TikTok’s Revamped Creator Rewards Program, Instagram Messaging Updates, and More

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Stay Up to Date on the Latest Trends, Platform Updates, and Social Media Holidays 

A rare Easter-free April is still jam-packed with holidays, as you can play an April Fools’ Day prank on someone, toast a friend on National Beer Day, and do something special for your non-human friends on National Pet Day. 

And there’s always Earth Day, as none of this would be possible without the planet we live on. 

Social Media Holidays to Mark on Your Calendar 

  • April 1: April Fools’ Day  
  • April 2: World Autism Awareness Day  
  • April 7: World Health Day  
  • April 7: National Beer Day  
  • April 10: National Siblings Day  
  • April 11: National Pet Day  
  • April 22: Earth Day  
  • April 23: World Book Day  
  • April 26: National Pretzel Day 

Social Media Platform Updates 


Creator Rewards Program 

TikTok’s revamped Creator Rewards Program officially came out of beta in March, continuing the platform’s recent push toward longer-form content. 

Videos longer than one minute will be rewarded based on four core metrics: 

  • Originality: Quality content that is unique to the creator and showcases their point of view or creative thought process in a way that resonates with their community. 
  • Play duration: The new formula incorporates both watch time and finish rate, with the aim of rewarding accounts for clear and engaging content, rather than number of videos. 
  • Audience engagement: Comments, likes, and shares. 
  • Search value: TikTok assigns a value to content based on popular search terms, saying content that aligns with search topics that are in demand is more valuable to users searching on the platform. 

To be eligible, creators must be at least 18, have at least 10,000 followers, have had a minimum of 100,000 views in the past 30 days, and have a personal account in good standing with TikTok. 

Creators will be automatically rewarded for the ad value of their accounts, as determined by the ad watch time of their communities. 

The Creator Rewards Program dashboard was updated with more analytics and data, and the in-app monetization module gives creators access to all monetization-related operations. 

More Monetization Tools 

TikTok introduced several new monetization tools at its For Creators: Future Formats Summit in Los Angeles in March. 

The platform is extending subscriptions—previously only an option for live videos—to non-live videos, as well, starting with a list of creators who were invited, and expanding to eligible creators in the coming weeks. 

Creators taking part can access exclusive benefits such as badges, community communication, exclusive content, and personalized emojis. 

TikTok is also upgrading its Creator Portal to the Creator Academy, a hub for articles, courses, insights, resources, and videos covering topics including account health, content skills, creation tools, and monetization features. 

Creator Academy will launch in seven languages in the coming weeks, with more to come soon. 

Creator Search Insights 

With more and more people using TikTok as a search engine, the platform introduced Creator Search Insights, a new tool that helps creators understand the topics users are searching for and create content to match those topics. 

Topics can be searched by category, such as science, sports, or tourism, or by For You, which considers the types of content the creator favors. Creators can also search for content gap topics, or those that are searched for often but aren’t featured in many videos on the platform. 

Other TikTok News 

  • TikTok is expanding its Effect Creator Rewards monetization program to 33 more regions. The initiative rewards creators for effects they craft using TikTok’s augmented reality development platform, Effect House. 
  • TikTok appears to be working on a stand-alone TikTok Photos application, according to references that were spotted in its APK (Android Package Kit) file. 
  • In order to comply with the European Commission’s Digital Markets Act, the company released a Data Portability API (application-programming interface), which lets registered developers request user permission to transfer a copy of their TikTok data. 
  • The company cited a study by Oxford Economics, which found that small and midsized businesses in the U.S. that advertised or marketed on TikTok generated nearly $15 billion in revenue in 2023, and those SMBs supported roughly 224,000 jobs. 
  • Finally, TikTok formed a global Youth Council of 15 teens aged 15 through 18, from several countries, to help the platform ensure the well-being of its younger users and remain a safe and accessible space. 


Ads With Promo Codes 

Instagram began rolling out ads with promo codes worldwide in mid-March. 

The platform explained in a blog post, “We’re ensuring that you are getting the best price when you shop through ads on Instagram and Facebook. Active promotional codes are sourced directly from brands you love. Valid codes are automatically applied or displayed so you can copy and paste at checkout.” 

