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
Twitter Expands and Improves Creator Revenue Program for Video: Twitter now offers individual creators of all sizes “the ability to monetize content in multiple ways and generate revenue at scale” through the Amplify Publisher program. “Approved creators in the U.S.” can run pre-roll ads with content they have uploaded to Twitter and share in a portion of the ad revenue generated. According to the Twitter Media Blog, this new program offers the flexibility to “opt-in videos Tweet-by-Tweet or pre-set monetization for all of their videos,” as well as a non-exclusivity clause allowing creators to monetize their content on Twitter and other platforms such as YouTube.
— Twitter Video (@video) August 30, 2016
Facebook Improves Facebook Offers for Mobile: Facebook announced that it has “reimagined and redesigned Facebook Offers for a new, streamlined mobile experience.” According to the Facebook Business blog, “now advertisers can share discounts and promotions where people spend most of their time – on mobile and on Facebook.” With the revamped platform, an advertiser “can decide how long their Offers run, who sees them, where they redeem them and more.” Facebook has “also made it easier for people to claim and keep track of their claimed Offers through Facebook, and redeem them across devices or in-store.”
Snapchat Releases Customizable Templates for On-demand Geofilters: “Snapchat is making it easier for anyone to create on-demand geofilters through the launch of templates you can customize right through the company's website,” which is “quick and more ‘do-it-yourself'… [and] eliminates the need to use image editing software such as Photoshop to create a geofilter around events.” According to a report on VentureBeat, “users simply choose their theme, select the design, customize the text and colors and that's it.”
Facebook Analytics for Apps Adds Push Notifications and Deeper Insights: Facebook completely redesigned its Facebook Analytics for Apps product with a “new user interface and significantly improved performance” and “new features to help you understand and engage your audience, including people insights, push notifications (beta) and more.”
Pinterest Introduces Engagement Retargeting and a New Pinterest Tag for Websites: Pinterest introduced a way to “uncover a new audience” based on engagements on Pinterest and expanded the ability to create audiences from your website with the new Pinterest tag. With engagement retargeting, marketers on Pinterest can “effectively target people who have shown interest in [their] brand by interacting with [their] Pins in a variety of ways.” In an example given on the Pinterest for Business blog, a user who pinned your after-school snack ideas can be retargeted in the future “with birthday party treats.” Likewise, people who are “engaging with your brand on your own website” can be tracked with the new Pinterest tag and reached “in more creative and effective ways” on Pinterest.
Our Take on Top News This Week
In this week's show from Friday, September 3, 2016, Michael Stelzner and guests discuss the top news in social media. Topics include the new recommended Stories on Instagram and pre-roll ads for videos and the roll out of Media Studio on Twitter. Subscribe to future shows here.
More News to Note
Twitter Rolls Out Media Studio for Desktop and Adds Earnings Section to Engage Mobile App: In addition to rolling out a new ad revenue-sharing model for video creators, Twitter also announced “new tools that will bring video creators around the world the ability to upload, manage and publish media more efficiently and effectively than ever before” on both desktop (via the new Media Studio) and mobile (via the Twitter Engage app). Media Studio, which replaced video.twitter.com, offers a new unified media library for videos, GIFs, and images; new scheduling and planning tools; and improved stability and upload performance. The Twitter Engage mobile app now features an Earnings section where creators can “easily track their earnings for not only Twitter but Niche programs as well.”
Instagram Tests Stories Recommendations on Explore Tab: Instagram has started “showing some users a bar of Stories from accounts you could follow” on top of the Explore tab. TechCrunch reports that the recommended Instagram Stories will be “based on who you follow and the topics you care about” and “will make it easy to add someone new to your Home Feed's Stories section.” This new feature is currently only available to select users, but Instagram will be rolling it out to everyone soon.
Snapchat Features Sponsored Interactive Video Game on Discover Channel: Snapchat introduced a new sponsored interactive game on ESPN's Discover channel called Serena Match Point. According to TechCrunch, this project highlights “Snapchat's efforts to distinguish itself as a marketing vector for brands, as well as its potential to expand beyond its media sharing origins with add-on apps and features that could end up with it resembling a more multi-faceted platform.” While the multi-level game is fairly simple in its graphics and mechanics, “it's a demonstration of something [Snapchat] can offer that isn't necessarily available in other social vectors – a different, more engaging kind of interaction model integrated right into the stream of multimedia content brands are delivering using things like Stories and Discover.”
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Google Redesigns Google Merchant Center: The updated version of the Google Merchant Center “offers the same functionality you're used to, with more streamlined navigation and easier access to additional Shopping programs.” These changes include “a fast, responsive new interface, aligned with the modern look and feel of the rest of Google's products” and “bundling common tasks and actions” within the Merchant Center navigation. The new Merchant Center also explores and displays “new ways to apply your data to promote and sell your products… including Local Inventory Ads, Merchant Promotions, Product Ratings and more, while continuing to manage and configure your product data for Shopping ads.”
