Social Media News March 2021

March 5, 2021

Instagram live rooms 


Livestreams are among the most successful formats on Instagram, the use of Instagram Live has increased significantly due to the Corona pandemic. That’s why Instagram has now announced a range of new features with the biggest being multi-participant Instagram Live rooms. According to Andrew Hutchinson from SocialMediaToday, Facebook describes them as follows: “Beginning March 1st, creators and others can go live on Instagram with up to three other people with the launch of Live Rooms. During Women’s History Month, tune in to Live discussions with influential women and creators on how women can help each other overcome obstacles and succeed.” 

Instagram has been testing the format for almost a year and is now ready to adopt the new feature to the increase in streaming usage due to the pandemic where people are trying to stay connected. The feature will be available globally and allows four people to video chat in a live broadcast, compared to the previous limit of two. 

How the feature works and what to do with it: 

Users can invite their contacts into their Live rooms, which will then be viewable by all their followers and your own. When you send out requests, the person will be notified by a drop-down notification.  

There is a lot of things you can do with IG Live rooms. You could for example conduct interviews, do Q&A’s, invite fans, customers and influencers. This can also be a good way to build a stronger connection with your audience.  

Live Rooms have the same options as other Instagram Live videos. This means that the stream can be saved afterwards and shared as IGTV. 

 If you read this, you might think of the social audio app Clubhouse which allows more than 10 people to speak at once. It’s clear that Facebook is a direct competitor and Instagram Live rooms could capture some people who might be interested in Clubhouse but can’t access it at the moment, since you need an invite and an Apple device.  


As shown by the recent rise in audio live-stream platforms, people are clearly interested in more authentic, in-the-moment connections at this time. Live rooms can offer that now. 

For companies, going live with more people means that the rooms could attract larger audiences, which leads to more reach. This could get really interesting once some brands start using the feature. Let’s see who it’s going to be. 


Channel growth with Instagram Reels 


You want your Instagram channel to grow? The answer is Reels. In 2021 the feature will be the key driver of channel growth on Instagram. According to Jens Wiese from, it’s the “discovery” aspect that is the main reason for that. The question you need to ask yourself is how a user and potential fan can become aware of your brand or company.  

Let’s look into the different Instagram formats and rate the discovery aspect from 0-5.  

  • Instagram feed: 

You can only see a post in the feed if you’re already following the specific channel. You can find feed posts from new channels via the hashtag search, or when it is suggested to you in the Explore area. Alternatively, you might still see it if you’re completely looking at your feed and Instagram suggests new things to you afterwards. 

Discovery factor: 3/5 

  • Instagram story: 

Only users who already follow you will see your story. With a lot of luck, you can also be found via the hashtag search or via the display in the feed post. 

Discovery factor: 2/5 

  • IGTV: 

IGTV can only be accessed by clicking the right button in the particular account or by sharing a new video in the feed. Once you have finished watching a video, no video from another account is suggested. 

Discovery factor: 1/5 

  • Instagram Guides: 

The same applies here as with IGTV. IG Guides are hidden in the specific profile without the possibility to discover a profile based on its guides. 

Discovery factor: 1/5 

  • Instagram Reels: 

With Reels, the focus is not necessarily on the accounts you follow. Instead, Instagram creates an entry point into a “discovery” world via  navigation. With each Reel, the user sees the content of a (mostly) new creator. You can swipe through all the content and will get stuck on one or the other and take a closer look at the corresponding channel. Thanks to the IG algorithm, users are shown Reels that more or less match their interests or content they’ve interacted with in the past. 

Since Reels can also be played out via a feed post, the discovery benefits of the feed post can be added, too. 

In addition, Reels are still quite prominently shown in the Explore area (double tile size) and are also displayed in the hashtag search.  

Discovery factor: 4.5/5 (full score would be given if they appeared on the home screen alongside videos and posts) 



The results are clear, but that doesn’t mean that you should only produce Reels from now on. If a user has found your channel, then all other formats make sense as well, because they are primarily played out to existing followers. Nevertheless, this might be a nice hint for your brand or company to take a deeper look into Reels if you haven’t already done it.  


Pinterest announces Pinterest premiere 


Pinterest has announced several new ad tools, including “Pinterest Premiere” for video ads. According to Andrew Hutchinson from SocialMediaToday, the feature will enable advertisers to purchase exclusive video placement in the home feed for a specific demographic, interest or category for a designated time frame. According to Pinterest, the new feature will help to gain more reach and scale for launches, brand events or campaigns.  

Video content is big on Pinterest since there are close to a billion video views every day. Pinterest users are also 2.6x more likely to make a purchase after viewing brand video content on the platform. The feature could even boost this trend.  


If Pinterest is a key platform of focus for your digital marketing effort, you might think about trying the new video ad feature.  


15 tips for your TikTok approach​ 


It is not new that TikTok is trending, but according to analysts, the app will even become the next billion-user platform sometime in 2021. No wonder, more and more marketers are paying attention to the social network and its advertising potential. If your brand or company wants to hop on the train, John Bohan from SocialMediaTodayhas summarized 15 tips for your TikTok approach. 


1. Find your target audience: 

TikTok is not just for young people! Look up the statistics of your country. In the US, 55% of the users are between the ages of 25-44. 

2. Create a TikTok persona: 

You don’t have to lose your brand identity. There are many categories on TikTok and probably a few that align with your brand. Choose the category that is authentic to your brand to form your persona. 

