March – Social Media Innovations
March 2020

By Anika Keys

Social media news this month has been dominated by platforms providing updates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to meet new challenges of entertaining, informing and connecting social media users, platforms have unrolled a number of new features. Here is a roundup:

 

Instagram 

Why scroll alone, when you can scroll social-distance style? One of Instagram’s biggest updates is a new feature that allows users to view content together through group video chat.

The platform has also taken measures to keep users informed and curb misinformation, including banning ads attempting to exploit the situation and reviewing potentially misleading posts. Instagram is also showing accounts of leading health organisations such as WHO when users search for COVID-19 related terms.

Other new features include the “Donation Sticker”, which has made it easy to find COVID-relief causes to donate to, and the “Stay Home” sticker, which is used to collate individual stories into a single story to encourage users to stay inside. Lastly, the platform has included a sticker to acknowledge health workers and show gratitude.

For brands, the stay home stickers are a great way to raise awareness, show they care and source relevant user-generated content from followers and employees.

 

Pinterest 

Through the pandemic, Pinterest has seen record-high engagement for searches and saves as users look to transform their work from home spaces or complete that DIY project. Pinterest’s latest update includes a “today” tab features expert information from the World Health Organisation and centres for Disease Control on topics such as hand washing.

The today tab also serves popular content based on what is happening in the world, as well as curated staff picks such as daily recipes, parenting advice and craft ideas.

For brands, Pinterest remains a great platform to broadcast shareable content and keep audiences engaged through light-hearted advice, recipes and creative content that is relevant for staying at home.

 Twitter

Twitter is helping fight coronavirus by adjusting search results to show content from credible health organisations. It has also launched a crisis communications FAQ, and continues to push its Live Brand Studio; a live streaming service that helps brands go live – a tool that’s perfect for the current situation.

Snapchat 

In a bid to help reduce anxiety, Snapchat has accelerated a pre-planned mental wellness initiative. The ‘Here for you’ tab uses vetted health expert content in response to terms related to anxiety, depression, suicide and other mental health issues. The platform has also announced that it is working with the WHO to develop custom content and a filter that offers verified medical advice.

Brands can look at addressing mental health questions for millennials and Gen Z users based on responses generated on the platform.

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