This Month in Social Media: February 2018 Edition

February 28, 2018

It’s difficult to stay up to speed when the social media landscape is constantly shifting and shaping – we get it! That’s why we provide our partners with a This Week in Social Media (TWISM) e-newsletter. We highlight the biggest changes in social media weekly and share these updates and insights with our partners and internal teams. We’ve compiled the best of the best TWISMs (so you don’t have to!) and share them with you in What’s New in Social Media: February 2018 Edition.

  • Facebook Is Planning a More Direct Assault on YouTube: Facebook is talking about expanding its TV-like service, Watch, into a rival to Google’s YouTube by opening the platform to more individual creators. This would increase the amount of long-form video content that Facebook can sell ads against and could reverse a decline in time users are spending on the site. 
  • Instagram Added Some New Stories Tools, Including an Option to Share Other People’s Posts: Instagram confirmed that it’s testing out a new Stories feature that will enable users to share public Instagram posts – either theirs or anyone else’s – directly to their Stories in one click. The tool includes a range of presentation settings, including resizing, with the background color set to the dominant color of the image. The original poster’s details are included with the reused post, but some users may wish to disable sharing through a new setting.
  • eMarketer Released Latest Global Digital Video Viewer Estimates: In 2018, 1.87 billion individuals worldwide will use a mobile phone to watch digital video, an 11.9-percent increase over 2017. Social media is a leading reason for growth, fueled by Facebook and WeChat’s focus on sharing video content. 
  • Facebook Updated Page Insights: The organic reach of Facebook pages will now be measured by how many times a post is viewed on a user’s screen – consistent with the way in which paid ads are measured on the platform. Organic reach for pages was previously calculated based on how many times a post appeared in the News Feed.
  • Google Just Threw Its Hat into the Stories Ring With the Launch of AMP Stories: Google kicked its Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative up a notch and took its seat at the Stories table with the announcement of the launch of AMP Stories. In the same vein as Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories, the new AMP Stories combine text, images, videos and graphics.
  • Instagram Is Officially Testing a Scary Rollout for the Modern-Day Lurker: Instagram is now testing a feature that alerts a user when someone screenshots their Story. They will receive a warning the first time they screenshot, but from then in on, the user will be notified. 
  • Snapchat Opened Its Advertising API to All, Expanding Ad Opportunities: Snap originally provided access to its API only to approved developers, but now all advertisers, agencies and third-party developers will be able to utilize it too.
  • Snapchat Users Can Now Add Giphy’s Animated GIF Stickers to Their Snaps: The company partnered with Giphy to allow Snapchat users to search Giphy’s library for animated GIF stickers they can add to their Snaps. Snapchat users can access the Giphy library by tapping the sticker icon near the top-right corner of the screen once they’ve taken a photo or video Snap. From there, they can view a list of Giphy stickers, as well as animated stickers created by the Snapchat team. Users can also search for GIFs manually.
  • Snapchat (Finally) Launched an Insights Tool for Creators: Snapchat Insights will provide the following data:
    • Total story views (in the past week, month and YTD)
    • Time spent viewing stories (in minutes during the past week, month and YTD)
    • Daily unique story viewers, average time unique viewers spent watching and completion rates
    • Audience demographics (e.g., gender breakdown, top age bracket, and top or popular geographic regions)
    • Audience interests like popular lifestyle categories (food, fashion, sports, film, TV, travel, etc.)
  • Twitter Announced Anti-Spam Policy to Block Bulk-Tweeting: The use of bots and automated systems to spam users and amplify messages, often less-than-factual ones, has been a growing concern of Twitter users since 2016. Now, Twitter says their new anti-spam policy will finally help put a stop to it by punishing simultaneous messaging, content sharing and engagement across accounts. More details for publishers and developers can be found on Twitter’s blog here.
  • Reddit Announced New Ad Options to Help Boost Revenue: With more than 330 million users, Reddit has a large and engaged community, but the platform has yet to excite advertisers with its ad options (which, in the past, were seriously lacking compared to major social platforms). Now, Reddit is looking to change that. This week, Reddit introduced a number of changes to their advertising platform to bring Reddit more in line with other social media ad offerings. These changes include the addition of campaign objectives, greater targeting options, ad groups and an improved ad creation process. 
  • Facebook Is Adding More Options for 3D Posts: Facebook is expanding their News Feed into another dimension with the addition of 3D posts, which enable users to scroll around virtual objects on screen. Facebook technically added this feature in October 2017 via Oculus, but Facebook is now providing a large number of support options around this to make it easier for brands to create and share 3D content using the gITF 2.0 file format. The opportunities for this format are huge and are bringing a fully VR-enabled shopping experience just a little bit closer to reality. 

Stay tuned for next month’s updates!