This week in social media news, every publication tells you how to delete your Facebook, Snapchat brings back Big Ben, Facebook knows your location even when you think they don’t, Snap gets another new Spectacles boss, influencers are posting fake branded posts and TikTok hits 500 million users.
Every Publication Writes “How To Delete Your Facebook” Article
Nearly every publication and their mother wrote a “How To Delete Your Facebook” article in the last 24 hours. Is this a sea change we haven’t seen before?
Why it matters: With the continuous stream of bad news for Facebook, the brand has seen massive damage to it’s reputation in 2018. There have always articles about what to do when you delete Facebook, but this feels different. If users leave, marketers are sure to follow.
Details: In the wake of yesterday’s Facebook news meltdown, publications like Fortune, USA Today, Slate, Newsweek, NBC News all ran “How To Delete Your Facebook”-type articles. Sure, they are re-upping old articles for clicks, but with each consecutive drop of bad news for Facebook, we get closer to people actually leaving the platform. Remember, it seemed not too long ago, that MySpace would be around forever.
Snapchat Brings Back Big Ben With AR Filter
Snapchat debuted a Big Ben AR filter and it even chimes every 15 minutes.
Why it matters: For Londoners who miss seeing the old clock, the AR filter offers a bit of reprieve. This is fairly unique for Snapchat, in terms of highlighting a monument in its actual space. However, they collaborated with Jeff Koons a few years ago on something similar.
Details: As reported by The Daily Mail, Snapchat brought back Big Ben with an AR filter, showing the large clocktower enveloped in a snow globe. The clock is under restoration for at least four years and currently covered in scaffolding.
Facebook Knows Your Location, Even When You’ve Turned It Off
Users can’t really control Facebook’s location settings and this is not good news for marketers serving ads.
Why it matters: Facebook’s advertising principles and even announcements from the VP of ads say that its ad preferences tool allows you to control your ad experience, but a post on Medium reveals its deceptive to users and advertisers. The company doesn’t supply any real controls and this can be very damaging to advertisers. No one wants to get ads related to a private location, such an abortion clinic, and get ads for baby clothes while using the platform.
Details: The reporter found that even when Location Services was set to “never,” she still got ads targeted to the city she lives in, works and even traveled to. What’s even more alarming is that her profile didn’t contain her current city or any recent pictures.
Snap Has A New Boss for Its Spectacles Unit
Snap’s hardware unit–SnapLab–is getting a new boss once more, the third one in the last six months.
Why it matters: The Spectacles haven’t been very popular. There were initially long lines to buy them, but the product turned out to be more of a fun gadget, only selling about 220,000 pairs. However, Snap’s CEO believes the Spectacles are important to Snap’s future plans.
Details: In February, Steen Strand will head the unit in charge of its Spectacles photo and video sunglasses. The current leader, Sahil Sharma, assumed the post in July. There has been a lot of turnover in SnapLab since the spectacles came out in 2016 and the change comes right after Snap announced it’s releasing the third version of its Spectacles.
Influencers Faking Sponsored Content To Look More Credible
Promoting products is a sign of a successful influencer and many are “faking it till they make it” to attract brands because it’s so hard to get that first sponsorship deal.
Why it matters: FTC disclosure has been a hot-button issue this year. But, when influencers create “free” posts, it can put a brand at risk. Some brands like free promotion, but see it as a brand safety issue.
Details: The Atlantic published an article titled, “Rising Instagram Stars Are Posting Fake Sponsored Content,” detailing how influencers go about attracting brands by posting fake branded posts. Some brands believe that reaching out to these fake brand ambassadors is worse than ignoring them.
TikTok is Growing And It’s Time to Make Money
TikTok is planning its monetization strategy, as user numbers continue to increase—500 million so far. In September, the app was the most downloaded app in the US in both Google Play and App Store.
Why it matters: TikTok could be a portal for brands to communicate with China. They’ve started experimenting with The Honey Partnership, a social media agency, and favorably running ads in its Asian market. It also launched its first major UK holiday marketing campaign this year, targeting Millennial and Gen-Z generations.
Details: In 2018, TikTok entered into a global partnership with MTV EMA awards as a streaming partner. It’s curating its own influencers such as body painter Vicky Banham, who has gathered about 1.3 million followers. Stefan Heinrich, TikTok’s head of global marketing told The Drum that they’re still investing “heavily in the user experience.”
Facebook Learned the Hard Way, Now They’re Vetting Political Ads in India
Facebook is looking ahead to India’s general election in 2019 and planning an offline process of vetting locations and identities of political advertisers.
Why it matters: Recently, Facebook announced they would enforce stricter controls on political ads. This year they opened a public archive that lets users see the buyers of political ads in order to be more transparent. It’s part of the effort to gain back trust after the 2016 Us Presidential elections.
Details: The social media giant reportedly wrote an email to Indian advertisers and agencies to send proofs of who they are if they want to advertise on Facebook. They will also be visited by an India-based team for authentication. Any advertiser who wants to run an ad must confirm their identity and location.
A New Report Shows Sweeping Analysis of Russia’s Disinformation Campaign
A draft obtained by The Washington Post offers new information explaining how Russians, working at the Internet Research Agency, used social media platforms to target messaging to help elect Trump.
Why it matters: The research—prepared for the Senate—is the first to analyze the millions of posts by Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 election. It’s the latest evidence that the Russians directed their efforts at getting conservatives amped-up on gun rights and immigration issues.
Details: The research, by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project and Graphika, was gathered from data provided by Facebook, Twitter and Google. However, the authors emphasized the social platforms’ “belated and uncoordinated” response to the disinformation campaign. They also targeted African American voters by spreading deceptive information on how to vote in order to help Trump win.
Facebook’s ‘Clear History’ Feature Taking Longer Than Expected
Facebook announced its product “Clear History’ in May, but Facebook users won’t see it for a few more months.
Why it matters: The feature will let Facebook users the ability to clear the browsing history connected to their profile. Browsing data is crucial to target people with advertising, but the issue of privacy is really important to Facebook—especially after the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal—and this delay isn’t the best news for the company.
Details: According to a story published by Recode, it might take a whole year between the feature announcement and product testing. Facebook pointed out there are two technical challenges. One is that the company’s data is not always stored the same way it’s collected and the second is that they store browsing data by date and time, not by which user it belongs to.
Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, December 21. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.