This week sped by. We learned Twitter will remove third-party data from ad targeting, Twitch launches its own broadcasting software and Facebook is getting ready to test subscription VOD services. 

Also: Facebook’s trusted marketing partner secretly collected and stored a vast amount of user data. Facebook took the first step in its plan to integrate Instagram Direct with Facebook Messenger and ads sideshow to “Stories;” Twitter apologized to its users for sharing their data with advertising partners without consent and was spotted testing “Snoozing Notifications” at certain times; Facebook revamped Workplace, Instagram posted a job opening for meme liaison and more.

Twitter Will Remove Third-Party Data From Ad-Buying System 

The Wall Street Journal reported that Twitter plans to remove outside data sources from its ad-buying system. 

Why it matters: To provide critical data for advertisers, marketers and internal use, Twitter collaborates with various data providers for insights into trends and customer behaviors. The problem, though, comes from the fact that the creation and sourcing of the insights is out of Twitter’s control. And we know from recent history, like Cambridge Analytica or the most recent Hyp3r case, that this practice may lead to the misuse of data by these third parties.

The details: However, per Sarah Personette, vice president of global client solutions at Twitter, the new policy is not linked to the rising concerns about data protection and privacy online, but is meant to simplify buying for advertisers and allow Twitter to focus on other priorities, such as new products and technology.

“We want to make sure we’re creating and developing the best possible experience for every advertiser, agency and marketer utilizing the system,” she said.

Twitch Launches Its Own Broadcasting Software 

This week, Twitch released its own broadcasting software, “Twitch Studio.”

Why it matters: Until now, Twitch streamers have been using third-party software to deliver streams to their viewers. The goal with “Twitch Studio” is to provide users with an easier experience getting started and attracting more users to the platform. 

The details: Cheng Cheng, Twitch’s director of product management for the creator experience told The Verge, “We’ve been listening to our users give us feedback, talk about their experience, how they started streaming, how they progress. And one really consistent pain point was that multiplayer entertainment is really fun, it’s really engaging, but the bar to really get started is quite high.” 

Facebook Will Test Selling Video Subscriptions

Facebook will test subscription sales of video on demand services, according to Variety

Why it matters: Facebook is playing catch-up in the video wars, especially in the wake of the success of  theSVOD-aggregation play by Amazon and Apple and Roku. A company representative said in a statement for Variety, “We’re testing video subscriptions on Facebook, starting with a limited set of partners. We’re excited to bring more of people’s favorite shows and videos to Facebook, where subscribers can enjoy the content together with other fans. We’ll be listening to feedback from our community.” 

The details: The video subscriptions will be available for four services: BBC and ITV’s BritBox, CollegeHumor’s Dropout, MotorTrend App and Tastemade Plus. The test with the four partners will be available only to users in the U.S. and will be launching in the next few weeks. Payments will be processed by Facebook on behalf of the SVOD partners. In the future, additional partners to the video-subscription platform might be added depending on initial user interest.

Instagram Ad Partner Secretly Tracked, Collected And Stored Users’ Public Data

Business Insider reported that Instagram and Facebook’s trusted advertising partner, Hyp3r, has been secretly collecting and storing users’ data, including location and stories. 

Why it matters: Per Business Insider, the data misuse happened because of Instagram’s negligence when a combination of configuration errors led to the illegal collection of huge amounts of public user data, such as personal bios and photos that were supposed to disappear after 24 hours.

The details: After being confronted with Business Insider‘s findings, the company sent Hyp3r a cease-and-desist letter and admitted that the startup broke its rules.

“HYP3R’s actions were not sanctioned and violate our policies. As a result, we’ve removed them from our platform. We’ve also made a product change that should help prevent other companies from scraping public location pages in this way,” a spokesperson said in a statement. 

Facebook To Integrate Instagram Direct Messages With Messenger

According to Bloomberg, Facebook is moving forward with its plan to merge its systems and let users exchange messages throughout all its mobile apps. 

Why it matters: The initiative promises to allow for Instagram users to communicate with those using Messenger, which currently is impossible. However, with rising concerns about privacy and data-sharing practices, the move might be met with hesitation among users. Some experts say that not being directly associated with Facebook is what makes the separate products thrive. 

The details: At the moment, Facebook engineers are busy rebuilding Instagram’s chat feature using Facebook Messenger’s technology. Instagram Direct’s look won’t undergo any major changes but the underlying technology powering the service will, Bloomberg reports. 

