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 Cites Big Growth for Watch
Facebook gave an update on Watch performance. It’s reporting the feature has 140 million daily active users and 720 million monthly active users. That’s up from 75 million daily and 400 million monthly reported at the end of 2018. Viewers include anyone who spends one minute ore more watching videos, so while it wants the numbers to look hefty compared to TV, it’s worth noting that the threshold for being counted as a user are not the same.
The announcement on viewers was not just for advertisers. It’s courting content creators too by announcing the number of creators making $1,000 a month on Watch is up 8 times over last year.
The announcement comes at at time in which criticism around YouTube is growing with its algorithm surfacing malicious content and concerns around its politicized atmosphere being put under a spotlight thanks to some recent demonetization decisions. Facebook’s been plagued by the same questions, but right now, with the negative attention more focused on YouTube, Facebook has an opportunity to show that it too has a a platform for long-form, lean-back video content.
Fortnite Goes Social
Fortnite is becoming a social destination as much as it is a gaming one. A new report from the National Research Group (NRG) has found that Fortnite takes up about 25% of free time of teens who play the game once a week, which is a lot of time when you consider the fact that the game has more than 250 million active players.
The draw for these users isn’t just the competition, it’s the immersive community and sense of connection the game gives teens. They go there to feel like they’re not alone, which sounds a lot like a social network.
Speaking of Fortnite and social networks, Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, acquired the video chat app Houseparty that lets users hang out with their friends on video chat. The acquisition points to a much larger ambition for Epic Games, which started out in gaming but has clearly struck a chord when it comes to social interaction.
News Quick Hits
Salesforce is looking to up its analytics game with the acquisition of Tableau in an all-stock deal valued at $15.3 billion. Tableau will remain a separate entity, but it will be used by Salesforce customers to visualize their data and make smarter decisions based on that that data.
Snapchat is adding a shop button to the profiles of five influencers. The feature, powered by Shopify, will allow these influencers to sell goods through their Snapchat profiles, and at this time at least, they’ll be able to keep all the revenue. Snapchat’s move appears to be a reaction to Instagram rolling out a similar commerce feature to 50 content creators and five publishers back in April. That puts Snapchat’s move in the midst of a larger uptick in social shopping capabilities.
Facebook has plans to unveil a follow-up to its Portal smart speaker. The new version will come in different form factors. While Facebook has not revealed sales numbers on the original Portal, price reductions on the hardware signal, they haven’t been great. So it’s interesting to see Facebook giving Portal another try. Perhaps, they’re hoping their new emphasis on privacy will make users trust them a little bit more and make having a smart speaker from Facebook more palatable.
Facebook’s launched a new app called Study that will be available for download by users. Once users opt-in, Study will collect data on the apps users download, what features they use and how much time they spend with those apps. Users will be paid for using Study, and their data will be used by companies looking to gather market research.
As part of an ongoing investigation into Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, emails have surfaced connecting Mark Zuckerberg more closely to the matter in some way at least. It has not been reported just what the emails are or if they’ll ever come to light, but the FTC has requested them.
Facebook’s agreed to a deal with a group of advertisers who claimed video reporting errors on Facebook’s end led them to place ad buys based on bad information. The groups have agreed to a class-wide settlement, but terms were not disclosed.