Google Launches Experimental Short Form Video App Tangi

Today in social media news, Google’s Area 120 launches a social video sharing app for DIY-ers, Facebook reaches a new milestone of 2.5 billion monthly active users and Twitter takes steps to stop the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus.

Google’s Area 120 Launches Short Form Video App For DIY-ers Called Tangi

A product from Google’s in-house incubator Area 120, Tangi is an experimental social video sharing app for 60-second tutorials.

Why it matters: With a similar feel and layout as Pinterest—where 83 percent of users have made a purchase based on the content they saw from brands—Tangi could be a lucrative platform for marketers when and if the app supports ads.

The details: Tangi is an app for DIY lovers to learn and share their favorite how-tos via tutorials under 60 seconds. Unlike TikTok or YouTube, the app has a “Try It” feature that lets users upload pictures of their re-creation of the video they learned from. The app is ad-free, free to download and available everywhere except the EU.

Facebook Reaches New Milestone Of 2.5 Billion Monthly Active Users

In its Q4 2019 performance update, Facebook reported an increase of 34 million in daily active users (DAU), taking it to 1.66 billion DAU for the period.

Why it matters: Though steady, Facebook’s growth momentum will need to be complemented by increased revenue per user in regions outside the US in order to convert new users into worthwhile opportunities for marketers. 

The details: The update shows that Facebook added a million additional users in the North American market, its main revenue source. It also saw added 14 million DAU in the Asia-Pacific market. In addition to reaching 2.5 billion MAU, Facebook’s revenue for Q4 was $21 billion, up 25 percent year over year. Still, the platform’s costs and expenses also increased 51 percent year over year.

Twitter Launches Dedicated Search Prompt To Prevent Misinformation On Coronavirus

Twitter has seen over 15 million tweets on the topic of the coronavirus in the past four weeks and wants to ensure factual information about it is surfaced.

Why it matters: The global outbreak of coronavirus has led to the spread of inaccurate information across Facebook and YouTube too. Seven organizations that partner with Facebook issued fact checks that found false coronavirus claims, leading Facebook to lower those people’s ranks in users’ daily feeds.

The details: Twitter has launched a dedicated search prompt that provides anyone who uses it with “credible, authoritative information” about the coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’s also stopping auto-suggest results that might lead to non-credible content about the virus on Twitter.

Pinterest Launches AR-Powered Beauty Try On For Mobile 

Pinners can now try on different lipstick shades via Pinterest’s new augmented reality (AR) feature “Try On,” powered by Lens.

Why it matters: Given that 90 percent of pinners use Pinterest to make purchase decisions, it’s in Pinterest’s best interest to enhance users’ shopping experience via AR. The platform says it’s working on even more AR categories.

The details: Those looking to try on lipstick, save a shade for later or buy through the retailer’s site can access the AR feature by opening the Pinterest camera in search. Upon clicking “Try On,” pinners will be able to browse different lipstick shades and swipe up to shop from brands like L’Oreal, Sephora, bareMinerals, NYX Professional Makeup, Urban Decay, YSL Beauté, Lancôme, Neutrogena and Estée Lauder. They can also use the “try on” button on select products and see how the lipstick looks on skin stones that match their own. The feature is available on the mobile app for iOS and Android in the US. 

Social Networking Platform For Moms Raises $2 Million

Founded by Katya Libin and Amri Kibbler, the platform lets moms post to forums, chat in groups and even find job candidates.

Why it matters: The platform’s success could mean more opportunities for brands to reach its community’s “ambitious women who are coming together to support each other.” 

The details: According to TechCrunch, HeyMama announced the close of $2 million in seed funding with investors among the likes of fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff and founder of OWYN Kathryn Moos. Once a social media account and online magazine that started in 2014, HeyMama’s goal as a platform is to help moms connect online and offline, as it holds events in 11 cities across the country. Brand partnerships fuel its revenue and 85 percent of its members are from word-of-mouth referrals. A HeyMama membership costs $35 a month or $349 a year.

Snapchat Inks Deal With NBC On Tokyo 2020 Olympics Shows

According to Variety, NBC will produce four exclusive Snapchat shows in a mobile-first, vertical format.

Why it matters: NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel said that NBC wants to offer advertisers a way to reach Snapchat’s large and young audience, demonstrating the network’s increased level of comfort with Snapchat as an evolution of the brand’s platform.

The details: This marks the third partnership between Snapchat and NBC Olympics, following deals for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics and PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. Among the four shows, two will, for the first time, showcase Olympic highlights to be updated in near real-time. NBC is gearing up to produce more than 70 episodes for Snapchat, triple the amount it produced for the 2018 Winter Games. Leading up to the games, Snapchat will also curate users’ coverage of the Tokyo Olympics for its “Our Story” feed. NBC has also called on Twitter to present Olympic content via an exclusive 20-minute live daily studio show from Tokyo.

Tinder, Pandora Top Revenue Charts For US Subscription Apps

New data from Sensor Tower show that U.S. subscription non-gaming app revenue saw a year-over-year growth of 21 percent from $3.8 billion to $4.6 billion.

Why it matters: While Tinder and Pandora led the revenue chart, Google’s cloud storage app Google One also earned 15 percent of revenue for the top 100 apps. Google One’s position indicates that subscription revenue may be diversifying beyond music streaming and dating apps.

The details: Subscriptions made up 19 percent of the total $24 billion that consumers spent on non-game apps from Apple’s app store and Google Play. Tinder led the revenue chart for subscription-based apps and accounted for 10 percent of the spending in the top 100, followed by Pandora, YouTube and HBO Now. Pandora generated 20 percent of subscription revenue for Google Play and YouTube’s subscription revenue for Apple’s app store exceeded $1 billion.

Vine Successor Byte Debuts On iOS And Android

The Byte app makes its debut two years after Vine’s co-founder Dom Hofmann announced he was working on a successor to Vine.

Why it matters: To compete against TikTok and others like Firework, Triller and Facebook’s Lasso, Byte will have to woo influencers who have tried transferring their audiences from platforms that lack monetization. The cards may be in Byte’s favor as Vine turned TikTok stars Joshdarnit, Lance Stewart and Chris Melberger are already on Byte.

The details: Hofmann’s goal is for Byte to focus on helping creators monetize their content. The app will launch a pilot of its first partner program to offer popular creators monetization options. It also plans to fund its own revenue sharing on the app.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, January 31. 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

TikTok Announces Opening Of Permanent US Office In Los Angeles

This week in social media, TikTok announced the opening of a permanent Los Angeles office amid news that it grossed about $177 million globally in 2019 and Instagram is testing an option that lets users easily find and share stories mentions.

TikTok Scales US Operations With New Los Angeles Office

TikTok just set up shop in Culver City to accommodate its growing US team.