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Google Analytics Rolls Out Workspaces for Enterprise-level Tag Management: Google Analytics introduced Workspaces in Google Tag Manager and Tag Manager 360 to “better address the needs of enterprise customers.” Prior to this update, “all tag changes were prepared in a single container draft before being versioned and published” and this “sometimes led to complicated workflows and workarounds for multi-user teams and their agencies.” The new Workspaces feature for tag management allows teammates to “easily work on tags at the same time, or make quick changes without publishing everything that's in the works.” Users can simply create a new workspace, make changes, and publish, and any “tags, triggers, and variables being worked on in other workspaces will remain unaffected.”
YouTube Unveils New Election-themed Sets in LA and New York: YouTube unveiled “new elections-themed sets at YouTube Space LA and YouTube Space New York that are now open for productions.” Creators with access to YouTube Space LA “can shoot on a 360-degree Oval Office set or [the] multi-purpose set which includes a News Desk, Press Briefing Room or Polling Station.” In New York, approved creators have access to a “fully outfitted Oval Office set or your choice of a White House Press Room and Debate Stage.” YouTube also announced that “specialized writing workshops at both YouTube Spaces are also already underway for creators to get tips on effective storytelling for politically themed content.”
Facebook Introduces Instant Video to Messenger: Facebook launched Instant Video on Messenger, which promises to “bring your conversations to life in the most authentic way – seamlessly and instantly.” This new feature is available with the latest version of the Messenger app on both iOS and Android and allows users to share video in real time and share a video back.
Instagram Adds Pinch-to-Zoom Support on iOS App: Instagram added pinch-to-zoom support in its iOS app. Users can now “pinch to zoom on photos and videos in feed, on profiles and on Explore.” This new feature is currently only available for the iOS app and will be added to Android “in the coming weeks.”
Starting today, you can pinch to zoom on photos and videos in feed, on profiles and on Explore. Dive into an adorable puppy's smile or into every detail of your friend's new shirt. Over the past six months, you've seen many exciting changes come to Instagram, from a new icon to longer videos and even a new way to share everyday moments with Instagram Stories. And as things change, we're still focused on improving the core parts of Instagram. Zoom is available today for Instagram on iOS. Zoom will be available on Android in the coming weeks.
Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following
Facebook Plans to Improve Mobile Site Performance: In a post on the Facebook for Business blog, Facebook announced that it will begin pre-fetching or “pre-loading [advertisers'] mobile content in the Facebook in-app browser before a link is tapped” in order to “shorten mobile site load time by 29% or 8.5 seconds, improving the experience and decreasing the risk of site abandonment.” Facebook also announced that it will be “working to improve ad experiences for people by considering website performance and a person's network connection in [its] ad auction and delivery system” over the coming months.
Twitter Adds New Ways to Monetize Live Content on Twitter and Periscope: Twitter introduced “a new way for brands to join and add to the Twitter conversation using live video broadcasts and highlights from Periscope.” For this year's U.S. Open, Twitter will partner with two major brands “to create a series of broadcasts that will add compelling, relevant live video to the existing #USOpen conversation on Twitter” as it is unfolding live. This campaign showcases how promoted tweets and broadcast highlight videos can be leveraged by other brand partners in the future.
Some Interesting Studies to Note:
Q2 2016 Ad Intelligence Digest: Sensor Tower released its latest quarterly report on ad intelligence with a special section on the state of Instagram advertising. The report identifies the top advertisers, examines creative trends, and provides insights from five of the top mobile ad networks including Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Google, and Tumblr. According to the findings, the average length of video ads has grown by 67% since January 2016, from 15 seconds to 25 seconds. The number of video ads served has also increased since the beginning of the year. One in four ads on Instagram in Q2 were videos, a 23% increase since January 2016.
The State of B2B Marketing Data Management: Openprise and Ascend2 surveyed 183 B2B marketers from 101 organizations on their goals and challenges with marketing data management. The research focuses on data analysis, cleansing, enhancement, and unification of information. According to this new report, 72% of those surveyed say improving ROI measurability is a top goal of their marketing data management strategy. Other important goals include improving data quality (65%), increasing data use/accessibility (63%), and improving database integration (29%). B2B marketers cite poor use or accessibility (54%), poor data quality (44%), a lack of ROI measurability (40%), and poor database integration (37%) as their top data management challenges.
Are Instagram Stories Killing Engagement on Traditional Posts?: Iconosquare released a study exploring the effect of Instagram Stories on the overall engagement level on the platform. The findings suggest that Instagram engagement, which is currently reported to be 58 times higher than engagement on its parent network Facebook, has dropped by 15% since the introduction of Stories, from 1.11% to 0.94%. Nearly a quarter of Instagram users surveyed are turning their attention away from the main feed to focus on Stories.
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