12 Headlines from the Week of June 29, 2018

POLICY, PRIVACY & POLITICS

Ringing in the data proving to be more challenging (WSJ)

Wednesday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal reported on the challenges Facebook is having in tracking where data to third party app developers went after it left the platform. A major issue is that many of the app developers have gone out of business or are otherwise MIA and aren’t responding to Facebook’s information requests. Facebook also doesn’t have legal authority to compel those developers to cooperate.

Facebook reverses ban on cryptocurrency ads (Mobile Marketer)

Facebook eased its ban on cryptocurrency marketing from January with a new set of rules allowing preapproved advertisers to promote the digital money. Crypto-advertisers will now need to fill out a form, providing details such as whether they hold required licenses and regulatory circulation, so Facebook can assess their eligibility for advertising on the platform. 

Facebook tweaks political ads policy (Digiday)

Facebook to launch a news publisher-specific section of its ads archive called Promoted News, which will carry the articles publishers have paid to promote that fall under what Facebook considers political topics.

 

NEW FUNCTIONALITY

Instagram introduces group video calls, new explore layout (Social Media Today)

Announced in May, Instagram released its new group video calling option, along with an updated Explore layout and new AR tools this week. Up to four friends can join. Interesting insight: more than 375 million of the app’s billion users now interact via messaging each month, while Instagram’s research shows that 85% of people’s messages within the app are shared with the same three friends.

 

NEWS YOU CAN USE

Instagram offers new guide to creating and uploading IGTV content (Social Media Today)

Just a few days after its launch in Vegas, Instagram released a guide on Wednesday on how to create content for its IGTV platform. It includes tips, apps and accessories you can consider to help improve your IGTV videos.

Facebook adds keyword ‘Snooze’ option to help user avoid spoilers (Social Media Today)

Don’t want to see who got the final rose on “The Bachelor”? Facebook just began testing a feature that can help you avoid spoilers or, basically, any topic you don’t want to see in your News Feed for up to 30 days. 

Facebook releases new SDK Code setup simplifying their app installation (Adweek)

Any marketer who has implemented SDK code to track mobile app events will like this: it’s getting simpler. Facebook writes their new tool “simplifies the setup process by enabling marketers to add, modify and remove events with a simple point-and-click tool. Marketers no longer need to ask their developers to write code, release a new version of their app and wait for people to update—a process that could take weeks, if not months.”

 

OTHER HEADLINES

Facebook expands auto-translation tools in Messenger (TechCrunch)

Facebook Messenger will now offer optional auto-translation of English to Spanish and vice-versa for all users in the United States and Mexico. Now when users receive a message that is different from their default language, Messenger’s AI assistant M will ask if they want it translated. All future messages in that thread will be auto-translated unless a user turns it off. Facebook plans to bring the feature to more language pairs and countries soon. Facebook began offering translation technology for News Feed posts and comments in 2011.

Oculus launches Oculus TV (Social Media Today)

First IGTV, now Facebook-owned Oculus is getting into the television arena with the launching of a new VR TV viewing app. Projections are that Oculus will ship around a million new units this year with the holiday shopping season seeing the biggest push.

Facebook expands its Messenger Kids app beyond the U.S. to Canada and Peru (Venture Beat)

Facebook is expanding its controversial Messenger Kids app beyond the U.S. and into Canada and Peru, the company announced today. Messenger Kids will now also be made available in Spanish and French in all three of its available markets. Messenger Kids originally launched for kids aged 6 to 12 in the U.S. last December.

Facebook patents system that can use your phone’s mic to monitor TV habits (New York Times)

System would allow Facebook to identify what adults and children are watching based on ambient noise The New York Times Op-Ed piece reveals other interesting patent technology under the Facebook roof.

Jif scoops Neil Patrick Harris for Facebook Live comedy show (Mobile Marketer)

From our Ohio backyard, J.M. Smucker peanut butter brand Jif announced a partnership with actor Neil Patrick Harris to promote its new Jif Power Ups snacks via a news release. Harris hosted “The Parenting Struggle is Real…Funny” on Facebook Live on June 26.

Facebook Friday For Week Ending June 22

PRIVACY & FAKE-NEWS CRISIS

Facebook announces additional efforts to combat false news (Facebook)

Highlights from Friday’s release includes:

  • Expanding fact-checking program to new countries
  • Expanding test to fact-check photos and videos
  • Increasing the impact of fact-checking by using new techniques, including identifying duplicates and using Claim Review
  • Taking action against new kinds of repeat offenders
  • Improving measurement and transparency by partnering with academics

NEW FUNCTIONALITY

New platform launched this week.

