Welcome 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
Facebook Rolls Out Interactive Live Broadcast Map: Facebook introduced an “interactive map that shows you [public Facebook Live] streams that you can tune into in real-time” from all over the world and “who's watching the video you've selected.” The Next Web reports that this new feature “has been around for the past month, but it's now easier to find on Facebook's desktop site.” The interactive map is rolling out slowly throughout the world, but there's been no word on when it will be available globally.
Twitter Opens Audience Platform Worldwide and Adds New Creative Formats: Twitter announced that “advertisers who want to drive website clicks or conversions or mobile app installs can seamlessly extend their campaigns to Twitter's audience of more than 800 million visitors – whether they're on Twitter or engaging with thousands of mobile apps and websites.” By opening the Twitter Audience Platform to all advertisers worldwide, Twitter gave advertisers the ability to “reach a larger audience” and “easily measure [their] cross-device campaigns directly within [the] ads dashboard.” Twitter also rolled out “new creative formats to help direct response advertisers better connect with this influential, high-intent audience across both mobile and desktop.”
Facebook Expands Video Ads to Third-Party Publishers: Facebook Audience Network will now deliver video ads in “both in-stream and in-article formats.” In-stream video ads “will play before, during or after (pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll) video content on third party apps and sites” such as USA Today Sports Media Group. In-article ads will appear “on mobile pages of publishers, such as Daily Mail, between paragraphs of text and play automatically when at least half of the pixels are viewable” and “will start with Instant Articles.”
Instagram Rolls Out New Analytics: With the debut of Instagram's new analytics feature, “Instagram Business Profiles now show you the most popular times and days that your followers are on Instagram, along with follower demographics, post impressions and more.” Instagram scheduling tool, Later.com, offers “a peek at what [Instagram's new analytics will] look like on iOS” on its company blog.
LinkedIn Introduces New Advertising Tools and Features to Campaign Manager: LinkedIn is “rolling out several new features to make it even easier for marketers to manage and optimize their campaigns on LinkedIn.” According to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog, advertisers will soon be able to save targeted audiences for reuse in other campaigns, extend or reinstate past campaigns, have the flexibility to experiment with different ad types and reach a target audience based on years of professional experience. With these new features, LinkedIn users will also be able to like, share, or reply to comments on sponsored content and organic company updates.
Instagram Adds Video to Carousel Ads: With the addition of video support on Instagram's carousel ads, “advertisers can share up to five pieces of content – video or photo – for a richer storytelling experience.” Instagram's internal data suggests that “the time people spent watching video on Instagram [has] increased by more than 40%” over the past six months and “adding video to an existing campaign drives higher favorability than campaigns with static photos only.” Based on these findings, Instagram hopes that “video carousel ads can help businesses reach potential consumers in new, more immersive ways.” Here's a look at how two companies, Disney and Jeep, are reaching customers with the immersive content offered within video carousel ads:
Our Take on Top News This Week
In this blab from Friday, May 20, 2016, Michael Stelzner and guests discuss the top news in social media. Topics include the new Facebook Live Discovery Hub (1:47) and affiliate links on Pinterest (17:52). Subscribe to future shows here.
More News to Note
Adobe Launches Suite of Visual Content Creation Tools for Mobile and Web: Adobe debuted Adobe Spark, “a one-stop content shop for creating and sharing visual stories that will wow your audience on any device.” This simple set of tools “can make you look pro” when it comes to creating social media posts and graphics, web stories, and animated videos. Adobe Spark is currently only available for mobile on iOS and on the web. Here's a look at “how Spark is already helping people tell their stories”:
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Google Introduces Spaces App for Group Social Sharing: The new Google Spaces app is designed for small groups looking to gather “together instantly to share around any topic.” According to the official Google blog, “it's simple to find and share articles, videos and images without leaving the app, since Google Search, YouTube and Chrome come built in.” The Spaces app is available now on Android, iOS, desktop, and mobile web to all Gmail account holders.
Tumblr Rolls Out GIF Posts and Adds Text Option to GIF Maker Tool: Tumblr introduced a new GIF creation feature which searches through your camera roll for your “GIF-ables – videos, bursts, Live Photos – or shoot a new GIF on the spot.” Tumblr also rolled out the option to add text overlays in “three different fonts, infinite font sizes and in every color you could reasonably expect” or add emojis and Unicode characters within its GIF Maker tool. These new GIF creation features are available on iOS and “Android will be right behind.”
YouTube Introduces the YouTube VR App: YouTube announced the “YouTube VR app for Daydream, Google's platform for high-quality mobile virtual reality.” According to YouTube's official company blog, the new VR app will “provide an easier, more immersive way to find and experience virtual reality content on YouTube” and “comes with all the YouTube features you already love, like voice search, discovery and playlists, all personalized for you, so you can experience the world's largest collection of VR videos in a whole new way.” YouTube is collaborating with a variety of creators, technology partners, and entertainment channels to “explore new ways of storytelling in virtual environments” and “provide valuable lessons about the way creators and viewers interact with VR video” in the future.
