TikTok is Gen Z’s search engine, Instagram copies BeReal, LinkedIn adds a discover feed and Meta updates Reels

By Rebecca Y on 31 August 2022

Watch out Google, TikTok is the go-to search engine for Gen Z

TikTok is becoming more than just entertainment, with younger audiences using the platform to search for things to do and places to try, even seeking out news, rather than consulting traditional discovery tools like Google Search and Google Maps. Despite Google dominating the consumer search behaviour over the past two decades, Google’s senior vice president Prabhakar Raghavan stated at the Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference, "In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”

Instagram takes a page out of BeReal

Instagram is taking a break from copying TikTok and is now taking a page out of BeReal. BeReal is dubbed the "anti-Instagram” app and surpassed 10 million total downloads, the app prompts users to take a photo using their phone’s front and rear-facing cameras at a random time each day. The daily prompts expire after two minutes and after which users can view all the photos shared by their friends that day. Instagram announced a new ‘Dual’ camera mode, which enables users to capture content and their reaction at the same time, using their phone’s front and back cameras simultaneously. Also, an unreleased feature has been spotted by users, called Candid Challenges, which bears a striking resemblance to BeReal. Both Facebook and Instagram are notorious for copying their rivals, but users haven't always been happy with the changes.

LinkedIn adds a Discover feed

The latest trend for social media platforms is to launch a discovery feed and LinkedIn is the latest to announce theirs. Like TikTok’s ‘For You’ feed, you will be recommended content published by accounts outside your network that you may be interested in, based on your in-app activity. LinkedIn’s been testing the new feed over the past month, with some users now seeing the new Discover tab in the app.

Meta updates Reels 

Meta has announced several new features for Reels across both Facebook and Instagram, with the most intriguing feature being the ‘Add Yours’ sticker prompt from Stories to Reels. The ‘Add Yours’ sticker prompt lets users view a caption, see what other users have posted to fit the description, and contribute their own content for others to see, providing another way to prompt engagement from other users via Reels clips. Another feature as part of the announcement allows Facebook users to automatically convert their archived stories into Reels. Reel analytics have also been improved to show performance insights to include reach, minutes viewed and average watch time.

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