This week in social media news, Google tests carousel ads and Facebook enters the dating scene in two more countries.
Also, Pinterest launches advertising in France while Facebook swears it isn’t spying on you… much. Instagram lets users share IGTV favorites and Nintendo Switch users have noticed a YouTube app suggestion. Stories Ads can now cross over from Instagram to Facebook, LinkedIn opens a new Campaign Manager beta. Facebook addressed its role in Myanmar and removed suspicious accounts while British youth crave the perfect travel brag more than alcohol. Snapchat teams up with ComScore, Instagram tests the ability to promote Stories, Facebook opens a pop-up store and launches a beta for Instagram/Facebook page analytics.
Google Tests Carousel Ads In Search Results
YouTube movie trailers have been spotted as a carousel ad above Google search results in an apparent test.
Why it matters: Since the carousel is labeled “Ads,” it could be a sign that Google is testing carousel ad formats and using YouTube as a guinea pig. Carousel ads have proven successful on other platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest, so it makes sense that the world’s largest source of advertising would want to get in on the action.
Details: Digital marketing platform SEMrush spotted something new on Google this week—YouTube movie trailers in a carousel above search results. There weren’t any changes to the Google Ads panel, suggesting an internal test.
Facebook Dating Expands Test With New Tools
Facebook’s dating feature is now being tested in Canada and Thailand along with the previous launch in Columbia.
Why it matters: Additional test demographics could mean that Facebook is finding some success with the beta—either that or they want to see how different regions use the feature.
Details: Canada and Thailand now have access to early testing for Facebook’s dating feature. In addition to the basic controls, users can also try a new tool called “second look.” The tool allows users to review those they have previously passed on. Users can also pause the feature when they want to take a break from the dating scene.
Pinterest Ads Now Available In France
After a successful testing period, Pinterest ads have officially launched in France.
Why it matters: France is the first non-English speaking country to offer Promoted Pins. Pinterest has had a dedicated team in France for the last several years, laying the groundwork for partner relationships. The company says that in France, over three million Pins are saved on a daily basis.
Details: Promoted Pins are now available in seven countries including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. Early French brand partners include Guerlain, Picard, TIPTOE, Louis Vuitton and Air France.
Facebook Explains Portal Privacy And Advertising
While Facebook ads are not shown on Portal devices, the company posted a blog addressing widespread concern about how much they are listening or watching.
Why it matters: Despite a string of controversies and admitted shortcomings, Facebook usage remains steady (although growth has stalled). The convenience of Facebook may keep users logging in, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to adoption of data-gathering devices. The brand has a long way to go before it earns global trust.
Details: In a blog post, Facebook assured users that it does not listen to or record conversations that occur on its new Portal devices. However, they do pay attention to how often you use the device, the volume level, frame resolution and other details. This information, Facebook says, may inform ads that consumers see on the Facebook platform, but not the Portal device itself. Facebook also claimed that it does not show ads based on any voice commands given.
IGTV Can Now Be Shared As Instagram Stories
Instagram is promoting its IGTV app by allowing users to share previews with their followers.
Why it matters: IGTV is a stand-alone app and while brands are taking it for the spin, user adoption hasn’t been the stampede Instagram hoped for. The solution may be to let existing Instagram users market the app for them.
Details: Instagram now lets users share clips of their favorite IGTV programs. While watching IGTV, users can share to to their Instagram accounts in the form of Stories. The function creates a clip that leads viewers to the full video on IGTV.
YouTube App Might Be Headed To Nintendo Switch
Some gamers have noticed the YouTube app appearing on Nintendo’s website as a suggested download, according to reports.
Why it matters: YouTube has been a highly requested feature for Nintendo’s latest console and for the moment, Hulu is the only way to stream video on Switch. Access to Nintendo’s large user base—especially since YouTube is no longer available on Wii—would help build visibility for Google’s video site.
Details: As reported by Polygon, users in both the US and France have reported seeing a suggestion to download the YouTube app while browsing Nintendo’s website for Switch titles. Although there is no dedicated product page for such an app, the suggested download has gamers speculating about what it could mean.
Stories Ads Expanded To Facebook
Brands that want to promote their Stories on Instagram can now extend that audience to Facebook users.
Why it matters: Facebook says that 68 percent of people become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a story. The format has largely been successful on Instagram, making the Facebook integration a no-brainer.
Details: Instagram Stories ads can now extend to campaigns on Facebook Stories. Ads appear the same on both platforms. In addition, ads in Facebook Stories support the same objective, targeting and measurement capabilities used in Instagram Stories ads.
LinkedIn Overhauls Campaign Manager
LinkedIn has released a beta for Objective-Based Advertising in Campaign Manager.
