Blink and you will have missed the rise and fall of a new social media trend or platform. This year alone, we saw the explosion of ChatGPT and AI tools galore, Twitter became X, new players entered the arena (we see you Threads and Lapse), and Mastodon made a big splash that turned into a ripple. Here are four things our social media troupe is keeping an eye on for 2024.
Launched as an alternative to X (formerly Twitter), Threads saw 100 million sign-ups within the first five days of its launch on July 5. With this impressive start, we were excited to try out Meta’s solution for those exiting X. Our findings were mixed. aJuxt conducted a trial with a single market consumer brand from July 24 to September 30, 2023. With 57 posts and 256 followers, the overall engagement rate was 8.59% with 20 likes and 2 shares. Gaining traffic required an extremely active presence and we saw a decline in active app users from 50 million to 10 million as of August 2023.
That said, Meta isn’t turning its back on Threads. In an attempt to re-energize its growth, Threads is looking to entice creators to post more often, is testing a new display that would show a user’s latest Threads on their profile page, and is testing new notifications within the app itself. Threads is new enough that this platform still has a lot of potential.
Instagram Broadcast Channels
Instagram looked at how its users share photos and videos within the app and discovered that images were being shared in DMs more frequently than the feed. In order to embrace how users are communicating, Instagram launched Broadcast Channels which allow creators to directly reach their followers via DM. You can see more about how creators are using the feature to connect with their followers here. We’re eager to see how brands use this feature as soon as it is rolled out for business accounts.
Where do we start with the platform that no one wants to call X? Since being sold to Elon Musk in October 2022, X has seen an avalanche of changes both on the platform and behind the scenes. TechCrunch has a complete timeline of what’s gone down at X if you care to go down that rabbit hole. Here are some of the highlights:
- According to Musk, X is moving towards no longer being a free site; it will require a small monthly payment.
- X lifted the ban on political ads.
- It was announced that headlines will be hidden from news links.
- Verification plans required to spend $1K a month.
- TweetDeck, now XPro, became subscription only.
Additionally, Adweek reported recently that, “The platform’s ‘verified’ users, who now pay to have a blue check, pushed 74% of X’s most viral false Israel-Hamas war-related claims, according to a NewsGuard analysis shared with Adweek.”
This is just another blow to advertisers, who are already wary of the decline in users. In September 2023, monthly active users for X/Twitter had dropped 15% worldwide (and 18% in the U.S.) year-over-year, according to web analytics provider SimilarWeb. At aJuxt, we are seeing drastic fluctuations in X ad reach between campaigns for the same client and across clients along with consistent functionality issues within the Ad platform.
We’re not sure what 2024 will bring for X, but we’re sure that it will be memorable.
Still somewhat under the radar, Lapse is an iOS invite-only app “designed to reclaim how we take and share memories.” It mimics a camera and “develops” pictures over several hours after which the user can share with friends—not followers, an important distinction—without editing or deleting it. A re-release in June saw the app make Apple’s Top Free Apps list where it remains. A big part of the app’s appeal is nostalgia for a time when photos were shared without filters or with a goal of receiving a certain number of likes. This isn’t the first app to create a less curated social media experience (remember BeReal?), and we’re intrigued to see where it goes.
Social media is ever evolving and changing. In addition to these four platforms, there are countless others growing in popularity. It’s impossible to stay on top of all of them which is why aJuxt collaborates with a variety of social media experts to navigate the landscape of all things social, including Pinterest/LinkedIn/TikTok – you name it. If we can help you evaluate, manage or create your social media strategy, contact us at Troupe@aJuxt.com for a chat today.
Written by Cristin Burns || Amazon Specialist & Social Media Maven