Research shows less people use Facebook to discover and discuss news
Messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, have overtaken Facebook as the platform of choice to discover and discuss news with friends - the seventh annual Digital News Report has found. The new report suggests that younger users in particular are more likely to turn to WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat for news; especially in countries such as Malaysia and Turkey, where it can be dangerous to express views in more open networks, and issues around privacy are an increasing concern. This shift has also been contributed to Facebook's recent News Feed algorithm update, which de-prioritised news in users' feeds. The full story can be read here.
Facebook launches a dedicated 'Memories' page
Last week, the social network announced it is introducing a dedicated 'Memories' page to help users reflect on the important moments from over the years. The new page is an expansion of past features such as 'On this day', and will be available through the Memories bookmark. The new feature will also include options such as 'Memories You May Have Missed', 'Recaps of Memories' and 'Friends Made on this Day' to make sure users never miss a moment. This also means we might soon be seeing a lot more of those video collages popping up in our News Feeds. The update also ties to Facebook’s time-well-spent efforts - which aims to increase quality engagement on the platform.
Instagram lets users shop through Stories
Instagram is expanding its shoppable feature to include Stories, as it announced plans last week to add stickers with a shopping bag icon to the popular feature which will allow users to tap the sticker to see more details about a product. The feature will first be introduced to brands like adidas, Louis Vuitton, and Aritzia; but with plans to role it out wider over time. Currently the social network estimates that 300 million people per day use Stories.
Facebook get new features to celebrate the 2018 World Cup
Facebook is getting in on the World Cup action, as it announces a stream of new updates across its social network and Messenger platforms. The Messenger app's camera will now have filters for face paint and 'festive wigs to help users celebrate every competing team (although, not the US), along with frame effects, exciting new games, and other ways to connect with Friends. And for football fans on the Facebook app, animated messages will start to appear at the top of their "News Feeds encouraging them to show their pride in their favourite World Cup team with special profile picture frames". Adding specific phrases to status updates (such as country names or “gooaal”) will also unlock new animations. Facebook's camera feature will also include augmented reality stickers of players, along with other effects available via Messenger.
Facebook pushes consent in mobile and email targeting
The platform is adding new accountability and transparency requirements to its Custom Audiences platform, which will force businesses who upload email addresses or phone numbers to the platform for ad targeting to confirm that all info "was collected with proper user consent by them, one of their partners or both". The new update, which will come into effect from 2nd July, will also enable users to see this information if they choose to block future ads from that business. Businesses will also only be able to share Custom Audiences info with partners who they have formally connected with through Facebook’s business manager tool.
Twitter increases focus on live news events
The social network has introduced a new update which will notify users to live events it believes they'll be interested in, and present them with a curated list of the best tweets ad live video streams to help keep them updated. Twitter has also announced an update to its Explore tab to help promote these new features, so it will now include Trending (a personalised For You tab), and more specific content areas like News and Sports. The main focus of the update will be on the new screen layout, which will see live streams featured at the top of page - followed by a brief summary of the event, along with additional features such as "recap" and "latest". However, the platform's Moments feature is set to remain.
Snapchat Spectacles are now available on Amazon
Apparently learning from its past mistakes, Snapchat has taken a more traditional sales route to help promote the second generation of it Spectacles - announcing last week that they would now be available for customers in the US, UK and Canada to purchase from Amazon. The second generation of Spectacles - which retails for $149.99 - feature a waterproof design, a smaller charging case, and better colours; and forecasts (by Snap) are predicting better demand this time around.
Snapchat now lets users delete messages
The new (and long awaited) feature, which is set to roll out globally over the next few weeks, will see Snapchat users finally be able to delete messages they've sent to friends or in group chats. To delete a message, users will simply need to hold down on the message until an option menu comes up and select ‘delete'. However - like WhatsApp - the other person will still be notified that a message was sent and deleted.
LinkedIn adds carousel ads for sponsored content
The social network for professionals is intending to up its game when it comes to sponsored content, last week announcing the introduction of carousel ads to its suite - which also now includes sponsored video ads. The feature will be similar to those offered on Facebook and Instagram and brands will be able to include up to 10 cards per carousel ad, each with a customisable message option. LinkedIn’s revenue increased 37% in the most recent quarter, particularly due to increased ad revenue driven by new and exciting formats. Over 300 businesses took part in the beta trial, and the offering is now open to all businesses.
YouTube launches Music and Premium in 17 countries globally
YouTube is taking is music service global, as it announced earlier today that it would now be available in 12 additional countries - including the UK and Canada. This means the service now covers "the bulk of Western Europe, plus Russia and Canada" and well as the US, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea.
Along with YouTube Music, users in those regions will also now be able to sign up for YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) — the company’s paid-for ad-free service - which provides "members with the benefits of Music Premium, plus ad-free, background, and downloads across all of YouTube". Current YouTube Red and Google Play Music members in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico will automatically receive access to YouTube Premium at their current price.
Budweiser gets ready to light up the World Cup
Wanting to make the most of World Cup fever, Budweiser has revived its Man of the Match Award on social - which will give fans the chance to access a portal through @FIFAWorldCup and vote for their Man of the Match as the first half of each World Cup match concludes. @FIFAWorldCup will then announce the winner on Twitter, complete with a video of action from the match and an interview with the winner; as well as being shared on the brand's Instagram and Facebook pages with a SocialCode to create video ads and 3D images of the players. A Budweiser Messenger bot (UK only) will also enable to buy or enter to win tickets, take quizzes and buy beer. The campaign will also be followed up by direct-response ads on Facebook to drive awareness and sales of its Red Light Cup. However, questions have been raised around the brand's new suite of global AR lenses, filters and vertical video ads on Snapchat - given the platform's traditionally younger demographic. The brand is confident however that it will be able to avoid serving ads to those under-18.