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
Pinterest Introduces Promoted Video: Pinterest rolled out Promoted Video, a new way for businesses to “share their ideas with the people who are looking for them and make it easy for them to give these ideas a try.” Promoted Video builds on the growing popularity of video on Pinterest and “brings together some of the best elements of Pinterest,” especially when coupled with featured pins and the site's new native video player. Promoted Video on Pinterest is currently only available to businesses with managed accounts in the U.S. and the U.K.
Facebook Confirms New Look and Layout for Pages: Facebook has “updated your Page's design on desktop to make it easier for your visitors to interact with you and your Page.” These changes include an updated layout with “a cleaner design,” more prominent button placements that “drive the actions that matter to you” and improved navigation tools that “make it quick and easy for people to find important information about your business.” Facebook confirms that these changes have rolled out to all Facebook pages.
Twitter Introduces Promoted #Stickers: Twitter rolled out Promoted #Stickers, “a huge opportunity for brands to drive brand affinity and raise awareness of their message at scale.” Twitter reports that “millions of photos have been Tweeted using #Stickers in creative and dynamic ways across sports, news and entertainment” since they were introduced a few weeks ago. Now, “brands can create and promote custom stickers for anyone on Twitter to use.” Promoted #Stickers are available globally to “select marketers with a managed account.”
— Twitter Advertising (@TwitterAds) August 15, 2016
Instagram Business Profile Rollout in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia: Wired Magazine reports that the new Business Profiles on Instagram and other business tools “are finally starting to roll out in certain regions – mainly Europe, the Middle East and Asia.” Wired also reports that these tools are coming to the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand “in the coming months” and are expected to be “available globally by the end of the year.”
Facebook Expands Number of Photos and Videos in Carousel Ads: Adweek reports that “Facebook has quietly doubled the number of images and videos that can be included in its carousel ads, to ten from five.” A spokesperson from Facebook confirmed that “the number of ‘cards' (photos or videos) that can be included in carousel ads has, indeed, been increased to 10 for all advertisers globally.”
Facebook Messenger Updates Marketing Policies and Review Process for Bots: Facebook adopted a new policy for marketers using Messenger bots to send promotional messages. The updated policy states that “all conversations between businesses and people must be initiated by the person receiving the messages” and should provide “relevant and timely information that [the user] requested.” In addition, Facebook is imposing a 24-hour window in which a business may respond to a user with a promotional message and only a specific action or response from the user will trigger a new 24-hour cycle in which a business can re-engage. With these changes, Facebook also “streamlined [the] review process… for new and existing Send/Receive API integrations” and will now review all applications for messaging bots within five days of submission.
Our Take on Top News This Week
In this week's show from Friday, August 19, 2016, Michael Stelzner and guests discuss the top news in social media. Topics include the end of Blab as a live-streaming platform, the rollout of Google AMP support to all search results, and Google retires Google+ Hangouts On Air. Subscribe to future shows here.
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More News to Note
Blab Shuts Down Live-streaming Platform: Last week, the team behind Blab announced that it's “shutting down the website and app, and focusing 100% on our new project.” In a post on Blab's company blog, its founder explained “what worked, what didn't and what's next” for the live-streaming platform. The team is “already working furiously on the next evolution of Blab,” which will focus on “an ‘always on' place where you go to hang with your friends,” rather than on broadcasting. The company did not provide any further details on when a new product will be available to the public.
Twitter Adds Two New Notification Features: Twitter introduced two new notification features “that will give you more control over what you see and who you interact with on Twitter.” Users can now “limit notifications to only people they follow on mobile and on twitter.com” and “filter lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated… from their Twitter experience.” These new notification settings will be available to all Twitter users “in the coming days.”
— Twitter Support (@Support) August 18, 2016
Pinterest Adds Community Sharing and Account Management Options: Pinterest introduced three new improvements to how users can share, search, and manage their accounts. With this update, pinners can now opt out of Pinterest's main recommendation tool, the “Picked for You” pins, which are curated by Pinterest and featured on the home feed. Pinterest gives users more ways to send pins, boards, and user profiles in more apps, including Facebook Messenger, Twitter, or WhatsApp, or by text, and will allow users to send messages and invitations to others, “even if you aren't following each other.”
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Instagram Adds Events Channel on Explore Tab: Instagram users can now “experience events as they happen around the world with a new video channel on Explore.” The new Events channel “collects the best videos from concerts, sporting events and more” from Instagram and personalizes them to each user's interests and likes. The Events channel is “currently only available in the United States,” but Instagram is “working to bring this experience to the rest of the world soon.”
