Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media.
On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore we explore YouTube monetization and partnership changes with Steve Dotto, Instagram Stories updates with Jeff Sieh, 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.
YouTube Announces Tougher Policies Around Monetization and Partnerships: In light of offensive content, scandals, and community issues involving YouTube this past year, the platform announced a “new approach” to monetization and partnerships in an effort to regain advertisers’ and creators’ trust. These updates include a higher threshold for joining the YouTube Partner Program beginning February 20, 2018. YouTube will also roll out a new manual review process for Google Preferred channels and “a three-tier suitability system that allows advertisers to reflect their view of appropriate placements for their brand while understanding potential reach trade-offs.” (2:50)
YouTube Expands Official Artist Channels to Include All Subscribers: Last year, YouTube launched official artist channels to make it easier for fans to find official videos, live performances, albums, and more from their favorite artists under one channel. This week, YouTube is “simplifying things even more” by bringing together all of an artist’s subscribers under their official artist channel. As YouTube explains, all subscribers to an unofficial artist channel will soon be subscribed to the official artist channel and their subscriptions to any unofficial artist channels will become inactive. YouTube is expanding the rollout of the new official artist channels to artists on the platform “over the coming weeks.” (11:49)
Instagram Introduces GIF Stickers and Ability to Upload Photos and Videos of Any Size to Stories: Instagram announced that users can now “add fun, expressive GIF stickers to any photo or video” in their story. There are now “hundreds of thousands of moving stickers powered by GIPHY” to select from when you add a sticker to Instagram stories. This feature will also highlight what’s currently trending on GIPHY and is available for iOS and Android as part of Instagram version 29. (17:35)
Instagram also announced that in the “coming weeks,” users will be able to upload photos and videos of any size to their Instagram stories. According to Instagram, photos and videos can now be shown as a square, portrait, or landscape and any extra room will be filled with a custom color gradient that matches the content that has been shared.
Instagram Tests Recording and Screenshot Alert Feature for Stories: Instagram is reportedly testing a new feature that notifies users when another user has taken a screenshot or a screen recording of their Instagram stories. WABetaInfo reports that this new feature is only being tested internally, but it has been spotted by select users. Instagram hasn’t confirmed any plans to roll out this feature more broadly at this time. (24:46)
— Mashable (@mashable) January 24, 2018
Facebook Announces Upcoming Changes to Messenger: Facebook shared its 2018 plans for Messenger, which include “massively simplifying and streamlining Messenger.” According to the company announcement, this entails shaping the platform to become “a true Customer Care channel” and driving richer messaging experiences for all types of businesses and brands. Facebook will also continue to encourage more real-time communication, roll out more features and tools, and invest in more visual features on Messenger this year.
Facebook’s head of Messenger says it got too cluttered and will get streamlined this year. Here’s my interpretation of what its 6 vague “trends” for 2018 will actually mean for users https://t.co/APIgkSMK6s
— Josh Constine (@JoshConstine) January 16, 2018
Facebook Tests New Stories Features for the Desktop: Facebook is testing the option to create and share stories from Facebook on the desktop, as well as moving them to a much more prominent placement at the top of the news feed instead of in the sidebar. Previously, Facebook users on the web could only consume stories that had to be created on mobile. Facebook is hoping to attract more monologue-style vloggers who are accustomed to talking into their computer and are set up to produce content with a webcam. TechCrunch reports that only “a small percentage of users will see this new posting ability and design” but details of a further rollout haven’t yet been determined.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) January 18, 2018
WhatsApp Officially Launches WhatsApp Business App in Select Markets: WhatsApp rolled out WhatsApp Business, a new app that “will make it easier for companies to connect with customers and more convenient for [its] 1.3 billion users to chat with businesses that matter to them.” The app is currently only available for Android devices in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK, and the U.S. but is rolling out more broadly around the world “in the coming weeks.”
Twitter Uses Machine Learning to Crop Photo Previews: Twitter rolled out a new tool powered by machine learning that crops thumbnails within tweets to feature the more interesting parts of the images. Twitter initially began using facial recognition to crop images to faces but found this method doesn’t work with photos of scenery, objects, text, and animals. Their solution is “cropping using saliency,” which means identifying the most interesting thing in a picture based on eye-tracking studies and other research. This update is currently being rolled out to everyone on twitter.com, iOS, and Android.
