This week in social media news, Snapchat introduces new ways for app marketers to promote their app on the platform, Instagram adds branded content tags to Reels, YouTube will insert ads into content that isn’t part of its Partner Program, Instagram launches a new Community Feature for shops, YouTube launches audio ads, Twitter expands its Stories-like Fleets to all users, Twitch reaches record viewership in October and Instagram adds a keyword search functionality. 

Snapchat Introduces New Ad Options For App Marketers

Snapchat is rolling out new ad options via Creative Kit and Login Kit to enable marketers to cross-link their app features within the platform.

Why it matters: The cross-connection will create more opportunities for Snap to attract outside spending, and builds off of Snap Minis, which was introduced earlier this year to enable creators to make mini versions of their apps within Snapchat.

The details: Using Snapchat’s Creative Kit, app marketers can now link their app data with Dynamic Lenses to showcase app details through augmented reality (AR) promotions.

Those focused on user acquisition can now optimize their Lens campaigns towards installs as their primary key performance indicator by setting a desired cost-per-install bid.

In early December. Snapchat’s new ‘App Conversions’ objective will provide app marketers an improved deep link ad format to create more engagement, the ability to create custom audiences based on their in-app behaviors and new goal-based bidding options to optimize toward repeat actions.

Lastly, app campaigns will include minimum return on ad spend (ROAS) bidding to allow app marketers to set a specific ROAS.

Instagram Adds New Branded Content Tag To Reels

Instagram has launched a branded content tag option on Reels to ensure influencers clearly disclose when content is branded. Plus, a new creation flow will enable advertisers to run branded content ads without the need for creators to post organically on Instagram first.

Why it matters: Until today, branded content ads could only be created by promoting existing posts from creators.

The details: In addition to Instagram’s new branded content tag on Reels and ad creation flow for brands, branded content ads in Stories can now include tappable elements, such as mentions, location and hashtags.

Until today, branded content posts from creators that included product tags weren’t able to be promoted. Instagram is changing that to let businesses promote these kinds of posts as users increasingly shop directly from their favorite creators.

Lastly, brands can set a minimum age for their branded content feed posts.

YouTube To Run Ads During Non-Monetized Videos

As part of an update to its Terms of Service, YouTube will insert ads into content that isn’t part of its YouTube Partner Program (YPP), the company announced.

Why it matters: As per YouTube:

”This means as a creator that’s not in YPP, you may see ads on some of your videos. Since you’re not currently in YPP, you won’t receive a share of the revenue from these ads, though you’ll still have the opportunity to apply for YPP as you normally would once you meet the eligibility requirements.”

The details: Other updates to YouTube’s terms include an explicit ban on the collection of facial recognition data from videos, and creator revenue payments from YouTube being treated as royalties from a tax perspective.

Instagram Launches Community Content Feature For Shops

Instagram has added a new feature called Community Content that lets brands request to feature user-generated content in product pages on their Instagram shop.

Why it matters: Instagram tells WWD that the feature is “another step in its path to becoming a legit shopping destination.”

The details: As part of the new feature, a brand will be notified when a user tags them in their photo or video. The brand will then have the option to ask the creator for permission to use the content in a particular product page. Creators will not be compensated for being featured.

YouTube Rolls Out Audio Ads

YouTube has announced its first audio ad format, currently in beta, to help brands get discovered alongside music content.

Why it matters: YouTube says music video streaming is at an all time high, noting that more than 50 percent of logged-in viewers who consume music content in a day consume more than 10 minutes of music content.

The details: YouTube’s new audio ads include audio as the focal point, accompanied by a visual component such as a still image or simple animation.

During its alpha testing, YouTube found that more than 75 percent of measured audio ad campaigns drove a significant lift in brand awareness. 

Early tester Shutterfly drove benchmark lifts of 14 percent lift in ad recall and two percent lift in favorability among its target audience when using YouTube’s audio ads to influence purchase consideration.

The new audio ads are available in beta via auction on Google Ads and Display & Video 360 on a CPM basis with the regular audience targeting options, bidding strategies and Brand Lift measurement capabilities as YouTube video campaigns.

In addition to audio ads, YouTube is launching dedicated groups of music-focused channels across popular genres like Latin music, K-pop, hip hop and Top 100, to enable brands to reach music fans globally.

Twitter Expands Stories-Like Fleets To All Users

Twitter has rolled out its Stories-like Fleets function to all iOS and Android users as “a lower pressure way for people to talk about what’s happening.”

Why it matters: Twitter initially launched Fleets in Japan, and found through its tests there and in Brazil, Italy, India and South Korea that people feel more comfortable joining the conversation through this ephemeral option because traditional tweeting feels, “so public, so permanent and like there’s so much pressure to rack up retweets and likes.”

