What’s brewing in the social media pot this week? Find out in our daily round-up.

Stories include: Instagram rolling out landscape video format on IGTV, Facebook updating the community standards and Snapchat negotiating deals with music companies to support music within posts.

Instagram Rolls Out Landscape IGTV Videos 

Instagram announced rolling out support for landscape videos in addition to vertical videos already on the platform.

Why it matters: Ever since the release last year, IGTV has struggled to take a prominent place among the other, much more popular Instagram features. Adding landscape format for the videos seems like a desperate move to compete with YouTube and TikTok. Ashley Carman from The Verge tweeted on the matter, Vertical video was IGTV’s thing, and this is basically saying that they realize everyone wants to just port their YouTube videos over to Insta and not make exclusive Insta content.”

The details: According to the company, landscape videos on IGTV will benefit both viewers, as they will be able to “watch even more content from the creators they love – and do it straight from their phone” and creators, who now will have more freedom for expression.

“Landscape also has its strengths, especially when it comes to formats like dance and sports which are high motion and often feature a handful of people in frame,” the blog post said. 

Snapchat Will Allow Users To Post With “Soundtracks”

Wall Street Journal reported that Snapchat will soon allow its users to add music to posts. 

Why it matters: Adding music to posts provides more ways for creative expression and delivery of engaging content on Snapchat.

The details: The company has reportedly been negotiating to license song catalogs for the Snapchat app with music companies, including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. In fact, Snapchat already has a deal with SiriusXM’s Pandora, as Pandora Premium subscribers can share their favorite songs, albums, stations and playlists on Snapchat. Also, Snapchat users can identify a song by pressing and holding on the camera screen thanks to Snapchat’s pact with Apple-owned Shazam.

Facebook Publishes An Update On How The Company Is Enforcing Community Standards 

In a blog post, Facebook provided more detail on how it spots and removes fake accounts and shed the light on how many fake profiles are currently on the platform, percentage-wise.

Why it matters: Facebook is currently removing more fake accounts than ever and it is important to know the exact criteria it’s using. 

The details: The two new updates revolve around data on appeals and content restored and data on regulated goods.

“In total, we are now including metrics across nine policies within our Community Standards: adult nudity and sexual activity, bullying and harassment, child nudity and sexual exploitation of children, fake accounts, hate speech, regulated goods, spam, global terrorist propaganda and violence and graphic content.”

Per Facebook estimations:

  • For every 10,000 times people viewed content on Facebook, 11 to 14 views contained content that violated our adult nudity and sexual activity policy.
  • For every 10,000 times people viewed content on Facebook, 25 views contained content that violated our violence and graphic content policy.
  • For fake accounts, it is estimated that 5 percent of monthly active accounts are fake.

TikTok’s Owner Aims To Challenge Apple Music And Spotify 

The owner of a popular video app, TikTok, reportedly expects to introduce a new paid music service app this fall in developing countries. The app might be a rival to Apple Music and Spotify.

Why it matters: According to Bloomberg, ByteDance is focusing the app toward developing countries, where paid music services will be gaining more popularity.

The details: An anonymous source told Bloomberg that although the new app will aim to challenge Spotify and Apple Music and will have a catalog of songs and video available on-demand, it is not going be a direct competitor.

ByteDance has already secured rights from T-Series and Times Music, which are two of India’s largest labels and it will also try ease into the process by converting some of TikTok’s audience into paying customers soon.

Facebook Schools You On How To Run Stories Ads With Any Asset

Facebook shared a blog post, explaining how to create effective Facebook Stories. 

Why it matters: Brands of all caliber have been successfully using Facebook and Instagram stories in their social media strategy. Adidas, Overstock, Ford and many others saw some impressive results. Lacoste, for example, saw a 61 percent higher click-through rate, a 32 percent lower cost per link click and two-times higher online return on ad spend, compared to another digital ad format)

The details: The tutorial encourages using automatic full-screen support, which regardless of whether or not the user has full-screen vertical assets, automatically transforms it into a native-looking full-screen story.

Another useful tool, Facebook’s Video Creation Kit, helps to crop assets or use turnkey templates and make light edits, such as zooming in, cropping or stacking assets to 9:16. Marketers can also optimize existing assets for the full screen with “Stories Creative,” which allows them to play with speed, use faster scene cuts and enhance a story with sound.

