Social Media Trends and Updates: September 2023

Your Monthly Fix of Social Media Trends

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Hi! My name is Ana, and I’m a social media junkie. I’m always posting and liking on Instagram, scrolling through TikTok, and pinning away on Pinterest. That’s why it’s my civil duty to keep you updated on all the latest social media trends, updates, and gossip.

Social media platforms have many changes happening throughout the year, and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everything. Believe me, I know.

If you want to keep up with all the latest buzz in social town, make sure to bookmark this article and check on it whenever you want!

Social media trends and updates September 2023

Reels tabs

Two vertical images of a phone displaying Reels videos. One image shows the Following feed, the other image shows the regular feed. (social media trends)
Source: Social Media Today

Instagram just rolled out an update to Reels, making it even more like TikTok.

Introducing the new “Following” feed within the Reels tab. This snazzy feature allows you to exclusively view Reels from the accounts you follow on the app. Up until now, Instagram only provided a single Reels feed, showcasing a mix of posts from your followed accounts and recommended clips. But guess what? Now, just like TikTok’s “For You” and “Following” streams, you have the power to focus solely on the latest videos from the accounts that matter to you.

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YouTube’s vertical lives

YouTube is currently in the midst of an experiment, and this time it involves a brand new full-screen viewing experience for vertical live streams on mobile devices.

This innovative vertical live experience comes packed with a scrollable live stream feed and user-friendly fan funding features. What’s more, creators now have the ability to go vertical on both mobile devices using the YouTube app and desktop streaming software. This means their vertical streams will be accessible to eligible viewers browsing through Shorts on the YouTube app.

Related: How to Embed YouTube Shorts on Your Website

Social media trends and updates August 2023

LinkedIn Newsletters

As more LinkedIn members join newsletters in the app, LinkedIn wants to improve its newsletter creation functionality. This will help connect with its growing audience directly.

LinkedIn heard your feedback: the newsletter creation process needed a makeover. That’s why LinkedIn redesigned the UI and added new features to help you customize your newsletters with ease.

Related: How to Embed a LinkedIn Feed on a Website

Reddit Ads

With a massive expansion of its interest targeting categories, Reddit gives advertisers more ways to target relevant audiences in the app. A lot of new topics and subjects have been added to Reddit’s interest targeting list.

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AI vs. TikTok

TikTok app showing the new Labeling AI-generated content option.

As the volume of AI-generated material continues to grow, social platforms are striving to anticipate and, let’s say, try to monitor this type of content. TikTok has recently introduced new guidelines concerning AI acknowledgment. Users are now required to label AI-generated content within the app, or face the possibility of content removal by moderators.

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AI vs. Instagram

Tweet by Alessandro Paluzzi announcing Instagram's new detection label for AI-generated content.
Source: X

Instagram seems to be in the process of developing new notifications that could indicate the involvement of AI in content creation on its platform.

Alessandro Paluzzi, an app researcher known for uncovering Instagram features ahead of official announcements, recently shared a screenshot from the Instagram app. The screenshot showcases a notification stating, “the creator or Meta said that this content was created or edited with AI.” The notification specifies that the content in question is an image generated by Meta AI.

Social media trends and updates July 2023

Twitter is now X

Elon Musk has announced that he is officially renaming the app from ‘Twitter’ to ‘X’ as part of his grand vision for an ‘everything app.’ This transformation aims to enable a wide array of functions, ultimately making ‘X’ a more interactive component in the lives of billions of users.

Tweet by Elon Musk: now points to 
Interim X logo goes live later today.

In addition to the name change, Musk pointed out his intention to alter the app’s default color, switching it from blue to black. Moreover, the traditional ‘tweets’ will no longer retain their name; instead, they will be referred to as ‘x’s. Ready to get your X wall?

TikTok’s text posts

TikTok has recently unveiled its latest update, granting access to text posts for all users on the app. This new addition provides TikTok users with an extra way to share content in the form of text, featuring a display reminiscent of Instagram Stories’ text-only updates.

