YouTube Attracts Ad Dollars From Television With New Nielsen Data Integration

This week, YouTube announced the addition of Nielsen television data to its audience planning tool, Facebook gives brands more in-depth control over ad placements and Amazon is rumored to launch its own cloud gaming service.

YouTube Integrates Nielsen Television Data Into Its Audience Planning Tool 

Google is adding Nielsen data to “Reach Planner,” its audience planning tool within Google Ads that launched last April.

Why it matters: Knowing that brands are using Google data from Reach Planner to help find audiences ditching traditional television, it’s likely that Google wants to control additional YouTube inventory within its auctions and borrow familiar television buying practices to attract big brand advertisers. 

The details: YouTube’s US director of video, Kristin MacGregor, said that many ad agencies use Reach Planner to estimate unique reach for large campaigns. With integrated Nielsen television demographics, brands can now compare YouTube and television reach on an apple to apple basis.

Facebook Gives Brands More Control Over Ad Placements

Facebook’s new brand safety tools will enable businesses to better control where their ads appear across the platform’s various ad delivery networks.

Why it matters: In 2017, YouTube lost millions of dollars in revenue after major brands pulled their spend due to concerns that their ads were displayed alongside extremist content and hate speech. Facebook’s new brand safety tools, which enable brands in-depth control, are the platform’s efforts to avoid the same issue. 

The details: Facebook is adding a new, dedicated section where brands can create blocklists, receive delivery reports and set account-level inventory filters. Facebook is looking to give advertisers the ability to white-list forms of content they appear on for in-stream video ads. Facebook also has a new brand safety partner, Zefr, who will join DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and OpenSlate to improve brand safety tools. 

Amazon’s Rumored To Launch Its Own Cloud Gaming Service Next Year

According to The Verge, job listings have given some evidence that Amazon is, in fact, launching a cloud gaming service.

Why it matters: Cloud gaming has become a popular new battleground for tech companies. With an already massive infrastructure and streaming know-how in place, Amazon is equipped to launch its own cloud gaming service and understands the huge potential for such a service.

The details: Amazon has experimented with cloud gaming before, with a game made by its own Amazon Game Studios in 2014. A report from The Information said Amazon’s new cloud gaming venture wouldn’t launch until 2020 at the earliest.

Snapchat Will Pay More Than $750,000 To Top Augmented Reality Stars

According to AdAge, Snapchat will triple what it paid out to augmented reality (AR) creators in 2019.

Why it matters: Snapchat saw a boost in downloads following the launch of its gender-swap and baby lenses. Still, the platform’s growth has been slowed by Instagram. Leading innovation on new AR tools will help Snapchat remain relevant and keep its users engaged.

The details: Snapchat’s commitment to pay AR creators more than $750,000 is significant considering it’s on track to generate about $1.2 billion in ad revenue in 2020. Snapchat’s ultimate goal is to iterate its Spectacles video sunglasses into fully functional AR devices.

Facebook’s New “Whale” App Lets Users Make Memes

The meme-making app is Facebook’s latest attempt to stay hip among Gen Z and millennials.

Why it matters: Whale could gain traction with younger users if the app continuously offers the latest meme templates. The app is in line with Facebook’s strategy to woo young users as it also recently launched music app AUX—meant for sharing music—and chat app Bump—which connects students through Q-and-A-style messaging. 

The details: Whale is available to Canadian users via Facebook’s experiential app division called NPE Team LLC. The app lets users make their own memes via simplified templates and tools without “hidden subscription pricing or distractions.”

Snapchat Says Political Ads On Platform Will Be Subject To Review

Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel said the platform fact-checks all ads including those from political candidates.

Why it matters: Snapchat’s taken a different approach to political ads than Facebook and Twitter. Snapchat says it will allow political ads but also limit misinformation via fact-checking. Facebook will allow political ads that are exempt from fact checks whereas Twitter will ban all political ads, but will allow certain “issues” ads.

The details: Spiegel said that Snapchat tries to create “a place for political ads on our platform” especially because “we reach so many young people and first-time voters.”

Twitch Launches Free Streaming Software For Newcomers

The platform launched Twitch Studio, an all-in-one streaming app that takes the guesswork out of setting up a stream.

Why it matters: Twitch debuted the app in August to a select group of users. Now available to everyone, Twitch Studio will encourage those who aren’t sure how to get started with streaming to get on board.

The details: Twitch says the software is primarily geared toward new streamers. While most streamers use third-party streaming programs such as Xsplit or OBS, Twitch Studio is purpose-built for streaming on Twitch. When downloaded, the software starts a guided setup process that detects hardware and adjusts stream settings to optimize for connection speed. The app comes with starter layouts and overlays to help personalize streams as well as integrated alerts.

Facebook Is Testing An In-App Feature Similar In Feel To Instagram

TechCrunch spotted Facebook testing a feature called Popular Photos that mimics the experience of scrolling an Instagram feed but within Facebook.

Why it matters: Given Facebook has most of the same features as Instagram, it’s only missing an explore tab and a dedicated media feed now. Popular Photos could provide users with a more passive browsing experience that omits having to click links and eliminate the need to read updates.

The details: Popular Photos affixes a scroll of algorithmically selected pictures beneath the full-screen view of a photo opened in Facebook’s news feed. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that Facebook was running a small test of Popular Photos in October.

TikTok Tests Shoppable Video Links For Influencers

According to Adweek, TikTok is running beta tests that allow influencers to embed social commerce links in videos on the app.

Why it matters: TikTok currently allows brands to run shoppable ads, but this would mark the platform’s first foray into social commerce where users can shop directly from influencers. The feature would also enable influencers to make their content more shoppable.

