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social media researchWelcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news.

To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention.

What’s New This Week

Twitter Makes Moments Available to All Users: Twitter announced that Moments is now available to all users. According to a tweet from the company’s official handle, “Creators everywhere can now tell stories with Tweets.” This announcement was followed by another tweet offering “tips and tricks for making a great Moment.” Moments is currently available for twitter.com and is “coming soon to mobile.

Snapchat Renames Company Snap Inc., Adds New Video Format, and Releases First Video-Enabled Hardware Product: Snapchat rebranded its company as Snap Inc. and introduced a new hardware product called Spectacles. Snap Inc. shared on its company blog that “Spectacles are sunglasses with an integrated video camera that makes it easy to create Memories.” The small, wireless video camera built “seamlessly into a fun pair of sunglasses” will “connect directly to Snapchat via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and transfer your Memories directly into the app in [its] brand new circular video format.” This new video format “plays full screen on any device, in any orientation, and captures the human perspective with a 115-degree field of view.”

As for the name change to Snap Inc., the company expressed that now that it’s developing products beyond Snapchat, like Spectacles and others to come, it needed “a name that goes beyond just one product – but doesn’t lose the familiarity and fun of [its] team and brand.”

Facebook Offers New Features to Enhance the Canvas Ad Experience: Facebook rolled out new features that will “enhance the ad experience and make creating a Canvas even easier” and shared “ways Canvas has been used by marketers to achieve their brand results.” Facebook is “extending Canvas’ capabilities for brand advertising to include brand awareness and video views” and “adding features to help make it an even more immersive format, such as 360 videos and links to other Canvas experiences on Facebook.” In addition, Facebook will soon provide advertisers with templates for Canvas that will “incorporate the best practices for their marketing use cases” and simplify the ad creation experience. These new templates will be available “in the coming months.” In the meantime, Facebook offers a sneak peek on the Facebook for Business site.

facebook canvas ads features

Facebook rolled out new features that will “enhance the ad experience and make creating a Canvas even easier.”

Periscope Rolls Out VIP Program: Periscope announced the Periscope VIP Program, which recognizes “top broadcasters who’ve been essential in helping shape [the Periscope] community.” As a member of the VIP Program, users would receive “access to benefits that will help you grow your audience, increase your opportunities to collaborate with other broadcasters, identify you as a VIP broadcaster and equip you with tools to help you continue to create and share your live experiences.”  The Periscope blog states that this new program will start rolling out “in the coming weeks,” but broadcasters can apply and learn more about each membership tier now.

periscope vip program

“To recognize some of the top broadcasters who’ve been essential in helping shape [its] community,” Periscope is rolling out the Periscope VIP Program.

Twitter Introduces New Website Conversions Objectives: Twitter announced two changes to the campaign options for direct response advertisers in the U.S. The first update is “a new campaign objective in beta, the Website Conversions objective, that is designed to help advertisers drive cost-efficient conversions at scale.” The second update is that Twitter is renaming its existing Website Clicks or Conversions objective to the Website Visits objective “to better reflect the actions that this objective drives.” Twitter notes that “this change is to the name only” and the objective will contain the same features and customization options as before.

twitter website conversions

Twitter introduced the new Website Conversions objective, which is “designed to help advertisers drive cost-efficient conversions at scale.”

Our Take on Top News This Week

In this week’s show from Friday, September 30, 2016, Michael Stelzner and guests discuss the top news in social media. Topics include Snapchat updates and first video hardware product (03:50), Facebook advertising and product releases (17:35), and new features available on Twitter (30:00). Subscribe to future shows here.

More News to Note

Facebook Apologizes for Miscalculated Video Ad Metrics: Last week, Facebook revealed a “discrepancy between the definition of Average Duration of Video Viewed and its calculation” that led to an inflation of the average duration of viewing times for video ads over the past two years. In a Facebook post this week, the company provided “further clarity on the issue” by explaining the miscalculation and sharing how it has worked to resolve the issue, inform its partners, and review other video metrics on the dashboard. Facebook offered its apologies for this mishap and affirmed its commitment “to do what’s in the best interest of [its] partners and their business growth.”

LinkedIn Publishes New Guidebook for Employee Advocacy: LinkedIn Elevate published a new ebook called The Official Guide to Employee Advocacy. According to the Official LinkedIn Blog, this new resource is “your roadmap to creating a program that engages the audiences you want to reach.” It explains the steps needed to develop a content strategy, identify employees, and streamline tasks for an effective and successful employee advocacy program. It also offers employee advocacy insights and best practices collected from social media and content experts.

linkedin employee advocacy guide

“LinkedIn’s Official Guide to Employee Advocacy is your roadmap to creating a program that engages the audiences you want to reach.”

Meerkat Founders Launch New Group Video Chat App: The Verge reports that Meerkat has returned as Houseparty, a new group video chat app that the company calls a “synchronous social network.” The new Houseparty app has been growing over the past year and is “closing in on 1 million users.” This app is currently available on both iOS and Android.

Periscope Rolls Out Curated Broadcast Channels: Periscope introduced “a new way to discover live video on Periscope.tv, where curated broadcast channels shine and it’s easier than ever to search for live videos.” According to the Periscope blog, “these channels will curate relevant, timely broadcasts from our community to help tell that story as it unfolds.” For example, there are channels driven by hashtags like #food and #comedy, which are “updated in real-time as someone in the community goes live,” as well as featured channels for big events like the Presidential Debates, Super Bowl, New York Fashion Week, breaking news, and more.

Facebook Hits 4 Million Advertiser Milestone: AdWeek reports that “more than 4 million businesses worldwide are active advertisers on [Facebook], with more than 70 percent of them based outside of the U.S.” The site also reports that “more than 60 million businesses globally are using Facebook pages.”

