While the Newsfeed change was huge, there's been a LOT more going on. Check it all out below, and if you like what you see, subscribe to the DM newsletter to get these updates delivered to you each month.
Here are the updates that will matter most this February...
Another Zuck Update: Facebook to Favor Local News
A recent post from Mark's Facebook Page focused on an algorithm change that's going to show users more local updates, including publishers and stories from the surrounding community.
Here's the post:
Time will tell what the broader implications of this will be for brands, but we're thinking this will have a positive impact on smaller businesses who get mentioned much more frequently in local news stories (as compared to national publications). So local PR efforts should see a boost in overall results as this continues to roll out in the US.
LinkedIn Insight Tag Creates New Website Analytics Opportunity
By installing a small piece of code called the Insight Tag, you can now start to paint a picture of the professional traits of your website visitors. (And, of course, you can then use this information in your LinkedIn ad campaigns.)
To test this out, just log into the LinkedIn Campaign Manager (you'll need to create a free Ads account) and go to the Website Demographics tab. After setting up an Insights tag, you'll have access to a dashboard showing you information about your website visitors, such as job title, industry, company size and more. You can then setup custom tracking options that will help you understand your funnel, create retargeting ads and more. Pretty cool, huh?
Chronicling Logan Paul's Big YouTube Oops (and his brother Jake's questionable social media school)
ICYMI, the Vine-star-turned-movie-star-influencer-celebrity Logan Paul (from Ohio, btw) caught a lot of heat after showing a dead body in Japan's "suicide forrest" on his YouTube channel in early January. His "joking and laughter" reaction led some to reflect on the "toxic YouTube prank culture" that led to this. A lot of people also took note of YouTube's slow response to the controversy.
So I hear, Logan Paul got to number 10 on the trending page before HE took it down NOT YOUTUBE. What kind of system craps all over smaller channels for “potential disturbing content” yet Logan Paul puts “WE FOUND A DEAD BODY” in the title with a man hanging in the thumbnail? Smh— Baz (@justbazzzz) January 2, 2018
The original video was deleted, and YouTube has since punished Paul by cutting ties, etc. The platform has also opted to add more actual humans into their review process rather than relying on machine algorithms to flag questionable content. (If this makes you remember Facebook's trending news dilemma, you wouldn't be the only one.)
Logan's brother Jake, a fellow Vine sensation, also caught his share of criticism for his new "influencer school" called Edfluence. The Verge has a scathing piece that basically calls the whole thing a scam.
Suffice it to say, it was a tough few weeks for the Pauls. (However, Logan is already beginning his comeback. His Twitter feed is a really interesting study in how celebs try to come back to life after a controversy, although some commentators are not quite buying it.)
For social media marketers, this is a good story to be aware of since it is already causing changes to the way platforms like YouTube operate. It's also a healthy reminder to be sure to vet your influencers and make sure you've got your values aligned before tying yourselves together.
Speaking of comebacks...
Big Changes Coming to LinkedIn Groups
Matthew recently shared some news in a LinkedIn post about these changes coming to the Groups feature:
- The standalone Groups app will stop working on Feb. 18 (no one really seems to care)
- Groups will be more integrated into homepage feed and notifications
- Group conversations will now have capabilities like video posts, @-mentions, and comment replies
Those of us who qualify as heavy LinkedIn users have often complained about the problems with LI Groups, such as all the junk/spam that gets posted, the annoying update emails you had to opt out of, etc. However, many of us have also received valuable tips and networking opportunities from some popular groups (H/T #CincySM). So this is a welcome announcement. Hopefully, we will see Groups become a more useful tool and see our favorite groups become more active, dynamic communities.
A Lot of Stories Updates – But Snapchat's is the Coolest
The Story wars continue. Here are some of the updates we've noticed recently:
- Instagram GIF support = basically moving stickers and shimmering stars
- Instagram Type Mode = fun new styles for your text overlays
- Instagram Carousel Ads = 3 pieces of media per ad, rather than just 1 (if AdWeek's interviewees are correct, this will be much more impactful than it initially sounds)
- WhatsApp Stories can now be shared directly into Instagram = Yeah, even WhatsApp has Stories now, and Facebook wants users to more easily transition between all of these apps they own
- Facebook testing a desktop-upload feature for Stories = If the test rolls out to everyone, we'll be able to post to Stories from our laptops, and users will be able to view them from the desktop Newsfeed, too.
Whew! Okay, well while all of those updates are from Facebook's different apps (FB, IG, WhatsApp), the most interesting comes from the original Story creator, Snapchat, who according to Wired will now be letting users share stories outside the app. For now this only applies to publisher content, but this appears to be a new approach from Snapchat, which has mostly kept all of its engagement options within the app up to this point. This is a signal that Snap wants your content to live longer, go more places, and attract a larger audience to the Snapchat experience.
Oh, and Snapchat also posted an announcement about Bitmoji Deluxe, which will let users add more customizations to their avatars on Snapchat, including an intriguing feature that lets you snap a selfie to "inspire your Bitmoji creation." TBD how many people notice and take advantage.
More Updates You Might Want to Check Out
Facebook shutters its "M" personal assistant – The Messenger-based AI tool was only ever available to a select few thousand in California. Casey Newton at The Verge tsaid, "It felt like an amazing resource to have at my disposal, and yet in practice I almost never knew what to do with it."
Health Experts Want "Messenger Kids" Shut Down, Too – The ads-free app is aimed at 6-12 year olds. Nearly 100 child health advocates are concerned it will contribute to issues like depression, poor sleep habits, and body image issues.
Pinterest’s “3 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018” – This is a short CES recap post, including cool thoughts on visual search and possibly some insights into Pinterest’s big goals for the year if you read this as a “this is why Pinterest is awesome, guys”-type post.
A Pyramid Scheme on Snapchat is Targeting Teens – Utilizing SnapCash, the meme asks you to signup so you can take a slice of the fees from everyone who signs up after you.
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