TikTok’s New Feature Hints At The Future Of Search: Your Favorite Social Media Platform

Edition #31

Good morning! BeReal reached the number-one spot in the Apple App store this week. Is the self-proclaimed “not another social media network” just having a moment like a Clubhouse or is it here for the long run? BeReal is a less-pressured version of social media, but the app’s requirement to turn on notifications so you know when to post can do more harm than good. What do you think?

Today’s Edition:

  • TikTok tests linking keywords in comments to search results

  • YouTube shares new product updates

  • TikTok introduces About This Ad

TikTok Tests Linking Keywords In Comments To Search Results

TikTok is currently testing a new search feature in which certain keywords are highlighted and clickable. When users click on them, they are brought to the relevant search results, where more videos that have that keyword can be discovered and viewed.

The feature has yet to be confirmed by TikTok, but based on market trends and previous enhancements to its search, like Search Ads, it's likely to be rolled out eventually. At the moment, it appears to be just for keywords, but in the future it may involve highlighting products and linking them to in-app shopping experiences.

Recently, there have been many discussions regarding an increasing number of people turning to social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok for search and discovery instead of Google. According to Google research, about 40% of U.S. users between the ages of 18 and 24 search for lunch spots on social media instead of using Google Search.

It's not just TikTok that's expanding its search capabilities. Last fall, Instagram launched keyword search functionality, enabling users to search and discover content based on keywords in captions. More recently, Instagram upgraded its Map experience, making it easier for users to discover local businesses and places through location tags. Reddit also added new search capabilities, including the ability for users to find conversations and discussions by using a new Comments tab in the search bar.

So what does this mean? First, search engine optimization (SEO) for social media will become its own thing if it hasn't already. Brands and creators must have a content strategy across platforms while simultaneously making their social content SEO-friendly. Unfortunately, this will result in gamification and misinformation, which can not only make search experiences on social media less relevant but potentially dangerous.

As more data emerges to show that users are using social media platforms to search, those platforms will invest in expanding their search capabilities.

If the current state is any indicator, the future of search looks to be a combination of creators, content, and commerce on your favorite social media platform.

YouTube Shares Its Latest Product Updates: Comment Stickers, Places Mentioned & Recommendations

During the latest Creator Insider episode, YouTube shared a few product updates.

First, creators can reply to comments left on their long-form videos and Shorts through Comment Stickers in their Shorts video. This feature is similar to features that exist on Instagram and TikTok. It allows creators to engage their audience in Q&A-style content while simultaneously churning out new Shorts content.

Second, Places Mentioned, a feature launched earlier this year, is being expanded. This feature displays Google Maps information in a video's description when a location is mentioned. In addition to the initial restaurants and cafe locations, travel, recreational, and business locations are now available.

With the feature enabled, creators can help their viewers easily find the locations they discuss in their videos, making their content more actionable, especially in collaborations with brands. When sharing sponsored content for brands in categories where Places Mentioned is available, creators should make sure to utilize it to provide more value to their brand partners and audiences.

Lastly, creators can now get insights into audience signals, individual content performance, and benchmarks in YouTube Analytics.

As a highly requested feature, this will allow creators to identify what works and what doesn’t for their channel and videos. Creators can leverage Recommendations to enhance their content strategy, such as creating content that mirrors what YouTube has historically surfaced.

It's hard not to admire YouTube's continued marathon of feature rollouts and experiments. What is even more impressive is that they are happening across all its different content formats as opposed to just short-form video, which is all the craze.

TikTok Introduces About This Ad To Increase Transparency Around Ads Users See

TikTok introduced a new About this Ad feature, its latest step in providing users with more transparency. When users see ads in their feed, they can tap on the feature to view the reasons why the ad is being shown to them. These factors may include a user's age range, matching an advertiser's targeting parameters, or TikTok estimating their interest in a certain category.

Also available on the About this Ad page is Ad Personalization settings, where users can update their preferences. In the coming months, TikTok plans to roll out more advertising personalization options, including the ability for users to manage whether ads are based on their interests or gender.

Advertising is at an all-time high on social media platforms as brands try to meet people where they are. Users are bombarded with dozens of ads daily, making it critical to have some type of control over the experience.

About this Ad aligns TikTok with other platforms that provide transparency for advertisements being run. Plus, it’s likely part of efforts to improve the perception of its advertising practices, specifically regarding privacy.


Twitch Will Lower The VOD Threshold For Some Streamers

It's bad news for Twitch creators - Twitch announced it is lowering its video-on-demand (VOD) threshold for some streamers this September.

Streamers impacted will see their VOD threshold lowered from 14 days to 7 days, meaning that their streams that Twitch automatically archives will be available for a shorter period. The platform says it's making the change based on internal data showing most VOD views occur within the first seven days.

Data may say this isn’t a big deal, but VODs help streamers grow their audience and let their communities watch streams they may have missed. With streams archived after a shorter period, streamers will likely miss out on new subscribers and increased viewer counts.

Twitch has made some positive steps in recent weeks with new product features (e.g., Twitch Charity, Shared Ban Info, Guest Star, etc.) that have received positive feedback from creators, but this recent move is a step back.


LinkedIn Launches Templates To Help Creators Add Visual Content To Their Posts

LinkedIn launched Templates. When users tap Post from mobile and then Use a Template, they can access dozens of templates with customizable backgrounds and fonts to create and share a post.

Along with Carousels, Templates are part of the platform's recent efforts to help creators share visual content more easily, which makes sense given the reporting that it’s seen a 20% increase-year-over-year in people adding visual content to their posts.

The available templates are simple but lower the barrier for creators to make their posts more creative, visually appealing, and engaging. Because LinkedIn feeds are becoming more packed with content, something as simple as adding a visual component can help it stand out

Pinterest Adds Board Stickers To Allow Creators To Link Out To Their Pinterest Boards

Pinterest added Board Stickers for Idea Pins.

Board Stickers give creators the ability to tag and link out to Pinterest boards in their Idea Pins. Viewers who click on the board tag are then directed to the content. At this time, creators can only tag public boards they own as opposed to private boards and boards owned by other creators.

Creators can provide viewers with more inspiration and context by adding Board Stickers to their relevant, personal Boards. Since creators currently can’t drive to external links with Idea Pins, this offers a workaround.

For example, creators could share an Idea Pin with a Board Sticker that links out to a Board with Pins that feature external links or shoppable product tags. This could be a great add-on for a brand partnership.

What I’m Reading

  • The rise of the LinkedIn B2B influencer (Bloomberg)

  • Despite investments from tech giants, live shopping is still struggling to take off in the U.S (Modern Retail)

  • Why companies like Nerg and Olipop are hiring TikTok creators to run their accounts (Fast Company)

  • Instagram may have backtracked. But video is coming. (Vogue Business)

  • Marketers test YouTube Shorts, one more rival on TikTok (Wall Street Journal)