This week, Facebook announced that it’s developing AR glasses and a VR social experience, Twitch’s brand identity gets a makeover and TikTok clarifies its censorship practices.
Facebook Is Developing AR Glasses And A “Live Maps” 3D Project
Facebook confirmed it’s developing augmented reality (AR) glasses that’ll be ready in a few years, and launching a project that depicts multi-layer representations of the world.
Why it matters: In light of Facebook’s recent $5 billion settlement with the FTC regarding data privacy practices, the company’s announcement of AR glasses may be met with scrutiny.
The details: The “Live Maps” project was announced at the Oculus Connect developer conference where Facebook said it would bridge the physical and digital divides via “a shared virtual map of the world.” As for its AR glasses, rumor has it the platform is teaming with Ray-Ban to create glasses that will live stream your surroundings.
Twitch Overhauls Brand Identity Ahead Of TwitchCon2019
Twitch has updated its color palette, logo, font and entire community experience.
Why it matters: Up until now, Twitch hasn’t advertised itself heavily. Its fresh brand identity comes just in time for the company’s biggest event, TwitchCon2019, and a forthcoming first-ever brand campaign, “You’re already one of us.” TwitchCon2019 takes place from September 27-29 at the San Diego convention center.
The details: In a blog post, Twitch explained that its goal for the brand refresh is to maximize its community’s expression. If Twitch’s goal is to tell its users’ stories in exciting ways, the post said, “Twitch itself needs an upgrade.” Updates include a new brighter purple palette, a less text-heavy logo font with a retro game aesthetic, increased emote visibility and edge-to-edge video player.
Facebook Announces VR Experience, Oculus Hand Tracking
In a blog post, Facebook said it’s in the process of developing a virtual reality (VR) social experience called “Facebook Horizon,” that features build-your-own environments and games. It’s also introducing hand tracking on the Oculus Quest device for hands-free interaction in VR.
Why it matters: The VR experience is an opportunity for Facebook and brands to monetize social interactions via in-game ads and billboards. It also gives users who are bored with Facebook a new place to play.
The details: Facebook Horizon will allow users to design their own landscapes, avatars and play multiplayer games with friends. Additionally,, by early next year, owners of the hands-free Oculus Quest device will be able to control some apps with their hands and fingers.
TikTok Censors Videos Critical Of Chinese Government
According to Engadget, TikTok tried censoring user posts that touched on certain Chinese topics such as specific world leaders and historical incidents.
Why it matters: The platform’s popularity in China is leading to a rigid style. TikTok once took a blunt approach to minimizing conflict on the platform, but now it employs localized approaches including region-specific moderators and policies.
The details: The Guardian obtained documents showing TikTok’s policy guidelines instruct moderators to remove content about the 1998 riots in Indonesia and Cambodian genocide. While TikTok wouldn’t necessarily delete these posts, it wouldn’t allow them to be picked up its algorithm either.
Over Half Of Content Creators Face Copyright Claims On YouTube
Music licensing company Lickd conducted a study that found over half of YouTubers have battled a copyright claims on the platform.
Why it matters: The potential to generate revenue through online content is at risk. One solution may be providing claims-free commercial tracks.
The details: Lickd’s study revealed that 58 percent of creators have had to fight a copyright claim on their online content. In March, the European Parliament passed Article 13, an agreement that requires social platforms to take responsibility for copyrighted material. Forty-nine percent of creators said the ruling would create further challenges for them.
LinkedIn Introduces Recruiter Mobile App And Talent Insights Feature
LinkedIn has a revamped mobile app for recruiters and data-driven features for talent professionals looking to hire.
Why it matters: Given 70 percent of responses to recruiters from candidates on LinkedIn happen after 7 p.m., and the rise of mobile, the platform seeks to provide users a seamless experience and make hiring more efficient.