Why it matters: A permanent office in Los Angeles reflects TikTok’s commitment to scaling its US presence. As Bloomberg reported, the platform is also looking for a US-based CEO, a potential solution to resolving lawmakers’ security concerns.

The details: In a blog post, TikTok says the new five-story office will help accommodate its 400-plus US team. This summer, the office will also house a content creation studio.

Instagram Tests Option To Find And Share Story Mentions

The option highlights any stories that mention your profile and enables you to re-share them on your own stories.

Why it matters: A few months ago, Instagram launched a feature called “Stories About You” that shows a list of your story mentions in the mentions feed only. This new option provides Stories mentions within Stories, which could help brand accounts engage better with user-generated content (UGC).

The details: First spotted by social media expert Matt Navarra, Instagram’s new Stories addition appears as an option under the “@“ symbol in create mode. Selecting this mode lets you see how many Stories mentions you have while still in Stories. Then you have the option of choosing any of the frames and reposting them to your Stories. It’s still unclear how many users have access to the option.

TikTok Revenue Increases Fivefold to $177 Million

Sensor Tower found that TikTok’s downloads surged 13 percent to 738 million, making it the second-most downloaded app after WhatsApp.

Why it matters: TikTok’s $176.9 million gross revenue in 2019 could help the app build out its targeted advertising capabilities which it has yet to establish.

The details: According to Sensor Tower, TikTok has 1.65 million lifetime downloads, making it one of the most popular apps worldwide. In India, users downloaded TikTok 323 million times, 44 percent of the app’s global total. China is the app’s second largest market with 52 million downloads followed by the US with 46 million.

Instagram Removes IGTV Button From Home Page

According to TechCrunch, only about 7 million of Instagram’s 1 billion-plus users have downloaded the standalone IGTV app since it launched 18 months ago, compared to 1.15 billion TikTok downloads in the same period. 

Why it matters: The unpopularity of the IGTV button on the home page indicates it hasn’t become a staple for users like previous features have been like augmented reality filters, stories and close friends. Plus, without the ability to monetize their IGTV videos, influencers were hesitant to dedicate time to creating IGTV content.

The details: A Facebook company spokesperson said that most people are discovering IGTV content through the IGTV channel on the explore page, previews on the feed and creators’ profiles. To simplify user functionality, Instagram has removed the icon based on these learnings and community feedback.

Pinterest Highlights Inclusion Efforts In Sixth Annual Report 

Pinterest has released its annual report, which shows the platform exceeded three of its external hiring goals with respect to diversity.

Why it matters: In 2015, Pinterest set annual public hiring goals and has since made moves to ingrain inclusivity into its culture. In 2019, the platform launched a skin tone ranges search feature, an employee gender transition guide and set out to limit content that would make users feel unsafe or unwelcome. For example, it limited the distribution of wedding venues that were former slave plantations.

The details: Pinterest’s report shows it surpassed its goal to increase hiring rates for full-time women engineers from 25 percent to 27 percent. Additionally, its goal to increase hiring rates to eight percent underrepresented minority engineers was exceeded at nine percent. Hiring more underrepresented minority employees across the company was also one of its goals, which it surpassed by two percent from 12 to 14 percent. Other milestones include the fact that women at Pinterest are now 25 percent of engineers overall, up from 19 percent in 2014.

Spotify Launches Stories-Like Shareable Playlists 

The music streaming platform is giving users the ability to incorporate video elements into their public Spotify playlists.

Why it matters: Spotify has been testing video products for a while now. Last year, it tested a feature called “Storyline” that let artists share their insights and inspiration. Now it’s giving select users a stories-like platform to share playlists for the purpose of music discovery. 

The details: Spotify stories, which can be accessed via a circular icon above a playlist’s title, includes short video clips that users can tap on. Also similar to Instagram stories, Spotify stories shows song snippets and album art. Meant for influencers, not artists, the feature was first tested by makeup and fashion YouTuber Summer Mckeen, who has 126,455 Spotify followers.

Octi Creates Augmented Reality (AR) Social Network

The startup launched an AR-enabled social platform that connects the act of seeing friends in real life with viewing digital content like their favorite YouTube videos.

Why it matters: According to TechCrunch, Octi’s co-founder and CEO Justin Fuisz says his goal is to turn the AR platform into a WeChat-style platform for outside developers to build social tools and content. The app’s facial recognition feature could mean competition for Snapchat.

The details: Octi’s facial recognition experience lets you point your phone at a friend and identify them in as little as 20 milliseconds. Once your friend accepts, you can view your friend’s profile remotely and see a belt of virtual items hover around them via videos, songs and photos. Though it’s powered by AR, the app’s core experience is meant to be in-person. 

Twitter Updates Television Show Reminder Buttons

Social media expert Matt Navarra found that the new format will let users set reminders for when television shows and events will air.

Why it matters: This update could help improve engagement and create more live-tweeting content around trending television shows.

The details: Users will notice a dedicated button called “Set Reminder” at the bottom of tweets about television shows and events on Twitter’s explore page.

Instagram’s Hidden Likes Test Meant To Remove Pressure From Users

Instagram’s VP of product Vishal Shah shed light on the hidden likes test in an interview on “The Social Media Geekout” podcast.

Why it matters: Since the announcement of the hidden likes test in April last year, brands and users alike are still waiting on word from Instagram about how the test will impact measurement. Shah says, “We know going into this that we would likely have to trade-off some amount of engagement to do this work,” indicating that Instagram has likely seen a decrease in engagement in areas where likes have been removed. 

The details: Shah said the idea behind removing likes stemmed from the team that works on interactions and feeds, who found that public like count was a “very high area of pressure for them when they produce content on Instagram.” Shah says another reason they’re testing the removal of likes is to give users an even playing field among public figures and celebrities who have follower counts well into the millions.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, January 24. 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

Twitter Tests New Ways To Control Conversations

This week in social media, Twitter said it’s testing four new ways for users to control their conversations, Twitch fell short of ad revenue expectations and Facebook and eBay pledged to take the selling of fake online reviews more seriously. Also, Facebook announced two new deadlines that advertisers who use its marketing API must adhere to, TikTok is testing a music tab that lets popular artists promote their songs, YouTube is releasing a Coachella documentary and LinkedIn’s user growth is expected to be higher than previously estimated.

Twitter To Let Users Control Tweet Replies Via Four New Ways

The platform detailed its plans to give users more control over their conversations as part of a slew of industry announcements at the Consumers Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Why it matters: More options to limit the spread of tweets is said to help prevent bullying and harassment on the platform. But Twitter says it’s already doing its part to manage tweet violations. Currently, over 50 percent of tweets that Twitter removes for terms of service violations happen proactively.

