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 Announces Autoplay Sound, Picture-in-picture View, and Other Updates to Video: Facebook rolled out four major updates “that make watching video on Facebook richer, more engaging and more flexible.” These updates include autoplay sound that “fades in and out” and the option to minimize Facebook videos to a “picture-in-picture view” as you continue to scroll through the news feed. Facebook also introduced a larger format for watching vertical videos on both iOS and Android devices and officially announced a new Facebook video app for TV. Facebook's TV app is expected to roll out “soon” to app stores for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TV “with more platforms to come.”
Twitter Features Periscope Video in Top Trends Section of Explore: Twitter announced that users will “now see Periscopes surfaced in top trends” section of the Explore tab. TechCrunch reports that live videos in this section “will be marked with a bright red ‘LIVE' label for easy spotting” and will offer the same viewing experience as in Periscope “with the ability to heart and comment on the video content, as well as retweet.” As reported earlier this year, the latest version of the Explore tab now features “trends, Moments, search and the best of live video” but is currently only available on Twitter for iOS. On Twitter for Android, live Periscopes can be found in the Moments section.
Watch what's trending – LIVE! You'll now see Periscopes surfaced in top trends. pic.twitter.com/Bhj8JT2ITw
— Twitter Video (@TwitterVideo) February 14, 2017
Facebook Rolls Out New Job Posting and Application Features for Desktop and Mobile: Facebook announced that page admins can now “create a job post, track applications and communicate directly with applicants” on their business pages or through a new Jobs on Facebook section on the site. As with other Facebook posts, admins also have the option to “boost job posts to reach a larger or more relevant audience.”
Likewise, job seekers can just easily apply for jobs with a new “Apply Now” button found on Facebook's job listings. This button generates a pre-populated form “with information from [the user's] profile on Facebook.” However, Facebook notes that applicants will be able to “review and edit their information before submitting it” to a business. Facebook's new job search features are rolling out to both desktop and mobile “over the next few weeks,” but are currently limited to the U.S. and Canada. Facebook hasn't announced when these new job search features will be more broadly available.
Our Take on Top News This Week
In this week's show from Friday, February 17, 2017, Michael Stelzner and guests discuss the top news in social media. Topics include major updates to Facebook video (8:15), new job search features on Facebook (28:30), and new Amazon Alexa tools and data for marketers (34:54). Subscribe to future shows here.
More News to Note
Facebook Announces New Accountability and New Data Choices for Marketers: Last year, Facebook revealed several reporting mistakes that might have seemed relatively minor but collectively added momentum to calls from the ad industry for better data and more third-party oversight from Facebook. In response, Facebook announced several upcoming initiatives such as providing more impression-level data and three new buying options for video ads across Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network that are expected to provide greater “transparency, choice, and accountability.” Facebook also committed to an audit by the Media Rating Council “to verify the accuracy of the information” it delivers to its partners. Facebook plans to roll out these updates over the course of this year.
LinkedIn Adds New Features to Premium Memberships: Two LinkedIn consumer subscription options, Premium Career and Premium Business, now offer “a multitude of exclusive data insights, as well as unlimited access to newly launched LinkedIn products like LinkedIn Learning and LinkedIn Salary.” Premium Career members can now access a range of insights for LinkedIn Jobs such as “connections at a hiring company, jobs you'd be a top applicant for and companies that are growing quickly for professions similar to yours.” Premium Business members now have access to new data insights like employee growth trends on any company page and “an enriched Who's Viewed My Profile experience.” LinkedIn also expanded its recently released salary comparison tool, LinkedIn Salary, so LinkedIn Premium members can access salary data without having to enter their own salary information and can filter job listings by salary.
LinkedIn Rolls Out Three New Products for Job Searches and Hiring: LinkedIn released three new product updates that allow hiring managers and recruiters to “focus on the right candidates and improve [their] response rates by 2-4x” on LinkedIn job listings. These new features include Open Candidates, Apply Starters, and Contractor Targeting. With Open Candidates and Apply Starters, businesses can “uncover members who've signaled that they're thinking about making a move by sharing their profile and job activity with recruiters.” The Contractor Targeting tool presents employers with LinkedIn members who are “likely to be interested in contract roles based on their preferences or profile history.” LinkedIn states that these new features help businesses discover job candidates “who aren't just ‘passive' or ‘active' but instead are open to new opportunities.”
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Twitter Removes Blocked or Muted Accounts From Notifications: Twitter announced that users will no longer see any replies or conversations started from accounts they've blocked or muted in their notifications. While this update effectively filters abusive users out of a user's notifications, it will prevent positive replies to the same conversations from showing up “unless the replies are from people [they] follow.” Twitter explains how this new antiabuse measure will impact muting and blocking on the Twitter Help Center site.
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Amazon Launches Online Hub for Marketers: Amazon launched an online hub to help marketers “get started with creating ‘skills' (Amazon's word for apps) for the Echo device family.” Marketing Land reports that the new hub “currently lists 20 agencies ‘with expertise in designing, developing and optimizing Alexa skills,” including Razorfish, Mobiquity, VaynerMedia and others.” Brands that are interested in building their own Alexa skills can be connected to the Alexa Skills Kit, exclusive Alexa data, and development tools and providers to help them get started. A new report from VoiceLabs suggests that “by the end of this year around 33 million voice-first devices will be in circulation… News, games, education, lifestyle, weather and sports are top content categories for these devices.” These new tools and resources from Amazon allow marketers to “join the growing voice movement.”
