Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – just in case you missed them…

social media

#1 Twitter changes logged-out users’ home pages to give timeline of top tweets
By Marketing Land:

  • Twitter’s logged-out home page has been updated on mobile and desktop, giving not-logged-in users a glimpse of what’s new in their countries
  • This home-based timeline will be rolled out to 23 countries to make the logged-out experience more interactive and personalised, giving localised news and time-sensitive content
  • The move comes as Twitter’s new CEO, Jack Dorsey, experiments with the platform to drive its revenue and growth, particularly in terms of monthly active users (MAU) – a figure which has remained stubbornly low

#2 Facebook Pages can now reply to comments privately
By Social Media Examiner:

  • Facebook has updated its Pages/Graph API to allow a Page to reply to a comment on a post with a private message – further improving its customer service abilities
  • When a Page responds to a comment left on a post with a private message, a direct messaging session will be opened between the Page and the person who commented, and the message will include a link to the comment for reference
  • The comment also shows a note that the Page responded privately, so other Page visitors know that the request was handled

#3 Instagram expands video ads to 60 seconds
By TechCrunch:

  • Instagram began running its first 60-second video ads on 3rd February, starting with ads from T-Mobile and Warner Brothers
  • Until now, the maximum length for video ads was 30 seconds, already double the 15-second videos users can post
  • Longer ad formats are designed to ease the transition from TV to social advertising for big companies, so that they will increasingly spend their advertising budgets on new media without having to invest in creating ads in new formats

#4 Facebook tweaks its News Feed algorithm – again
By Mashable:

  • Facebook is updating the News Feed based on feedback from user surveys – the changes will affect which updates will appear at the top of your feed
  • In Facebook’s words: “News Feed will begin to look at both the probability that you would want to see the story at the top of your feed and the probability that you will like, comment on, click or share a story. We will rank stories higher in feed which we think people might take action on, and which people might want to see near the top of their News Feed.”
  • Some pages could see declines in referral traffic from Facebook as a result of the changes. Facebook software engineers have warned page owners to avoid asking users to take specific actions in posts (e.g. clicking, sharing) to avoid negative changes to referral traffic

#5 Rumours abound that Twitter may launch algorithm-driven timelines in the next week
By BuzzFeed:

  • Twitter may be planning to introduce timelines driven by algorithms in the very near future – but users aren’t happy at all, with #RIPTwitter trending as a result
  • The timeline will reorder tweets based on what Twitter’s algorithm thinks people most want to see, a departure from the current feed’s reverse chronological order
  • It’s not yet clear whether the timeline will roll-out for all users or will be opt-in, but Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stepped in to reassure users that the company is “always listening” and that “Twitter is live. Twitter is real-time. Twitter is about who and what you follow. And Twitter is here to stay! By becoming more Twitter-y.”

#6 Facebook celebrates turning 12 with “Friends Day” videos
By TechCrunch:

  • Facebook has sent all 1.59 billion of its users a Friends Day video card featuring photos of them and their friends
  • The platform’s enormous growth in users means that the average two users are now just 3.57 degrees of separation away from each other
  • Facebook turned 12 on 4th February – and marked the occasion by obliterating its Q4 2015 revenue forecast with a whopping $5.841 billion in revenue, up 51% from Q4 2014

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook – just in case you missed them…

Weekly social scoop
#1 Snapchat leak hints at new audio and video calls as it bolsters its messaging clout
By The Drum:

  • Snapchat appears to be chasing users of Facebook Messenger as screenshots of a slew of new features leaked last week
  • Among the new features is an update to the Snapchat video chat, named ‘ChatV2’, bringing it closer to the likes of Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts offering, likely no longer requiring both users to hold down on their screens simultaneously to link up
  • The app could add more users to its primarily youthful 100m daily users with the rollout of the bolstered UI, which will have a dedicated button for features such as audio and video calling, stickers and photo-sending

#2 Facebook to update ‘like’ button with emoji ‘Reactions’ in a few weeks
By The Drum:

