30th Jun 2021 by Lewis Ford

Best and Worst Social Media Features Over the Past Year

It’s #WorldSocialMediaDay and what better way to spend it than by talking about all the new features that have arrived on the scene over the last year? Instagram Reels, TikTok’s Creator Marketplace and many more features will be discussed below! So, sit back, relax and dive into the hottest features in social media this year.

Instagram Reels


Reels arrived in the UK in August 2020 and were, without doubt, a massive #gamechanger for the social media world! Most definitely inspired by TikTok, the addition of this video feature opened up the doors for organic reach on Instagram - making it the ideal feature for small businesses looking for serious page growth. Allowing users to create short videos utilising trending tunes, Reels are the perfect way to add a bit of pizzazz to your brand and up your engagement. The explore page for Reels means your content can take off in no time, with videos typically receiving 2x more engagement than images on Instagram. Recently, Instagram has (finally!) allowed users to view analytics for Reels, meaning we have more insight into influencer campaigns utilising the feature. If you’re not on the Reels hype yet, what are you waiting for?!

TikTok's Creator Marketplace (TCM)

What about social media influencers? Several apps tried to translate views, likes, and followers into sustainable revenue and replace what the external influencer marketing platforms do in identifying and reaching the right profile. TikTok’s Creator Marketplace (TCM) is the first ‘in-house’ platform that has access to top-tier creators based on accurate and credible data. It also analyses creators’ audience, and gives the chance to get in touch directly with the influencers without having to pay a third party (agency) fee… yes, TikTok is not charging advertisers to use TCM!

Twitter New Features

Twitter has released some blockbuster changes this year to its platform; some new releases, as well as bringing back some old features too! To start with, we have its brand spanking new feature: Fleets. Following the trend of other social channels, Twitter decided to release its own story-based feature for its app. It will be interesting to see if Fleets take off or not, so watch this space. Another new addition was the change of Twitter image sizes (thank the lord!) - before, you could only have posted in a 16:9 scale, but now Twitter has released a larger image display for your timelines. This has gone down a treat with everyone in social and design, as you are no longer limited to a landscape image. Last but not least, we have the comeback of Twitter verification applications. This means you can now apply to have that special blue tick next to your handle. A neat little feature that is great to have back on the platform!

TikTok and Small Businesses

A small business boom has been developing over on TikTok! Followings and popularity for brands have skyrocketed, as quirky short-form videos have helped raise awareness for numerous companies. Hashtags have been a massive help to not only be noticed but also create a community - such as #SmallBusinessCheck (with 2.8 billion views) and #SmallBusinessOwner (with 875 million views). The SMB market has never been in a better position as TikTok and Shopify have collaborated, allowing businesses to create TikTok ads, track their results and manage orders! Brands are thriving as they combine their tactics by using In-Feed Auction Ads to promote products, and behavioural targeting to land the ads in certain groups of users’ For You feeds. TikTok has said to simply make TikToks, instead of ads for best optimisation - personality is what counts on this platform!

Facebook Privacy Updates (IOS 14)

The dreaded IOS 14 update happened back at the start of the year and had a BIG impact on the digital marketing environment, and developments continue to keep us on our toes.

Facebook first confirmed the expected impact of iOS 14 in December of 2020. Whilst this is great news for user privacy and a great step in the right direction for us all to take more control over our data, this had a significant impact on reporting, ad set up, and attribution of Facebook advertising.

Overall, we expect that the IOS update will impact optimization strategies due to the limited events tracking in place. Some industries, such as ticketed events and real estate, will have to look into alternative tracking systems to improve attribution reporting. In addition to this, we will see small businesses having to get creative with targeting and utilising broad and cold audiences more. As more and more people update their operating system to iOS 14.5, the size of retargeting audiences will also shrink over time.

New Tools for Creator Monetization


Instagram has announced it is in development to bring three new monetization features to help influencers and creators make money! Firstly, an affiliate tool will be introduced that allows creators to discover new products that are available on Checkout, share them with their followers and earn a commission for the purchases they drive. All within Instagram, creators will have the ability to tag exact products and earn a commission, for both Feed and Story posts.

Creator Shops are the perfect place for those who want to sell their own products and merchandise. This can be done one of two ways:

  • Creators who are new to shops can set up their shop through the app - they can simply link their account to one of Instagram’s merchandise partners. Including: Bravado/UMG, Spring, Represent and Fanjoy.
  • For those creators who already have an existing product offering, they can now link their shop to both personal and business Instagram accounts.

Another move by Instagram is its jump into the influencer-brand collaboration space. By creating a Branded Content Marketplace, Instagram aims to help brands find creators that uniquely align with their aesthetic and work.

To add to this set of new tools, Badges on Instagram Live and Stars on Facebook have been introduced as a way for creators to earn from their supporters. As influencers engage more directly with their followers, they are now eligible to earn an extra payout when they meet certain milestones while using badges in Live (e.g. going Live with other accounts). Creators in the Stars Challenged program on Facebook can also earn payouts in the form of free Stars if they also meet similar milestones.


Some great features have been released this year and we can’t wait to see what’s to come for the future of social. Stay tuned on the 10 Yetis socials for all news and future social releases!


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