The details: TikTok’s social commerce links were first spotted by a TikTok engineer on a Chinese web forum. TikTok confirmed to Adweek that it is, in fact, testing a social commerce functionality.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, November 22. 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

Instagram To Extend Hidden Likes Test To Some US Users

This week, Instagram offers to pay for creators’ IGTV production costs, Facebook expands its breaking news tag to publishers in more regions and the Federal Trade Commission releases updated influencer disclosure guidelines.

Instagram Offers To Cover Production Costs For Creators’ IGTV Content 

The offer is being extended to select influencers but has one caveat. 

Why it matters: IGTV has struggled to gain viewership since its June 2018 launch, making this a small incentive for influencers to ramp up IGTV content creation. 

The details: Bloomberg says that Instagram is willing to pay influencers thousands of dollars towards production costs in exchange for a set number of videos. The platform has already signed dozens of deals, the biggest being $250,000 for more than 20 posts. The partnership restricts creators from posting to YouTube and enlisting any third-party sponsorship for giveaways. One caveat is that creators aren’t allowed to discuss social issues, politics or elections in their videos.

YouTube Will Ask Creators To Clarify Whether Their Content Is Suitable For Children

The move follows an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over YouTube’s violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Why it matters: YouTube will also stop serving personalized adverts alongside children’s content, which, the platform says, could result in a revenue decrease for some creators.

The details: After the FTC fined YouTube $170 million dollars for its failure to comply with COPPA, YouTube was ordered to create a system to better identify content that’s aimed at children. During the upload process, creators will now be asked whether the video they’re publishing is suitable for children. YouTube will further its initiative via machine-learning to identify content targeted at kids. Comments on child-related content will also be disabled. 

Facebook Expands Publishers’ Access To Breaking News Tags In More Regions

The feature is being extended after Facebook’s year-long test in several markets.

Why it matters: The platform’s red “breaking” tag doesn’t impact news feed post rankings, but Facebook says they improve a post’s performance. Following CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s statements about free speech, it seems Facebook is attempting to reinforce its role of news provider. 

The details: After running a test that allowed more than 100 news publishers from North America, Latin America, Europe, India and Australia to identify and label stories as “breaking news” on Facebook, the platform found that people engaged more actively with these stories. Now, the breaking news tags will be available to selected publishers in Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

Federal Trade Commission Announces Simplified Guidelines For Influencer Disclosure 

According to, the brochure explains laws surrounding disclosure and sponsored content in a manner that influencers will understand.

Why it matters: The FTC has made significant efforts to mitigate misconduct in digital spaces. Earlier this year, the FTC slapped TikTok with a $5.7 million penalty after the platform illegally collected personal information pertaining to children. Later, it fined Facebook $5 billion in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The details: Entitled “Disclosure 101,” the FTC’s updated guidelines provide clear instructions on how to disclose a partnership and reiterates the fact that financial relationships are not just limited to a monetary transaction. If sponsored content appears in a live stream, the brochure notes, then the disclosure must be repeated periodically so that viewers who opt-in at different times see it. The brochure also states that influencers shouldn’t mention products or services they’ve never used.

Instagram To Extend Test Of Hiding Likes To US Users

According to Social Media Today, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced at the WIRED25 conference that the platform will extend its test of hiding likes on posts to some users in the US.

Why it matters: Expanding the hidden likes test to additional users in the US suggests that it’s generating results, but what those results are, remains to be announced.

The details: Instagram launched the initial test in Canada in May then extended it to seven additional countries in July. Still, Instagram hasn’t released any data on how no likes will impact engagement and metrics.

Report Shows Impact Of Instagram’s Hidden Likes Test On Influencer Engagement

The HypeAuditor study surveyed more than 154,000 Instagram influencers to examine the impact of Instagram’s hidden likes experiment. 

Why it matters: The removal of total likes is impacting overall engagement stats for influencers, but the results aren’t definitive.

The details: The study found that total like counts have fallen in regions where Instagram implemented the test. Nano-influencers have seen a pronounced reduction in some areas but not all. Brazilian influencers in the mid-tier influencer have seen a bigger hit while Japanese influencers experienced a spike in the major influencer category.

TikTok Partners With Yandex On Ad Sales

TikTok is collaborating with Yandex, “Russia’s Google,” known for its range of online services.

Why it matters: The collaboration gives marketers a way to reach Russian consumers on TikTok. Half of the Russian consumers use social media, making the county a ripe market for growth. This also means that TikTok is expanding the platform to third parties for ad sales to help expand its revenue base.
The details: Yandex advertisers will reach TikTok users in Russia through Yandex Advertising Network (YAN), the company’s ad-serving platform. The video ads will appear in TikTok users’ curated feeds in a format that Yandex adapted for TikTok. The ads will also be adapted in a mobile format and targeted at specific TikTok users.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, November 15. 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

Brands Can Now Run Ads On YouTube’s Home Feed, Search Results

This week, Google announced it will display ads on YouTube’s home feed and in search results, Tinder’s in-app video series is going international and Facebook gives creators and publishers greater access to brand partnerships and engagement insights.

YouTube Is Bringing Shopping Ads To Its Home Feed, Search Results  

According to Search Engine Journal, Google is letting brands tap into users’ shopping intent.

Why it matters: Google says nearly two-thirds of shoppers use online video as inspiration for their purchase and more than 90 percent of those shoppers say they’ve discovered new products and brands via YouTube.

The details: Users will now see visual shopping ads, tailored to their interests, on YouTube’s home feed and when conducting searches.

Tinder To Launch New Swipe Night In-App Series Outside The US

The move comes after the in-app video series drove double-digit increases in matches and messages.

