Plenty is going on in social media this week—YouTube rolls out new features to help creators monetize, LinkedIn updates its “Campaign Manager” tool, Twitter is officially testing “Hide Replies” and opens ArtHouse to help brands make better content, Facebook publishes a new diversity report and updates “Why am I seeing this ad?” and “Ad Preferences” features and Mobile Marketer shares the mid-year industry stats. 

YouTube Introduces More Monetization Opportunities For Creators 

This week at VidCon, YouTube announced new features and revamped a host of existing monetization options for creators. 

Why it matters: As social media giants battle for users, YouTube is updating monetization features to help creators drive tangible traffic to the platform, including coveted young, engaged audiences. 

The details: The new features include “Super Chat,” which according to the company’s blog post, allows fans to purchase messages that stand out within a chat during live streams. Another new feature, “Super Stickers,” lets fans purchase animated stickers during live streams and Premieres to show their favorite creators their appreciation. “Channel Memberships” update introduced membership levels, with which creators can now set up to five different price points for channel memberships. YouTube also added five new partners–Crowdmade, DFTBA, Fanjoy, Represent and Rooster Teeth–to “YouTube Merch shelf with Teespring.  

In addition, the company introduced  “Learning Playlists” aiming “to provide a dedicated learning environment for people who come to YouTube to learn.” 

LinkedIn Introduced A More Powerful Campaign Manager

LinkedIn shared a blog post announcing changes the company made to its “Campaign Manager.” 

Why it matters: This effort aims to solve one of the biggest marketing challenges of ensuring that campaigns can meet increasingly complex business goals. 

“Whether you’re a new start-up trying to increase share-of-voice or an established B2B player looking for leads, you need solutions that are flexible and can adapt to your unique objectives,” the blog post reads.  

The details: The latest version of “Campaign Manager” offers the following: 

  • Brand awareness. The marketers can now increase share-of-voice for their product or services through top of funnel campaigns that charge by impressions (e.g. cost per thousand or CPM).  
  • Website conversions. LinkedIn built a tighter integration with their conversion tracking tool, making it easier to create campaigns optimized for specific actions on a website, like purchases, downloads or event registrations.
  • LinkedIn “Talent Solutions” customers can now create ads using “Campaign Manager” and drive applications on LinkedIn or their own site. 
  • Click pricing was optimized to the companies’ campaign objectives. “If you select website visits as your objective, you will only be charged for clicks that go to your landing page. For social engagement campaigns, pricing will be optimized to include all social actions (likes, comments, shares, etc.),” the company stated in a blog post. 

Twitter’s “Hide Replies” Is No Longer A Rumor 

The company shared a blog post, announcing that the users in Canada are now able to hide replies to their Tweets. 

Why it matters: With this feature, Twitter gives the users more control over their conversations, letting them “mute” toxic or unreasonable comments. 

The details: “Starting next week, people in Canada will have the option to hide replies to their Tweets. Anyone around the world will be able to see and engage with hidden replies by tapping the grey icon that will appear. We want to be clear and transparent when someone has made the decision to hide a reply, and will be looking at how this feature gives more control to authors while not compromising the transparency and openness that is central to what makes Twitter so powerful,” the blog post states. 

“Mobile Marketer” Publishes “Key Stats At The Half” 

Mobile Marketer published a report, highlighting the key statistics and trends seen in the marketing industry since January 2019. 

Why it matters: The data gives an insight into the key trends for users and marketers, helping to guide strategies for the remainder of 2019.

The details: Here is what marketers need to know:

  • Location matters. According to the report, location-based marketing is set to grow 14 percent to $24.4 billion in ad spending this year; and 89 percent of marketers reported sales lifts after using location data to boost their ad campaigns. 
  • Voice and virtual assistants are most popular among millennials (49 percent); and not so much among Gen X, Baby boomers and Gen Z with 20, 16 and 15 percent respectively. 
  • Social media keep growing, as Instagram’s expected 2019 revenue is 14 million; the average revenue per Snapchat user grew by 39 percent (from $1.21 last year to $1.68 in 2019); TikTok’s worldwide in-app sales surged 500 percent in May from 2018.

