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2021 in social media — Creators get more ways to earn money, live audio rooms become mainstream and more

2021 in social media — Creators get more ways to earn money, live audio rooms become mainstream and more
Tech1 min read
Everything, well almost everything happens on social media. The latest news, celebrity breakup, anything bizarre, breaking, we read, see and watch it first on social media. That’s how important and essential social media is in our lives fortunately and unfortunately. Even in 2021, the biggest social media apps continue to be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even WhatsApp even though it’s technically a messaging app.


And like every year, 2021 also saw a series of new features and experiments on these social media apps. Twitter for instance had a super busy year with several new features being rolled out and some in testing. Facebook was yet again the talk of the town with its rebranding to ‘Meta’ which is now the social media app’s parent company. It also highlights the company’s primary focus for the ‘metaverse’, a lot of which we heard about this year and will continue to next year.


Before this year ends let’s take a look back at some of the biggest social media features launched in 2021.

Instagram

Instagram
Instagram

Instagram has grown to become one of the biggest social media apps. There’s so much happening on this platform with videos, photos, memes, shopping and more. This year Instagram tried to reduce hate speech and abuse on its platform by introducing features such as filtering DM requests, limiting comments, and hiding commonly misspelled offensive words. It also made new accounts of teenagers private by default.

Links for all, Remix Reels and more

Links for all, Remix Reels and more
Instagram

Moving on to a slightly brighter side, Instagram finally made it possible for everyone to share links on Stories. It’s not the interactive swipe up link feature but a sticker that lets you add a link to it. Instagram also added support for three people on livestreams. Reels continues to be a major focus for Instagram with new features like ‘Remix’, collab, and Reels Replies.

Facebook

Facebook
Meta

Facebook is now a hotpot of so many things happening from short videos, gaming, live streaming, shopping to news, video calls and more. It launched and experimented with several features in 2021. Some of the biggest features were the introduction of Reels on Facebook, Clubhouse-like live audio rooms, new monetisation tools for creators, and co-streaming on Facebook Gaming.

Metaverse

Metaverse
Meta

Continuing the metaverse discussion, Facebook launched its VR social platform ‘Horizon Worlds’, a multiplayer platform where you can virtually hangout with up to 20 people at a time.

Twitter

Twitter
Twitter

Twitter was on a roll this year as the company decided to launch every possible feature on the platform. Some of its biggest feature additions of 2021 include ‘Super Follows’ that lets people earn revenue through subscriber-only content, ticketed Spaces which is another way for creators to earn money on Twitter. It also gave users more control by letting them remove followers from their profile, and even remove themselves from conversations.

Twitter Blue subscription

Twitter Blue subscription
Twitter

The micro blogging platform also launched its subscription service ‘Twitter Blue’ that has features like bookmark, undo tweet, and reader mode. It's available only in Canada and Australia for now.

Snapchat

Snapchat
Snapchat

Snapchat may not be as big as Facebook or Instagram but the app is still going strong, and especially in India. It has 306 million daily active users and 500 million monthly active users. The company has also been growing in India with new features like integrating Zomato on Snap Map, and partnering with Flipkart and MyGlamm for augmented reality (AR) integrations.

Lens creators

Lens creators
Unsplash

Creators have also been a major focus for Snapchat this year with new monetisation options. Snapchat Lens creators can earn revenue through gifts from users, and also add links for quicker access to their website.

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