This week in social media news, Snapchat’s AR filter templates get more interactive, Twitter creates event pages for TV shows, Facebook updates ad targeting and LinkedIn tests a way to highlight writers.
Also, YouTube partners with EventBrite, Facebook takes users inside its War Room and identifies its hackers, while Twitter labels offending posts and tests annotations for Moments. Snapchat reveals the big box store habits of his young users, Facebook wants to watch your living room and reboots an MTV classic, Pinterest introduces new ad tools and Twitter releases data about foreign interference. In other social media news, YouTube updates its attribution criteria for TrueView ads, Twitter talks “filter bubbles,” Instagram’s founder speaks out, Pinterest rolls out shopping recommendations, Facebook fights voter suppression and college students read news on Snapchat. Meanwhile, kitty companions get the glamorous Snapchat treatment and Americans are wary of social media bots.
Marker Tracking Animates 2D Objects In Snapchat Lens
A new template has been added for creative Snapchat Lens artists, allowing them to tie an effect to a 2D object in the real world such as a mural.
Why it matters: Interacting with the world around us is the whole point of AR. Snapchat—who helped pioneer the technology—finds itself under constant pressure to outdo itself as Instagram continues to “borrow” and questionably improve on many of its key features. Tracking 2D objects and overlaying them with effects naturally lends itself to brands who could animate a movie poster, product label or environmental landmarks for a scavenger hunt.
Details: The Marker with Snapcode template lets creators unlock a Lens via Snapcode and immediately track your content to it. The template is designed to create Lenses overlayed on existing images such as a poster or mural. The new template was demonstrated with “Angel Wings,” a Lens that adds and tracks animated angel wings on a user when they pose in front of a Los Angeles mural.
Facebook Offers Ad Targeting To Prevent App Churn
App developers can encourage users to keep engaging after download with new targeting tools designed for retention.
Why it matters: According to Facebook, only 10-12 percent of app users stay active seven days after downloading an app and only four-to-five percent stay active after 30 days. Once a user has downloaded your app, Facebook’s new targeting tools will allow developers to keep in contact and encourage engagement.
Details: Targeting will grant developers access to users in an effort to prevent churn, or reverse it once they have stopped using it. When used as part of an app install ad campaign, developers can track and re-engage during those critical first days. Facebook also added four new metrics in Ads Manager to measure retention performance of app install ad campaigns that include the number of users who have opened an app and cost per retention.
Twitter Creates Event Pages For Fall TV Episodes
High-profile TV shows are now getting the event treatment on Twitter, each getting their own page that hosts tweets surrounding each episode.
Why it matters: According to 2017 research from Twitter Insiders, Vizeum and Dentsu Aegis Network, 61 percent of self-proclaimed “TV superfans” post their opinions about shows they watch on Twitter. In fact, 72 percent of them say platforms like Twitter play a role in their TV viewing. Brands can use these event pages to their advantage as their posts will be curated in one, easy-to-browse place on Twitter.
Details: Twitter has created event pages for episodes of hot shows like American Horror Story: Apocalypse. These pages allow fans to check out comments and hashtags related to the episode in one location.
LinkedIn Tests Subscribing To A Writer’s Series Of Articles
A feature is being tested on LinkedIn that allows article writers to invite subscriptions.
Why it matters: Sometimes the LinkedIn feed can be rather crowded with whatever your connections liked, promoted posts and debates on whether or not the site should allow emotional, Facebook-like posts. Being able to subscribe to a particular writer’s article series would cut through the noise and ensure that content is seen by those who have expressed interest.
Details: As spotted by Inc, 117 writers have been invited to participate in a pilot program. These writers will be able to curate more intimate relationships with their followers by inviting them to subscribe to a series of articles.
YouTube Partners With EventBrite To Sell Concert Tickets
Music fans can now purchase concert tickets from the YouTube channel of their favorite artists, thanks to a partnership with EventBrite.
Why it matters: Whether the music industry likes it or not, YouTube is a major attraction for music fans, making it a natural location to sell concert tickets. YouTube has already partnered with Ticketmaster, so a partnership with EventBrite allows them to cover more than 70 percent of the US ticketing market.