The complete report can be found here

YouTube Simplifies Copyright Claims Process 

The Verge reported that YouTube is updating the way it handles manual copyright claims to simplify the process for video creators.

Why it matters: According to The Verge, copyrighted content owners, such as a record label or a film studio will now have to specify exactly where in a video their copyrighted material appears, which wasn’t the case before when the infringement was being reported manually. Creators can more easily respond and verify whether or not a claim is legitimate, and where to possibly make necessary changes to their content. 

The details: With this update,video creators will be able to see the portion of the video that’s been claimed, mute the audio in that portion, replace it with a free-to-use song from YouTube’s library or completely cut out that chunk. If they choose any of those options, the copyright claim will automatically be released.

Facebook Publishes A New Diversity Report 

Facebooked published “Facebook 2019 Diversity Report: Advancing Diversity And Inclusion.” 

Why it matters: The report highlights the company’s inclusivity efforts and unveils Facebook’s goals related to diversity, in a move that the company will likely use an example of transparency. 

The details: “We envision a company where in the next five years, at least 50 percent of our workforce will be women, people who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islanders, people with two or more ethnicities, people with disabilities, and veterans. In doing this, we aim to double our number of women globally and Black and Hispanic employees in the US. It will be a company that reflects and better serves the people on our platforms, services and products. It will be a more welcoming community advancing our mission and living up to the responsibility that comes with it,” the company said in the blog post. 

Facebook Helps The Users Understand Why They’re Seeing Certain Ads 

Facebook shared a blog post, announcing the updates to “Why am I seeing this ad?” and “Ad Preferences” features. 

Why it matters: Facebook has updated the features (which were introduced in the first place for greater transparency and control), but the feedback the company received from the users stated that “they can still be hard to understand and difficult to navigate.” 

The details: The company will show people more reasons why they’re seeing an ad on Facebook with more detailed targeting, including the interests or categories that matched you with a specific ad.

Facebook is also updating Ad Preferences to share more about businesses that upload lists the users’ information, including an email address or phone number. 

Twitter Opens ArtHouse For The Brands 

Twitter announced a new creative team for brands producing video content.

Why it matters: The effort aims to help match brands with high-quality creators, influencers, artists, video editing and optimization experts in a move to help brands create more, and higher quality content. As social platforms compete for ad revenue, this is another way to further boost advertisers’ ROI.

The details: Per Twitter, “Twitter ArtHouse connects brands with the creative capital and talent of influencers, artists and editors who can add a new dimension of relevance to their content. The global team brings together content strategists, digital producers and influencer marketing specialists to help brands launch new products and connect to what’s happening in culture.” For more information brands need to contact their Twitter representative.

Facebook Entices Video Creators With New Features 

At Facebook Creator Day in Malibu, California, the company announced the rollout of several new features, similar to those of their competitors, such as Amazon’s Twitch, aiming to attract more video creators, CNet reports.

Why it matters: With Facebook’s premium content hub, Watch, being less popular than competitive offerings, this move should serve the social media company and marketers well, as creators bring young audiences like Gen Z’ers to the platform. 

The details: New features include payment incentive functionality like Stars, which most likely will function like Twitch’s Bit Emotes–a tipping system where users can reward creators with small payments during streams. 

Also similar to Twitch, Facebook is adding more intimate groups that are only accessible to subscribers of a particular creator

Per CNet, the company said it will offer more flexibility, enabling midroll ads to be placed on creator videos and more analytics tools in Brand Collabs Manager. 

Pinterest Introduces A New Video Uploader 

Pinterest doesn’t want to lag behind other social media giants in its effort to court more video creators and introduces the new and revamped video uploader. 

Why it matters: With the new feature, Pinterest wants to encourage paying users to post actionable and inspirational how-to videos and tutorials targeted at the platform users. 

