Follow our daily social roundup to keep up with the latest news from each platform and learn about the newest, most innovative social campaigns.

Instagram Is Testing Video Co-Watching

The reverse-engineering specialist Jane Manchun Wong spotted Instagram testing a co-watch feature on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Co-watching can make more ads visible to the platform users, as well as drive more attention to specific content.

The details: The code, spotted by Wong, reveals a “co-watch content” feature, which is hidden inside direct messaging. This means that soon the platform may allow group co-viewing, similar to Facebook’s “Watch Party.” It is yet unclear, however, whether it will be possible to watch the videos simultaneously.

Snapchat And HBO Bring AR Experiences To ‘Game Of Thrones’ At SXSW 2019 

Snapchat has reportedly worked with HBO to create AR elements for the Game Of Thrones castle at SXSW 2019  to promote the upcoming season of the show.

Why it matters: Snapchat and HBO collaboration is a great example of a brand using the platform’s AR marker tech tool to amuse the customer and promote the product in an innovative way.

The details: Snapchat’s AR marker tech is a tool that connects the digital AR technology in a phone to real-world objects. At the SXSW 2019 Game Of Thrones tent, the tool makes the banners featuring various characters from the show digitally”bleed” when scanned with the lens on the Snapchat camera. And another lens shows a map catching fire. Also, a special pin that each visitor gets digitally burns and sparkles, when scanned with Snapchat.

Will Podcasts Become New Social Media? Edison Report Explains

Edison Research and Triton Digital released a report on Wednesday, in which they surveyed 1,500 Americans (age 12+). The findings revealed some peculiar trends on the use of mobile devices, social media and online audio.

Why it matters: The annual survey showed that over the past year, the usage of social media declined while the usage of smart speakers and tablets significantly increased. The numbers look especially promising for Amazon and Spotify.

The details: Here are some of the report findings:

  • 79 percent of Americans say they use social media, which showed only a one percent increase since 2018
  • Facebook lost roughly 15 million users since 2017 and saw a drop in usage among people age 12-34 from 79 percent in 2017 to 67 percent in 2018 to 62 percent in 2019.
  • Only 31 percent of Americans in the 12-34 age group say they use Pinterest, compared to 36 percent last year
  • 23 percent of Americans said they own a smart speaker; 16 percent own an Amazon Alexa device (that’s more than twice the percentage of Google Home device owners).
  • There was a 12 percent increase in the population of tablet owners.
  • 24 percent of the survey respondents used Spotify and 12 percent used Amazon Music in the last month.
  • 32 percent of Americans are monthly podcast listeners compared to 26 percent in 2018 and  The format saw a 33 percent of active podcast listeners are within the 12-24 age group.
Twitter Announces New Analytics Tool For Publishers

Twitter announced the debut of “Timing is Everything,” a new analytics tool for publishers focused on video engagement.

Why it matters: The main purpose of Timing Is Everything is to provide the publishers with more actionable data and help them improve their performance on the platform.

The details: The tool displays historical data with the insights about when audiences are active on Twitter and when they are watching and engaging with video. This data then suggests the best time(s) to Tweet video content. The chart doesn’t provide information on when organic followers are watching videos but shows when people on Twitter are generally watching any video on the platform.

Facebook Announces Privacy-Focused Messaging And Social Networking Platform

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced in a blog post on Wednesday that the platform will shift its to encrypted communications on its messaging apps.

Why it matters: Although public social networks will continue to be very important in people’s lives, there is a significant rise in demand for private interactions, which Facebook aims to satisfy.

The details: According to the blog post, the privacy-focused platform will be built around the following principles:

  • Private interactions. People should have simple, intimate places where they have clear control over who can communicate with them and confidence that no one else can access what they share.
  • Encryption. People’s private communications should be secure. End-to-end encryption prevents anyone — including us — from seeing what people share on our services.
  • Reducing Permanence. People should be comfortable being themselves, and should not have to worry about what they share coming back to hurt them later. So we won’t keep messages or stories around for longer than necessary to deliver the service or longer than people want them.
  • Safety. People should expect that we will do everything we can to keep them safe on our services within the limits of what’s possible in an encrypted service.
  • Interoperability. People should be able to use any of our apps to reach their friends, and they should be able to communicate across networks easily and securely.
  • Secure data storage. People should expect that we won’t store sensitive data in countries with weak records on human rights like privacy and freedom of expression in order to protect data from being improperly accessed.

Instagram To Introduce A New Ad Type To Grow Influencer Campaigns

As reported by AdAge, Instagram is in the process of developing “Branded Content Ads,” a new ad that will allow brands to sponsor and promote posts created by celebrities and publishers.

Why it matters: The new ad type will enable businesses to significantly increase the value of their influencer marketing campaigns.

The details: According to AdAge, Instagram revealed some statistics that show that 69 percent of users say they come to Instagram to interact with celebrities, and over 80 percent of accounts follow a business on the platform, which means the new ad type will be a valuable addition to already existing Instagram’s branded content tagging system. In combination with the “Paid Partnership” tags, brands now can extend their promotions.

