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.
Ads Come to Instagram Explore
The last frontier for advertising has been conquered… on Instagram at least. Instagram’s Explore section is now open for business as far as advertisers are concerned.
Explore is a section on Instagram that offers a collection of Stories, IGTV episodes, celebrity posts, influencer posts and other algorithmically-generated content from across Instagram. Now, advertisers can reach users there with paid ads, which is important as they’re spending less and less time in their feeds and more time in features like Stories. In fact, half of Instagram’s daily users visit the Explore section. Ads will be displayed as users scroll through Explore, but they will not display at the top of the gallery.
Facebook is weighing multiple options as it sees user behaviors shift at this moment in time. That means a ramp up in advertising in Stories, a greater emphasis on messaging and looking for more places where advertising can live. That’s where Explore comes in. Instagram is Facebook’s future, so it’s looking for more ways to replace the revenue generated by the News Feed now before it’s too late.
News Quick Hits
Google is in the process of testing a text-based carousel ad unit for mobile that will create more ad inventory on mobile screens by increasing the number of ads that can be shown beyond the maximum of four. This ad unit would present multiple ads that users can swipe through from left to right. One of mobile’s biggest challenges is the limited advertising real estate available on small screens, but this would open that up quite bit, allowing advertisers to reach more people.
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy are putting the pressure on YouTube to move all content directed to kids from YouTube proper to YouTube Kids. In a complaint filed with the FTC, they argue that YouTube claims its only for users thirteen or older, but it does nothing to police that age restriction. Last week, it was revealed YouTube was mulling over such a transition as it's been grappling with abuse surrounding content focused on kids in recent months.
YouTube is giving users the ability to override video and channel recommendations. The move comes after criticism was levied at the platform for suggesting toxic content. Honestly, it kind of seems like this should’ve been a feature all along.
Twitter’s implementing a new policy to hold politicians more accountable for what they tweet. Currently, Twitter allows tweets from politicians and government officials to remain even if they violate Twitter policies, but up until now, Twitter didn’t do anything about it. Now, it will mark tweets that violate its platform rules with a label explaining why the tweet is viewed as problematic. Tweets with such a flag will not be displayed in the Top Tweets timeline either.
Facebook’s terms of service have gotten another update to make them a bit easier to understand. The goal of the update is to make it clearer to its users how Facebook makes money, why it removes content in certain instances, what rights users have to their intellectual property on the platform and what happens when users delete content they had previously shared. So for example, Facebook says users own the IP to the content they upload, but Facebook reserves the right to display that content. But once content is deleted, Facebook no longer has permission. The updated terms, which were developed with the European Consumer Protection Cooperation Network, go into effect July 31.