TikTok's new text-based posts announcement. Two mobile screens show a text post, described as: You can now post text on TikTok! Enter Text (think poems, recipes, and more), add Stickers, change the background color, and add Sound.

With this new feature, you can now craft full-screen text content and enhance it by incorporating music, stickers, and other elements.The update offers you the freedom to customize the background color, select various text fonts, and position the text within the frame to your liking. Moreover, your text posts can extend up to 1,000 characters in length, providing ample space to captivate attention and effectively convey your message within the app.

Related: How to Repost a TikTok

Threads by Meta

Preview of how Threads app will look like.

Meta has officially announced the global launch of its new social app, ‘Threads,’ similar to Twitter. However, European users will have to wait as the app won’t be immediately accessible due to enhanced data privacy measures in the EU. For users outside of Europe, the app will be available for download from Thursday in their respective App Store, allowing them to begin building their Threads network.

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Twitter limits non-logged-in users

Twitter has implemented a new measure that prevents non-logged-in users from viewing tweets in order to combat data scraping, although tweet embeds and Google Search still offer alternative ways to access some tweets without an account. This move suggests Twitter’s intent to prioritize user logins and restrict unauthorized third-party access.

Related: The Twitter Alternative: A Guide to Mastodon for Newbies

Social media trends and updates June 2023

LinkedIn removes carousels

Screenshot of a Tweet retweeting LinkedIn's statement explaining the removal of native carousels, profile videos and in-image links.

LinkedIn has considered user feedback and acknowledged that specific creation tools, such as carousels, profile videos, and embedding clickable links within images or videos, do not effectively support sharing experiences and expertise. Therefore, starting June 26th, these features will be removed while existing posts remain visible. Removing carousels is particularly significant as they have proven to generate high engagement. Previously, LinkedIn users resorted to makeshift carousel posts using PDF attachments, but the native carousel posting option introduced in July last year did not resonate well with users. Consequently, users must revert to sharing PDFs to create non-ad carousels in the app.

Related: How to Embed a LinkedIn Feed on a Website

Meta’s Voicebox

Meta has unveiled its new AI system, called ‘Voicebox,’ which not only translates text to audio in various styles and voices but offers more than just direct text-to-speech capabilities. According to Meta, Voicebox can generate high-quality audio clips and edit pre-recorded audio by removing unwanted sounds like car horns or barking dogs, all while preserving the content and style of the original audio. The system is multilingual, supporting speech production in six languages.

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Social media trends and updates May 2023

TikTok #NewMusic hub

Screenshot of the #NewMusic hub on TikTok.

TikTok is continuously working on expanding its offerings for musicians, and they have recently introduced a new feature called the #NewMusic Hub within the app. This hub aims to promote the most recent songs from popular artists and enhance the overall experience for users.

The #NewMusic hub will prominently feature the latest trending tracks, with a particular emphasis on renowned artists and their new releases.

Related: How to Repost a TikTok

LinkedIn’s topic prompts

The analytics insights on LinkedIn's creator dashboard, mobile version.

LinkedIn has expanded its offerings by introducing new topics and post prompts to assist creators in establishing a stronger presence within the app, in addition to the ongoing rollout of the ‘Analytics and Tools’ dashboard for users with Creator Mode activated, which provides comprehensive insights into content performance and creator-specific tools. Recently, LinkedIn also introduced ‘Conversations Happening Now’ as part of the Creator Mode dashboard, featuring a fresh Post Ideas listing.

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Social media trends and updates April 2023

Meta’s Twitter Alternative ‘Barcelona’

It appears that Meta’s new text-based social app, called ‘Barcelona,’ is taking shape. In an internal prototype, the app is being described as ‘Instagram for your thoughts,’ with a text-based feed of posts that aims to tap into the increasing popularity of private messaging in a more expanded, accessible format. The release date for Barcelona is currently a placeholder, and it is unclear when the app will be launched. However, it seems that Meta is moving forward with its plan to create a platform that could attract Twitter users who are seeking a new home.