Why it matters: The interactive video series was a departure for the dating app that resonated so well with Gen Z users that Tinder will take it international in 2020.

The details: Tinder’s “Swipe Night” allowed users to swipe on a story, the narrative for which they could customize, a style format popularized by Netflix. The in-app series led to a 20 to 25 percent increase in likes and a 30 percent increase in matches. Additionally, the series boosted female engagement on the app.

Facebook Announces Expanded Access To Brand Collabs Manager

Initially, the “Brand Collabs Manager” tool was only open to a limited set of creators.

Why it matters: With greater access to partnership opportunities and deeper insights, creators and publishers alike will be able to make content that resonates with their audience.

The details: Introduced last year, “Brand Collabs Manager” is a database of potential Facebook and Instagram users that businesses can connect with to arrange partnerships. Now, creators in over 40 countries can apply for access to “Brand Collabs Manager.” To qualify, creators must have at least 1,000 followers, and either have 15,000 engagements on their posts over the last month or have 180,000 minutes viewed. Facebook also rolled out new data insights to its Creator Studio, called “Traffic Source Insights,” with the goal of helping publishers and creators better understand their content’s engagement. 

Twitter To Personalize Users Experience Based On Interest In Topics

Social Media Today reported that Twitter’s new feature will enable users to follow specific topics.

Why it matters: Twitter is looking to simplify the way users stay in touch with conversations of interest and boost engagement on the platform.

The details: Twitter will present prompts to follow topics and personalize users’ experience based on their interest in the specific topic. The platform may also match users with other topics they think they’re interested in based on their profile and activity, such as the tweets they view or like. Twitter has curated listings to cover over 300 topics of general interest. These listings will be formulated via a combination of machine learning and human creation. 

Twitter Exploring Major Changes To Retweets And Mentions

According to The Verge, Twitter is testing new anti-harassment features that could impact the very nature of the platform.

Why it matters: The ability to disable a retweet on specific tweets gives users protection against misinterpreted tweets going viral. Additionally, another potential feature that would prevent other users from mentioning you without permission, however, counters the call-out culture that’s foundational to Twitter.

The details: Twitter’s vice president of design and research yesterday tweeted a list of features he’s looking forward to in 2020 including an option to remove yourself from a conversation, the option to disable a retweet on a tweet, the option to not let people mention you without your permission and removing a mention from a conversation.

WhatsApp Announces New Group Privacy Settings 

The new invite system gives users more privacy.

Why it matters: Before today, the group privacy setting was only available in India. The now globally available privacy feature will help reduce spam.

The details: WhatsApp is giving users three levels of group invite privacy options including “Everyone,” an option that allows any users to add you to a group, “My Contacts” an option to let anyone in your phone’s contacts add you to a group and “My Contacts Except” which lets certain contacts add you to a group. Should someone not from any of the aforementioned categories try adding you, the group admin will be prompted to send the user an invite via a private WhatsApp message.

Facebook To Implement Limits On Number Of Ads Each Page Can Run

The update will start rolling out in mid-2020.

Why it matters: According to Facebook, running too many ads could lead to poor overall ad performance, which would, in turn, reduce overall ad spend. 

The details: Facebook said it will limit the number of ads each page can run at the same time, a change that will “impact just a small percentage of advertisers.” It explained that when running many ads at the same time, “fewer ads exit the learning phase and more budget is spent before the delivery system can optimize an ad’s performance.”

YouTube Launches Animated “Super Stickers” For Creators

The stickers will give creators more ways to earn money and connect with fans. 

Why it matters: With new stickers, YouTube is giving creators more ways to deepen their connection with their fans and make more money at the same time.

The details: YouTube’s new stickers were inspired by its “Super Chat feature,” which allows fans to purchase messages that stand out within a live chat and premieres. The super stickers’ initial release come with eight distinct sticker packs including translated packs for English, French, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese. 

Pinterest’s Q3 Report Shows 47 Percent Increase In Revenue

The platform’s latest performance update reveals increases in both revenue and usage for the third quarter of 2019.

Why it matters: Though it saw a 47 percent increase in revenue, Pinterest’s growth is slower than previous quarters. Its commitment to expand on-platform buying options will allow it to capitalize on its capacity as a product discovery and purchase engine for consumers. While Pinterest’s double-digit growth in international monthly active users (MAU) reflects the platform’s potential for ongoing expansion.

The details: This quarter, Pinterest added 22 million more MAU, making its total MAU 322 million, a 28 percent increase year-over-year. Comparatively, in the same period, Snapchat added 7 million additional daily active users while Facebook added 36 million MUA. Pinterest’s international MUA saw a 38 percent increase and its revenue grew to $280 million.

WhatsApp Lets iOS Users Watch Netflix Trailers Directly In App

Engadget reports insights into the new feature which hasn’t officially been announced yet. 

Why it matters: The feature gives users added incentive to remain within WhatsApp while communicating with friends and family about new Netflix shows or planned viewing events. 
The details: This feature only pertains to trailers. WhatsApp users who want to stream a full movie or show will still have to do so in the Netflix app.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, November 8. 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

Facebook Shows Strong Q3 Growth Amid Public Backlash

This week, Facebook’s Q3 results come in strong, Twitter’s CEO takes a stand against political ads and Mixer matches Twitch’s subscription price.

Facebook Demonstrates Strong Growth In Q3

According to TechCrunch, Facebook users increased two percent to 2.45 billion.

Why it matters: Despite public backlash and increased competition from Snapchat, Facebook has managed to stay sticky.

The details: Facebook reached 2.45 billion monthly users in Q3 compared to 2.41 billion in the quarter prior. It now has 1.62 billion daily active users and $18 billion of revenue, up 29 percent year-over-year, with $2.12 earnings per share (EPS). The company gained 2 million users in each of its core US, Canada and Europe markets.

