This week wraps up with Instagram adding new features and Facebook and TikTok leading in overall app downloads in May. Also, Amazon acquires Bebo and shuts down Spark, Facebook confirms its plans to roll out a digital wallet, TikTok user spending grows 500 percent year-over-year, Pinterest revamps its partner program to third-party shopping tech and beauty brands are trying on YouTube’s AT.

Stay tuned for more news.


Marketers Anticipate Ads On TikTok

Director of TikTok’s U.S. marketing, Stephane Henrich, was in demand at Cannes Lions 2019, answering questions about the TikTok app and the potentials of its use in advertising and marketing initiatives, Fast Company reports.

Why it matters: In a time when social media giants like Facebooks and YouTube are in hot water almost daily about privacy, and with the app’s user base reaching more than a billion, TikTok is an exceptionally desirable platform for marketers.

The details: At the moment, TikTok doesn’t offer paid advertising. However, some big brands and organizations (Chipotle and the UN included) have signed up for advertising on TikTok and are now in the process of creating content. They signed up as individual users, not official advertisers, though. Henrich also noted that although select agencies are beta testing TikTok’s ad-tools platform, for now, these agencies are simply serving as a liaison between brands and TikTok’s community of creators.


Facebook And TikTok Lead The Pack In App Downloads In May

According to app download ranking from Sensor Tower, in May, Facebook was still the most downloaded app, with TikTok and Snapchat right behind.

Why it matters: Despite privacy concerns and misinformation problems, the Facebook user base continues to grow.

The details: Per the ranking, Facebook was downloaded 60.6 million times and the most new Facebook installs during May were in India (24 percent of total downloads), Indonesia (12 percent) and Brazil (eight percent).

TikTok saw 56 million installments with the majority of downloads coming from India (57 percent) and China (eight percent).

Snapchat, Instagram and a video sharing app Likee also made it to “Top five” in the ranking.


Instagram Is Testing “Suggestions For You” In Direct Messages

Instagram confirmed to Mashable that it is testing the “Suggestions For You” feature in direct messages.

Why it matters: This feature might make brands’ content more discoverable based on the users’ interest and boost engagement and ad dollars.

The details: “We’re always working on ways to improve your experience on Instagram and bring you closer to the people and things you love,” an Instagram spokesperson told Mashable.


Instagram Will Extend Stories Shelflife

Instagram is reportedly launching a new update to Stories, which will allow users to keep all content created in Stories for seven days.

Why it matters: This means that now it’s possible to take and collect photos and videos and select the best options to edit, schedule and post to Stories later, and allow for longer follower engagement.

The details:“Take as many photos and videos as you like, then post your favorites later” the Instagram description said.


Amazon Display Ads Benefit Channels Other Than Amazon

According to “ROI Genome, The New Omnichannel” report from Analytic Partners, 70 to 90 percent of the impact from Amazon display ads drives sales in channels other than Amazon.

Why it matters: Per the report, between 10 and 60 percent of the impact of search ads on Amazon occurs beyond the platform. Therefore, the researchers recommend brands that rely on Amazon for sales to throw their forces on search efforts on Amazon. They also recommend that brands with large offline sales should consider increasing their use of the platform’s display ads to drive purchase across multiple online and offline channels.  

The details: According to the report, brands should do the following to leverage Amazon for omnichannel success.

Use a balance of online and offline media to drive growth

  • All media has omnichannel impact
  • Online media drives brick & mortar sales
  • Offline media drives online sales

Leverage brick & mortar presence to boost online business

  • Where relevant, physical locations and in-store efforts help drive incremental sales both offline and online

Utilize Amazon advertising for growth beyond Amazon

  • Prioritize Amazon Search (AMS) for businesses heavily reliant on Amazon as a sales channel
  • Complement AMS with Amazon Display for businesses with large offline sales

Break down any organizational silos to address today’s omnichannel world

  • Plan cross-functionally and measure impacts holistically to drive the greatest business impact and growth”

MAC Cosmetics Allows Customers To Try On Lipstick In AR

Cosmetic brands Mac and Guirleintake advantage of YouTube’s new mobile formats to provide more immersive ways for consumers to engage with products.

Why it matters: As more people shop online and via smartphone (both at home and on-the-go), AR has become a key marketing tool for cosmetic brands.

The details: MAC cosmetics, owned by Estée Lauder, recently partnered with YouTube’s branded content studio, FameBit, and now offers virtual try-ons for a variety of lipstick shades. Meanwhile, LVMH’s Guerlain is using Google Swirl for a more 3-D display experience.

AList shares YouTube AR

Twitter Removes Option For Tagging Precise Location

Twitter announced in a tweet that the option for precise location tagging will be removed from the platform.

Why it matters: Removing the precise location feature from the platform might weaken its ability to track important location data prized by advertisers.

The details: As explained by Twitter, “Most people don’t tag their precise location in Tweets, so we’re removing this ability to simplify your Tweeting experience. You’ll still be able to tag your precise location in Tweets through our updated camera. It’s helpful when sharing on-the-ground moments.”


Facebook To Launch A New Wallet For Its Cryptocurrency

Facebook confirmed plans to roll out a digital wallet for its new digital currency.

Why it matters: According to Facebook, Calibra, a newly formed Facebook subsidiary, will provide financial services, allowing people access and participate in the Libra network. The first product Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet for Libra.

The details: The wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a separate app. It is expected to be launched in 2020.

With Calibra, the users will be able to instantly send money globally to almost anyone who owns a smartphone. With time, the company hopes to add other services for individual users and businesses, such as bill payment and contactless payments.

