This week, LinkedIn publishes new people, industry and advertising insights for marketers, YouTube responds to The Federal Trade Commission and considers removing targeted ads from videos that children are likely to watch, Twitter acquires the Lightwell team to improve “Conversations” on the platform and Pew Research Center survey finds that smartphone and social media users have broader social networks.

LinkedIn updates “Success Hub

This week, the professional social media platform added a new centralized hub for actionable marketing insights. 

Why it matters: According to LinkedIn, the initiative aims to provide detailed information on specific audiences and verticals, making it easier to create and execute data-driven strategies.  

The details: LinkedIn’s “Success Hub” marketing data and insights platform now offers “People’s Insights” to help marketers better understand who their audience is, where they are from and what they engage with. 

“Industry Insights” section provides information about key insights, trends and research within the industry, and can be used to better the development of marketing strategy. 

And last, but not least, “Advertising Insights” provides a more robust understanding of the makeup/behaviors of audiences, the context of industry and the most recommendable practices for advertising on the platform.  

YouTube To End Targeted Advertisements On Kids’ Content 

This week, Bloomberg reported that the video sharing company is finalizing plans to stop targeted ads on videos for children. 

Why it matters: Considering that targeted, or “behavioral” ads are made possible from collecting information about the user, Children’s Online Privacy Act (COPPA) bars companies from serving them to children under 13 without parental permission. This means that brands advertising on YouTube will lose the opportunity to place ads on certain clips. 

The details: The Federal Trade Commission is currently investigating whether YouTube breached COPPA. The settlement between YouTube and The Federal Trade Commission has been reached, however, the terms are yet to be disclosed. 

According to Bloomberg, we don’t know how this targeting ban would be delivered with the thousands of video channels with whom YouTube splits ad sales. It’s also not clear how YouTube would distinguish which videos are “directed at children” and which aren’t.

Twitter Employs The Team Behind Lightwell To Improve “Conversations” 

Twitter has welcomed the team from Lightwell, a startup producer of developer tools to build interactive, narrative apps. 

Why it matters: Twitter is a challenge when it comes to following conversations, and that’s made it hards for brands looking to build buzz around user engagement. This is one potential way to solve the challenge.

The details: A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the employment of the team to TechCrunch saying, “We are excited to welcome Suzanne and her team to Twitter to help drive forward the important work we are doing to serve the public conversation.” 

Lightwell launched in 2012 as Hullabalu, producing original-content interactive children’s stories for smart devices.

Pew Research: “Smartphone And Social Media Users Have Broader Social Networks”

A Pew Research Center survey of adults in 11 nations across four regions around the world examined whether or not smartphones and social media platforms are impacting social interactions between users in developing economies. 

Why it matters: The survey found that smartphone owners, especially social media users, are more exposed to interacting with people who have different backgrounds. They are also more connected with their online friends, which means they can discuss and share news about their favorite products with more people from various backgrounds, age groups and interests. 

The details: Per Pew Research, “people with smartphones are much more likely to engage in activities on their phones than people with less sophisticated devices–even if the activity itself is quite simple. 

For example, people with smartphones are more likely than those with feature or basic phones to send text messages in each of the 11 countries surveyed, even though the activity is technically feasible from all mobile phones. And, although buying and selling goods may be feasible from a basic phone, people with smartphones are much more likely to have participated in these commercial activities than those with other types of devices.”

Facebook Is Testing Cryptocurrency For WhatsApp In India 

According to Bloomberg, Facebook is planning to make a cryptocurrency that will allow money transfers on WhatsApp, with the main focus on the remittances market in India.

Why it matters: The initiative makes sense, as WhatsApp is wildly popular in India, with more than 200 million users. Per World Bank, India leads the world in remittances with people sending $69 billion home to India in 2017 alone. 

The details: The company is reportedly working on a stablecoin, which is a type of digital currency pegged to the U.S. dollar–to minimize volatility. However, at this time, Facebook is not close to releasing the coin, because the strategy hasn’t been developed yet, including a plan for custody assets or regular currencies that would be held to protect the value of the stablecoin.

“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology,” a company spokesman said in a statement for Bloomberg. “This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”

Facebook Is On A Hunt For Journalists For Curated News Content 

Facebook again is hiring a team of journalists and editors to work on dedicated News Tab, The New York Times reports, back-pedaling on a previous shift away from a news content emphasis.

