This week in social media news, Facebook publishes new report on what Instagram users expect from brands, Twitter continues to eliminate accounts that aim to intervene with U.S. midterm elections, cuts off API access to follow/unfollow spam dealers and extends in-stream video ads and sponsorships for K-Pop; Snopes terminates its partnership with Facebook and Tumblr extends Black History month until the end of the year.

Twitter Provides A Review Of U.S. Midterm Elections 

Twitter continues to spot and disarm service manipulation campaigns focused on political conversations and the company’s 2018 midterm elections report reveals some major improvements Twitter made to achieve this goal.

Why it matters: Social media became a powerful tool for foreign agents to intervene with fair elections in the U.S.

The details: The highlights of the report include election integrity data disclosure, advertising and promoted content data, recent updates on Twitter rules and policies, safety measures and more.

Facebook Report Shows IG Users  Eager To Hear From Brands

Facebook published a new report today, that focused on what users are looking for when it comes to product advertising on Instagram.

Why it matters: Unlike other social media, Instagram is not the easiest platform to win the customers over onpeople don’t follow as readily. Brands have to go an extra mile in their efforts to effectively advertise their product on Instagram.

The details: According to the survey, 57 percent of participants use Instagram more than they did a year ago, and 44 percent will use it even more in the coming year; 41 percent reported that they don’t watch television on daily basis but 64 percent said they are open to seeing brands that generally advertise on TV communicate on Instagram. The report also provides tips for marketers to get the most out of Instagram. Here are some highlights:

  • Challenge your assumptions
  • Create content that’s mobile friendly
  • Experiment to reach additional audience

Twitter Cuts Off API Access To Follow/Unfollow Spam Dealers

Earlier today, Twitter cut off access to three popular social media tools—ManageFlitter, Statusbrew, Crowdfire—as a part of its fight against notification spammers.

Why it matters: Being banned from Twitter might be fatal for the businesses. The apps will stop functioning as they’ll no longer be able to take any actions on the platform.

The Details: A spokesperson provided the following comment to TechCrunch: “We have suspended these three apps for having repeatedly violated our API rules related to aggressive following & follow churn. As a part of our commitment to building a healthy service, we remain focused on rapidly curbing spam and abuse originating from use of Twitter’s APIs.”

Twitter Extends In-Stream Video Ads And Sponsorships To Showcase K-Pop Content Worldwide

Twitter extended its In-Stream Video Ads to K-Pop content to support K-Pop as one of the top global conversation drivers on the platform.

Why it matters: With this new move, brands worldwide will be able to run pre-roll video ads targeted at K-Pop admirers on the platform.

The details: In-Stream Video Ads and In-Stream Video Sponsorships will serve as complementary tools to conservative advertising tactics. It is important that there will be no regional restrictions, and global brands will be able to reach K-pop fans on Twitter 22 markets including.

Snopes Withdraws From Its Partnership With Facebook

The fact-checking site, Snopes, released an official message to its community today, which confirmed the termination of Snopes’ partnership with Facebook.

Why it matters: This change promises significant financial loses for Snopes, and the company will have to undergo major changes to adapt to make up for the loses.

The details: Snopes helped Facebook to decrease the amount of false news in the News Feed. And the reason for withdrawal lies mainly in bandwidth, Vinny Green, the company’s vice president of operations told in a phone interview. Since every fake post needs to be added to a dashboard on a platform manually, it becomes extremely time-consuming for Snope’s team, which consists of only 16 employees and doesn’t have actual headquarters.

“With a manual system and a closed system — it’s impossible to keep on top of that stuff,” Green said.

Tumblr Extends Black History Month 

Blackout announced its partnership with Tumblr in a post on its official page, in an effort “to bring the best of Black excellence straight to your dashboard.” And it’s spreading the news with #BlackExcellence365hashtag.

Why it matters: The project will showcase the achievements of Black people in history, science, music, art, media, social impact, fashion, gaming, poetry, and so many other areas.

The details: Here is a brief calendar of what you can expect:



  • #BlackExcellence365video series, a round-table discussion of important issues in the Black community. March’s theme is Black Girl Magic: The Importance of Black Women’s Work in the Media.


  • #BlackExcellence365video series X #TheBlackout: Content & Conversations Surrounding the Black LGBTQ+ community


  • #BlackExcellence365video series X #TheBlackout: Music in the Black Community


  • #BlackExcellence365video series X #TheBlackout: Mental Health in Communities of Color

Facebook Reports Strong Q4 2018 Results

According to the recent press release, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg stated, “Our community and business continue to grow. We’ve fundamentally changed how we run our company to focus on the biggest social issues, and we’re investing more to build new and inspiring ways for people to connect.”

Why it matters: Despite the scandals and scrutiny in which Facebook has been finding itself a lot lately, the company’s quarterly report showed strong numbers. The shareholders didn’t suffer because as per the report, earnings per share increased despite increasing costs and expenses.

