Twitter shares drop as user numbers stall
Not good news for Twitter as its quarterly results show that the number of monthly active users has not increased at all from 320 million since the last quarter’s results. This is the first time that this has happened since its inception and stands in stark contrast to rivals Facebook and Instagram, who continue to see their user bases grow, despite launching four years after Twitter. Immediately after results were announced, Twitter shares plummeted 10% in after-hours trading, before recovering to a 3% loss.
New algorithmic timeline begins on Twitter
In other big Twitter news, a new algorithm has launched which reorders the top of users’ timelines with tweets it thinks will be particularly relevant to them. The change will be rolled out gradually after an extensive beta testing period on around 100 users and brands. As news broke about the change to the platform, upset users caused the hashtag #RIPTwitter to trend, but testing has actually shown that the new format, (which can be turned off by users), caused more tweets and retweets from users, and increased organic reach for brands. Furthermore, the normal reverse-chronological timeline is staying right where it is, so no need for a mass panic just yet. Interestingly, Bret Taylor, Facebook’s former chief technology officer said about the topic: "Algorithmic feed was always the thing people said they didn't want but demonstrated they did via every conceivable metric… It's just better."
The content appearing will only be ranked by organic engagement, so any retweets or likes that a promoted tweet receives will not affect ranking. Twitter VP-Revenue Product, Ameet Ranadive said: "This is a change that essentially makes all content on Twitter created equal. This is not a pay-to-play platform, unlike our competitors. The best content, whether it's from a celebrity, another user or a brand, is always going to be what rises to the top." It’s been said that this change should not have any massive impact for marketers, but because brands tend to have large followings and receive a lot of retweets and likes, they could be more likely to feature in the new algorithmic feed. Testing also proved that the new feed resulted in users interacting more with brands’ unpaid tweets around live events, when feeds become chocker block with everyone saying the same thing (e.g #BieberWeiner).
Twitter launches new ‘First View’ video ad product
A new video ad has been launched on Twitter called First View which will greet users as they first log on to the platform. For 24-hours each day, one brand will be able to grab this spot and every user will be shown the video of choice just once. Hopefully this new product, hailed as the Twitter equivalent of a ‘homepage takeover’, will be complemented by the algorithmic feed, whose aim is to make the platform easier and more worthwhile to users who don’t live on Twitter 24/7, and which will also pop up when users first open the app.
Facebook introduces automatic captions to boost brand video view time
Brands can now have two lines of free captioning on their videos courtesy of Facebook. This offers a small hook which can potentially keep users’ eyes on their content for longer as they’re scrolling down their newsfeeds, and see videos which often autoplay but alas, silently. Internal tests carried out by Facebook have shown that captioned video ads increased video view time by 12% on average.
Instagram to enable users to switch between accounts
It's been announced that Instagram users will now be able to switch between up to five accounts without signing out, so instagrammers everywhere can spend less time tippy-tapping about with passwords, and more time manipulating courgetti so it catches the sun just right.
Video view count now available on Instagram
So you’ve manipulated your courgetti and the photo shoot’s done. It’s time to release the behind the scenes video footage to your Instagram followers. “Come Spiralise With Me” goes live and it’s getting a lot of likes, but how can you tell if people really love it and have engaged with it? Why, by checking the number of views it's had, which Instagram now provides you with. Perfect.
AT&T create Hello Lab to fund social media star content
AT&T has partnered with YouTube network Fullscreen to launch Hello Lab. The aim is to sign 10 social media stars up for a year to create 10 different projects, from podcasts to live events. This offers a new take on the usual influencer/brand relationship and aims to create original content with minimal branding, as opposed to creating content around a particular product. Valerie Vargas, vp of advertising and marketing communications at AT&T said: “Too often, [influencers act as] hired guns asked by brands to promote a new product. We want to flip that on its head by making a long-term commitment to the community.” Branding won’t be totally absent though, they’ll of course all have the logo tattooed on their heads*, but apart from that. Nothing.
*AT&T phones will be used to shoot and upload the content and some events will take place at AT&T venues
Zoolander hooks up with Barbie on Instagram
To promote Zoolander 2, Derek Zoolander’s been hanging out with Barbie on her Instagram and Ken has also been getting his own blue steel action as well. Thought Barbie couldn’t get any hotterer? Think again.
Seriously major #MCM man crush Monday #Alert for my boy #Ken. #Lol but #whoworeitbetter #obviouslyme #stupidquestion #malemodels #throwback #walkoff 🚺🚺💯 #twinning #iwon #barbiezoolander @barbiestyle #zoolander2 😗😗
A photo posted by Derek Zoolander (@zoolander) on Feb 8, 2016 at 9:50am PST