Welcome back to The Weekly Download – your source for all things digital marketing and more.

We want to start by taking a pause to remember all those whose lives were forever changed nineteen years ago. Although the way we commemorate 9/11 may look different today due to COVID-19, our hearts and thoughts are with you on this important day.

On today’s agenda: Instagram furthers workplace equity and debuts new navigation, LinkedIn tests swipeable Stories links, TikTok creators speak out about the app’s Creator Fund, Friday Fun, and more.

Instagram Announces New Changes to Advance Workplace Equity

Instagram is making changes on its platform to amplify voices of colour. This week the company announced it will build a product equity team and hire a director of diversity and inclusion to help further its mission.

According to Instagram, the Equity team will work on addressing bias within the algorithm to ensure fair and equitable products. The company is also looking to hire a diversity lead who will be responsible for securing talent from diverse backgrounds, among other things.

Instagram Tests New Navigation Featuring Reels and Shop Tabs

Instagram is also looking to dedicate prime space to two of the app’s newest functionalities, Reels and Shop.

The company is testing three variations of the navigation bar, placing the new Shop and Reels tabs on the lower navigation bar, and moving the Search, Activity and/or Create buttons to the top, alongside the Direct tab, in order to make room.

The proposed changes are bound to result in some user frustration – we’re creatures of habit after all! The app has evolved so much since its early days when the focus was strictly on photo sharing. What are your thoughts on the expanded model?

Links Could Be on The Horizon for LinkedIn Stories

LinkedIn could offer users something that Instagram and Facebook Stories have yet to introduce on a widespread basis – clickable links.

The new feature being tested appears to work similarly to what you see on Instagram. Users can add a “clickable” link to Stories that is easily accessed by viewers by swiping up. On Instagram, the feature is currently limited to users with followings of 10K or more. 

For those looking to use LinkedIn as a platform for marketing or outreach, the ability to add links could be a welcome addition to help drive referral traffic.

LinkedIn Stories are still slowly rolling out across the globe. Have you had a chance to try the new feature out yet?

TikTok Creators Disappointed by App’s Creator Fund

A month after the launch of TikTok’s Creator Fund, the app’s stars are sharing their disappointment.

TikTok hasn’t been forthcoming about how creators will be paid and the lack of transparency seems to be the most frustrating element for many. Several stars have shared that although their content generates tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of views, they’re only earning a few dollars a day, leaving several questions to be answered.

Some creators claim that their reach and views became limited only after signing up for the app’s partnership program, but TikTok maintains that any decrease in views is purely coincidental. Factors affecting payment include number of views, video engagement, and geographic region, says a spokesperson for the app.

TikTok claims that continuing to optimize the program for its creators is a priority. Could the rift between TikTok and its creators be more leverage for Instagram Reels as a new short-form video platform? Only time will tell!

Twitter Shares Insight on Back to School Discussion Trends 

Less focus on traditional school supplies, more focus on tech.

The new trends surrounding this year’s back-to-school push are different than ever before, and Twitter is sharing some insights with its audience.

Besides tech, more conversation focused on casual attire, including pajamas and sweatpants instead of shoes and jeans. 

Check out morel insights here.

Friday Fun

A hilarious reminder from New Brunswick reporter Shelly Steeves to always be aware of your surroundings – especially when on the job: