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Marketing Trends and Happenings: TikTok Battle, Instagram Updates, AI and More


Marketing Trends and Happenings: TikTok Battle, Instagram Updates, AI and More

Updates continue on the TikTok situation, Instagram releases updates and AI continues to take over. Let’s take our monthly dive into the latest marketing trends and happenings.

TikTok vs. The U.S. Government

TikTok has launched a legal challenge against the U.S. government, stating that the approved bill forcing TikTok to be sold to a U.S.-based owner is unconstitutional. They claim it is designed to ban the app in the nation.

“Congress has taken the unprecedented step of expressly singling out and banning TikTok: a vibrant online forum for protected speech and expression used by 170 million Americans to create, share, and view videos over the Internet. For the first time in history, Congress has enacted a law that subjects a single, named speech platform to a permanent, nationwide ban, and bars every American from participating in a unique online community with more than 1 billion people worldwide.”

They state that the 270-day timeline is unrealistic, saying the act will shut down TikTok by January 19, 2025. The concern with the U.S. is that, aside from data gathering concerns, TikTok could also be used to spread pro-China talking points. The bill is based on national security concerns.

Instagram Launches A New Look, Algorithm Updates

Instagram Stories and Reels have a fresh look with new story stickers to keep users engaged. It’s fresh look with two brand-new features — Add Yours Music and Revel — give users new ways to encourage engagement.

And yes, there seem to be algorithm updates constantly, but this one is a positive one for some. It deals with Reels. IG is working on a new way to rank reels to give all creators an equal shot at going viral. This will allow smaller creators more distribution.

Additionally, IG is replacing reposts with original content in recommendations, adding labels to reposted content while linking to the original creator and removing content aggregators from recommendations.

Another Reels update says posting longer Reels could hurt your performance. The optimal time is 90 seconds or less. This comes from a creator event in New York. The slide noting this gave ways to help and hurt distribution:

What can HELP Distribution:

  • Drive authentic engagement
  • Consider when your audience is online
  • Upload the highest resolution
  • Post your content at the same time as other platforms

What can HURT Distribution:

  • Engagement bait
  • Reels over 90 seconds
  • Videos with 3rd party watermarks
  • Low-quality videos
  • Posting content you didn’t make

This leaves us wondering, why would they expand the allowed length of Reels if it will hurt your reach.

Threads and Instagram Cross-Posting and New Features

Meta is working to incorporate cross-posting with Instagram and Threads. For many, this is another way to feed your updates into its Twitter-like app. It isn’t available for Reels yet, but some IG users are already able to activate it for all or individual posts. As reported by TechCrunch:

“When users cross-post their Instagram posts, the caption will become text for the Thread post, and hashtags will be converted into plain text.”

Meta added this cross-posting option from Facebook to Threads back in February. But, will it actually lead to good engagement? Each platform is different and it is recommended to modify your content to the platform and audience.

Another new feature, Threads has added view counts on individual Threads to help users understand broader reach and engagement. Users can see how many times their posts have been viewed, a feature X implemented in 2022.

AI Continues to Grow

Meta has added Meta AI to its platforms, whether users like it or not. It has also added AI-powered audience targeting and campaign building to allow users to generate marketing campaigns.

Additionally, Google is adding AI Overviews to its search engine. What does that mean for SEO? Could spammy sites with AI-drafted content win the top stops in organic search? We’re sure there will be new SEO strategies on the horizon. Google notes:

“With AI Overviews, people are visiting a greater diversity of websites for help with more complex questions. And we see that the links included in AI Overviews get more clicks than if the page had appeared as a traditional web listing for that query.”

OpenAi is also working to make AI-generated content more transparent. This is a step in the right direction for building trust.

So, what does this mean for you and how can you keep up? You’ll have to stay adaptable. Be prepared to adjust your strategies on the go based on the different platform changes. Focus on high-quality, engaging content built for your audience. Don’t know how? Our fully online Marketing Communications programs give you the strategy and skill to do just that.

Looking to learn more about AI for marketing? Register for our upcoming Integrate Online Session, AI for Marketing Communications: Automate, Create & Empower. The free webinar, led by Samuel Chen, will help you learn how to leverage cutting-edge AI tools to automate tasks, create engaging content and empower your work. Join us at 12 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 29 or sign up to receive the session recording.

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Meet the Author

Stefanie Moore

Stefanie Moore
Marketing Manager

Stefanie is a marketing manager in the Marketing Communications Online Programs through the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. She is an alumna of WVU's M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and has been working in marketing for over 6 years after beginning her career in the newspaper business. She's a marathon runner and she recently ran a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon.

Marcom Today

Marketing Communications Today is a collection of resources for marketing communications professionals filled with industry research, marketing trends, and career information about integrated marketing and data-driven communications. Learn industry insights through the Marketing Communications Today blog, podcast, as well as Integrate Online.

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