DM Updates 

Instagram announced several updates to direct messages on its platform: 

  • Messages can now be edited up to 15 minutes after they are sent. 
  • Users can pin three group or one-on-one chats to the top of their inbox for quick access. 
  • Read receipts can be toggled on or off, for all chats or specific chats. 
  • Users can save their favorite stickers for easy access, and GIFs, photos, stickers, videos, and voice messages are now available for replies. 
  • New themes were released, including Avatar: The Last Airbender, Lollipop, and Love. 

Other Instagram News 

  • Instagram is testing its Threads API with Grabyo, Hootsuite, Social News Desk, Sprinklr, Sprout Social, Techmeme, and a handful of independent developers. 
  • Trending Now was added to the For You feed and search page for Threads users in the U.S., displaying up to five trending topics determined by Instagram’s machine learning artificial intelligence systems based on what people are engaging with on the app. 
  • A beta version of Threads’ fediverse integration began rolling out in a few countries, including the U.S., enabling users over 18 to opt in and share to the fediverse. 
  • Instagram announced new safety features. Users will be alerted if they receive a follow request from an account that Instagram suspects is impersonating an individual or business, or engaging in potentially spammy activities. Warnings will also appear if someone receives a DM from an account that the platform suspects to be deceptive. Tapping on suspicious links will bring up a pop-up warning. Finally, if a user is tagged or mentioned by an account they do not follow, they will see a reminder to review and update their safety and privacy settings. 
  • Threads users can now save drafts and take photos within the app. 
  • Instagram confirmed that it is testing a Spins feature for Reels, which would let other users swap out the audio or text in the short-form videos. 
  • Live sports scores are being tested in Threads, starting with the National Basketball Association. 
  • Another Threads test will let users swipe right on posts to like them, or swipe left to express disinterest. 
  • Finally, a secret emoji game was discovered within Instagram DMs, in which people use their finger to move a paddle at the bottom of the screen and keep their emoji afloat and bouncing, with the game ending when the emoji drops. 


YouTube Create Expansion 

Stand-alone mobile app YouTube Create was made available in 13 more markets, bringing its total to 21. 

The app lets creators produce YouTube Shorts and longer-form videos, giving them access to an easy-to-use suite of free tools, such as effects, GIFs, and stickers. 

Is It Real? 

The platform added a tool to its Creator Studio that requires creators to disclose when realistic content that a viewer could easily mistake for a real event, person, or place, was crafted with altered or synthetic media, including generative AI. 

Those disclosures will appear as labels in a video’s expanded description or on the front of the video player. 

The requirement does not apply to content that is clearly unrealistic, animated, uses special effects, or used gen AI for production assistance. 

The labels will begin rolling out on YouTube’s mobile apps, coming soon to desktop and YouTube TV. 

A Better YouTube TV 

The platform detailed improvements it is implementing for its television experience

The new design keeps the video front and center, surrounding it with YouTube-centric features without interrupting the viewing experience. 

When using the YouTube app on a TV, people can read through comments and video descriptions, and YouTube TV subscribers will soon be able to explore Views without leaving the game they are watching.  


Body Type Ranges 

Pinterest’s new body type ranges tool enables users to self-select the body types that are featured in search results for wedding ideas or women’s fashion. 

Users searching for either of those two categories will see a prompt to choose between four body type ranges so that their search results are customized. 

Pinterest plans a wider rollout of body type ranges later in 2024, including the addition of men’s fashion. 

Pinterest’s CVS Prescription 

Pinterest expanded its advertising partnership with drugstore giant CVS’ retail media exchange, CVS Media Exchange, to measure digital ad campaigns. 

The two parties will collaborate in clean rooms provided by identity and data firm LiveRamp, enabling CVS’ retail media team to attribute sales to ad campaigns on Pinterest. 

Wedding Bells 

Pinterest shared its 2024 Wedding Report, saying that the platform has seen more than 3 billion wedding-related searches worldwide and over 10 billion wedding ideas saved. Highlights include: 

  • Large weddings give way to smaller, easy-going gatherings, with casual wedding dresses, easy hairstyles, and simple makeup. 
  • Vintage weddings are surging, with huge increases in searches for vintage jewelry, dresses, and decor. 
  • The recent movement in home decor from neutral colors to more vibrant hues is making its way to weddings and the various components of those events. But dark, moody decor is on the rise, as well. 