Related: The Twitter Alternative: A Guide to Mastodon for Newbies

Snapchat — My AI

During Snapchat’s annual Partner Summit, the expansion of its GPT-powered chatbot ‘My AI’ to all users was announced, but it has been met with negative reviews, with 75% of reviews on the US App Store being one-star over the past week, compared to an average of 35% for Q1 2023.

Meta integrates AI

A white man being interviewed, behind him Meta's logo.
Meta’s Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Bosworth. Source.

In a recent interview, Meta’s Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth announced that the company is planning to introduce new AI-generated ad creation options in the latter half of this year, enabling advertisers to further customize their promotions for diverse audiences across Meta’s various applications. Bosworth also highlighted the company’s ongoing efforts to integrate AI tools into different aspects of its operations.

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YouTube live stream reactions

YouTube expands its ‘Timed Reactions’ feature to live-streams, enabling eligible creators and viewers on iOS to add anonymous reaction emojis in real-time and highlight key moments, building on the tool first launched in March last year.

“Viewers on iOS can now react to live streams in real-time by tapping the reaction that corresponds to how they are feeling. Both creators and other viewers will see the reactions but they will not be able to see which user left which reaction as reactions are anonymous.”


Related: How to embed Instagram Reels on a website

Social media trends and updates March 2023

Reels 🤝 Stories

Instagram has been testing a new feature where users can see full-length Reels within the Stories stream, without having to tap through after 15 seconds. This integration is an interesting move by Instagram as it creates a more seamless and streamlined viewing experience for users. It’s also a way for the platform to capitalize on the popularity of Reels, which has been steadily increasing since its launch in 2020.

The shift towards integrating Reels into Stories is also in line with the evolving usage behavior on the platform. Instagram chief, Adam Mosseri, has noted that more people are sharing content in Stories and DMs, as opposed to re-sharing posts to the main feed. By keeping users engaged for longer on the platform. Learn more.

YouTube podcast analytics

Learn more about YouTube’s Podcast updates in this video.

YouTube is making it easier for creators to focus on their podcasts within the app by introducing new options such as improved upload processes and dedicated tools to separate their podcast uploads from video clips. These options were first tested with selected users last month and are now being rolled out to a wider audience. With these changes, creators can now better manage their podcasts and reach a larger audience.

Related: How to Embed YouTube Shorts on Your Website

10K character tweets?

Elon Musk's tweet announcing 10k character tweets. (social media trends and updates)
Elon’s “formal” announcement.

Ah, Twitter – the land of the short and snappy. But hold on to your hats, because rumor has it that Twitter is considering a major shift. Yes, you heard it right. The 280-character limit might just go up to a whopping 10,000 characters. That’s right. Ten. Thousand. Characters. Suddenly, we’re not so sure if we’re on Twitter or reading War and Peace.

But, let’s be real. This potential change could bring a lot to the table. Think about it – more detailed threads, longer posts, and dare we say it, actual paragraphs! It could be a game-changer for the platform, making it more competitive with other long-form content platforms like Medium and Substack.

However, let’s not forget the elephant in the room – Twitter’s core value of brevity and concision. Some users have expressed concern that longer tweets may dilute the essence of the platform. If we wanted long-form content, we would have gone to a blog, right?

At this point, Twitter hasn’t confirmed anything, but rumors have been circulating from within the company. If the change does happen, it would represent a significant shift for Twitter, and it could have a major impact on how users interact with the platform.

Reddit’s Watch Together & TV

Hold onto your upvotes, Reddit just dropped some new features that’ll have you and your friends glued to your screens. With Watch Together, you can finally put your endless debates to rest and enjoy video content in real-time with your squad. This feature is available on both desktop and mobile devices and features popular subreddits’ videos. So, whether you’re in a long-distance relationship or just want to show off your favorite cat videos, Watch Together has got you covered.

Plus, Reddit TV is making it even easier to discover new video content in a TV-like format, including a live-streaming section for the ultimate viewing experience. It’s all part of Reddit’s plan to keep the platform engaging and user-friendly, and we’re not mad about it. So, grab your popcorn and let the Reddit binging begin!