Instagram launches IGTV long-form video platform (TechCrunch)

IGTV is Instagram’s own, longer form video hub. Focus is not on TV-like content, as has been with Facebook Watch. According to TechCrunch, Instagram has been meeting with a range of online creators, in order to entice them across to their new video platform. Videos can be up to 60 minutes long and the new functionality is positioned under the Explore tab.

Facebook takes greater aim at HQ Trivia, YouTube with new tools for video creators (Mobile Marketer)

New features to make it easier to add interactive polls, quizzes, challenges and more to video content rolled out this week. Facebook announced in a blog post that it is giving content creators new tools to make their videos more interactive, including polling for Facebook Live and on-demand video and gamification for Facebook Live. Facebook will be hoping the feature keeps eyeballs on the site for longer and encourages more sharing between friends.

Facebook taps into influencer marketing trend; launches Brand Collabs Manager (Social Media Today)

New platform lets creators connect with marketers for possible branded content collaborations. Think search engine where you can connect relevant influencers with your brand based on specific promotion requirements. Facebook’s motive: help facilitate brand and influencer relationships – which, ideally, will help them attract more prominent creators to the platform.

 Now Facebook is putting autoplay video ads inside Messenger (Recode)

Some users will start to see autoplay video ads appear in their Messenger inbox right next to messages from friends and family.

Facebook opens Watch to all videos from publishers, creators (digiday)

Staying in the world of video, Facebook has begun to add non-episodic videos from publishers, creators, companies and other pages to Watch to appear alongside the episodic shows the section was originally dedicated to. The new videos are appearing in a new version of Watch’s Discover feed that’s being rolled out to users. That feed is governed by an algorithm designed to promote videos that people seek out to watch, as opposed to the passively popular ones that had dominated people’s traditional Facebook feeds.

Facebook testing a new way for group admins to charge for access to exclusive content (Social Media Today)

Facebook is starting to let Group admins charge $4.99 to $29.99 per month for access to special sub-Groups full of exclusive posts. A hand-picked array of parenting, cooking and “organize my home” Groups will be the first to get the chance to spawn a subscription Group open to their members.

NEWS YOU CAN USE

Should you put Instagram hashtags in the caption, or in the comments? (Social Media Today)

Recent study analyzed 117 posts from 3 accounts with a total of 13,700 Instagram Followers.

Results: including hashtags in the post caption resulted in 9.84% more Likes, and 29.4% more Reach. Placing the hashtags in the comments resulted in 19.3% more comments.

Facebook announces 3D-180 video (Social Media Today)

Facebook is rolling out a new video posting option which is another advance towards full virtual reality social.

OTHER HEADLINES

Instagram hits 1 billion monthly users, up from 800M in September (TechCrunch)

Facebook now owns 4 of the 5 most popular social media platforms globally.

Facebook is building a $750 million data center in Huntsville, Alabama (Fortune)

Facebook plans to build a $750 million data center in Huntsville, Ala. that is expected to add 100 jobs to the area when it opens in 2020. Breaking ground later this year.

First look at Instagram’s self-policing Time Well Spent tool (TechCrunch)

Instagram is stepping up to help you manage overuse rather than leaving it to iOS and Android’s new screen time dashboards. From Facebook: “We’re building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram – any time should be positive and intentional . . . Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this.

Facebook News Round-Up for June 15, 2018

Welcome to Facebook Friday,  your weekly recap of news and notes.  

 

PRIVACY & FAKE-NEWS CRISIS

Facebook Releases New Privacy Safeguards; Focus on Custom Audience Use (Reuters)

Facebook is installing new controls to better inform its members about the way companies are targeting them with advertising. Starting July 2, it will begin requiring advertisers to tell users if data brokers provided the information that led to those users being targeted with an ad. Data brokers refer to firms that collect personal information about users and then sell it to marketers.

Facebook is also instituting a new process for how the names of potential consumers supplied by data brokers will be handled. Advertisers wanting to add lists of prospects on Facebook must assure that the data supplier obtained legal consent from the consumers.

Facebook, Google Targeted With 19 Pan-EU Privacy Complaints (Bloomberg)

Google, Facebook Inc. and its apps WhatsApp and Instagram have been named in 19 cross-border complaints filed with EU regulators since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect last month. Governing body looking into the cases.

