Twitter opens our social media round-up this week with its big news about the acquisition of an AI start-up. Also, TikTok is testing interest-based ad targeting, LinkedIn is the least popular social media among tech c-suite, Nielsen expands ad measurements on YouTube, YouTube offers new ways to buy concert tickets, Instagram rolls out Branded Content Ads, IKEA transitions its catalogs to Pinterest, Zynga brings a new game to Snap, Smirnoff introduces an influencer campaign to celebrate Pride month and Snapchat is launching in-app store for influencers.

Stay tuned as we break, deliver and explain more social media news every day.

Amazon Announces Pinterest Lens Competitor

At Amazon’s re:MARS conference the company announced StyleSnap, an AI-power image search feature.

Why it matters: Pinterest’s biggest selling point for advertisers is its ability to take the customer from image discovery to purchase. Amazon’s challenger feature may cut into Pinterest’s user base.

The details: According to Amazon’s announcement, “…all you need to do is take a photograph or screenshot of a look that you like… To get started, all you have to do is click the camera icon in the upper right hand corner of the Amazon App, and select the ‘StyleSnap’ option; then simply upload a photograph or screenshot of a fashion look that you like. StyleSnap will present you with recommendations for similar items on Amazon that match the look in the photo. When providing recommendations, StyleSnap considers a variety of factors such as brand, price range, and customer reviews.”

Facebook Pulls Pre-installation From Huawei PhonesT

According to Reuters, Facebook has pulled pre-installation of it family of apps from Huawei phones.

Why it matters: This is another blow for the Chinese company, but more in optics. Facebook is still allowing Huawei phone users to download the Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp apps, but these will not come already installed on the phone at purchase.

The details: According to Reuters, “The Facebook ban, by contrast, applies to any Huawei phone that has not yet left the factory, according to a person familiar with the matter. Facebook declined to comment on when the suspension took place.”

Zynga Rolls Out A New Game On Snap 

TechCrunch reported that Zynga released a battle royale game, Tiny Royale, exclusively on Snap Games.

Why it matters: Zynga started on Facebook over ten years ago and now turns it’s attention to a platform exclusive game on Snap.

The details: In the new game, which is a classic battle royale game, players can pick custom characters and play with friends or solo. 

Bernard Kim, president of publishing at Zynga said, “We are thrilled to be one of the first companies to launch a gaming experience on Snapchat. Game developers rarely get the opportunity to create an entirely new experience on an emerging platform so our team was excited to remix the battle royale genre into a fast-paced game designed to rock on Snap Games.”

Snapchat Launches In-App Stores For Influencers 

According to Digiday, the new in-app update allows select accounts to have a store within Snapchat. 

Why it matters: With the new in-app store, the users will be able to conveniently shop on the platform and creators will be able to generate more revenue.

The details: Snapchat users now have access to shops (powered by Shopify) located on an account’s page. At the moment, the native checkout feature is limited to Snapchat users in the U.S. and international users are directed to a mobile website because of privacy and data requirements outside the U.S. Only five official accounts will have access to shops: Kylie Jenner (Kylie Cosmetics); Kim Kardashian (KKW Beauty); Shay Mitchell (Béis); Spencer Pratt (Pratt Daddy Crystals); Bhad Bhabie (BHADgoods).

Smirnoff’s “Welcome Home” Influencer Campaign Celebrates Pride Month

Smirnoff is launching a multichannel campaign with LGBTQIA+ influencers Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), Alyssa Edwards (RuPaul’s Drag Race) and Jonathan Van Ness (Queer Eye) for the NYC Pride celebration.

Why it matters: “While 85% of LGBTQIA+ consumers want their community represented in brand campaigns, only 12.6% of marketers actually include them in their annual media planning,” according to Jay Sethi, VP of Smirnoff for Diageo’s North American operations. 

The details: The videos debuted on the brand’s social channels and will also greet millions of people traveling to New York for Pride celebrations at New York major airports – LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark International Airport.

Instagram Introduces Branded Content Ads

Instagram announced that starting today, advertisers will be able to turn creators’ organic branded content posts into feed ads. 

Why it matters: According to Instagram, 68 percent of users come to Instagram to interact with creators. With the new branded content ads feature, brands will be able to tell their stories through creators in a more seamless way.

The details: Brands seem to be very excited about the new update, as Liat Weingarten, VP of brand communications at Old Navy said in the blog post, “We’ve long seen that customers want to discover fashion through trusted sources who have credibility, but organic reach on that content has become increasingly limited. So we’re consistently looking for more sophisticated ways like Branded Content ads to serve partner content to the right shoppers, instead of just throwing it into the social ether. Promoting content directly from an influencer’s handle inherently gives the post more authenticity than coming from a brand handle, and we’re seeing significantly higher engagement rates using this strategy.”

Step by step instructions for both businesses and creators are available here

IKEA’s Print Catalogs Will Now Live On Pinterest 

Digidayreportedthat IKEA is in the process of transitioning its print catalogs to Pinterest. 

