We are Social: Wednesday Wrap-Up #235
The world’s leading social media platform proved last week why it deserves its title. Facebook surpassed market expectations by reporting $5.38 billion in revenue in its Q1 earnings report (up 52 percent y-o-y), along with $1.5 billion in profit in Q1, up a massive 195 percent y-o-y. It’s not all about the dollars though – user growth was also strong, up 3.77 percent. This may not seem like a lot, but when you consider Facebook has 1.59 billion users, it’s not at all shabby. To put it in context, Facebook added 12 times the number of new users as Twitter (more to come on them later), despite being five times its size. However, there was a black mark on Facebook’s otherwise glowing report, with average revenue per user in the ‘Rest of World’ region, which includes developing countries (Facebook’s growth markets), declining steeply.
And it’s not just Facebook itself that’s riding high right now – the whole family is contributing to the company’s success. According to Mark Zuckerberg, people around the world spend on average more than 50 minutes a day using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. And that doesn’t even take the ever-popular WhatsApp into account. With Facebook making new updates and investments on what feels like a weekly basis (just look at all the announcements at F8, for example, such as the introduction of Chatbots on Messenger) we have a feeling that there’s no stopping the social media giant right now.
Twitter’s Q1 results fail to win over investors
Twitter also announced its Q1 results last week, and despite the fact it seemed to have done pretty well on paper, investors weren’t all that impressed. Firstly, the good news for Twitter is that it seems to have turned around the user growth slump it experienced in Q3 and Q4 2015, adding 5 million monthly active users in Q1 2016. Revenue was also up 36 percent y-o-y, to $595 million for the quarter. The platform highlighted a few positive takeouts from its results – its algorithm to show priority content seems to be popular with users, with very few opting out of it, as well as positive results from video ads, which have twice the ad recall rate of traditional promoted tweets.
However, critics pointed out that $595 million revenue is still less than the $607.8 million that analysts expected, and that despite all its efforts it has “failed to broaden the appeal of the core service”. Twitter isn’t admitting defeat just yet though, and continues to make changes to try and bring in new users. One such change is its recent shift in categorisation in the Apple App Store – Twitter now sits in ‘News’ instead of ‘Social Networking’, a switch that apparently boosted the app from sixth place in Social Networking to first place within News.
YouTube launches six-second ads
In line with changing consumer-viewing habits, YouTube is out to grab the attention of mobile phone users, by introducing a six-second ad option this May. In between your regular video binges, these ‘Bumper’ ads are “ideal” for driving wide reach and frequency with early tests revealing a lift in recall, awareness and consideration. Start working on your patience though, as these ads can’t be skipped. What a bummer, I mean bumper. Brands are already testing out the format – here are some of the early movers.
Snapchat Teams up with NBC to Cover Olympics
Snapchat has scored a deal with NBC to show highlights from the 2016 Olympic Games. The video-sharing app will create live stories featuring content from NBC, whilst BuzzFeed’s Snapchat Discovery channel will showcase behind-the-scenes content. NBC is hoping that Snapchat’s younger audience will lead to an increased interest in the athletes’ stories and triumphs, and aim to follow the success of the Oscars and Super Bowl partnerships.
Pinterest Offers Brands New Metrics for Campaigns
Pinterest has started telling American advertisers how their Promoted Pin campaigns on the image bookmarking platform meet business objectives, helping marketers make informed decisions on their investments. Previously, Pinterest only provided metrics such as impressions, clicks and re-pins of images whereas now brand awareness, favourability and purchase intent can be measured.
The Toronto Silent Film Festival builds an Escape Room on Instagram
Escape rooms are all the rage at the moment. For some reason, it’s deemed fun and ‘good for team building’ to gather into a claustrophobic space with a series of tasks in order to be granted freedom. No thanks – I do that 9-5, five days a week. However, Toronto Silent Film Festival jumped on the bandwagon by creating the first-ever Instagram Escape Room. The campaign taps into the fact that over 70 percent of silent films have been ‘lost’, left to rot in a metaphorical (or maybe even real) room that’s been forgotten. If you’re keen to get your escape on by following the Instagram clues, check out the video below for further instructions.
