media update's Robyn du Preez reveals all the social media news you may have been missing out in this June. 

Congratulations! You've walked out of the first half of 2020 unscathed … hopefully. But before leaving behind what seems to have been a real-life action movie (insert your favourite soundtrack here), let's take one last look at what transpired in the social world this past month:

Twitter gives the Tweet a voice — quite literally

The news
Twitter has launched an option on its platform that allows users to add audio clips to Tweets. The feature, which is only available to a selected group of iOS users, allows for clips that are up to 140 seconds long. According to the platform, "once you reach the time limit for a Tweet, a new voice Tweet starts automatically to create a thread".

Why it's making headlines
Adding your own voice to your Tweets adds an expressive nature to messages, allowing for more meaning, intent, emotion and personalisation to come through in an interaction. It takes one random contagious laugh to get a whole room hosing themselves laughing for no particular reason … the same cannot be said for a random 'LOL' Tweet hitting your feed.

And while Twitter might not have been the first to provide an audio option, the addition will definitely have a more prominent impact on this particular platform, because the platform is the go-to place for political and controversial conversations. Here, conversations and feeds are bound to be more intent and purpose-led.

Why to take note of it
The introduction of audio can bring about change in major ways. On a positive spin, topics that should be brought more into the societal spotlight will now have a more human element. Humans connect, sympathise and 'jump on the bandwagon' when they feel they can relate to any given idea, particularly among millennials and younger generations.

The addition could see a rise in activism in many areas, due to the more human and personalised form of a Tweet. However, on the not-so-positive side of things, the bandwagon may very well fall over when a multitude of defensive, aggressive and offensive audio Tweets take over the conversation.

We can, therefore, expect to see further measures and policies being introduced on the platform to navigate the new space as appropriately as possible.

Instagram explores the e-commerce space

The news
Lately, Instagram has been testing in-stream shopping tools, which have included both Shops and the expansion of shopping tags.

According to Matt Navarra, some Instagram profiles can now add tags to post captions, which link to a product page. Furthermore, Instagram has been testing an actual checkout function with a group of accounts in the United States.

Why it's making headlines
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the rising need for business and brands to finally go digital. Although many organisations have already dipped their littlest pinky toes in the digital pool, many are only really confronting it now with the hope of keeping their business’s doors open.

The reality is this: With social distancing being at the centre of current society, terms such as online stores, online marketing, social media marketing and digital brand presence has fast become the mantras for every marketer and businessperson. This is because consumers changed the game and turned to online providers in the name of self-isolation.

The need to survive in a physically dormant society has led to the worldwide search for platforms, tools, programmes and solutions that assist in navigating the digital space. Businesses and brands are scouting for opportunities to make their transition into digital as seamless and successful as possible. And social media can apparently do just that.

Why to take note of it
While many are looking for short-term fixes to survive the restrictions put in place in response to COVID-19, the reality is that this is our 'new norm' for the long haul. Social media users and consumers alike have both experienced the efficiency that social media services provide.

There is little chance of seeing the old ways of doing business return in later years. What we are seeing now are the founding steps that will define our society, both economically and culturally, in this next decade. And better to stay on top of things than to fall far beyond catching up. So, take note!

3. Google launches Keen

The news
Google has launched its latest addition to its ranks. The new app, which is called Keen, was designed to be "a place to grow and share your interests with loved ones, and find things that will help in making this precious life count."

Why it's making headlines
The new platform has taken on a collection-based approach, which is very similar to the Pinterest app. Keen allows users to 'curate collections' of content that interest them, with the option to keep private and public collections.

According to Google, "Keen lets you curate the content you love, share your collection with others and find new content based on what you have saved."

According to Pinterest's Newsroom, Pinterest has seen a significant rise, boasting a 44% year-on-year increase. This would suggest that apps allowing for the curation and collection of content, ideas, interests, sources and the like have the potential to be the next trend-setters in the social space.

Why to take note of it
While Keen may be a 'copycat' of its Pinterest counterpart, it is possible that it could take off and essentially beat Pinterest at its own game. If this is the case, it deserves a bit more consideration than most.

What a month! Want to stay up to date with more of the latest news? Subscribe to our newsletters.

With the pandemic causing change in almost every aspect of our lives, how will this 'new normal' affect social media and existing mobile apps? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Social shopping is a growing phenomenon that is revolutionising the way we shop. The power of social media holds no bounds and brands are leveraging it to market their products in a whole new way. Find out more about The evolution of social shopping.