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Instagram Launches ‘Thank You Hour’ Sticker and Story to Share Appreciation During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Instagram has launched a new ‘Thank You Hour’ initiative, which will see Stories frames that include the new ‘Thank You Hour’ sticker added to a collective Story that showcases the various things that people are appreciative for amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instagram Thank You Hour

As explained by Instagram:

“Today we’re launching Thank You Hour, a sticker in stories that lets you show gratitude for what’s helping you through this time. Use the sticker and your photo or video will be added to a shared Instagram story at 7 p.m. your time where friends can see your thanks.”

The collective Thank You Hour story will respect existing privacy settings, so your Story content won’t be visible to everybody in the app. But if you add the new sticker, it will be shown to all of your connections in a new shared Thank You Hour story, which will be made available at 7pm local time each day.

It’s the latest of Instagram’s cause-related stickers, which are designed to provide more ways for users to engage around certain subjects, and share their support for the same via their Stories.

Instagram’s already added two other cause stickers amid the COVID-19 lockdowns – a ‘Thanks Health Heroes’ sticker to pay tribute to healthcare workers, and a ‘Stay Home’ sticker, which similarly sees content added to a collective ‘Stay Home’ so people can share their experiences.

Instagram Stay Home sticker

It’s a simple way to help Instagram users rally around certain causes, and through this type of sharing, it could also help to communicate key messages, and encourage participation in COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Going on the medical evidence, COVID-19 doesn’t pose a major health risk for those under 40 years of age, but it can be fatal for the elderly, or for people with certain pre-existing conditions. That’s meant that some younger people have taken a more lax approach to containment measures – but the problem that’s emerged more recently is that many people are asymptomatic, meaning that they may have contracted, and be spreading COVID-19 without their knowledge, even if, for them, it has no impact.

That poses a significant problem for containment – which is why it’s vital that everyone respects the advice from health professionals and maintains social distancing and quarantine measures, even if they personally feel fine and are in a low-risk category. 

This is where Instagram can play an important role. The majority of Instagram’s user base is under the age of 34, and as such, they likely don’t consider COVID-19 to be a significant threat to them. But they may well be facilitating further spread – by providing more ways for users to share their personal experiences, and to call on each other to participate in mitigation efforts, that can help to reinforce key messages, with these prompts coming from the people that they know and trust, as opposed to more abstract government and health authority messaging. 

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It may seem like a relatively small measure in the broader scheme, but research has shown that socially reinforced messaging – i.e. messages that show that your friends have participated – can carry significant weight, and prompt increased action as a result. 

That’s why Instagram is looking for ways to add in new cause-based stickers and Stories like this, while such initiatives also provide an outlet for people to share and relate while socially isolated.

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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