We Are Social Asia Tuesday Tuneup #178


Twitter begins testing App Install Ads on News and other Profile pages
You might have noticed something new on Twitter lately: App Install Ads. Twitter has started experimenting with placing ads that drives mobile app install on Twitter pages of New York Times, Guardian, Vine and Periscope. You will be presented with a button to install the respective apps when you navigate to their Twitter pages.

Facebook updates News Feed ranking with new metric
Facebook’s goal for News Feed has been to show you content that you care about and their latest update proves it. Using a new metric to rank content that shows up on News Feed: time spent on viewing a story in your News Feed, users can expect greater relevance with the content served to them. For example, a content wrongly classified in the past as “irrelevant” even though a user spends a lot of time reading them due to a lack of engagement, will now be captured by the new metric and ranked accordingly.

Twitter CEO steps down
Dick Costolo announced on Thursday that he was stepping down as Twitter CEO, after six years with the company. The move comes after investors called for change following months of a struggling stock price, low user growth and stalling ad sales. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey will be taking over as interim CEO while the board looks for a permanent replacement. I’m still hoping it’s Snoop Dogg.

Facebook gives free beacons to retailers
Facebook is letting businesses apply for free beacons to support the launch of Place Tips, a service that shows users posts and photos about specific retailers when they open the app in-store. The beacons send signals to a person’s smartphone when they come within a certain proximity of the device, giving retailers the opportunity to push information and deals to consumers who are in a perfect position to make a purchase.

Facebook expands News Feed ‘Buy’ button
Previously, the Facebook Buy button was only available for a select few e-commerce businesses, but the platform has now opened up the tool for all Shopify retailers. The call-to-action button sits within brand page posts and adverts to allow users to initiate purchase within the News Feed, rather than clicking through to the retailer’s website. This update closely follows the announcement of the similar Pinterest Buy button and is another step in Facebook’s quest to nail social commerce.


Facebook Pages now show customer response time
One for the community managers out there – Facebook is now reporting on response rate to customer questions and comments on brand pages. The feature is currently only appearing on a few pages, but it looks like Facebook plans to roll it out to all in the near future. Users visiting the page will also be able to see a rating on the brand’s responsiveness.

Play games within Facebook Messenger 
To continue the theme of Facebook’s attempts to own (almost) everything you do online,the social platform’s instant messaging service now supports in-app gaming. Earlier this year, Facebook opened up the Messenger platform API to encourage developers to create apps for the service.  Now, the first ‘true’ game for the platform has been spotted – ‘Doodle Draw’, akin to Draw Something, which was popular a few years ago. Here’s one I’m happy to say I did not make earlier.


Twitter scraps the DM character limit
Instant messaging is the current trend du jour with apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat leading the way. In a bid to compete with these market leaders (and to improve active user figures no doubt), Twitter’s Direct Messages will no longer be capped at 140 characters like its public posts. The move gives Twitter the opportunity to be considered as an instant messaging tool, squaring up against services like Facebook Messenger.

Twitter makes conversations easier to follow
One tweet can lead to thousands of separate conversations, which is pretty confusing to follow. So to help resolve this, Twitter is now looking to improve the way these conversations appear in users’ feeds. The platform has begun grouping conversations together using a line to show the order of the replies, as well as highlighting the most interesting or engaging exchanges immediately below the initial tweet.


Twitter advertisers can now target by apps
Last week, Twitter announced a new type of audience targeting, allowing advertisers to reach consumers based on the apps they have on their mobile (and therefore, their interests) such as gaming, health or music. This move to make ad targeting more relevant and effective is another example of Twitter’s continued attempts to improve its ad offering to brands.

Wendys joins Pinterest
Fast Food brand Wendy’s is one of the first high-profile brands to launch a Pinterest campaign using the new Cinematic Pins ad feature – the platform’s new Gif-like videos that activate only when a user is scrolling. The campaign promotes Wendy’s new Strawberry Fields salad, using four animated pins to show the journey of the strawberries from farm to kitchen. The target audience of women also fits closely with Pinterest’s user demographics.


AirBnB launches Pinterest competition
AirBnB has partnered with Pinterest to run a ‘Pin Your Dream Trip’ competition in the UK. The Pinterest user with the most compelling and inspiring travel board of their dream destination will win an all expenses paid holiday with a friend. Whilst away, the winner will be encouraged to pin about their trip, as you’d expect.