Packing for Coachella 

For the first time, Pinterest is partnering with iconic music festival Coachella, being held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., the weekends of April 12 through 14 and 19 through 21. Top festival fashion and beauty themes trending on the platform include: 

  • Nostalgia for classic festival looks from another time, as searches for “2014 core” are up 1,240% year over year. 
  • Experimenting with the playfulness of fairycore (searches for “fairycore outfits” are up 2,200%). 
  • Rebelling against conventional femininity, with searches for “dark feminine core” up 160%. 
  • Festival-goers are trying to channel the looks of Lana Del Ray, one of the event’s headliners, with vintage style, corsets, tulle, and pearl and bow accessories. 


Performance Bonus for Creators 

Facebook announced that it was removing restrictions on how much eligible creators can earn from its monthly performance bonus for engaging photo, text, and video posts on its platform. 

While the performance bonus program remains invite-only, Facebook is opening it to more creators and expanding it into additional regions. 

In-Stream Ads creators are also being invited to the platform’s performance bonus program and Ads on Reels, giving them more monetization opportunities, and those creators will see more metrics in their insights to help them better understand the new payout model. 

Bad News for News 

In early April, Facebook will deprecate its dedicated Facebook News tab in Australia and the U.S., after doing so in France, Germany, and the U.K. last year. 

Users will still be able to view news in their feed, and publishers will continue to have access to their Facebook accounts and pages to post news article links and content. 

Other Facebook News 

  • Can the Poke make a comeback? Facebook said it improved its suggestions on who to poke, made it easier to find the poking page through search, and added the ability to poke a friend when searching for them on the platform. 


The AI Advantage 

Meta announced several updates to its AI-powered Advantage Suite of advertising solutions. 

Advantage+ creative optimizations let advertisers automatically optimize video ads for viewing on Reels or the mobile Facebook and Instagram apps with a 9:16 ratio, as well as giving them the option of dynamically creating multiple variations of an ad. 

Brands using Advantage+ catalog ads can now import and use creative such as branded videos or customer demonstration videos, rather than just static images. They can also upload a hero image to appear in the center of their catalog ad, and Meta will use AI to dynamically show people the best products from their catalog to drive performance. 

Access to Shops ads is being expanded following integrations with Magento and Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and Shops ads can now be part of Partnership ads—previously known as branded content ads—with brands, creators, or other businesses. 

Advertisers can now include external links to new products or sales in their Instagram Reminder ads, and the ability to notify people when an event starts and before it ends will be added this summer. 

Alphanumeric promo codes are now available to all advertisers globally. 

Ads with product tags were extended to Facebook feed in March, and they will be available to all businesses in April. 

Meta is testing the ability for advertisers to use its Collaborative ads self-service solution for retail media networks with Advantage+ shopping campaigns, and Advantage+ Catalog ads with omnichannel brand and product level reporting will be added sometime this spring. 

EU Compliance 

Continuing its efforts to comply with the Digital Markets Act in the European Union, Meta proposed a lower price for ad-free subscriptions to Facebook and Instagram in the region. 

The company’s proposal would lower the price from €9.99 ($10.79) per month, per Facebook or Instagram account to €5.99 ($6.47), with a slightly reduced monthly fee for each additional account. 

Meta also shared details on how it enabled third-party interoperability for messaging apps Messenger and WhatsApp to meet DMA requirements, while maintaining end-to-end encryption and other privacy guarantees. 

Long-Form Articles 

X introduced Articles, a new way to share long-form content with followers, for its Premium+ subscribers and Verified Organizations. 

Articles will appear on users’ profiles under a new Articles tab, as well as in the timelines of followers, like regular tweets. They will be distinguishable via a unique icon and layout. 

Formatting options include bold, italic, and strikethrough text, as well as bullet points and numbered lists. 

Other X News 

  • Video Spaces are now live on the platform. 
  • Audio and video calling are now available to all X users. 
  • Accounts with more than 2,500 verified subscriber followers will now get Premium features free-of-charge, while those with more than 5,000 will get free Premium+ . 
  • X is working on bringing long-form videos on its platform to smart TVs
  • The company’s Trust and Safety team was renamed Safety, with X writing in a blog post, “Trust is something that must be earned.” 
  • Finally, X will begin giving a “slight boost in reach” to posts that users add to their Highlights tab. 