Why it matters: The company’s goal is to employ journalists who would curate the most recent, credible and relevant news stories, which are still the main driveforce for Facebook use. Thus, according to Pew Research, 45 percent of Americans identify Facebook as the main news source. 

The details: The job posting is already available on Facebook Careers page. And the job description reads, “We are building a new surface for news that will give more visibility to the journalism of news publishers. We’re looking for experienced journalists to help identify the top stories from news organizations. The ideal candidate will have sound news judgment, and a passion for breaking news. You should have the proven ability to work quickly under pressure, to make smart news decisions, and to work collaboratively with both news partners and global colleagues. 

This isn’t the first time Facebook has employed journalists. The company notably staffed journalists to curate its’ Trending section prior to shifting to an algorithm-based curation before ultimately shutting down the feature.

LinkedIn Explains How It Eliminates Fakes And Spammers

The company shared a blog post, outlining its efforts to proactively find and remove fake accounts from the platform. 

Why it matters: The effort is necessary as fake accounts on social media increase inefficiency in media spend and often jeopardise brands’ reputation. 

The details: According to the company, between January and June of this year, LinkedIn team prevented 19.5 million fake accounts from being created at registration, meaning that about 95 percent were stopped automatically. Two million fake accounts were restricted before members reported them and 67,000 were restricted after being reported. Also, 98 percent of all fake accounts we prevented or took down with the help of automated defenses, including AI and machine learning

TikTok Introduces Sponsored “Hashtag Challenge” For In-App Shopping 

The video sharing company introduces a new feature that allows in-app shopping for products associated with sponsored “Hashtag Challenge.”

Why it matters: The sponsored challenges, targeted mostly at Gen Z’ers, are marketing campaigns within which users are encouraged to post videos of them using a product, such as showing off their favorite clothes from Uniqlo or their moves to Guacamole Song in a challenge from Chipotle, making the experience more interactive and memorable. With the new eCommerce feature, called “Hashtag Challenge Plus,” a shoppable option is added to the hashtag and TikTok users can conveniently make in-app purchases. 

The details: Kroger was the first brand to give the new feature a try, Adweek reported. The company partnered with several TikTok influencers, including Joey Klaasen, Cosette Rinab, Mia Finney and Victoria Bachlet and asked TikTok users to share videos of their dorm makeovers using the hashtag #TransformUrDorm. The campaign resulted in around 477 million views across hundreds of videos. 

TikTok Download Rates Are High And Growing 

An app download report from Sensor Tower showed that TikTok download numbers are stable and growing. 

Why it matters: The rankings look promising, however, it is important to remember the difference between downloads and active users. The report on TikTok’s unique users, issued earlier in 2019 suggested that TikTok had around 26 million monthly active US users. 

The details: According to the July app download report, TikTok ranks second in overall downloads (losing only to Facebook) and Google downloads and leads App Store downloads ranking. 

Facebook Lets Users See And Control The Data That Apps And Websites Share With The Social Media Platform 

Facebook shared a blog post introducing “Off-Facebook Activity,” a new way to view and control off-Facebook activity. 

Why it matters: As explained by Facebook, “Many apps and websites are free because they’re supported by online advertising. And to reach people who are more likely to care about what they are selling, businesses often share data about people’s interactions on their websites with ad platforms and other services. This is how much of the internet works, but given that the average person with a smartphone has more than 80 apps and uses about 40 of them every month, it can be really difficult for people to keep track of who has information about them and what it’s used for.”

The details: With “Off-Facebook Activity,” the users will be able to see a summary of the information other apps and websites have sent Facebook through Facebook’s online business tools (Facebook Pixel or Facebook Login), choose to disconnect this information from their account and

choose to disconnect future off-Facebook activity from their account. This can be done for all of off-Facebook activity, or for specific apps and websites only.

Reddit Brings Live-Streaming To The Platform 

Reddit joins  Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat and offers live-streaming capacity to the platform, but with a twist.  

Why it matters: In the past few years live-streaming became one of the most crucial parts of social media experience, so the offering is great news for marketers creating content on Reddit because it opens more creative opportunities for video content creation. 

The details: “Starting today until 5PM PT, and from 9AM-5PM PT through Friday, redditors around the world will be able to create live broadcasts. In true Reddit fashion, voting will determine the top broadcast, and you can explore different broadcasts by swiping or clicking right or left. As you move further from the top broadcast, the broadcasts you see will be increasingly more random, so we encourage you to explore and vote,” the company said in a blog post

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, August 23rd. 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