Facebook continues to grow despite privacy fears
Facebook has shown great resilience in light of the recent data privacy scandals surrounding the social network, as it beat Q1 expectations by raking in $11.8 billion in ad revenue (up 50 percent year-on-year). The platform also added 48 million daily active users (now at 1.449 billion) but only managed to add 70 million monthly active users (now at 2.196 billion). Both daily and monthly users however are up 13 percent year-over-year, helping alleviate concerns that campaigns like #DeleteFacebook would drive users away from the social network.
Facebook launches one of its biggest ever ad campaigns
In the wake of recent scandals, the social network has released one of its biggest-ever ad campaigns which promises to crack down on fake news, clickbait, and other issues. The TV ad campaign, Here Together, will also run in cinemas and on Facebook throughout the summer. Facebook will also be running a series of billboard ads across the US to help support the message.
Facebook rolls out its downvote button to more users
As part of ongoing efforts to improve the quality of user interactions on the platform, Facebook announced earlier this year that it planned to begin trials on Reddit-style upvote and downvote buttons for public posts. The social network has now begun rolling out these buttons to users, predominately in New Zealand and Australia, and is continuing to monitor user response to the new feature - keen to avoid it being seen as a 'dislike button'.
Snapchat launches Spectacles v2
Despite only selling 220,000 pairs of its v1 Spectacles, Snapchat last week launched its upgraded v2 - having fixed many of the pain points from the first incarnation, including: the ability to take photos, as well as video; prescription options; faster syncing; and more. The Spectacles went on sale in the US, Canada, UK and France, with 13 more European countries to be added from 3rd May, and currently retail at $150 ($20 more than the old version). The v2 are only available on Snap’s app and site.
Snapchat launches AR selfie games called Snappables
Last week, Snapchat announced the release of Snappables - a series of "AR games that use your touch, motion and facial expressions to compete for high scores or in literal head-to-head multiplayer match-ups". The new games, which will be rolled out globally this week, will be hosted on the app alongside the platform's other Lenses and a new game will be added each week. This is the first time the social network has opened its Lenses to allow uses to interact with other friends remotely.
Snapchat tests six-second unskippable ads for Snapchat Shows
After years of refraining from forcing ads on its users, Snapchat has confirmed it is to begin testing a new six-second ad format from 15th May that will feature in select Snapchat Shows. The new format will not appear on the platform's Discover editions or within users’ personal stories; and comes following a tough first year as a public company which has seen the social network miss growth expectations and fail to extend revenue outside of its advertising offering.
Twitter adds greater than expected users and turns a profit (again)
The social network last week reported its second straight profitable quarter - only the second profitable quarter in the company's history - turning a profit of $61 million from $665 million revenue for Q1 2018. In addition to which, the platform also beat expectations by adding six million new users - all of which caused its stock price to rise by around 6 percent.
Pinterest redesigns its Business profiles
Pinterest has begun the global rollout of its redesigned Business profiles, a process which is set to take a few months to reach all users, which will introduce a series of new features including dynamic cover images and monthly viewer statistics. The redesign is aimed at helping brands showcase their latest Pins and better connect with customers through the platform.
Google introduces greater parental controls to YouTube Kids
To help address ongoing concerns about inappropriate content online, Google last week announced the expansion of its parental controls for YouTube Kids. The enhanced controls "will allow parents to lock down the app" to include only content reviewed by humans, with plans to expand this via a later update so parents will be able to actively choose which channels and content their children can view. The new feature is purely opt-in and will cover displayed content, as well as the recommended videos. Since its launch less than three years ago, YouTube Kids has grown to more than 11 million weekly active users.