Google Launches Google Duo Video Calling App: Google is gradually rolling out Google Duo, “a simple 1-to-1 video calling app available for Android and iOS.” According to the Official Google Blog, Duo “takes the complexity out of video calling” and is “fast and reliable, so that video calls connect quickly and work well even on slower networks.” Following this news, The Next Web reports that “the app will soon be updated to support audio calls” as well. Google has started rolling out Duo as a video calling platform and says that “it will be live worldwide in the next few days.”
Reddit Announces an Official AMA Mobile App: Reddit release an official Reddit AMA mobile app for iOS and Android. AMA stands for “Ask Me Anything” and is a popular format for hosting live questions and answers with celebrities, politicians, innovators, and other people of interest on Reddit. According to Reddit's official company blog, “AMAs get a lot of attention outside of Reddit” and tend to be shared as recap posts for those who can't follow AMAs as they happen live. Since “one of the best parts of AMAs is experiencing the complete spectrum of questions and answers with full context,” Reddit released this new mobile app as a way for users to “find and enjoy a wider variety of AMAs as they are happening.”
Yik Yak Pivots Focus Towards Making Local Connections: Yik Yak was initially created “to help you connect with the people right around you, whether you know them or not.” With this in mind, the network rolled out several new features and fresh new look “to help empower these local connections.” Users can now add a handle and photo to their profiles, share status updates about what they're doing, browse nearby contacts, “upvote” conversations, and chat one on one. Yik Yak also introduced a new Explore tab, “which houses all sorts of additional ways for you to discover the people and conversations that are all around you,” such as trending topics, global conversations, and user polls. These updates to Yik Yak are available now for both iOS and Android.
Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following
Google Retires Google+ Hangouts On Air: On the YouTube Help Support site, Google quietly announced that “Hangouts On Air will move from Google+ to YouTube Live on September 12” and suggests that users schedule all future events and “move existing events scheduled to happen after September 12 to YouTube Live” using YouTube Live's built-in scheduling feature. Venture Beat reports that “Hangouts On Air will still exist in some form, it just won't be tied to Google+” and “recorded events will continue to be available on YouTube.”
Facebook Tests Subscription Messaging Bots: Along with updating its policies and processing for Messenger bots, Facebook announced plans to “test subscription messaging for specific use cases.” The subscription messaging functionality would allow businesses to push regular content to individuals, provided that recipients opt into receiving such messages from brands and the messages do not contain any promotional content. Facebook specifies that the subscription messages “will have limited functionality compared to standard messages” and can only be used to share news, personal productivity prompts, or personal trackers.
Some Interesting Studies to Note:
Three Billion Shares: Fractl and BuzzSumo partnered to analyze the 1 million most shared articles on social media between December 2015 and June 2016. The data set included 3 billion pieces of content shared across the five major social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, from third-party publishers such as Upworthy, TED, BuzzFeed, and the BBC. The findings suggest that a vast majority (90%) of social shares of popular articles occur on Facebook. Twitter ranked a distant second (6% of all shares), followed by LinkedIn (2.5%). The study also found that Facebook and LinkedIn have increased in social shares since 2014, while Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest have all dropped in comparison. This report also examines sentiment, average shares per article, and the top publishers on each platform.
Influencer Marketing Survey: According to a July 2016 study from female-focused influencer network SheSpeaks, 32% of U.S. influencers working with brands credit Facebook as being the “best platform for influencer marketing.” This is followed by Instagram at 24%, Twitter at 18%, and Pinterest at 10%. Overall, 96% of respondents said their experience working with brands was either “somewhat positive” or “very positive” and roughly three-quarters of influencers are compensated for their work in both direct payment and products. Some 17% have been compensated with products only and 6% have been compensated with direct payment only. These findings were based on a survey of 347 American influencers who have an active blog and are active on social media.
Pokémon GO Invades Social Media: Socialbakers examined the recent Pokémon GO phenomenon by tracking social media data around Pokémon posting, promotion, and engagement. Socialbakers analyzed more than 20,000 posts across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in July 2016 and discovered that retail companies posted the most Pokémon-related content, with services and ecommerce close behind. Across all brands, Pokémon-related activity on social media peaked in mid-July when most of the world gained access to the game, but it has steadily declined since.
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