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What’s New in Social Media: February 2016 Edition

It's difficult to stay up to speed when the social media landscape is constantly shifting and shaping - we get it! That's why we provide our partners with a This Week in Social Media (TWISM) e-newsletter. We highlight the biggest changes in social media weekly and share these updates and insights with our partners and internal teams. We’ve compiled the best of the best TWISMs (so you don't have to!) and share with you in What's New in Social Media: February 2016 Edition.

  1. Twitter's new pitch to brands: Turn everyday fan tweets into ads: Twitter is developing an ad product that would put tweets from everyday users into brands' campaigns on the platform. The new product is based on what Twitter is calling a "brand enthusiast gallery," which will house a repository of brand-related tweets for advertisers to pick through. Twitter will direct message the author of the tweet and ask permission on behalf of the brand to use the tweet before reposting it. The idea behind promoting everyday users is that it gives brands the ability to show real recommendations from users, as apposed to a celebrity endorsement. Source: Digiday
  2. Twitter Adds Live Periscope Broadcast to iOS App Timeline: Twitter has announced that Periscope live-streaming broadcasts can now be seen directly in the timeline without leaving its iOS app. When a user taps the video, it will go full screen and show Periscope comments and hearts from viewers. Users will be able to see the videos even without having the Periscope app or account. Source: AdWeek
  3. Snapchat's Daily Mobile Video Views Said to Rival Facebook's: Snapchat delivers more than 7 billion video clips each day. This number rivals the amount watched on Facebook, which has 15 times as many users. A stronghold in mobile video is good news for Snapchat's ad dollars, in fact according to EMarketer advertisers were said to have spent 7.46 billion on digital video ads in the US in 2015. Sounds like 2016 will be a big year! Source: Bloomberg
  4. Peach is a slick new Messaging App: Peach is the latest app to jump into the game, with the knowledge that messaging apps are hot for 2016. It feels like a mix between Twitter and Slack, with fresh capabilities (such as ratings and drawings) that are not available on other apps. Source: TechCrunch
  5. Audience Optimization: Tools to Help Facebook Page Posts Reach the Right Users: Facebook has launched new tools to help pages ensure their posts are being seen by the users most likely to engage with them. There are three main features of Audience Optimization - 1) Preferred Audience, which allows publishers to add interest tags to content, 2) Audience Restrictions, which will determine which users would likely not find their content relevant, and 3) Audience Insights, which provides analytics for each post and breakdown by interest tag. Tests have shown that with these tools, organic reach will stay about the same while engagement will increase. Source: AdWeek
  6. Pinterest is About to Get Into Video Advertising: Pinterest is bringing true video ads to its platform. Advertisers said Pinterest would build an ad that is native to its platform, so brands could promote video pins that fit the experience, like how-to videos or cooking tutorials. For the platform to be successful it first needs to encourage more video viewing, since video watching is not the core activity for Pinterest users. Pinterest could follow Facebook's video strategy: First it encouraged more organic video, and it introduced promoted videos once the viewing habits were ingrained. Overall, this is a great opportunity for one of the most visual platforms on the Web. Source: Digiday
  7. Twitter offering 30 second and longer, skippable pre-roll ads: The longer ads also come with an immediate skip option so as to limit the potential fallout from haters of pre-roll video. Twitter takes 30 percent of the ad revenue from the program and gives 70 percent to the creators, according to sources, a more favorable deal than what’s available at YouTube or Facebook. Source: Digiday
  8. Facebook Expands Ad Network to Mobile Web: Facebook will now help publishers sell advertising on their mobile websites, potentially broadening its footprint in mobile advertising. Facebook’s Audience Network product previously sold and placed ads into mobile applications, but it will now include support for mobile websites, too, the social network and online advertising company announced Tuesday. That’s good news for publishers that wish to work with the company to sell their ad space but garner most of their traffic from mobile websites instead of apps. The mobile Web ads can be targeted to groups of users the same way as ads placed in apps on the Audience Network, or indeed on Facebook itself. Facebook refers to its targeting capability as “people-based marketing,” thanks to its ability to tie peoples’ online behaviors back to their Facebook accounts. Source: The Wall Street Journal
  9. Facebook will launch 'Reactions' in the next few weeks: It won't be too long until you can react to a post with more than a "like" or a witty comment. This new feature adds fresh responses for those moments when the "like" button would be inadequate or insensitive. It's a seemingly simple addition but it's an important one. In theory, you're more likely to react to posts when you can use an appropriate response. Not only will this feature allow Facebook to obtain a ton of extra data on how to tailor your News Feed to your liking but also what ads will be most effective to. Source: Engadget
  10. How Snapchat's Evolving, One Small Update at a Time (and Why You Need to Pay Attention): Snapchat announced two significant updates. 1. Snapchat's media partners will now be given the option to 'deep link' to their Snapchat content - aka publishers can give a direct link to their Snap content from one app to another. By giving the option to 'deep link' their content, it helps Publishers get more eyeballs to their Snapchat channels which adds value. 2. Snapchat has added profile URLs for ALL users to deep link to their own Snapchat channels, making it easier to promote your Snapchat presence across all platforms. Source: Social Media Today
  11. Facebook's News Feed will now surface content you want to see and also engage with: Facebook has once again tweaked its News Feed algorithm with the goal of improving the articles, posts, and stories that are most relevant to you. The social networking company will now look at two new signals: the probability you'll want to see a story at the top of the News Feed and the likelihood you'll take some sort of action on it. So what will this mean for pages? Facebook said that "in general, this update should not impact reach or referral traffic meaningfully for the majority of Pages," but does caution that some may see some effects in traffic. Source: VentureBeat

What do you think about all these changes? Tweet me your thoughts or questions at @MereMcCaskill, or learn more from our entire social media team here.

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