The details: As part of an experiment running in Q1, Twitter will provide users four new options which will appear on the compose screen: Global lets anyone reply, Group lets a user’s followers reply, Panel is for people you mentioned in the tweet and Statement lets users turn off all replies. The head of conversations for the platform said these updates build on a feature the company launched in 2019 which allowed users to hide replies. Twitter is also testing a thread-like conversation view which leads users through replies.

Twitch Misses Ad Revenue Expectations

According to The Information, the Amazon-owned streaming platform’s ad revenues fell short of expected ad revenues by 50 percent. 

Why it matters: Twitch projected ad revenues between $500-$600 million in 2019 but reached only $230 million in ad revenue for 2018 and a midyear annual projection of $300 million for 2019. Comparatively, YouTube is reportedly bringing in billions in ad revenue alone. YouTube, Mixer and Facebook have all signed major streamers away from Twitch which could be one reason why it fell short.

The details: The report says that Twitch is profiting more from commerce like subscriptions but that it sees a better profit margin on ads given that top streamers get a majority cut from subscriptions.

Twitter Makes New Ad Placement “Promoted Trend Spotlight” Global

With its new takeover ad offering, advertisers can place six-second videos, GIFs or static image ads at the top of Twitter’s Explore tab.

Why it matters: Global behavioral research company EyeSee found that people spent 26 percent more time looking at the Promoted Trend Spotlight as compared to the standard Promoted Trend unit, generating 113 percent higher ad recall.

The details: Promoted Trend Spotlight will be generally available in the US, UK, Japan and 12 additional markets. Ads will appear at the top of Twitter’s Explore page for the first two visits per person, per day. After the initial two visits, the ad placement moves to the standard Promoted Trend placement.

Facebook, eBay Commit To Stopping Fake Reviews Being Sold

TechCrunch reported that last June, UK markets regulator Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it found “troubling evidence” of a “thriving marketplace for fake and misleading online reviews.”

Why it matters: The CMA estimates that more than three-quarters of UK shoppers base purchase decisions on online reviews.

The details: After not making any progress to prevent fake reviews, Facebook today has removed a total of 188 groups and disabled 24 user accounts while eBay has permanently banned 140 users. Both platforms said they’re improving systems to identify and block listing for the sale or trade of online reviews.

Facebook Gives Advertisers New Compliance Deadlines

Advertisers who buy Facebook ads through third-party platforms and tools must comply with new deadlines that the platform has set forth. The news comes after Facebook announced in March last year, and again in December, that it was limiting the set of ad targeting categories for housing, credit opportunities and employment ads. 

Why it matters: Not complying with Facebook’s “Special Ad Category” restrictions and deadlines will mean the removal of ads.

The details: The first deadline requires that businesses located in the US identify any active campaigns belonging to a “Special Ad Category” that were created before December 4. Businesses have until February 11 to do so. Additionally. by March 31, all Facebook advertisers in the US creating new ads offering housing, employment or credit must specify a “Special Ad Category” and update targeting settings otherwise the ads won’t be allowed to run. Those running ads that don’t offer the aforementioned must be indicated “None.” 

TikTok Testing New Music Tab For Improved Artist Discovery

According to Social Media Today, TikTok is adding artists’ songs to a select group of verified musicians’ profiles.

Why it matters: Letting influential musicians like Justin Bieber and Camila Cabello promote their work will drive consumer behavior and establish fan connections, both important given the centrality of music to TikTok’s success with short-form videos.

The details: This new tab will become the third music tab listed on artist profiles. Upon tapping the music note icon to the tab’s left, a listing of all the musician’s songs will appear. Users can then browse the songs and use them in their own videos.

YouTube To Premiere Feature-Length Coachella Documentary

YouTube Originals has partnered with Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to create a documentary, “Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert,” premiering March 31.

Why it matters: This year marks the tenth consecutive year that YouTube is the official playlist and exclusive live stream partner for both weekends of Coachella. YouTube Premium members will get Coachella perks like access to members-only allocation of passes for purchase. 

The details: The announcement of a documentary follows the release of Coachella’s official 2020 lineup, and is meant to celebrate the festival’s 20th anniversary. Never-before-seen footage and interviews in the film will depict the festival’s colorful beginnings.

LinkedIn To Grow Faster Than Expected 

According to eMarketer’s latest estimates, there will be 62.1 million adult LinkedIn users in 2020, and the figure will grow 4.2 percent in 2021.

Why it matters: Though it lags behind Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn has recently launched features to boost user activity such as its live video broadcast “Live,” launched in February last year, and “Events,” debuted in October last year.

The details: LinkedIn will see $1.59 billion in ad revenues this year, growing to $1.77 billion in 2020. Its users will make up about a third of all social network users in the US, which will stay the same for the next few years. That number will grow from 62.1 million users to 64.7 million in 2021, and to 68.8 million in 2023.

Twitter Launches Promoted Trend Spotlight

The company announced the launch of Promoted Trend Spotlight, a new ad product on Twitter. 

Why it matters: The new ad product has three key features: capture the users’ attention with its immersive creative; differentiate a brand by making ads appear next to highly curated editorial content; and finally, surface conversation by tying together the prominent placement and expansive coverage atop Twitter’s Explore tab.

The details: Promoted Trend Spotlight is now available in the US, the UK and Japan, and is expanding to Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain and Thailand. 

EMarketer’s Report Shows A Decline In Instagram User Growth 

A new report from eMarketer predicts Instagram’s user growth dropping to single digits in 2020. 

Why it matters: According to eMarketer, Instagram is facing two major problems: losing its older users and experiencing tougher competition from other popular platforms, like Snapchat and TikTok. However, it is important to note that Instagram is still serving over a billion monthly active users, which makes it one of the top platforms for advertisers. 

The details: The researchers concluded that “in 2019, Instagram’s US user growth rate will have dropped to single digits for the first time to 6.7%, down from 10.1% in 2018. Starting in 2020, and through the end of our forecast period in 2023, we estimate that the social media platform will grow slower than previously expected.”

Snapchat Will Launch Bitmoji TV In 2020

According to TechCrunch, Snapchat is preparing to release “Bitmoji TV,” a personalized cartoon show. 

Why it matters: Creating original content has the potential to differentiate Snapchat from the other short-form video competitor platforms, such as YouTube and TikTok (which don’t yet own an avatar platform) and provide unique opportunities for advertising. 

The details: The initiative will launch in February 2020 globally and will feature customizable Bitmoji avatars as the characters of a full-motion cartoon series called “Bitmoji TV.” 

SnapChat And TikTok Spotted Working On Deepfake-Like Features

SocialMedia Today reports that both platforms are busy developing features that closely resemble deepfake technology, allowing users to easily overlay their face on existing content. This comes as Snapchat acquiring AI Factory, and images show that TikTok is working on a deepfake-style addition within its app.