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Social media trends and updates February 2023

Meta’s paid verification scheme

Screenshot of Mark Zuckerberg's post announcing the verification mark on Meta.
Marky-Mark’s announcement on FB.

If you’re anything like me, you probably spend way too much time on Facebook and Instagram, scrolling through your feed and wondering if your account will ever get the blue checkmark of verification. Well, the good news is that Meta (Facebook + Instagram), a.k.a Mark Zuckerberg has just announced the initial test of their new paid verification scheme.

That’s right, folks. For the low, low price of $11.99 (14.99 in App) you may be able to finally achieve that coveted status of “Meta Verified.” It’s like a VIP pass to the social media world, except instead of free drinks and backstage access, you get a blue checkmark and a sense of validation.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – why should I have to pay for verification? Shouldn’t my content speak for itself? Well, maybe. But in a world where fake news and fake accounts run rampant, having a verified account can be a valuable tool for building trust and credibility with your followers. Plus, it’s a great way to show off to your high school ex who didn’t think you’d ever amount to anything.

It will be interesting to see how it affects the landscape and whether or not it will actually make it easier for the average user to get verified. In the meantime, keep creating great content and remember that even if you don’t have a blue checkmark, you’re still a valuable member of the social media community.

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TikTok’s product insights

Have you ever been scrolling through TikTok and wondered which products are the hottest thing since sliced bread? Well, wonder no more, my friend. TikTok’s Creative Center has just added a new feature called “Top Products,” which gives you all the juicy details on what’s popular in the app.

With “Top Products,” you can find out how many ads have been posted featuring a specific item, along with all the relevant data on impressions, view-through rate, comments, likes, and more. It’s like having your own personal shopper, except instead of a sassy fashionista, you have a bunch of algorithms doing the heavy lifting.

The best part? You can filter the “Top Products” listing by region and product category, so you can see what’s hot in your area or in a specific niche. Whether you’re into beauty, fashion, or home decor, there’s something for everyone. Read more about the update.

Related: How to Repost a TikTok

Is Instagram still cool?

Instagram logo next to a shiny Instagram Reels logo. (social media trends and updates)
Is Instagram as we know it still in?

The question of whether Instagram is dead or alive has been a topic of much debate in recent years. Some argue that the platform has lost its relevance and is no longer as popular as it once was, while others point to its continued growth and the introduction of new features like Reels. 

Reels, in particular, has breathed new life into the platform, allowing users to create and share short, entertaining videos set to music, which has quickly become one of the most popular features on the platform. While it’s true that Instagram has faced challenges, it’s clear that it remains a major player in the social media landscape and continues to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of its users.

 In this article, Erin delves deeper into the debate and explores the current state of Instagram engagement, and whether it’s still a relevant and valuable tool for marketers and businesses alike.

Related: How to embed Instagram Reels on a website

Create a widget that gets auto updates from your Instagram page.

Great for brands that care about user privacy and security. This solution doesn’t load any 3rd-party widgets or services and complies with EU & US/Californian data protection laws (GDPR and CCPA).

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AI writing & design tools

Whether it’s automating repetitive tasks like image resizing or generating headlines and captions, AI writing and design tools offer a wealth of benefits to marketers. By leveraging the power of machine learning, these tools are able to analyze and understand what makes a successful piece of content, and use that information to guide and enhance the creative process.

Not only do they save time and effort, but they can also help improve the quality of the content being produced, making it more effective in terms of engagement and impact. So if you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve and maximize your marketing efforts, be sure to explore the many AI writing and design tools available today.

Social media trends and updates January 2023

YouTube Shorts analytics updates

A person cooking in a kitchen while a phone is filming vertically.
Learn how to embed YouTube Shorts on your website.

