As much as Google knows about social networks, they really dropped the ball with Google+. After several tweaks, updates, and additions, they found themselves semi-successful with Hangouts on Air. Hangouts on Air allowed users to live-stream with each other in a Skype-like environment, with chat and scheduling capabilities. This rolled out well before the birth (and death) of other popular live-streaming platforms like Facebook Live, Periscope, Meerkat, Blab, and more. But as we know, first to market doesn’t mean first to succeed.

Google announced that they would be discontinuing Hangouts on Air in favor of YouTube Live. We’ll see how this goes!

More details on Google discontinuing Hangouts On Air, and what else is happening in and around social media below.

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Google Discontinues Hangouts On Air

Google+ will be discontinuing their live-streaming platform, Hangouts on Air, and transitioning it to YouTube Live.
Why does this matter?
Google+ will no longer have a live-streaming platform under the “Google” name. As video and live-streaming continues to grow, it appears that Google wants to put their resources behind the already-popular YouTube. It may be interesting to see what kind of new developments come out of YouTube Live in the near future.

Instagram Stories Continues to Roll Out Snapchat-like Features

In Instagram’s latest update, they have added new features to Instagram Stories that are even more similar to Snapchat. New features include, the ability to zoom in and out while recording videos and the ability to tap the screen to flip from front to rear facing camera.
Why does this matter?
Instagram continues to compete with Snapchat, by updating Instagram Stories to look and feel just like Snapchat Stories. Although it’s too soon to tell what kind of impact this will have on Snapchat, Instagram clearly has no intention of giving up yet.

Instagram Introduces Event Channel

Instagram has added a new video channel under the explore tab that will feature the best video content from live events.
Why does this matter?
Although it is up to Instagram to feature the content, having your video content featured on the event channel would result in more impressions on your content.

Twitter Introduces Promoted Stickers

Twitter has introduced promoted stickers, brand sponsored stickers that can be added to photos that are posted on Twitter. These stickers also serve as a “visual hashtag”. Brands will be able to discover and interact with those utilizing their promoted stickers.
Why does this matter?
From a user perspective, promoted stickers are similar to the stickers that are available on Snapchat. Stickers can make creating content on a platform more fun, but it is unlikely that stickers will encourage content creation. In contrast, it may be helpful for brands to be able to search and interact with those utilizing their promoted stickers, (presenting more community management opportunities).

Facebook Tweaks News Feed Algorithm, Again

Facebook has tweaked their news feed algorithm to show Facebook users stories that they feel are personally informative.
Why does this matter?
According to Facebook, users won’t see a dramatic impact to their Pages, but may see a small increase or decrease in referral traffic.

Snapchat Acquires Vurb

It has been reported that Snapchat will acquire Vurb, a search and discovery app, for $100 million and stock options. Vurb has been described as a similar search engine to Google, but with more personalized, mobile-friendly, easier to digest, and easier to share results.
Why does this matter?
Although it is unknown how these two apps will work together, some believe that this acquisition will take Snapchat closer to their goal, offering a more personalized and location based ad experience.

Pinterest Introduces Video Ads

After announcing a native video player last week, Pinterest rolled out promoted video ads this week. These ads feature promoted pins, and encourage the viewer to take action after the video is completed.
Why does this matter?
Pinterest may be late to the video game, but they’re wasting no time when it comes to monetizing the video content on the platform.

Pinterest Introduces Auction Based CPMs and Frequency Capping

Pinterest will now let advertisers bid on cost per thousand impressions (CPMs), and cap the number of times Pinterest users see their campaigns.
Why does this matter?
These updates should allow for ad delivery optimization, ideally resulting in more impressions at more efficient rates on Pinterest.