Why it matters: The new developments rise one major concern: overlaying other people’s faces over existing video content may be misused and pose a threat to brand safety.  

The details: Snap has purchased AI Factory, the company Snap collaborated with in developing its Cameo feature, a feature that enables users to overlay their face over a selection of pre-made scenes.

And according to TechCrunch, Tikok is working on a deepfake-style feature, which asks users to take a multi-angle, biometric scan of their face and allows them to add their image into a selection of videos.

Apptopia Estimates TikTok Q4 Revenue To Reach $50M

TikTok revenue is expected to rise 300 percent in Q4, according to Apptopia, a startup that tracks mobile app revenue and usage. 

Why it matters: The numbers indicate the company’s rapid year-over-year growth (compared to a Q3 in-app top-line figure of around $20 million).

The details: TikTok’s in-app purchase revenue rise 310 percent on a year-over-year basis reaching $50 million. 

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, January 10. 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

5 Social Media Marketing Trends To Adopt In 2020

As we enter 2020, social media will remain a critical channel for driving brand awareness and generating sales. To see the best return on investment (ROI), however, brands will have to be early adopters of a few social media marketing trends we’re shining a light on here. Think TikTok influencers, augmented reality (AR) social commerce and video storytelling.

1. The Rise of the TikTok Influencer

This year, TikTok outperformed all social media platforms. Recent data from Sensor Tower showed that TikTok hit 1.5 billion downloads across iOS and Android. Users in India accounted for 31 percent of the app’s downloads, followed by 11.5 percent in China and 8.2 percent in the US. TikTok even outranked Instagram and Facebook, which indicates that Gen Z have found a new playground. This has opened the door to a new generation of influencers on the nascent platform. Though consider this an early adopter phase, as TikTok’s ad platform is still being developed.

“Similar to those who were on Vine, TikTok stars are creative and collaborate to create short-form video content. With TikTok, influencers can become popular instantly with their integration of challenges. The most popular example to date is the success of Lil Nas X and Old Town Road. Expect to see more of this especially as more brands are embracing TikTok as a platform to engage users,” freelance marketing consultant and the author of “Oh Snap! You Can Use Snapchat For Business,” Kate Talbot tells us.

2. Purpose-Driven Content

Brands hyper-focused on targeting younger audiences will find they need to take a stand on important social issues in marketing as well as create purpose-driven social content and activations. 

A survey by Crowd DNA found that 68 percent of Gen Z consumers expect brands to contribute to society, and 61 percent are willing to pay more for products that are ethically produced.

“In 2020 we’ll see a lot more political awareness in social media. With the election, no matter the platform, people will be using social media to highlight issues in the world. We saw this year, many Gen Z’ers use TikTok to bring awareness in creative ways to highlight the water crisis in Flint Michigan or global climate change. However, all the social platforms will be on top of their game to combat fake news and any interference. When you scroll down your feed, it’ll be a mixture of fun memes intertwined with political jokes and messages,” Talbot explains.

“Woke culture” in beauty and fashion is also on the rise, and as Talbot notes, brands like Victoria’s Secret that haven’t shifted their mindset are already on their way out. Companies that think about their consumer first, and how they fit into the diverse beauty narrative will emerge and grow.

3. Video Storytelling

Marketers who use video, on average, grow revenue 49 percent faster than non-video users, and social media is arguably the fastest way to utilize this advantage. PR and influencer marketing strategist working with technology, fashion and beauty brands, Jocelyn Johnson believes video in various forms will gain budget and more focus. From short-form ephemeral videos for Instagram Stories and Snapchat to longer format YouTube videos, she notes, all forms will continue to grow as platforms such as Snapchat extend the length of ads from six seconds up to three minutes. A Cisco study echoes Johnson’s prediction as it found that by 2022, 82 percent of all online content will be video content.

According to Talbot, three areas of video in social media marketing that have the potential to grow in 2020 are: IGTV, LinkedIn Live and Snapchat Discover. Instagram gives IGTV a lot of visibility on the app, and the platform wants the feature to grow with a focus on long-form video storytelling. This is Instagram’s way of competing with YouTube and they’re going all in. 

Talbot says that LinkedIn has become a strong social media network in the past few years, giving creators a place to shine. Although only a small amount of creators have access to the Live feature, everyone in their network gets a notification, making it a valuable tool. Many creators have their own shows that speak to their audiences’ business needs and are interactive in real-time. 

Discover on Snapchat is a prime example of brands and media working together on social media to create digestible content and entertainment for the next generation consumers, Talbot says. Snapchat doubling down on this feature and finding more influencers and celebrities to be part of the program will be influential for the future of branded content on social media. 

The bottom line: Video wins across all of the algorithms. For every channel, video is a huge driver of impressions. Quick videos that include subtitles are a great way to educate, inspire and inform your audience.

4. Nano-Influencers

Due to the rising costs associated with influencer fraud, marketers will have more reason to leverage smaller, more influential figures such as nano-influencers, those with 10,000 or less followers. A recent study found that these alternatives to mega influencers have an engagement rate of 7.2 percent on Instagram compared to influencers with over 10,000 followers who have just a 1.1 percent engagement rate on Instagram.

On the disappearance of likes and organic influencers, Talbot says, “There will be a shift into having real influencers, no bots or fake followers, that share insights that can make an impact on a company. Instagram will still lead the pack for influencer marketing. With disappearing likes, there will be a shift where more content will be created. Because users can still see their likes and influencers can work with agencies and platforms to share data, Instagram influencer marketing will rise, and as predicted last year, nano-influencers will continue to hold power. Us regulars will have access to nano-influencer influencer platforms like Heartbeat and RewardStyle where we can share out favorite products to our niche audiences.”

5. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Social Commerce

AR-enabled ads will generate nearly $13 billion dollars a year by 2022, and the number of global mobile AR users is expected to reach 2.5 billion by 2023. Even more marketers then will call on AR and VR to enhance their in-app shopping experiences.

“Marketers and brands will get creative with applications of technology such as AR. The beauty category has seen lots of makeup try-ons, but brands such as Dior have had a lot of fun with it. In the spring, the brand launched a Kaleidoscope filter to support its spring collection, and now they’ve gone to the next level with the launch of the 2020 Holiday Makeup with an Instagram face filter that emanates gemstones and fireworks from the Instagram user’s face,” Johnson says.

In October, YouTube globally launched an AR-enabled beauty try-on feature in beta via its masthead and discovery video ads. NARS was one of the first brands to incorporate the AR feature, and in doing so, has reached over 20 million people in the US, UK, Canada and Australia.

Ahead of Black Friday this year, Kohl’s also debuted its first AR experience on Snapchat, a virtual store where users could purchase real products via shoppable links. The virtual store was “open” for a limited time, from November 7-10.

