This week in social media news, Pinterest announces new creative specialty partners and rolls out resources to support small businesses, Snapchat reports a 44 percent year-over-year revenue growth in Q1 and Zoom announces a forthcoming feature that would allow hosts to report participants.

Pinterest Introduces New Tools For Creators, Small Businesses

Timed for quarantine, Pinterest announced Adobe Spark, Over, PicMonkey and Canvas as new creative specialty partners, launched the Pinterest Creators brand and rolled out a new community that provides online support for small- and medium-size business accounts.

Why it matters: Like most social platforms, Pinterest has seen a surge in usage during coronavirus, especially in regard to shopping activity, which it recently supported with the launch of a new shopping feature that lets Pinners shop from Pins, boards and from search. Coupled with this shopping feature and its new online hub for small businesses, Pinterest could be a more valuable platform for businesses looking to maintain activity.

The details: In addition to adding trusted creative specialty partners for creating and designing Pins from business accounts, Pinterest has developed a brand for its Pinterest creators. As per Pinterest: “Pinterest creators are expressive, inventive and one-of-a-kind, and new resources and ongoing communications identified through the new brand are aimed at supporting creators with the tools to help them grow on Pinterest.”

Pinterest plans to launch tools for business accounts that offer feedback and tips on growing their reach on the platform. It will also expand its free e-learning tool, Pinterest Academy, which is being supplemented by a video series called “Mavens,” in which creators share their experiences with Pinterest.

Facebook Pilots Location Feature For High-Reach Pages, Instagram Accounts

Leading up to the election, Facebook says it will now provide the location of high-reach Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts on every post they share to increase transparency.

Why it matters: The addition builds on Facebook’s transparency efforts. In 2018, it included the primary country location of the managers behind Pages, and an “About This Account” feature on Instagram that provides more context for people to evaluate the authenticity of an account. 

The details: Facebook is piloting the feature in the US, starting with Pages and Instagram accounts that are based outside the US but reach big audiences based primarily in the US.

Twitter Releases Data On Video And Ad Performance Amid Coronavirus

Twitter conducted a survey to measure consumer sentiment towards brands during coronavirus and to explore the state of ad and video performance on Twitter.

Why it matters: While many brands have reduced the amount of ads during the pandemic in fear of coming across as insensitive, it’s interesting to note that just 37 percent of US Twitter users believe it’s insensitive for brands to continue advertising as normal.

The details: Twitter reports that as of March 23, 2020, its quarter-to-date monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) grew by 23 percent year-over-year to 164 million. The platform has also noticed higher video consumption, with stable year-over-year growth in watch time in entertainment (85 percent), news (73 percent), creator content (34 percent) and sports (31 percent). Twitter says ad receptivity “remains strong,” with Media Rating Council video view rates having increased by 5.5 percentage points in March 2020 compared to last year.

In terms of advertising, 89 percent of respondents said it’s important for brands to provide reliable and accurate information, 86 percent said it’s important for brands to help support society’s vulnerable and 82 percent said it’s important for brands to support frontline staff and workers.

Facebook Rolls Out New “Animate” Feature For Stories

Facebook has added a new tool that lets users animate still images in four ways, on stories, according to social media expert Matt Navarra.

Why it matters: The animate feature is another tool for stories Facebook is testing including a mood option and a feature that would allow stories to last up to three days.

The details: With the animate feature, users can add basic motion to still images via four modes—bounce, zoom in, zoom out and pan.

TikTok Enables Login, Video Uploads And Analytics On Desktop

TikTok just added a new web login option which will allow users to upload videos and view their analytics via desktop, as spotted by Pentos.

Why it matters: As social media usage is up and people are still stuck at home, TikTok has followed in the footsteps of Instagram which recently enabled DMs and Instagram live streams on desktop.

The details: The web login option appears on the top right screen of TikTok’s trending page. Once logged in, users can access basic account information and browse the feed.

Snapchat Q1 2020 Report Shows Increased Users And Revenue

Snapchat’s Q1 2020 earnings report shows stable increases in daily active users (DAU) and revenue amid coronavirus. 

Why it matters: While many advertisers have reduced budgets due to the pandemic, Snapchat experienced high revenue growth rates in the first two months of the quarter, reporting year-over-year ad growth in January and February at 58 percent. The figure dropped to 25 percent in March.

The details: Snapchat saw an increase of 11 million DAU to 229 million, a 20 percent jump in active users year-over-year. The majority of new users came from its “Rest of the World” category while 2 million came from users in North America. According to its average revenue per user, however, Snapchat sees 3.5 times more revenue per user in the US. The app’s overall revenue grew by 44 percent year-over-year to $462 million in Q1.

Instagram Tests Stickers For Promoting Business Profiles

Instagram is working on a “Share Professional” sticker which would allow users to introduce business profiles in a story, according to reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong.

