Instagram flies under the radar, adapting hashtags and including features very similar to TikTok’s, while their competitor still struggles head-to-head with Universal Music. Meanwhile from colours to fonts, we’ve got some design tips to help you stand out this year! Let’s dive in.

1. TikTok to automatically identify products in videos for in-app sales.

As TikTok aims to expand on their shoppable features, this month they’ve started testing a new option to make any object in any video “shoppable”. The feature may sound quite ambitious but works fairly simply – a new toggle within the video upload flow enables users to switch on “Identify Similar Objects”, which will then identify objects in their videos, via TikTok’s object identification AI, and highlight potential product matches that viewers can purchase in-app. Only time will tell if this will be a successful move for the app, we’ll be watching this space.

2. Instagram switches up hashtag best practice – again.

Instagram is switching things up for some users this month with their hashtag rules. Hashtags allow users to reach specific audiences and, originally capped at 30, it also saturated some areas with spam. Instagram’s new approach appears to limit hashtags to far fewer per post, with examples showing the limit at five. It seems like the next logical step to improve user experience since Meta has also put limits on the number of tags that you can add per post on Threads. However it might just be showing us that hashtags are not as useful as they once were in getting your posts out there. Either way, businesses and brands should be carefully researching and selecting specific, targeted hashtags when promoting their ideas.

3. Pinterest predicts the colours of 2024 with five key palettes.

Pinterest loves to look ahead and we love to look ahead with them! They’ve now put together a “Pinterest Palette” colour trends overview, based on the dominant colours from Pins identified within their Pinterest Predicts report.Based on their research the Pinterest team identified five key colour palettes that will resonate with audiences this year from gummy pink to mocha brown. Tap the link here to explore which colours your brand could tap into this year!

4. Instagram Reels takes a leaf out of TikTok’s book.

The greatest form of flattery – Instagram is now replicating a TikTok favourite in their Reels, soon allowing users to post carousels in Reels. The change will enable users to post multiple videos or still images in a single Reels post. Like on TikTok, this could give businesses and brands the option to showcase more products on Reels, Meta’s fastest-growing content format, meaning more reach for you and your brand.

5. Fonts – where to start?

They can often be overlooked but as the team at CreativeBloq suggest, the right font pairings are an essential part of successful graphic design. From classic styles to bold and flamboyant, there’s a lot of room to play in the area of fonts, but choosing the right font for your message can be overwhelming. Then things like colour, contrast and sizing come in. Take a deep dive with CreativeBloq at the link here and see their best pairings for your brand.

6. TikTok and Universal music continue their stand-off.

In news that could have massive effects for the way users interact with the app, TikTok has announced that they will be removing all tracks with any contributions from artists signed to Universal Music. This comes as both companies are yet to settle on an agreement for usage rights. This is estimated to remove another 30% of music from the platform, but could be as high as 80%. It also has a devastating impact on musicians as 75% of TikTok users have said that they use the app to discover new artists. For brands and businesses, it may make it more difficult to jump onto viral trends using viral sounds, when there are no sounds left! While this may all be resolved soon, it will be interesting to see the fallout.