The details: Like Instagram Stories, Twitter’s Fleets disappear from view after 24 hours. Tweeters can “Fleet” text, reactions to tweets, photos or videos and customize Fleets with different backgrounds and text options. To share a Fleet, users must tap the “Share” icon at the bottom of the tweet composer and tap “Share in Fleet.” Then they can add their message with text or emojis.

Twitter says it plans to add stickers and live broadcasting for Fleets soon.

Twitter will show users who viewed their Fleet in the “Seen By” text at the bottom of the Fleet. In addition, users will have the option of reporting Fleets that violate Twitter’s rules.

Twitch Viewership Reaches 1.6 Billion Hours Watched In October

According to StreamElements and, Twitch reached a new viewership record, increasing by 14 percent in October to 1.6 billion hours of live-streamed video watched.

Why it matters: Twitch, like Facebook Gaming and YouTube, has seen a surge in activity since the pandemic hit, with viewership up 99 percent since October 2019 when it reached 839 million hours watched.

The details: Contributing to Twitch’s growth was its “Just Chatting” section, which StreamElements CEO Doron Nir considers the platform’s most popular destination for the year, as reported by Forbes.

Other non-gamer sectors such as Science & Technology also thrived on Twitch, fueled by discussions around the pandemic.

Instagram Adds Keyword Search Functionality

Instagram is rolling out a new functionality that enables users to search for specific keywords in addition to being able to search profiles, hashtags and locations.

Why it matters: The new keyword search could serve as a search engine optimization (SEO) mechanism via brand captions to boost brand awareness and discoverability.

The details: When users search a specific term, Instagram will present all the posts that include those exact words, making it easier for users to identify content beyond what’s available in hashtags.

As per Instagram, keyword search will be limited to general interest topics and keywords that are part of its community guidelines. The results will be based on type of content, captions and the date of the post.

Reddit User Base Will Grow 25.3 Percent This Year To 37.7 Million

This year, Business Insider’s Insider Intelligence expects Reddit’s monthly user base to grow by 25.3 percent to reach 37.7 million users.

Why it matters: According to Business Insider, Reddit’s news-oriented nature coupled with the rise in entertainment consumption will contribute to a sharp boost in the platform’s usage this year.

The details: The 37.7 million users account for logged-in users as Reddit’s site and app allow for anonymous browsing, which Business Insider says it doesn’t measure.

As news about the pandemic and election cycle begins to subside, Business Insider anticipates Reddit’s growth will slow to 8.2 percent in 2021.

Facebook Adds New Monetization Opportunities For Its Creators

Facebook announced it will give creators the ability to collect ad earnings from matched Rights Manager content and will offer in-stream ads in more countries.

Why it matters: As brands continue upping their influencer spend despite the pandemic, Facebook is looking to give its creators more ways to achieve their financial goals.

The details: First up, Facebook has given creators who have a large or growing catalog of content the option to apply for expanded access to Rights Manager, which means they’ll have better control when, how and where they share content across Facebook and Instagram.

Within Rights Manager, Facebook has improved its Collect Ad Earnings tool, enabling creators to collect ad earnings from matching videos that include in-stream ads. It says it plans to launch new video insights to help rights holders optimize their protection activities.  

As per Facebook: “We’ve added a new filter view for spotting monetizable matches, better guidance for how to capture monetization opportunities, exportable revenue reports, and the ability to collect ad earnings while placing an ownership link on the matched video.”

Facebook has also added an in-stream ad toggle to the Creator Studio app to simplify management from mobile devices.

Lastly, Facebook has expanded in-stream ads to Egypt, Iraq, Morocco and Turkey, adding to the 45 countries where the program is currently available.

Twitter Is Named Exclusive Voting Partner For One Game Awards Category

At this year’s Game Awards, the Most Anticipated Game category will be decided by fan votes on Twitter, reports Variety.

Why it matters: In the wake of the gaming industry’s explosion this year, Twitter sees an opportunity to sell advertising against the Game Awards, which will stream live from sets in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo on December 10 at 7 p.m. ET across 45 global video platforms including Twitter.

Twitter and the Game Awards have been partnering up since the show first debuted in 2014. According to Variety, the Game Awards generated 2 million tweets, and viewership of the show on Twitter surged 50 percent from the year prior.

The details: The Game Awards will announce nominees in the ‘Most Anticipated Game’ category on November 18 at 9 a.m. PT and open voting to users through Twitter DMs shortly after.

On the day of the show, Twitter will add an animated awards trophy to tweets that include the hashtag #TheGameAwards.