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 New Features for Slideshow Ads on Facebook and Instagram: Facebook introduced new features to the slideshow ad product that are “related to audio and text functionality, mobile creation and closer integration with [Facebook's] Stock Photo and Pages Image libraries.” Facebook also launched a new tool that allows advertisers in emerging and high-growth markets “to take existing video assets and turn them into a slideshow that will play on slower connection speeds – in just a few clicks.” According to the Facebook Business blog, “these updates to slideshow are available globally now” on both Facebook and Instagram.
Twitter Released a Direct Message Button for Websites: Twitter introduced a new Message button that “lets your website visitors Direct Message you with a single click.” According to the Twitter Publish site, “the message button makes it easy to start a private conversation with you.” Twitter suggests that the new Message button “works best when your account settings allow you to receive Direct Messages from anyone, whether or not they follow you.” The Message button is now available to all site owners.
Announcing our new Message button. Now people can easily slide into your DMs from your website. Get yours now! https://t.co/ash9ouvgzu
— TwitterDev (@TwitterDev) August 24, 2016
LinkedIn Adds New Content Search Features to the Mobile App: LinkedIn rolled out three “new content search features on the LinkedIn mobile app.” These updates include the ability to search your feed “and find what you're looking for under the Posts tab of the search results page,” to “refine your search to dive deeper into the topic [you're interested in] and learn more,” and to add a searchable hashtag to your LinkedIn post. The new content search updates are currently available to all “iOS and Android apps for English speaking members” and will be made available “to all members on all platforms” in the coming weeks and months.
LinkedIn Expands LinkedIn ProFinder Nationwide: LinkedIn announced that “LinkedIn ProFinder, a LinkedIn marketplace that connects consumers and small businesses looking for professional services… with top quality freelance professionals best suited for the job” is now available nationwide in the U.S. This service was quietly launched last October and “in its pilot stage, it already features more than 50,000 freelancers across more than 140 service areas – each of whom have been hand-picked based on their expertise and high-quality recommendations.” According to LinkedIn's Official Blog, “ProFinder is available in the U.S. only for now.”
Our Take on Top News This Week
In this week's show from Friday, August 26, 2016, Michael Stelzner and guests discuss the top news in social media. Topics include new ways to control your experience on Twitter, updates to Pinterest, and changes to Facebook ads. Subscribe to future shows here.
More News to Note
LinkedIn Started Rolling Out Conversion Tracking to Select Users: LinkedIn is slowly rolling out conversion tracking “to select advertisers, with the hope of 100% rollout by the end of August.” According to the LinkedIn Help site, “LinkedIn conversion tracking is an analytic function powered by the LinkedIn Insight Tag… [that] gathers insights into post-click and view-through conversions of your Sponsored Content and Text Ad campaigns… [and] gives you the ability to measure the impact and ROI of your ads.”
Google Makes Changes to Mobile Search Results: Google will remove the mobile-friendly label in search results. This label was added to Google search results two years ago to “help users find pages where the text and content were readable without zooming and the tap targets were appropriately spaced.” Upon learning that “85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet these criteria and show the mobile-friendly label,” Google has opted to remove this label, but notes that the “mobile-friendly criteria will continue to be a ranking signal.” Google will also “continue providing the mobile usability report in Search Console and the mobile-friendly test to help webmasters evaluate the effect of the mobile-friendly signal on their pages.” Google also announced that after January 10, 2017, it will begin negatively ranking mobile sites that use “intrusive interstitials” that visibly obscure content that people “were expecting when they tapped on the search result.” There are examples of the “techniques that make content less accessible to a user” on the Google Webmaster Central Blog.
Facebook Launches New Teen-Focused Stand-alone App, Lifestage: Facebook released Lifestage, a new stand-alone iOS app targeted to teens in high school. TechCrunch reports that Lifestage “mimics the way Facebook was originally launched” by being entirely centered around the social life at schools. “Lifestage allows people to build a profile made up entirely of ‘video fields'… [and] show others who they are and find out more about the people in their school community as well as meet new people.” Lifestage is being rolled out “on a school by school basis. By default, all schools start locked and as soon as 20 people sign up for any particular school, the school unlocks” and its students can “see the video profiles from people at [that] school or ones nearby.”
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YouTube Releases New TV App: TechCrunch reports that the newly revamped YouTube TV app “will feature a different look and improved organization of categories, in order to better fit in with how people watch YouTube in the living room.” YouTube discovered that “viewers tend to turn toward specific types of videos when watching YouTube on television” as opposed to ending up on YouTube “because of a search or someone sharing a link” as they would on desktop or mobile. For this reason, the new TV app interface “aims to make it simpler to access these sorts of videos” and offers “new sections for 4K content and live stream” as well.
Twitter Rolls Out Night Mode in iOS: Following the release of Night Mode on Twitter for Android in July, Twitter has made this feature available to its iOS users too. Night Mode darkens the hues on the Twitter mobile app to make it easier to scan the feed and read tweets in environments with less light.
