This week in social media news, Twitch represents 72.3 percent of streaming viewership, TikTok is testing four new ad formats and released insight about how users perceive its ads, a new Pew Research Center survey highlights key social media use trends and more.

Twitch Accounts For 72 Percent Of Market Share In Terms Of Viewership

Streamlabs and Stream Hatchets’ latest live streaming report shows that in Q1, Twitch viewership reached an all-time high—growing 16.5 percent since the last quarter—Facebook Gaming closed the gap on YouTube Gaming viewership for the first time and watch time on YouTube Gaming has almost doubled year-over-year (YoY).

Why it matters: Twitch’s new milestone means the platform now represents 72.3 percent of market share in terms of viewership, a 6.5 percent increase from the previous quarter. Comparatively, YouTube Gaming’s viewership dipped about 550 million hours from Q4 2020 to Q1 2021. Meanwhile, Facebook Gaming viewership grew by about 156 million hours.

The details: In Q1, Twitch saw the biggest increase in hours streamed since the start of the pandemic, much of which can be attributed to its ‘Just Chatting’ category, which now accounts for 12 percent of all content watched on Twitch.

Streamers broadcast 35 million more hours of content to Twitch in Q1 than in Q4, and compared to this time last year, the total hours of content streamed to Twitch grew by 119 percent—from 121 million to 265 million.

For YouTube Gaming, YoY viewership grew by 28 percent but hours streamed dipped nearly seven percent compared to Q4.

Facebook Gaming has reached all-time highs across all categories, reports Streamlabs. In fact, viewership figures surpassed 1 billion hours watched in one quarter for the first time, streamers broadcast 5 million hours of content to the platform and nearly 400,000 unique channels were streamed to the platform in Q1 than the previous quarter.

View the full report here.

TikTok Is Testing Four New Ecommerce Ad Formats

According to ad buyers and recent TikTok pitch decks leaked from sales presentations, TikTok is testing four new ad formats, reports Business Insider. Currently in testing and expected to launch this year, the solutions will enable brands to showcase their products, retarget audiences with products they’ve shown interest in and customize sales and promotions to in-feed ads.

Why it matters: In the past year, TikTok’s US advertising business surged more than 500 percent, Sandie Hawkins, US general manager of global business solutions at TikTok, confirmed to Business Insider.

The details: As per Business Insider, the four new ad formats TikTok is building are: Collection Ads, which would let brands combine product catalogs and branded videos to direct people to product landing pages; Dynamic Product Ads, which automatically retarget people with products based on their online actions; Promo Tiles, allowing marketers to add customizable promos to their in-feed ads; and Showcase Tiles, giving creators the ability to promote products in their video via a link to the products shown in tiles below.

A media executive at a holding company also told Business Insider that TikTok is offering media credits to ad agencies to test out the new formats if they spend at least $5,000 over a two-week period.

Kantar Research Shows How TikTok Ads Are Perceived

TikTok recently commissioned Kantar to conduct a study across 20 different countries among 25,000 participants from September 2020 to January 2021 to understand how ads on TikTok are being perceived versus ads on other apps.

Why it matters: Last year, Kantar’s research revealed that TikTok’s Branded Hashtag Challenge incorporates all the winning features of successful ads, and could surpass major TV moments in reach and engagement. For example, as per Kantar, a Branded Hashtag Challenge for a soft drink in Japan recorded 52 million unique user video views, nearly as many as the record TV audience—60 million—for the 2019 Rugby World Cup with Japan vs. Scotland.

The details: According to Kantar’s findings, 72 percent of those surveyed agreed that ads on TikTok are perceived as inspiring and 67 percent agreed that ads on TikTok hold their attention. The latter figure represents a 10 percent lead compared to other platforms.

In addition, compared to ads on other apps, TikTok ads are considered 21 percent more “trendsetting,” with nearly 70 percent holding this sentiment.

When asked to choose between ad formats on other platforms or TikTok’s TopView ad, 72 percent of all respondents preferred TopView, citing its “more natural placement within the platform,” in addition to its sound-on and full-screen features.

Lastly, Kantar found that TikTok ads showed a 10 percent better ad receptivity on average compared to other platforms tested.

Pew Research: YouTube Is The Most Used Social Platform Among US Adults

The most-used social media platform by US adults is YouTube (81 percent), followed by Facebook (69 percent), according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted from January 25 to February 8 among 1,502 Americans. Among the platforms Pew measured, the only platform other than YouTube that experienced significant growth since 2019—up from 73 percent—is Reddit, which grew from 11 percent in 2019 to 18 percent today.

Why it matters: Facebook is still one of the most used social media platforms with 69 percent of respondents saying they use it, but Pew’s data show that its growth has leveled off over the last five years. In addition, the respective number of Americans who report using Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and WhatsApp is statistically unchanged since 2019.

The details: As for other platforms in Pew’s survey, 40 percent of adults say they use Instagram and 30 percent use Pinterest or LinkedIn. Twenty-five percent say they use Snapchat and a similar amount report using Twitter or WhatsApp. TikTok, despite its explosive growth in the past year, is used by 21 percent of Americans. Another 13 percent say they use the Nextdoor app.

Adults under 30 stand out for their use of TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, while a vast majority of those 30 to 64 use YouTube. The latter share drops to 49 percent among Americans aged 65 and older.

Comparatively, age gaps between the youngest and oldest demographic narrow for Facebook, with 70 percent of those ages 18 to 29 saying they use the platform and 73 percent of ages 50 to 64 saying they use it.

Other apps that stand out for their demographic differences include Pinterest, where women continue to be far more likely to use it than men—46 percent versus 16 percent. In addition, Hispanic Americans (46 percent) are more likely to say they use WhatsApp than black (23 percent) or white Americans (16 percent).

See the full findings here.

Google Ads Launches YouTube Video Experiments Globally

To help advertisers find their creative sweet spot on YouTube, Google is launching video experiments worldwide in Google Ads. The company says that in global studies it conducted in 2019 and 2020, advertisers who successfully used video experiments to optimize for lower-funnel performance on YouTube saw a 30 percent lower media cost per acquisition from the higher-performing creative.

Why it matters: When sporting goods retailer Decathlon set out to test video creatives versus single standard creative for key audience segments using Google’s video experiments, it saw 175 percent more incremental online conversations at a 64 percent lower cost per conversion and greater return on ad spend by 51 percent.

The details: The Google Ads video experiments will enable brands to analyze the impact of different video ads on brand lift, conversions or CPAs by letting you show two distinctly different video ads to the same audience, with different visual language elements such as brightness, text and framing. To start, Google suggests testing supersize text and logo, tighter framing and placing a call to action at the beginning of the video.

Reddit Is Reportedly Building A Clubhouse-Like Voice Chat Feature

Reddit is exploring a new feature that would let people moderate voice chats, a source familiar with the company’s plan told Mashable.

Why it matters: Reddit hasn’t confirmed the feature, but it would come as no surprise if it were tapping into the popularity and rollout of new audio-only features and apps, including Clubhouse, Twitter’s Spaces, Facebook’s Rooms and Discord’s new ‘Stage Channels.’

The details: Mashable reports that voice chats on Reddit could be part of the company’s ‘Powerup’ program. Announced last year, the program involves the launch of additional features for subreddits whose members buy a minimum number of Power subscriptions, which costs $4.99 a month.