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
Reddit Announces New Ad Offering: Reddit introduced Promoted User Posts, a new ad offering that gives marketers the ability to sponsor user-generated posts on Reddit's platform. According to the announcement from Reddit, this new ad offering “will essentially let an advertiser identify an organic post that they find especially relevant to their brand or product and promote that in the Sponsored unit.” In turn, the author of the post will be notified and asked to give their expressed “opt-in approval” before their post can be used as part of a branded initiative. Reddit confirmed that the Promoted User Posts “will go live on Thursday, August 4.” In the meantime, the site is preparing for this update by “speaking with mod teams ahead of time before any user promoted posts go live in their subreddits.”
Tumblr Launches Ads and Announces Monetization Features: Tumblr announced that “later this year,” its users will be able to “start making money from their blogs” with ads. While this “opportunity will be available to any eligible Tumblr,” the site assures users that they will have the option to “turn off on blog advertising in settings if [they are] not comfortable with it.” Tumblr is “still working out the details of the partner program,” so no launch date has been announced yet.
Reddit Ends Affiliate Link Program: As part of its introduction of Promoted User Posts, Reddit announced that its “experiment with affiliate links has ended for the time being.” Reddit has “decided that focusing [its] energies on advertising is more congruent with [its] long-term strategy” and no longer plans to support affiliate links at this time.
Twitter Rolls Out Searchable #Stickers: Twitter has rolled out searchable #Stickers. Each sticker acts as a visual hashtag that can be clicked to see more tweets tagged with the same image. This new feature was announced last month as “a fun, new way to add creativity to your photos and connect them to the world on Twitter” and is now available worldwide.
— Twitter (@twitter) July 28, 2016
Our Take on Top News This Week
In this week's show from Friday, July 29, 2016, Michael Stelzner and guests discuss the top news in social media. Topics include updates from the Facebook Q2 2016 Earnings Report, new features for Facebook Live and Twitter partnerships, and new updates from Twitter . Subscribe to future shows here.
More News to Note
Twitter Adds Night Mode to Android App: Twitter announced that its Android app users can now “tweet in the dark.” Twitter for Android now supports Night Mode, which can be enabled from either the navigation menu icon or your profile icon. From there, users can switch to Night Mode by dragging the slider to turn on or off.
— Twitter (@twitter) July 26, 2016
Facebook Releases 2Q 2016 Earnings Report: Facebook shared its quarterly results for 2Q 2016 and highlighted its “progress to connect the world” with products such as Facebook Live and 360 photos. Facebook boasted a steady growth of 3.63%, adding 60 million monthly users this quarter to reach 1.71 billion worldwide. Facebook-owned products Messenger and Instagram were also recognized for reaching the major milestones of 1 billion and 500 million active monthly users, respectively.
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Twitter Reports 2Q 2016 Earnings: In a letter to shareholders, Twitter reported “continued increases in engagement, and sequential growth in both monthly active and daily active usage,” which it attributes to “marketing initiatives, organic growth and product improvements, including better relevance in both the enhanced timeline and push notifications.” Twitter also shared its plans to focus on refining its core service, live-streaming video, creators and influencers, safety, and developers this year.
Q2 2016 Shareholder Letter Recording https://t.co/156KlVgf3L
— TwitterIR (@TwitterIR) July 26, 2016
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Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following
Facebook Must Explore New Ways to Deliver Ads: Recode reports that “Facebook is about to max out on the number of ads it can show users inside its flagship product, which means it will need to find other ways to grow the company's ad business moving forward.” According to Facebook, it wants to be “thoughtful about making sure each person's overall feed experience has the right balance of organic and ad content,” and in doing so, the platform is looking for “more short-form video content from its partners” and exploring other ad delivery options.
Facebook Tests New Look for Trending Topics and the Messenger Chat Window: The Next Web reports that Facebook is testing a new version of the Trending Topics tab, in which “each topic now only indicates how many people are talking about it.” Previously, each trending topic was accompanied by a brief description, but no mention of how popular it was. The article also notes that Facebook has updated the Messenger chat window found on the main website. The Messenger chat window now looks “a lot more like the messaging app's interface, with a matching color palette and a new set of icons.”
YouTube Tests New Comment UI in Android App: Android Police reports that “some users are seeing a new comment interface on the YouTube Android app.” The new comment management features include “a like and dislike button below each comment, an indicator of how many replies [a video] got and an option to expand to view said replies in a separate page.”
Some Interesting Studies to Note:
2016 Social Media Industry Index: TrackMaven released a comprehensive analysis of the state of social media for businesses. This new report offers a benchmark for social media marketing strategy based on a review of 51 million pieces of social media content from over 40,000 businesses across 130 industries on four key social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Optimizing Audience Buying on Facebook and Instagram: A new white paper from Facebook Marketing Science examines how marketers can measure and leverage the maximum value of their advertising dollars on Facebook and Instagram. The research findings offer insights on how advertisers should plan their brand campaigns across Facebook and Instagram and how to get the most value out of their advertising spend across multiple placements on multiple platforms.
The State of Online Video Report: This new report from Limelight Networks is part of its series of semi-annual surveys exploring consumer perceptions and behaviors around online video. According to these findings, the percentage of consumers who watch 10 or more hours of online video each week has steadily increased from 12% in 2015 to 18% in 2016. Half of those surveyed (51%) watch between one and four hours of online video each week. YouTube remains the dominant platform for viewing online video (45.4%). However, Facebook is the most popular platform for sharing videos with 52% respondents saying it's where they most often share content. YouTube ranks second with 27% using it to share video.
2016 American Customer Satisfaction Index: According to a new report from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, overall consumer satisfaction with social media platforms has dipped this year in comparison to last. The research suggests that the increasing number of ads on social sites is likely the reason for the decline. The study explored multiple points of customer satisfaction including ease of navigation, freshness of content, and overall site performance and found that those surveyed mostly remained satisfied with these aspects of social media. However, consumer satisfaction when it comes to privacy concerns and the amount of advertising decreased by 5 points each, year over year.
Twitter Study 1H 2016: Quintly analyzed 30K Twitter profiles in the first half of 2016 and found that follower growth has dropped by 40% compared to the first half of 2015. While the overall volume of daily tweets remains consistent, interaction rates for accounts with fewer than 10 million followers have increased. According to this report, the biggest increase in interactions was seen on profiles with fewer than 1,000 followers.
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