Welcome to The Lighthouse Social, your ultimate guide to the ever-changing world of social media marketing. This month, Luan Wise and Andy Lambert bring you a treasure trove of insights and updates to keep you ahead of the curve. From the battle between Reels and TikTok to the impressive growth of Snapchat in the UK, we’ll explore the latest trends and shifts in social media usage. We’ll also delve into users’ favourite platforms, platform overlaps, social media budget trends, shifting consumption patterns, and the power of social media in fueling brand discovery. 

You can watch the recording, here:

Blog Overview


  • Reels vs. TikTok: A Battle for the Ages
  • Snapchat’s UK Growth Spurt
  • Users’ Favourites and the Most-Used Platforms
  • Platform Growth and Decline
  • The Power of Platform Overlaps
  • The Changing Landscape of News Consumption
  • The Ever-Evolving Preferences of 18-24-Year-Olds
  • Social Media Budgets on the Rise
  • Shifting Consumption Trends

Feature Updates

  • Instagram Updates
  • Facebook Updates
  • Twitter Updates
  • LinkedIn Updates
  • TikTok Updates
  • Other Updates


Reels vs. TikTok: A Battle for the Ages

It seems like Reels, Instagram’s answer to TikTok, is starting to make headway against the popular short-form video platform. According to a survey by Morgan Stanley, 74% of Instagram users now engage with Reels, up from 69% in September 2022 and 62% in March of that year. On the main Facebook app, 65% of users are hopping on the Reels bandwagon. Looks like the battle between Reels and TikTok is heating up!

Snapchat’s UK Growth Spurt

Snapchat has some exciting news to share! The platform revealed its monthly active users figures for the UK, and it’s quite impressive. With over 21 million monthly active users, Snapchat is capturing the attention of 90% of 13-24 year-olds and 75% of 13-34 year-olds across the UK. Surprisingly, over 45% of Snapchatters in the UK are 25 years or older. And here’s an interesting tidbit: on average, UK Snapchatters open the app a whopping 50 times per day. 

Users’ Favourites and the Most-Used Platforms

When it comes to users’ favourite and most-used platforms, the undisputed champion is still Facebook. According to GWI Core Q1 2023 data based on 216,646 internet users outside of China, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram are the most popular across all users. However, it’s worth noting that Snapchat is more popular with Gen Z users than with baby boomers. So, if you’re targeting the younger crowd, Snapchat might be the way to go!

Platform Growth and Decline

TikTok has seen the most significant growth since 2021, with a staggering 100% increase in popularity. Snapchat follows closely with a 12% growth, while Pinterest has experienced the most substantial decline, dropping by 16%. Interestingly, the most popular platforms align with the most used ones: WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg should be feeling pretty smug right now!

The Power of Platform Overlaps

Multi-channel presence is essential for maximising your reach. According to GWI Core Q1 2023 data, Facebook users show the biggest overlap with Facebook Messenger, with a whopping 95% of users using both platforms. Instagram users are likely to also use Telegram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Surprisingly, LinkedIn users are the least likely to use other platforms, with only 29% also using Facebook or TikTok. And did you know that only 35% of Pinterest users also use WhatsApp? It’s all about understanding your audience’s preferences and habits!

The Changing Landscape of News Consumption

News consumption on social media has undergone some interesting changes. Data from the Reuters Digital News Report 2023 reveals that Facebook has experienced the most significant decline, with only 28% of users using it for news in 2023, compared to 36% in 2014. On the other hand, YouTube’s news consumption has grown from 16% in 2014 to 20% in 2023. WhatsApp has also gained popularity as a news source, increasing from 7% in 2014 to 16% in 2023. Meanwhile, Snapchat’s news consumption has remained relatively stable, with only 2% of users using it for news in 2023, up from 1% in 2015.

The Ever-Evolving Preferences of 18-24-Year-Olds

Let’s take a look at how social media preferences have shifted for 18-24-year-olds over the years. In 2014, Facebook reigned supreme with a whopping 72% of 18-24 year olds using the platform. However, things have changed dramatically, and Facebook’s popularity in this age group has plummeted to 38% in 2023. Interestingly, TikTok has experienced a meteoric rise, matching Facebook’s popularity at 38% in 2023, up from a mere 5% in 2019 and 33% in 2021. Meanwhile, WhatsApp has seen steady growth, increasing from 30% in 2014 to 54% in 2023. And let’s not forget about Instagram, which has soared from 21% to a staggering 60% in popularity among 18-24-year-olds.


Social Media Budgets on the Rise

Great news for social media marketers! According to Sprout Social, social media budgets are set to increase in the coming years. A staggering 80% of businesses are predicted to increase their social media budgets, while 20% will maintain their current budget levels. Furthermore, overall marketing budgets are expected to see a significant boost of 79%. Among these increases, 33% of businesses plan to raise their social media budgets by up to 30%, while 26% are ready to invest between 51% and 70%. In a nutshell, 96% of business leaders agree that continuous investment in social media marketing is vital for achieving success.

