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
Snapchat Updates Stories and Discover Pages: “The Discover page now features a Pinterest-style mason grid of tiles, while the Stories page now combines the two rows of static Discover channels and Live Stories into one scrollable row of non-friend content.” TechCrunch reports that this recent update makes “professionally made and community-curated content just as attractive as what friends share on the app” and “should make building the channels more lucrative for publishers.”
Twitter Introduces Twitter Insiders: Twitter introduced Twitter Insiders, “a one-stop solution for recruitment, design and collection of live research – and its goal is to make consumer and market research more timely and accessible.” According to Twitter’s company blog, this new program is comprised of “a network of more than 12,000 Twitter users that participate in research studies… [and] act as an anonymous virtual panel from across the US and the UK, inspiring businesses to make a more customer-centric decision.” Twitter gives agencies and brands the option to work directly with Twitter Insiders or “design studies with the help of C Space, a team of consultants who specialize in fostering collaboration between companies and their customers.”
Facebook Rolls Out Video in Comments Worldwide: Facebook announced that “videos in comments are now available worldwide! You can upload them as replies to posts by people and pages, as well as within groups and events. It’s supported on desktop web, iOS and Android.” This feature can be accessed by clicking the camera button in the comment field.
Twitter Makes Embedding Twitter Timelines Easier: In March 2016, Twitter “upgraded the embedded timeline to a modern new design that beautifully showcases Tweets across your desktop and mobile sites.” This past week, Twitter announced that it’s “made it easier than ever to add these rich, responsive Tweet displays directly to your website or CMS.” Rather than needing to create timeline widgets for their accounts, users can customize an embeddable timeline display on Twitter Publish and simply copy and paste the code into their website.
Facebook Rolls Out Support for 360 Photos on the News Feed: “For the first time, you can now easily share 360 photos on Facebook. Simply take a panorama with your phone or capture a 360-degree photo using a 360 photo app or 360 camera, and then post it on Facebook as you would a normal photo. From there, [Facebook will] convert it to an immersive 360 photo that people can explore, similar to how people experience 360 videos on Facebook.” Support for 360 photos is now available worldwide on the web and the latest versions of the Facebook app for iOS and Android.
Our Take on Top News This Week
In this blab from Friday, June 10, 2016, Mike Stelzner and guests discuss the top news in social media. Topics include changes to Facebook’s text rule for ad images (1:58) and updates to Snapchat (17:55). Subscribe to future shows here.
More News to Note
Instagram Adds Easy Share Feature to iOS: Instagram’s latest Version 8.2 update for iOS includes “the ability to post directly to Instagram from Photos or other iOS apps.” The Next Web reports that “users can select an image from Photos (or elsewhere) and use the share menu to post directly, even adding a caption in the process” without having to open the Instagram app.
Foursquare Rolls Out Swarm Challenges: Foursquare’s new Swarm Challenges offer users “the chance to participate in challenges throughout the summer… [and] win some of the world’s coolest experiences, like trips, photography gear, concert tickets, stellar seats at a baseball game and more!” Swarm will send notifications whenever a new challenge is launched. Once the challenge is completed, the user will be automatically entered to win a prize. Swarm Challenges are currently only available in the U.S.
Periscope Lends Support for Community Meetups: Periscope will “start supporting [in-person community meetups] in a meaningful way” and offers “tips, tricks and FAQs” to make planning and joining local events easy. Event organizers can submit their meetups to Periscope through an online form. Periscope will then share the event details on an established events page and tweet about it “to keep more people up to date.”
LinkedIn Introduces Premium Insights: LinkedIn Premium subscribers now have access to Premium Insights, a new feature that provides “unique and timely data about the companies that interest you – their growth as well as hiring trends by function.” According to LinkedIn’s official company blog, these new company insights are currently only available with Business Plus, Sales Navigator, and select Talent Solutions subscriptions.
Twitter Redesigns Twitter for Android: Twitter introduced “a new look and feel for Twitter for Android – a redesigned app that aligns with the best of Android.” The updated Android app makes it easier to move among the different sections of Twitter and features a floating action button “so you can always easily send a Tweet.” This new Twitter for Android experience is rolling out globally.