Why it matters: The feature comes amid Instagram’s efforts to help promote small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic including the recent launch of a gift card, food order and fundraiser sticker for stories and profiles.

The details: Per Wong, the sticker would include a header that pulls in thumbnails of a brand’s most recent three posts on Instagram, and would link to the brand’s account. 

Zoom Hosts Can Soon Report Participants 

According to an update posted to its Help Center, Zoom will soon let hosts report meeting participants to avoid misuse of the platform.

Why it matters: The safety feature comes after Zoom has become the target for harassment by “Zoombombers” as usage has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic.

The details: As per Zoom: “Account owners and admins can now enable a setting to allow the host to report participants to Zoom. This feature will generate a report which will be sent to the Zoom Trust and Safety team to evaluate any misuse of the platform and block a user if necessary. This setting is available at the account, group, and user level and can be locked at the group or account level. This setting requires the Zoom client version which will be released on April 26, 2020.”

Facebook Backtracks On Campaign Budget Optimization Mandate

Facebook is giving advertisers flexibility in their buying strategies by no longer requiring them to use its Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) feature, as reported by Search Engine Land.

Why it matters: In September 2019 Facebook planned to mandate CBO-only campaigns, which utilizes the platform’s algorithm to automatically optimize budget allocation on ads in a campaign. Some advertisers, however, weren’t having it, noting that they saw better results when they had control over budgets. 

The details: A Facebook spokesperson said, “While we still believe CBO provides performance and value gains, we will move to offering CBO as an option and not as a requirement.”

LinkedIn Tests Poll Option For Posts And Presentation Mode Hashtag

LinkedIn is working on its own poll option for posts that would allow users to ask followers questions as well as a “presentation mode” hashtag tool which would display the broader conversation associated with a specific hashtag, according to reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong. 

Why it matters: LinkedIn groups previously had access to polls until the platform removed the feature in 2014. Resurrecting the tool and making it available to all users could be helpful for group admins to gather relevant feedback from group members and for brands to gain audience insight.  

The “presentation mode” hashtag could be useful for encouraging event attendees to engage with an event-specific hashtag.

The details: Though LinkedIn hasn’t officially announced the poll option, Wong’s observations show it would be made available within users’ post composer options. Users would be able to add a question and up to four possible answers, and set the duration of the poll. 

For its hashtag search tool, upon selecting a hashtag, LinkedIn would display a full-screen feed of posts using that hashtag.

Pinterest Releases April Global Micro-Trends Amid Coronavirus

In a company post, Pinterest shared what’s trending around the world in quarantine life for the month of April including supporting small businesses and searching for family bonding games.

Why it matters: Understanding Pinners’ behavior could help brands and retailers craft their messaging and inform ad spend during the pandemic.

The details: According to Pinterest, users around the globe are increasingly searching for bread recipes, with searches for salty croissants up 1,532 percent in Argentina and searches for Japanese brioche up 1,081 percent in France. As Pinners are stuck at home, they’re looking for ways to apply their creativity and connect with family members: Searches for family games have increased by 5,000 percent in Argentina, 2,830 percent in Spain and 1,863 percent in the US. Pinners are also looking for ways to support small businesses and healthcare workers as searches for “support small businesses” are up 746 percent in the US and 3,124 percent in Australia.

Facebook Launches Dedicated Gaming App On Android

Facebook released its dedicated gaming app on Android two months prior to its scheduled June launch, with an iOS version coming in the near future.

Why it matters: According to the New York Times, Facebook’s gaming investment has led to over 700 million of the site’s 2.5 billion users actively playing games on the platform monthly. The early launch of its devoted gaming app was timed well as users are stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The details: The dedicated Facebook gaming app includes a Go Live streaming feature which lets users share gaming streams directly to their Facebook page, a game discovery feature that allows game discovery through friends’ activities and by category breakdown and a chat platform feature.

Facebook Expands Fundraisers To India 

Facebook has launched Fundraisers, a page where users can raise money for causes, friends and businesses, to India, where it’s also working with several additional Indian state governments to provide accurate coronavirus information, as reported by TechCrunch.

Why it matters: India is one of Facebook’s biggest markets by user base. Its expansion of Fundraisers there follows its efforts to fight coronavirus misinformation. Recently, it launched an information center in India that includes information from local government agencies and global health organizations, and an information hub on WhatsApp. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp also launched helplines in India in partnership with the Indian government, with Facebook now maintaining partnerships with 11 state governments in India for its WhatsApp helpline and 9 state governments for Messenger.

The details: Ajit Mohan, the head of Facebook in India, said: “At a time when the country is in the middle of an unprecedented effort to fight the outbreak of the virus, we are deeply aware of the economic impact of the disruption in normal life. Communities around the country need help. Facebook Fundraisers allows people to leverage the full scale and power of the platform, and their passion, to direct resources to initiatives that can protect and save lives.” People in India can use Fundraisers to create their own causes and discover over 70 charities to financially support.