This week in social media news, Twitter reports a 74 increase in year-over-year revenue in Q2, YouTube adds new sales lift measurement for connected TV ads, Snapchat posts record revenue and user growth for Q2, Pinterest launches shoppable Idea Pins and TikTok adds a new tool that lets creators schedule, manage and promote LIVE videos.

Twitter Posts 74% Increase In Revenue Year-Over-Year For Q2

Citing a “broad increase in advertiser demand,” Twitter reported total revenue of nearly $1.2 billion—a 74 percent increase in YoY revenue for Q2 and the fastest growth the platform has experienced since 2014. In addition, Twitter saw an 11 percent jump in monetizable daily active users (MDAUs), from 206 million in Q1 to 206.2 million in Q2. 

Why it matters: Coupled with the world’s return to normal, Twitter introduced several new offerings and features in Q2 that helped boost its performance, including its first subscription service, its Spaces audio chat feature and its Tip Jar feature.

The details: In Q1, Twitter’s revenue grew by 28 percent; in Q2, that number came in at 74 percent. In its shareholder letter, Twitter said the impact from Apple’s iOS 14.5 updates was lower than anticipated.

Twitter’s ad revenue was up 87 percent year-over-year to 1.05 billion. It also showed a $65.6 million profit, following a $1.38 billion loss in Q2 2020.

As for Q3 revenue, Twitter anticipates bringing in $1.22 billion to $1.30 billion. It also expects headcount and total expenses to increase by at least 30 percent throughout all of 2021, however, it noted that revenue will outpace expenses.

YouTube Adds New Connected TV, Audio Ad Updates

As ad spend rebounds, YouTube is introducing new CTV contextual signals in Display & Video 360, as well as new sales lift measurement for CTV ads. Plus, it’s adding new dynamic production capabilities to help marketers create tailored audio ads quickly and at scale.

Why it matters: YouTube says that many marketers have requested new techniques inspired by traditional TV advertising that will assure them their ads are being displayed in safe and relevant contexts.

The details: First up, YouTube’s new CTV contextual signals will enable advertisers to pick inventory by genre, length or livestream content. For example, if you wanted to associate your ad message to the Olympics, you’d select CTV live inventory under the “Sports” genre using Display & Video 360. Then, you could confirm that your ads are served against content that’s suitable for your brand.

Next, YouTube is adding sales lift measurement for CTV ads using Nielsen Catalina Solutions in the US to help advertisers quantify how their CTV ad impressions led to offline sales. This feature will include metrics like percentage sales lift, total incremental sales and return on ad spend, which advertisers can view in the Display & Video 360 interface.

Lastly, YouTube is enhancing its Audio Mixer solution with a new dynamic production tool that enables brands to use several segmentation rules, including location, schedule or audience to create personalized, relevant ads from a single audio creative.

Snapchat Records Highest Revenue And User Growth Numbers Since 2018

For its Q2 earnings results, Snapchat reported $982 million in revenue and 293 million global active users, the highest growth it has seen in four years.

Why it matters: Snapchat chief executive officer Evan Spiegel credited the strong Q2 results to the company’s investments in new products and augmented reality (AR) technologies, which has resulted in more than 200 million users that engage with AR every day on average on Snap. In addition, there are over 200,000 creators building AR Lenses on Snapchat via its “Lens Studio” tool.

Spiegel added that the company’s Snap Original Shows reach more than 30 million unique users in the US. Snap also added 177 new international Discover channels in Q1, according to Spiegel.

The details: Snap’s daily active users increased 23 percent to 293 million during Q2, beating its prior record of 22 percent growth. Revenue for the quarter surged 116 percent to $982 million, outperforming Snap’s previous record 66 percent growth.

Snap expects Q3 revenue to reach from $1.07 billion and $1.09 billion, and daily active users to grow 21 percent to 301 million.

Snap’s TikTok-like feature “Spotlight” saw 49 percent quarter-over-quarter growth, with the average content submissions tripling compared to the prior quarter.

Instagram Expands Reels Length Limit From 30 Seconds To 60 Seconds

Instagram will now let users record Reels of up to 60 seconds long, an increase from 30 seconds. The update comes after Reels’ first update last September when it extended the limit from 15 to 30 seconds.

Why it matters: Instagram launched Reels last August with the intention of recreating the TikTok experience for its users. This new video length limit update comes just as TikTok expanded its length limit for users from one to three minutes.

The details: Instagram is ramping up its video features to keep up with TikTok, Instagram head Adam Mosseri confirmed recently. Soon, Instagram will show users recommended videos from other accounts that they don’t already follow, a move that mimics TikTok’s “For You” feed.

Pinterest Launches Shoppable Idea Pins, Paid Partnership Labels

Pinterest is launching an Idea Pins product tagging tool to all business accounts in the US and UK and a new paid partnership label in beta to help creators disclose brand sponsorship.

Why it matters: Pinterest research shows that 89 percent of Pinners are more likely to show shopping intent on products tagged in Idea Pins than on standalone Product Pins.

The details: In addition to giving creators a new product tagging capability in their Idea Pins, Pinterest will let creators earn commissions through affiliate links. Plus, select creators in the US, UK, Canada and several other international markets will now be able to disclose their paid partnerships via a new disclosure label.

TikTok Launches New LIVE Events Tool For Creators

TikTok has recently launched a new tool called LIVE Events in select markets that will let creators schedule, manage and promote live videos. In addition, TikTok is adding a new Go LIVE Together feature, discovery tools, a LIVE Q&A suite of tools, improved keyword filters and ways for hosts to manage viewers’ activity.

Why it matters: TikTok’s new live tools build on the platform’s already robust creator offerings. Its current TikTok Live Stream Program lets creators earn money in the form of TikTok’s virtual Coins, Gifts and Diamonds from fans aged 18 or older.

TikTok’s new LIVE Events tool will help creators promote their livestreams and connect with users ahead of time and thereby earn even more for their live content.

The details: Creators can access TikTok’s new LIVE Events tool at the top right corner of their profile page, then fill out basic details such as the event name, start time and a description. TikTok will then review it before the scheduled event listing goes public.

Once the event is scheduled, influencers can share it though in-app messages and promote it with a LIVE countdown sticker on TikTok or outside of TikTok. TikTok will display how many people have signed up for the event.

The LIVE Events tool is now available in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as TikTok tests it in other global markets.

In addition to TikTok’s new Go LIVE Together features, TikTok will soon share live videos in the For You and Following pages. TikTok said that the top live categories on the platform are Chat (Q&A), Gaming, Talents, Fashion and Daily Life.

To help viewers keep up with the livestream chat while tuning in, TikTok has also enabled a new feature called Picture-in-Picture that lets users continue watching live videos across their device on iOS and Android.

Additionally, creators can designate another person to manage their livestream before it begins. Then, during the live stream, both the host and the designated user can mute and block users to ensure the stream remains welcoming. Plus, hosts will have the ability to turn off comments or add up to 200 terms into the keyword filter to limit certain comments during the live chat. These words can be added throughout the livestream by hosts and the person helping them.