Snapchat Boasts 60 Million Daily Active Users: Bloomberg reports that “Snapchat now has more than 60 million daily active users in the U.S. and Canada,” which “represents about a third of Facebook’s audience” in the same region. It is presumed that the newly rebranded Snap Inc. is “building out its business model ahead of an eventual initial public offering.”

Facebook Launches Cross-platform Analytics for Apps: Facebook announced that “Analytics for Apps is introducing a beta that adds support for web measurement and cross-platform metrics.” Facebook is also launching two other new features to help marketers better understand and engage with their audience: user properties that integrate online and offline information about customers and insights which can predict whether your content is about to go viral. Facebook Pixel users will be able to access their analytics immediately.

facebook app analytics

“Analytics for Apps is introducing a beta that adds support for web measurement and cross-platform metrics.”

Facebook Names New Facebook Marketing Partner for SMBs: “Hibu Inc., a leader in providing full-service digital marketing solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), announced today it has been selected as a Facebook Marketing Partner in the Small Business Solutions specialty.” Hibu shared on its company blog that it “helps thousands of clients reach customers and prospects through Facebook campaigns.” It will also provide “a comprehensive set of marketing services that help small- and medium-sized businesses achieve their marketing objectives with simple, effective and affordable solutions.”

Facebook and Google Partner With Other Technology Leaders on Artificial Intelligence Best Practices: Facebook and Google have partnered with Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft on a new nonprofit organization called the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society. The goal of this organization is to “work to advance public understanding of artificial intelligence technologies (AI) and formulate best practices on the challenges and opportunities within the field.” These companies will be joined by academics, non-profits, and  policy and ethics specialists to conduct research on fairness and inclusivity, privacy, and interoperability, the collaboration between people and AI systems, and other concerns.

Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following

Facebook at Work Launches Next Month: TechCrunch reports that Facebook “plans to launch its enterprise communication and collaboration network Facebook at Work in the next few weeks on a per-seat pricing model… [and] launch integrations or partnerships with other SaaS tool providers including Asana.”

Twitter Adds a Button to iOS to Help You Train the Algorithm: The upgrade brings a brand-new feedback tool to the application called “I don’t like this Tweet,” which is believed to have been developed to improve the quality of tweets served to users in their timeline.

YouTube Introduces YouTube Go: YouTube’s new mobile app, YouTube Go, is built to be “faster, more relevant and more affordable, with innovative new features.” Most prominently, it’s “designed to be offline-first and work even when there’s low or no connectivity.” YouTube Go also allows users to preview videos before they click to save or play, choose the amount of data to spend on each video, and share and receive videos offline. YouTube Go is gradually rolling out across India and will be widely available early next year. Users can sign up for YouTube Go now and “be among the first to find out when the app launches.”

youtube go app india

“The new preview function shows you what to expect before choosing to save or play the video, and in which resolution.”

Google Analytics Will Release Google Optimize: Google Analytics Solutions announced that it will “start rolling out a new product: Google Optimize – a free version of [Google’s] enterprise-class testing and personalization product, Google Optimize 360.” This new product will be available globally next month and will include enhancements to many of Google’s existing free products, such as Google Data Studio and Google Tag Manager.

google optimize beta

Google Optimize (beta) is a “free web and mobile-web testing and personalization tool [that] helps businesses improve their customer experiences and business metrics.”

Facebook Tests Product Tagging on Pages: Facebook is testing a new feature that gives page administrators the ability to tag products in photos, videos, and posts on their pages. This test is currently only available to page admins with access to product catalogs or Shop section. Its goal is to develop “more tools to drive organic product discovery” on Facebook.

Facebook Gives Advertisers Ability to Create Rules for Ad and Email Alerts: AdWeek reports that “Facebook appears to have given advertisers the ability to establish rules to automatically turn off the ad or send email alerts once certain criteria are met.” Facebook has not confirmed any details about this new feature nor has it shared any plans to roll out this feature widely.

Some Interesting Studies to Note:

2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs released their seventh-annual report on content marketing benchmarks, budgets, and trends with a focus on B2B organizations. This report also reveals what marketing strategies and priorities are expected in 2017.

The 10 Hottest Job Markets for Digital Marketing Careers Right Now: In August 2016, MarketPro conducted an analysis of digital marketing job postings on Indeed and LinkedIn for major U.S. cities and determined which had the highest total number of postings and the number of openings per capita. Using this data, MarketPro determined the current top 10 “hottest job markets” for digital marketers in the U.S. and explains what each has to offer.

Personalization Trends Roundup: In this new roundup, eMarketer examined the types of personalization that are most popular among marketers, how personalization can benefit brands, and what challenges the industry is facing. This report also examines how marketers are using technology to improve personalization and how consumers are reacting to this experience using real-world examples from top brands Unilever, Turnstyle Solutions, and LiveRamp.

Marketing Truth or Marketing Hype?: According to a new study from Beckon, the average amount of image and video content that brand managers created and posted has tripled over the past year. However, only 5% of branded content garners 90% of consumer engagement and programmatic ad buying delivers double the ROI of media bought in conventional ways. Yet only about half of digital marketing is traded programmatically. The report suggests that the two largest causes for this low engagement are “differences in the quality of the content” and “differences in the amount of media behind the pieces, which would help them reach the widest audience.”

What do you think of the release of Twitter Moments to all users? Will you try the new Spectacles from Snap Inc.? Please share your comments below.

Twitter Moments Rolls Out Storytelling Feature for All and other social media news for October 1, 2016.

Twitter Moments Rolls Out Storytelling Feature for All and other social media news for October 1, 2016.

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