The details: The mobile app will allow recruiters to communicate on the go and collaborate with their team right from their phone. LinkedIn also added a new “Talent Insights” tab in LinkedIn Recruiter & Jobs to give professionals “the ability to have more metric-driven conversations with teams about who, where and how to hire.” The company’s also streamlining candidate management with its LinkedIn Talent Hub feature, available for customers starting today.
Reddit Updates Mobile Landing Pages For Video Ads, Adds Standard Sizes
Per Marketing Land, Reddit announced this week the launch of a new mobile landing page experience, the addition of two aspect ratios for ad sizes and optional referral URLs for cost per view (CPV) campaigns.
Why it matters: A new mobile landing page could mean improved completion rates and conversion rates. The standard ad sizes will allow advertisers to utilize cross-platform video assets without tweaking formats. Lastly, referral URLs will provide a cleaner viewing experience.
The details: With the updated mobile landing page, a user will be redirected to a website where an uninterrupted ad continues to play. Reddit will also now support 1:1 square and 4:5 vertical video sizes, in addition to the current 16:9 and 4:3. Brands can also optimize campaign views via the URLs for CPV campaigns.
Instagram Introduces Highly Requested Dark Mode Feature
For most, Instagram is the first thing they check in the morning and last app they scroll before bed yet the app’s glaring white background takes away all the fun. Now Instagram is testing a dark mode feature that would give users the option to make their app background black.
Why it matters: Instagram fans had taken to Twitter begging Instagram to add the dark mode feature, likening the opening of the app to having curtains lifted after sitting in the dark. Giving users what they want incentivizes even more downloads.
The details: Instagram is gradually rolling out the dark mode, available on iOS13 and Android 10. Users must manually turn on the feature in the system’s settings and have the latest version of Instagram.
Snapchat Extends Ads To Three Minutes, Implements Goal-Based Bidding
Campaign reports that Snapchat is enabling three-minute ads and giving advertisers the ability to optimize for 15-second video views with its new “goal-based bidding.”
Why it matters: Now, commercial campaigns can be viewed via a swipe to a web view, camera attachment or long-form video, allowing studios to create a full film or television trailer.
The details: Prior to this update, marketers could only upload partial trailers, limiting viewing of a full trailer to a swipe up action similar to a YouTube pre-roll. Snapchat is also implementing “goal-based bidding” which will allow agencies to purchase against a specific level of ad engagement.
Facebook Won’t Intervene In Political Speech, Pledges To Better Screen Deepfake Videos
In a speech given by Facebook VP of global affairs and communications, Nick Clegg discussed the steps Facebook is taking to prevent outside interference in elections as the platform faces antitrust investigations.
Why it matters: Facebook says it won’t remove politicians’ posts that break Facebook rules with the exception of paid ads and speech that could “lead to real world violence and harm.” The statement comes after many politicians have accused the platform of political bias.
The details: The company cites its “fundamental belief in free expression” the reason for bending the rules for politicians although it has tightened its application rules for political ads, now requiring identification and information about the organization. Additionally, Facebook launched a Deepfake Detection Challenge to spot manipulated content quicker and take action.
YouTube Reverses Decision That Unverified Influencer Accounts
After announcing that it would be updating its verification criteria, on September 19—a move that unverified many creators—YouTube has changed its mind.
Why it matters: In the age of influencer fraud, making improvements to the verification system remains important for brands. However, it appears YouTube missed the mark on this one and will have to regroup on how to improve verification.
The details: YouTube sent an email to creators saying it would be proactively verifying channels instead of accepting requests for verification badges. As a result, many influential YouTubers immediately became unverified, including YouTube’s own channel. Twenty-four hours later, YouTube reversed the changes and restored verification to the creators affected. The platform confirmed that channels with over 100,000 subscribers will continue to be eligible to apply for verification.
Snapchat Announces Eight New Snap Original Shows, Renews Four
Due to audience requests to batch drop its show episodes, Snapchat has been increasingly releasing serialized scripted shows all at once as opposed to daily. This week, it’s revealing eight new shows and serializing four.
