The latest social media features that will help HigherEd social media teams

Keeping up with changes on the various platforms is essential to stay ahead on social media these days.

The last few months has brought numerous developments, and we’ve scoured the world of social media to bring you the most relevant changes to factor into your institution’s social media activity.

It’s a five minute read, covering five of the latest developments for our fifth social media round-up. Let’s go.

#1 Facebook brings in a new Accounts Centre tool to manage app settings

FB Accounts Center

If you’re feeling swamped controlling all the university social media account settings, the good news is that a new Accounts Center has been launched for Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. The new feature will enable you to more conveniently turn on or off Single Sign On settings, and make adjustments to how your Stories publish to Facebook and Instagram, and other potential time-savers. As of November 18th, this feature is now available globally.

FB Accounts Center Screenshot

#2 WhatsApp launches in-app purchase functionality

WhatsApp is continuing to embed itself in our day to day lives, and we’re seeing more universities finding innovative ways to use this ubiquitous technology to connect with students and co-ordinate communications right through the education cycle.

Whatsapp Shopping Button

Now WhatsApp has announced a series of new features that will extend its usefulness further, with institutions being able to use the platform to enable students to pay for goods and services. This feature could also be a good way to fundraise too!

Although there is no shortage of ways to pay for things these days, this might just become the quickest and most convenient and secure way for students to pay their library fines, buy merchandise, pay for parking and food on campus in the future, in an app that’s already very familiar and convenient for them.

#3 Instagram Reels closing the gap with TikTok

Since launching Instagram Reels in August, Instagram is doing everything it can to shake TikTok from its tree. New features have just been introduced with updates that allow for longer videos, improved editing, and options to search for sounds and music, and to save audio in-app, which can be used in Reels clips.

Instagram Reels

With an already sizeable user base, expect to see more Instagram Reels moments from your students during the winter and on into spring.

#4 TikTok release the new Learn tab to showcase educational content

After launching a #LearnOnTikTok hashtag earlier this year, social media hawks have been reporting sights of a new menu item called ‘Learn’.

 Learn on Tiktok

So far the content is relatively light-hearted still with cookery, art production and other practical topics, but there are also educational resources emerging to explain things like scientific processes and TikTok is believed to be actively pursuing more education content by engaging directly with institutions.

#5 Linkedin adds Stories video feature

If you’ve downloaded the latest Linkedin app you’ll witness a host of changes, most notably a new Stories video feature.

The focus is still very much on professional networking and jobs, but the latest update brings both an updated design, and further diversification by moving social networking and conversations to the forefront - a change that might appeal to students, particularly those towards the end of their degree who have one eye on the jobs market.

Linkedin Stories Video

Despite only being initially available in Brazil, Australia, France, the Netherlands and UAE, as of October 20th it has being rolled outworldwide, and there have already been millions of Stories uploaded in the initial weeks - not a bad start for Linkedin.

For now there aren’t any opportunities for universities to use paid advertising in the Stories area of the app, but the company has announced plans to bring in paid content to this section in the near future.

Have you spotted any new social media features or incorporated new functionality in your institution's social activity? We'd love to hear.