Details: Some of the fourth-quarter highlights include: daily active users increase by 9 percent YoY to 1.52 billion, the average price per ad decreases by 2 percent and daily active users increase in all four of the company’s geographic segments, including Europe.

TikTok Leak Reveals Monthly Active Users

Digiday reportedly received a leaked pitch deck that TikTok sent to a large advertising agency in Europe.

Why it matters: The Chinese social media channel is rapidly growing and becoming more influential in the U.S. and worldwide.

Details: According to Digiday, the deck numbers are dated as of November 2018 and the deck describes the four ad products TikTok is offering, as well as their measurements. Digiday learned from an unidentified media buyer that “TikTok is charging $10 CPMs for fixed buys.”

Facebook Plans To Develop New Products as Instagram Stories Explodes 

TechCrunch reported today that as Instagram Stories skyrocket to 1 billion users (500 million using the feature daily), Facebook considering launching new products in the nearest future.

Why it matters: As of today, 2 million advertisers are buying Stories ads across all Facebook’s properties.

Details: During the phone call with TechCrunch, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, highlighted the following products in planning.

  • Encryption and ephemerality will be added to more features for security and privacy
  • Messaging features will make Messenger and WhatsApp “the center of [your] social experiences”
  • WhatsApp payments will expand to more countries
  • Stories will gain new private sharing options
  • Groups will become an organizing function of Facebook on par with friends & family
  • Facebook Watch will become mainstream this year as video is moved there from the News Feed, Zuckerberg expects
  • Augmented and virtual reality will be improved, and Oculus Quest will ship this spring
  • Instagram commerce and shopping will get new features.

Nate Cardozo Joins Facebook To Oversee WhatsApp Privacy

CNBC reported that Facebook hired Nate Cardozo—the former senior staff attorney at Electronic Frontier Foundation and one of the harshest Facebook privacy critics—to work on WhatsApp product as a privacy policy manager.

Why it matters: Hiring Cardozo to work on the WhatsApp privacy ranks demonstrates the company’s preparations for future legal and lobbying efforts, as at the moment it finds itself in hot water with the EU over merging other social media properties with WhatsApp.

Details: Cardozo will be joined by another privacy policy manager, Robyn Green, former Open Technology Institute employee. Both will focus on law enforcement access and data protection.

Twitter Will Conduct Research On Machine Learning Together With UC Berkeley

According to a recent Twitter blog post, the platform will partner with UC Berkeley researchers to improve ML and “increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation” on Twitter.

Why it matters: According to the company, Machine Learning models are crucial to enhancing the user experience with the platform. “Making Twitter more healthy requires making the way we practice ML more fair, accountable and transparent,” the blog post stated.

Details: The new research initiative will focus on studying and improving the performance of ML in social systems and will be lead by Professor Moritz Hardt and Professor Ben Recht.

Pinterest Hires Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase To Lead Their IPO  

Reuters reported today that the image search platform, Pinterest, hired Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase to lead its initial public offering (IPO).

Why it matters: With this move, Pinterest has the potential to raise around $1.5 billion in the IPO, which is likely to come in the first six months of 2019.

Details: The San Francisco-based company has seen rapid growth since its founding in 2008, and is valued at $12 billion. It hosts 250 million monthly active users and is now among other popular brands preparing for multi-billion IPOs this year, including Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and Slack.

Facebook Is Banned From Apple. Yet Again

Apple told TechCrunch that yesterday evening it revoked the Enterprise Certificate that allows Facebook to distribute the Research app without going through the App Store.

Why it matters: TechCrunch reported that The Research app asked users for root network access to all data passing through their phone in exchange for $20 per month, which violated Apple’s policy.

Details: TechCrunch’s investigation discovered that Facebook’s Research program was quietly run on iOS and Android since 2016 as Project Atlas. The program unethically recruited users in the 13 to 35-year-old range (5 percent of which were teenagers), with the help of ads on Instagram and Snapchat. The users received a monthly fee and referral bonuses to install Facebook’s Research app. The VPN app then routed traffic to Facebook and allowed root network access to the user phone to the company, which, in turn, let Facebook pull in a user’s full web browsing activity. According to TechCrunch, “Facebook went so far as to ask users to screenshot and submit their Amazon order history.”

Facebook Publishes A Report On Evolving Sports Engagement On Social Platforms

The Changing Profile of Sports Fans Around The World—a new report published today by Facebook, looks at evolving people’s engagement with sports content on mobile devices and social media.

Why it matters: With Super Bowl 2019 at the door, the report was put together to “help marketers gain a better understanding of who sports fans are and how they watch sports online” today.

Details: The “Sports Around the World” study conducted by the GlobalWebIndex was utilized. The study surveyed over 90,000 internet users and offered some interesting insights, such as nearly 60 percent of sports fans on Facebook said they watch sports online and nearly 80 percent of women surveyed say they watch live sports online or in person, compared to 90 percent of men.

