ social video winners of 2020 report includes these takeaways:

  • Watch time on social video increased 56% for US audiences
  • Influencers commanded the most watch time (121 billion monthly minutes), followed by broadcast media companies with 37 billion*
  • The highest performing categories among broadcast media companies were entertainment (47%) news and politics (19%) and kids entertainment and animation (18%)
  • Viewers aged 45+ increased their watch time the most, almost doubling the amount of social video they watch. (Tubular Labs)

*Note that broadcast media companies outperformed digital-first media companies, with 27 billion monthly minutes viewed.

Best Practices

Best practices for journalists covering crises on Twitter (American Press Institute)

Facebook provides tips on how to maximize paid online events (Social Media Today)

Thread: Use alt text to improve accessibility of social media content (@regmack_)

YouTube launches biweekly “Shorts Report” for Creators (Search Engine Journal)

TikTok content strategy for businesses (Social Media Examiner)

Steal This Idea

  • How the Washington Post’s new Instagram editor will try to boost its subscription business (Digiday)
  • More student journalists on using TikTok: ‘There’s nothing to lose and so much to gain.’ (Poynter)
  • In collaboration with NASA, National Geographic debuted an augmented reality experience on the @NatGeo Instagram account. (Good Morning America)
  • Using comedy and social media to educate on disinformation (Internews)

GBH Highlights

  • Inside @GBHArchives, the surprise Twitter account that transports Boston sports fans back in time (The Ringer $)
  • Follow this AMA today from the NOVA team, with two neuroscientists who just published a study on two-way communication with lucid dreamers. (r/AskScience)
  • GBH News is turning to social media to shape its coverage as we approach the one-year anniversary of COVID lockdown in Massachusetts. (@GBHNews)

Platform Updates

  • YouTube has officially rolled out its TikTok-like “Shorts” format. (Ars Technica)
  • Google’s Discover feed has started surfacing YouTube content in its “short videos” carousel. (9 to 5 Google)
  • Facebook will no longer support the Watch Party feature after April 16. (Matt Navarra)
  • Twitter launches a new “Privacy” support resource that contains updated information on what to do about hacked and suspended accounts. (Twitter)
  • Twitter announces paid Super Follows to let you charge for tweets (The Verge)
  • Instagram doubled the number of people who can go live together with the launch of “Live Rooms” (Instagram)
  • TikTok post scheduling has arrived; allowing users to schedule posts up to 10 days in advance through This feature is not yet available for all accounts.
  • TikTok now allows for you to set a custom date range on analytics, and analytics windows have been extended up to 60 days.
  • YouTube has a new feature in channel analytics that shows how your video performed in the first 24 hours after publishing (YouTube Creator Insider)
  • YouTube analytics also now allows you to track how many new and returning viewers are engaging with your videos and channel. (9 to 5 Google)
  • CrowdTangle now tracks all public Instagram accounts and Facebook Pages with more than 50k followers (CrowdTangle)
  • LinkedIn Company Page admins can now curate organic content through a new “Recommend” tool and suggest trending articles for employees to re-share through “Content Suggestions.” (LinkedIn)
  • LinkedIn also announced Stories for Company Pages (LinkedIn)
  • Facebook Group members can now make Q&A posts (Facebook)
  • TikTok’s Q&A feature has now rolled out to all users (TechCrunch)

Long Weekend Reads

  • Clubhouse’s Inevitability (Stratechery)
  • How social networks got competitive again (Platformer)
  • The new era of social media isn’t about feeds (OneZero)
  • Love factory: The price of being a social media star in China (New York Times Op Docs)
  • Revue and Super Follows: Twitter Pulls a Patreon (Platformer)
  • American Idle: Creativity and the new form of social expression enabled by TikTok (Eugene Wei)
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Article by: Tory Starr

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