  • Facebook’s hallmark ‘like’ button is to be extended with a ‘Reactions’ product that will allow users to respond to posts via emojis.
  • The new feature is a natural extension of the popular emoji add-ons Facebook already offers within its messaging app
  • The clickable responses will also provide Facebook’s developers with more data, which can be used to tailor content to users; something marketers will find useful
  • Reactions has been tested in Spain, Ireland and Chile among other countries and will roll out globally in “the next few weeks”

#3 Twitter tests (almost) ad-free experience for VIP users
By The Drum:

  • Twitter has dramatically reduced the number of ads it serves to its “most prominent and active users”, according to sources
  • In a bid to get some of its VIP users to stay engaged with the service, the platform is creating an almost ad-free timeline
  • The social network has apparently been testing the feature since September

#4 Jack Dorsey confirms four more Twitter executives to leave company
By The Guardian:

  • Dorsey confirmed that senior vice-president of engineeringAlex Roetter, vice-president of global media Katie Jacobs Stanton, HR vice-president Skip Schipper and senior vice-president of product Kevin Weil are all leaving the embattled social media firm
  • Weil is already reported to have scored a job running product for Instagram
  • Twitter is under increasing pressure from shareholders to increase revenues and become more aggressive against competitors including Facebook and younger rivals such as Snapchat
  • Chief technology officer Adam Messinger will be heading up engineering, consumer product, design and research, user services andTwitter mobile development platform Fabric

#5 Facebook takes on Periscope by giving live streaming to all U.S. iPhoners
By Social Times:

  • When users go to share a status update, they’ll see the Live button beside ones for photos, stickers and locations
  • Facebook started with just big celebrities, then opened Live to journalists and public figures through its Mentions app, then brought on Verified Pages, and now is finally equipping all U.S. iPhone users
  • Facebook’s filtered feed might be worse for real-time breaking news streams and the re-sharing isn’t a big thing there. But if a stream gets lots of viewers and feedback, Facebook can automatically push it higher in the feed so it’s more visible

#6 Facebook to axe Parse after struggling to compete with Amazon and Microsoft
By The Drum:

  • Facebook is shutting down Parse, its tool for helping developers build mobile apps, as it steps away from the intensely competitive cloud computing space to focus its attention elsewhere
  • Parse will gradually shut down until it finally turns off completely on 28 January 2017
  • Facebook had high hopes for the service, which it purchased in 2013 for around $85m, however it struggled to compete with the might of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, who have grown exponentially in recent years and continue to lower their prices


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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Whatsapp, Yik Yak, Twitter and Facebook – just in case you missed them…

social media
#1 WhatsApp drops subscription fees
By TechCrunch:

  • WhatsApp is dropping its £0.69 / $0.99 annual subscription fee, and will test more commercial services – specifically a B2C business for companies to communicate with their customers rather than ads
  • Companies such as Bank of America and American Airlines were named by WhatsApp’s CEO, Jan Koum, as the types of companies that would work with WhatsApp – addressing possible fraudulent transactions and sending boarding details respectively
  • WhatsApp is now approaching one billion users worldwide

#2 Facebook introduces tools to make the news feed more relevant again with organic audience optimisation
By Marketing Land:

  • Facebook is helping publishers improve their organic reach and relevancy by offering a tool for targeting posts to interests, demographics and geography
  • Posts can also be restricted from being viewed by other demographics – useful if your product is only targeted at over 30s, or an offer isn’t available in a certain country
  • A lot of publishers have been complaining about a drop in organic reach and Facebook becoming a “pay-to-play” platform, but this is designed to give a little power back to publishers

#3 Yik Yak launches on the web
By TechCrunch:

  • Yik Yak, the anonymous, location-based social network that’s incredibly popular in colleges and universities, has launched a web platform
  • Users add the same phone number they use with the mobile app and verify their anonymous web profile to sync up with the profile they use on mobile
  • The company has been working on the web version of the app for a few months in a closed beta, aiming for the same user experience on both devices

#4 Facebook Now Tracks Call-to-Action Clicks via ‘Actions on Page’ Insights Tab
By Social Times:

  • Facebook has added a “Actions on Page” tab to the page insights menu to give page owners a greater understanding of how active their main call-to-action buttons are
  • These call-to-action buttons have a lot of uses: to drive traffic back to your company’s website, call attention to a whitepaper or have people sign up for your email list

#5 Facebook launches ‘Facebook Sports Stadium’
By Social Times:

  • iPhone users in the U.S. can now access a real-time hub for all Facebook content related to sporting events
  • All sports-related content will be shown chronologically, including: live scores, statistics and play-by-play, posts and comments from friends, fan pages and experts, and coverage from national, regional and local media plus broadcast information
  • Facebook’s head of global sports partnerships, Dan Reed, said, “350 million people joined the social conversation around the World Cup in 2014. Last year’s Super Bowl was the most talked-about in history, with 65 million people discussing the game in real-time on Facebook” – it seems Facebook is just tapping into an existing audience (and maybe trying to stop Twitter Moments in its tracks?)

#6 Twitter announces dates for HelloWorld developer tour
By ZDNet:

  • In an effort to grow its developer bases, Twitter has unveiled dates and locations for its developer tour in more than half a dozen major cities worldwide
  • The agenda will be centred around building features for the Twitter platform itself, with sessions focusing on Fabric for mobile development, Gnip for data analysis and public Twitter APIs

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook – just in case you missed them…

social media

#1 Mobile video explosion sees Snapchat close in on Facebook
By The Drum:

  • When measured by mobile video traffic after exponential growth, the media sharing app saw the number of video views exceed 7bn per day between June-November last year, just a hair’s breadth away from the 8bn videos per day viewing figure reported by Facebook
  • Attributing this exponential growth to its newly introduced ‘stories’ feature, Snapchat says the ability to broadcast clips to contacts for 24 hours at a time has proven extremely popular
  • However, when it comes to monthly active users, Facebook remains king with 1.55bn people logging in at least once a month, 15 times more than Snapchat which has just 100m daily users

#2 Periscope autoplay hits Twitter timelines as livestreaming service aims for ‘massive’ reach
By The Drum:

  • Twitter’s livestreaming service Periscope will now broadcast videos direct on Twitter, meaning users won’t have to open a separate app or browser to watch clips and won’t need Periscope app or a user account
  • As well as bringing a richer experience to the Twitter timeline, the move is likely to appeal to brands and publishers, with Periscope saying the change will allow its broadcasters to reach a “massive” social audience
  • The new function is being rolled out on Twitter’s iOS app, with Android set to follow

#3 Snapchat makes moves towards automated ad sales with reports of ad tech acquisitions
By The Drum:

  • Snapchat is looking to sustain the exponential growth it has achieved in recent months and monetise its coveted Millennial audience by strengthening its advertising credentials
  • According to Re/code, the company has been in talks with a number of ad tech startups, including Beeswax, a startup that helps advertisers bid to target particular users, and Metamarkets, an analytics firm focused on programmatic buying
  • The company has only been selling ads for a little over a year, and by looking into ad tech acquisitions, Snapchat appears to be recognising its inexperience on that front and adopting the same model as Facebook and Twitter to lay out a path for success

#4 Twitter quietly launches dedicated gaming channel
By The Drum:

  • Twitter is ramping up its efforts to become a major player in the gaming space with the launch of a new dedicated channel, @TwitterGaming
  • Julia White from the social network’s media partnership team said the platform wants to tap into the “thousands of gaming-related tweets” sent on Twitter each day
  • Twitter Gaming, which debuted quietly last week, joins the platform’s roster of official accounts spanning various topics from music to government, and follows on from the launch of the social network’s gaming vertical at the end of last year

#5 The White House joins Snapchat
By Mashable:

  • The move comes just one day before President Obama is scheduled to give his final State of the Union address
  • Unlike most users, The White House doesn’t want its posts to disappear, and in fact they can’t, per government regulations that require presidential administrations to keep thorough records
  • The administration plans to use the platform to showcase behind-the-scenes moments from the address, perhaps engaging a demographic that might not ordinarily tune in to the major networks or to politics

#6 Facebook ‘friend finder’ constitutes advertising harassment, says German high court
By The Drum:

  • Facebook’s European legal challenges continue to mount up after a court ruled that the social network’s ‘friend finder’ feature was violating laws on data protection and unfair trade practices
  • The recruitment feature invites users to grant Facebook permission to vacuum up all the e-mail addresses of contacts in the user’s address book and allow it to send an invitation to non-Facebook users to join the platform
  • In a statement, a spokeswoman for Facebook in Germany said it was waiting to receive the formal decision and would study the findings “to assess any impact on our services”

#7 Skype and Liverpool FC partner to launch new channel for fans and range of player emojis
By The Drum:

  • Liverpool Football Club (LFC) and Skype have announced a new global partnership that will offer the club’s fans exclusive content and new ways to interact during matches
  • As part of the partnership Skype will launch a range LFC emoticons, including miniature versions of Reds manager and players
  • Angie Hill, general manager of Skype consumer marketing, said the company was “excited to introduce new ways for fans to come together, wherever they are. Through Skype chats and custom content, we look forward to bringing these fans even closer to the action”

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Weekly social scoop

Latest news and developments on social media including Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest– just in case you missed them…

social media
#1 Twitter rumoured to expand tweets’ character limit to 10,000
By The Independent:

  • New plan, being developed by a team known as ‘Beyond 140’, could be released within the first quarter of 2016
  • The company is continuing to design the feature to ensure that it can’t be used for spamming — i.e. by tagging a huge number of people in one single tweet to ensure that it is seen
  • The company has had trouble bringing new users to the service in recent months, and it has been introducing a huge range of new features in an attempt to expand its offering

#2 Snapchat shuts Lens Store to focus on Sponsored Filters
By The Drum:

  • Fans of Snapchat’s ‘puking rainbow’ and ‘heart eyes’ overlays can no longer visit the Lens Store, as the app is closing the shop less than three months after launch as it looks to encourage marketers to buy Sponsored Filters
  • Reports circulating last year indicated that Snapchat can charge marketers anything between $450,000 to $750,000 per dayto sponsor a lens, so restricting Lenses to brand-only overlays has the potential to unlock a lucrative revenue stream
  • Users will be able to purchase and re-use any saved Lenses after the closure, but from this week onwards the only other animations available will be branded

#3 Twitter launches new interactive ad format
By Campaign:

  • Conversational Ads is a new advertising format from Twitterthat enables brands to create ads that users can then personalise and share with their own followers, in essence an evolution of Promoted Tweets
  • By clicking one of the calls-to-action a user will initiate a new Tweet window that will already contain a pre-populated Tweet, with messaging crafted by the advertiser
  • With this advertising format, Twitter is giving brands the ability to empower their advocates and increase the reach of their message at no extra cost, however the option to enable users to personalise the Tweet before sending it out means that brands have to voluntarily release control

#4 Insiders say what’s going on inside $11 billion Pinterest — and it’s not all good
By Business Insider:

  • Pinterest a strong contender to go public in 2016, having already been valued at $11 billion after raising $1.3 billion in funding
  • It’s an ideal environment for advertisers, but Pinterest has taken a soft approach to advertising so far
  • Former Pinterest sales staffer said that the company hesitated to close big deals and those clients moved on to rival platforms instead

#5 Vine co-founder launches new messaging app, Peach
By The Drum:

  • A bit like a mix of Twitter and Slack, users create an account and handle before adding friends
  • On Peach users view a stream of updates from connections, tapping posts to reveal more
  • Peach is centred around ‘magic words’ such as gif, shout, draw etc. Typing ‘here’ for example, users can add their current location and ‘song’ enables the app to recognise what you’re listening to
  • At present Peach is only available as an iOS app and for US phone numbers. Although, there has been some technical issues since the launch

#6 Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter to meet with White House officials for discussions on terrorists’ use of social media
By The Drum:

  • Top executives from major Silicon Valley players are due to meet with senior White House officials and US intelligence agencies to help form counter-terrorism measures on social media
  • Technology firms have come under mounting pressure in light of social media’s use in the recruitment and organisation of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California

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