02 Feb Spark Bites: Social Networks Dazzle With New Features
Welcome to this week’s edition of Spark Bites! We have a lot to tell you – the world of social networks and paid social has been abuzz with activity. Read on to find out more!
- It’s official. Publishers have begun rethinking their Facebook marketing strategy after its major News Feed overhaul. Not only are they planning to increase their dependency on paid search and social, but also exploring other platforms. Google and Pinterest currently seem to be the top choices. Can’t say we didn’t see this coming. In fact, we expect paid advertising to see an enormous boom in the coming year. We recommend businesses, big or small, jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later.
- Facebook has banned all cryptocurrency and ICO-related ads, touting them to be “frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.” However, the platform has yet to roll out the ban completely — cryptocurrency ads can still be seen popping up.
- For the first time ever, Facebook saw a fall in daily active users from the U.S. and Canada. Usership from the two countries, which are the social network’s biggest markets, has historically been at an upward trend. In the last quarter of 2017, however, it saw a decline of 1 million users. Looks like users have yet to warm up to the recent updates.
- Instagram announced that it will launch a carousel ad format for its Stories feature! So far, advertisers were limited to only one piece of paid media for their Story ads. However, the new Story carousel ads will allow 3 pieces of paid content to be posted, which enables brands to include more information without squeezing everything into a single 15-second video. Brands like Netflix and Paramount have already begun testing carousel story ads on the platform. This is pretty exciting news!
- In another exciting announcement, Instagram said it will allow business profiles to schedule posts. Before the update, the scheduling capability was available for use only through select social media scheduling tools and worked for photos, not videos. Being able to schedule Instagram posts ahead of time has been a highly-awaited convenience for marketers. We can already hear the glasses clinking across the world!
- Twitter announced that it will allow publishers to monetize their Moments. The feature, called Sponsored Moments, will enable brands to sponsor publisher’s “stories” in exchange for being featured in the Moments. The first Sponsored Moment has already been posted on the platform by Bloomberg, in partnership with Bank of America.
- Twitter launched a feature exclusively for developers that will give them access to the platform’s full archive. This means developers will be able to view all historical tweets dating back to the very first one. The good news for brands is that the feature will enable them to better understand changing consumer sentiment over time.
- Snapchat launched an in-app merchandise store called “Snap Store.” Although it exclusively sells Snapchat merchandise for now, it could potentially turn into an e-commerce or advertising platform for businesses. We wonder if this will be yet another Snap feature that other social networks will jump to adopt!
- Snapchat launched “Bitmoji Deluxe,” a feature that lets you customize your avatar in 1.9 septillion different ways. With several more skin tone, hair color, and hair treatment options now available, users will have the flexibility to customize their avatar to match their varying real-life looks on a daily basis.
- Snapchat is taking a step back from real-time sharing. An update rolled out today allows users to post pictures from their camera roll without the white border. The border was the major differentiating factor between real-time and older pictures on the app. Looks like Snapchat is aligning itself to Instagram’s liberal approach for Stories!
- Pinterest has hired Chuck Rosenberg as Head of Computer Vision. Rosenberg formerly worked at Google for 14 years as a computer vision research lead. Pinterest likely made the hiring decision to ensure users continue to have an optimal experience with its visual search feature.
This week has given us a lot to think about! The digital advertising landscape is ever changing, and some of this week’s remind us of that. However, at Spark Growth we pride ourselves on always staying up to date and being prepared with the most effective social strategies. Check out our work or get in touch with us for expert social media marketing advice!