Twitter Stops All Political Advertising Globally

Twitter’s CEO tweeted that the company believes political message reach should be earned, not bought. 

Why it matters: Twitter’s decision to ban political ads is in stark contrast to the support Facebook has expressed for politicians’ free speech.

The details: Dorsey explained, “A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money.”

Mixer Matches Twitch’s Subscription Price

The Microsoft-owned platform Mixer is going after Twitch by changing its subscription pricing from $5.99 to $4.99.

Why it matters: The change in price comes after Twitch’s top streamers, such as Ninja and KingGothalion, moved to Mixer. The lower rate makes it more appealing for other pro Twitch streamers to make the move to Mixer. 

The details: Mixer’s new price is the same amount as Twitch’s initial level pricing. Subscribers who auto renew will see the lower rate and those who subscribed within the last week can even request an adjustment. 

Facebook Launches Preventative Medicine Tool For Users 

According to a Facebook blog post, the social media giant’s latest feature will prompt users to get regular checkups and connect them to service providers.

Why it matters: The issue of privacy caused Facebook to scale back its efforts in health, but the tech giant is moving forward again even though consumers have doubts. A year ago, a consumer filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission accusing Facebook of improperly protecting information about users of a group that discussed personal medical conditions with the expectation of privacy. A recent study also shows that several mental health apps have been sending data to Facebook for analytics or advertising purposes. So it’s unclear what steps Facebook has taken to address privacy concerns.

The details: For the new health initiative, Facebook is teaming with organizations such as the American Cancer Society and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a series of digital prompts that encourage users to get a standard battery of tests. To start, the company’s focus will be the top two leading causes of death in the US—heart disease and cancer. Facebook’s partner organizations will recommend checkups to users based on age and gender via the mobile app or desktop version. Additional features of the tool include completed marks, reminders for future tests and an option to tell their friends about the tool. Facebook said it will not collect the results of any test. 

Gen Z Favor Snapchat, Twitch And Wish

An App Annie study revealed top app and web preferences of Gen Z.

Why it matters: Gen Z collectively spend $44 billion a year and influence another $600 billion in household purchases. Marketers have more incentive to shift ad dollars to these platforms. 

The details: The top-ranking apps among Gen Z are Snapchat, Twitch and Wish. Wish, the ecommerce platform that connects buyers directly with sellers is a favorite of the group because its discounted products appeal to Gen Z’s budget-savvy habits. Given social media has made them more guarded, Gen Z are more likely to use Snapchat because it deletes messages and stories after 24 hours. 

Snapchat Introduces 3D Paint Feature For Augmented Reality Snaps

According to Venture Beat, the feature enables users to create new augmented reality (AR) snaps directly from their camera.

Why it matters: The 3D paint feature is part of Snapchat’s growing AR investment. In the last few months alone, the company raised $1 billion in short-term debt as part of its AR strategy and launched dual-camera spectacles capable of creating 3D AR content. 

The details: 3D Paint is available on iOS devices initially and users can access it via the “AR Bar,” the app’s dedicated space for creating and browsing AR filters. Users can manually draw visuals over their faces through the selfie camera. 

FTC Rules That Selling Likes And Followers Is Illegal

According to Social Media Today, the case involves a Florida businessman who sold social engagement to celebrities.

Why it matters: The case sets new guidelines for potential legal action against sellers of fake social media engagement. Facebook has already moved ahead with legal action against several fake engagement providers, even extending the push to those selling fake likes in China. 

The details: The FTC recently fined Florida businessman German Calas, Jr. $2.5 million for selling likes and followers to celebrities, under a business Calas led called Devumi. A New York Times investigation found that Devumi drew on an estimated stock of at least 3.5 million automated accounts, each sold many times over, helping the company generate $15 million in revenue. Earlier this year, Devumi agreed to a $50,000 settlement. The FTC says the additional $2.5 million will be suspended when Calas has paid $250,000. In a second case, the FTC issued a warning to skincare brand Sunday Riley whose founder allegedly wrote fake reviews about the company’s products via Sephora’s site and ordered employees to do the same.  

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, November 1. 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 Q3 Earnings Show Drop In Sales, Earnings Per Share

This week, Twitter gets hit with a drop in sales and earnings per share, Snapchat introduces a developer tool that lets brands and publishers share web content and LinkedIn reports strong revenue growth.

Twitter Q3 Earnings Show Drop In Sales And Earnings Per Share

According to TechCrunch, ad tech glitches caused Twitter to miss big on revenues and earnings per share (EPS).

Why it matters: Analysts predicted Twitter’s EPS to come in at 20 cents per share, which is far greater than what Q3 earnings show. 

The details: Revenues for Q3 reached $824 million and EPS $0.05. Twitter attributed the drop to revenue product issues, bugs in its Mobile Application Promotion (MAP) product which impacted the ability to target ads and issues with its ad tech personalization. The platform’s monetizable daily active users, however, increased from 124 million a year prior to 145 million.

Snapchat Introduces Creative Kit For Sharing Web Content To App

The developer tool lets brands and publishers share web content. 

Why it matters: Integrations with third-party apps give marketers a chance to reach a broader audience and boost web traffic outside the app.

The details: The “Creative Kit for Web” lets brands add a “Share to Snapchat” button to a mobile or desktop site and the resulting shared snaps will feature a branded sticker or GIF as well as a link to drive traffic to related content on a site. While using Snapchat, visitors to those sites will be able to scan a snap code with a smartphone camera to share then a link with friends and followers. 

LinkedIn FY20 Q1 Earnings See Increased Revenue And Sessions

Microsoft reported earnings for its first fiscal quarter of 2020 including LinkedIn highlights.