Details: Beginning on Thursday, YouTube users can view concert dates directly from a musician’s official channel, then make purchases from Eventbrite. YouTube plans to expand its offerings to more artists and North American venues in the future.
Facebook Grants A Glimpse Into Its Election ‘War Room’
In order to assure its users that they are taking election interference seriously, Facebook has revealed a photo of its War Room and details about it.
Why it matters: To say that the public is growing weary of Facebook’s trust issues would be an understatement. Facebook has invested in a physical location to gather its resources and battle election interference head on. According to the company, there are over 20,000 people working to eliminate the problem in real-time alongside Facebook’s technologies that identify policy offenders.
Details: First revealed in September, Facebook’s Menlo Park war room includes over two dozen experts from across the company, according to a Thursday blog post, that specializes in threat intelligence, data science, software engineering, research, community operations and legal teams. These employees represent and are supported by the more than 20,000 people working on safety and security across Facebook.
Facebook Hackers Were Spammers, Not Foreign State, According To Insiders
Despite its timing with the US election and public controversy surrounding Facebook, insiders told The Wall Street Journal that the culprits were after money, not influence.
Why it matters: Public scrutiny makes Facebook a prime target for hackers that would set out to manipulate voters or even just prove a point. If insider information is true, the recent data breach impacting over 30,000 accounts was to make money, plain and simple.
Details: According to individuals familiar with the matter, Facebook’s internal investigation has identified the source of its recent data breach—a group of Facebook and Instagram spammers who present themselves as a digital marketing company. The hack accessed millions of phone numbers, email addresses and tokens, which are used to log into Facebook without a password.
Twitter Focuses On Safety With New Labeling Procedures
Tweets that violate Twitter’s policies will now be labeled once they have been reported or removed.
Why it matters: According to the announcement on Wednesday, Twitter thinks users should know when they have taken action against offending posts without having to be subjected to the post over and over in the timeline.
Details: When a tweet has been reported for violation of rules, it will now be hidden with a message confirming the report, Twitter announced this week. In addition, any tweets that have been removed for such violations will be labeled as such instead of disappearing entirely.
Twitter Moments May Soon Offer Annotations
Brief explanations called “annotations” are being tested inside the Twitter Moments that would add context to curated content displayed.
Why it matters: Moments offer users a way to save posts that are related to an idea or event. Users frequently use this feature to curate posts for easy reference and others may save a collection of responses to a subject they are passionate about. Annotations would allow outside viewers to gain insight such as the event’s origin or explanation of terms.
Details: Eagle-eyed Twitter users have spotted a new feature that adds context to tweets saved in the Moments tab. These annotations briefly explain why the news is being shared, background on the story or a definition of acronyms, such as PSL. The test was confirmed by Twitter’s director of curation, Joanna Geary.
Snapchat Examines User Visits To Big Box Stores
Snapchat users visit Big Box stores an average of twice per month, usually mid-month and on the weekends.
Why it matters: As Snapchat continues to woo advertisers, it has taken to gathering data around its user activity that continues outside the app. This shopping data has been rolled out through a “Footprints” retail insights series on Snapchat’s business portal.
Details: Snapchat found that its users frequent big box stores, but how often and when varies by age group. Users between the ages of 13-17 frequent these stores on the weekend, while those 18-24 make weekday visits more than any other age group. Compared to other Snapchatters, users that visit big box stores are more likely to enjoy burgers and cycling, the company noted. In addition, this group is 1.8 times more likely to be a fan of rock music and technology while 1.6 times more likely to be a cord-cutter.
Facebook Released Portal, Now Sets Its Sights On Your TV
Facebook just released Portal, but it seems they have more coming—Cheddar has learned of plans to release a camera for TVs that would allow video chatting and streaming of Watch content.
Why it matters: Last week, Facebook announced its Portal devices along with a carefully worded statement about how it would never record calls or collect data to serve ads. A spokesperson for Facebook told Recode that this is exactly what they’re doing, minus recording calls. After the massive data breach and this new information, would consumers really trust Facebook enough to let them record their activity at home?
