On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Instagram’s new API with scheduling with Alisa Meredith, more Facebook news feed updates, new Instagram Stories post types, and other breaking social media marketing news of the week!
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For this week’s top stories, you’ll find timestamps below that allow you to fast-forward in the replay above.
Instagram Launches Content Publishing Beta for Businesses and Apps: Instagram has unveiled a change to the API that will allow business accounts to directly schedule and publish their Instagram posts. Previously, social media managers would have to use third-party tools to push reminders to post on Instagram. The latest update to the Instagram API now gives applications like Hootsuite, Tailwind, and more access to post scheduling. This new functionality is also open to Facebook Marketing Partners and Instagram Partners, but isn’t currently available within the product itself nor has it been extended to Instagram ads. (4:28)
Instagram notes that this API update is part of a larger revamp happening over the next 2 years beginning in July 2018. The old API will be replaced by a newer Instagram Graph API and will include the ability to analyze performance metrics and insights, moderate comments, view other businesses’ profile info and media, and more.
Instagram Brings Carousel Ads to Instagram Stories: Instagram is introducing carousel ads for Instagram Stories, which will allow advertisers to include up to three pieces of media per Stories ad. Previously, advertisers were limited to one ad per story on Instagram. The company notes that carousel ads for Instagram Stories behave the same way as other stories content, “meaning you can tap through, swipe back and forth or pause the content whenever you’d like” and “with two additional pieces of media, advertisers can add depth to their storytelling in the same way the community does today.” Instagram is currently testing this new ad format with a handful of advertisers including the Gap, Coca-Cola, and Paramount before rolling it out more broadly. (19:09)
Instagram Officially Rolls Out Type Mode: Instagram officially introduced Type mode, which allows users to incorporate unique text styles, different background colors, and highlight words and phrases to create text-only stories. Type mode can also be layered over any photo or video in stories. This update is available as part of Instagram version 30 for both iOS and Android. (22:59)
Facebook Boosts Posts From Local News Sources in the News Feed: This past week, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg shared more upcoming changes to the news feed. He announced that in addition to elevating content from friends and family and sources deemed to be “high quality,” Facebook will now prioritize news items from users’ local towns or cities in the news feed. This update is first rolling out in the U.S. and then in more countries over the year.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Facebook is testing a dedicated section that connects people to local community news and information, called Today In. This new feature is initially being tested in six U.S. cities and there are plans to expand further in the coming months.
Facebook Earnings Report Shows User Growth Slowed in 4Q 2017: In the company’s 4Q 2017 Earnings Report, Facebook reiterated its focus in 2018 is “making sure Facebook isn’t just fun, but also good for people’s well-being and for society… by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content.” As part of this initiative, Facebook showed fewer viral videos in the news feed and reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day. TechCrunch reports that not only did this update subsequently reduce the total time spent on Facebook by 5%, it also led to a loss of 700,000 daily active users in the U.S. and Canada.
Facebook reported that it now has 1.4 billion daily users, which is up 2.18% compared to growing 3.8% to 1.37 billion users in Q3. This represents the lowest quarter-over-quarter percentage daily user growth ever reported by the company. The company also reported that WhatsApp now has 1.5 billion monthly users, up from 1.3 billion in July.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) January 31, 2018
Snapchat Rolls Out New iOS Features: Snapchat rolled out an update to the iOS app that includes new features like the option to save texts in one-on-one conversations and the ability to see a friend’s location on the Snap Map within a group chat. With this update, Snapchat has also removed the white frame that appeared when snaps from a camera roll are added to a story.
Facebook Developing Chatbots With Improved Conversation Skills: The Verge reports that Facebook is developing chatbots with a “consistent personality” and the ability to carry on better conversations. The article notes that the key constraints with chatbots are that they don’t provide context based on what they or their chat partners have discussed in the past and fall back on programmed responses like “I don’t know” when faced with questions they don’t understand. Researchers at Facebook are using data and deep learning to train chatbots to look for patterns in large datasets, follow conversations patterned off of natural human dialogue, and develop “personas.”
— The Verge (@verge) January 28, 2018
Facebook Watch Alerts Mobile Viewers of New Episodes: It appears that Facebook is now promoting Facebook Watch shows with a pop-up alert that tells you when a new show is available to view, suggests you click a Follow button to get episodes added to your watchlist, and highlights which of your friends are already following the series. This feature was spotted on a mobile device by Michael Stelzner.
Twitter Launches Sponsored Moments: Twitter rolled out a new in-stream sponsorship feature called Sponsored Moments. With Sponsored Moments, advertisers can run interstitial tweets packaged around a specific event or theme and a branded cover against content from premium partners like Bloomberg Media. Similar to other in-stream sponsorships, advertisers can promote the moment to their specific target audience and expand their reach beyond the content partner’s existing followers. Twitter announced that Sponsored Moments is now broadly available to all publishers who participate in in-stream sponsorships worldwide.
— Bloomberg (@business) January 25, 2018
Twitter Rolls Out Full Archive Search With Premium API: Twitter launched a new premium product for developers that provides access to an account’s full Twitter archive. Twitter notes that this level of access was previously only available to enterprise API customers. Non-enterprise customers could only choose from the standard (public) API that provides access to the last 7 days of tweets or the more recently launched premium API (the Search Tweets API) that goes back 30 days. This new premium API endpoint, called Full-Archive Search, will offer all tweets from all time to the wider developer community.
New year, new access for our developer community! 🎉
— Twitter API (@TwitterAPI) February 1, 2018
Google Introduces New Search Console Beta: Google is starting to release a new beta version to the search console to all users this week. This new version of search console was rebuilt and expanded “by surfacing the most actionable insights and creating an interaction model which guides you through the process of fixing any pending issues.” Google added the ability to share reports within your organization, have access to 16 months of data, and an updated index coverage report.
Facebook Rolls Out New Education Campaign Around User Privacy: Facebook introduced a new program that helps users understand how data is used on Facebook and provides tips on how to best manage one’s privacy on the site. In addition to highlighting useful tools like a Privacy Checkup and its core Privacy Principles, the company is also introducing educational videos on important privacy topics like how to control what information Facebook uses to show you ads, how to review and delete old posts, and what it means to delete your account. These videos will be featured in the news feed. Later this year, Facebook will also launch a new Privacy Center, which will group all of the platform’s core privacy settings into a single hub to make them easier to access and manage.