— Twitter (@twitter) August 22, 2016
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Trello Announces Free Power-Ups for All Users: Trello announced that “Power-Ups are now available to all 16 million Trello users! Starting today, free and Gold users of Trello will be able to enable one Power-Up on each team board.” Power-Ups are “the way to bring additional features and integrate your favorite apps right into Trello” and “help teams use Trello to meet their unique business needs.” The power-ups include Slack, Evernote, GitHub, Google Drive, and many more.
Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following
Facebook Will Expand Audience Ad Network Through Header Bidding: Facebook is “moving to expand the reach of its audience network through header bidding.” This new ad product will “bring advertiser demand from the Facebook Audience Network to the world's largest publishers by integrating itself within a header bidding wrapper” and will “heavily focus on serving ads on the open mobile web.” Header bidding is expected to launch in September or October of this year.
Twitter Tests Dedicated Page for Live-streaming Events: VentureBeat reports that “Twitter is developing a dedicated page on its service where you'll be able to catch streamed coverage of live events.” This new feature will make it “easier to watch videos from the NFL, PGA, NHL, NBA, MLS and other content providers without needing to search endlessly for a link.” The test was announced but an official rollout date has not been confirmed by Twitter.
Facebook Tests “Add Contact” Button in Messenger: BuzzFeed News reports that “Facebook is testing an Add Contact feature in its Messenger app.” While Facebook already allows users who are not Facebook friends to chat with one another on the Messenger platform, the new Add Contact prompt “could lead to a new network forming on Messenger and outside of the main Facebook product.”
Facebook Tests Video With Autoplay Sound: “Facebook is testing a change to its main mobile apps that would have videos automatically start with the sound turned on.” The Verge reports that this small test “appears to be active in Australia and may be ongoing in other countries” and allows users to “choose whether they want to watch videos with sound on from the start.” A spokesperson from Facebook confirms that “people in this test who do not want the sound to [auto]play… can switch it off in Settings or directly on the video itself.”
Facebook Tests Multi-company Groups Feature Within Facebook at Work: AdWeek reports that “Facebook is testing a new ‘multi-company groups' feature within its Facebook at Work offering for businesses.” Facebook at Work is an enterprise tool that gives employees the ability to “create a work account that is separate from [their] personal Facebook account” and use Facebook tools to interact with co-workers. With the added Multi-company Groups feature, individual Facebook at Work users would be able to communicate with multiple companies.
YouTube Develops New Feature for Polls, Links, Photos, and Text: VentureBeat reports that “YouTube is developing a feature internally called Backstage where users can share photos, polls, links, text posts and videos with their subscribers.” Backstage is expected to launch with limited features with “select popular YouTube accounts” by the end of the year for mobile and desktop, but this has not been confirmed by Google or YouTube.
Disqus Announces Several Upcoming Updates to Engage and Reveal: Disqus Blog announced several new updates and enhancements coming to Disqus over the next several weeks. These changes include new features to Engage, the comment system, such as the ability to embed comments, improved spam detection, and spoiler tags. Disqus will also roll out improvements to Reveal, the integrated native advertising solution, like in-thread ad positioning and wider account management support. Due to the number of changes happening at once, the platform will be “rolling it out in waves to users.”
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Some Interesting Studies to Note
The Q3 2016 Sprout Social Index: Sprout Social surveyed more than 1,000 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram users on what they like and don't like about following brands on social media. While 86% of social media users follow brands on social media, nearly 60% of them are annoyed when there are too many promotions from brands and 25% are put off when a brand doesn't respond to them on social media. People also react negatively when a brand changes their tone or content to appear hip and trendy (38%) or tries to be funny when they clearly aren't (32%). This study also explored the reasons people follow brands. For example, 73% of those surveyed said that liking a brand on social media starts with being interested in a brand's products or services. The majority of followers also come in search of deals and promotions (58%) or incentives (42%). Seventy-five percent claim to have purchased something because they saw it on social media and 57% say that they're more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media.
Social Media Advertising and Marketing Trends Roundup: In the latest social media marketing and advertising roundup of articles, interviews, and insights compiled by Marketo, researchers examined how fast social network ad spending has grown in the U.S. and around the world since 2014 and how much it is expected to grow by 2018. This report also covers how marketers are currently using video, working with influencers, and the latest trends and tactics in digital marketing.
Q2 Benchmarks: Branded Content Performance: Polar produced a global analysis of branded content performance metrics for Q2 2016 and provides a comparison to previous quarters. This study shows that average click-through rates are up year-over-year through the first half of 2016, with mobile devices and tablets leading over desktops. In terms of branded content views, the research demonstrates that on average, 48% of a campaign's views occur during the first week it goes live. Furthermore, views tend to be highly concentrated within the first month of the campaign, with 90% of total views occurring within the first 4 weeks of the campaign's launch.
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