Details: Codenamed “Ripley,” Facebook has been developing a camera-mounted device that sits on top of TVs. Like the camera on the Portal, Ripley would track users around the room during video chat. In addition, users would be able to stream content from Watch onto their larger screens.
Pinterest Introduces New Self-Serve Marketing Tools
Based on user feedback, Pinterest has upgraded its suite of self-serve marketing tools and added how-to articles that help advertisers get started.
Why it matters: With over 250 million users, Pinterest has become a social search engine for things to buy. ThirdLove claims that using Pinterest’s Ad Manager allowed them to lower their Cost Per Checkouts by 61 percent YoY.
Details: Pinterest has added new self-serve marketing tools that include placement options, audience sizing tools, audience insights tools and updated interest categories.
Facebook Watch To Host Interactive New Version Of MTV’s ‘The Real World’
MTV’s infamous reality show The Real World is getting the Facebook treatment, complete with interactive elements to help shape the course of the program.
Why it matters: The Real World ran for 32 seasons, making it a well-known franchise that spans generations. MTV and Facebook both stand to gain from an exclusive Watch version, adding interactive elements and driving ad revenue.
Details: As reported by Reuters, Facebook will announce a reboot of The Real World during Mipcon in Cannes, France on Wednesday. The iconic, drama-filled reality show will return in the form of three interactive series, exclusive to Facebook Watch. Users will be able to interact during each program and help shape the direction of the show through voting and comments.
Twitter Releases Data Surrounding Foreign Election Interference
Twitter released statistics and additional data regarding misinformation campaigns that targeted the platform as early as 2009.
Why it matters: As promised to Congress and US citizens, Twitter is providing updates in regard to misinformation campaigns discovered on the platform. Transparency will be key to maintaining trust with the American people and its advertisers. In addition, the dataset will help authorities better understand this behavior.
Details: Twitter revealed large datasets comprised of 3,841 accounts affiliated with the IRA, originating in Russia, and 770 other accounts, potentially originating in Iran. They include more than 10 million Tweets and more than 2 million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts, including the earliest on-Twitter activity from accounts connected with these campaigns, dating back to 2009, the company said.
YouTube Reduces Attribution And Conversion Criteria For TrueView Ads
YouTube updated the criteria as follows: Engagement will be counted if a user views a TrueView ad for 10 seconds or more. A conversion will be counted if a user takes action within three days of an engagement.
Why it matters: YouTube says the reduction will better reflect “the relationship between video ad exposure and conversions.” This shorter engagement-to-conversion window will mean faster ramp-up times for target CPA campaigns and more current reporting, but that translates to faster charges to the advertiser, as well.
Details: Engagement has been decreased from 30 seconds to 10 seconds and conversion from 30 days to three days. These guidelines are set by default.
Twitter Contributes To ‘Filter Bubbles,’ Admits Jack Dorsey, But He Wants To Fix That
At the WIRED25 conference in San Francisco on Monday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressed concerns about the role that algorithms and following accounts rather than topics may have on public conversation.
Why it matters: During this time of political and social turmoil, social media has been accused of pushing certain agendas while silencing others. Dorsey previously said that he wanted to rethink the way that Twitter works so that would “serve public conversation” while offering new ideas in the process.
Details: “I think Twitter does contribute to filter bubbles, and I think that’s wrong of us and we need to fix it,” Dorsey said. He suggested that if users were to follow topics rather than individual accounts, they might be exposed to more ideas instead of simply affirming their existing opinions.
Instagram Co-Founder Outlines What’s Wrong With Social Media Today
Also, during the WIRED25 conference, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, who recently left the company, finally spoke out about the negative impact that control has over social media users.
Why it matters: Systrom said that companies like Facebook focus too much on technology and not on its users, particularly when it comes to controlling one’s own content. Facebook, which acquired Instagram, has since implemented a number of technologies to “improve” the service for advertisers but Systrom questions the effectiveness of these methods.
Details: Systrom expressed his concerns about Facebook’s overreliance on technology and the impact it has on social media users. “That [control] has nothing to do with robots, AI and image detection. It’s just control,” he said. “It’s a philosophical switch saying you’re in control of your content, not us. And that felt to me like a big shift.”