“Because videos on Pinterest surface and resurface over time,” the company explained to TechCrunch, “videos uploaded directly to Pinterest will have a longer shelf life and, in theory, more engagement than if posted to other platforms.”

The details: The new video tab now available on business profiles, will allow brands to conveniently feature all their videos in one place. In addition, an analytics tool will aid them in understanding and analyzing traffic and performance. Also, with a new Pin Scheduler tool, creators and businesses will be able to schedule videos in advance. 

Instagram Influencer Engagement Is Declining 

Along with the general drop in brand engagement on the platform, influencer engagement is at its lowest too, according to the report from InfluencerDB

Why it matters: Per Mobile Marketer, the declining engagement rates for Instagram influencers signal important trends that marketers need to be mindful of when strategizing their social influencer campaigns. Thus, according to InfluencerDB report, sponsored posts tend to generate higher engagement than non-sponsored posts. On the other hand, when Instagram feeds get cluttered with sponsored posts, engagement rates for influencer content drop. 

The details: The researchers report that the engagement rate for sponsored posts dropped to 2.4 percent in Q1 2019 from 4 percent in 2016, and the rate for non-sponsored posts dropped to 1.9 percent from 4.5 percent respectively. 

Snapchat To Launch Shows With Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Hart 

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Snapchat is further expanding its video efforts, tapping deals with digital and traditional creators, among which are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Serena Williams who will be creating new shows for Snapchat.  

Why it matters: Good quality video content is proven to attract younger and heavily engaged audiences to the platform. 

The details: Per The Hollywood Reporter, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new show, Rules of Success will provide motivational advice. Serena Williams, Kevin Hart and influencers Emma Chamberlain and Rickey Thompson will also launch shows on Snapchat soon.  

Report: Instagram Brand Engagement Drops

A report by Trust Insights studied 1,430,995 posts from 3,637 brands (Stories excluded) for overall average engagement rate and found that brand engagement on Instagram is in decline. 

Why it matters: Although some decline in engagement is expected as the platform matures and competition grows, marketers should understand the depth of engagement and plan accordingly.

“If you’re marketing heavily on Instagram, a decrease in engagement means a decrease in visibility in the Instagram feed, creating something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Fewer engagements means less visibility means… fewer engagements,” the report states. 

The details: The overall findings included the maximum average engagement rate year-to-date for this selection of branded accounts being 1.54 percent on April 15, 2019 and the minimum engagement rate being 0.8 percent on June 23, 2019. Beginning in May, average engagements declined over time and now are around 0.9 percent, which makes up a 1.1 percent decrease from earlier this year. These numbers signal an 18 percent drop in average engagements (mostly likes) since the beginning of 2019. 

To improve engagement the researchers recommend the following: 

  • “Some marketers have begun promoting feed posts in their Instagram Stories to catch attention and bring specific posts’ engagement levels up
  • Some marketers, of course, simply take out ads to boost post performance
  • Some marketers use external marketing to bring up feed engagement, such as sharing posts on other platforms or linking to posts in emails, etc.”

Facebook To Cut Fan Subscriptions In 2020 

Facebook made a series of important announcements regarding monetization on Facebook at VidCon this week. 

Why it matters: The company will cut up to 30 percent of fan subscriptions, starting January 1, 2020.

The details: According to TechCrunch,  Kate Orseth, director of media monetization at Facebook, said that Facebook is committed to letting creators keep 70 percent of fan subscription revenue, of course, not including taxes and fees. Then, when the mobile platforms collect their 30 percent fee on first-year subscriptions, Facebook won’t collect and when the platforms lower their share to 15 percent in the second year, Facebook will take the other 15 percent. 

On desktop, however, Facebook will be able to take a cut of 30 percent right away. 

It is important to note that the new policy will only apply to new subscribers starting in January and will not apply to the users who subscribed before then. 