Why it matters: The platform has been delivering solid double-digit growth over the last several quarters and chances are the trend will continue with its latest introduction of real-life networking events.

The details: LinkedIn revenue grew 25 percent and sessions increased 22 percent year-over-year as engagement reached record levels. Marketing solutions continued to be the platform’s fastest-growing segment, up 44 percent YOY.

Snapchat’s Latest Performance Updates Show Increases In Users And Revenue 

Snapchat revealed that its audience grew by seven million from Q2 to Q3.  

Why it matters: An increased average revenue per user (ARPU) reflects that Snapchat’s business efforts are improving and that its capitalizing on its ability to maintain audience interest. Still, the platform’s “Rest of the World” users are not as profitable as those in other markets, reflecting Snapchat’s need to incur more technical costs to support those users.

The details: The update notes that Snapchat is being used by 210 million people every day, up from 203 million in the previous quarter. The increase is in part attributed to the “Rest of the World” category with Snapchat’s re-designed Android app which has gained traction in India.

Snapchat also improved profitability with a 50 percent year-on-year increase to $446 million. Its overall ARPU also increased by 33 percent to $2.12. Total daily time spent watching the platform’s “Discover” content has increased 40 percent year-over-year.

Instagram Removes All Augmented Reality Filters That Promote Cosmetic Surgery

BBC reports that the move comes amid concerns that cosmetics surgery filters on the platform’s stories harm people’s mental health. 

Why it matters: The move to ban cosmetic surgery filters is in line with its overall effort to promote wellbeing and recent anti-bullying “Restrict” feature.

The details: Story filters that make users look like they’ve had fillers, lip injections or a facelift will be banned. The decision comes after the app announced in August that users would be able to create their own custom face filters on stories. The result was many popular filters that mimicked the effects of extreme cosmetic surgery. 

Instagram Adds Option To Categorize IGTV Videos

According to Social Media Today, Instagram’s new ‘Series’ option will enable creators to segment videos into dedicated collections.

Why it matters: The feature is influenced by Snapchat’s original shows and docuseries which have been gaining momentum through repeat viewership. 

The details: Instagram will allow creators to group their IGTV videos and also notify viewers when there are new episodes via an on-screen tab that viewers can tap. The IGTV ‘Series’ option will help influencers better brand their content and encourage return viewers.

YouTube Adds Virtual ‘Beauty Try-On’ In Beta To Masthead And Trueview Discovery Ads

Google’s artificial reality (AR) feature, Beauty Try-On—which lets viewers virtually try on makeup using their front-facing smartphone cameras while following along with YouTube creators’ tutorials—is now available to brands globally. 

Why it matters: YouTube’s AR beauty experience will allow advertisers an opportunity to showcase their brands in an engaging way via YouTube’s home feed across devices.  

The details: Google first made “Beauty Try-On” available through an alpha with Google’s in-house branded content platform, FameBit. Now consumers will be able to browse, virtually try on makeup and shop the products directly via the mobile Masthead (via the YouTube homepage)and Trueview discovery ads while watching a tutorial. NARS has reached over 20 million people to date in the US, UK, Canada and Australia with the feature. 

Instagram Testing Feature That Would Cluster Accounts To Make Them Manageable 

According to Engadget, an app sleuther has learned that Instagram is testing a feature that would group followers into categories to make them easier to manage.

Why it matters: This would help followers focus their feed on people who they care about and in turn lure them back to the platform even when follow lists become cluttered. 

The details: The feature would let users see followers they “least interacted with” and “most shown in feed” to help users determine who to unfollow.

Facebook Marketers Increase Video Media Budgets In Q3

Mobile Marketer reported that per a study from Nanigans, Facebook advertisers boosted their video budgets 24 percent in Q3 from a year prior, the third consecutive quarter that video spend more than doubled image adspend. 

Why it matters: The rise in video budgets indicates marketers’ efforts in engaging users with more emotionally compelling content, an important strategy for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands that are equipped to fulfill direct orders and app marketers looking to drive downloads.

The details: In addition to overall video budgets increasing, cost-per-click (CPC) rates for video ads rose 31 percent during the period while click-through rates (CTR) for video decreased 28 percent. Still, the rise in video spending shows that marketers saw a positive return from video ads. Facebook advertisers also spent more on dynamic ads, 98 percent in Q3 from a year earlier.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, October 25. 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

Miller Lite Encourages Consumers To Swap Screen Time For ‘Miller Time’

Miller Lite is going dark on its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and asking consumers to unfollow the company’s social channels as a part of its new marketing campaign. The brand is reenvisioning “Miller Time” for today’s generation of drinkers, offering a free beer to those who choose to spend time sharing a beer with friends rather than scrolling through their feeds online.

“With this new campaign, we’re championing in-person, genuine connections over social media followers. We know that today’s generation of new drinkers will spend more than five years of their lifetime on social media, and yet are only meeting up with their close friends less than a few times a month. By reintroducing Miller Time, we want to remind them that while social media is great, it’s no replacement for hanging out in-person over a Miller Lite,” said Anup Shah, VP Miller Family of Brands. 

To participate, consumers need to text “UNFOLLOW” to the number provided on the company’s site with an attached screenshot confirming that they unfollowed Miller Lite social media channel. 

“We understand it’s risky for a brand today to say that we want you to unfollow us on social media, when it’s one of the many ways we stay in touch with beer drinkers,” Shah said. “But we value those in-person connections and are committed to inspiring people to do the same, even if that means losing a few followers along the way.”

Also, as a part of the campaign, Miller Lite presented a television spot, called “Followers,”  during Game 1 of the MLB World Series. “A few friends are better than a few thousand followers. Here is to the original social media,” the spot’s slogan says.  