YouTube Now Boasts One Billion Automatically Captioned Videos: YouTube announced that “the number of [YouTube] videos with automatic captions now exceeds a staggering 1 billion.” YouTube also reported that users “watch videos with automatic captions more than 15 million times per day.” YouTube has been able “to scale the availability of captions” by combining Google's automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology with the ability for creators to correct transcription errors. According to YouTube, this technology, combined with improved speech recognition tools, machine learning algorithms, and expanded training data, has resulted in a 50% leap in accuracy for YouTube's automatic captions in English. YouTube will continue improving the accuracy of its automatic captions, as well as expanding this progress to its nine other supported languages, which include Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Reddit Updates Public Front Page: Reddit is “making some small but significant changes to the front page that gets presented to anyone who isn't logged in.” Where new users would have previously seen r/all, “a set of 50 default high-traffic subreddits” that were selected by the site, they will now “be sent to r/popular, which will supposedly come from more sources with a few restrictions.” TechCrunch reports that logged-in users who have their own subscribed subreddits shouldn't experience any changes to their Reddit front page.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) February 16, 2017
Google Maps Officially Rolls Out Favorite Places Lists: As announced earlier this year, Google Maps has officially rolled out the ability to “create lists of places, share your lists with others, and follow the lists your friends and family share with you – without ever leaving the Google Maps app.” Google offers three different preset lists types, including Favorites, Starred Places and Want to Go, but users have the option to create custom lists that can be public, private, or shared with a link. Favorite Places Lists are available on Google Maps on both Android and iOS and on desktop.
Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following
YouTube Will Stop Supporting 30-second Unskippable Ads in 2018: In an official statement given to Campaign, Google announced that YouTube will “stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers.” The spokesman confirmed that other advertising formats shorter than 30-seconds, including the 20-second spots, will remain unskippable.
Facebook Updates Community Standards Policy: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed an upcoming shift in Facebook's Community Standards policy and established the central tenets of the next phase of Facebook's mission around support, safety, information, civic engagement, and inclusion. TechCrunch reports that along with this update, Facebook will give users the ability to define “what is and isn't objectionable and influence the local defaults of those who don't choose voluntarily.” Facebook also plans to give local groups more admin tools; expand AI detection of bullying, self-harm, or other issues; fight polarized or sensationalized news and more.
YouTube Kids Announces Upcoming Smart TV App: YouTube announced that a YouTube Kids app will soon be available “for download on a number of internet-connected LG and Samsung Smart TVs.” YouTube reports that YouTube Kids boasts “over 30 billion views in the app to date and over 8 million active viewers” and features both original and syndicated content.
Quora Updates Anonymity Policies and Practices: TechCrunch reports that Quora “will begin cracking down on spam and harassment by reviewing all anonymous content before it's distributed on its network.” Quora will restrict anonymity on its site to either asking questions or sharing answers, but won't allow it for actions such as voting, commenting, suggesting edits, and more. However, the article also notes that anonymous content will now be “untraceable” to encourage users “to seek out or share more personal or sensitive experiences in their questions and answers.” These changes will go into effect on March 20, 2017.
Q&A site Quora clamps down on anonymity – will review content before publishing, restrict actions https://t.co/UwKQMOUVXJ
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) February 11, 2017
Musical.ly Tests New Video Messaging App, Ping Pong, on iOS: Musical.ly launched a new video messaging app called Ping Pong on iOS “in what appears to be a test ahead of a public debut.” TechCrunch reports that Ping Pong is the fourth app to be released by Musical.ly, which had “over 100 million users as of last fall.”
Some Interesting Studies to Note:
2017 Small Business Marketing Trends Report: Infusionsoft's research data based on a survey of 1,000 small business owners across the United States explores respondents' current and future digital marketing plans for 2017. Some 56% of respondents say they expect to spend more on social media this year than last year. Further, 33% plan to spend more on digital advertising and 32% plan to spend more on search engine optimization. The report also examined the most popular tactics small business marketers are planning to use. The top choices include social media (70%), email marketing (44%), digital advertising (42%), and search engine optimization (39%).
2017 Digital Trends: In this seventh annual trends survey, Econsultancy and Adobe identify and examine “the key digital trends, challenges and opportunities” marketers should consider in 2017. This new report is based on a global survey of more than 14,000 marketers and ecommerce professionals and covers topics such as customer experience, mobile, data-driven marketing tactics, and personalization. It also explores how companies are handling digital transformation and committing to “creating a great customer experience” in the future.
Instagram Emoji Study: New research from Quintly explores how Instagram emojis are being used and how they impact engagement. The study examined 6.2 million Instagram posts by 20,000 brands and individual user profiles in 2016. The findings reveal that 56% of Instagram accounts included at least one emoji in their image or video posts in 2016. The study also found that posts with at least one emoji had an average interaction rate of 2.0. In comparison, Instagram posts that didn't include at least one emoji had an average rate of 1.77, representing 17% lower interaction. The study also revealed the top 10 emojis used in 2016.
What do you think of the updates to Facebook video? Have you checked out the new Job Search features on Facebook? Please share your comments below.
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