This week in social media news, Snapchat debuts advanced courses for direct-response advertisers, Instagram tests a direct reaction feature for Stories, TikTok experiments with a dedicated “Learn tab,” Snapchat lets creators publicly display their subscriber count for the first time and Twitch announces a virtual version of TwitchCon, GlitchCon, for November 14.

Snapchat Debuts Advanced Courses For Direct-Response Advertisers

Snapchat has announced an educational program called Snap Connect to give direct-response advertisers deeper insight into strategies, formats and opportunities on the platform, as reported by Adweek.

Why it matters: In its Q1 earnings call, Snapchat reported that over the past two years, direct-response advertising had almost doubled as a share of its ad revenue and accounted for over one-half of its total revenue.

The details: Snapchat will expand Snap Connect programming into more ad verticals and publish a shopping trends report later this year to help brands ready their 2021 campaigns.

Instagram Tests Stories Reaction Feature That Doesn’t Require DMing

Instagram is testing a new feature that would enable users to react to Stories on the story frame itself rather than having to react via direct message, as spotted by mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi.

Why it matters: A direct reaction process would enable a more seamless user experience and encourage more engagement between users and brands.

The details: Currently, reacting to someone’s Stories requires sending a DM to the person, which they receive in their inbox. 

TikTok Tests A Learn Tab To Highlight How-To Videos

A new “Learn” tab has been spotted on TikTok alongside the app’s “For You” and “Following” tabs.

Why it matters: The tab being tested comes after TikTok in May rolled out a #LearnOnTikTok initiative together with 800 public figures, experts and media publishers to share creative videos that offer instructional tips on a variety of topics affecting people during the pandemic. At that same time, TikTok formed a $50 million Creative Learning Fund to help creators fund the production of learning content.

The details: Some users have seen a message appear on TikTok prompting them to explore the Learn tab, “a feed of fun and informative videos across science, art, cooking and more!”

Snapchat Enables Creators To Display Their Subscriber Count For The First Time

In response to requests from its creator community, Snapchat has introduced a feature that gives users the option to publicly display their subscriber count on their profiles, as reported by Tubefilter.

Why it matters: Snapchat’s addition of public follower count comes nine years after its launch and long after major competitors like Facebook and Instagram introduced the feature. The move is the latest in a series of influencer-focused updates from Snapchat.

The details: Snap creators can choose to toggle the follower count on and off in their settings. The feature is available to any creator or business with a public profile.

Twitch Announces Virtual GlitchCon Event For November 14th

Twitch posted a 30-second video announcing a virtual replacement for TwitchCon this year, GlitchCon, which is set for November 14.

Why it matters: Last year, TwitchCon San Diego saw some 28,000 attendees.

The details: Twitch hasn’t shared any details around timing for GlitchCon, but if it’s anything like TwitchCon, the event will feature some of the platform’s biggest streamers and interactive experiences.

Snapchat Publishes Creative Best Practices Guide For Advertisers

Snapchat has published a guide that includes tips for advertisers looking to increase engagement and drive high returns on Snapchat ads.

Why it matters: Snapchat posted the highest daily active user growth in Q3 since 2017 with an added 11 million users and a quarterly record revenue of $679 million.

The details: First up, Snap advises that advertisers choose the right ad format for their goals. Among Snap’s ads are Dynamic Ads, Single Image Ads, Video Ads, Story Ads, Collection Ads, App Install attachments and Lens AR Experiences—which can drive online sales, prompt users to download your app, build brand awareness and drive customer loyalty.

Next, Snap says it’s best to showcase products you sell front and center, or if you’re an app/game, to show the app’s user interface, features and benefits. For local businesses, Snap says it helps to spotlight key visual features of your storefront or location.

According to Snap, short (five to six seconds) ads that feature user-generated content (UGC) and/or Snapchat-inspired features get viewed in full compared to more polished ads.

Adding audio to your Snapchat ads is also key as 64 percent of Snapchat ads are viewed with noise on. The company says to consider including a spoken testimonial of your product or brand within the ad creative.

Driving urgency with relevant messaging, linking your ads properly, using goal-based bidding, broadening your targeting and using Snap’s Audience Insights are also important things to keep in mind.

Twitter Brings In $936 Million In Revenue For Q3

Twitter’s Q3 performance update shows the platform reached 187 million monetizable daily active users (mDAUs), a 29 percent increase year-over-year, and saw $936 million in revenue, up 14 percent YoY.

Why it matters: Twitter says that many brands “slowed or paused spend in reaction to US civil unrest, only to increase spend relatively quickly thereafter in an effort to catch up.” That does seem to be the case as ad revenue reached $808 million in Q3, up $106 million YoY.

The details: According to Twitter, the primary driver of increased average mDAUs was global conversation around current events and product improvements.

US revenue represented $513 million of Twitter’s total Q3 revenue while total international revenue accounted for $424 million. Japan, Twitter’s second largest market, contributed $132 million. 

Most of Twitter’s growth in the mDAU department came from abroad as it grew international mDAUs by 32 percent and US mDAUs by 20 percent.

Contributing also to Twitter’s strong Q3 was its expansion of the number of “Topics” users can follow to more than 5,100, up 25 percent quarter-over-quarter. The amount of accounts following “Topics” also surged, reaching 70 million by the end of Q3—up 40 percent QoQ.

Facebook Sees 1.82 Billion Daily Active Users In Q3

Facebook reported its Q3 results, including a strong boost in both revenue and overall active users. The platform reached 1.82 billion daily active users (DAUs), an increase of 35 million users from the previous quarter. It also brought in $21.5 billion in revenue and net income of $7.8 billion for the quarter.

Why it matters: Facebook’s latest performance update shows no signs that it was affected negatively by the #StopHateforProfit boycott that erupted in July. In fact, the company says that it expects its fourth quarter ad revenue growth rate to be higher than that of Q3, driven by strong advertiser demand during the holiday season.

The details: Facebook saw a slight decrease in DAUs and MAUs in the US and Canada from Q2 and expects the trend to continue in Q4.

Across its apps, Facebook sees 3.21 billion users per month.