YouTube has recently released new analytics updates, with a focus on providing more detailed information about the performance of Shorts content. These new analytics will help creators better understand and optimize their videos. The updates include new metrics such as retention rate, engagement rate, and completion rate, which will allow creators to see how well their Shorts are performing in terms of keeping viewers engaged and completing the video. 

Additionally, creators will be able to see the average watch time for their Shorts, as well as the total watch time and the number of views. This will help them understand the popularity of their content and make data-driven decisions about future Shorts. Hear more about it from the Creator Insider.

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Meta’s Creator Studio

Meta has hinted that it will be shutting down its ‘Creator Studio’ page, which allows creators to manage their pages and track their performance on the platform. Creator Studio users are being prompted to switch to the Business Suite already. 

There are scheduling, messaging, and helpful prompts in the Business Suite, as well as tools like top-performing posts from Pages similar to your own, as well as A/B testing tools, tags, and direct Facebook ad integration. Read more about it here.

Social media trends and updates December 2022

LinkedIn’s privacy-friendly B2B ads

Photo of a person opening the LinkedIn App on their smartphone.
LinkedIn’s App.

Well, well, it seems like LinkedIn wants us to use their ads after all. The platform is expanding its Group Identity audience targeting all ad types. Their data points are available through Group Identity, launched initially with selected partners last year.

The company is also testing more ways to integrate your first-party data via an updated Conversion API that allows advertisers to feed their conversion data directly into LinkedIn. Learn more here.

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Instagram’s Shadowban insights

Three screenshots of Instagram's in App dashboard showing an example of how a shadowban will be notified.

The days of merely assuming if you were shadowbanned on IG are over. The platform’s new insight is looking to provide more transparency for creators. You’ll be able to view the Account Status dashboard in the app to find out whether the platform’s various systems recommend your content in the Explore page and for instructions on resolving any issues. Call that a Christmas miracle! Learn more here.

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Social media trends and updates November 2022

Mastodon, a Twitter alternative?

Mastodon cartoon.
Image by Mastodon.

It seems like Musk’s chaotic changes on Twitter are scaring people away from the platform. The social media platform Mastodon has been active for about six years, and has recently emerged as a popular alternative to Twitter. The very day of Musk’s takeover, Mastodon gained 70,000 new users. Now, there are more than 2.5 million active monthly users as of Tuesday (22.11.2022).

If you’re keen on giving mastodon a try, here’s a useful guide to get started on the platform.

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Tumblr is back

Tumblr's logo.
To Tumblr or not to Tumblr?

Continuing the search of the new microblogging alternative, Tumblr has re-entered the social scene. Tumblr dominated the alternative social media market from 2007 to late 2010. After losing its way for a bit, it’s clear Tumblr is back with a clear understanding of what its audience wants and is willing to deliver.

Now the question is, what does this mean for marketers? Should your brand join Tumblr? This guide will give you an insight into the cultural impact of Tumblr, and hopefully will help you define if to Tumblr or not to Tumblr.

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Social media trends and updates October 2022

TikTok Academy

In TikTok’s own words:

“Through TikTok Academy, we aim to provide robust learning opportunities to help teams become TikTok-savvy marketers by providing not just the “how-tos” of TikTok but also the key insights that will enable media and creative excellence on the platform.”

A screenshot of TikTok Academy's interface.
TikTok Academy is launching with two curriculums: The 101 Course and the Small Business Course.

In order to maintain their unique and engaging experiences, they clearly want to provide the tools and expertise needed to engage the TikTok community.

LinkedIn’s recruiting tools

To help internal candidates highlight potential opportunities, LinkedIn is adding a Spotlight element to Recruiter. 

LinkedIn's new tool called Spotlight, in the Recruiting section. The image shows a laptop with LinkedIn open in the Recruiting tab.

This example shows how the Spotlight module highlights potential internal candidates who could fill an advertised position. 

The image shows a laptop with LinkedIn's Learning Hub open. A section highlighting the viewers skills with job matches within their organization is zoomed in.

In the LinkedIn Learning Hub, the platform will also assist employees in finding corresponding roles within their organization. Read more about the new tools, here.

