This week in social media, Twitter said it’s testing four new ways for users to control their conversations, Twitch fell short of ad revenue expectations and Facebook and eBay pledged to take the selling of fake online reviews more seriously. Also, Facebook announced two new deadlines that advertisers who use its marketing API must adhere to, TikTok is testing a music tab that lets popular artists promote their songs, YouTube is releasing a Coachella documentary and LinkedIn’s user growth is expected to be higher than previously estimated.

Twitter To Let Users Control Tweet Replies Via Four New Ways

The platform detailed its plans to give users more control over their conversations as part of a slew of industry announcements at the Consumers Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Why it matters: More options to limit the spread of tweets is said to help prevent bullying and harassment on the platform. But Twitter says it’s already doing its part to manage tweet violations. Currently, over 50 percent of tweets that Twitter removes for terms of service violations happen proactively.

The details: As part of an experiment running in Q1, Twitter will provide users four new options which will appear on the compose screen: Global lets anyone reply, Group lets a user’s followers reply, Panel is for people you mentioned in the tweet and Statement lets users turn off all replies. The head of conversations for the platform said these updates build on a feature the company launched in 2019 which allowed users to hide replies. Twitter is also testing a thread-like conversation view which leads users through replies.

Twitch Misses Ad Revenue Expectations

According to The Information, the Amazon-owned streaming platform’s ad revenues fell short of expected ad revenues by 50 percent. 

Why it matters: Twitch projected ad revenues between $500-$600 million in 2019 but reached only $230 million in ad revenue for 2018 and a midyear annual projection of $300 million for 2019. Comparatively, YouTube is reportedly bringing in billions in ad revenue alone. YouTube, Mixer and Facebook have all signed major streamers away from Twitch which could be one reason why it fell short.

The details: The report says that Twitch is profiting more from commerce like subscriptions but that it sees a better profit margin on ads given that top streamers get a majority cut from subscriptions.

Twitter Makes New Ad Placement “Promoted Trend Spotlight” Global

With its new takeover ad offering, advertisers can place six-second videos, GIFs or static image ads at the top of Twitter’s Explore tab.

Why it matters: Global behavioral research company EyeSee found that people spent 26 percent more time looking at the Promoted Trend Spotlight as compared to the standard Promoted Trend unit, generating 113 percent higher ad recall.

The details: Promoted Trend Spotlight will be generally available in the US, UK, Japan and 12 additional markets. Ads will appear at the top of Twitter’s Explore page for the first two visits per person, per day. After the initial two visits, the ad placement moves to the standard Promoted Trend placement.

Facebook, eBay Commit To Stopping Fake Reviews Being Sold

TechCrunch reported that last June, UK markets regulator Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it found “troubling evidence” of a “thriving marketplace for fake and misleading online reviews.”

Why it matters: The CMA estimates that more than three-quarters of UK shoppers base purchase decisions on online reviews.

The details: After not making any progress to prevent fake reviews, Facebook today has removed a total of 188 groups and disabled 24 user accounts while eBay has permanently banned 140 users. Both platforms said they’re improving systems to identify and block listing for the sale or trade of online reviews.

Facebook Gives Advertisers New Compliance Deadlines

Advertisers who buy Facebook ads through third-party platforms and tools must comply with new deadlines that the platform has set forth. The news comes after Facebook announced in March last year, and again in December, that it was limiting the set of ad targeting categories for housing, credit opportunities and employment ads. 

Why it matters: Not complying with Facebook’s “Special Ad Category” restrictions and deadlines will mean the removal of ads.

The details: The first deadline requires that businesses located in the US identify any active campaigns belonging to a “Special Ad Category” that were created before December 4. Businesses have until February 11 to do so. Additionally. by March 31, all Facebook advertisers in the US creating new ads offering housing, employment or credit must specify a “Special Ad Category” and update targeting settings otherwise the ads won’t be allowed to run. Those running ads that don’t offer the aforementioned must be indicated “None.” 

TikTok Testing New Music Tab For Improved Artist Discovery

According to Social Media Today, TikTok is adding artists’ songs to a select group of verified musicians’ profiles.

Why it matters: Letting influential musicians like Justin Bieber and Camila Cabello promote their work will drive consumer behavior and establish fan connections, both important given the centrality of music to TikTok’s success with short-form videos.

