After taking a week off, we’re so glad to welcome you back to a brand-new, jam-packed edition of the Weekly Download! 

On the docket today: Instagram’s latest blip mistakenly suspends user accounts, changes are coming to Twitter verification, Facebook makes its “professional mode” available to all creators, Google Search launches new shopping features ahead of the holidays, and TikTok shares new insights to help marketers with campaign planning. Plus, some feel-good Friday Fun.

Instagram Outage Tells Millions of Users Their Accounts Are Suspended

An Instagram outage on Monday locked users out and told many of them that their accounts had been suspended. The glitch mostly affected iPhone users; some said their apps were completely unusable.

It didn’t take too long for things to be resolved, but several creators noted that their follower counts had been greatly affected. 

According to The Verge, professional soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to have lost roughly 3 million followers during the blip. Thankfully for brands and businesses that closely track their followers as part of their KPIs, most “lost” followers were restored following the fix.

Elon Musk Says Twitter Verification Will Come with a Price Tag

Twitter’s new CEO, Elon Musk, announced changes coming to Twitter Blue, the platform’s subscription service, the most notable ones being a fee increase from $4.99 to $8 and a blue checkmark verification badge for anyone who decides to shell out — regardless of their status or notoriety.

For users who have dreamed about having verified status on a social network, the announcement may come as welcome news, but others say there are potential problems with the change. Verification was previously free and granted only to notable accounts or those belonging to “prominently recognized individual[s] or brands,” to help combat disinformation. 

Verified status isn’t the only perk coming to Twitter Blue. Subscribers also will be shown half as many ads, be able to post longer video and audio, and have their tweets prioritized in replies, mentions, and searches.

Facebook Makes “Professional Mode” Available to All Creators

This week Meta announced the expansion of its “professional mode” profile setting to all Facebook creators around the globe. The setting is designed for creators looking to monetize their Facebook followings and was launched as a test with a select number of creators in December 2021.

Professional mode allows creators to build a public presence and gain access to tools that were previously available only for Pages while using their existing Facebook profile. Facebook says it sees professional mode as a way to “build a public following, earn money from various monetization programs, and connect with your audience in more meaningful ways.”

Professional mode also gives creators access to new monetization features and analytics tools, like Facebook’s Reels Play bonus program, a program that allows creators to earn money for the Reels they create and share.

Google Search Launches New Shopping Features

Just in time for the holidays, Google is rolling out new features to help shoppers get a better deal on products directly from Search. 

The platform is making it easier to find promotions and coupons by introducing a new badge in Search that will be displayed when a coupon is available for a specific product. For example, you may see a label pop up along a search result that says “15% off with coupon code HOLIDAYS.”

​​Google says that although it already shows users when items are on sale or if the price for a specific product has dropped, the new feature will display specific promotions and allow users to compare them directly to others right in Search.

The company is also adding a new coupon-clipping feature that allows users to copy promo codes when they’re ready to make a purchase. 

Keep an eye out for these new features, which will be rolling out in the coming weeks.

TikTok Shares New Insights to Help Marketers with Campaign Planning

Thinking about tapping into TikTok to boost your brand’s marketing? Good news! 

TikTok’s recently launched series TikTok Works is the latest platform-based guide providing key insights and guidance notes for marketers and advertisers looking to make best use of the app.

Check out the full guide here.

Friday Fun

@vol_danceteam When a blue shirt won’t move out of the way #tennesseefootball #VOLS #blueshirt #blueshirtguy #danceteam ♬ original sound – vol_danceteam

This “security guard” stole the show at a recent Tennessee Vols football game. We dare you to try and watch without a smile on your face!