Twitter, World Cup 2022 and Link Spotlight

A person catching a soccer ball with their hands. Title: 27% increase in soccer Tweets mentioning brands.

The world has been waiting for this moment since 2018, and given the pandemic, the last 4 years have felt like 10. So everyone is certainly excited to watch people chase a ball and forget about their issues.

Twitter knows the impact of the World Cup on social media, and they’re helping us leverage the engagement surplus on its platform. They created a World Cup Marketing Trends report with tips, tricks, and examples of how to best leverage World Cup Tweets as a brand.

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On other topics, Twitter Business announced recently that Link Spotlight is now available to all professionals in the U.S. By adding this spotlight to your profile, you can direct customers to whatever touchpoint is most important to you, including viewing a menu, listening to your podcast, or making a reservation.

Instagram’s Achievement Badges

Screenshot of a Tweet by Alessandro Paluzzi announcing an upcoming update from Instagram.

It appears Instagram is currently developing a new feature called Achievements for Reels, according to app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi. There’s not much information about the update, but it’s good to keep an eye on your account. 

Social media trends and updates September 2022

YouTube Shorts

Surprise, surprise… YouTube Shorts now allow you to add voiceovers. This update not only means that brands and creators will now be able to post original sounds, and narrations, but also that YouTube is on its way to expanding the Shorts feature.

A couple of weeks before this update, YouTube announced as well that Creators will now be able to feature comments on Shorts, just like on TikTok, but with a better approach. Any comment posted on a YouTube Channel (not necessarily on a Short) will have the option to be featured on Shorts. Meaning that YouTube engagement will skyrocket.

An image showing 3 mobile layouts of how to feature a YouTube comment on Shorts.
Featuring of a comment on YouTube Shorts.

On top of that, another recent update regarding Shorts, is that now these videos can be downloaded with a watermark just like the other video apps.

Twitter Podcasts

One thing we all feared but wished for at the same time: Twitter Podcasts! After the success of the Clubhouse-inspired feature, Spaces, Twitter is going all in with audio format.

They announced last week that the integration of Podcasts into the platform is meant to “help people connect with unique and compelling voices around the world.” I, for one, am excited to hear what everyone has to say all the time, not only on text but as a podcast, too (😨).

Twitter Spaces, in which the podcast feature is integrated, will offer more personalized content for everyone. Hubs will group audio content by specific themes like News, Music, Sports, and more.

A screenshot of Twitter Spaces interface showing a Podcast called Today's News.
Twitter Spaces interface.

Meta can now read minds

I just started watching a show, Made for Love, in which the main character is implanted with a brain chip so that her husband knows what she thinks and feels all the time (creepy, I know). Well, the show isn’t that far from reality.

In 2017, Meta announced they were planning to read people’s minds with a new tool. Naturally, the news raised concerns until Meta explained that the tool aims to help people with brain damage and paralysis speak again. 

So, finally, on August 31, 2022, Meta announced their new AI to decode speech from brain activity. They claim it will only be for medical uses, but who knows for sure?

A graphic showing Meta's AI process to read minds.
Graphic description of how Meta’s AI reads minds.

Social media trends and updates August 2022

Person holding a mobile phone and opening the TikTok app.

Meta Reels

Short-form video has grown exponentially, and now almost every social platform offers the feature. Of course, Meta is one of them. Both Instagram and Facebook Reels want to overtake TikTok’s growing popularity and they plan to beat it with new and improved features.

Both Meta platforms now offer Reels insights, the Add Yours sticker, and auto-created Reels clips. The latter being the most helpful, as you’ll be able to create an engaging Reel with just one click.

TikTok search

Did you ever imagine TikTok being Google’s competitor? Me neither, but once again the platform doesn’t cease to amaze me. Google’s Senior Vice President confirmed the threat by stating the following:

“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search, they go to TikTok or Instagram.”

TikTok is leveraging the user’s attention by experimenting with linked keywords within comments and video captions. These direct the user to broader clusters of content related to the keyword.