“For many people around the world, even basic financial services are still out of reach: almost half of the adults in the world don’t have an active bank account and those numbers are worse in developing countries and even worse for women. The cost of that exclusion is high—approximately 70 percent of small businesses in developing countries lack access to credit and $25 billion is lost by migrants every year through remittance fees,” Facebook said in a blog post.


Twitch Aims To Boost Its Esports Efforts With Bebo Acquirement

TechCrunch reported that Amazon’s streaming video platform, Twitch, recently acquired Bebo, one of the first platforms that allowed the users to share media with their friends.

Why it matters: Amazon and Bebo will be working on building out Twitch’s esports business, and specifically Twitch Rivals–a series of competitive events for Twitch streamers and viewers.

The details: Per TechCrunch, Twitch paid less than $25 million for Bebo earlier in June, after beating out at least one other bidder, Discord. The Bebo team is now busy working on Twitch Rivals, in the effort to keep adding more features while growing the userbase, with the primary focus on esports.


Amazon Spark Shuts Down After Two Years In Business

Spark, the two-year-old competitor to Instagram and Pinterest, was confirmed to be shut down by its parent company, Amazon.

Why it matters: Although Amazon shuttered the platform, it’s using what it learned from experimenting with Spark and the discovery tool “Interesting Finds” in a new social-inspired product called #FoundItOnAmazon.
“We’ve changed the name to #FoundItOnAmazon to reflect the tag that influencers are using on social media to share their great finds with others. #FoundItOnAmazon is currently available to all Amazon App customers and a large portion of desktop customers as well,” a spokesperson told The Verge.

The details: Spark updates were removed from Amazon’s notifications section.

The reason for the shutdown is not completely known, but could be that Spark wasn’t well adopted, TechCrunch reported. Also, after Spark’s shutdown, Amazon’s navigation has been simplified again and was turned into a clutter-free “hamburger” menu.


Major Companies Are Backing Facebook’s Cryptocurrency

Uber, Visa, Paypal, Booking.com and other major companies are backing Libra–Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Wall Street Journal reported.

Why it matters: Facebook has billions of users around the globe, and the influence to direct them to the crypto-network. This will address the scale problem which previously prevented other companies from launching and running successful cryptocurrencies. With Libra, there is a possibility that cryptocurrency payments will finally become mainstream.

The details: The companies that are participating, such as Uber, Visa, Paypal, Booking.com, Stripe and others, will invest approximately $10 million in Libra and support the launch of the cryptocurrency in 2020. Per WSJ, Libra will not be directly controlled by Facebook and members of the consortium. However, the larger network of “nodes” will be created, and some member companies will help to verify and track transactions.  


Pinterest Unlocks More Shopping Experiences On The Platform

Pinterest announced in a blog post that the company is adding a new partner category for third-party tech providers to facilitate shopping experiences.

Why it matters: “People often talk about shopping and ad-supported mechanisms together, but shopping transcends advertising. Commerce can be a paid shopping experience or it can be organic,” Michael Akkerman, the global head of Pinterest’s partnerships program told Ad Exchanger.

The details: According to Pinterest, the newly launched specialty of “Shopping” partners includes:

  • “Platform partners like WooCommerce and Square Online Store which allow businesses to set up e-commerce sites and experiences
  • Feed management providers like Feedonomics, Productsup, and GoDataFeed which manage and optimize product inventory feeds for businesses bringing their product catalogs to Pinterest
  • Shoppable experience platforms like Shoppable, MikMak, Jebbit, Drizly, and Basketful, connecting products within a Pin with the retailers that can fulfill orders and make it easier to shop
  • Tag management providers including PixelYourSite and Tealium which track closed-loop measurement of online shopping conversions and sales”

Facebooks Aims To Make Public Comments More Meaningful

Facebook shared some updates on how the company ranks public comments.

Why it matters: Comments and engagement are necessary for organic reach within social media algorithms and Facebook attempts to help its users to know how to encourage more engagement by responding to “quality and relevant” comments on the feed.

The details: Here are the signals Facebook incorporated:

  • Integrity signals: We want people to see safe and authentic comments. If a comment violates our Community Standards, we remove it. We also take into account other signals, like engagement-bait, to address the integrity of information and improve the quality of comments people see.
  • What people tell us they want to see in comments: We’ve been using more surveys to help us understand the types of comments people want to see, so we can rank those higher.
  • How people interact with comments: This includes signals including whether people like, react to, or reply to a comment.
  • What the poster controls: People can moderate the comments on their post by hiding, deleting, or engaging with comments. Ranking is on by default for Pages and people with a lot of followers, but Pages and people with a lot of followers can choose to turn off comment ranking. People who don’t have as many followers will not have comment ranking turned on automatically since there are less comments overall, but any person can decide to enable comment ranking by going to their settings.”

More details can be found here.


TikTok’s In-App Sales Are Skyrocketing

According to app analytics firm Sensor Tower, TikTok, the social video app boosted its in-app sales 500 percent to $9 million worldwide in May, compared to last year.

Why it matters: Marketers who buy ad placements will reach a massive userbase on TikTok.

The details: According to the study, most of the spending came from iOS users in China at $5.9 million, or 65 percent. U.S. customers of the App Store and Google Play spent $2 million in the video-sharing app and customers in India (who make up the lion’s share of TikTok’s user base) spent far less at $45,000.

Also, TikTok was downloaded 56 million times worldwide in May, which is a 27 percent gain from April, but 21 percent less than the 70.8 million downloads the social media app saw in January. Per Sensor Tower estimations, TikTok has been downloaded a total of 1.2 billion times, and its in-app purchases have reached $97.4 million.


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