Why it matters: Snapchat is enhancing its mobile storytelling strategy and connecting with users in meaningful ways via shows that reflect their voices, experiences and passions.
The details: Snapchat’s new slate includes eight shows including a mix of docuseries and scripted series premiering this fall and throughout 2020. The platform also renewed four originals including Bringing Up Bhabie, Two Sides, Kappa Crypto and The Dead Girls Detective Agency.
Snapchat Launches 3D Camera Mode
Snapchat is adding depth to snaps with 3D camera filters and 3D effects that users can swipe on in the filter carousel.
Why it matters: Snapchat’s 3D camera mode will give its users a new reason to stay in the app, preventing them from sharing it on Instagram Story. Selfies taken with the 3D mode can be shared on the app, though sharing it outside the app takes away the ability to change the photos’ perspective when moving your phone round.
The details: The new camera mode allows users who have an iPhone X or newer the ability to capture a selfie and apply 3D effects, filters an lenses. It captures spatial details, making the snaps change in perspective and appearance based on how you move your phone when viewing them.
Pinterest Announces New “Shop The Look” Ads For Mobile
The mobile visual discovery tool is rolling out in the US over the next few months.
Why it matters: “Shop the Look” ads will give brands more incentive to extend campaign initiatives and the ability to reach more shoppers for it lets retailers feature multiple products in a single ad.
The details: Users can discover products in the contest of a pin’s image and click to checkout on the brand’s site. Inspired by Pinterest’s “Shop the Look” pins, the addition gives retailers the chance to tag up to 25 items in an image. Shoppers will be shown a preview showcase of four items that they can click through to see more. Pinterest will roll out “Shop the Look” ads in the US over the coming months.
Facebook Acquires Startup To Build Customer Service Bots
Facebook is working on a network of bots to complement customer service teams on digital wallet group Calibra.
Why it matters: Facebook is developing a digital wallet called Calibra for its forthcoming cryptocurrency Libra, launching in 2020. Bringing on startup Servicefriend to build hybrid chatbots will be essential for Facebook to boost customer service experiences and rebuild its credibility.
The details: Servicefriend builds chat bots for messaging apps based on artificial intelligence (AI). Facebook has acquired Servicefriend to help fulfill its promise to Calibra users—24/7 support in WhatsApp and Messenger.
YouTube Introduces Video Reach Campaigns
The platform is offering advertisers simpler ways to drive growth across the customer journey with video.
Why it matters: YouTube already helps marketers drive leads and conversions with its TrueView feature. Now, brands can build full-funnel video strategies by using “Video Reach Campaigns” and TrueView in conjunction. Additionally, brands will have a better chance of reaching cord–cutters with the introduction of its masthead to television screens. Currently, YouTube reaches more millennials in the US than any television network.
The details: Marketers can upload multiple video creatives into a single campaign and thereafter Google’s machine learning will produce the most efficient combination of these YouTube ad formats to help reach audiences at scale. YouTube cited Ford as one example of a brand that has lowered its campaign cost over 30 percent with the help of the feature.
Marketers can purchase YouTube masthead on television screens on a cost-per-thousand basis and customize which audiences they want to see it. According to YouTube’s research, YouTube ads on television screens drive a 10 percent greater lift in recall than ads on linear television.
WhatsApp Lets Users Share Status On Facebook
With the roll out, WhatsApp users on android devices can automatically share their status to Facebook Story.
Why it matters: Instagram users can share their Story status to Facebook automatically. Facebook-owned WhatsApp now lets Android users do the same, which means the social networking giant could boast higher user engagement to advertisers.
The details: WhatsApp gives users the ability to share status Stories that disappear after 24 hours. The new update will allow them to share these statuses to their Facebook Story as well, creating a centralized mode of communication.
Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, September 27. 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.