It feels like we’ve only just waved 2016 goodbye, and already so much has happened in the world of social media. If you were still in the holiday buzz and missed some of it, read on.

 

FACEBOOK ANNOUNCES AD TESTS ON MESSENGER

Beginning with a “small test” in Australia and Thailand, Facebook is now testing the integration of ads on Messenger.

Ads will be arranged in a carousel style and will allow users to slide the screen sideways through the various pieces from different brands.

Facebook guarantees that ads will not appear in regular Messenger conversations unless users click on an “ad experience” on the home screen or initiate chats with advertisers.

Eddie Zhang, Facebook’s Product Manager, says this a direct feedback to brands, as “businesses have long been telling us that they are very excited about the potential of the Messenger platform to reach their customers”.

 

FACEBOOK PAGES CAN NOW STREAM LIVE VIDEOS FROM DESKTOP

If you were struggling to make your Live videos look more professional with your handheld smartphone, it seems Facebook has heard your complaints.

The social media giant has released live streaming videos from the desktop or laptop. The novelty is currently only available to Facebook Pages (pages created in the social network for brands, personalities and companies).

In addition, the company has introduced a few new features to Live, including a Live Contributor who will be able to stream from your page at any given moment, and the ability to pin comments to your broadcast if you want to highlight an interesting idea.

 

INSTAGRAM INTRODUCES ADS TO STORIES

Launched only five months ago, Instagram Stories is used daily by 150 million Instagrammers worldwide – so it’s no wonder the platform is introducing static and video ads to the feature.

With the new ad system, users may find ads after seeing a row of Stories from their friends.

Video ads will last a maximum of 15 seconds and images will be playing for five seconds – both types will be identified as sponsored content and can be skipped.

To top it off, Instagram has added Stories Insights for business profiles, where users will be able to see reach, impressions and replies to their Stories.

 

BYE, BYE, TWITTER DASHBOARD

Twitter has announced that it’s shutting down Dashboard, a feature that allows companies to use a variety of tools to track tweets, schedule posts, and more.

Launched in June last year, the desktop and iOS application offered businesses a unique way to connect with their followers and other Twitter users.

Twitter has not yet revealed if we’ll get a substitute, and we’re already missing Dashboard ?

 

SNAPCHAT IS ENCOURAGING LONGER VIDEO ADS

In a bid to increase revenue from video content, Snapchat is encouraging brands to buy bigger ad packages. The platform wants companies to create longer video ads that will be split into smaller pieces to be played sequentially.

A digital ad buyer told Adweek: “Think about taking a 30-second asset and getting it cropped up into three 10-second spots. I’m going to buy three back-to-back ads, and I’m going to tell this sequential story.”

Sequential ads are already a common practice and easily found on Twitter and Facebook. The difference here is that Snapchat is actually guiding – and encouraging – advertisers towards the format.

Sold directly through Snapchat (as opposed to the company’s API), the new ad buys will be at premium prices – so far advertisers are mainly entertainment companies like Universal Studios and Sony Pictures.

 

PINTEREST UPDATES AD CAMPAIGN STRUCTURE

Pinterest launched a new Ad group to its campaign structure. The goal is to allow advertisers to have more control over how they budget for, target and run their campaigns.

Dan Marantz, Product Manager for the social network, added that the addition of ad groups into the campaign structure will allow businesses to:

Assign budgets and targeting to ad groups
Since each ad group can contain multiple Pins, this allows for better control when testing your performance against various targets and objectives.

Align campaign budgets with marketing initiatives
Want to set a budget for a certain geographic region, product line, or audience target? Ad groups make it easier to manage specific budgets within a single campaign, while still maintaining lifetime spend caps at the campaign level.

Streamline your campaigns across platforms
You may already be using something like ad groups on other platforms, so it may be easier for you to plan and manage all your campaigns in a familiar way.

Although new to Pinterest, this model has already been tested and approved by advertisers on Facebook and Google Adwords.

 

Image: Pinterest

 

YOUTUBE TAPS GOOGLE DATA

It’s been ten years since Google bought YouTube, but only now is the search-engine giant allowing the data collected from its users “to influence the ads those users see on YouTube,” wrote Diya Jolly, Director of YouTube product management.

As video viewership moves to mobile, YouTube hopes the change will enable advertisers to better measure their campaigns and deliver relevant content across screens.

Until now, advertisers could only target ads on the video-sharing site based on demographic and browsing behaviour, not search histories.

In addition, Google is expanding ways that Customer Match can be used on Youtube. For example, a retailer advertiser could now use data collected in their stores to reach out to customers.

 

How do these affect you?