— Twitter (@twitter) June 7, 2016
Tumblr Adds GIF Button to Messaging: Tumblr rolled out a new GIF button that’s “especially useful for starting conversations, ending conversations and as word alternatives in the middle of conversations.” Simply open a conversation in Tumblr’s messaging feature and click on the GIF button to add an image to your conversation.
Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following
Facebook Relaxes Text Overlay Rule for Ads: According to Facebook’s general advertising policies, “ads may not include more than 20% text in the image … to keep ads as high quality and engaging as possible.” While Facebook is “not changing the policy across the board at this time,” a spokesperson confirms that the site is testing a new solution that will “allow ads with text to run, but [reach and delivery will be] based on the amount of text in an ad’s image.”
Twitter Tests Promoted Tweet Carousel Ads: Twitter announced that it is “beginning to test the Promoted Tweet Carousel, a new ad unit that gives marketers a rich canvas for brand storytelling using their own Tweets or Tweets about their brand by users, who have given permission to the brand.”
Big news! Curate multiple Tweets in a single swipeable ad unit https://t.co/l0WTGVtI4O
— Twitter Advertising (@TwitterAds) June 3, 2016
Facebook Phasing Out Access to Messenger From the Mobile Site: In a move that Facebook claims will give mobile chat users the “best experience possible,” Facebook is prompting people to download the stand-alone Messenger app and warns that “it will be their only option soon.” The Guardian reports that “the dedicated [Messenger] app has features and functions that are not available in the mobile web version, including the ability to send and receive regular SMS messages on some platforms, video and voice calls, as well as Facebook’s floating notification and chat boxes, called Chat Heads.”
Facebook Adds “Hide From Your Timeline” Feature: CNET reports that Facebook is testing a new feature that allows users to post a status update to the news feed without it ever appearing on their timeline. This option is helpful when posting “a quick question for some of your Facebook friends or a spur-of-the-moment status update you’d rather didn’t remain after the fact on your Timeline.” This new feature is currently only available for Facebook on the web, but not on its mobile apps.
Facebook Introduces “Notify a Few Friends About This Post” Feature: “Facebook is running a ‘small test’ of a feature that would allow users to send certain friends notifications about posts they might be interested in.” AdWeek reports that this new feature offers a “more discreet option to alert [certain friends] of your post by sending them a notification” beyond tagging them in your status update or in the comments.
Facebook Runs Payment Tools Trial Within Facebook Pages: TechCrunch reports that “Facebook is expanding its focus on payments with a new trial in Southeast Asia that allows users to pay for products listed on Facebook Pages with just a few clicks.” Facebook is running this limited test in Thailand with Southeast Asia–based fin-tech company 2C2P.
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Some Interesting Studies to Note:
New research: The Value of Influencers on Twitter: Twitter partnered with marketing analytics provider Annalect to examine how influencers on Twitter are driving users’ purchasing decisions. The research shows that users who are exposed to branded tweets experienced a 2.7x lift in purchase intent over participants who did not see an advertiser tweet. When participants were exposed to a campaign that featured both brand and influencer tweets, the lift in purchase intent more than doubled to 5.2x. In terms of product recommendations, 49% of those surveyed say that they rely on the input of influencers. This is second only to recommendations from friends, from whom 56% of those surveyed sought guidance.
Promoted Pins Drive In-Store Sales: Oracle Data Cloud measured in-store sales for 26 promoted pin campaigns across major consumer brands. The research shows that promoted pins drive 5x more incremental in-store sales per impression in comparison to ads elsewhere. Also, those who engage with promoted pins are 12% more likely to buy from that brand. The study also reveals that Pinterest tends to attract high-income consumers who spend 16% more on consumer packaged goods than the national average.
Media Companies’ Facebook Reach Has Fallen 42% This Year: According to a recent study done by SocialFlow, Facebook publishers have seen a 42% drop in reach per post from January to May 2016. The report attributes this sharp decline to a major revision to the Facebook algorithm and suggests there’s little that publishers can do to offset this trend beyond experimenting with different types of content and being aware that algorithm shifts will continue to occur.
Have you checked out the updated Discover and Stories pages on Snapchat? What do you think of Twitter’s new Insiders feature? Please share your comments below.