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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

Google Improves YouTube Ad Experience: Google introduced two new ecommerce features on YouTube that give retailers “more control over branding” on TrueView for shopping ads. The new features include companion banners, “a new interactive banner appearing next to the video that lets viewers scroll through products while the video is playing next to it”; and product picker, which “lets advertisers easily choose and prioritize which of their products are featured as cards in a TrueView for shopping campaign.” These updates are rolling out “globally beginning now where TrueView for shopping is available.”

youtube companion banners

TrueView companion banners on YouTube appear next to the video and let viewers scroll through products while the video is playing next to them.

Twitter Rolls Out the Gnip Audience API: Twitter announced the general availability of its new Audience API from Gnip. Twitter launched a public beta test of this application-programming interface last October during its Flight Developer Conference. The platform is now open to all advertisers. According to the Twitter company blog, the Audience API offers “brands more direct visibility into the audiences they know and interact with, both on and off of Twitter.”

Periscope Rolls Out Editors’ Picks Channel: Periscope’s Editors’ Picks channel helps current users “browse for unique moments” they might otherwise miss and will be “useful for new users who may not really know what they should be watching on the platform.” This new channel can be found under Suggested Broadcasts, along with a Featured tag.

Our Take on Top News This Week

In this week’s show from Friday, July 15, 2016, Michael Stelzner and guests discuss the top news in social media. Topics include sponsored locations on Pokémon Go (2:12), Twitter’s media partnerships covering politics, sports and financial news (22:07), and the rollout of new ecommerce tools on YouTube (33:50). Subscribe to future shows here.

More News to Note

Twitter Boosts Maximum GIF Size on the Web: According to the Twitter help page, the size limit for animated GIFs can now be “up to 15MB on [the] web.” CNET reports that there “has been no official announcement” from Twitter about this update and notes that “images are still restricted to 5MB and [GIF] size is still restricted to 5MB when using Twitter’s mobile apps.” This update has not yet been expanded to TweetDeck.

Twitter Expands Emoji Support on Twitter.com: Earlier this year, Unicode released 72 new emojis as part of its Unicode 9.0. This week, Twitter is expanding its support of the new emojis on the Twitter website. According to Emojipedia, “these new emoji images now display on Twitter.com and are coming soon to TweetDeck and the open source Twemoji repository.”

Buffer Adds Instagram Scheduling Reminders: Because Instagram currently does not allow third-party apps to post on users’ behalf, Buffer has developed reminders “as a way to still help you with your Instagram posting.” Once you’ve set a reminder on the web or in the mobile app, “Buffer will send a notification to your phone that loads your photo into Instagram with your pre-written caption saved to your phone’s clipboard, ready to be pasted.” This new capability is available for iOS, Android, and on the web.

Facebook Messenger Adds 3D Touch on iOS: Facebook rolled out 3D Touch support for Messenger on iOS. This update allows “users on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to preview contacts, conversations, photos, videos, stickers, links and locations while using the app.” As part of this update, iOS users can also “access 3D Touch shortcuts by pressing on the app’s icon on the home screen” within the iOS app.

Twitter Partners With Bloomberg to Deliver Financial News: Twitter and Bloomberg announced that “they signed a deal to live stream three Bloomberg shows, as well as the network’s markets coverage.” TechCrunch reports that “the shows included in the agreement are ‘Bloomberg West,’ which broadcasts technology news, ‘What’d You Miss?’, which delivers global financial news at the close of the U.S. trading day, and ‘With All Due Respect,’ which is about political analysis.” This partnership offers Twitter users “live financial markets performance combined with the live commentary on the underlying drivers and implications.”

Facebook Updates Community Standards for Facebook Live: In response to recent tragic events seen through Facebook Live, the social network has issued a statement regarding its community standards around Live video approval. Facebook makes it easy to report Live videos “as they’re happening” if there is a violation of its Community Standards and assures users that it has a team “on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, dedicated to responding to these reports immediately.” Facebook also maintains that “context and degree are everything” when it comes to “the most sensitive situations … taking place in the real world” and vows to remove videos intended to mock victims.

Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following

Facebook Will Roll Out Instant Articles in Messenger: Facebook will make Instant Articles accessible on Messenger over the next several weeks, beginning with support for Android, followed by iOS. According to the Facebook Media blog, “people using Messenger will see a lightning bolt on the top right corner of some links shared in Messenger, which indicates the link is an Instant Article.”

facebook messenger instant articles

“When you tap on an Instant Article link in Facebook, it loads up to ten times faster than a standard mobile web article.”

