2016 was the year of the feature blend. With every update, each social platform began to look more like the next. This continues to be the trend in 2017. Instagram has announced they will be releasing full-screen ads within Stories. Until now, Snapchat was the only platform that offered this intimate and fully immersive ad experience in a story setting. Instagram also indicated that they will be offering insights into Stories, which appear to be more detailed than the analytics Snapchat currently provides.

More details on why this matters, and what else is happening in social media below.

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 Instagram to Release Full-Screen Ads and Insights to Stories

Instagram announced that they will soon be introducing full-screen ads and insights to Stories. The metrics Instagram will be reporting on for Stories will include impressions, reach, replies, and exits.
Why does this matter?
Until now, Snapchat has been the only social network known for utilizing the full-screen ad format within a story setting. This format is often deemed more intimate, because the viewer becomes fully immersed in the ad as their entire screen is taken up. Instagram is also launching insights to Stories under Business Tools, offering brands a more detailed look into their story analytics. These insights will help brands determine if Stories are helping them meet their business goals.

Facebook Users Can Stream From Web and Add Contributors

Facebook users can now go live on Facebook from their desktop or laptop. Users can also designate “live contributors”. Live Contributors will be appointed by the page’s administrator. Contributors will have the authority to “go live” on behalf of the page.
Why does this matter?
Live streaming from the web will make it easier for some Facebook users to go live. Streaming from the web will provide a more stable set up than mobile streaming. The ability to add live contributors will allow outside individuals to create live content for the page, while the administrator remains in full control.

Facebook to Test Mid-Roll Video Ads

According to “industry sources”, Facebook will begin testing mid-roll video ads on the platform. Ads will appear after watching 20 seconds of the video. The publisher and social network will split the revenue from the ads.
Why does this matter?
Although more ads won’t make viewers happy, this will give publishers the opportunity to make ad revenue off of their content. Mid-roll ads will also provide advertisers with another place to feature their ad content.

Facebook Extends Dynamic Ad Targeting to Web

Facebook has extended their dynamic ad targeting to incorporate user’s web activity. Previously, advertisers could only target users if they viewed specific products on the brand’s website or mobile apps.
Why does this matter?
This new targeting capability will allow advertisers to retarget people who have searched, liked, and engaged with posts for similar products, across multiple retailers.

Snapchat Tests Deep Linking and Web Auto-Fill

Snapchat shared with SocialTimes that they would soon be testing deep linking and web auto-fill for advertisers. Deep linking would allow Snapchat users to swipe up, tap a link, and be redirected to a specific webpage or place within a mobile application. Web auto-fill will allow Snapchat to save the user’s personal information and auto-fill lead generation forms within the app.
Why does this matter?
Deep linking will allow the brands who advertise on Snapchat another option for a CTA. Although it wasn’t noted in their statement, we can assume that some analytics will be provided with this feature too, (click throughs, views, etc.). Web auto-fill will make it easier for Snapchat users to fill out lead generation forms on their mobile device, which may encourage them to do so more often.

Twitter to Close Twitter Dashboard

In June 2016, Twitter released Twitter Dashboard, a tool that would help brands better connect with their audiences on Twitter. Twitter announced that they will be shutting down this tool, but hope to preserve some of the features in the native application. It was noted that all scheduled tweets currently in the dashboard will go out as usual
Why does this matter?
Brands who are utilizing Twitter Dashboard will no longer be able to. They will be required to find and utilize third-party tools to complete tasks like scheduling, custom feed building, and engagement.

YouTube Adds “On the Rise” Section to Their Trending Tab

YouTube has added an “On the Rise” section to their tending tab. This section will feature four creators or artists for a full day, indicating their content or music as “on the rise”. Any creator or artist with a minimum of 1,000 subscribers has the chance to be featured. Other factors that contribute to wether someone is featured include view count, watch time, and subscriber growth.
Why does this matter?
If an artist or creator is featured, this will allow their content to potentially be viewed and shared by people who are checking out the “On the Rise” section. Those featured have the potential to see a boost in view count, watch time, subscribers, and more.

Twitter Introduces In-Feed Verification Badges

Twitter now allows users to see if an account is verified directly within their Twitter feed. Previously, users had to visit the profile of an account to see if it was verified.
Why does this matter?
Twitter users will be able to tell if they are reading a tweet or engaging with an account that is verified at-a-glance, opposed to having to check their profile. This allows them to remain in their feed or conversation with that “verified” source.

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