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
YouTube Rolls Out End Screens Feature for All Creators: YouTube launched End Screens, “a new mobile-friendly tool that lets you engage viewers right as your video finishes and encourages them to watch more on their devices.” End screens make it easier to create and showcase “hard-to-miss thumbnail overlays that prompt viewers to watch your other videos, subscribe to your channel, visit collaborators' channels and more” in the last 15-20 seconds of your videos and allow you “to reach more viewers on desktop and mobile.” YouTube announced that the End Screens feature is now “available to every creator on YouTube.”
Facebook Begins to Block Live Broadcasts That Feature Unlicensed Use of Copyrighted Music, Introduces Online Courses for Journalists: Facebook launched its first-ever online training for journalists, “free e-learning courses inspired by conversations with editors and journalists across the globe who asked for a single destination where they can learn about Facebook's products, tools and services for use in their work.” An interesting note in the Facebook Live training reminds the Live broadcaster to “Please make sure your live video complies with Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which applies to all content you upload to or through Facebook. This includes only broadcasting content for which you own and/or control all rights (or have obtained all necessary licenses/permissions to such rights), globally, including rights in any sound recordings or musical compositions included in the video and any performers appearing in it. Make sure to keep the camera on you, and never broadcast the unfolding event, including what is on a stage, field, or any screens.”
Facebook Extends Branded Content Policy to Verified Profiles: In April, Facebook made a change to its branded content policy that allows media companies, publishers, and marketers to share their branded content on the social network. These posts were originally limited to accounts with verified pages, but the policy has been extended to cover verified profiles as well. Facebook recognizes that “public figures with Verified Profiles – including athletes, musicians, bloggers, comedians and more – want ways to monetize their content on Facebook” and hopes that this update provides public figures “an incentive to share more quality content – of all kinds – with their fans” from their individual profiles.
Twitter Shutting Down Vine: Twitter announced that it will discontinue Vine “in the coming months.” This announcement followed Twitter's Q3 2016 Earnings Report, where the company shared other product updates and plans to lay off roughly 9% of its workforce, “as it looks to restructure itself into a company that can continue to run on its own.” Vine assures its users that “nothing is happening to the apps, website or your Vines today.” Until further notice, users can still access and download vines and the website will remain online. Vine promises to provide “more details on [its] blog and [its] Twitter account” and notify users through the app when they “start to change things.”
We have some important news to share about Vine. Read more here: https://t.co/jPveGelXgS
— Vine (@vine) October 27, 2016
Facebook Adds PayPal Payment Option to Messenger: PayPal announced “an extension of [its] relationship with Facebook and Messenger, to help make mobile commerce smarter, simpler and more secure for consumers as well as merchants.” PayPal is rolling out as a payment option within Messenger, among other integrations. According to the PayPal site, this latest integration will provide merchants with “a more direct opportunity to build relationships with the 192 million people around the world with active PayPal accounts” and “help offer a compelling and frictionless commerce experience.” This payment option is only available in the U.S. but is expected to expand globally over time.
Our Take on Top News This Week
In this week's show from Friday, October 28, 2016, Michael Stelzner and guests discuss the top news in social media. Topics include Facebook Live Updates, upcoming changes to Twitter timeline and character limits, and the new End Screens feature on YouTube. Subscribe to future shows here.
More News to Note
Periscope Updates VIP Program Requirements: Periscope updated its requirements to be included in the Periscope VIP Program. Rather than examining “number of followers,” Periscope will instead shift its focus to “average live viewers per broadcast.” According to Periscope, “the live interactions and audiences [broadcasters have] brought together on Periscope are at the heart of what [it does], and [it] will be focusing on those metrics to review applications.” Periscope has updated the requirements on all levels of the VIP Program to reflect this change. However, it continues to maintain that “all levels… still require an average of two broadcasts per week, and all program members' content and behavior must meet [the site's] community guidelines and terms of service.”
Facebook Ranks News Feed in Real Time on Client Side: In an effort to “more efficiently rank and render relevant stories” for users on slower Internet connections and “connect people with the stories that matter most to them,” Facebook is launching “an update to News Feed's client architecture that builds upon that foundation to more efficiently show people stories in feed.” Facebook shared its goals in building this new architecture, how the new ranking system will increase relevance, and its plans to optimize for connectivity on the Facebook code website.
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Twitter Launches Rewarded Video on MoPub Ad Exchange: Twitter's MoPub Mobile Ad Exchange announced the general availability of its rewarded video solution, “which now includes over 70+ demand-side platforms (DSPs) from the MoPub Marketplace, and the ability to directly serve rewarded campaigns through the MoPub ad server.” According to MoPub, “rewarded video, also known as user opt-in video, is quickly changing the perception and experience of in-app advertising for consumers.” Support for rewarded video originally launched over a year ago on MoPub. While this type of video ads has been popular among gaming publishers “for years,” MoPub has seen “a broadening of rewarded video to all verticals, as publishers explore using everything from premium features to exclusive content as ways to incorporate rewarded videos seamlessly into their apps incentives for their users to stay engaged in-app longer.”
Twitter Launches New Developer Documentation and News Resource: Twitter launched “an entirely new version of dev.twitter.com – both the infrastructure and design have been rebuilt from the ground up.” New sections like Products, which “offers an entire breakdown of Twitter Developer Platform products” and Build, which “provides development scenarios and suggested products based on those scenarios” have been added. Also, there's now a Community, where users “can find a local Twitter Developer Community or start your own, keep up to date with our events and visit [Twitter's] developer forums.” According to Twitter, “these improvements will make it easier to find what you need as a developer, and allow [Twitter] to iterate faster on new content and documentation updates.”
