Tuesday Tune-Up #327


WeChat tops one billion daily users

According to the BBC, Chinese messaging app WeChat (Weixin in China) has topped one billion monthly users thanks to community engagement around the recent Lunar New Year celebrations. WeChat’s stunning user growth, with more than 225 million users getting on board in a year, is due to the wider role the messaging app plays in daily life. WeChat’s wallet feature is the entry point into a payment ecosystem, which makes it a brand favourite while allowing users to book taxis, order food, make appointments, do their banking, find dates and play games. WhatsApp is still top dog with 1.5 billion monthly Chinese users, but with growth of 35% and 25% in 2016 and 2017 respectively,  we have to wonder how long they’ll reign?

Facebook adds up

Following some high profile mistakes in data reporting in recent years, Facebook is cleaning up and clarifying ways for advertisers to measure their campaign performance. Some of their mistakes, you ask? Oh, just casually claiming reach numbers among US 18 – 24 year olds that exceed the existing population by 10 million. Oops! The first of these planned changes will be aimed at addressing the way Facebook labels its metrics to differentiate when it’s an estimate, when it’s in development, or both. These changes will be rolled out and accompanied by a programme for advertisers through the platform’s Measure What Matters initiative, which includes events and online content to support a better understanding of how to measure and improve ads on the platform. Count us in.

Call me on Insta?

In another effort to wipe Snapchat from the earth, a helpful deep-dive into Instagram’s platform code revealed some potential new features to get excited about. Updates include a universal portrait mode, a Cinemagraph creator, a new way for users to organise messages, and a feature to enable users to download their personal data from the app. This helpful sleuth also discovered files and icons for ‘Call’ and ‘Video Call’ features, which suggest Instagram wants to be your phone not just your camera. There is no timeline for any of these updates just yet – stay tuned.

GIPHY gaff

Snapchat and Instagram have temporarily suspended their recently-added GIPHY integration feature in response to complaints that a racist GIF was being offered as an add-on to user Stories. Despite all GIFs available on the platforms being rated PG, the mistake was “due to a bug in (GIPHY’s) content moderation filters specifically affecting GIF stickers.” GIPHY has confirmed that staff are currently reviewing every GIF sticker by hand and have apologised for any offence caused.

Snapchat cuts jobs to improve productivity and performance 
After a turbulent year for the social network, which has seen its share price fall and the exodus of some of its top execs, Snap is hoping “to unleash speed and productivity” within its organisation with its biggest round of job cuts to-date (120 to be exact). The platform wants to put the focus back on technical excellence and create “a single, powerful and diverse team.”

Twitter ticks and bots

Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, announced plans to make the exclusive verification tick available to all users who request it (pending verification of identity docs). Previously reserved for celebs, public figures, businesses and institutions, Twitter said it aims to relinquish the status symbol association of the elusive tick in favour of building credibility and restoring trust across the platform. As part of this same drive, Twitter is getting tough on bots by deleting and suspending millions of accounts it believes to be fake. This move comes after recent research suggested that there are now around 49.5 million false Twitter users.

Twitter embraces programmatic

Twitter is willing to relinquish control and embrace closer relationships with buying platforms and agency trading desks in its mission to become the easiest social platform on which to buy ads. They are doing this through programmatic ad technology, which offsets the loss of platform control with the benefit of seamless integration. The success of Twitter’s video formats has seen an uptick in advertiser interest, and Twitter is taking advantage of this rising interest with this latest development.

YouTube champions communities with latest updates
YouTube recently announced a wave of new updates to its live streaming feature, all of which aim to bring the platform’s communities closer together. These changes include chat replay (which allows anyone watching saved live streams to see the chat), location tagging for live streams, the ability to search streams by location, auto-generated captions, and the expansion of its paid Live Super Chats function, which can also be used to trigger real-world events such as controlling a streamer’s lights or firing confetti cannons.

Facebook targets travel 
Facebook has launched ‘Trip Consideration’ – a tool allowing brands to target users before they have confirmed their holiday plans. Wait, what? Distinct from Facebook’s ‘dynamic ads for travel,’ Trip Consideration works across Facebook, Insta and Facebook Audience Network to aggregate users’ preliminary destination searches via travel-related pages, allowing advertisers to use this information to serve you flight or hotel deals. With 68% of millennials using Facebook and 60% using Instagram to source trip ideas, Trip Consideration makes sense. No more stalking #Wanderlust on Instagram necessary.

Air New Zealand gets personal with their #EmojiJourney campaign
Keeping with the holiday theme, Air New Zealand has launched its new #EmojiJourney campaign across Facebook and Twitter to give holidaymakers a personalised map of where to visit in New Zealand. When users see a post containing #EmojiJourney, they simply need to reply with three emojis that best showcase their ideal New Zealand holiday to generate a unique map highlighting areas tailored to their tastes and interests.

This post courtesy of Sarah Lynch