This week in social media news, Facebook introduces a gaming video program, Instagram adds a new way to share content and Snapchat sells event tickets and expands Friendmojis to Apple users. In other news, Instagram is working on a competitor for Snap Discover, Facebook is funding news programming and has introduced ads to the Marketplace. Also, Facebook adds bidding support for in-app ads and the company’s music industry deals come to fruition, Bing ads will soon include LinkedIn, Facebook fires back against a New York Times exposé and YouTube taps a former Spotify programming head.
Facebook Introduces ‘Level Up’ Program For Game Creators
Several new features on Facebook express a desire to compete with Twitch and YouTube in the gaming space, and with gaming video content worth $665 million, it’s no wonder. In January, Facebook introduced its gaming creator program that includes the ability to financially support Facebook game content creators. Level Up is a new program to be debuted in the coming months that helps emerging creators get started.
Level Up members will receive early access to new features, best practices from established gaming creators and customized access to Facebook support for troubleshooting and bug reporting.
Snapchat Partners With SeatGeek To Sell Event Tickets
Snapchat users can now purchase Los Angeles Football Club event tickets directly from the app, SeatGeek announced Thursday. This partnership marks the first time Snapchat users will be able to purchase tickets through the app. Additional tickets will be offered in the future to include sporting events and concerts.
Instagram Encourages Sharing With @Mentions
Public Instagram account users can now share posts they have been tagged in, the company announced Thursday. When a user has been mentioned in someone else’s story, they will now receive a notification in their Direct Messages. Users then have the option to add the content to their own Story or share it as a sticker. The original poster will be tagged when a message is shared.
Snapchat Expands Friendmojis To Apple Messages
Snapchat’s customizable stickers called “Bitmojis” are available to use inside the app, as well as Apple Messenger but “Friendmojis,” a version that includes one or more of a friend’s avatar, are being added to Messenger as well. IOS users who link their Bitmoji and Snapchat accounts together will be able to send Friendmojis in Messages in the coming days.
Instagram Plans Long-Form Video Section
In another bid to compete with Snapchat through imitation, Instagram is planning to announce a video hub similar to Snapchat Discover on June 20, sources told TechCrunch. The dedicated video space would feature scripted shows, music videos and more in vertically oriented, full-screen, high-def 4K resolution. Sources close to the situation said that Instagram has been meeting with popular social media stars and content publishers about moving their video channels or creating an Instagram version.
Funded News Shows Coming To Facebook Watch
A dedicated section for News is being added to Facebook Watch, the social network’s recently launched video hub. Facebook is testing a number of shows by mainstream media channels including ABC News, Advance Local, ATTN, CNN, Fox News, Mic and Univision that will be hosted by professional journalists. These shows, funded by Facebook, are scheduled to go live later this summer with additional shows to be announced in the coming weeks.
“We’ve seen that people enjoy coming to Watch to find timely, relevant content and to catch up with the publishers and creators they care about,” Campbell Brown, head of global news partnerships wrote in a blog post. “We think that this is a great opportunity to test a viewing destination for high-quality news content within Watch.”
Business Can Now Run Ads In Facebook Marketplace
Launched in 2016, Facebook’s Marketplace became a social alternative to Craiglist, allowing users to buy, sell and trade goods locally. Now that businesses have joined Marketplace, Facebook has announced the inevitable—advertisements.
Businesses in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will be able to run ads in Marketplace using parameters for traffic, conversions, product catalog, video views and reach. Marketers already advertising with Facebook can now select Marketplace as one of their target locations.
Facebook Tests Musical Posts
Facebook has begun testing video posts with music that would normally be flagged for copyright infringement, such as wedding videos or other life events. In addition, “Lip Sync Live” was added to Facebook Live on Wednesday, allowing users to mouth the words to popular songs in front of a live audience. Facebook Live now offers the option to pick a song, which will countdown prior to recording. While the user lip syncs to the music, special effects can be added such as sparkles, masks and backgrounds.
Copyright claims often prevent social media users from sharing videos accompanied by music. YouTube has struggled to keep up with these claims as music industry execs begrudgingly continue deals that allow certain music to be used. Facebook saw an opportunity to make music industry deals of its own and users will soon be able to take advantage of these partnerships.
Facebook Adds Support To Include In-App Advertising
Facebook Audience Network now includes in-app advertising and mobile web, the company announced on Tuesday. Through a partnership with MoPub, Fyber and MAX, Facebook has tested the function and is ready to roll it out to marketers this week.
“We believe the principles behind mobile web header bidding can improve the efficiency of app monetization,” said Vijay Balan, Facebook Audience Network head of publisher solutions partnerships in a blog post. “The app ecosystem is plagued by many of the same inefficiencies and lack of transparency, resulting in lost revenue for the app publisher, ad dollars that may generate a suboptimal return for the advertiser, and potentially a less relevant ad experience for people.”
Bing Ads Will Soon Target LinkedIn Users
Microsoft owns LinkedIn, which gives marketers something Google AdWords cannot—access to LinkedIn’s 500 million users. As reported by Search Engine Journal, Bing Ads will include LinkedIn functionality by the end of the year.
In 2016, a Bing Ads user suggested LinkedIn targeting on the company’s official suggestions forum. An administrator responded on Monday saying, “This functionality will be available before the end of the year.”
Facebook Defends Third-Party API Strategy
On Sunday, The New York Times published a piece that questions Facebook’s honesty about collecting information about users’ friends. Before the dawn of app stores, Facebook partnered with “at least 60” device manufacturers like Blackberry, Apple and Samsung that allowed the creation of a “Facebook-like experience” on mobile phones. Features were recreated for each device that mimicked Facebook such as “like” buttons, messaging and access to a user’s address book.
Now that most users can simply download the Facebook app, the company began rolling back these manufacturer partnerships in April. However, The Times alleges, Facebook failed to mention this bit of information to Congress, and that granting access to a user’s friend data without that friend’s permission raises serious privacy concerns.
“Facebook’s leaders said that the kind of access exploited by Cambridge in 2014 was cut off by the next year when Facebook prohibited developers from collecting information from users’ friends,” The Times reported. “But the company officials did not disclose that Facebook had exempted the makers of cellphones, tablets and other hardware from such restrictions.”
In a blog post, Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships Ime Archibong rebutted the article, insisting that partners could not integrate the user’s Facebook features with their devices without permission and agreements were signed designed to prevent Facebook information from being used for any purpose other than recreating Facebook-like experiences.
“Contrary to claims by the New York Times, friends’ information, like photos, was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends. We are not aware of any abuse by these companies,” Archibong said.
Tuma Basa Is Now YouTube’s Director Of Urban Music
YouTube launched its new subscription music service recently and Tuma Basa will be in charge of urban music programming effective June 1. Basa served as Spotify’s global programming head of hip-hop until May, when he made the switch to YouTube. He also brings experience from across the music industry, having worked for BET, MTV and Revolt.
“His experience will be invaluable to the music journey we are on at YouTube, connecting artists and fans across the globe, and I am thrilled to welcome his voice to our collective efforts,” said YouTube’s global head of music Lyor Cohen in a statement.
Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, June 8. 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 [email protected].