Changing Social Media Platforms for the Better

There is a continuous debate on whether change is for better or worse. In the cases of some of your favorite social media platforms (Twitter & Instagram), it is definitely for the better! These social platforms are constantly creating new features and updates for users to keep their users active on the platform.

So how are these social media platforms changing? Twitter is cleaning house when it comes to default user profile photos. For years now, there has been no change to the default profile picture… BUT, that is now old news. While Twitter is working towards becoming universally inclusive, Instagram is running from FTC fines. Instagram’s new update increases the transparency about advertisements that has been needed for a while.

How is Twitter Becoming Universally Inclusive?

Twitter has been going back and forth on what the best default profile picture is for their users. The egg shape default for the last few years, which symbolized a hatching bird, did not allow Twitter the flexibility they wanted for their users to be able to express themselves. This is why they have gone for this new “empty state.”

First, they flipped through the past to see what worked and didn’t work with different profile picture defaults. This gave them the ability to compile a list of traits they wanted for the new default profile picture:

  • Generic

  • Universal

  • Serious

  • Unbranded

  • Temporary

  • Inclusive

The next step was exploring what colors, shapes, and figures would work best and indicate the profile picture being temporary. Looking at different figures, photos, and patterns, they were able to determine how to bring inclusivity into one single default profile photo. Making it a square frame, neutral gendered figure, and neutrally colored.

The Clarity Instagram Needs about Influencer Advertising

The new Instagram tool will benefit influencers and their audiences, due to the simplification of the disclosure process and the introduction to some much-needed clarity. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gave Instagram a warning and mailed warning letters to influencers, brands, and celebrities whose posts were failing to properly disclose deals.

For Instagram, it has become increasingly difficult for users to distinguish sponsored Instagram posts from non-sponsored posts in their feed. As more and more partnerships form, it is crucial that Instagram is able to ensure the community can easily recognize when someone they follow is paid to post the content they are posting.

How Instagram’s Newest Feature Works

If an influencer is posting sponsored content, they should go into their “Advanced Settings” (on the bottom of the caption screen). These advanced settings, where you can also turn off comments for a post, will soon have a new “Branded Content” section that says “Tag Business Partner.” When an influencer chooses that option, the partner’s name will automatically be added where a location tag normally shows up. The same also goes for a sponsored post on an Instagram Story. This tool will be appearing over the next couple of weeks. Until then, you’ll need to keep scanning captions for #sponsored in order to know if a post is branded.

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These changes are for the better, no question about it. Go and check out these new updates yourself; don’t be afraid to express yourself! I am definitely digging the new profile picture default on Twitter and cannot wait to see how much of a change this new transparent feature will have on Instagram.