Facebook Adds Slideshow Option To Facebook “Stories” 

Social media expert Matt Navarra, shared a tweet revealing that Facebook added a still image slideshow in Facebook “Stories.” 

Why it matters: Stories perform really well, especially with younger audiences and the new option has the potential to provide marketers with more opportunities to easily create content, which can help to boost engagement.  

The details: The new option provides a simplified way to add a stream of images, which will play out through Story frames. 

Twitter Apologizes For New Data Privacy Bugs 

“You trust us to follow your choices and we failed here. We’re sorry this happened, and are taking steps to make sure we don’t make a mistake like this again,” Twitter said in a blog post dedicated to the recent discovery of more data for ad targeting bugs, which means that user data on the platform may have been shared with advertising partners even when a user asked it not to. 

Why it matters: Twitter says the bugs were fixed on August 5. It is unclear when the company realized that user data was being processed without their consent. “We know you will want to know if you were personally affected, and how many people in total were involved. We are still conducting our investigation to determine who may have been impacted and If we discover more information that is useful we will share it,” the blog reads. 

The details: According to the company, the bugs may have resulted in two things:

  • “If you clicked or viewed an advertisement for a mobile application and subsequently interacted with the mobile application since May 2018, we may have shared certain data (e.g., country code, if you engaged with the ad and when, information about the ad, etc) with trusted measurement and advertising partners, even if you didn’t give us permission to do so.
  • As part of a process we use to try and serve more relevant advertising on Twitter and other services since September 2018, we may have shown you ads based on inferences we made about the devices you use, even if you did not give us permission to do so. The data involved stayed within Twitter and did not contain things like passwords, email accounts, etc.”

Instagram Is Hiring A Meme Liaison 

Instagram is bringing a meme liaison on board to resolve the heated situation after the social media company deactivated 142 popular meme accounts, according to The Atlantic

Why it matters: The company appears to suffer from a disconnect with the young audience and is trying to resolve the issue with the help of a social pro who better understands social sharing. 

The details: Lila King, Instagram’s head of news and publishing partnerships, told Mashable, she wants to hire someone who’s “equally fluent in the language of memes and the business of digital publishing.” She calls that person “a unicorn, basically.”

Twitter Is Testing “Snooze Push Notifications” For A Set Time Period

Also, Twitter was spotted testing “Snooze Push Notifications” for a set time period by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong.

Why it matters: This option is good news for marketers and social media managers who need to constantly keep abreast of their Twitter account, but don’t want to get notifications in the middle of the night or in the middle of an important meeting. 

The details: The new option would allow users to snooze push notifications for one hour, three hours or 12 hours at a time. The notifications would still be displayed in Notifications tab, but wouldn’t buzz during the chosen snooze periods.

Facebook Revamps Workplace 

This month, Facebook will roll out the updated version of Workplace, a tool that helps employees chat, collaborate and manage projects, Engadget reports

Why it matters: The change is due to the fact that the “classic” Facebook design previously used had a few flaws, which were enterprise customers’ pain points. Thus, almost half of them were using the old and inconvenient notification experience to figure out what they should be looking at next. They would then have to click through or, more often, move their cursor to the left-hand rail to select the appropriate group or work chat. 

“For the world of work, we needed a slightly different emphasis on slightly different UI components,” Kyle McGinn, Facebook’s director of product for Workplace told Engadget.

The details: Workplace is moving away from the classic “Facebook” look into the more original one. The most noticeable change is the new navigation bar on the left-hand side of the screen with three large circular icons: home, notifications and chat. The users can discover many relevant shortcuts in a second slightly wider column by clicking on these.

Facebook Watch To Broadcast Australian News 

The social media giant announced in a blog post that Facebook Australia partnered with seven local news publishers with the goal to experiment with new formats and develop sustainable video businesses on Facebook.

Why it matters: With Facebook’s plans to create its own TV device, the initiative makes a lot of sense, especially considering that according to a study published by the social media company, news and current world affairs are among the most popular areas of interest for Australian audiences (39 percent). It is possible that if successful in Australia, Facebook will run similar tests in other regions. 

