TikTok Looking to Test ‘Stories’ Format

TikTok is updating a ‘Stories’ feature – a step towards expanding content formats to provide more creative options to creators. This new element will not have its own separate space like on other platforms, instead it would be integrated into the ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ feeds.

Users will be able to view ‘Stories’ content irrespective of whether they follow the account. In multiple story frames, they will have to tap on the frame to move onto the next one, which may take some getting used to as they are used to scrolling down. 

‘Stories’ will be also marked on user profiles with the total amount of frames displayed too. TikTok is still in the testing phase and will launch the feature in the next coming months once it has finalised all aspects.

The social media giant’s aim is to become a social media platform that caters for a range of users with a variety of content options. However, since this ‘Stories’ content format is so overused, we don’t know how it will be taken by users. Will they find it useful and interesting, or will they get annoyed by the intrusion into their feeds? We’ll find out when the format is rolled out.

Pinterest Tests Pin Highlights

Pinterest is testing the ‘Highlights’ option for their Idea Pins. This new feature, which will have up to six highlights, would enable creators to showcase their content longer than the 24 hour time-frame set for Ideas Pin.

The platform says:

Pinterest is an inspiration to realization platform. Creators play a crucial role in that journey acting as personal shoppers, chefs, stylists and overall consultants to our Pinners. Therefore, we continue to evolve our formats, features and tools to help them build a community and to inspire Pinners to take action. Profile highlights are a new way we offer creators to highlight their most relevant Idea Pins at the top of their profile to make them more visible and easier to discover.

Currently, the story-like feature, Idea Pins allows users to add up to 20 frames per sequence. Including the Highlight element to this will definitely provide value as it will not only showcase the Ideas Pin content longer than 24 hours, but it will also point visitors towards the creator’s goals.

Instagram Increases Response Options in Stories Polls

Instagram has updated its Poll sticker used in stories. The element will now enable users to add up to four answer options – which previously, was limited to two.

This is great for brands looking to engage more users through stories and conduct polls that will help shape their marketing strategies based on user preferences. Two response options would limit creator and brands from getting in-depth insights from followers, however this update makes it easier to have built-in replies on any topic. 

Apart from this update, users can also change the colour of the question being asked in the poll. Giving them slightly more creative freedom.

Snapchat Adds Catalog-Powered Shopping Lenses

Snapchat is looking to improve its AR tools by integrating new Catalog-Powered Shopping Lenses which will enable brands to showcase their products and provide virtual try-on options.

Whether it’s a clothing brand or a makeup brand – companies will be able to make users shopping experience more personal, accessible and fun. The Catalog lenses will be directly linked to the company’s brand catalog and include details on pricing, size, colour, and similar items.

This is not only great from a sales perspective, as users can just try on the product from the comfort of their phones – but it can also help brands drive their marketing efforts towards the direction that their target audience are interested in. For example, if one product is more popular than others, it will help brands know where and what to focus their efforts on.

Snapchat has also updated its Lens Web Builder with new templates and tools to allow more brands to easily create their AR lenses. The app further explains:

We’ve now made it so brands can generate a commerce Lens in as fast as two minutes and beauty brands can do so in just a few clicks. At launch, this quick click accessibility in Lens Web Builder will be available to beauty brands and will roll out to other product verticals in the coming months.

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