Why it matters: Designed to make advertising easier, LinkedIn says this new campaign creation experience will lay the groundwork for objective-based optimization and pricing to come mid-2019.
Details: Among the new features coming to the Campaign Manager are easier navigation, a new forecasting panel, redesigned targeting experience, faster interface and live ad preview.
Facebook Admits Failure In Handling Of Myanmar Abuse
Facebook commissioned an independent study to determine how it might have better handled its role in inciting violence in Myanmar.
Why it matters: Facebook is no stranger to scandal, and it has been highly criticized for allowing users to incite violence on its platform. The company is admitting fault and vowing to take better steps now, as well as in the future.
Details: Facebook commissioned an independent human rights impact assessment on the role of its services in Myanmar. The assessment was completed by BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), which concluded that Facebook failed to act before it was too late. Facebook admits that prior to this year, it did not do enough and vowed to continue its role in abuse both online and off.
British Youth Values ‘Travel Bragging’ Over Booze
Getting trashed abroad doesn’t have the same appeal that it used to, according to the World Travel Market London study.
Why it matters: It should come as no surprise that young travelers are obsessed with catching the perfect Instagram-worthy photo. That being said, brands hoping to capture the attention of British Millennials should focus on idyllic photo ops more than drinking opportunities.
Details: In a poll of 2,000 British holidaymakers, just nine percent of millennials said their priority is to get trashed while on vacation while 78 percent of respondents aged 25-34 said they seek to make their friends and Instagram followers jealous with perfect Instagram photos. This number was 64 percent among respondents aged 18-24.
Facebook Removes Inauthentic Behavior Ahead Of Election Day
Around 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts were removed over the weekend for coordinated inauthentic behavior, possibly originating from foreign entities.
Why it matters: Facebook was alerted to this activity not by internal teams, but by law enforcement, showing that they still have a ways to go before preventing this type of behavior. Still, the company is opting for transparency so that the public knows they’re aware and taking action.
Details: Almost all the Facebook Pages associated with these accounts appear to be in the French or Russian languages, while the Instagram accounts seem to have mostly been in English—some were focused on celebrities, others political debate. Facebook has promised to keep the public up to date, especially if it turns out these groups were affiliated with the Russia-based Internet Research Agency or other foreign entities.
Snapchat Measures Discovery Audience With ComScore
Snapchat Discover traffic is being integrated into ComScore’s digital audience measurement solutions.
Why it matters: ComScore integration will allow Snapchat publishers to get a holistic view of their audience that includes demographics, engagement and scale. Measuring ROI is an attractive feature for marketers as Snap tries to become profitable in 2019.
Details: Publishers on Snapchat will soon be able to measure audience reach through ComScore’s digital audience measurement solution.
“We are committed to helping our partners and advertisers have a better understanding of their audience in order to build long-term, sustainable business models,” said Nick Bell, vice president of content at Snap. “Our integration with Comscore is another important step in our continued progress towards establishing valuable measurement practices.”
Facebook Announces Small Business Pop-Up Stores
Facebook is sponsoring 100 small business pop-ups inside Macy’s stores this holiday season.
Why it matters: Facebook shows a lot of love to Fortune 500 companies but this effort shows a commitment to helping small businesses, as well. The activation also signals a more physical presence for the digital brand.
Details: The pop-up will take place in The Market @ Macy’s in New York City, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle from November 5 through early February. Facebook is promoting the campaign with ads throughout New York City’s Grand Central Station.
Instagram Tests Ability To Promote Stories
A boost tool has been spotted on Instagram that would allow brands to promote their Stories to more users.
Why it matters: Stories has become a runaway hit for Instagram, making it an obvious choice for brands to engage with users. However, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle, making promoted Stories an obvious solution.
Details: Instagram confirmed a test that would allow brands to promote their Stories for a fee. A spokesperson told TechCrunch that they are testing the feature globally but do not have a definite rollout timeframe yet.
Facebook/Instagram Opens Beta For Advanced Page Analytics
Brands can now sign up to test an analytics tool that measures performance by segment, funnels or omnichannel.
Why it matters: Over the past few years, Facebook has prioritized user content and made it more difficult for brands to gain organic reach. Analytics tools would allow brands to measure engagement on Facebook Pages, as well as accounts on Instagram. Previously, users could only analyze Page engagement on posts.
Details: Beta testers can now view Facebook Post impressions, Page follow/unfollows, Page like/unlikes and more. Instagram analytics allow businesses to compare engagement with retention rates, measure customer lifetime value, create segments and understand the overlap between Instagram/Facebook audiences and purchases, website visits, etc.
Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, November 9. 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 email@example.com.