Wednesday Wrap-Up #497

Nick Carolan

LinkedIn retires short-lived Stories functionality
A year after introducing ephemeral video to its platform, LinkedIn announced today that it will suspend its Stories feature on September 30 and begin working on a different way to add short-form videos to the platform. Existing ads will instead be shared on the LinkedIn feed, but users who promoted or sponsored Stores directly from their page will need to remake them. Attributing the lack of uptake to restrictions on creative functionality and shortened scope for storytelling, LinkedIn is now looking to create a short-form video feature, joining platforms like Snapchat and Instagram that have built their own TikTok-like feeds.

Instagram launches ads in Instagram Shop tab
Last year, Instagram finally embraced e-commerce with the unveiling of ‘Shops,’ a feature that currently lives on the app’s bottom navigation bar. Following testing in the US, Instagram is now introducing ads, which will be displayed globally via the Shop tab. When clicked, ads – which will appear alongside other ‘Shops’ content – will open the Product Details page, showing more information about the item, additional images, and other brand products. Users can then save the product from the ad to their wish list, or send it to a friend.

Instagram Shops

TikTok expands Shopify partnership
TikTok is getting stuck into shopping by expanding its partnership with the e-commerce platform Shopify. The expanded deal means that Shopify merchants with a TikTok For Business account will soon be able to add a new ‘Shopping’ tab to their TikTok profiles, allowing them to sync their product catalogues and create mini-storefronts on their profiles. Product links are another handy addition, allowing Shopify merchants to tag products in their TikTok videos. Kylie Jenner has swooped in as an early adopter of this new service, using the features to drive sales of her cosmetics brand. With TikTok placing its focus on e-commerce, it’s only a matter of time before the platform becomes a top destination for shopaholics. 

Clubhouse embraces spatial audio
Clubhouse is embracing surround sound by enabling spatial audio support via the app. This feature introduces subtle spatial cues that position participants on Clubhouse calls into three-dimensional space around the user’s head. This makes it seem as if users are in a room full of people, creating a more vibrant, human experience. The feature works best when using headphones, and is currently only available on iOS, with an Android rollout expected soon.

Instagram now requires users to provide their birthday
Instagram will begin nudging users to share their birthday with the platform, purportedly to help create new safety features aimed at younger users. Over the past year, the app has introduced teen privacy protection, as well as revealed its intention to launch a version of its service aimed at users under the age of 13. Starting from last week, users have begun to receive notifications prompting them to share their date of birth. Instagram is even developing AI technology that helps to identify kids who may be lying on their birthday entry form, highlighting the platform’s determination to ensure child safety.

instagram birthday

Ones to watch
Twitter is testing ticketed Spaces and showing which friends are listening in.

The Wednesday Wrap-Up features additional reporting by Hannah Currey.