There is also an option to create bespoke assets for stories. “If you have the creative support to build assets specifically for stories, leverage the vertical screen to its highest potential or play with interactivity to get the most out of this unique format,” the blog post says. 

WhatsApp Is More Popular Among Hispanic Users Than Instagram And Twitter 

According to the estimations by eMarketer, more than half of the Hispanic population in the US will use WhatsApp at least monthly in 2019. 

Why it matters: “The platform’s US Hispanic user base of 32 million is growing because of its data cost savings, messaging encryption capabilities and popularity in Latin American countries,” the report states.

The details: WhatsApp beats Instagram and Twitter among US Hispanics as those platforms are seeing 34.3 percent and 21 percent user penetration, respectively. This means that there are 10 million more US Hispanics on WhatsApp than Instagram and almost triple the audience on Twitter.

The reason for this is the fact that older many US Hispanics communicate with friends and families in other countries via the app. The younger population uses the platform to stay in touch with relatives in the US and Latin America because of the easy-to-use interface.

“WhatsApp might not be as popular overall as other social apps, but it has been able to differentiate itself as a user-friendly app,” said eMarketer junior forecasting analyst Nazmul Islam. “Should Facebook maintain its core design, we expect WhatsApp to keep a firm grasp of the Hispanic market.”

WhatsApp Ads To Appear In 2020

Several new WhatsApp features and forms of advertising were spotted by social media industry commentator and consultant, Matt Navarra. 

Why it matters: WhatsApp is a popular messenger and with new features, marketers will have more opportunities for creating effective ads.

The details: As we can see from the tweet below, now, there are ads that lead to the corresponding WhatsApp account with just one tap. Just like Instagram, WhatsApp will allow companies to package advertising into stories in the future, but not in 2019.

Snapchat Bans Adult Entertainment Lens 

Snapchat refused to feature X-rated augmented reality lenses from adult entertainment company Naughty America and deleted them. 

Why it matters: Snapchat has a certain reputation but this is where the company is willing to draw the line, despite the profits. 

The details: The lenses were holographic images of porn stars who’ve worked with Naughty America over photos of rooms. And the reason for the ban, according to Snapchat, was the violation of its terms of service, which prohibit “obscene language or imagery, depictions of nudity, sex acts or profanity.”

Snapchat Rolls Out Three New Games

Snapchat introduced three new games to improve engagement on the platform. 

Why it matters: Games have proven to be extremely effective for high engagement because it retains the player’s full attention.

The details: The three new games are: a blockade-like “Snake Squad,” a two-dimensional shooter “Zombie Rescue Squad” and a mini-game in Bitmoji Party. The users can enjoy the entertainment solo or while chatting through voice or text in every game or tapping “Friends” icon to invite other players. 

LinkedIn Introduces Transparent Advertising

LinkedIn announced in a blog post the introduction of a new Ads tab on LinkedIn Pages.

Why it matters: The platforms is trying to improve transparency and the users’ understanding of why they are seeing in certain ads. 

The details: “The new Ads tab builds on similar tools we’ve recently introduced to help members understand and control their ads experience, including new ad settings that each member can access from their LinkedIn account. The Ads tab is the first of many updates to come as we continue to provide our members with useful information about the ads they see on LinkedIn,” the blog post explained. 

YouTube Is Changing Subscribers Counts Display 

YouTube gave users an “early heads up” about the company’s intentions to standardize the way real-time subscribers are shown on the platform in a blog post

Why it matters:This move might prevent analytics sites from displaying whether creators are gaining or losing subscribers. 

The details: According to the company, the initiative aims to create more consistency on the social media platform. Starting in August 2019, YouTube will begin showing the abbreviated subscriber counts. Creators, however, will still be able to see the exact subscriber number. For channels with 1,000 subscribers or less, the exact (non-abbreviated) subscriber count will still be shown. But when the channel exceeds 1,000 subscriber milestone, the public subscriber numbers will be abbreviated on a sliding scale.