Why it matters: Print catalogs have a pretty short shelf life and with a digital shoppable version, IKEA has good chances at substantially extending it and selling more product.

The details: The shoppable Pinterest version of IKEA’s catalog will populate through product pins in personalized user boards based on a questionnaire around item and style preferences, Digiday reported.

As IKEA media project manager Kerri Longarz noted, Pinterest is home to “DIYers and how-to-ers and customizers,” or in other words, IKEA’s most desired audience.

“We didn’t want to just copy and paste — we already have a digital catalog online. But promotions in the past felt a little stale. We were running out of ways to show the catalog to people online, so we sought out something different,” Longarzo said.

Pinterest Pitches To DTC Brands 

According to Business Insider, Pinterest is actively winning over direct-to-consumer brands.

Why it matters: DTC brands are increasingly looking beyond Facebook and Instagram to grow their businesses. In fact, Business Insider reports that companies like SmileDirectClub, Care/of and Noom have increased their spend with Pinterest over the past year and brands like Away, Glossier and Rothy’s have also been running campaigns recently.

The details: In its pitch to DTC brands, Pinterest promises them equal treatment with big brands. According to the company, 97 percent of the top 1,000 search terms on the site are unbranded. This might make it easier for consumers to discover DTC brands. Seventy-seven percent of Pinterest’s weekly users discover a new brand or product each week.

Harold Klaje, Pinterest’s head of growth and SMB said, “They clearly also have to often build up their brands — this is where we can help them. Because we’re so intent and discovery-driven, our disruptor partners have been able to find a lot of new clients on our platform that they have not been able to find on other platforms.”

TikTok Is Working On Interest-Based Ad Targeting 

Digiday reported that TikTok is currently in the process of testing interest-based targeting, custom audience and pixel tracking

Why it matters: With the new ad updates, the video platform is hoping to seduce marketers who have doubts about TikTok’s advertising performance.

The details: At the moment, TikTok’s content algorithm is similar to Snapchat’s. The app can recognize what is featured in a video and then make recommendations in the feed. Moreover, TikTok users are able to like and comment on videos, which also provides content recommendations (just like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube).

Brands like GrubHub are already successfully using TikTok ads. Red Bull and Sony are currently testing the platform and ESPN and NBC News created accounts on TikTok.

Report Shows LinkedIn Is Not So Hot Among Tech C-Suite 

A new report from Immediate Future concluded that 99.6 percent of the tech C-suite audience use social media, but LinkedIn ranks as the least popular.

Why it matters: “Just because it’s all Facebook and Insta, it’s not all selfies, birthday posts and memes. 39 [percent] follow content that’s relevant to their work and over two-thirds will use social media to network for work purposes. A definite blurring of work and play in action,” said Katy Howell, CEO at Immediate Future.

The details: According to the report, marketing professionals prefer six social media platforms over LinkedIn. In fact, hard-to-reach board-level technology buyers actually prefer Facebook and YouTube to LinkedIn (with 70 percent using Facebook and 43 percent using Twitter more than once a day).

Neilsen Ad Measurement Expansion On YouTube 

According to The Drum,Nielsen is bringing its advertising measurement tools to YouTube’s mobile app in 26 new markets, including India, Brazil and Mexico.

Why it matters: The expansion of Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings measurement suite allows marketers to track audiences and measure performance across mobile devices in 34 markets. 

The details: “Providing marketers with independent measurement of YouTube’s mobile audiences globally is a major step forward for the industry. With the expansion of Digital Ad Ratings to measure audiences inclusive of YouTube’s sizeable mobile footprint, advertisers in more than 30 markets will have the comparability, coverage and transparency they need to maximize the impact of their digital media around the world,” said Nielsen’s senior vice-president of digital product leadership, Amanda Tarpey. 

YouTube Offers More Ways To Buy Tickets On The Platform 

YouTube announced in a blog post the company’s partnership with AXS, which enables the fans to buy even more tickets to upcoming shows in the U.S.

Why it matters: “Partnering with AXS, the second-largest ticket provider in North America and partner to iconic music venues like Red Rocks and Forest Hills, marks a major expansion for YouTube in terms of artist reach and show availability. Combined with our existing partnerships with Eventbrite and Ticketmaster, YouTube now covers more than 90% of the US ticketing market,” the blog post reads.

The details: Videos from YouTube Official Artist Channels will now have listings from AXS events included on the video page and allow the viewers to simply click on the “Tickets” button and purchase tickets directly from AXS.

Twitter Acquires Fabula AI

According to a blog post, Twitter recently acquired Fabula AI, a London-based start-up.

Why it matters: Machine learning is important to the company as a whole and especially to the public conversation on Twitter. “From onboarding people on the platform to connecting them with relevant conversations, we leverage machine learning (ML) across a multitude of our product surface areas,” the company stated.

The details: One of the Fabula founders and the chair in Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition at Imperial College, said about the acquisition, “We are really excited to join the ML research team at Twitter, and work together to grow their team and capabilities. Specifically, we are looking forward to applying our graph deep learning techniques to improving the health of the conversation across the service.”

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