Tuesday Tune-Up #279

Facebook Messenger gets reactions and mentions features

The struggle to stay tuned into group chats is real. That being said, after some testing, Facebook rolled out both mentions and reactions to Facebook Messenger. This means that when you’re organising a hens party over chat, you can thumbs down all @elizabeth’s boring bridal stuff? and skip straight to the alcohol and penis straw chatter. Not only can you call people out as you need to, but @mentions will also help you keep track of when you need to pay attention again.

Facebook is testing a gif button for commenting
That’s right, it’s nearly here. Gif El Dorado. Facebook is testing the ability for users to comment…USING GIFs.

Facebook Live adds desktop livestreaming for all users
Pew, pew, pew! Gamers, rejoice – users can now livestream gameplay from Facebook’s desktop website via their webcam. Previously a privilege extended exclusively to Facebook pages, individual gamers can now share how many crafts they’ve mined to all their friends and family – LIVE!

Facebook tests enhanced local Search and Discover feature
Keep it up, Mark Zuck, you’re on a roll. The network is officially taking over the internet testing a new location search feature that will let users discover recommendations on things like ‘dinner nearby,’ ‘bars nearby’ or ‘sex shops nearby’ (for that hens party, obviously…). It works when users enter a query into the search bar, which leads to a list of relevant places (+Facebook ratings!) and a list of your friends who have visited them. Should Google and Yelp fear for their futures? Let the search wars begin.

Facebook launches new video ad format to make e-commerce easier
Watch out, retail, Facebook is coming for you, too. A new video format called Collection was launched for good old-fashioned buying and selling. The format plays a video with products (all featured in the video) below it so viewers can buy while they’re watching. Clicking on any of these four hero products will take you through to a quick-loading collection of up to 50 other products to peruse, and then it links you to the brand’s website if you want to continue shopping. Brands will also have a metric to calculate how many people clicked through to website vs. stayed on the product gallery within Facebook.

Facebook introduces Split Testing for advertising

This week, Facebook is introducing a way for advertisers to run two ads simultaneously without audience overlap and optimise the one that is performing best. Different components of the ads can be tested across various devices and browsers, and Facebook claims that Split Tests lead to an average 14% improvement in cost per acquisition.

Facebook introduces Header Bidding integration
If you’re asking yourself ‘WTF is Header Bidding?’ so was I, until I read this article. In a nutshell, it’s the ability for multiple advertisers to bid on publishers’ inventory, which drives up the price and profit for publishers. In what is being called a ‘digital advertising coup,’ Facebook is bringing advertiser demand from its Audience Network to mobile web publishers that use Header Bidding. Publishers who use it (most savvy ones will) will now be able to take advantage of advertising coming through the Facebook Audience Network using Facebook’s various technology partners.

Instagram lets retailers make more ‘shoppable’ posts
Finally, some news about (Facebook-owned) Instagram! Following in the footsteps of their big brother, they’ve rolled out a new retail feature in the US that allows brands to post images (for free!) and tag products with an instant click-through link for users to purchase. It’s not available on video or carousels YET, but brands will be able to see how many people clicked through. Businesses will also be able to connect a product inventory to their account, which will make “tagging a product is as simple as tagging a person in a post” says Instagram. Furthermore, have you ever seen a post from your favourite salon or dentist or plastic surgeon and thought, “I’d like to go there now!”? Say no more, my friend, Instagram is also adding a ‘book appointment’ button.

Twitter ups its livestreaming game to take on Facebook

In an attempt to not get totally eclipsed by Facebook, Twitter has created an application program interface (API) that makes it easier to livestream video from cameras and other equipment. Twitter already boasts a deal with GoPro and drones but is now adding streaming technology to hardware, software and all wares in between so that people can stream to their heart’s content without even connecting to the Twitter or Periscope apps.

Twitter might build a paid subscription service…

… IF the people want it. People have started tweeting screenshots of the survey that Twitter has been sending around to gauge user opinion. A mockup of how the service might look has also been shared. It would be offered to ‘power users,’ brands and news organisations and would provide detailed analytics, alerts for breaking news, and information about what an account’s followers were tweeting about.

LinkedIn introduces Trending Storyline
Next up, we have LinkedIn, who takes the social stage with a brand new Trending Storylines feature. Trending Storylines will be rolled out first in the US with other countries to follow. Take a look…

Medium launches paid membership subscription
A new business model for Medium means that users will be able to purchase a membership that lets them access exclusive content, read articles offline and get new features earlier. Not much more to say on this one, but I encourage you to comment with your thoughts!

Foursquare gives marketers access to location data
Facebook’s Search and Discovery feature hasn’t won yet. Dubbed the ‘Google analytics for the real world,’ Foursquare is now offering marketers access to a location data dashboard that can tell them when and how often people visit certain retailers. Burger addicts, beware, your McDonald’s visits are now being mc-monitored!

YouGov announces growth in consumer trust in ads

As trust in key institutions in the US plummets, new YouGov data has revealed that consumers are trusting ads more and more when it comes to making decisions about purchases. 61% of survey respondents said they trust advertising they see, read or hear – an increase of 11% compared to March 2014. If only their leaders and White House Tweeters boasted similar stats.

Snapchatters unite to mourn broken Snapstreaks
Now that we’ve covered everything from Facebook to Foursquare, it wouldn’t be Tuesday without mentioning Snapchat. While there’s no groundbreaking news from the network this week, there is heartbreaking news. As such, it is with great devastation that I must report the death of some unlucky Snapstreaks. Some casualties existed for months, years even, until user neglect ultimately led to their tragic digital demise. For those of us who aren’t in high school, a Snapstreak occurs when you Snapchat the same person every day for a large number of consecutive days. If you miss a day, you break the Streak and, apparently, your heart.

Misery does need company, so it appears fans have taken their plight cross-platform to complain as a community. While this may sound like “fake news,” it’s actually a tried-and-true consumer behaviour that, frankly, fascinates me. People even hire ‘Streaksitters’ to keep their Streaks going while they’re on holiday. How can brands utilise this behaviour to their advantage and insert themselves into users’ ongoing Streaks? Honestly, I have no idea, but will get back to you once I’ve wrapped my head around the whole phenomenon.

This post courtesy of @michele_danno