Burger King Trolls McDonald’s (Again); Pokes Fun At Trump Tweet

The Burger King vs. McDonald’s battle is far from over. Burger King is continuing its campaign against the Golden Arches—this time by playfully using McDonald’s marketing against itself to promote a new product.

Seizing an opportunity, Burger King is inviting those who have unused “MacCoins” to Burger King locations in Chicago, Illinois to exchange them for Big King XL sandwiches.

In 2018, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac, McDonald’s gave away MacCoins that could be used to purchase the sandwich. However, those coins expired as of December 31st, rendering any unused MacCoins useless.

While the burger chains have had a long history of competition, this year Burger King has ramped up its game. In late 2018, Burger King used geofencing to incentivize downloads of their app by offering Whopper sandwiches for a penny if users of the app were near a McDonald’s location.

Burger King has also gotten increasingly brazen on their social channels, joining in on the much-memed fast food dinner held by President Trump.

In response to a misspelling from the President’s Twitter account, Burger King responded by saying “due to a large order yesterday, we’re all out of hamberders. just serving hamburgers today.” This was referencing a quickly-deleted tweet by the president earlier that day misspelling “hamburgers.”

The tweet has already been shared over 80,000 times and has already earned $482,020 in earned media value at the time of publishing according to

It appears that Burger King has quietly evolved a new brand identity—one that is irreverent and unafraid to poke at safe targets when the opportunity arises.

Facebook Wants To Sell HBO Subscriptions; Pinterest Ads On The Rise

This week in social media news, Facebook is in talks to sell premium TV, surprises New Yorkers with privacy advice, tests search ads and makes life event posts more elaborate, Pinterest is inspiring US marketers, Instagram adds voice messaging feature to DM’s and Facebook might predict where you’re going. Also, the government is definitely watching your Twitter, Instagram offers data to creators and Snapchat partners with Adidas with augmented reality.

Facebook In Talks To Offer HBO, Other TV Subscriptions

Purchasing HBO and other premium TV subscriptions may soon be available on social networks like Facebook beginning next year, Recode reports.

Why it matters: TV and social media have strong ties, especially during live episodes and around premieres. Facebook understandably wants to get in on that action as it continues its push for Facebook Watch and other video offerings—not to mention another stream of revenue. The question is, why would users pay to watch HBO on Facebook when they can watch it on HBO Now? Social integration could be the key.

Details: Facebook is in talks to act as a reseller for premium TV channels including HBO, Showtime and Starz, sources told Recode. Subscribers would then be able to watch the channels on Facebook, most likely from the Watch hub.

Pinterest Will Attract 32 Percent Of US Marketers This Year

The number of US marketers that use Pinterest continues to rise, according to predictions by eMarketer.

Why it matters: Pinterest leverages consumers’ needs to discover new ideas organically, but with the help of a clever recommendation engine. In February, Pinterest reported that there were 600 million monthly visual searches on its platform, a 140 percent increase from 250 million a year earlier. Marketers are taking advantage of the site’s rising popularity through integrated Pins and ecommerce.

Details: EMarketer forecasts that 31.9 percent of US marketers will use Pinterest in 2018, up from 29.1 percent in 2017. As a result, Pinterest’s US ad revenues are expected to reach $553.3 million in 2018.

Facebook Brings ‘Privacy Pop-up’ To Manhattan

Facebook has set up shop in Manhattan’s Bryant Park to hand out hot cocoa and answer questions about privacy.

Why it matters: While advertisers continue to spend on the platform, user sentiment has dropped and youngsters are leaving in favor of Instagram and Snapchat. Facebook has already hosted these pop-up events in  London, Dubai, Dublin, Ireland and Cologne, Germany. Face-to-face contact with users allows the brand to address concerns and make a more intimate connection.

Details: Facebook users can find the brand set-up in Manhattan’s Bryant Park Thursday, where team members will answer questions and demonstrate how to navigate the site’s privacy settings.

Instagram Offers More Data To Influencers With Creator Accounts

Select Instagram users are being offered “Creator Accounts” that provide access to data normally reserved for businesses.

Why it matters: One of the biggest complaints popular Snapchat users had was that the company didn’t treat them as an asset or provide data that could help them drive traffic. While Snapchat is slowly trying to remedy this, Instagram became a popular alternative for creators looking for more statistics such as follower counts. With Creator Accounts, influencers can access even more information that will help drive personal business decisions.

Details: Instagram has offered a select number of creators the opportunity to try its new “Creator Account.” The move recognizes influencers as entrepreneurs and allows them to sort messages, review data and more. The test will roll out to more high-profile users in 2019.

Snapchat Partners With Adidas For Trying On Virtual Shoes

Adidas has launched a sponsored AR lens that lets users “try on” the new Ultraboost 19 shoes before they hit stores.

Why it matters: Augmented reality continues to surpass VR adoption for several reasons, one of which is the ease in which a user can visualize purchases. This is reportedly the first time in which Snapchat has offered a shoe filter. Snapchat is leveraging its popular Lens feature to encourage ecommerce and attract high-paying brand partners.

Details: Snapchat users can see what the new Adidas Ultraboost 19 runners look like on their feet, thanks to a sponsored Lens. The shoes go on sale December 15, but the AR effect lets users imagine what they would look like on their feet.  Tapping on the Adidas logo in the menu bar of Snapchat’s lenses activates the AR experience. It starts with an unboxing video, then lets people try them on or get more information.

Governments Demand More Info From Twitter, The Company Reports

Alongside its Transparency Report, Twitter said that global governments are requesting more information than in previous years.