Sponsored AR Filters 

Snapchat’s new Sponsored AR Filters ad offering lets brands reach users beyond the pre-capture Lens Carousel, accessible after users capture their content with the app’s camera by swiping to the post-capture Filter Carousel. 

This gives brands access to Snapchat users across the entire Snapchat camera experience. 

Sponsored AR Filters give brands the opportunity to integrate themselves into everyday moments and major tentpole events. 

Existing assets can be uploaded and filters can be built through templates including AR face filters, countdown timers, location-based overlays, and quiz generators. 

And calls to action can be integrated to let advertisers capture valuable mid-funnel signals and drive users toward specific conversion actions. 

Snap said Sponsored AR Filters can be created in less than 10 minutes using do-it-yourself tool Lens Web Builder. 

A Safer Snapchat 

Snap is teaming up with Integral Ad Science to develop brand-safety solutions for its platform and validate advertiser suitability. 

The two companies will jointly develop a new brand safety reporting solution to give advertisers transparency into the percentage of safe and suitable content their ads are appearing against, aligned to the Global Alliance for Responsible Media framework for brand suitability. 

Snap and IAS also recently conducted a measurement sample study on the advertiser suitability of the platform’s public content, specifically Spotlight and Creator Stories, finding it to be 99% brand safe. 

Other Snapchat News 

  • Snapchat users now have the option of setting their conversations to be saved indefinitely, rather than disappearing, and they can opt in on a conversation-by-conversation basis. 
  • The platform is teaming up with Lumen on an attention measurement initiative, with the aim of “taking results from in-lab experiments and applying them to scale real-world measurement.” 


LinkedTok? TikIn? 

LinkedIn confirmed that it is testing a TikTok-like short-form video feed, with content focused on careers and professionalism. 

Members in the test group will see the feed under a new Video tab on LinkedIn’s navigation bar, where they can swipe through vertical videos, comment, like, and share. 

New Ad Features 

The professional network introduced several new ad features in late March: 

  • Content Hub gives advertisers a dedicated space outside of the campaign creation flow to access their entire content portfolio. 
  • More than 370 million images from Shutterstock are now available via the media library at no cost. 
  • Maximum delivery and intelligent subject lines are now available for Sponsored Messaging. 
  • Sponsored Articles lets brands sponsor LinkedIn Articles with the aim of amplifying reach for their long-form content. 
  • Brands can now sponsor Thought Leader Ads from any LinkedIn member, including those who are not part of their organization. 
  • Dynamic UTMs let brands add Urchin Tracking Module parameters and track the impact of LinkedIn ads on web traffic. 
  • Finally, Lead Gen Forms can now be associated with boosted posts from LinkedIn pages. 

Pages Messaging 

With an eye toward giving brands more ways to directly connect with their audiences, LInkedIn rolled out Pages Messaging, which allows brands to engage in one-on-one member-initiated conversations through a dedicated inbox. 

Members can click the Message button on a page to communicate directly with the brand, making it easier for customers, job candidates, and prospects to kick off direct conversations. 

LinkedIn also announced six API integrations to support Pages Messaging: Bird CRM, Brandwatch, Hootsuite, Oktopost, Sprinklr, and Zoho. Brands already using one of those platforms can manage messaging at scale. 

Other LinkedIn News 

  • LinkedIn is helping its members move into the AI age with free LinkedIn Learning courses for a limited time, as well as Next Role Explorer, a dynamic career path visualization that recommends potential next roles to employees inside their company, and personalized learning plans so members can close skills gaps and achieve their career goals. 
  • Chief Operating Officer Daniel Shapero said LinkedIn Premium subscribers are up 25% year-over-year, making it a $1.7 billion annual business, and 70% of our Premium subscribers with access to the platform’s AI-powered experience have adopted its writing suggestions, profile recommendations, or both. 
  • The platform shared a guide to LinkedIn analytics for business-to-business marketers. 
  • Even professionals need a break, so LinkedIn is testing a new games experience on its platform, starting with three titles: Crossclimb, Inference, and Queens. 


