Half of the UK population to log on to Facebook this year
According to eMarketer, more than half (50.5%) of the UK population will log into Facebook regularly this year – a key milestone for the platform. Though personally, I’m really stumped as to how the other 50% of the UK will spend their time. This means that 89.9% of social network users in the country will use Facebook in 2016, compared to 38.7% for Twitter. And mobile is increasingly important for Facebook; more than half of UK mobile phone users will be Facebook users this year.

Facebook users uk

Facebook rolls out reactions globally
For years, Facebook users have been petitioning for a dislike button because somehow ‘liking’ the fact that your BFF’s guinea pig has just died just doesn’t meet the supportive friend criteria. Well, no change there, as we are yet to see a dislike button however, Facebook has rolled out its range of 'reactions' globally. Now everyone has access to the six different reactions in emoji form, which cover an array of popular emotions:

The reactions allow brands a more comprehensive overview of how users perceive a particular post. I’m still waiting for a ‘please shut up about how in love you are’ button.

Full-screen Canvas ads come to Facebook
This week, Facebook has introduced even more invasive fun in the form of full-screen Canvas ads. Whilst they promise that this won’t lead to more ads they instead insist that ads will become a rich media page inside their page, rather than waiting for a mobile site to load.

Canvas gif

Additionally, it’s great news for brands, as Canvas ads will be available for build with a self-service tool, which means… no coding required. Facebook ad exec Mark D’Arcy joked, “The only thing they can’t make, really, is excuses.” Well Mark, let me know when you make a transparent toaster, then we’ll talk.

Snapchat introduces on-demand Geofilters
Music ✔️
Drinks ✔️
Snacks ✔️

Snapchat filter….

Snapchat filter?! Yes, you read correctly. As long as you’ve got $5, that’s about £3.60, and you are a bit savvy when it comes to design, you can create your very own geo-targeted Snapchat filter. Snapchat has revealed that the area size you can target will vary anywhere in-between 5,000 and 5,000,000 square feet and metrics will be available on both filter usage and views.

Also in the world of Snapchat, breakfast brand IHOP has created “chained geo-filters” which promoted the return of “Double-Dipped French Toast”. Within a few days the custom filter reached over three million views. With the new on-demand geofilters being more affordable than sponsored filters, this will also encourage smaller companies to invest in Snapchat as a marketing medium. Basically, Snapchat is nailing it and I want Double-Dipped French toast!

Foursquare tool looks to prove effectiveness of digital ads
Social location/discovery platform Foursquare has launched ‘Attribution Powered by Foursquare’, an offering to measure the effectiveness of digital ads when it comes to driving visits to physical stores. It works by matching members of a voluntary ‘panel’ of 1.3 million Foursquare users, one group which will be served brand ads and one who won’t be – and the company will track them to see if it makes a difference to their offline behaviour.

If your brain is currently overloading, fortunately Foursquare has provided us with a foolproof case study. Over to you Peter Krasniqi, vp of global sales strategy and operations at Foursquare:

If you are an 18-to-34-year-old male in Madison, Wisconsin, and you see an ad, we are going to find another person on our panel who is an 18-to 34-year-old male in Madison, Wisconsin, and make sure they don't see an ad. Then we measure the visit rate on both groups, and we will be able to show the incremental lift on that ad.

Brands are already on board, with the likes of TGI Fridays already testing it - and publishing app Flipboard said it recently used the system to track if its digital ads were working, finding they’d driven an 12% incremental lift in visits to a retailer's locations within a week. It’s a potentially useful tool as marketers look to prove ROI on digital investment.

Burberry break in on Snapchat
More and more brands are continuing to seek innovative ways to host their content and Burberry’s recent campaign was no exception. Burberry opted to launch their AW16 collection by creating an intricate Snapchat campaign inspired by a fake heist. Burberry is no stranger in using platforms, which resonate with their younger audience - only last year they live streamed their AW15 runway show using Japanese messenger app, Line. This year’s premise revolved around two models (who are more than welcome to break into my flat anytime) stealing items from the brand’s new AW16 collection.

burberry snapchat2

[DISCLAIMER] But remember kids, shoplifting isn’t cool and you will go to jail.

Twitter was the real Oscar winner
“If Twitter doesn’t create a custom emoji for a major event, did the event really happen?” Seriously, though. The Oscars is THE social event of the year and anybody who is anybody was there. Unfortunately, this year my invite was lost in the post so like most others, I followed the action through Twitter. Fans were able to unlock the illustrious golden statue through usage #Oscars on Twitter whilst on Periscope members of the community were re-enacting scenes from the Best Picture nominees… with their bear hands (get it?). Additionally, Twitter analysed which nominees were most likely to engage with their followers by measuring their interaction rate. However, I think it’s broken, because Brie Larson has yet to reply to my 84 tweets.