In March, Instagram announced that users would be able to shop and check out within the app. Now the platform is testing an AR try-on shopping feature with select brands such as Ray-Ban and MAC Cosmetics.

Ayzenberg Group, Spotify Launch Holiday Initiative Supporting Women In Tech

(Editor’s note: AList is published by

While advancements in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) diversity is growing, gender equality in the field is stagnant. Averaged across regions, women accounted for less than a third of those employed in scientific research and development across the world in 2015. Women make up half of the total US college-education workforce but account for only 28 percent of the science and engineering workforce.

To celebrate and amplify the voices that still need to be heard in STEM, Ayzenberg Group, a full-service advertising agency that is part of, partnered with Spotify to launch Grooves for Good (G4G), a platform where engagement equals impact. That’s based on the acknowledgment that a better representation of women in STEM begins with education.

Helping launch the initiative, the first “Box Set” is a compilation of holiday playlists for every occasion of the season, including “martini & mistletoe,” “wrap music” and “crying in my eggnog.” G4G fuses creativity and technology for a collaboration that has the power to pay it forward. All season long, each time a user follows a playlist, it will trigger a donation to Girls Who Code. 

“We partner with She Can STEM throughout the year as we share their passion for championing diversity in STEM professions. Girls Who Code is one of their organizations, and so in addition to raising awareness of current diversity gaps, we’re able to make a donation to sponsor participants of their Summer Immersion Program,” said Danielle Simon, VP, head of strategy and marketing science at Ayzenberg Group.

In August, Girls Who Code surveyed over 1,000 college-aged women within its network and found that nearly half have either had a negative experience applying for a job in tech or know a woman who has. In the US today, women account for less than 20 percent of all graduates with computer science degrees and less than 25 percent of the computing workforce. That’s why in September, Girls Who Code announced it has plans to expand to 10,000 clubs across the US, nearly doubling its existing clubs presence. 

“When we reached out to Spotify to talk to them about setting up the platform, we learned that we were the first company or brand to make playlist engagement equal an action or donation. That’s when we realized that Grooves for Good had the potential to engage a much larger community and become a CSR fundraising platform,” Simon added.

Ayzenberg Group is treating the initial launch of G4G as a soft beta while they optimize the user experience, tweak how to best share playlists and provide the community turnkey ways to share. In parallel, Ayzenberg Group is reaching out to influencers, artists, brands and organizations with a shared passion for the mission.

Coca-Cola, McDonald’s Partner With Snapchat Scan

McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are the first brands to partner with Snapchat on an initiative powered by its augmented reality (AR) utility platform, Scan, which provides users with AR lenses and content that changes depending on which products they scan and unlock. 

Now, users in the US with Scan activated on their iOS devices can unlock access to three immersive Coca-Cola AR lenses in their lens carousel when they scan the original Coca-Cola logo on products like Coca-Cola and Coke Zero cans. Users can retrieve three immersive McDonald’s lenses as well upon scanning French fry boxes, food trays and burger wrappers.

Leveraging Snapchat’s Scan feature will help Coca-Cola and McDonald’s extend their digital content into the physical world. And because some of the interactive lenses unlocked via Scan are promoted to Snapchatters directly through the app, the brands can also drive incremental value and engagement. 

Though McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are Scan’s first brand partners, any brand can utilize the feature by creating a marker tech lens via Snapchat’s public AR creation tool Lens Studio. Once submitted to Snapchat and approved, the lens automatically is enabled with Scan.

Snapchat introduced Scan in April at the first-ever Snap Partner Summit, where details surrounding partnerships with Photomath and Giphy were explained. Using Photomath, users could point their camera at a math problem and Photomath would solve it for them. Similarly, Giphy makes GIFs appear on a user’s screen when objects are detected and scanned using the camera. 

More brands are looking at Snapchat for ad and partnership opportunities, as in the US, Snapchat reaches nearly 75 percent of all 13 to 34-year-olds and 90 percent of 13 to 24-year-olds. The platform reaches more Gen Zers than Facebook or Instagram in the US, UK, France, Canada and Australia.

Twitter Updates List Sharing With Image Preview Cards

This week in social, Twitter announced two new features to enhance users’ experience with lists and Instagram said it will crack down on branded content featuring vapes, alcohol and diet supplements. Also, Instagram launches layout mode for stories, LinkedIn adds new features to groups in a hope to revamp the community and Snapchat gives users a split-screen reaction lens.

Twitter Replaces Long URLs With Images For List Sharing

Twitter added two new features to enhance users’ experience with lists.

Why it matters: Improving discovery through updates to Twitter lists will help foster relevant conversations on the platform.

The details: The new feature lets users share lists via a title link card that replaces URLs with a preview image in a range of basic colors. When creating or adding people to a list on iOS, users will also now see suggested accounts to add based on the list’s title or who’s already on it.

Instagram To Enforce Vape, Tobacco Content And Boost Collab Tools

The company announced today that it will remove branded posts that promote certain products such as vapes, and is also giving influencers a way to more formally work with brands via Facebook’s brand collabs manager.

Why it matters: Instagram says that it has always prohibited branded posts that promote tobacco, vapes and weapons, but it’s going to enforce the rules more strictly. 

As part of a closer relationship with its parent company, Instagram has introduced a more closely aligned relationship with Facebook’s brand collabs manager pool for all creators across Instagram. The feature will allow for more data transparency, which is the underlying issue of influencer fraud today.

The details:  In addition to removing branded content that promotes tobacco, vapes and weapons, Instagram will place special restrictions around the promotion of products such as diet supplements and alcohol. In the same announcement, Instagram said it plans to open up Facebook’s brand collabs manager to a select group of Instagram influencers, giving them the ability to source new deals, manage partnerships and automatically share insights with brands.

Instagram Launches Layout Mode for Stories

The platform has officially launched layout mode, a range of grid display styles for stories after testing it back in August.

Why it matters: Until now, users were forced to create multiple image stories via third-party tools. Thanks to the layout mode, Instagramers will have more reason to stay in the app, scroll, create and shop.

The details: With layout, users can now capture and share multiple photos in their story using one of six different grid styles.

LinkedIn Adds Features To Help Boost Groups Engagement

LinkedIn is trying to make groups relevant again with the addition of new features like member filters, blocking abilities and refined notifications.

Why it matters: LinkedIn groups lost user focus due to random spam and self-promotion. This new set of tools aims to make groups a more valuable, useful option.

The details: Adding to the control and functionality of groups, new LinkedIn group features will let group admins exercise power over new potential members, delete posts from a chosen member, block members direct from a comment in a group, review posts before they go live in the group, locate members by location or industry and find group posts that have been recommended by admins.

Snapchat Announces New Movie Trailer Reaction Lens

Snapchat launched a “trailer reaction lens” for the upcoming film Top Gun: Maverick.