Snapchat Considering Permanent Snaps

According to Reuters, Snapchat is considering making changes to its app that would allow the users’ content to stay on their profiles longer than 24 hours, or permanently.

Why it matters: This is the company’s strategic move to reanimate profits since Snapchat had seen a dramatic decline in user base and in revenue in 2018.

Details: The change would only apply to photos and videos in “Our Story” section, which the users can share not only with their friends but with the larger audience outside their network on the app. The Snapchat fans, however, will keep the option to delete their stories.

Twitter Kicks Off #SuperBowl Week 

As one of the internet’s great drivers-of-discussion, Twitter announced itself as the “home for all things Super Bowl” in the blog post earlier today.

Why it matters: Twitter is serious about keeping the fans posted about Super Bowl with fresh updates, a special emoji, radio broadcasting and livestreaming, which will bring a lot of traffic to the site.

Details: Twitter partnered with the @NFL on special Super Bowl emoji and offered the following hashtags for the fans to share and follow: #SuperBowl, #SBLIII, #GoPats, #EverythingWeGot, #LARams and #RamsHouse. Twitter will also livestream a variety of memorable moments for users every day until Super Bowl Sunday.

TicToc Steps Out Of Their Twitter “Comfort Zone” With The New Video Platform 

Bloomberg’s breaking news source on Twitter, TicToc, launched its own video platform today, AXIOS reported.

Why it matters: Although still native to Twitter, with this move TicToc attempts to develop and grow its own unique brand recognition.

Details: The new site will operate as a news video library with several categories, including, “Technology,” “Politics,” “Social Movements” and “Culture.” The site is designed to suit fast-paced news consumption and will feature videos that are under a minute and are set up to be watched with sound. The format of the content offered will vary from data to images and will aim to deliver vital information with more efficiency.

Facebook Expands Its Ad Archive Internationally

Facebook is launching versions of its political ad archive to countries with upcoming elections like India and Ukraine.

Why it matters: Users can look up information on any political ad they encounter on Facebook. The platform has a lot of influence on politics with so many followers using it—India has the largest audience. This news is also important because it shows Facebook is trying to avoid a repeat of the 2016 fiasco.

Details: According to Recode, the social media platform hopes its ad archive product will have ‘a global expansion’ by June. After the 2016 midterms, Facebook made “war room” so employees from different teams could more effectively respond to misinformation or voter suppression problems.

Snapchat’s Sunset Strip Billboard Turns Into AR Video Ad

Snapchat is promoting its original show, Bringing Up Bhabie, with an AR-enabled billboard.

Why it matters: Snapchat is getting creative on ways to attract Gen Z and get them to gain interest in their shows. Its Snapchat’s response to TikTok—a lip sync app.

Details: The billboard—located in one the most expensive areas for ads—has a Snapcode users can scan with their app. It turns the vertical billboard into a video of Bhabie ranting, it’s even somewhat personal because it seems she’s talking directly at you. The singer also premiered her new single “Bestie,” through a Lens Challenge. According to Next Reality, Snapchat users can access the Lens Challenge by opening the Snapchat camera and tapping the screen to access the Lens Carousel. Then you need to tap the smiley icon at the bottom of the screen to enter the Lens Explorer. “Users can then lip-sync along with the track, with the Lens providing an augmented reality backdrop using Lens Studio’s background segmentation feature.”

Instagram Stories Can Be Shared Via Direct Links

Following in Snapchat’s footsteps, Instagram launched a “Share link to Entire Story” feature to get more engagement and eyes on the stories.

Why it matters: Stories are getting easier to share, so more people will be able to watch them. Brands get another perk, the option to “Promote” their stories so they can increase their reach by promoting their story to users who aren’t followers.

Details: The platform is rolling out the new features they tested last year. The “Promote” option also sends users to a brand’s profile, website and it lets consumers to DM them in Direct.

Google And Facebook See A Boost In Ad Sales

Privacy and regulation issues aren’t hurting advertising on these platforms. This comes before the companies report their fourth-quarter earnings.

Why it matters: Facebook and Google are still very relevant and important tools to reach customers.

Details: Bloomberg reports advertiser attitudes haven’t changed towards Facebook. Experts state consumer spending is growing and so is digital advertising. For example, Instagram ad dollars spiked 120 percent from 2017.

Facebook Stories See A Notable Increase In Ad Spend 

A report finds advertisers elevated their ad spend on Facebook Stories by about 124 percent during Q4 2018 compared to 2017.

Why it matters: This is evidence Stories is working for brands and there are no signs of slowing down.

Details: The report by Nanigans was shared with Mobile Marketer.  For Facebook Stories, the report found CPM jumped 112 percent, CTRs increased 52 percent and CPCs surged 39 percent. Also, advertisers allocated 61 percent of their budgets to video.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, February 1. 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