Consumer behaviour in the social media landscape is always evolving. GWI reports that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of users engaging with video content on various platforms. Instagram saw an 8% increase, followed by Twitter with a 7% increase, and Facebook and Snapchat with a 6% increase. Interestingly, the age group that has shown the biggest growth in online usage is the baby boomers. They experienced a 35% increase in mobile usage and a 14% increase in social media engagement. It’s crucial to keep these shifting consumption trends in mind while planning your social media strategies.

User Behaviour Across Platforms

Different platforms serve different purposes for users, and understanding these nuances is essential. On Instagram, 69% of users say they primarily use the app to post their content, while only 26% of TikTokers do the same. Facebook is predominantly used for messaging friends and family (69%) and sharing photos or videos. TikTok users are mostly seeking funny and entertaining content (62%), which is the platform’s most popular reason for use. Twitter users prioritise staying up to date with news and the world (59%). By understanding what users expect from each platform, you can tailor your content and engagement strategies accordingly.

Social Media Fuels Brand Discovery

Social media has become a powerful tool for brand discovery. A significant 57% of internet users discover new brands or products through social media, making it a vital channel for businesses to leverage. Of these users, 28% attribute their brand discovery to social media ads, while 22% rely on recommendations and comments on social media. When it comes to researching brands, a staggering 78% of internet users turn to social media for more information. Social networks (45%), video sites (22%), and question & answer sites (19%) are the top platforms users utilise for brand exploration. Harnessing the potential of social media for brand discovery can be a game-changer for businesses.

Feature Updates

Instagram Updates

  • Ranking on Instagram: Instagram released a blog explaining the factors that determine the ranking of posts in your feed, including:
    • Your activity: The posts you’ve liked, shared, saved, or commented on provide insights into your interests and help us understand what you might be interested in.
    • Post information: Signals about a post’s popularity, including the number of likes, comments, shares, and saves, as well as details about the content itself such as when it was posted and any associated location, contribute to determining its relevance to you.
    • User information: Understanding the person who posted the content is important in gauging their interest in you. Factors like the frequency of interactions with that person over the past few weeks help us assess their potential appeal.
    • Your history: Your past interactions with a specific user indicate your general interest in seeing their posts. For example, if you regularly comment on each other’s posts, it suggests a higher level of interest.
  • IG broadcast channels launch to all: Users can now keep up with their favourite creators, contribute to conversations, and vote in polls on broadcast channels. Admins also have moderation capabilities.
  • Instagram AI Chatbot: An AI-powered chatbot is now available on Instagram to answer questions, provide advice, and help with message writing. Users can choose from 30 different AI personalities to find the best way to express themselves.
  • Discover trending ‘Add yours’ directly on Instagram: The ‘Add yours’ sticker allows users to interact with others by writing or responding to prompts, creating a sense of community on Instagram.
  • Generate music for reels with a text prompt: Users can now generate music suggestions for their reels by providing a text prompt, such as requesting a pop dance track with catchy melodies and tropical percussion.
  • New remix feature called ‘sequence’: The ‘sequence’ feature allows users to stitch together different reels and view them in a new way, providing more creative possibilities.
  • Download publicly posted content to your device: Instagram now allows users to download publicly posted content directly to their devices for easy access and sharing.

Facebook Updates

  • Reel ads are now available on Facebook and Instagram.
  • New tools for creators, including the Inspiration Hub for content inspiration, enhanced editing tools, and daily checklist pop-ups for maximising new features and reaching a wider audience.
  • Facebook promotes long-form videos by providing an option to “watch full video” when viewing a reel.

Twitter Updates

  • Ability to search for Twitter Lists to find communities with shared interests.
  • Introduction of 25,000-character tweets, allowing for long-form content on the platform.

LinkedIn Updates

  • A generative AI content creation feature was introduced, enabling users to draft posts by providing main points and letting AI generate the rest of the content.
  • AI-Generated Ad Copy suggests multiple options for ad introductory text and headlines based on company pages and campaign insights.
  • DMs and inbox management were added to company pages, providing admins with more tools to manage communication.
  • Simplified notifications with separate spaces for birthdays and work anniversaries, reducing clutter in the notifications tab.

TikTok Updates

  • Dual Camera live streams are now available, allowing users to go live using both front and back cameras for reaction videos.
  • AI-generated scripts feature assists users struggling with video ideas.
  • Auto-created captions for live streams, promoting accessibility and inclusion.
  • Import sounds from other videos or use local sounds for increased flexibility.

And the rest…

  • Ability to repurpose long-form content for YouTube Shorts, enabling creators to leverage their existing content in this format.
  • Adventures in AI with “My AI” chatbot, inspiring users and generating AI snaps based on uploaded selfies.

Let’s summarise…

1. Generative AI is becoming ubiquitous across social platforms and helping unlock creativity 

2. Reels growth continues 

3. Facebook Professional Mode is gaining momentum 

4. Don’t sleep on YouTube 

5. Remember the importance of thinking multi-channel 

6. Social media is driving brand discovery

How do you prioritise multi-channel presence in your social media marketing efforts? Have you seen positive results from engaging with multiple platforms?

Tinisha Osu is a Marketing Executive with two degrees in Psychology. She is the first-author of a published psychology paper and is beginning her career in marketing through blog-writing, creating social media content and running marketing campaigns.