We have developed a new ML model to improve smart auto-cropping of images on Twitter. Learn more: https://t.co/3FMxCqt4r8
— Twitter Engineering (@TwitterEng) January 24, 2018
Facebook “Quiet Mode” Feature for Videos Rolls Out to Mobile: Last month, Facebook added a Quiet Mode button that allows videos to continue playing without the disruption of the comments and reactions to the video on the desktop. It appears that this button has now been expanded to the mobile app. This mobile update was spotted by Matt Navarra.
NEW: Facebook’s ‘Quiet mode’ feature for videos is now available on mobile**
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) January 20, 2018
Facebook Launches a New List Post Feature: It appears that Facebook introduced a new post feature called List that allows users to create a numbered list with a title. Facebook also offers suggestions on types of lists to create such as “My goals for 2018” and “My lifetime bucket list.” This update was discovered by Jane Manchun Wong.
Facebook Business Manager Rolls Out a New Test and Learn Tool: Under the Measure and Report section of Facebook’s Business Manager, there’s a new Test and Learn tool that allows admins “to easily create advertising tests that help [them] find the strategies that work best for [their] business.” This tool was highlighted by Matt Navarra.
Facebook Now Asks Your Goals When Boosting Posts: Facebook now asks what marketers’ goals are when they boost a post. They can select from two options, either “get likes, comments, and shares” or “engage and chat with potential customers.” Facebook will automatically show the posts to people who are most likely to engage with it. This new option was discovered by Roslyn Ryan, a member of Social Media Marketing Society.
Facebook Rolls Out Two New Ads Manager Reporting Options: Facebook rolled out two new reporting features for Ads Manager. These include Date Comparison, which compares results from two different date ranges in the Ads Manager table, and the ability to see creative performance across all of your ad sets at once with Creative Reporting. These two new reporting options were discovered by Matt Navarra.
Facebook Starts Training Consumers on News Feed Changes: This past week, Facebook users were greeted with a card at the top of the news feed notifying them Facebook is “making some updates so you see more from [friends and family]” and a link to a Help Center page that explains “what kinds of posts [they] will see in News Feed.” The post notes that the content users are seeing first in their news feed is influenced by their connections and activity on Facebook. It also notes that the number of comments, likes, and reactions on a post influences how high it will appear in the news feed.
LinkedIn Starts Rolling Out Changes to Groups: Last week, LinkedIn announced plans to reintegrate LinkedIn Groups back into the core LinkedIn experience and sunset its stand-alone iOS app for Groups as of February 15, 2018. In a follow-up email, LinkedIn notified group admins and moderators that they’ll start real-time alerts for social activities on group posts including likes, comments, and @mentions, and for membership activities like group invitations within the Notifications tab on the LinkedIn website and mobile apps.
Snapchat Adds Ability to Share Select Stories Beyond the App: Snapchat added the ability to share three types of Stories with other people who don’t have the app. These include Official Stories from verified accounts; Our Stories, which are hand-curated stories from specific events; and Search Stories, which are public, user-generated stories that are found by searching keywords and they can now be viewed through a new web player on Snapchat.com.
The Next Web reports that this new feature is currently only available to Snapchat users with access to the new, redesigned Snapchat app. The company says it intends to roll out the redesign to more users “over the following few weeks.”
Snapchat adds ability to share (certain) Stories with people who don’t use Snapchat https://t.co/Ji7xj21PYu
— TNW Apps (@TNWapps) January 23, 2018
Snapchat Courts Publishers in Response to Facebook News Feed Changes: Snapchat is reportedly placing more emphasis on courting and growing its relationships with publishers after Facebook’s most recent news feed updates. Digiday and Business Insider both confirm that Snapchat added a new role within the company that oversees day-to-day work with Discover publishers and announced a first-time publisher summit to help them be successful on the platform.
Publishers still reeling from the Facebook news feed-pocalypse might find comfort in Snapchat. The disappearing messages app is stepping up efforts to curry favor with publishers. https://t.co/ukzeFP9Qfn
— Digiday (@Digiday) January 19, 2018