Facebook plans to shut down Audience Network for mobile sites
From April 11th, Facebook will begin closing its Audience Network - which allows advertisers to extend Facebook campaigns on third-party apps - for mobile websites. Facebook first launched Audience Network in 2014, before extending the platform to include mobile websites two years later. While online publishers will be hit by the drop in ad revenue shared between them and Facebook (more than $1.5bn in 2018), the move will not affect apps, such as TikTok and Tinder.
Facebook gives parents more access to Messenger Kids
Facebook has introduced several new parental control and visibility features to its stand-alone Messenger Kids app. As part of the new update, parents can now: access recent contacts and chat history to see who their kids are chatting with; view photos and videos that kids have sent and received (with the option to remove content that they feel is inappropriate); and see a list of reporting and blocking actions their kids have taken. For kids on the app, a kid-friendly data education overview was added to help them understand what information other people can see.
Snapchat hits 218 million DAUs, releases Q4 earnings
Snapchat has revealed that it grew its daily active users by 17% in the fourth quarter of 2018, which now stands at 218 million. The social network also reported that its DAUs increased year-over-year in North America, Europe and the rest of the world, as well as on both iOS and Android.
However, despite its user growth and $561 million in revenue (up 44% year-over-year), the company’s net loss was $49 million higher than in the fourth quarter of 2018. This was largely due to a $187.5 million settlement of a class-action suit by investors following its IPO.
YouTube shares its first-ever ad revenue breakdown
For the first time in its history, parent company Alphabet has revealed the financial breakdown of its video platform, YouTube, which showed that ad revenue surged 36% between 2018 and 2019 to $15.15bn. Of this total, $4.72bn was generated in the fourth quarter alone. These results mean that YouTube's ad revenue made up 11% of Google's $134.8bn overall ad revenue in 2019 and 9% of Google's total $160.74bn in revenue last year.
Twitter sees double-digit ad revenue growth in Q4
In its Q4 earnings report, Twitter announced that it made £885m in advertising revenue for the three months ending 31 December 2019, a 12% year-on-year increase, as it signalled its advertising would pivot to more direct response formats. Combined with income from data and licensing, which was $123m for the quarter (up 5% compared with Q4 2018), Twitter reached an overall quarterly revenue of more than $1bn for the first time. However, growth in ad revenue is still being mostly driven by the US market, which makes up 59% of its business.
Pinterest hits $1bn mark, reaches 335 million MAUs
Pinterest has revealed that it has topped the $1 billion mark in revenue for the first time in the full year of 2019, totalling $1.143 billion, up 51% year-over-year. The platform also posted strong fourth quarter results, with revenue up 46% year-over-year to $399.898 million and 335 million monthly active users as of the end of 2019, up 26% from the same time one year earlier.
Twitter turns its back on deepfakes
Following the likes of Facebook, Reddit and TikTok, Twitter has become the latest social media giant to ban faked pictures, video, and other manipulated media that can be “deceptively shared” from its platform. Under the new policy, which will begin to come into effect from March 5th, content that is manipulated and presented as truth or “likely to impact public safety or cause serious harm” will be labelled and may be removed. In a similar move, YouTube has also updated its policies on political disinformation just in time for the 2020 Democratic primary elections.
Reddit moves into broadcast media with new partnership
Reddit has announced a new partnership with interactive storytelling platform Tagboard, which will allow the 250-plus global broadcast entities on Tagboard to use, credit and distribute Reddit’s unique content around the world, for on-air storytelling purposes. The NFL Network and local news stations owned by Tegna are among the first broadcasters to take advantage of the partnership, incorporating content such as recaps of Ask Me Anything sessions. The deal marks Reddit's first foray into aggregated content sourcing for broadcast.
Social media celebrates Black History Month
Pinterest has updated its search functionality for Black History Month (February 1st - 29th) in the US, so that when Pinners search for Black History Month and related terms, they will see the colours of the Pan-African flag, as well as curated content on black and African-American history. The platform has also highlighted some of the biggest black and African-American creators.
Meanwhile, Tumblr has brought back its #BlackExcellence365 campaign, aimed at highlighting the black activists and artists that use its platform. Tumblr has also said that it will continue to discuss topics that affect the black community throughout the year, through its ongoing #Issues2020 campaign.
Ones to watch
Facebook has opened its One-Time Notification API, initially discussed last December, to beta testing; Instagram is now testing ways for creators to earn money on ITGV content, including running short ads on their videos; and TikTok is reportedly looking to update its profile design, switching to a more Instagram-style format.