Why it matters: Government interference has been a tradition since the invention of the government. However, in a digital age, users are much more aware of the implications and social media makes spreading propaganda as easy as a mouse click. On the flip side, governments in which freedom of expression is much more limited are demanding more takedowns.

Details: Twitter reported that it received 6,904 government requests for information on 16,882 accounts. Demands do not necessarily warrant a response, however. Twitter turned over at least some data in 56 percent of cases. The US requested the most information, followed by Japan and the UK. Turkey and Russia requested the most takedowns of data.

Facebook Tests Ads In Search Results

Advertisers may soon have the ability to choose search results as a placement option for advertising.

Why it matters: As more advertisers shift funds to Instagram, Facebook is on the lookout for new marketing real estate. Search result ads appear with a “sponsored” label, much like Google Adwords.

Details: A small beta test is being conducted in the US and Canada for retail and automotive brands. Participants can select “search results” as a placement option on static image and carousel ads, but no video at this time. Should the test prove successful, Facebook could roll out the new placement to other brands and regions.

Life Events Get Special Treatment On Facebook

Life events from getting a new job to losing a loved one can now be shared in a more creative way.

Why it matters: Life event posts encourage users to engage with one another and will most likely serve as a flag for advertising data, i.e. new families, new job, etc.

Details: Facebook announced new ways to commemorate moments in a user’s life. This includes animated photos and videos. Users can select images from a gallery of provided artwork, their own images or those belonging to tagged friends and Pages. An icon can be added to represent the update and the post will be prominently displayed on a user’s profile.

No Need To Type, Instagram Brings Voice Messaging To DM’s

Instagram added a voice messaging feature to its direct messages.

Why it matters: Instagram finally caught up to Facebook–they’ve had the feature in its Messenger platform for a long time. However, voice messages are the favored way of communication, so better to be late than never, right?

Details: Users can record messages by holding down the microphone button and instantly send once you release the button. Don’t like the embarrassing thing you recorded? Don’t freak out, users can re-record by sliding your finger over to the trash can button to delete it.

Instagram Focuses On Hashtags To Create #InstaGiftGuide

#InstaGiftGuide pairs 34 gift-worthy products and six 2018 hashtag trends to create a holiday shopping guide.

Why it matters: There are a lot of products on Instagram and many ways to shop, so it can hard to narrow down on gift ideas. #InstaGiftGuide makes it easier by searching famous hashtags like #catsofinstagram.

Details: Instagram combined its essential elements, brands and hashtags, to develop the #InstaGiftGuide. Earlier this year, the platform developed two new ways to shop via stories and its shopping channel in Explore. Among the hashtags linked to the #InstaGiftGuide are #tutting, #oddlysatisfying and #vaporwave.

Facebook Filed Three Patents To Figure Out Your Next Move

Location tracking is going up a notch and Facebook wants to figure out your next move.

Why it matters: Facebook wants to advertise to users in the best way and it includes when you’ll be offline and where you’re going after work. This might not be uneasy news for some, after Facebook’s notorious security breach exposed the personal information of over 50 million users.

Details: Facebook has filed several patent applications in order to figure out when a user is going next and when they’ll be offline. The first patent “Office Trajectories” describes a tech method that predicts where a user is going based on previously logged locations.  The second patent “Location Prediction Using Wireless Signals on Online Social Networks,” gauges the strength of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular and near-field communication (NFC) signals to figure out your location–more precisely than GPS. Its third patent focuses on targeted advertising based on movement patterns, so it will alert you to promotions if you’ve visited two locations related to another pairing.

Snapchat Tests New Photo Features

Snapchat is testing several camera features that originated on Instagram.

Why it matters: Instagram took everything Snapchat was famous for and ran with it, leaving the disappearing-message app in a tough position competitively. Two can play at that game, but can Snapchat play the game well?

Details: As spotted by developer and social media sleuth Jane Manchun Wong, Snapchat is testing several camera modes: portrait, gridline, batch and timer. Portrait mode–those selfies blurred background–are all the rage, so as a “camera company,” Snapchat is wise to catch up.

YouTube Rewind Is The Sites’ Second-Most Disliked in History

YouTube’s attempt at celebrating its creators backfired when it excluded some of the year’s most-watched content.

Why it matters: Bt excluding creators that got into hot water, audiences felt that YouTube was being disingenuous and catering only to potential advertisers.

Details:  Each year, YouTube creates a montage that pays tribute to its creators and most notable moments in the last 12 months. When audiences viewed the collection, however, they didn’t appreciate the absence of notable creators. PewDiePie and Logan Paul, among others. Leaving certain offenders out of the annual video could be meant to discourage repeat performances, but many audience members felt disappointed that rising starts were omitted.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, December 14. 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

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018

We’re closing out 2018 with 12 dank marketing memes, specially curated for the unique tastes of those discerning chief meme officers out there. Gladden your heart with such AList favorites as “Lil Brandz,” “Twitter Musk” and “Papa John + Crying Cat,” and peruse our reading list to explore the inspiration behind the memes.

May your ROI be merry and bright. Happy New Year!

#1. Much Like The Flywheel Itself, This Meme Is Not Simply A Metaphor: It’s A Way Of Life

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - Funnel vs Flywheel

Sometimes you gotta pivot.

#2. Because GDPR Had To Be On This List

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - GDPR meme

Your newly minted Chief Data Protection Officer had a lot to do this year.

#3. If Marketing Was Romaine Lettuce, Blockchain Was The ‘E. coli’ Of 2018

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - Is this blockchain

Ninety-nine percent of the time—it’s not.

#4. We Should Have Made This A Video Meme

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - Mark Zuckerberg meme

It was too good to be true.