Reddit Goes Public 

Reddit’s long-anticipated initial public offering finally arrived Thursday, March 21, as shares in the company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol RDDT. 

The IPO was priced at $34 per share, but it shot out of the gate at $47, settling in at $50.44 at the close of trading on its first day, up 48%, after peaking at $57.80 per share. 

Organic Social Tools 

Reddit introduced Reddit Pro, a suite of free organic social tools for businesses, with the goal of generating more organic activity on the platform and potentially converting those businesses to advertisers. 

The social listening tools will help brands understand where users of the platform are talking about the brand or its category, as well as giving them ways to analyze that activity and craft posts to take advantage of it. 

Free-Form Ads 

The platform introduced free-form ads, enabling advertisers to combine multiple media types including images, text, and video, via ready-made templates, and craft ads that are similar to content generated by Reddit users. 

Topic templates at launch include brand introduction and product deep dive. 

Free-form ads are available to all advertisers globally via Reddit Ads Manager. 


CEO Dan Clancy shared an open letter detailing the streaming platform’s plans for 2024. Highlights include: 

  • “Sharing clips of your content on other social media sites is a great way for new viewers to find you and can help you stay connected with your community. We’ll make it easier for streamers and viewers to share clips to social media, including an option to export Clips directly to Instagram, and enabling you to create on-the-go with Clip Editor on mobile.” 
  • “Over the past year, we’ve made a number of changes to help you make more money on Twitch. We launched and recently expanded the Plus program (formerly the Partner Plus program) to give qualifying streamers higher revenue shares, which helped triple the number of streamers earning premium revenue shares. We also made the Ads Incentive Program more flexible and easier to manage, and created new display ad formats and improved tooling to make the ads experience less disruptive. We’ve created a sustainable, transparent framework for streamer compensation that we’ll expand upon this 2024 to help you reach your goals.” 
  • “In 2023, we built channel skins, sponsored discount subs, host read ads, and more. We got great feedback on our pilot sponsorship activations from both brands and streamers. In 2024, our focus is on expanding the number of brands we are working with and bringing new sponsorship opportunities to more streamers. “ 
  • In 2024, we’ll create new milestones and rewards that your community can unlock by cheering, gifting, or subscribing. We’re planning improvements to Hype Train including updating rewards regularly, and are trying new types of interactions with Bits to evolve Cheering. You can also expect some new Alerts features. Lastly, we’ll build on the success of SUBtember and the end of year Bonus Round by expanding our Twitch-wide promotional events to help you earn more.” 


Put a Pin in It 

Users of Meta’s messaging app can now pin up to three messages to a chat for quick access, up from one. 

All types of messages can be pinned, including images, polls, and text. Messages need to be repinned every 30 days. 

Search by Date 

Android users on WhatsApp can now search by date for group and individual chats, by tapping a new calendar icon. 

This option had previously been available for iOS, Mac desktop, and WhatsApp Web. 

Brands That Stay on Trend 

Spring is in the air, and these brands incorporated the change of seasons into their campaigns in diverse, colorful ways. 

Macy’s partnered up with lifestyle creator @bonappektea promoting a refreshed spring wardrobe for those spring coffee dates. 

Mom and creator Briana Richardson (@bremuvaof4) detailed how Arm & Hammer Deep Clean detergent is part of her spring cleaning (and year-round cleaning) efforts. 


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A post shared by Briana Richardson (@bremuvaof4)

Taking spring cleaning beyond clothing and into furniture, Lana Ato (@lanaato) touted Rent-a-Center’s RAC Exchange Program, which lets people exchange their items every six months. 

@lanaato #ad Swap your @Rent-A-Center items within the first 6 months. With the new RAC Exchange Program, as long as you exchange your item within the first 6 months – your rent will carry over to reduce the total cost to own on your next agreement. Exchanges can be made on future agreements too – ultimate flexibility! Use the Link in my Bio to see all the current Rent-A-Center deals and offerings. #RACExchange ♬ original sound – Lana Ato – ATX Family Travel

Open Influence’s team stays on top of the latest trends and is here to help you maximize your creator campaigns. Open Influence is a leading global creator marketing agency dedicated to creating engaging campaigns.   

Reach out to us today.

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