And even more importantly, the company also made a number of ad-related announcements, such as allowing creators to limit ads on a video to “non-interruptive” formats (pre-roll and image ads) and share their audiences with advertisers in the Brand Collabs Manager for ad targeting. In addition, creators will be able to view their Instagram data in Facebook’s Creator Studio.

“Alexa, Open YouTube”

YouTube is officially back on Fire TV, after almost a year and a half since Google removed the app, Amazon shared in a blog post

Why it matters: YouTube on Fire TV provides a more convenient way for the viewers to engage with video content on the social media platform. 

The details: According to the company, the official YouTube app on Amazon Fire TV is now available worldwide on Fire TV Stick (2ndGen), Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick Basic Edition, and all Fire TV Edition smart TVs. And YouTube TV and YouTube Kids will launch later this year. 

Report: Apss See A 15 Percent Revenue Jump 

App research firm Sensor Tower discovered that during the first half of 2019, app revenue increased by 15 percent to $39.7 billion on Apple’s App Store and Google Play, compared to last year. 

Why it matters: The numbers, as analyzed by Sensor Tower, signal the app economy, for the most part, is steady and healthy.

The details: Per the report, App Store revenue grew 13 percent to $25.5 billion, compared with Google Play’s 20 percent gain to $14.2 billion during the period. 

Tinder became the highest-grossing, non-game app during the first half of 2019, with revenue increasing by 32 percent to an estimated $497 million worldwide in both Apple’s App Store and Google Play. 

Netflix, which was the leader in 2018, removed subscriptions from the app’s iOS version in December to avoid fees, which resulted in total app store spending on Netflix dropping to $399 million.

Facebook’s WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook and Instagram maintained their dominance in the ranking of downloads and TikTok took fourth place with the app first-time installs increasing by 28 percent to 344 million. 

YouTube Doesn’t Need To Move Children’s Content To A Separate Platform 

Bloomberg reported that during a July 1st call, Chairman Joseph Simons and Republican Commissioner Noah Phillips responded to the children’s privacy advocates, saying that YouTube wouldn’t need to move all children’s content to a separate platform.

Why it matters: Removing ads from the video platform would negatively impact video creators’ viewership and revenue. 

The details: Simons and Phillips proposed that instead, individual channels could disable ads to make sure that YouTube stays in agreement with a U.S. law’s ban on collecting information on children under age 13 without parental permission.

Study Finds Social Ad Growth Drops 50 Percent

According to a study conducted by WARC, the ad revenue growth rate for major social and messaging companies dropped in Q1 2019 to 26.2 percent, compared to 52 percent in Q1 2018 due to user base growth slowdown in North America and Europe. 

Why it matters: The biggest problem facing growth in social shopping is the lack of trust, especially with frequent data privacy scandals. In fact, three-quarters of consumers limit their online usage, due to the belief that their personal data is  misused, according to a YouGov study, which WARC cites in the report.

The details: WARC reports the biggest market for social advertising is North America, at about $8 billion in Q1 2019. Per the report, user growth has slowed significantly for the major social media platforms. Also, time spent on the platforms has plateaued at approximately two hours a day for the past three years. 

On the other hand, Asia (India, Indonesia and the Philippines, especially) is the biggest growth region for social media giants. Time spent on social media platforms in Asia increased to two hours and 11 minutes a day from two hours and nine minutes in 2018. However, monetization rates in these countries are lower than in North America and Europe, WARC reports. 

Instagram Is Committed To Fighting Online Bullying 

Instagram shared a blog post, in which it announced two new features that will help the company fight online bullying. 

Why it matters: The new features should improve user safety while creating a more welcoming environment on the platform, especially for younger users, who reportedly suffer from bullying on Instagram the most. 

The details: One of the new features is powered by AI and it notifies the users in case their comment may be offensive before they post. The second feature “in progress” will start testing soon and will enable the users to “restrict” others looking at their account. 

“We wanted to create a feature that allows people to control their Instagram experience, without notifying someone who may be targeting them,” the blog post explained.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, July 12th. 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