Social Media Update Q3 2021

Key Product, Commerce, and Monetization Developments for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter

About This Report
Here’s how marketers can navigate Q3 2021’s product, commerce, and monetization changes on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter.

Executive Summary

This is the latest installment in an ongoing series of updates for the major social media platforms. The goal of each report is to provide a summary of key developments and what they mean for marketers.

What are the biggest developments for Facebook in Q3?

Facebook has come to terms with Apple’s iOS 14.5 privacy update and is developing new tools to mitigate the potential impact on its ad business. At the same time, it’s building out new features, from Facebook Reels to Fantasy Games, to keep people engaging on the platform.

What are the biggest developments for Instagram?

Instagram continued to take pages out of TikTok’s playbook, including extending the length of Reels and testing a vertical feed on its Explore tab. It also launched ads in Shops and hosted live shopping events to drive more commerce uptake.

What are the biggest developments for Snapchat?

Snapchat leaned further into augmented reality (AR) in an effort to propel social commerce adoption. Major moves include updates to its Scan tool and the acquisition of AR startup Vertebrae.

What are the biggest developments for TikTok?

From in-app shopping and longer video lengths to new creator monetization tools and native ad formats, TikTok made big moves in Q3 that directly encroach on the other platforms’ businesses.

What are the biggest developments for Twitter?

Twitter shut down its Stories feature, Fleets, and began experimenting with ways for users to share in smaller groups and personalize their experiences. That could help fuel engagement on the platform.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? Key developments for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter during Q3 2021 and how marketers can navigate the changes.

KEY STAT: With 78.7 million monthly US users in 2021, TikTok is ahead of Twitter and gaining on Snapchat. It still lags well behind Instagram and Facebook, however.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Facebook
  3. Instagram
  1. Snapchat
  2. TikTok
  3. Twitter
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery


Jasmine Enberg


Natalie McGranahan
Senior Researcher and Taxonomy Manager
Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst

"Behind the Numbers" Podcast