This week in social media news, Facebook reigns in third-party data sharing, Pinterest debuts promoted carousels, Instagram adds voting stickers and Twitter plays with the order of its posts.
Also, Twitter’s double character limit had the opposite effect, Snapchatters in the UK get access to Shows, Snapchat Lenses arrive on desktop and Twitter doesn’t like its like button anymore.
Facebook Adds Transparency Tools For Sharing User Data
Facebook is now requiring advertisers to define business relationships and reaffirm policy compliance when they share certain data with third parties.
Why it matters: The social media giant has made it so easy to share user data that reigning it back in has been a challenge, to say the least. These new policies will allow businesses to share data with agencies or other third parties while keeping Facebook informed.
Details: Facebook has added new controls for sharing the Facebook pixel and offline event sets. In order to begin sharing pixel or offline event information with another business, brands will need to define their relationship with the business they want to share data with and review and reaffirm compliance with Facebook’s policies.
Snapchat Encourages Voting With New Features
Snapchat users will have access to voting-themed lenses and Bitmoji this election, as well as access to nearby polling stations.
Why it matters: As a popular hub for teenagers, Snapchat is using its influence to encourage voting in the US. Several brands like Instagram, Uber and Lyft are getting involved to make sure American voices are heard in the US mid-term elections.
Details: Snap Discover will cover live election results, as well as send a reminder to all its users on November 6. Users can announce that they’ve voted through stickers, filters and custom Bitmoji.
Vimeo Adds Native LinkedIn Publishing Option
Businesses on Vimeo can now publish directly to their company page on LinkedIn.
Why it matters: Vimeo is the first video platform to offer an end-to-end integration with LinkedIn. While users can add YouTube links to posts, Vimeo’s new “publish to social” features allows them to share videos directly to company pages such as tutorials, announcements or sizzle reels.
Details: In addition to LinkedIn, businesses that use Vimeo can natively publish on social networks.
“Over the past year, Vimeo has invested heavily in building a central distribution hub for video content to be shared everywhere and across platforms. Our Publish to Social feature makes it possible for creators and businesses to reach audiences in more places, while also enabling them to better understand video performance,” said Mark Kornfilt, CTO of Vimeo. “We’re excited to be the first video platform to integrate with LinkedIn, and to extend this feature to an essential destination for professional content.”
Pinterest Introduces Promoted Carousel Ads
Brands can now promote interactive carousels that include up to five images.
Why it matters: Carousels offer users a collection of ideas and therefore more opportunities to engage. Pinterest is a visual platform, making carousels a natural, unobtrusive ad format for users. In testing, Cover Girl experienced a 32 percent increase in click-through-rate.
Details: Brands on Pinterest now have access to promoted carousels. Each card can include a different image, title, description and landing page, making them like miniature websites. Pinterest users see the promoted carousel ads just like any other Pin. They can swipe through the images directly from the feed and tap the carousel to see images and landing pages.
Instagram Adds Voting Stickers To Stories Creation
On Election Day November 6, users will be able to share their voting accomplishments and see who else did, too.
Why it matters: The US Midterm election is drawing unprecedented attention from brands, celebrities and young citizens this year. Instagram is encouraging users to vote by tapping into the humble brag, aka the lifeblood of the platform.
Details: Beginning on November 4, Instagram users will be able to create Stories with “I Voted” stickers in both English and Spanish. Followers can tap the sticker to find out a polling location near them. Beginning November 6, users will see a “We Voted!” story at the front of their stories bar when several friends post a story with the “I Voted” sticker.
Twitter Tests Switch To See Chronological Listing
A small number of iOS users are testing the ability to switch back and forth between “best tweets” and “latest tweets.”
Why it matters: Twitter’s algorithm tries to prioritize content based on what it thinks you want to see, based on a tweet’s interaction. While this might boost overall engagement, it means that a lot of content gets lost in the shuffle. Users can now turn off “best tweets first” in the settings, but this new option would make it easy to switch back and forth.
Details: On Wednesday, Twitter’s product lead Kayvon Beykpour asked the community for feedback on a test that would allow users to toggle back and forth between tweet priority.
We want to make it easier to toggle between seeing the latest tweets the top tweets. So we’re experimenting with making this a top-level switch rather than buried in the settings. Feedback welcome.. what do you think? https://t.co/bBUw4gkBz8
— Kayvon Beykpour (@kayvz) October 31, 2018
Twitter Users Actually Use Fewer Characters After Last Year’s Upgrade
A year after Twitter extended its character limit from 140-280, statistics show that it wasn’t such a game changer, after all.
