What shakin’ and bakin’ in the world of social media this June? Direct messaging features, Stories, and group collaboration!
As we head into Summer 2017, here’s what you need to know.
Social media’s heavyweight champ continues to add new features to improve the user experience for all. You can now add posts and check-ins to albums: posts sit in between any images and tell a well-rounded story of the event or moment. Users can choose to share the album with whoever they want, and allow them to add updates to the album, which encourages more group interaction and engagement.
Facebook is also enhancing their Saves feature by adding total saves metric to give users and advertisers a better idea of traction.
At the end of May, Facebook added new functions to Facebook Live, including Live Chat with Friends and Live with. Live Chat with Friends enables conversations with your friends to naturally unfold over a Facebook Live broadcast, and Live with allows the broadcaster to invite guests to join the stream as a split-screen. Facebook ads now allow for a “Click to Messenger” function so that potential customers can click to create direct communication with and advertiser from an ad post. The direct messaging trend has been picked up by a number of social media networks as a way to enhance the experience and guide buyers through the sales cycle.
Apple is jumping on board the messenger feature train as well. Apple’s Business Chat aims to draw advertisers into Apple’s iMessage platform, allowing verified businesses to interact directly with customers to help them find information about the company, answer inquiries, and assist with transactions. It is likely that the feature would become available when iOS11 is released this fall.
Twitter is introducing premium video content to their offerings. To start, they added 16 live-streaming video channels including major league sports, news, and entertainment content. Plus, brands can get in on the action, aligning their promotions alongside premium video content to reach engaged audiences with robust reporting. Twitter has also updated their data control tools to give users more access to their data and more control over how it is used or shared.
Want to provide an enhanced video viewing experience for your subscribers? Ask them to enable YouTube’s new Dark theme for a theater-style video viewing experience, ideal for nighttime.
Is Pinterest your next investment for digital spend? They already support a user base of 175 million customers and are continuing to grow. Plus, Pinterest is able to catch users at the very moment that they discover something new—users searching for products and ideas, and saving them with intent to purchase— and can help advertisers reach potential customers or push them into the next step of the buying process.
Now, Pinterest is pitching their next evolution as a visual search platform that can get products in front of users in different ways than Facebook and Google, and convert them to buyers. They are looking to fund their expansion into more advanced visual search technology and image recognition.
The Facebook-YouTube integration is growing stronger as developers have consolidated notifications between platforms, and also enabled the same “click to messenger” function that is now available on Facebook ads. Potential customers coming from Instagram are able to interact with advertisers on Facebook messenger.
Instagram also came after Snapchat by introducing face filters on May 16. The augmented reality selfie game has never been stronger. Two months after Snapchat launched it as a feature, Instagram has added hashtag based Stories and geo-tagged stories from nearby locations. Instagram users can now search for a location or hashtag, and see a Story compiled from Story posts by other users.
Snapchat has added an infinity setting will allow you to re-watch a snap as many time as you like before it disappears, which is an improvement (although we would love to see metrics on replays). Snapchat has also introduced custom stories – group stories and location-based stories are collaborative, can be saved by their creator, and can include up to 1,000 snaps.
For advertisers, Snapchat unrolled regionally targeted (only national was available previously) Lenses that let advertisers to buy a guaranteed number of Lens impressions for a specific audience. Also, smart geofilters are also now available for advertisers to buy, which automatically add location or real-time info to a set region or location. Both of these functions could be useful for event-based marketing experiences.
The Instagram vs. Snapchat Feud
A showdown between Snapchat and Instagram has been brewing, as both apps battle over features and functions, but it seems like Instagram is in the lead. Why is Instagram better? Unlike Snapchat, where you have to already know and be able to spell out the exact username, it’s slightly easier to search for and discover new users on Instagram. Instagram allows brands to attach to links and landing pages to their Stories, which allows content to act as a funnel, rather than a dead end. Instagram also permits clickable hashtags and geotags to be added to Stories, while on Snapchat, they’re manually searchable.
Instagram Stories, as much as users like to gripe about the blatant theft from Snapchat, were an addition to an existing photo and video-sharing platform and Instagram Stories alone has a bigger user base than Snapchat. Simply put, this makes them a more valuable space for advertisers. Snapchat is only about ephemeral content sharing which makes it great as a social app, but not as an advertising platform, especially since they still do not offer decent metrics to calculate reach of content.
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Given the number of times your mother has asked the difference between The Face Book and Tweeter (or maybe this is a question you’ve asked to your Millennial and Gen Z offspring), it comes as a surprise to many that Millenials aren’t the most active on social media sites. Upending the assumption that the younger crowd is responsible for the heaviest activity, the users that average almost seven hours a day on social media sites are Generation Xers.
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We are reaching a phase of rapid progress in the social media and digital marketing space. As our means of receiving content become mobilized and virtual, the way we shop and explore products has completely shifted. We saw the seeds of evolution planted in 2016’s most popular trends and I predict that many will continue to grow and develop in 2017.
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The fall season is full of change. Leaves change their color, pumpkin spice brutally divides a nation, and my social media feeds begin demanding sacrifice. If I went to a pumpkin patch but didn’t post pictures of my trip, is it like I even went? If I think Thanksgiving should get more acknowledgment but don’t rant about it on Twitter, is it like I even care? If I don’t make a big deal about the fall season in general, is it like I even care about anything?
But I digress.
What I do care about is providing you with a roundup of all the changes that are going on with social media over the past couple of weeks, and much like the nature of the fall season, there has been a lot of change going on with the Internet’s big players, starting with…
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This week, twenty lucky retailers are trying out the new Instagram shopping feature. This high-profile round of beta-testing means it could be in your hands soon if you are a business with a prominent presence on the social sharing app.
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Just like every social media platform that has risen to notoriety, Snapchat’s popularity had inspired a slew of articles championing the app as the new Manifest Destiny of digital marketers.
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A little over a year and a half ago, Google decided that their Glass, the darling of the wearable tech world for a few glorious moments, was going away. It’s easy to dismiss this news as underwhelming, but once upon a time, Google Glass was worth an entire episode of The Simpsons, a 12-page spread in the September issue of Vogue, and was deemed to be one of Time’s Inventions of the Year. What went from being a matter of “if” wearable tech would catch on to “when” fell the way of the Bluetooth headset: useful, but worth neither the price point (in Google’s case) nor the faux paux.
So what makes newly branded Snap Inc.’s Spectacles any different?
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If you’re not Visa, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, or any company that paid over $100 million for an official Olympic sponsorship, then you’re going to have a tough time talking about this year’s Olympics on social media.
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