Weekend Reading: Congress Gets Its Answers in 454-Page Report (WSJ)

In response to Zuckerberg’s “my team will get back to you on that” comments on Capitol Hill in April, the company released its report to defend the social network against claims that it’s a monopoly and details about the information it collects on users.

NEW FUNCTIONALITY

Coming Soon: test social media Page posts for maximum impact.

Instagram Adds e-commerce Shopping Bag ‘stickers’ for Advertisers (Ad Age)

Brands on Instagram will now be able to drop shopping bag stickers into their Stories and sell products featured in the videos. The stickers had already been available for use on posts in Instagram’s main feed, where they also indicate that an item is for sale. 300 million people use the Stories feature daily

Facebook A/B Testing for Page Posts in Development (Social Media Today)

Facebook is experimenting with a new A/B test option for Page posts, which would better enable Page managers to make educated, strategic decisions on their Facebook content. The new option would enable Pages to show variations of their posts to different audiences, then analyze the performance of each in order to see which is worth either re-posting or boosting with ad spend.

NEWS YOU CAN USE

Survey: Would You Pay for an Ad-Free Facebook? (eMarketer)

Just 23% of consumers surveyed in April by Recode and online survey company Toluna said they would be willing to pay for an ad-free Facebook. How much would Facebook have to charge users to make up for lost ad revenues? eMarketer forecasts that Facebook will make $91.58 in average ad revenue per US user this year, which equates to a monthly subscription fee of $7.63.

Facebook Cracks down on Sellers of Junky Products (Mobile Marketer)

Shoppers can now provide feedback on shopping experience after seeing a Facebook ad.

Facebook is getting tougher with businesses that advertise products that are unsatisfactory or aren’t delivered on time. The new feature lets people leave reactions about their shopping experience after seeing an ad and making a purchase through the platform’s mobile app or website. The company will warn businesses that receive many negative responses to address the grievances or face restrictions on their ads — or an eventual ban from the platform.

OTHER HEADLINES

Facebook Communications Leader Steps Down (WSJ)

Policy and communications executive Elliot Schrage is stepping down after ten years at Facebook. No word on his next move, but in a Facebook post Thursday he said he will stay on for the search for his successor and continue to advise top executives.

Facebook Launches Fb.gg Gaming Video Platform (TechCrunch)

Facebook wants a cut of the 3+ hours per week that young adult video gamers spend watching other people play. This week it launched Fb.gg, a destination where viewers can find a collection of all the video games streaming on Facebook. It will compete directly with Twitch. Fb.gg will show video based on the games and streaming celebrities they follow, their Liked Pages and Groups, plus it will display featured creators, esports competitions and gaming conference events.

Training 1 Million People and Small Business Owners Across the US by 2020 (Facebook)

Facebook pledged to train 1 million U.S. business owners on the digital skills they need to compete in today’s workplace.

Facebook Friday for June 1, 2018

Welcome to Facebook Friday, your weekly recap of news and notes.  Read full report here.

 

PRIVACY & FAKE-NEWS CRISIS

Can Advertisers Still Trust Facebook? (eMarketer Podcast Series)

A 22-minute interview with Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing Carolyn Everson to discuss the company’s relationship with advertisers and how it’s working to balance targeted advertising and privacy. Key excerpt: Ms. Everson’s outline of how Facebook breaks down its overall responsibility in four areas:

  1. Election integrity (ad transparency)
  2. Combat fake news (reduce spam & click bait, fake accts, reduce hoaxes passed along)
  3. Data privacy (not a new phenomenon but certainly more attention)
  4. Brand safety

 

NEW FUNCTIONALITY

Facebook Tests a New, Simplified Way to Create Instant Articles (Social Media Today)

The company is testing a new tool which simplifies the process of creating Instant Articles. According to Facebook, people will read 20% more of an Instant Article post, likely because they load up to 10x faster than standard web links. Facebook also says that readers are also 70% less likely to abandon the content.

 

NEWS YOU CAN USE

The Best Times and Days to Post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (Social Media Today)

The team at Unmetric analyzed 100 U.S. brands and their social media activity, and based on their research, here’s when you should post:

  • Facebook: Wed & Thurs – 9am – 2pm
  • Instagram: Sun, Tues & Weds – 10am – 7pm
  • Twitter: Tues & Weds – 11am – 12pm