June is over and done with! We’ve passed the midway point for 2017 and, like previous months, there have been many exciting developments in the world of social media. Here they are, grouped by platform:
What's the latest at Facebook?
A few days ago, Mark Zuckerberg posted the announcement on his Page (how else!): Facebook now has 2 billion users. It’s an impressive milestone but he said there’s still “a long way to go to connect everyone. But we must do more than just connect – we must bring people closer together.” Good luck, Mark.
Facebook has many ambitious plans for the future, but one of the key objectives is to become the world’s largest TV channel. To do so, it must go and chase TV ad dollars. With household-wide targeting, advertisers can promote their content to everyone within the same household and break down performance of ads by household income and composition. Interesting for the bigger brands as Facebook will return more metrics and data than TV does.
Facebook is under pressure to continue its revenue growth, despite reaching saturation in some countries. Up until now, Facebook had resisted the urge to clutter its product with more ads, saying it would come at the detriment of user experience. However, with Facebook embracing autoplay videos with sound on (and more intrusive ad placements to be introduced), it seems as though Facebook is on the brink of trading user experience for more ad dollars.
Yes, it’s real! Advertisers can use GIFs in Ads Manager. The process is simple and works very much in the same way videos do: GIFs play on loop, have the same 4GB file-size restrictions and their metrics are emulated from video ads. Why don’t you give it a try for your next campaign?
What did June have in the bag for Twitter?
How do you like Twitter’s new design? It was introduced mid-June in a bid to make it easier for newbies to get the hang of it. The ‘reply’ arrow icon has been replaced by a speech bubble, which is a clear indication that Twitter wants users to become more conversational.
A few days ago, its shares boomed after boutique equity research firm Cleveland Research reported that advertisers gave their “best relative feedback” in more than 2 years on Twitter. This came as a result of recent user growth along with changes in ad delivery and progress being made on Live content. Is Twitter finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel?
Next up: Instagram
A lot of Instagram’s most popular users are working with brands to promote products. Of course, influencer marketing doesn’t come free of charge and Instagram wants to inform its users when the posts they’re seeing have been paid-for. While nothing much will happen to those ignoring the “Paid partnership” tag for now, Instagram is planning to beef up its policy for influencers who don’t play the transparency game.
That’s an average of half a million new users every single day. What started off as a Snapchat copycat has now well overtaken its yellow ghost counterpart, and user growth on Stories as well as on Instagram in general seems unstoppable. Will Instagram reach a billion active users before 2017 is out?
Once live videos have stopped being broadcast, Instagram users now have the opportunity to add it to their Story for 24 hours, enabling their audience to watch a replay of it. A great way to extend content lifespan!
This new ad format aims to encourage users to talk with brands out of the public eye using Messenger. When Instagram users click on the ad, they are redirected to Messenger and can start interacting with the advertiser. An interesting format to be sure, as long as businesses have the manpower to cope with a possible influx of new private messages.
How about Snapchat?
Snapchat's latest feature Snap Map wants users to join the fun instead of watching other people’s lives on their phones. Snap Map is a location-sharing feature that allow users to “explore the world” by seeing what their friends are up to, and where they are. The update didn’t come without controversy though: as the map is accurate enough to give away precise locations, safety and privacy concerns have been raised.
McDonald’s is the first brand to use Snapchat as a hiring tool. The campaign was launched as the fast food chain aims to recruit 250,000 new workers over the summer. The idea is simple: McDonald’s targets Snapchat users with a 10-second video and upon swiping up, viewers are redirected to a ‘Snaplication’ where they can fill out a form to work at their nearest restaurant.
Let's not forget LinkedIn!
LinkedIn continues to roll out small updates to improve user experience. In June, a new functionality was announced, where users can see how many profile views came as a result of search – and which keywords were used to find them.
The platform, which no longer wants to be described as a social network but rather as a visual search website, is now valued at $12.3 billion and boasts 150 monthly active users according to the latest figures.
Lens is a fantastic feature Pinterest launched back in February. If you take a photo of your food using Lens for example, Pinterest will return a list of related recipes. In June, the feature received a complete makeover and looks a lot like Instagram Stories now. The update also improves existing features and bring to life new ones, such as better access to the camera roll and a new zoom capability to better enable Lens users to focus on the product they want to look at.
In other news:
At VidCon last month, CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that YouTube now has 1.5 billion logged-in users every month. The stat is already impressive enough, but it doesn’t take into account those who watch YouTube content without an account. Wojcicki also said new product tweaks will be launched soon, including responsive videos as well as 180-degree video formats. As marketing relies more and more on video content, YouTube is definitely a platform marketers should keep an eye on.
This case study from Google is a fantastic example of how powerful data is, particularly in the planning phase of a campaign. According to data from Google and Dove Men Care, only 7% of men can relate to depictions of masculinity in the media, which shows that stereotypes around fatherhood are miles away from reality. Furthermore, 8 in 10 dads have turned to YouTube for guidance on key parenting topics. All of these insights were fed back to the Dove Men Care campaign targeting dads but also all men who were there to care.
Consumers of today rely a lot more on user-generated content than before as trust in promotional messages remains low. This study from TurnTo sheds light on the latest stats around UGC and their impact on brand metrics. Definitely worth a look!
That's it really! Have we missed anything? Get in touch.