the social media space is constantly changing, but our monthly updates are here every month to keep you in-the-know!
Let's get started with the social media news you need to know this July 2018...
Instagram's IGTV is going after YouTube
Let's start this month with that new shiny icon that recently popped up on Instagram:
As you may have heard, this icon takes you to Insta's newest feature: IGTV. Also available as a standalone app, IGTV is "a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators."
The Washington Post was quick to point out that this definitely feels like a direct threat to YouTube—at a time when many marketers are "growing increasingly weary of brand reputation across the [YouTube] platform" according to Todd Krizelman of MediaRadar. This could also prove key to Insta's continued success with television viewership declining and video continuing to grow in popularity across social.
Brands should take note of these important aspects of IGTV:
- No ads (yet) - There are currently no ads on IGTV, but (obviously) that's going to play a part before long.
- Users can swipe between multiple areas: including “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching"
- Channels - If you want to create IGTV content, you must create your own "Channel" (see the Help article for instructions)
- Share to FB - If you do wade into IGTV, you'll be able to easily share your IGTV videos to your connected Facebook page
- Commenting - There are opportunities to join existing IGTV conversations by commenting on popular videos. AdWeek has a walkthrough (but there's a subscriber paywall).
More Instagram Updates
@Mention sharing: When someone tags you in their Story with an @mention, you can now share the content to your own story.
New shopping features on IG Stories
There's a new “You’re All Caught Up” message that will show up in your feed if you've scrolled through all the new posts from the past 2 days. (So... How often is that happening?!)
New ways for YouTube creators to cash in
YouTube users can now subscribe to their favorite channels to get exclusive content.
This is part of a push from Google-owned YouTube to create more ways for the most successful YouTubers to "earn more money and build stronger communities." The fixed $4.99 "Channel Membership" fee includes 30% that goes to YouTube. The feature is only available to channels with over 100,000 subscribers.
That's not all. Merchandise can also now be sold right from your channel and videos via a new integration with TeeSpring (only available to channels with over 10k subscribers). YouTube Premieres was also announced. Described by Wired as "YouTube's take on a traditional television premiere," it also includes Super Chat, a feature that allows fans to pay to send prioritized messages to creators (this was previously only available in livestreams).
Facebook rolling out new transparency features for pages & ads
In order to add more transparency to business and advertising practices on Facebook, they've created a space called "Active Ads" where anyone can see the ads you're running. There's also a Page Info section that will include things like recent name changes.
These sections are visible on mobile via a new prominent button on the page, as well as on the page's sidebar on a desktop web browser.
Keep in mind that users can see ads here even if you haven't targeted them. It will also only show one version of the ad. (There's a "more info" window that says "ads that appear across various Facebook products may have different layouts and formats from what you see here.")
More FACEBOOK Updates
"Trending" was removed: The much maligned trending news section of the Facebook feed was removed suddenly in June. The announcement said FB would be focusing on related features, including "Today In," the "Breaking News" label, and "New Videos in Watch."
Facebook Memories: FB announced this new private section of profiles as “a single place on Facebook to reflect on the moments you’ve shared with family and friends, including posts and photos, friends you’ve made, and major life events.” It includes existing features such as "On this Day."
Subscriptions for Group Admins: This built-in feature will allow admins of popular Groups to monetize a subscription to exclusive content directly from Facebook (rather than by using third party apps). Subscription Group members can also manage their subscription directly in the iOS and Android Facebook apps.
New music features on FB and IG
Music in Stories allows IG users to add music stickers to their Story posts. This will also add that track to your post, and you can choose the part of the song that fits your story best.
You can also choose a song before capturing a video:
"When you open the camera, swipe to the new “Music” option under the record button. Search for a song, select the exact part you want, and record a video as the song plays in the background."
Facebook is also rolling out features that let users add music to their Video posts more easily: "we are working to enable people around the world to include music in their videos on Facebook, opening up more options for creativity and sharing memories with friends and family."
Even more interesting, though, is the new Lip Sync Live FB feature:
"To try it out, choose the Lip Sync Live option when starting your Live video. After selecting a song from the song list, you can also add a description and customize your video with masks or a background.
When broadcasting with Lip Sync Live, friends will see the artist and song highlighted on the video and can tap to follow the artist on Facebook."
TBD if it catches on or not!
Introducing Snap Kit for developers
Snap Kit is a new effort by Snapchat to help app developers "build products powered by some of the best parts of Snapchat."
The "Kit" includes 4 parts:
- Creative Kit (integrate stickers, Filters, links, etc.)
- Login Kit (unlock Snapchat features or use Snapchat as a secondary login)
- Bitmoji Kit (use Bitmoji stickers in messaging)
- Story Kit (filter and embed publicly shared Snapchat Stories into apps and services)
Check out kit.snapchat.com to learn more or sign up. There's also a list of all the current integrations available on the News section of the Snap Kit site where you can see how apps like Postmates, Tinder and more have already gotten on board.
Twitter's fake account problem is crazier than we realized
Twitter's campaign against bots and trolls continues!
According to the Washington Post, "Twitter suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July." That includes suspending over 1 million accounts in a single day in some instances.
The rate of suspensions has more than doubled since October, when Twitter admitted to Congress that Russia utilized fake Twitter accounts an attempts to influence the US election.
Here's the biggest take-away from Twitter's "changing calculus" when it comes to account suspensions:
“One of the biggest shifts is in how we think about balancing free expression versus the potential for free expression to chill someone else’s speech. Free expression doesn’t really mean much if people don’t feel safe.” —Del Harvey, Twitter’s vice president for trust and safety
Pinterest one-click saving from Desktop web
Here's another small but meaningful UI change in the Pinterest universe: You can now save a Pin in your desktop feed with fewer clicks!
A drop-down menu of your boards will now appear on any Pin you hover over. In order to make organizing as quick as possible, Pinterest will predict which board you want.
LinkedIn introduces carousel ads
This has been a Facebook Ads feature for quite a while, but LinkedIn is now jumping on the Carousel Ads train.
Learn how to use LinkedIn carousel ads on the LinkedIn Business site.
More Updates to Check Out
New Updates to Snapchat's Ads Manager – Including a “Snap Pixel” and other measurement improvements.
How the Instagram Algorithm Works – It all comes down to three things: Interest, Recency, and Relationship. Read more in the TechCrunch article linked in the heading. (Buffer has a nice writeup, too.)
Commute Time for LinkedIn Jobs – LinkedIn now shows users how far a potential job is from home.
Creative Spotlight: Absolut – Pinterest likes to highlight what brands are doing well on its platform. This is a nice case study with a fun animation!
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