This Week in Social is a weekly digest of some of the biggest stories in social media marketing news. These stories are the show notes for the Brave Ad World Podcast. Each story is discussed at a deeper level on the podcast.
Facebook Updates Graph Search and Brings It to Mobile (Read more at Venturebeat)
Facebook updated Graph Search to allow users to search for posts that have been shared with them.
Facebook’s vice president of search Tom Stocky wrote, “You’ve told us the most important thing is being able to find posts you’ve seen before, and now you can."
Also part of the announcement is Graph Search will be available on mobile. This update marks the first time Graph Search technology has come to mobile, nearly two years after it launched for desktop. In addition, when mobile users tap the search icon on their home screens, they’ll see Facebook’s Trending module, which also has not been available on mobile until now. The Trending module will break down topics into five categories: articles from news organizations, posts from people who are part of the story, what groups and friends are saying, what people geographically near the story are saying and a live feed of real-time reactions.
According to Facebook, search has the potential to be a meaningful business for the social network over time. The updates is available for iPhone and desktop.
Graph Search coming to mobile is an important move for Facebook. It gives users one more reason to turn to Facebook on their mobile devices and invites them to start experimenting with it now by searching for posts, so they’re inclined to use it when other search functionality becomes available. Searching for old posts is fun and nostalgic, whether they’re monumental moments or trivial comments. It’s a feature users have requested for awhile, so people will naturally be inclined to play with it, especially with the Trending module now part of the feature.
And that’s an opportunity for brands. First, it means brands are less beholden to the News Feed algorithm. If users are searching for content related to the brand, there’s a chance a brand’s posts will show up, even old posts. Second, brands may want to think about how their posts can be optimized for search using keywords as well as engagement.
Twitter Allows Ad Targeting for App Installs (Read more at The Next Web)
Twitter is going to allow advertisers to target users based on their app installs. The announcement comes two weeks after Twitter announced it would start tracking users’ app installs.
It goes beyond app installs, however. Advertisers can also see which apps users have registered and whether or not they’ve made purchases within a specific app. From there advertisers can use the ads to message users in multiple ways. For example, they can encourage them to register in a brand app or remind them to make a purchase.
This will be very useful for a lot of brands, but it comes with risks. This involves targeting users in what will appear to be a very intimate and intrusive way. Of course, users can uncheck the box for ad tailoring in their Twitter app privacy settings, but the number of users who choose to do that will be limited.
Facebook has released some new tools for publishers and brands. The first tool allows pages to target their posts to subsets of their fans interested in particular topics. This ability to target is in addition to some of Facebook’s other post targeting tools like geo-targeting.
The second feature allows pages to put expiration dates on their posts to prevent time-sensitive posts from showing up in user News Feeds after the event is over.
The third is called Smart Publishing, and it identifies stories on a publisher’s website that are being shared on Facebook and then posts it in the News Feeds of people who like a publisher’s page.
The tools are available for pages that have enabled the Targeting and Privacy setting.
The next announcement is that pages can now place one of seven call to action buttons on top of their timelines. Options include: Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up and Watch Video. This feature is coming in the next few weeks.
These are welcome tools for advertisers and publishers. It allows them to deliver more compelling, more interesting content to their niche audiences with more advanced targeting, while also ensuring more time-sensitive posts do not get shown when it’s too late. The Smart Publishing post means publishers can be assured that content that is taking off for them will be shared. This is huge for publishers, which have grown more reliant on Facebook for web traffic.
Last but not least, that Cover Photo is a big piece of real estate on pages, and the ability to add CTAs to that section of pages is a nice addition.
Instagram Reaches 300 Million Users (Read more at AllFacebook)
Instagram has hit another user number milestone. The service is up 100 million users since February 2013 and now sits at 300 million. Of course, it is likely that a percentage of these accounts are duplicate, parody and even spam accounts, but Instagram is cleaning house.
Many spam and fake accounts are being removed by Instagram, and Instagram is sending notifications to users who notice a drop off in follower counts. As it removes fake accounts, Instagram is now verifying real ones, starting with brands and public figures.
The photo sharing service is following the leads of Facebook and Twitter by adding a verification badge to verified profiles.
Instagram has shown itself to be a force to be reckoned with, and it is still keeping its distance from parent company, Facebook. For example, it is going about the verification service in its own way when it could look at who is verified on Facebook and streamline the process.
This announcement is also significant because Instagram has officially surpassed Twitter’s user number of 284 million. Twitter has struggled to appease investors with its user numbers, and Instagram appears to be more successful in that area. That only increases Facebook’s dominance of social networking, and opens the door for earning more revenue. Facebook also owns the 500 million Messenger app and the 600 million user messaging platform, WhatsApp.
News Quick Hits
- YouTube is now going to warn video creators what will happen if they upload a video with a song that has copyright protection. The feature makes YouTube’s Content ID service that detects copywritten material part of the upload process, so users will know the risks when sharing certain content. (Read more at The Next Web)
- Tumblr has launched a new Explore tab that provides personalized recommendations and highlights trending content for users. The tab divides posts into types: text, quotes, links, chats, audio, video and photo. This is the first time trending topics have been made accessible on the desktop version of the website. The motivation for the design is to help Tumblr overcome the perceptions of being confusing and that content is too difficult to discover. (Read more at Daily Dot)
- Google has brought new updates to its Hangouts app for Android and has shared that equivalent updates are coming soon to iOS. Users can now see a “last seen” timestamp next to friends to see when they were last active. When they ask where another user is, a map with the user’s location is sent in response. They can also find friends based on their phone numbers. Videos are getting video filters, and last but certainly not least, users are getting 16 new sticker packs. (Read more at Venturebeat)
- YouTube has started offering its stars bonuses for multi-year exclusive content contracts. The news comes about as other video startups like Vessel are taking steps to lure YouTube talent away for more lucrative deals. (Read more SocialTimes)
- LinkedIn has redesigned its homepage by adding a dashboard that showcases metrics for personal accounts. Users can easily see how their updates are performing and profiles are being viewed. (Read more at SocialTimes)
- Vine has rolled out an update that allows users to double-tap to like a Vine, similar to Instagram. (Read more at The Next Web)