Pinterest Adds Shopping Recommendations For Style, Home And Decor
Product Pins will be recommended to users based on their searches that include information like seller, price and availability. In addition, a shopping shortcut will be added to the home feed so that users on the lookout for purchases can cut straight to the mission at hand.
Why it matters: Pinterest’s Buyable Pins allow users to purchase items directly from the seller, but were less personalized than this new breed of recommendations.
Details: Product Pins are rolling out to iOS and Android applications that display results based on user searches, behavior and trending items. Clicking through one of the recommended Pins will take users to a feed of similar items, where they can shop to their heart’s content. With the introduction of Product Pins, Pinterest will sunset its Buyable Pins option.
Facebook Extends Policies To Address Voter Suppression Techniques
Among a laundry list of ways that users can abuse Facebook, spreading misinformation designed to suppress voters is high on the site’s list of problems to address. Like other “fake news,” however, Facebook will only deprioritize this behavior in the news feed as opposed to removing it altogether.
Why it matters: Posts that discourage voters from participating can vary from false instructions to claiming that a particular polling station is closed. Facebook is trying to avoid being used to manipulate public opinion in the US and other elections by continually updating its policies regarding this behavior.
Details: Facebook has expanded its policies to include behavior that discourages voting. The site has already banned buying and selling votes as well as purposely incorrect voting information, such as separate dates for Democrat vs. Republicans or being able to submit a ballot via text message.
“Expanding our policy is just one of the steps we’re taking to strengthen the integrity of elections around the world,” wrote Facebook. We’re also getting better at detecting and removing fake accounts and increasing transparency across political and issue ads on the platform.”
College Students Rely On Snapchat For News, Study Finds
Several studies have already shown that consumers, especially young ones, turn to social media for news. A new study by Knight Foundation found that among college students, more than half rely on Snapchat as a pathway to the latest happenings.
Why it matters: Facebook is fighting fake news for good reason—it has become the go-to destination for consumers to stay informed. Knight Foundation’s study discovered that in second place, Snapchat is proving a source not just for entertainment but information. While it’s not surprising that young users would find news on the platform they frequent, Knight Foundation’s findings are contrary to figures by Pew Research, which reported 29 percent of Snapchat news consumption among adults in 2017.
Details: A survey of 5,844 college students from 11 US institutions found that a majority—89 percent—said they got at least some of their news from social media over the previous week. At 71 percent, Facebook was the most popular source of news, but Snapchat came in second at 55 percent. YouTube, Instagram and Twitter followed at 54 percent, 51 percent and 42 percent of respondents, respectively.
Snapchat Adds Filters For Your Feline Family
Users on Snapchat can now add filters to pictures of their cats that include flowers, unicorn horns, glasses and bat wings for those little furry devils.
Why it matters: People just love to share and watch images or videos of their pets. The internet has had a lot of fun face-swapping with cats and dogs on Snapchat but filters didn’t always recognize a cat’s face. The new filter is specially designed to do so.
Details: Snapchat has released new filters specially designed to recognize a cat on the camera. To use, bring up the camera in Snapchat and tap on your cat’s face. This will bring up available filters labeled with a paw print.
Most Americans Aware Of Social Media Bots And Are Not Amused
Pew Research found that a majority of Americans have heard of social media bots, are confident they can identify them and are convinced that most of them are up to no good.
Why it matters: Political interference has Americans on edge when it comes to automated accounts. Twitter bots can be used for helpful purposes, like to offer daily quotes or facts or entertain through parody. As Twitter and Facebook continue to delete malicious accounts, however, the public has become painfully aware of motives that are not so wholesome.
Details: A Pew Research Center survey conducted July 30 through August 12, 2018 asked 4,581 US adults about their knowledge and attitudes surrounding bots on Twitter. Sixty-six percent said that they had heard of social media bots and of those, eight-in-ten said that these accounts are mostly used for bad purposes. While not everyone was as skeptical about the integrity of automated accounts, it was a minority—just 17 percent said social bots are mostly used for good purposes.
Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, October 19. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.