The details: This new tab will become the third music tab listed on artist profiles. Upon tapping the music note icon to the tab’s left, a listing of all the musician’s songs will appear. Users can then browse the songs and use them in their own videos.

YouTube To Premiere Feature-Length Coachella Documentary

YouTube Originals has partnered with Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to create a documentary, “Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert,” premiering March 31.

Why it matters: This year marks the tenth consecutive year that YouTube is the official playlist and exclusive live stream partner for both weekends of Coachella. YouTube Premium members will get Coachella perks like access to members-only allocation of passes for purchase. 

The details: The announcement of a documentary follows the release of Coachella’s official 2020 lineup, and is meant to celebrate the festival’s 20th anniversary. Never-before-seen footage and interviews in the film will depict the festival’s colorful beginnings.

LinkedIn To Grow Faster Than Expected 

According to eMarketer’s latest estimates, there will be 62.1 million adult LinkedIn users in 2020, and the figure will grow 4.2 percent in 2021.

Why it matters: Though it lags behind Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn has recently launched features to boost user activity such as its live video broadcast “Live,” launched in February last year, and “Events,” debuted in October last year.

The details: LinkedIn will see $1.59 billion in ad revenues this year, growing to $1.77 billion in 2020. Its users will make up about a third of all social network users in the US, which will stay the same for the next few years. That number will grow from 62.1 million users to 64.7 million in 2021, and to 68.8 million in 2023.

Twitter Launches Promoted Trend Spotlight

The company announced the launch of Promoted Trend Spotlight, a new ad product on Twitter. 

Why it matters: The new ad product has three key features: capture the users’ attention with its immersive creative; differentiate a brand by making ads appear next to highly curated editorial content; and finally, surface conversation by tying together the prominent placement and expansive coverage atop Twitter’s Explore tab.

The details: Promoted Trend Spotlight is now available in the US, the UK and Japan, and is expanding to Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain and Thailand. 

EMarketer’s Report Shows A Decline In Instagram User Growth 

A new report from eMarketer predicts Instagram’s user growth dropping to single digits in 2020. 

Why it matters: According to eMarketer, Instagram is facing two major problems: losing its older users and experiencing tougher competition from other popular platforms, like Snapchat and TikTok. However, it is important to note that Instagram is still serving over a billion monthly active users, which makes it one of the top platforms for advertisers. 

The details: The researchers concluded that “in 2019, Instagram’s US user growth rate will have dropped to single digits for the first time to 6.7%, down from 10.1% in 2018. Starting in 2020, and through the end of our forecast period in 2023, we estimate that the social media platform will grow slower than previously expected.”

Snapchat Will Launch Bitmoji TV In 2020

According to TechCrunch, Snapchat is preparing to release “Bitmoji TV,” a personalized cartoon show. 

Why it matters: Creating original content has the potential to differentiate Snapchat from the other short-form video competitor platforms, such as YouTube and TikTok (which don’t yet own an avatar platform) and provide unique opportunities for advertising. 

The details: The initiative will launch in February 2020 globally and will feature customizable Bitmoji avatars as the characters of a full-motion cartoon series called “Bitmoji TV.” 

SnapChat And TikTok Spotted Working On Deepfake-Like Features

SocialMedia Today reports that both platforms are busy developing features that closely resemble deepfake technology, allowing users to easily overlay their face on existing content. This comes as Snapchat acquiring AI Factory, and images show that TikTok is working on a deepfake-style addition within its app.

Why it matters: The new developments rise one major concern: overlaying other people’s faces over existing video content may be misused and pose a threat to brand safety.  

The details: Snap has purchased AI Factory, the company Snap collaborated with in developing its Cameo feature, a feature that enables users to overlay their face over a selection of pre-made scenes.

And according to TechCrunch, Tikok is working on a deepfake-style feature, which asks users to take a multi-angle, biometric scan of their face and allows them to add their image into a selection of videos.

Apptopia Estimates TikTok Q4 Revenue To Reach $50M

TikTok revenue is expected to rise 300 percent in Q4, according to Apptopia, a startup that tracks mobile app revenue and usage. 

Why it matters: The numbers indicate the company’s rapid year-over-year growth (compared to a Q3 in-app top-line figure of around $20 million).

The details: TikTok’s in-app purchase revenue rise 310 percent on a year-over-year basis reaching $50 million. 

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, January 10. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at