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Facebook Releases First 3D-360 Film: Facebook unveiled Here and Now, “the first Facebook-produced video filmed in 3D-360 with the Facebook Surround 360 camera.” A Facebook Media blog post announcing this new project details the equipment and development process used in shooting the film and offers “best practices about shooting in 3D-360… learned along the way.” The film can be viewed on Oculus Gear VR with a Samsung device or as a 360 video on Facebook.
Reddit Rolls Out Embeddable Posts: “Reddit posts are going to get the chance to live beyond Reddit itself, thanks to new embedding capabilities.” TechCrunch reports that “these embeds might create new opportunities for advertising and monetization” and lets publishers “include commentary and reactions directly in their articles, rather than just relegating them to a comment thread below.” A source from Reddit confirms that the site is “working with a number of initial publisher partners” to develop a series of publisher tools that it hopes to roll out in the future. Here's an example of an embedded post from a recent Reddit AMA:
Vine Issues Themed Video Challenges: Vine launched “the first in a series of timed Vine Challenges, which encourage users to create videos related to specific themes.” According to AdWeek, “each time a challenge is launched, users will be able to submit their Vines to the Vine Challenge channel or use the challenge's hashtag to include their Vines in the event.” Participants have a chance to be nominated as challenge winners and be featured by Vine.
Google Introduces Rich Cards in Search: Google rolled out rich cards, “a new Search result format building on the success of rich snippets… with a focus on providing a better mobile user experience.” According to the Google Webmaster Central blog, rich cards give site owners a “new opportunity to stand out in Search results and attract more targeted users to your page” and “helps users find what they want right away.” Rich cards are currently only available for the recipe and movie content categories and for English-language mobile search results on google.com. However, Google is “actively experimenting with more opportunities to provide more publishers with a rich preview of their content.”
Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following
Twitter Will Exclude Links and Photos From 140-Character Limits: Twitter “will soon stop counting photos and links as part of its 140-character limit for messages.” Bloomberg reports that this update is intended to give users “more freedom to compose longer messages.”
Twitter Tests In-App Live-Streaming Button: Twitter is rolling out “a ‘Go Live' button… to a small percentage of users” that redirects to the Twitter-owned Periscope app and begins a live broadcast. Digital Trends reports that this new feature “will eventually be rolled out to all users.”
Facebook Acquires Patent for Personalized Emojis: Facebook was recently awarded a patent that “outlines a process for users to reprogram simple emoticons into pictures of themselves as emoji.”
Snapchat Developing an Algorithm: Digiday reports that “Snapchat is developing an algorithm that will act as a gatekeeper between publishers and brands and their audiences.”
Google Announces New Smart Messaging and Video Chat Apps, Allo and Duo: Google previewed two upcoming new apps: Allo, “a smart messaging app that makes your conversations easier and more expressive” and Duo, “a simple, fast one-to-one video calling app.” Both apps will be widely available “this summer on Android and iOS.”
Facebook Experiments With Videos in Comments: Facebook is testing “a feature in select countries that gives users the ability to post a clip to respond to any status update” as part of an effort to “give people different tools to share fun, expressive content with their friends on Facebook.”
Facebook Tests Custom News Feed Categories: “In a test, some Facebook mobile app users are seeing their news feed separated by categories, such as travel, music, TV and movies, food, and science. You can also customize the specific news you want to see under those categories, such as animated films or reality TV under the entertainment category.”
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Some Interesting Studies to Note:
An Inside Look at Instagram Advertising: Q1 2016: According to a new study from Instagram Partner Brand Networks, video ads dominated Instagram in Q1 2016. Video ads accounted for 58% of the over 2 billion ad impressions analyzed for this report, steadily growing from 43% in January to 59% in February and 65% in March. This new report also examined average CPMs, advertising strategies by industry, and the effects of real-time event marketing.
Personalized, Silent, and Mobile: The Video Advertising Trifecta: Text-to-video creation platform Wibbitz published its second quarterly report on consumers' preferences around video ad placement, format, and length. The report offers insights and best practices for developing video ads that will lead to a positive and receptive audience experience.
The Future of Content Report: According to a new report from interactive video platform Rapt Media, social media users are opting out of interruptive ads and skeptical of all marketing content in general. To better understand how social media content creation is evolving, Rapt Media surveyed over 500 marketing creatives and 1,000 consumers and developed a three-part series of studies analyzing marketers' content creation challenges, priorities, and investments and consumers' preferences and behaviors.
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What do you think of Facebook's new interactive Live broadcast map? Have you tried Twitter's new creative formats on mobile and desktop? Please share your comments below.
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