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What’s new on Social Media? Q2 2024 Edition

Can you believe we're already well into 2024? The social media scene this year is buzzing with activity. TikTok continues to dominate headlines, while X is undergoing a metamorphosis into a "pay-to-play" arena, and Instagram seems to be caught in a perpetual identity crisis, not knowing what to prioritise. With so much happening, it's easy to feel like you're navigating a maze blindfolded. But fret not - we're here to shed some light on the key social media updates from the past quarter and decode what they mean for your employer brand strategy.


X is stepping up its game in the fight against bots with a bold new move: introducing a $1 charge for all users upon account creation. Now, you might think a dollar isn't much, but the implications of this decision reach far beyond mere pocket change. This initiative, first trialled in New Zealand and the Philippines, has sparked some serious questions about its effectiveness and impact on user perception.

There's been quite the buzz about whether this fee will truly dent the bot problem or just make users side-eye the platform even more. Some are concerned that this fee might deter potential new users, while murmurs about subscription headaches and privacy worries have only added to the unease. Yet, with Elon Musk at the helm, steering X towards becoming a multifaceted platform spanning everything from shopping to banking, it's no surprise that monetization is a top priority.

But here's where it gets interesting: the privilege of writing on the platform comes with this price tag. With a whopping 80% of users being passive consumers rather than active contributors, the prospect of paying to post might just further discourage engagement, potentially stunting the platform's growth and reducing overall user interaction.

Adding to the complexity is a recent development: after three months, new users gain the ability to post for free. This twist raises serious questions about the fee's effectiveness in deterring bots. Instead of zapping them, it's more like hitting the snooze button, underscoring the cyclical nature of the approach and its limited impact on user engagement and bot mitigation.

So, while X's intentions to squash the bots are commendable, the execution leaves much to be desired. The continuation of this is yet to be agreed, but in terms of impact, we don’t tend to see much change. Users have remained the same since November 2022, so there’s unlikely to be a growth in sign-ups. If anything, there might just be less activity with users becoming serial sleuths rather than content writers.


Meanwhile, Threads is stepping up its game with the long-awaited introduction of search and sorting options, a direct response to feedback from its user base.

Previously, Thread's search capabilities left much to be desired, often leaving users feeling stranded when trying to locate specific people or posts. However, in a bid to enhance user experience, the app has expanded its functionality to include keyword searches, offering newfound SEO benefits. Moreover, users now have the ability to filter results to view top posts or the most recent content, elevating the platform's responsiveness to ongoing discussions.

Confirmation from Adam Mosseri, Chief of Instagram and Threads, indicates that these updates are currently undergoing live testing with a select group of users. As Threads emerges as one of the closest competitors to X, this strategic move to enhance usability appears well-positioned.

Despite these advancements, X continues to hold the crown as the go-to platform for real-time updates on sports and live events. Consequently, it may take some time for Threads to chip away at X's dominance in this realm. However, with the introduction of search and sorting features, we can anticipate Threads intensifying its 'live' event coverage and streams in the future, setting the stage for heightened competition with X for the crown of reactivity.


Instagram's reign as the king of photo-sharing platforms may be facing some stiff competition from an unexpected contender: TikTok! That's right, TikTok is shaking things up with the launch of TikTok Notes, a dedicated app for photo posts.

While TikTok has been keeping this project tightly under wraps, whispers are starting to emerge about its rollout to select users. In-app prompts are teasing users with the news that their still image uploads will soon find a new home on TikTok Notes. "TikTok Notes, a new app for photo posts, is coming soon. Your existing and future public TikTok photo posts will be shown on TikTok Notes."

But here's the burning question: will users jump ship from Instagram to yet another platform offering a similar experience? Remember Lemon8? It tried to break into the scene with an e-commerce focus but failed to make a lasting impact. However, there's a growing sentiment among users weary of Instagram's meticulously curated feeds. They long for the raw, unfiltered vibe reminiscent of the early days of MySpace and 2010s Instagram. Could TikTok Notes be the answer to this longing, offering a space where imperfections are celebrated and authenticity reigns supreme?

While it's still early days for TikTok Notes, it's certainly one to keep an eye on. Who knows, we may be witnessing the dawn of a new era in photo-sharing, where TikTok Notes leads the charge in embracing imperfection and fostering genuine connections.


Elsewhere, TikTok is once again making waves in the digital sphere, this time with the introduction of a specialised science and STEM-based feed within the app.

Originally piloted with U.S. users last March, TikTok is now rolling out its STEM feed to European audiences, starting with the UK and Ireland and gradually expanding across the continent in the coming weeks. This dedicated feed aims to unlock a treasure trove of knowledge from esteemed experts in various fields, seamlessly integrated alongside the familiar For You feed. With auto-translate subtitles for English-speaking content, accessibility is ensured for users of all backgrounds.

To maintain the calibre of content, TikTok is collaborating with creators to spotlight current voices in STEM and populate the feed with captivating material. Additionally, the platform is taking proactive steps to inspire younger audiences to explore STEM opportunities by setting the STEM feed as the default option for users under 18, while older users can opt-in within the app.

The resounding success of the STEM feed in the U.S., with a third of teens visiting it on a weekly basis since its inception, underscores its significance. For employers in the branding realm, this presents a prime opportunity to showcase STEM roles, including apprenticeships and graduate programs, to a ready-made audience eagerly seeking such content.


LinkedIn is venturing into new territory with the exploration of a 'premium company page' subscription offer, catering to those willing to invest $99 per month for exclusive features. Let's delve into what these features entail:

Custom Call-to-Action (CTA) Button: Brands will have the freedom to designate a custom name for the CTA button displayed on their page, directing users to a URL of their choice.

Visitor Insights: Similar to Premium individual members, Company Pages will gain access to a list of individuals who have visited their page, providing deeper insights beyond demographic overviews. However, while insightful, this feature teeters on the edge of data saturation, capturing a wide spectrum of visitors with varying levels of interest and relevance.

Custom Testimonial: Premium Company Pages will have the ability to showcase a testimonial or quote from a client, accompanied by an optional image at the top of their LinkedIn Page.

AI-Powered Post Writing Assistance: LinkedIn introduces a tool designed to assist in crafting the initial draft of Company Page updates, which users can then refine. While potentially valuable, there's concern that some may rely too heavily on automation, diluting the authenticity of their messaging.

Auto-Invite Engaged Members: Individuals who interact with company content will receive automatic invitations to follow the page, streamlining audience growth efforts. However, this approach may come across as spammy and could potentially discourage engagement.

LinkedIn Premium Logo: Premium Company Pages will be distinguished by an icon, akin to a checkmark, signaling their premium status.

As LinkedIn seeks to attract and retain audiences amidst shifting trends, these features arrive at a time when the platform is experiencing heightened usage and engagement. While currently in testing mode, anticipation builds for the rollout of additional incentives, including a rumoured dedicated video feed. 

If you’d like to hear more about any of these stories, or simply chat about the direction you’d like to take your social media channels in, drop us a line.

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About Author

Adie Iacurto
Adie Iacurto

Social Media Executive @ Tonic

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