Snapchat ‘Stories’ drive 10 billion daily views
Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about the world knowing that I’ve been watching re-runs of Faulty Towers whilst eating packaged Mac n Cheese, but it seems that others have no such qualms, as more than a third of Snapchat’s daily users create Stories on the platform. This has further helped fuel Snapchat’s daily video views, now at 10 billion a day, up from 8 billion in February. Snapchat has decided to share the ‘Stories’ statistic with investors to help explain that the app serves people who create content, not just those who consume it. It’s also a nice contrast to Facebook and Twitter who don’t release statistics on what percentage of their users broadcast per day, instead focusing on metrics about visitors and time spent.
Target and Lancome produce Snapchat’s first ecommerce ads
Snapchat is open for ecommerce. Lancome and Target have started to run shoppable ads, each promoting a 10-second call-to-action instructing viewers to “swipe up” for more. Creativity on Snapchat is still at the early stages – ads are limited to the standard Snapchat 10 seconds, but the “swipe” feature allows for more content to be displayed. Don’t be fooled though, swiping right will not result in a hot date, just a fabulous lipstick. Win-win.
Beyonce vs. Becky: The Internet drank the Lemonade
On April 20, Queen Beyoncé Knowles Carter (mother of Blue Ivy, Red Lobster frequenter, and whose influence could unite a nation) began to strategically tease a project called ‘Lemonade’ that premiered as a special on HBO three days later. The project was an hour-long music video, which debuted 12 new songs and revealed that her husband Jay Z had been less-than faithful. Immediately after the airing, Yoncé not only dropped all of our jaws, but also dropped the album exclusively to Tidal with iTunes the next day.
Since then, the Internet has been beyond-repair broken with more memes than Mr. Trump, as “Beyoncé” Twitter mentions exceeded 1.2 million over the last few days. The hashtags #Beyonce, #Becky and #Lemonade have also been trending since Bey bestowed the album upon us. The potential influence for brands who partner with the performer is astronomical, as she is described as the “anti-coachella” by brandchannel.com. Furthermore, they assess that the public view her as “transparent”, authentic” and engaging to “people all over the world” (á la: who run the world?).
360 degrees and rising!
Aside from being a vehicle for FOMO-inspiring Instagram posts of beautiful people in cut-off shorts and over-sized sunglasses, this year’s Coachella also served as YouTube’s opportunity to début live 360-degree videos and Coachella’s chance to extend the experience across their social channels for weeks (it’s as if it never ended!). YouTube first officially launched 360-degree videos back in March 2015, and since then many notable artists/influencers have utilised the technology with remarkable innovation – Björk, MythBusters and Star Wars to name a few. Now, considering the popularity of live streaming, YouTube is set to evolve the technology and offer the ability to stream content live from all sorts of crazy angles (and festivals).
Snapchat’s moving emojis
After the…errrr…’controversial’ Bob Marley filter* made waves on Snapchat last week, the platform decided to move forward with moving emoji lenses. A new feature can now pin the emoji icons to moving objects in videos, which will surely lead to a world full of strategically-placed eggplants and other fun times. The feature has already rolled out with clunky results.
*ICYMI Snapchat produced a questionable filter where users wore the late Bob Marley’s features to celebrate the cultural hash holiday 4/20.
This just in: those with the broadest reach aren’t necessarily reaping the best results. New research revealed that users with an overwhelming amount of followers can actually make little cut-through as compared to those with a humble followings. A survey of two million social media influencers by Markerly showed that for unpaid posts, Instagram influencers with fewer than one thousand followers have a like rate of about 8 percent, while those with 1-10 thousand followers have a like rate of 4 percent. The pattern continues as Instagram influencers with 10-100 thousand followers see a 2.4 percent like rate, compared to 1.7 percent for those with 1-10 million followers and more.
Social ad platform Gnack states that a typical social media user with fewer than 10,000 followers can be defined as a micro-influencer. Their follower-base usually consists of closer friends and family, so their posts are perceived as much more relevant, trustworthy and engaging.