Why it matters: When Twitter extended the character limit, many users weren’t happy about it. It seems they can relax now, as it didn’t bring about the endless paragraphs they might have imagined.
Details: According to Twitter, the most common tweet length has gone down by one character, from 34 to 33 in the last year. In fact, 88 percent of tweets are still 140 characters or under. Twitter is always talking about serving the conversation, but 99 percent of tweets are short and sweet, keeping it under the 280 character limit. Okay, they’re usually not that sweet, although the use of “please” and “thank you” are up by 54 percent and 22 percent, respectively.
Mark Zuckerberg Assures Investors About Long-Term Strategy
After Facebook missed Wall Street revenue estimates for the third quarter, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors how they are planning long-term.
Why it matters: Facebook has endured a bruising news cycle of scandal, lawsuits and data breaches that may have investors thinking twice about the future of Zuckerberg’s social media empire. The company is growing but struggling to remain agile in a changing consumer landscape.
Details: In a Tuesday call to investors, Zuckerberg assured investors that company expenses will be lower, but revenue growth will be more long-term as they focus more on video and messaging. “We have great products here that people love, but it will take some time for our business to catch up to our community growth,” he said.
Twitter Lets Users Report Suspected Bots
Twitter is now allowing its community to help flag suspected bot activity on the platform.
Why it matters: Twitter has been busy removing bots and accounts associated with misinformation campaigns, but they can’t do it alone.
Details: Now when Twitter users flag content for violation of policies, they can identify it as posted by a fake account. This will allow Twitter to be notified of spam or automated messages that it might have otherwise missed.
Activity that attempts to manipulate or disrupt Twitter’s service is not allowed. We remove this when we see it.
You can now specify what type of spam you’re seeing when you report, including fake accounts. pic.twitter.com/GN9NKw2Qyn
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 31, 2018
Snapchat Debuts ‘Shows’ In The UK With Media Partners
Snap has extended its Shows feature to the UK after it proved popular among US users.
Why it matters: Snapchat is ramping up its content and quickly becoming an entertainment platform. The UK expansion comes on the heels of Snapchat Originals and after a proven track record with its Discovery platform.
Details: During a London press conference on Tuesday, Snap’s head of international content partnerships Rami Saad announced that Shows has been extended to the UK. Publishing partners at launch include Sky News, Sky Sports, VICE, Gleam Futures, The Guardian, Culture Trip, Hearst /Cosmopolitan UK, Tastemade, COPA90, Channel 4 [trial], Global, Boiler Room, GRM Daily, JOE.co.uk, Brave Bison, PinkNews and Manchester City.
“Ever since we began focusing on bringing the Shows format to Snapchatters in the US market, we’ve seen more than triple the time spent on Shows from the beginning of the year until today,” explained Saad.
Snapchat Eyes Streaming Community With Desktop Lenses
Now anyone can apply Snapchat Lenses to their videos from a desktop computer but as the introduction video shows, Snap is particularly interested in streamers.
Why it matters: Video streaming is big business, hence the major investments by giants like Facebook and Twitter as they try to compete with Twitch and YouTube. Everyone loves to steal Snapchat features, but the original ghost is getting the last laugh by allowing creators to wear Lenses wherever they stream, although for now, Facebook doesn’t appear to be one of the compatible platforms.
Details: Snap Camera features “thousands” of Lenses that can be applied to desktop videos. The new app syncs with a computer’s camera and adds AR effects while someone records or streams. This includes a custom Snap Camera integration for Twitch in addition to compatibility with YouTube, Skype, Google Hangouts and OBS.
Twitter May Soon Remove ‘Like’ Buttons
The ability to “like” a Tweet by clicking a heart-shaped button may be removed “soon,” in order to improve Twitter debates.
Why it matters: For a while now, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has expressed concerns that his sight feeds bias by matching posts with a user’s interest. While this fuels interaction, it also helps create an echo chamber—repeating opinions that someone already agrees with. Removing the “like” button could change the way Twitter’s algorithm suggests content.
Details: The Telegraph reported that Twitter will remove its “like” button in order to improve the quality of debate. Twitter confirmed that it is “rethinking everything” about the service, but did not provide additional details.
As we've been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivizing healthy conversation, that includes the like button. We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now. https://t.co/k5uPe5j4CW
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) October 29, 2018
Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, November 2. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.