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 Announces Plans for Rapid Product Development
Facebook has introduced a new team called New Product Experimentation or NPE for short. This group will be dedicated to creating consumer-focused apps and features with the goal of learning what users want. The apps will be created quickly and shut down just as fast if they’re not found to be useful to people.
The team is really just a formalization of Facebook’s previous app development approaches, which included apps that had features that were eventually, in some cases at least, rolled into Facebook’s flagship products, like Instagram Direct, LOL, Paper, Slingshot, Poke and others. Many of these products were created in response to competitors in the marketplace like Snapchat or TikTok, and each of these had their day in the sun before being shut down.
Either way, in most cases, Facebook seemed to learn something that was applied to other products, which seems to be the goal of this particular effort. But obviously, if one happens to be a viral success, Facebook will take it.
Facebook Gives Content Creators More Video Monetization Tools
This week was VidCon, and all of the platforms from YouTube to Snapchat to Facebook to Twitch are working to make themselves as attractive to content creators as possible.
Facebook, in particular, launched some new tools to help creators monetize and grow audiences. Now, content creators that meet its Monetization Eligibility Standards have three options for advertising on their content: mid-roll, pre-roll and image ads that run below the video. The latter two are uninterruptive options for videos that don’t have obvious mid-roll breaks. In addition to that, Facebook’s added performance insights to the Brand Collabs Manager that will allow creators to share audience numbers with advertisers. It also launched private Groups as part of its fan subscription efforts. This will allow paying subscribers access to a private group section for more personal interaction with content creators. Facebook does not take a cut from Fan subscriptions.
A lot of these options offer a benefit for advertisers to better measure their collaborations with content creators, but the bigger story here is the content creators arms race between each of these platforms. Content creators have a ton of options on the table, but it’s difficult for them to be strong across all platforms. So they have to pick, and each platform is trying to pitch themselves as the place to build an audience and make money while doing it. Facebook making these moves is one way for it to show its commitment to content creators. To date, its Creator Studio tool has been down multiple times and has been frustrating to use, so as much as it can improve the tools it gives creators, the more committed they’ll feel to the platform.
News Quick Hits
TikTok has launched a new effort to get users onboard called TikTok Rewards. The feature allows users to redeem points for prizes to stores like Starbucks, Sephora and Burger King as well as services like Uber. Users can earn points by inviting friends to the app using an invitation code. Up until this point TikTok has invested heavily in advertising and ambassadors to get new users. TikTok Rewards adds a referral element to that growth strategy.
Twitter has made its first rule change since announcing plans to do so ten months ago. The first rule change is meant to go after dehumanizing language about religious groups. Now, any comparisons of religious groups to animals or other hateful opinions are banned. Any old tweets that violate these standards will have to be deleted.
YouTube’s had issues for a very long time resolving intellectual property violations. It introduced a Content ID system, which has been far from perfect as it mistakenly claims IP infringement quite a bit on the platform. Well, YouTube’s adding a hurdle in its manual IP violation claim tool to protect content creators. Now, anyone filing a manual claim for a video must provide the timestamp that video allegedly violates IP. If it indeed is in violation, YouTube’s adding editing tools that allow content creators to automatically remove that content while leaving the rest of the video intact. Creators who are flagged by the Content ID system will also see which timestamps the violating content is in as well.
Pinterest announced new features at VidCon this week: content creators can now easily upload video content directly to the platform, business profiles have a new videos tab to house all their video content, video analytics have been added to measure performance and the Pin Scheduler can now be used to schedule video content.
WarnerMedia announced the launch of yet another streaming service, HBO Max. Details are light, but the service’s big get is it will be the exclusive streaming service for all 236 episodes of “Friends.” Other content will come from across Warner’s programming, including DC Entertainment, TNT, TBS, Adult Swim and more. Pricing has not been revealed.
Facebook’s added more information to the “Why am I seeing this ad?” button. Now, when users click to see information on ad targeting, they’ll not only be able to see the interests or categories used to target them, they’ll also see where that information came from, whether it was a website they visited, a page they liked or a list that was uploaded by the business.