Motion has acquired RMC of Cincinnati. Learn more

Social Commotion: Gen Z Influencer Trends, YouTube’s TikTok Strategy & New Instagram Updates

Welcome to the September edition of Social Commotion, Motion’s roundup of the latest social media news. Check out our top updates from this month.

Does It Always Make Sense to Imitate TikTok?

TikTok is a huge success, and other platforms like Amazon, Instagram and YouTube have all tried to copy its short-form video format. But is this a good strategy for YouTube? 

YouTube employees are reportedly concerned that the company’s focus on short-form content is coming at the expense of its long-form content, according to 9to5 Google. Long-form videos are more lucrative for YouTube because they can accommodate more ads and have higher click-through rates. However, short-form videos are quicker and easier to make, and brands are willing to pay creators for them.

If YouTube wants to keep up with consumer trends, it needs to offer short-form video content, but that doesn’t mean it has to abandon long-form content altogether.

More Than Half of Gen Z Wants to Be an Influencer 

The results are in: Gen Z is the most influencer-obsessed generation. According to a Morning Consult survey, 81% of respondents saying they follow influencers on social media, and they listed TikTok, YouTube and Instagram as the most popular platforms for their favorite influencers. 

Which influencers are they following, and why? Gen Z and millennials are more likely to rely on influencers for product recommendations and purchasing decisions. They’re drawn to influencers with a similar but aspirational lifestyle who come across as authentic and knowledgeable. 

The survey also showed that 57% of Gen Z respondents said they would become an influencer if given the chance, compared to 41% of all U.S. adults. About 30% said they would even pay for the opportunity. 

Say Hello to These New Instagram Features 

In Instagram’s efforts to stay relevant and keep up with competitor social platforms, the app launched many updates this month. Here are the new features to have on your radar:

  • You can now filter your Reels feed to only show videos from those who you follow. Until now, Instagram only offered a single Reels feed, which displayed a combination of posts from accounts you follow as well as recommended Reels the app thought you may find interesting. 
  • Instagram is testing the ability to add a location tag to its Notes inbox prompts. Notes provide users with a simple way to start private conversations by sharing up to 60-character messages that’ll appear at the top of their inbox to be seen by all their followers.
  • Instagram is rolling out a new option to share feed posts with Close Friends only, providing another way to create a more personalized experience. Some users are now seeing a new “Audience” option within the flow to create posts, which enables them to share their feed post with “Close Friends” only instead of all followers.