Halloween. It’s one of the few days each year where your social feed is completely overrun with posts, stories and photos that all involve the same topic.
That’s why social sites like Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram make a big deal about Halloween. They have Halloween-specific features and ads and prompts. But if you used social media to keep up with Halloween in 2015, your experience was probably completely different from what it was a year ago. That’s because, in the past year, these sites have dramatically changed the way they present content.
Like it or not, you should probably get used to it. The strategies they employed on Halloween will probably become familiar as we head into the rest of the holiday season.
So what, exactly, did Halloween look like on each network? Here’s a little comparison.
We’ll start here because Instagram’s Halloween video stream is literally brand spanking new. The company rolled out a video feed yesterday that was chock full of Halloween-specific video content picked by actual human editors. The point was to collect some of the best Halloween content on the platform and present it in one place; that way users don’t have to go hunting for it. If you use Snapchat’s Live Stories feature or Twitter Moments, the feature probably felt familiar.
Instagram also had trending hashtags, things like #Halloween and #Halloween2K15, in case you wanted to follow general trends. Instagram just launched trending hashtags in June.
Twitter had all kinds of Halloween content this year, but the big difference over last year: You could actually find it. There were a number of Halloween-specific Moments, including one from the “Today Show.” Fanta, the Coca-Cola brand, bought a “Promoted Moment” and filled it with Halloween tweets and videos.
While there are still trending topics on Twitter, Moments made it much easier to find the kind of bizarre Halloween stuff that people are interested in, like Heidi Klum’s ridiculously elaborate Jessica Rabbit costume or a giant dinosaur playing baseball in Texas.
Snapchat went bigger than anyone on Halloween.
It had promoted Lenses and geofilters for the upcoming film “The Peanuts Movie.” It had multiple Live Stories for topics like “Awesome Costumes.” Some of its Discover partners, like Mashable, went full-on Halloween on their content channels.
But the biggest differentiator is that Snapchat, unlike Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, actually created its own content. The company got rid of its Snap Channel a few months back, but it made a comeback Saturday in honor of Halloween. The channel included stuff like a history of Halloween and last-minute costume ideas. Making content — not just hosting it — seems like it’s still a part of Snapchat’s content game plan.
Facebook was downright dull compared to the other platforms. I received an odd Halloween greeting at the top of my News Feed and was prompted to post something with the tag “Celebrating Halloween” attached. That’s about it. It’s not that there wasn’t good Halloween content on Facebook, but the company didn’t really get into the spirit like any of the others.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.