We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #319

Twitter’s share of US social network users is dropping
eMarketer has significantly downgraded its projections for Twitter, placing it behind Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr for growth forecast in 2016, meaning its share of US social network users is actually slated to go down this year and onwards.

The news comes amid nearly stagnant growth reported by Twitter in Q2. By the end of this year, 52.2 million people in the US will access their Twitter accounts at least once a month. That’s a 2.0% increase over last year – but in February, eMarketer had forecast an 8.0% increase in US Twitter users for the year, and not enough to stop a deline in US market share compared to other platforms.

For the UK, eMarketer claims Twitter and Facebook are both experiencing a slowdown in growth, with Facebook lagging behind. The data predicts Twitter will grow its UK user base more than twice as fast as Facebook between now and 2020, even with Twitter’s growth slowing to 3.1%.

YouTube takes Google to the top of the UK charts for unique visitors
Google-owned sites, led by YouTube, are beating all other website owners in the UK for unique visitors, according to new data released for June 2016. 46.6 million people visited Google’s various digital properties during that time, with YouTube enjoying the lion’s share of with 39.6 million unique visitors. Facebook, however, wasn’t far behind, with 38.8 million unique visitors.

Battle of the ad blockers on Facebook
Fight! Fight! Facebook’s battle of the ad blockers has officially started. Facebook’s VP of ads Andrew Bosworth claims adblockers get in the way of the company’s mission to ‘create connections between people and businesses’. So in an attempt to take them down, Facebook changed the HTML of its web ads to defeat ad-blockers, and said users can opt out of ad categories on the platform. Unfortunately for Facebook, Adblock Plus has claimed its community has already found a way around the move. Facebook hit back claiming that the fix erases more than just ads, and created a new code to nullify Adblock’s agorithm. Ding ding!

Facebook tweaks newsfeed to make stories more ‘informative’
The platform has appointed a slightly creepy sounding Quality Feed Programme team to ensure the right stories get prominence on your personal news feed. Stories will now be sorted using a new ranking system to predict stories that are more important to users. The team will take into account factors like your relationship with the person or publisher that posted, or what you choose to click on, comment on or share — to best predict stories that you might personally find informative.

Facebook launches new tools for 360 videos
Facebook has launched two new creator tools for 360 videos. The first, the Guide, is similar to annotations within YouTube, allowing owners to bookmark key moments in a video as it plays. The second tool, Heatmapping, will display specific portions of a video where people have spent the most time watching.

Instagram launches new business profiles
Instagram has launched business profiles, designed to help advertisers on the platform stand out from ordinary users and equip them with greater measurement capabilities. Instagram says business profiles will enable brands to choose how they want their customers to get in touch with them, give directions, and unlock access to insights and promoted posts.

Instagram goes public with filtering tools for comments
A few weeks ago Instagram was rumoured to be testing out a troll-busting filtering tool on Instagram, with Taylor Swift getting to test it out first. Well Swift fans, rejoyce, because the tool is definitely real and you can get it too, if you’re important enough. The platform has started allowing ‘accounts with high volume comment threads’ to filter their comment streams, and even turn off comments entirely. Take that, haters.

More ads between friends’ stories on Snapchat
Snapchat Stories will feature more ads, which will appear between strings of photos and videos that users share with their friends. Snapchat has said it will cap the amount of ads so that each person is served three so-called Snap Ads Between Friends promos per day—one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one at night.

Snapchat users up but engagement drops after Discover redesign
The Snapchat Discover channel doubled daily users to 1 million two weeks after its redesign – but overall engagement dropped. The number of views per user dropped 14 percent when comparing the two-week average post-redesign and the six-week average pre-redesign. Time spent in the app dropped 6 percent and completion rate plummeted 32 percent.

NBCU signs deal to make Snapchat shows
NBCU, whose networks include E!, Bravo and the NBC broadcast channel, has signed a multiyear deal to create new “shows” for Snapchat’s growing media hub. NBCU will be pulling in big hitters including Saturday Night Live, The Voice and The Tonight Show to create the new content.

Twitter rolls out Moments to, er, everyone
Twitter has announced that “a broader group of creators will be making Moments, including ‘influencers, partners, brands… and in the coming months, everyone.’ In an attempt to get more people to promote their Moments to their own networks, the platform will be featuring Moments from civil rights activist DeRay, Allure magazine, and Budweiser.

Pinterest is changing the way it sells ads
Pinterest said Thursday it is changing the way it sells CPM campaigns. Marketers will now be able to bid through an auction process, rather than the previous fixed price. The company will also allow brands to specify the maximum number of times a person can see their campaign.

Pepsi splashes out on first #Promoted Stickers Twitter campaign
Twitter has introduced its first “#Promoted Stickers” campaign with Pepsi. Starting Monday, Pepsi-themed stickers will be available for consumers to slap on their photos and tweet out. The stickers, which were introduced in June, are reminiscent of Snapchat’s emojis, filters and animated lenses, which people layer on top of their photos and videos before sharing.

Burberry and Pinterest launch first customized beauty board
Burberry has created personalised boards with suggested products and makeup tips for users on Pinterest.  Users can indicate their makeup preferences via a Burberry-sponsored questionnaire and then log in separately to their Pinterest account to discover their personalised board, where they can click directly on pins to make purchases.

One out of four influencers asked to keep brand deals secret
Influencer marketing and media platform SheSpeaks found a quarter have been asked to keep their brand deals secret. The finding follows on the heels of the US Federal Trade Commission saying last week that it plans to get tougher on paid promotion disclosure.