3. Tell them about yourself: 

Show them who you are! Use your profile to introduce yourself. Update your audience via your bio and link to your website or other social accounts. 

4. Engage with your community: 

The TikTok audience loves to engage! So should your brand. Comment e.g., on videos to communicate and engage with the users. A community manager could be really helpful here. 

5. The TikTok algorithm: 

The growth and lifespan of a video is directly related to continued user engagement. Higher engagement leads to continued popularity for the video.  

6. Create unique content: 

Creating unique content for TikTok is a requirement for a successful campaign.  Content that is not authentic will be overlooked and will not perform as well. 

7. Inspire: 

TikTok’s mission is to inspire creativity and to bring joy. Always keep that in mind while creating your content.  

8. Storytelling: 

You have 15-60 seconds to tell a great story. It is important that the story is complete. That means each piece of content must have a beginning, a middle and an end. 

Tip: text overlays can help you to communicate your message better. 

9. Find the right beat: 

Music is the most important thing on TikTok. The right music is the key to the success of your content and allows the users to connect with your brand. As a brand, legally you can only use royalty-free music, from TikTok’s library, or any music that you own the right to. 

10. Influencer co-operations: 

Partnering with popular TikTok influencers is fundamental for successful content. They have a deep understanding of the platform and community and are able to entertain the audience.  

11. Find the right hashtags: 

Hashtags help you identify your competitors, amplify your reach and get more followers. Do some digging and find out what your competitors are using and incorporate trending hashtags. ​​ 

12. Spread the word: 

Let your followers know you’re on TikTok. Cross-post to your other social accounts to create awareness and encourage them to find and follow you. 

13. Trends and challenges: 

Not all of your content has to be part of a campaign. If you discover a trend or challenge that aligns with your brand, do it. Based on TikTok’s algorithm, trends and challenges are also more likely to appear on the feed, which gives you more exposure and reach.  

14. Paid media: 

A paid media strategy can help you gain more followers and to engage with them. But it is important that it still feels authentic to the feed.  

15. Have fun: 

Always remember that it’s the nature of the platform and the users’ expectation to have fun! J 


 Ads on IGTV 


From June 2020 Instagram has been starting to test ads on IGTV. The format will differ from other placements on Instagram because those ads will be longer than ads in feeds or stories.  

According to Instagram IGTV has become a powerful place for creators to connect more deeply with their fans and share their lives and talents. With IGTV ads, they have another new way to earn money.  

 The difference between feed ads and IGTV ads is that Instagram shares a part of the earnings with the creators of the content.  


  • Integration: 

According to Phillip Roth from IGTV ads look similar to YouTube ads. When you see an IGTV in your feed you only see the teaser at first. In order to watch the full video, you have to click on it, once you have done so you will be presented with an ad. It’s not clear yet if there will be multiple ads and if it’s possible to skip them.  

  •  Format: 

Currently, ads have a length of 15 seconds and are shown in full portrait format on mobile devices only.  

  •  Availability: 

Instagram is testing IGTV ads in the US with a small group of creators and advertisers and will slowly expand globally. According to Facebook, the feature will be widely available at some point in 2021.  


For companies, IGTV ads offer a new placement without any extra effort. It is definitely worth a try because IGTV is a new type of content delivery for which you can have the user’s full attention. Here brands can build on and reach users there. Keep it in mind and be one of the first brands to join.​ 


Instagram shopping news​ 


After the Instagram Shopping testing in the US, it is now also available in Germany. You can access Instagram Shopping via the Instagram Explore page. Due to the close connection to Instagram Explore, the discovery of new products and brands is also at the heart of Instagram Shop.  

Currently, there are still some differences to the US version. In Germany, Instagram is still testing the new Shop icon in the navigation bar to get faster access to the shop.  

Nevertheless, there is still room for better usability and a shopping experience. There is a reason for that:  Unlike in the USA, where in-app purchases have been possible since last spring, the checkout function is not yet available in Germany. This means if you want to buy something on Instagram you can’t complete the purchase process on the platform itself, but you will be forwarded to the online shop of the brand.  


Brands and companies who want to try this should set up a shop, maintain it and actively link the products in the posts. You will still have to be a little patient until it’s rolled out completely, but once it happens it’ll be a very smooth transition.  


Facebook is testing a new format – are Facebook Reels coming soon?​ 


After the successful launch of Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels could soon follow. According to Jan Firsching from Futurebiz, Facebook is currently testing vertical short videos within its own feed. While the story format has been the most trending feature in the last couple of years, now it’s all about short-form videos in the style of TikTok.  

 Right now, Facebook is testing the feature in India since the country is one of the greatest marketplaces of Facebook. As TikTok has been banned in India, it’s a key market with little competition from similar platforms. 

 The new short videos are integrated into the mobile app and shown in the news feed. This is similar to the stories. The navigation is identical to TikTok and Instagram Reels. There is a chance that there will be an option on Instagram that allows users to share Reels on Facebook, too.  

 How many formats does Facebook need? 

There are so many content options on Facebook which can also be negative for new features. On TikTok, there are no other options. Creating short videos is the only feature. In comparison to Facebook, Instagram has a lot to offer, too, but Facebook still has more choices. Of course, it’s important to offer options and diversity but the features shouldn’t weaken each other. Let’s see how this goes! 


Johanna Leffers