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Instagram is Testing a Double-Story Stories Feed with Some Users

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Hey, you like Stories, right? Sure you do, and soon, you might be able to access more of them even faster, based on this new Instagram test.

As you can see in this screenshot provided by user Ed Maughan (and shared by social media expert Matt Navarra), Instagram is currently testing a new, double-story Stories feed for some users.

Double storey Stories

Various users have now reported seeing the new Stories display, with the updated format appearing for them this week.

Instagram has confirmed the test to SMT, providing this brief statement:

We’re always testing ways to improve your Instagram experience.”

There’s no word on how wide the option is being tested, nor on specific regions where it can be accessed. But it is, indeed, being tried out, and it could become the new normal for Stories if it sees positive user response.

Instagram has actually been looking at adding more Stories bubbles for the last few months, with reverse engineering analyst Jane Manchun Wong spotting the back-end code for such back in April

Wong also recently discovered another Stories test, which would make it easier quickly switch between Stories, which Instagram also confirmed.

The various options point to the next big shift for Instagram – with more people using Stories, at some point, Instagram will likely look to switch the main focus of the app from the traditional user feed to a Stories feed from the get-go. That could mean that, eventually, your Instagram app will open on the first frame of the first Story in your tray, then let you skip through Stories from there.

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That would be a significant shift, but as parent company Facebook has repeatedly noted, Stories are on track to overtake the news feed as the primary surface for social media engagement, if they haven’t already.

Stories growth

It may seem like a big jump, but with younger users, in particular, becoming more aligned with the Stories format, it makes sense.

As such, a double-story Stories listing may only be the start – if that proves popular, you can bet that Instagram will take it as a signal that more Stories is better.

That could have major implications for social media usage moving forward. At this stage, Instagram is still testing, but it’s worth noting the growing focus on Stories, and considering how that relates to your posting strategies.

Socialmediatoday.com

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YouTube Tests Improved Comment Removal Notifications, Updated Video Performance and Hashtag Insights

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YouTube Expands its 'Pre-Publish Checks' Tool to the Mobile App

YouTube’s looking to provide more context on content removals and violations, while it’s also experimenting with a new form of analytics on average video performance benchmarks, along with improved hashtag discovery, which could impact your planning and process.

First off, on policy violations – YouTube’s looking to provide more context on comment removals via an updated system that will link users through to the exact policy that they’ve violated when a comment is removed.

As explained by YouTube’s Conor Kavanagh:

“Many users have told us that they would like to know if and when their comment has been removed for violating one of our Community Guidelines. Additionally, we want to protect creators from a single user’s ability to negatively impact the community via comments, either on a single channel or multiple channels.”

The new comment removal notification aims to address this, by providing more context as to when a comment has been removed for violating the platform’s Community Guidelines.

In expansion of this, YouTube will also put some users into timeout if they keep breaking the rules. Literally:

If someone leaves multiple abusive comments, they may receive a temporary timeout which will block the ability to comment for up to 24 hours.”

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YouTube says that this will hopefully reduce the amount of abusive comments across the platform, while also adding more transparency to the process, in order to help people understand how they’ve broken the rules, which could also help to guide future behavior.

On a similar note, YouTube’s also expanding its test of timestamps in Community Guidelines policy violation notifications for publishers, which provide more specific details on when a violation has occurred in video clips.

Initially only available for violations of its ‘Harmful and Dangerous’ policy, YouTube’s now expanding these notifiers to violations related to ‘Child Safety’, ‘Suicide and Self-Harm’, and ‘Violent or Graphic’.

If you’re in the experiment, you’ll see these timestamps in YouTube Studio as well as over email if we believe a violation has occurred. We hope these timestamps are useful in understanding why your video violated our policies and we hope to expand to more policies over time.”

On another front, YouTube’s also testing a new analytics card in YouTube Studio which will show creators the typical amount of views they get on different formats, including VODs, Shorts, and live streams.

YouTube average video performance

As you can see in this example, the new data card will provide insight into the average amount of views you see in each format, based on your the last 10 uploads in each, which could provide more comparative context on performance.

Finally, YouTube’s also launched a test that aims to showcase more relevant hashtags on video clips.

“We’re launching an experiment to elevate the hashtags on a video’s watch page that we’ve found viewers are interested in, instead of just the first few added to the video’s description. Hashtags are still chosen by creators themselves – nothing is changing there – the goal of the experiment is simply to drive more engagement with hashtags while connecting viewers with content they will likely enjoy.”

So YouTube will be looking to highlight more relevant hashtags in video clips, as a means to better connect users to more video clips on the same topic.

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Which could put more emphasis on hashtag use – so it could be time to upgrade your hashtag research approach in line with the latest trending topics.

All of these updates are fairly minor, but they could impact your YouTube approach, and it’s worth considering the potential impacts in your process.

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