November was another exciting month in the world of social media.
But as the industry changes on a daily basis, we know it can be quite difficult to keep up with everything across all major platforms. So just for you, we’ve collated the best news from last month’s extravaganza – have a read and let us know your thoughts below!
What's happening at Facebook?
Facebook aspires to be every marketers favourite tool – if it isn’t already. To give social customer service teams a helping hand when handling consumer queries, Facebook introduced a unified inbox to its Pages Manager mobile app. Now, marketers have a one-stop shop to view Facebook and Instagram comments, messages and posts – it’s also possible to filter inboxes by channels for greater clarity.
Following the outcome of the US election, Facebook has been accused of doing nothing to combat the spread of misleading information on its platform. Many argued that fake reports swayed voters – while CEO Mark Zuckerberg rejected those accusations at first (calling them “crazy”), he soon afterwards announced a series of measures to curb the sharing of fake news, mainly based on users’ feedback. Reporting will be made easier and Facebook will work to be more reactive when content is flagged as fake – third party, fact-checking journalists and organisations will also be at play going forward.
As a public company, Facebook faces pressure from investors to find “the next billion users”. Rumours has it that Facebook is developing a censorship tool to facilitate its re-entry to the Chinese market, home to more than 700 million Internet users and where Facebook has been banned since 2009 following a series of riots. The tool would not prevent users from posting, but would empower the Chinese government to monitor and delete any topic that breaks out. As the author explains, the rumour is “an interesting example of the company’s internal struggle to reconcile the reality of being a public company with the desire to not fundamentally compromise its values and mission.”
What's worth re-tweeting from Twitter?
As Facebook is rolling out ways for consumers to interact with businesses in more convenient ways, Twitter’s willing to give it a run for its money with the introduction of Direct Message bots. With these, Twitter users will be greeted with welcome messages as well as pre-populated queries for common customer requests.
The introduction of customer service bots will be welcomed by many sentiment-conscious brands as they take negativity away from public tweets to private DMs.
Twitter is hard at work to curb abusive conduct on its platform. Earlier this month, three new user-inspired measures were unveiled: a new ‘Mute’ feature, a more specific reporting option and tougher enforcement from the team dealing with abuse reports.
What to follow at Instagram?
Undoubtedly the most exciting news of this month: Instagram shamelessly gave birth to a full-on copycat of Snapchat. Basically, Instagram picked up the best of Facebook Live and Snapchat and put it into its latest update – now, users can live stream videos and send disappearing photos and videos to their friends.
An update that will be welcomed by many advertisers: Instagram has given them more flexibility with ad formats with the introduction of vertical videos and photos.
What's the latest at Snapchat?
Snapchat came up with a new advertising model where advertisers will be paid a flat fee upfront and Snapchat will keep ad revenues.
Good or bad news for advertisers? It depends. While they will be guaranteed ROI, a fixed rate can be significantly lower than revenues generated by very successful ads.
Snap Inc. announced how it will sell its $130 camera-enabled glasses: through ephemeral cartoon-like pop-up vending machines that will be placed in locations revealed to the public through a Snapchat online map just 24 hours before they are installed. The name of the vending machine? Snapbot.
Credit: NBC San Diego
Pinteresting news from Pinterest
Pinterest is continuing its efforts to beef up its advertising features – and earn more revenue. Earlier this month, it added marketing measurement and data companies to its Marketing Partners program in a bid to give a better understanding of ad performance and allow marketers to use custom audiences.
Pinterest is gearing up for video advertising – this month, it announced that autoplay videos will be coming to the platform. For now they will be located in the search section, but if they perform well it is very likely that they will be coming to users’ feeds soon.
In other news...
Hashtags. Deemed essential for some, obsolete for others, they are nonetheless a core part of social media. Engagement tends to decreases as more hashtags are added to the caption on Facebook and Twitter, but as the chart below shows, Instagram is an exception – click on the headline for more details.
In this article, fake news author Chief Reporter (as he calls himself) explains the mechanics of how readers fall into the trap of sharing articles after only reading the headline. According to CR, who writes for satirical news website Southern News Network, “[fake news encourage] the reader to really look at what they're going through and think, 'Is this real, is this not real?’ ”. He also referred to the recent claims that fake news shared through Facebook swayed US voters: “If enough of an electorate are in a frame of mind where they will believe absolutely everything they read on the internet, to a certain extent they have to be prepared to deal with the consequences.”
How about this one? Coca-Cola Israel has fitted an in-built camera to the base of its bottle – once it’s tilted by 70 degrees, the sensor snaps a photo of the drinker and the resulting selfies can be shared across Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.