Pinterest Extends Ad Platform To Austria, Spain, Italy And Germany 

Brands in Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy can now run standard and video ads on Pinterest, Adweek reported on Wednesday.

Why it matters: According to Pinterest’s global head of partnerships, Jon Kaplan, half of the platform users are located outside of the U.S, which means marketers should expand their advertising efforts beyond the native borders.

The details: In addition to the countries above, Pinterest ads are available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia, France and New Zealand and are currently being tested in the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Switzerland.

Snapchat Adds Eight Different Languages To The App 

Social Media Today reported that Snapchat recently added eight new languages to the app.

Why it matters: More multilingual options provide better opportunities to the marketers for a brand, product and promotional content localization.

The details: The new languages include, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjab, Filipino, Vietnamese, Urdu and Malay. As we can see from this list, the majority of the added languages are primarily spoken in India. Per SocialMediaToday, India is a key growth region of focus for social media apps at the moment.

Pinterest Introduces Catalogs And Personalized Shopping

To encourage spring shopping and increase business potential, Pinterest is adding more ecommerce tools to the platform, the company announced in a press release on Monday.

Why it matters: The new updates aim to offer more ways for the users to shop for items related to their search history and personal preferences and make retailers more accessible to users who are looking for these products.

The details: The newly added features include:

  • Shop a brand: A new dedicated section will soon allow the user to see a brand’s catalog by clicking “more from [brand]”.
  • Catalogs: Brands can now upload their full catalog to Pinterest and easily turn their products into  Product Pins, which means more shoppable Pins across Pinterest. Also, a new dashboard allows businesses to organize their feed so their products can be discovered and purchased by Pinterest users.
  • Shopping Ads:  Shopping Ads will be available to all businesses through the self-serve”Ads Manager” tool and will allow brands to promote items from their existing product feed.

Does Instagram’s ‘Swipe-Up’ Feature Increase Sales?

This week, eMarketer investigated the new Instagram “Swipe Up” feature in relation to influencer marketing strategy.

Why it matters: eMarketer found that the feature both directly drives purchases and provides a valuable measurement tool for marketers, however, it still lags behind other social-media related marketing strategies.

The details: “Swipe-Up” could make possible the ability to track influencer activity to performance. At the moment, influencer marketing is still considered inferior to other marketing techniques, such as social media, online advertising and content marketing, which, according to a survey by OnBrand and Bynde, are having the biggest effect on buyer behavior, eMarketer reported.

Instagram Is The ‘It’ Platform For News Companies

According to Axios, some newer news publishers are choosing to launch on Instagram, hoping to engage a younger generation of news consumers.

Why it matters: Although Instagram is not very monetization-friendly and is difficult to link out from, it makes a great platform for audience building and engagement. Axios reported that it is harder to launch a news brand on Instagram today than it was on Facebook years ago.

The details: Some of the examples mentioned by Axios include,

  • @thismuchiknowglobal A news startup revolving around Instagram stories, was found by former British Vogue deputy editor, Emily Sheffield, and reportedly is being financed by the Guardian’s venture capital fund.
  • @jessicayellin A news brand from former White House correspondent on CNN.
  • @theshaderoom Entertainment news platform has 15 million follower base and focuses on breaking news about celebrities.

LinkedIn Rolls Out ‘Hello Monday,’ A New Podcast About Rapidly Changing Work Lives

In a blog post, LinkedIn announced the launch of a new podcast, Hello Monday, which will highlight the role LinkedIn plays in the professional development of the platform’s users.

Why it matters: It’s another branded podcast from the social platform as it expands its digital offerings.

The details: Hosted Jessi Hempel says “I’ll bring you intimate interviews with guests who have significant ideas to share about how to prepare for the future based on what they’ve figured out trying to navigate their own careers–people like Women’s World Cup champion Abby Wambach, Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, and Tim Brown, CEO of the design firm IDEO. Their stories will inspire at the same time as they leave us with practical advice.”

‘Bloomberg’ Grows Instagram User Base With Longer Videos

According to Digiday, Bloomberg’s main Instagram account reached 700,000 followers thanks to videos of interactive charts.

Why it matters: Bloomberg seems to have found a good formula for their audience with longer-form videos—which seems counterintuitive to much of the social platform landscape.

The details: Bloomberg grew nearly 400 percent in 2018, per Digiday. While still being behind on numbers, compared to The Economist (3 million) and The Financial Times (1.3 million), Bloomberg receives more monthly video views, which boosts its growth and engagement. Bloomberg reportedly has around 2 million Instagram video views a month and uses minute-long videos to further explain the stories behind the headlines.

Instagram Is Testing In-App Local Business Profile Pages

Tech tipster Raj Nijjer tweeted on March 2 about Instagram testing in-app profile pages for local businesses.

Why it matters: The new tool displays the business address, hours, contact information and website.

The details: The pages greatly resemble Google local knowledge panels and a link to the business’ Instagram profile is featured at the top of the page. Businesses should be able to claim a business profile page in case they have access to the business’s Facebook page. Instagram hasn’t yet confirmed the feature.