Why it matters: Snapchat’s new lens is similar to TikTok’s react option, which lets users share their video responses to TikTok videos. 

The details: The new lens switches users’ view to split-screen, with the trailer on top and their reaction below. In addition to the split-screen lens, Snapchat rolled out games, “Leaderboard Games,” in which people compete against their friends on and offline.

Facebook Releases Trending Topics Guide To Inform 2020 Decisions

The report is an expansion of the platform’s monthly “Topics to Watch” reports.

Why it matters: Facebook’s reports have shown to be highly accurate in predicting shifts that turn into trends, so this more detailed report could be beneficial for 2020 strategic ad targeting.

The details: The “2020 Topics and Trends Report From Facebook IQ” shows trending topics according to region. Hot topics include consumers making small lifestyle changes in the name of sustainability including beekeeping in Canada and eco-friendly fashion purchases in Sweden and the UK. In the US, podcast lovers are keen on seeing companion podcasts for television shows come to life. Tactile activities such as 3D printing and laser printing in Brazil are emerging while people’s desire to live simply has led to minimalistic beauty routines in the Philippines and the use of apps in France to detect harmful ingredients.

Twitter To Revive Political Candidate Labels For 2020 US Elections

Twitter’s labeling of politicians and candidates is part of the platform’s efforts to drive authentic conversations.

Why it matters: Twitter said that 1.4 million users interacted with Russian trolls during the 2016 presidential campaign, resulting in the spreading of false information. Election labels will help Twitter identify original sources and authentic information. 

The details: Twitter’s election labels will show information about political candidates including which office they’re running for, their state and district number. Candidates’ accounts and their tweets will be marked with a small ballot box icon to accompany this information. Twitter first launched the featured during the 2018 US midterms. The labels will appear once a candidate’s account is qualified, which will occur on a rolling basis.

Facebook Introduces Limited-Edition Star Wars Messenger Features

The features were launched in honor of the premiere of the final installment in the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Why it matters: Facebook once collaborated with Google to create a tool to let users choose app themes for Gmail, YouTube, Chrome and Google Maps. A few years ago, Facebook also allowed users to change their profile picture into a Star Wars-themed photo. 

The details: Designed in partnership with Disney, the features include a chat theme, augmented reality (AR) effects, reactions and stickers that let users express themselves via characters from the movie. To enable the limited-edition features, users can open a messenger thread and tap the name of the thread at the top to open its settings. From there, they can select “theme” and let the force be with them.

Yubo Raises $12.3 Million For Forthcoming Teen Social App

According to TechCrunch, the French startup is working on a social media app to help people under the age of 25 years old meet new people and create friendships.

Why it matters: The new funding round will help Yubo attract users in new markets in Japan and Brazil. Currently, Yubo is most active in the US, Canada, the UK Nordic countries, France and Australia.

The details: Unlike Instagram, Yubo’s app for teens isn’t focused on likes and followers. The app will instead help users build their own micro-community of friends via video streams and live chat. 

Instagram Will Use Artificial Intelligence To Flag Hurtful Comments Before They’re Posted

The platform announced that starting today, it will warn users when they’re about to post a potentially offensive caption on a photo or video that’s being uploaded to the main feed.

Why it matters: Instagram says that asking people to reconsider posting potentially hurtful comments has had promising results. The new AI-powered reminder builds upon the platform’s anti-bullying efforts which include the “restrict” feature it launched in October.

The details: Instagram’s AI-powered tools will generate a notification that says the caption “looks similar to others that have been reported.” The alert will also encourage the user to modify the caption or post it without editing it. The feature is rolling out in select countries first.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, December 20. 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

Ties Between Facebook And Oculus To Strengthen Soon

This week in social, it’s reported that Facebook will soon collect data from Oculus, Instagram is working on a feature that would create quick clips of different images and TikTok evolved its green screen video effect.

Oculus Owners Must Log Into Facebook To Access New Features

Facebook will soon harvest data on Oculus for use in most relevant content including ads.

Why it matters: In the past few years, Facebook has been criticized for a number of privacy failures.

The details: Oculus has added various new Facebook-powered social features including messaging friends while using the Oculus virtual reality (VR) headset and automatic joining with friends in multi-user apps and games. New and existing social features on Oculus will now prompt users to log in with Facebook. Facebook may soon collect data for purposes such as recommending VR apps and Oculus events.

Instagram Developing Stop-Motion Style Stories Feature

The new stories camera option, called “Poses,” will stitch multiple photos together into a stop-motion story.

Why it matters: With news of a surge in ad spend on stories, Instagram is keeping the momentum going with new features such as Poses, Layouts and Shoutouts. 

The details: “Poses” will create quick clips of different images, similar to photo booths.

TikTok Upgrades Its Popular Green Screen Video Effect 

The green screen effect has been used in more than 54 million creations. Now, TikTok is updating it so that users can shoot over videos playing in the background

Why it matters: The update comes at a time when TikTok is receiving backlash for postponing meetings with lawmakers over its privacy practices and ties to China.

The details: Due to the popularity of the green screen effect, TikTok has evolved it so that TikTokers can choose a video from their album to use as a background for other videos.

Instagram Stories Ad Spend Jumps 70 Percent In Q3

Growth on Instagram Stories outpaced the 0.3 percent adspend gain that Facebook Stories made—a similar product— according to Socialbakers, as Mobile Marketer reported.

Why it matters: The engagement aspect of Instagram stories has made it appealing to mobile marketers, so much so that they’re seeing better results from campaigns on Instagram than on Facebook Stories.

The details: Ad spend on Instagram Stories saw a 70 percent surge in Q3 from a year prior. While 62 percent of total ad spend on Facebook apps went to Facebook’s news feed, Instagram feed’s share of total ad spend on Facebook grew to 21 percent in September, compared to 18 percent a year earlier.

Pinterest Rolls Out Trend-Tracking Tool For US

In a company post, Pinterest announced Pinterest Trends, a new feature that gives brands a view of the top US search terms within the past 12 months.

Why it matters: The new tool will give brands deeper insight into planning behaviors on the platform, and help them allocate budgets accordingly.

The details: Pinterest’s trends tool will show trending terms in the US as well as when the top search terms peak. Albertsons has already successfully used the feature for a holiday campaign that drove in-store sales for their private labels. The feature will be available to US users over the coming weeks on desktop.

YouTube Announces New Harassment Policy To Include All Creators, Public Figures

YouTube outlined updates to its harassment policy after hearing from creators about offensive incidents time and time again.

Why it matters: YouTube’s expansion of its anti-harassment policy comes after long-standing criticism that it hadn’t done enough to protect users and creators.

The details: YouTube is taking its video removal process a step further by prohibiting explicit threats but also veiled implied threats including content simulating violence toward an individual or language suggesting physical violence may occur. The platform will also no longer allow content that maliciously insults someone based on protected attributes such as race, gender expression or sexual orientation. 