Here are some examples that YouTube offers: 

  • If a channel has 4,227 subscribers, the public subscriber count will read “4.2k” until the channel reaches 4,300.
  • If a channel has 133,017 subscribers, the public subscriber count will read “133K” until the channel reaches 134,000. 
  • If a channel has 51,389,232, the public subscriber count will read “51M” until the channel reaches 52,000,000.

Klear Research Shows How Much Influencers Charge

Research by Klear revealed tiered influencer rates to help marketers approach pricing with more in-depth understanding.

Why it matters: Marketers often don’t know what to pay influencers, or what to base the pay on. The more the relationship between marketers and influencers becomes standardized, the more trust develops between both parties and both can benefit fairly.

The details: According to the report:
Nano influencers (500-5K followers) charge $100 per Instagram post, $114 per Instagram video, $43 per Instagram Story, $315 per YouTube video and $31 per Facebook post.

Micro influencers (5-30K followers) charge $172 per Instagram post, $219 per Instagram video, $73 per Instagram Story, $908 per YouTube video and $318 per Facebook post.

Power influencers (30-500K followers) charge $507 per Instagram post, $775 per Instagram video, $210 per Instagram Story, $782 per YouTube video and $243 per Facebook post.

Celebrity influencers (500K and over influencers) charge $2,085 per Instagram post, $3,138 per Instagram video, $721 per Instagram Story, $3,857 per YouTube video and $2,400 per Facebook post.

Instagram Updates IGTV Look 

To better compete with TikTok and Snapchat, Instagram gave IGTV a fresh makeover.

Why it matters: The social media platform is working hard to improve engagement with IGTV and help the feature to better serve consumption trends.

The details: IGTV no longer has its category-based navigation system’s tabs, such as “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” And instead, now has one central feed of recommended videos, similar to TikTok. IGTV’s horizontal scrolling design that always kept a clip playing in the top half of the screen has also been removed. Now the users can just scroll vertically through the grid of suggested videos.

Instagram IGTV new layout

Social Media Advertising Is Not So Transparent

An annual report by UK’s Advertising Standards Authority for 2018 suggests that social media platforms should be more open about their systems for handling and monitoring irresponsible and inappropriate ads.

Why it matters: The report is focused on eliminating misleading content and inappropriate targeting.

The details: According to the report, 14,257 online ads attracted 16,059 complaints to the ASA, which indicates a 41 percent increase from 2017. In terms of trends, social media advertising saw a 31 percent increase in health and beauty complaints; a 20 percent increase in holidays and travel complaint cases and 40 percent increase in retail complaints.

ASA chairman, David Currie, said, “We need to find a way of working closer with the online platforms on this issue. We’ve had conversations with them. We’ve got to work closely with them. They have their own systems of taking down or blocking inappropriate ads. It’s not as transparent as we’d like. We’d like to understand it much better. I think probably they could be a bit more open about how they do it. I think, given all the concerns that parents and others have, they recognise that they need to take action.”

Macy’s New Summer Social Media Strategy

Mobile Marketer reported that Macy’s is rolling out an experiential social media campaign that encourages consumers to share their experiences at summer gathering places around the country,

Why it matters: The retailer recently shared its Q1 2019 results showing that the company’s revenue dropped from $5.54 billion to $5.5 billion YoY. However, Macy’s also reported double-digit growth in ecommerce and mobile, which according to the company, continues to be its fastest-growing channel. Macy’s has also invested heavily in martech in recent years.

The details: Macy’s pop-up stations will be located in summer gathering places, such as Central Park, The Brooklyn Heights Promenade and the Santa Monica Pier. They will feature Pinterest Pincodes that consumers can scan and to see shoppable outfits curated for that specific location.

Macy’s is also rolling out YouTube videos with fashion tutorials and beauty and style tips from Macy’s Style Crew members and vendor partners.

Twitter Spotted Testing Carousel Ads Again

Twitter is testing carousel ads with the ability to add multiple images.

Why it matters: Carousel ads are a popular ad tool on other social media platforms.

The details: Twitter previously made attempts with carousel ads but was unsuccessful. This trial, however, seems different: it looks simpler and less busy, with stronger visual presence. It also appears more convenient to use when it comes to Stories.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, April 19. 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 editorial@alistdaily.com