The details: Premium news content from Australia’s leading broadcasters, such as Nine, Seven, SBS, Sky News and 10 will be available on Facebook starting today. It is important to note, that, per Facebook, publisher partners will keep full editorial control over the content produced and will collaborate with Facebook to understand which stories, topics and formats are resonating with audiences.

Campbell Brown, Vice President Global News Partnerships at Facebook said on the matter, “This is exactly the kind of partnership we want to have with the news industry. Australia’s newsrooms are doing innovative, high quality work with video. Facebook is proud to support their great journalism and excited to bring this work to Watch.”

Study Reveals How Much Users Are Willing To Spend On The Most Popular Apps

A new study conducted by McGuffin Group examined what users would consider a reasonable subscription fee if their favorite apps were paid. 

Why it matters: Paid subscriptions could solve the problem of data misuse and potentially make an alternate business model to advertising. 

The details: According to the study, users are willing to pay the most for YouTube subscription–over $4 per month. Google Maps and Drive secured the second and third places with $3.38 and $3.31 per month respectively. Interestingly, the fewest amount (64 percent) of users would be willing to pay to use Facebook and the subscription price they consider fair is $2.92. WhatsApp was named the app that most users (89 percent) would be willing to pay for. 

“Instagram Scheduling” Comes To Facebook Creator Studio

Facebook added Instagram scheduling to its Creator Studio.

Why it matters: For a very long time, Instagram scheduling has been many marketers’ and social media managers’ pain point. 

The details: The new feature promises to solve the problem, allowing to schedule directly from Creator Studio dashboard and see what the posts will look like. 

Note: “Instagram Stories” cannot be scheduled yet. 

Years Later Facebook Admits It Owns Instagram And WhatsApp 

Also, Facebook is rebranding Instagram and WhatsApp it acquired a few years back by adding “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook” alongside the other two, The Information reported

Why it matters: In a statement for The Information, the social media giant said, “We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook.” However, it seems that the real goal is to use the child companies’ rapid growth in order to put out fires around constant data safety issues associated with Facebook (the most recent being the Netflix original “The Great Hack”).  It was also reported that Mark Zuckerberg isn’t happy about the fact that Facebook doesn’t get enough credit for Instagram and WhatsApp rapid growth. 

The details: Per The Information, a source familiar with the matter said, “The move to add Facebook’s name to the apps has been met with surprise and confusion internally, reflecting the autonomy that the units have operated under.” 

EMarketer: TikTok Might Be YouTube’s Biggest Rival 

EMarketer recently published “Is TikTok The New Launching Pad For Video Creators?” post, diving into the idea that TikTok might beat YouTube and become the next number one platform for video creators.

Why it matters: The main difference between TikTok and YouTube is that while YouTube is about long-form content with higher production value, TikTok is focused on shorter, simpler clips, therefore making the content creation process on the platform easier for beginner creators.

Christoph Kastenholz, founder and CEO of Pulse Advertising told eMarketer, “YouTube serves a certain platform purpose with longer-form video, predominantly,” said “TikTok serves a completely different purpose. … It’s very user-centric. That makes it very easy for the user to create content.”

The details: Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer, said, “YouTube has been a home for video creators for more than a decade. But it’s starting to see real competition from TikTok as well as other social platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. All of them want a piece of the massive audience for creator content that YouTube has built.”

It is important to mention, however, that although TikTok is exploding, it isn’t exactly stepping on YouTube’s heels just yet. Thus, for example, last year, TikTok was seeing 500 million monthly active users, while eMarketer estimated that YouTube had 1.6 billion monthly active users worldwide in 2018, which made up 66.3 percent of all digital video viewers.  

58 Percent Of Content Creators Have To Deal With Copyright Claims On YouTube Study Finds 

To elaborate on the above news, a study from music licensing company Lickd found that 58 percent of participating creators had to contend a copyright claim on their online content.

Why it matters: According to Lickd, it becomes harder for creators to upload videos without having their content hit with a copyright claim.

The details: Lickd CEO Paul Sampson said, “Despite Article 13 being called out as a potential win for the industry – because it requires platforms that host creative works uploaded by their users to fairly share the income they generate with creators – it is very clear that those very creators do not share that view. Combine this with the risks associated with using unlicensed music, then suddenly the potential to generate revenue through content at risk for Creators and the music industry. We are constantly challenging the music industry to make sure that no party, including creators, lose out. Providing claims-free commercial tracks is one of the solutions.”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, August 9. 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