YouTube plans to remove comments that clearly violate its policies. It has already removed over 16 million in Q3. It is also giving creators the power to review a comment in question before it’s posted, and this feature has already resulted in a 75 percent reduction in user flags on comments. 

YouTube will use machine learning to identify offensive comments, a feature that has been applied to YouTube’s largest channels and will roll out to most channels by the end of the year.

Twitter To Fund Team To Create Decentralized Social Media Standards

In a series of tweets, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explained the initiative, which will involve a small, independent team of five open source architects, engineers and designers that will create decentralized standards for social.

Why it matters: Twitter has become increasingly centralized, making it tricky to enforce global policies around misinformation and abuse. It’s Twitter’s goal to be a client of the new standard which Dorsey intends on helping create.

The details: Dorsey wrote that he expects the team to build an open community, inclusive of companies and civil society leaders, around these decentralized social media standards.

Facebook Adds Cross-Account Reporting And Custom Ad Metrics

Facebook introduced new reporting tools that streamline ad measurement across accounts, channels and different publishers just in time for the holidays.

Why it matters: Facebook’s new ad metric features will give advertisers more specific insights into their ad performance, especially for those who work on broader scale ad initiatives.

The details: Users can now view overall ad performance across multiple ad accounts within the Ad Manager dashboard, eliminating the need to manually extract data for each account. Facebook also introduced an ad metrics option that enables advertisers to create metric formulas tailored to their goals then save the formulas for ongoing tracking.

Snapchat Publishes Monthly Trending Topics Report

The platform released its monthly “Snap Chatter” report on what trended in November globally.

Why it matters: Marketers can use Snapchat’s monthly report to gauge the evolving interests of Gen Z which combined with millennials make up 90 percent of the platform’s user base.

The details: Trending Snapchat topics in the US included Starbucks’ reusable holiday cups, Popeyes’ restocked chicken sandwich, Disney+ and Black Friday. In Australia, Snapchatters kept a close eye on bushfires and observed fallen soldiers on Remembrance Day. Meanwhile, in Iraq, users cheered on their favorite teams during the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup.

Snapchat Prepares To Launch Bitmoji-Like Selfie Chat Feature

According to TechCrunch, Snapchat Cameo lets you use your selfies to replace the faces of people in videos and then share the resulting video.

Why it matters: An alternative to Bitmoji, Cameo could make Snapchat messaging more interesting. Given Instagram and WhatsApp have successfully copied Snapchat’s Stories feature, Snapchat must stay ahead of the chat game.

The details: Today Snapchat announced that it’ll launch Cameo on December 18 globally for iOs and Android users. The feature, which lives inside the Bitmoji button in the Snapchat messaging keyboard, lets users “deep fake” their faces into videos. In the meantime, the feature is being tested in limited availability in some international markets including France.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, December 13. 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

Imgur Launches Gaming Content App Rivaling Twitch Clips

This week in social, Imgur launched an app that allows gamers to build up their audience, Instagram enforced a 13-and-over rule for new users, Reddit reported strong year in review performance and TikTok surpassed 1.5 billion downloads.

Imgur Launches Gaming Content App Rivaling Twitch Clips

According to The Verge, Imgur’s new app Melee lets players flaunt their best gaming moments as well as share favorite clips with other users. 

Why it matters: Imgur said that Melee was formed to give players a chance to build up their audience, something that is much more difficult to accomplish on Twitch without an already-established presence.

The details: Melee contains sections dedicated to different games and uses. For example, there’s a Fortnite group, a FIFA group and sections where YouTuber influencers and Twitch streamers can share their clips. Imgur users also have the ability to like, comment and share clips within Melee. 

Instagram Now Requires Date Of Birth When Creating An Account

In a company post, Instagram said it wants to enable more age-appropriate experiences overall by asking for users’ date of birth.

Why it matters: According to TechCrunch, Instagram has played dumb about users’ ages to avoid a $40,000 fine per violation of the Child Online Privacy Protection Act. Despite Instagram’s new age checkup, it still won’t be asking existing users for their age.

The details: Before today’s update, anyone could create an Instagram account regardless of their age. Now, Instagram says users must be at least 13 years old to have an account in most countries. Birthdays will remain private information, viewable only within your own account. Instagram says it has plans to use the birthday information to create tailored experiences such as education around account controls and recommended privacy settings for young users. The post also detailed Instagram’s latest efforts to strengthen messaging privacy—users can control who can send them direct messages and who adds them to group threads.

Reddit Sees 30 Percent YoY Increase In Monthly Active Users

The company released its key performance stats as part of its year in review. 

Why it matters: Back in September, Reddit announced new video ad options and a new mobile landing page. Though the platform has work to do in terms of improving revenue potential, brands shouldn’t overlook marketing opportunities on Reddit. 

The details: In April 2018, Reddit had 330 million monthly active users (MAU). That figure skyrocketed to 430 million MAU, which means Reddit has more users than Twitter (330 million as of April 2019) and Pinterest (322 million). Reddit also saw growth in its engagement, as monthly comments grew 37 percent YoY and monthly view count jumped 53 percent YoY. Increases in subscribers in the top 50 beauty, style and food communities indicates that Reddit’s community is diversifying. 

TikTok Exceeds 1.5 Billion Downloads

According to data from Sensor Tower, as of November 2019, TikTok has surpassed 1.5 billion downloads across the App Store and Google Play.

Why it matters: Though TikTok has grown exponentially, the platform is still uncharted territory for most brands.

The details: In addition to becoming the third most-downloaded non-gaming app globally, TikTok has passed $175 million in user spend over its lifetime, with 48 percent of all revenue made in China.

Facebook Provides More Transparency On Limiting Discriminatory Audience Targeting

Facebook has added two new measures to help prevent discrimination in ads for housing, employment or credit opportunities.  

Why it matters: The new measures are a result of a lawsuit the National Fair Housing Alliance, American Civil Liberties Union and the Communication Workers of America filed against Facebook saying that the platform needs to build stronger protections against abuse. Still, Facebook’s algorithm-based system means that audience bias can still exist. 

The details: Facebook has added the new ad restrictions to Ads Manager, Instagram Promote and Facebook Marketing API. Though the restrictions were employed in August, they were only fully enforced when the ads were purchased via Ads Manager, until now. The measures apply to advertisers based in the US, or those trying to reach US audiences.

TikTok Updates Age Restriction Policy On Virtual Gifting

The platform updated its policy to allow only those ages 18 and over to purchase, send or receive virtual gifts during live streams.

Why it matters: TikTok’s effort to prevent misuse of virtual gifts comes after a BBC probe revealed how children and teenagers were being pressured to buy virtual gifts for TikTok influencers. 

