It’s a widely recognised fact that most of us aren’t great at accepting change; a lot of us avoid it! In fact, nearly 45% of frontline professionals “like to remain in the status quo." In the world of digital, only one thing is certain: change. Those of us that work in digital know we have to embrace change, adapt to it and learn to love it.  After all, it keeps our work lives interesting, doesn’t it? 

So, now we’ve covered that change isn’t quite so terrible…let’s talk about the recent changes made to two of the most popular social platforms: TikTok and Instagram.


#1 New Analytics Tools
In the final quarter of 2021, Instagram announced new additions to its metrics available in the Insights section of the app. The newly added metrics are: Accounts Reached, Accounts Engaged, and Reached Audience. 

The addition of Accounts Reached allows users to see the number of accounts that their content has been put in front of. Previously, users could only see the number of impressions their content received.

The Accounts Engaged metric provides a more detailed demographic view of who’s engaging with your content. With this metric, you can now see whether or not the accounts which have engaged with your content follow you - an Insight we haven’t been able to access from Instagram before!

Finally, the introduction of the Reached Audience metric provides a similar Insight into audience demographics to Engaged Audience but provides this data for the overall reach of content, not just who interacted with it. 

For businesses, access to these new insights gives us ways to tap into our audiences that we haven’t had before. They allow us to further analyse what our audiences do and don’t respond to and therefore help us to inform future campaigns based on this information. If you use paid advertising on Instagram then it’s worth paying particular attention to the Engaged Audience metric to see what type of content is encouraging audiences to interact with you - this could improve your cost per click and click-through rate on your ads!

#2 User Feed Options

More recently, Instagram has announced that in the first half of 2022 users will be able to choose how they view their home feed. They’ll soon be able to choose between three feed options: Home, Favourites, and Following.

Picking the Home feed option will allow users to keep the feed as it is now and let Instagram’s algorithm decide which content they see based on their activity on the app. From a business perspective, not a lot will change if users continue to use this option because Instagram will dictate who sees what and when. 

However, if users decide to use the Favourites feed option they will only see content from users they’ve favourited, and no content from anyone else. For us businesses, the goal is to get into a user’s favourites because this means they like our content so much that they opt into seeing it - a perfect form of loyalty. 

And last but not least, the Following feed option brings a much-requested feature back to Instagram…the ability to view others’ content in chronological order! The platform was widely criticised in 2016 when users’ feeds were no longer sorted by time of posting, but now, six years later, Instagram is giving users the option of being able to sort the content they see in chronological order. When this feature becomes available again, as businesses, we should be posting content on a regular basis to ensure that users using this option see our content! 


#1 TikTok Shopping
Early in 2021, TikTok began piloting a TikTok Shopping experience which would ultimately enable businesses and merchants to make sales directly through the TikTok app, as long as their products are listed on Shopify. The experience can be likened to Instagram’s Shopping feature. 

Later in the year, sellers in the UK, US, and Canada were allowed to request early access to TikTok Shopping by directly contacting Shopify on TikTok. Since then, more locations around the world have been able to access TikTok Shopping, and an increasing number of sellers have been testing the water to see whether TikTok Shopping works for them. 

Stats surrounding the success of TikTok shopping are currently few and far between as it is still so new, but if the experience sees a similar success rate to Instagram Shopping once it's up and running, then it could be revolutionary for some businesses. Instagram reported that 44% of its users use its Shopping feature every week. Similar usage of TikTok Shopping could provide huge opportunities for eCommerce businesses choosing to sell through the platform because the in-app feature makes it a lot faster and easier for customers to go from awareness to purchase in their buying journey. 

If you sell online, would you consider using TikTok Shopping? 

#2 Changes to Community Guidelines
In February of this year, TikTok announced that amendments would be made to their community guidelines to make TikTok a safer and more welcoming space for users. These amendments were later made on the 7th March, and saw the following changes happening on TikTok:

  1. A large reduction in content displaying drinking/alcohol and smoking/tobacco being shown to users on their for you page (FYP). Such content is still allowed on the platform but is only available via manual search.
  2. More clarity on rules relating to the ban of anti-LGBTQ+ content. TikTok has provided more clarity by making their guidelines on misgendering, misogyny and deadnaming more specified.
  3. Removal of inauthentic and/or unoriginal content on the platform. TikTok is taking further action to reduce the amount of recycled content from other sources (e.g. screen recorded YouTube videos) that appears on users’ FYP, and the app as a whole, to ensure consistency for TikTok users. If your company is on TikTok, make sure to create original content in TikTok’s video layout to increase your chances of being discovered by users! 

Key Takeaways

TikTok and Instagram are continuously growing platforms, and work hard to remain competitive with one another, but despite this, they both keep users’ best interests at the forefront of changes they make, as displayed by TikTok’s new Guidelines, and Instagram’s return of the chronological feed as an option for users. 

This blog has provided you with a snapshot of the recent changes we’ve seen from two of the most popular social media platforms in 2022, and if you’re interested in learning more about TikTok and Instagram, make sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming report!


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