Facebook Will Add Feedback Buttons to Instant Articles: To enable more engagement within instant articles, Facebook is introducing “support for Like, Comment and Share buttons both at the bottom of an Instant Article and on media that appears within [the] articles (photos videos, slideshows, and GIFs).” According to the Facebook for Developers site, the new feedback buttons will be “automatically added to your articles and to media assets embedded within your articles” on both iOS and Android later this month. If page admins opt to remove these buttons from either surface, they “can easily do so in the Feedback Settings section starting today.”

facebook instant article feedback button

Facebook is “introducing support for Like, Comment, and Share buttons both at the bottom of an Instant Article and on media that appears within your articles.”

Facebook Tests Ad-Free Brand Pages on Desktop: Marketing Land reports that “Facebook has started testing another redesign of its desktop Pages that omits the ads that normally appear on the right-hand side of the page.” Facebook confirms that “this is one of the ad-free layouts the company is trying out.”

Facebook Pilots Ticket Purchasing Program: In an effort to “make it easier to plan and attend events with your friends,” Facebook has partnered with Eventbrite and Ticketmaster on “a pilot program that lets you purchase tickets to interesting gatherings directly from [the main Facebook] site and app.” VentureBeat reports that “this program is being tested on Facebook’s desktop site, and iOS and Android apps,” but not on the mobile site.

Google Hangouts for Android Will Get Video Messaging Support: “Google has updated its Hangouts messaging app for Android with the ability to record and send videos.” The Next Web reports that this feature “has been available on iOS for the past two years” and will be included in Version 11 of the Hangouts app for Android once it’s released on Google Play.

Pokémon Go Will Soon Include Sponsored Locations: The developers of the popular augmented reality game plan to include “sponsored locations” within the game, which would “provide a new revenue stream, in addition to in-app purchases of power-ups and virtual items” and offer “retailers and companies… the paid opportunity to be featured prominently on the game’s virtual map, in the hope to drive customers inside their facilities.” TechCrunch reports that businesses and organizations already try to attract customers “by emphasizing the large number of Pokéstops around their buildings” or inviting visitors to “Catch them if you can.”

Some Interesting Studies to Note:

Facebook and Instagram: A Tale of Two Feeds: Facebook IQ commissioned Ipsos Connect to interview and conduct an online survey of regular Facebook and Instagram users, ages 18–64 in Australia, Brazil, France, Japan, the UK, and the U.S. The researchers also studied Instagram and Facebook data and posts that were “most popular” during major cultural events in each country. The findings share the most popular content types on both Instagram and Facebook, offer insights into how different demographics use each platform, and share tips and best practices for advertisers.

2016 Social Video Forecast: According to a new Animoto study, nearly two-thirds of professional marketers and small- and medium-sized business (SMB) owners are planning to incorporate video into their marketing campaigns this coming year. Investments in video promotion on social channels and the talent to support are expected to increase across the board. The findings show that Facebook is the primary platform currently used by business owners and marketers for sharing and distributing video content, rating its effectiveness more than eight times higher than any other social platform. YouTube is the second most popular video platform and is projected to experience the most growth in paid video promotion over the coming year.

Facebook Share Data All Publishers Need to Know: BuzzSumo examined Facebook data and trends over the last year and found a slight increase in the average shares of all posts. However, there is some variation when it comes to different post types. Upon analyzing over 25 million Facebook posts published by the top 10,000 publishers, the researchers show that video posts drive significantly higher shares on Facebook compared to posts with links or photos. The average share of video content on Facebook has doubled since August 2015 and is expected to continue growing.

Advertising Channels With the Largest Purchase Influence on Consumers: According to a new study from MarketingCharts, the influence social ads have on purchases has risen considerably over the past 2 years across all demographic groups. The largest impact of social ads is found among youth. This year, 1 in 5 Millennials surveyed report having made a purchase in the past 6 months because of ads viewed on social networks; a 65% jump from the 2014 study, in which fewer than 1 in 8 (12.1%) reported such an influence from social ads.

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What do you think of the new ad features from YouTube? Are you looking for ways to use Pokémon Go for business? Please share your comments below.

YouTube Enhances Shopping Experience With New Ads and other social media news for July 16, 2016.

YouTube Enhances Shopping Experience With New Ads and other social media news for July 16, 2016.

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