#5. Influencers Are So Hot Right Now

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - Microinfluencers meme

Special shoutout to everyone on TikTok.

#6. How Did We Get Here? And Where Are We Going?

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - Elon Musk meme

Navigating the whole brands-having-personalities thing.

#7. Chief “Hide The Pain” Officer

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - Hide The Pain CMO


#8. What Kept You Up At Night

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - Spongebob Programmatic

Thanks, programmatic!

#9. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - If You Don't Love Me At My

Presented without comment.

#10. You Light Up My Life

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - Drake Moth Budweiser

Famous among moths.

#11. Introducing Unilever’s New CMO

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - Gritty Keith Weed

Gritty Keith Weed.

#12. Lil Brandz

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - Lil Xan Marketing

Wonder what’s in store for us all in 2019!

Reading list:

Well, that’s it. Want to make a suggestion or issue a cease and desist order? Did we miss the perfect marketing meme mashup? Did we totally blow it?

Let us know on Twitter @alistdaily.

12 Dank Marketing Memes That Illustrate 2018 In A Nutshell - Papa John Sad Cat

Facebook Tests Live Shopping Videos; YouTube Adds Autoplay

This week in social media news, Facebook wants to be the next home shopping network, YouTube Mobile gets an autoplay option, Facebook makes holiday wishlists, tests keywords and entices video creators in India while Snapchat reveals the quick service restaurant dining habits of its users.

Facebook Tests Live Video Shopping

Facebook is testing a new feature that would allow merchants to describe wares in a live video and fulfill orders through chat.

Why it matters: Humans are visual creatures and as consumers turn to their smartphones for inspiration, Facebook wants to cash in. Should the feature be widely adopted, ecommerce would be expanded on Facebook and open the door for similar Instagram opportunities.

Details: A select number of Pages in Thailand are testing a live shopping feature, Facebook confirmed with TechCrunch. Retailers would demo and describe their products via a live feed, similar to a home shopping network. Interested viewers can screenshot an item they like and send it to the seller via Facebook chat, where they can be invoiced and complete the transaction.

YouTube Mobile Gets Autoplay Option

Soon when mobile users browse YouTube’s home page, videos will begin to play automatically, but with the sound off.

Why it matters: YouTube previously added this feature for Premium Android users so they could preview content before viewing, with “great results.” The company says that by previewing content beforehand, it allows viewers to make more informed decisions about what to watch, resulting in longer engagement times when they do.

Details: YouTube is beginning to roll out Autoplay on Home for Android and iOS devices. Users will see videos begin to autoplay with the sound off while browsing YouTube’s home page on their phones. The option can be turned off or allowed only when there is WiFi access.

Facebook Adds Inspiration Section For Brands

A best-of-class collection of successful ad campaigns is now available to marketers to peruse for inspiration on Facebook.

Why it matters: As the second-largest seller of advertising in the world, Facebook needs to keep marketers happy and inspired amid an agonizing stream of controversies. Proving that advertising works on the platform certainly doesn’t hurt.

Details: The new Inspiration section is a collection of top-performing ad content, curated by Facebook’s Creative Shop. Users can browse by month, vertical, region and success rate, as displayed on a leaderboard. The section currently features ads from Hershey’s, Amazon, Uber and more.

Facebook Makes Pinterest-Like Collections Shareable

Facebook users can now share their collections of posts with others as a kind of “wishlist” for the holidays.

Why it matters: Collaboration means more time spent on the platform—a statistic that has gone down for Facebook in recent months. Creating and sharing collections allows users to communicate ideas with others, which in turn inspires those friends and family to log in and check it out.  Facebook says that “millions” use this feature each day, so (at least in theory) millions will begin sharing those collections like an Amazon wishlist.

Details: Facebook collections rolled out a year ago but were visible only to their creators. Now, users will be able to share them with others. The idea is that collections will inspire collaboration or gift ideas, hence the timing of this release.

Keyword Mentions Being Tested For Facebook Groups

Group admins may soon be able to set up notifications for specific keywords.

Why it matters: Brands would be able to identify intent-related keywords within a group and offer a timely reaction. While the intent is to allow admins to weed out offensive conversations, the opposite could also be true.

Details: A new feature in testing would allow Facebook group admins to set up alerts when certain keywords and phrases are mentioned. This feature could help moderate offensive content, alert to interesting topics or notify brands of a particular interest.

Facebook Watch Offers Monetization In India

Indian Facebook users with over 10,000 followers can now access monetization tools for video.

Why it matters: Facebook continues its video push by offering tools similar to YouTube, its biggest rival. India is proving a lucrative market for social media giants, as well. Facebook added Stories features for Diwali celebrations this year and Snapchat just partnered with several publishers to offer local Indian Discover content for the first time.

Details: During a creator event in Mumbai, Facebook announced that Indian content creators can access tools to monetize their videos. The features are limited to videos at least three minutes in length and for creators with at least 10,000 followers.

Snapchat Explores The Eating Habits Of Its Users

Snapchat found that its users visit quick service restaurants (QSR) at least two times per week and usually on the weekends.

Why it matters: Advertisers on Snapchat can use this information to plan campaigns around when and where users are eating. Likewise, QSR brands can use this information to time campaigns and drive visits during less popular times of the week.

Details: US Snapchatters grab a bite between shopping trips and most often on Saturdays while Canadians do so on Fridays, the social network revealed. Different restaurants vary in popularity depending on the day. Taco Bell appears to be the most popular choice for a quick bite, especially on Sundays at 16.05 percent. Time of day also effects QSR visitation, Snapchat found. For Starbucks, peak US Snapchatter visitation is at 3:00 p.m. while McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King and Taco Bell are busiest at 6 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, December 7. 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