Tuesday Tune-Up #351

Instagram makes security and verification updates
Just because you post a lot of sick #YOLO-worthy #wanderlust pics on Instagram doesn’t make you an influencer. Or maybe, it does now? As of this week, anyone – even your nan – can ask for an official seal (or tick) to validate their Insta influence.

While I have a better chance of getting into Hogwarts, I’m going to give it a shot.

Instagram’s other less headline-worthy updates are focused primarily on security and transparency. The new “About This Account” section will give users more information that they can use when evaluating the legitimacy of an account. Finally, the platform is adding support for third-party authenticator apps that provide more robust methods of two-factor authentication.

And stay Tuned next week for my new section, “Tickless and Alone: Coping with Insta #Rejection.”

Facebook Watch goes global…
In case you weren’t aware, Facebook Watch wasn’t a global feature last week. But now, it is. After launching in the US last year (and in Australia just a few months ago), Facebook’s long-form video hub has now officially rolled out worldwide. According to Facebook, 50 million US users per month come together to view videos for at least a minute in Watch. It’s hoping to replicate this success elsewhere (or everywhere!) with its socially-led take on TV. And lucky for us, they’re already thinking of ways for advertisers to get involved, too.

…And tries to compete with the binge-able big dogs

The addition of features like Watch have given the social network confidence that it can compete with the likes of YouTube and even Netflix. Although Facebook’s model and approach is obviously going to have to differ, they believe it’s possible due to the intrinsic social nature of video viewing. Their goal isn’t to be a binge platform, but rather to bring people together over video – no matter where they’re watching from.

“Video has always been social, even before the internet, when everybody was watching the same few channels,” said Fidji Simo, Facebook’s head of video, in an interview. “Everyone was talking about their favourite shows around the water cooler. We can do that because all your friends are on Facebook.”

While user behaviour is getting there, Facebook still has a way to go in convincing brands where to spend their video dollars. Digital advertising is increasing, but brands only spend about $13 billion USD a year on online video, according to Andy Fisher, chief analytics officer at marketing agency Merkle. Meanwhile, $70 billion a year in the US is still spent on TV ads, according to eMarketer.

Facebook tests links in Stories
FB TV? TBC. But Facebook, just let your Stories dreams die already. The relentless platform is now testing links in its (wildly unpopular) Stories feature. Will this finally make people use them? Unlikely. Will it make advertisers view them as a traffic driver? Again, unlikely.

Facebook looks to push Marketplace to ad buyers
If you can’t sell Stories, why not sell selling? Facebook is looking to get more inventory from big brands in order to improve Marketplace’s perception and make it more appealing to ad buyers. The platform has announced that it will partner with ecommerce company Shopify to allow the 600,000 merchants on its platform (including brands such as Rebecca Minkoff, Kylie Cosmetics and Nestle) to sell their products on Marketplace. Facebook has recently brought more businesses onto Marketplace in categories like home rentals, auto and home services, and they have started taking applications from retailers that want to sell on Marketplace.

Snapchat grows amongst young users 
Finally, some positive news for a platform that isn’t Facebook or owned by Facebook. New reports show that, while overall users of Snapchat are declining, the platform will continue to add users ages 12 to 17. Even better news for Spiegel, Facebook looks to continue to lose users in the same category. The reports predict that by 2022, Snapchat will have gained an additional 1.2 million young new users, and Facebook will have lost 2.2 million. And despite the popular perception that Instagram Stories have killed Snapchat, the report states that Snapchat has been “more popular than Instagram among US teens for years” and will remain dominant until 2022. Well, how about that.

Snapchat replicates boomerang with Bounce feature 
Snapchat is taking a page out of the Instabook with the launch of Bounce, a new video feature that could be Boomerang’s copycat younger cousin. If you want a demo but you’re not on Snapchat, just open up Instagram and take a look at Boomerang, as it’s essentially the same thing. 9/10 for execution, 0/10 for originality, Snapchat.

YouTube launches fundraising tools for non-profits 
Facebook isn’t the only social network trying to save the world – YouTube is now helping non-profits hit up their followers for donations. Eagle-eyed viewers will spot the beta version of the “YouTube Giving” suite on select non-profit channels. The new Fundraisers tool embeds a fundraising campaign with a visible Donate button right next to creators’ videos and live broadcasts. In the beta period, YouTube will even cover 100% of all donations’ transaction fees.

GIPHY launches VR Gif Creation App GIPHY World 
Love sensory overload? Love hallucinating? Say ‘no’ to drugs and yes to GIPHY World. It’s so weird and random and wonderful that words don’t really do it justice, so instead I would encourage you to get involved in the trailer below.

This post courtesy of @michele_danno