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Facebook Lifestage App Rolls Out to Android: Facebook's new teen-focused app, Lifestage, is now available on Android. Facebook initially launched Lifestage as a stand-alone app on iOS in August and targeted it toward high school students. The app is free to download and access is limited to users 21 and under.
Facebook Launches Halloween-themed Reactions and Facebook Live Masks: Facebook introduced “some fun new ways to help you get into the Halloween spirit” with masks in Facebook Live and Halloween reactions. Facebook is rolling out a number of “festive masks for Halloween” but a selection of masks will continue to be available beyond Halloween and can be used on your Live videos anytime. According to the Facebook Newsroom site, “masks will be rolling out over the next few days for people using Facebook Live on iOS in the US, UK and New Zealand.” They will be available to people sharing live video via Android devices and in more countries “in the coming months.” Facebook is also launching limited-edition Halloween-themed reactions in a select set of countries in the days leading up to and through Halloween.
Upcoming Social Media News Worth Following
Pinterest Tests New Collection of Promoted Pins: Pinterest announced it's “developing a collection of Promoted Pins designed to bring every kind of idea to life.” The latest updates include promoted app pins, “which help people on Pinterest discover and then download iOS apps directly from the Pin,” and one-tap promoted pins, which “take people straight to the source where the content originated from” with just one tap. Pinterest notes that one-tap promoted pins are still being tested, but are already showing “impressive results” for businesses like Wayfair.com, Fossil, Topshop, Ted Baker, and others who've partnered with Pinterest on this new feature.
Facebook Develops Real-time Filters for Live Video: VentureBeat reports that “Facebook is working on new camera technology that overlays famous artists' styles onto your live videos.” The article explains that Facebook is looking to deploy “live filters for in-the-moment experiences,” rather than those that can be applied after the video has been recorded. The Prisma app, which “transforms your photos and videos into works of art using the styles of famous artists: Van Gogh, Picasso, Levitan, as well as world famous ornaments and patterns,” offers a demonstration of how its art filters would work in real time on Facebook Live video.
Facebook Tests New Augmented Reality Camera Feature: In addition to reactive camera filters themed around fine art, Facebook is embracing “the next era of augmented reality visual communication pioneered by Snapchat” with new features such as “Snapchat-style animated selfie masks, overlaid graphics and geofilters.” Facebook is currently testing these new camera features in Ireland and plans to “test more variations of these before rolling this out globally.”
Twitter Explores Personalized Timelines Based on Interests or Events: TechCrunch reports that Twitter is “working on ways of making the Timeline, (currently) the heart of Twitter, into a more personal experience” by testing timelines based on users' unique interests like sports teams or political affiliations or built around a specific moment or occasion.
Twitter plans to get up close and personal, surfacing content for your special interests https://t.co/zT4Gf0M57H
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) October 28, 2016
Twitter Excludes User Names From Character Counts: In May, Twitter announced plans to simplify what counts toward the 140 characters. The platform has already implemented the ability to retweet yourself and stop counting GIFs, photos, videos, and more towards the character limit. A Twitter spokesperson confirms that “a subset of users” is currently testing another proposed change to also exclude user names from character counts. Twitter is expected to roll out this next update to all users, although it hasn't confirmed when that will be.
Instagram Tests Live Video in Stories: The Next Web reports that “Instagram is testing live video in its ‘Stories' feature… [that] allows users to post images and video as part of a story, which then disappears after 24 hours.” Instagram is currently testing this new feature among Russian users but has not confirmed any plans to expand it any further.
Facebook Will Add MasterCard Chatbot to Messenger: TechCrunch reports that “MasterCard account holders will soon be able to check on their accounts, track their spending, review past purchases and more right in Facebook Messenger.” This new automated chat feature is currently pilot testing, but the company says it will roll out to all of Facebook Messenger “starting early next year, in the U.S. first.”
Twitter Plans to Integrate Timelines on Apple TV: The Next Web reports that Twitter reactions to live video are coming to Apple TV. Users will be able to “view their Twitter timelines, as well as reactions to live sports and news broadcasts all on one screen” in real time and “send select tweets to [an] iPhone to join the conversation.”
Some Interesting Studies to Note:
How to Build a Better Blog Than Your Competitors: 2017 Blogging Report: TrackMaven analyzed more than 65,000 blog posts published on company websites from September 2015 to August 2016 and identified key trends in blogging output and impact, opportunities for optimizing blog schedules, and best practices to increase blog shareability. According to the findings, the average number of blog posts published per brand per month has increased by 800%. However, the average number of social shares per post (from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest) has decreased by 89% over the same time period. The study suggests that blog post length and readability according to the Flesch score also impact social shares per post.
Facebook Brand Study H1 2016: A new study from Quintly analyzed how 30 big global brands use Facebook to communicate with fans and their development in likes, posts, user interaction, and other key performance indicators. The researchers examined the number of daily posts, interactions with fans, and types of content (photo or video) over the first half of 2016. The results show that Facebook is still a vital platform for brand marketing, and in spite of the saturation of profiles in the space, there's still room for future fan growth.
The Year of the Supershopper: Using research data from multiple consumer, mobile, and shopping studies conducted over the past year, Google highlights that “shoppers around the world are more informed and more efficient than ever before” and offers key insights for brands that are “trying to win [shoppers] over this holiday season.” Google also offers tips and tactics for reaching shoppers through mobile, search, and digital ads.
Have you tried adding an end screen to your YouTube videos? What do you think of Facebook blocking live video? Please share your comments below.
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