The details: Users can send virtual gifts to TikTok creators during a live steam. Before today, anyone older than 13 was allowed to send virtual gifts on TikTok, and anyone over 16 could receive them. Now TikTok has bumped up the age to 18 and over for anyone looking to purchase, send or receive a virtual gift. 

WeChat’s Brand Value Grew 1,540 Percent, Ranking Finds

According to Mobile Marketer, the value of the Tencent-run messaging service grew to $50.7 billion over the past five years.

Why it matters: WeChat’s success reflects the messaging app’s dominance in China, where it provides its massive audience of smartphone users with a lifestyle hub. The all-encompassing app lets other companies develop micro-programs that work inside the main app, which allows expanded features such as multimedia messaging, making payments, gaming, ride-hailing and travel booking.

The details: WeChat’s massive increase in brand value makes it the fastest growth among 100 global brands. In terms of dollars, Amazon saw the greatest brand value growth, which reached 187.9 billion. Together, China and the US had 39 of the world’s fastest-growing brands.

Twitter Uses Twttr Prototype App To Test New Conversation Features

According to TechCrunch, the features tested on twttr have now been spotted on Twitter.

Why it matters: With Twitter’s potential use of threaded conversation replies, it seems the platform is following in Reddit’s footsteps. Twttr also labels the person who started the conversation with a little microphone icon, similar to Reddit.

The details: Twitter launched twttr to experiment with changes to the Twitter user interface and gain feedback before officially rolling out changes to Twitter’s main user base. Now some of those features will be making their way to the Twitter app next year, including a Reddit-like conversation tree which helps keep track of a conversation’s flow. 

Twitter Pauses Purge Until It Can Memorialize Accounts Of The Deceased

Before proceeding with its plan to delete dormant accounts, Twitter is developing a way to memorialize the accounts of deceased users.

Why it matters: The announced purge would’ve initially only impacted accounts in the EU due to local privacy regulations, Twitter said. The platform didn’t specify when it would have a plan to memorialized accounts of the deceased, but until then, it can look to Facebook, who already has a feature for memorializing accounts. 

The details: Twitter received messages from many users regarding its plan to purge and the company reacted swiftly, ultimately making the decision to wait. However, the platform says its current inactive account policy has always been in place, but that it hasn’t been diligent about enforcing it.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, December 6. 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

Twitter To Delete Inactive Accounts, Freeing Up More Usernames

This week in social, Twitter announced it plans to delete accounts that have been inactive for six months and Facebook is testing a feature that would let users share messenger stories with selected friends.

Twitter Will Delete Accounts That Have Been Inactive For Six Months

According to BBC’s David Lee, Twitter will start deleting accounts on December 11.

Why it matters: Twitter’s plan to purge inactive accounts will free up usernames for active users.

The details: A spokesperson told The Verge that the platform’s goal with the purge is to “present more accurate, credible information that people can trust across Twitter.” Any accounts that haven’t logged in for the past six months will be considered inactive and deleted by Twitter over the course of the next several months. 

Facebook Tests Options To Share Messenger Stories With Select Group Of Friends

The feature would enable users to share Facebook and Messenger Stories with friends and family of their choice.

Why it matters: Should Facebook make the feature available to everyone, it would give brands a way to add a level of exclusivity to interactions with consumers and help foster brand loyalty. The tool is similar to the Instagram’s “Close Friends” sharing option, launched in December 2018.

The details: With a potential new “Favorites” list, Facebook users can share Stories with select users that they include in their list. 

Work Video Messenger Loom Streamlines Workplace Communication

According to TechCrunch, the Loom app, which launched in 2016, allows co-workers to communicate their message via video.

Why it matters: Loom-style asynchronous video messaging makes the app a potential competitor for Slack and Microsoft Teams. Yet Loom’s co-founder and CEO Joe Thomas notes that Loom is a complementary tool to chat.

The details: The Loom app lets users send short clips of themselves to streamline communication in the workplace. The company has grown from 1.1 million users and 18,000 companies using it to 1.8 million people at 50,000 companies, with 15 million minutes of Loom videos shared per month. The company announced it raised $30 million in a round, and has recently welcomed Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom as new investors.

Facebook Buys Virtual Reality Studio Behind Rhythm Game Beat Saber

Facebook announced today it’s buying Beat Games, the game studio responsible for one of the platform’s biggest titles: Beat Saber. 

Why it matters: The move indicates Facebook’s potential interest in following the strategies of Sony and Microsoft who have also bought small studios and funded new titles.

The details: Facebook’s new studio will join Oculus Studios, but will operate independently at its Prague headquarters. Facebook says that it’s not after platform exclusivity, and that Beat Games will still support the platforms that it’s already on.

Twitter Expands “Hide Tweet Replies” To All Users Globally

After the platform performed months of testing, Twitter users can now hide replies to their tweets.

Why it matters: Giving users better control over tweet engagement represents Twitter’s latest efforts to amplify the “healthy conversations” initiative it launched in March 2018, responding to users’ reported abuse and harassment. 

The details: Twitter users will now have the option to hide replies to tweets, which doesn’t delete replies, but rather moves them to a separate page. When the test first began, among Canadian Twitter users, Twitter found that people use the feature to hide replies that are irrelevant, off-topic, or annoying. It also found that 85 percent of the people who used the feature are not using block or mute functions.

The Number Of YouTube Creators Earning Five Figures Has Increased More Than 40 Percent

In her final quarterly update of 2019, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki details the platform’s developments in copyright claims, content guidelines and monetization tools.

Why it matters: The changes YouTube made to streamline creators’ experience proves that it’s taking influencers’ feedback into consideration, a move that has helped boost the YouTube economy. 

The details: Wojcicki said that compared to last year, the number of YouTube creators with a million or more subscribers has grown 65 percent, and influencers earning five or six figures annually has grown by more than 40 percent. In response to the copyright strikes creators face on the platform, Wojcicki said YouTube removed the final incentive to claim “very short and unintentional music use.” She also noted that the platform’s “Super Chat” feature, which allows fans to buy credits to have their comments featured in live-streams, have allowed some streams to earn more than $400 per minute. 

Twitter Testing Two-Factor Authentication Feature Without Need For A Phone Number

According to TechCrunch, the update comes after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s own Twitter account was hacked through a SIM swap.

Why it matters: In October, Twitter admitted to inadvertently using phone numbers provided during two-factor setup for serving targeted ads. That coupled with the fact that many people have had their phone numbers hijacked via SIM swapping, and it’s clear to see why Twitter is making an effort to protect users’ information. 

The details: For many years, Twitter made SMS-based two-factor authentication mandatory, forcing many users to give up their phone number. Now, the platform is rolling out the feature without the need for a phone number to a select group of users.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, November 29. 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