Welcome to our monthly review of the top social media news.
In March, Facebook continued to lead the way for innovation but Instagram made the headlines too. The number of advertisers on the platform has doubled to reach 1 million – in just 6 months!
Have a look through the list to make sure you’re all up to speed.
The headline says it all. Creativity has been running low for quite some time at Facebook and it seems attacking Snap head-on is at the top of the to-do list. After rolling out a copycat of Snapchat’s Stories on Instagram, the exact same product made it to the Messenger app and is called ‘Day’.
This was bound to happen. After rolling out a copycat on Instagram, Whatsapp and Messenger, Facebook introduced Stories to its main platform as well. But people were not impressed with it:
And we didn’t include tweets with the F word (there were many).
As competition from Snapchat increases and as user growth will inevitably slow down at some point, Facebook has no other choice than being laser-focused on growing user engagement if it wants to stay the uncontested king of social platforms. Mavrck ran a study analysing millions of Facebook posts and according to their findings, engagements per post have increased 26% in 2016 compared to the previous year. Posts generated by users also received nearly 7x more engagements than brand posts.
Finally! Facebook may allow us all to share GIFs in comments – at the moment, a spokesperson said that the feature is “just a test” but given how popular GIFs are, it should be a matter of weeks before a GIF button is rolled out to everyone.
Provided they have the right equipment, any user can now start a 360 broadcast on Facebook. Not everyone can effort 360 cameras, so it’s likely that only businesses and influencers will leverage the technology now. In the future though, chances are that 360 broadcasts will become mainstream.
Twitter is notoriously struggling to add new users, but new findings say that 15% of all users are not in human hands. And that number may even be conservative – the researchers advised that sophisticated bots could have been categorised as ‘humans’ in their framework, so the number of bots on Twitter may actually be well over 50m.
Twitter’s testing the waters to launch a more advanced version of Tweetdeck, one that would require a paid subscription (the core service would remain free). Geared toward power users, the hypothetical future version would support analytics, breaking news alerts and information about what an account’s followers are tweeting about. On top of showing that innovation at Twitter is not completely dead, the new Tweetdeck would also bring a new and much-needed revenue stream to the firm.
It’s no secret that legal documents are (millions of) miles away from the casual, emoji-filled conversations unfolding on social. So when a British court set out to explain Twitter in a formal, black-and-white document, we knew we were in for a treat.
Influencer marketing is red-hot these days but if it’s engagement that marketers are after, the use of micro-influencers is recommended. Micro-Influencers are typically niche influencers with a limited but very engaged following, so whilst their reach is somewhat narrow, they are highly influential amongst their own community. And the difference isn’t small – micro influencers get 6 times more engagement than top influencers. “We’re in time where people are becoming more susceptible of big influencer campaigns”, our own Hannah commented.
Instagram proved it’s THE hottest platform at the moment following the announcement that it now has more than 1m active monthly advertisers. To put this into perspective, there were only a fifth of that number 13 months ago, and 500,000 just 6 months ago. And knowing that 20 percent of Instagram’s audience have used the platform to visit a brand’s website, it’s likely that advertisers won’t stop betting on Instagram anytime soon.
Ads have rapidly made their way to Stories after Instagram launched the feature. First to a select few, and now to everyone. If you want to experiment with Stories ads by creating your own, you can do so within Facebook’s Ads Manager.
Snapchat went public early in the month to great fanfare with a share price of $24.48 ($17 at opening). The first few hours on the market were a true fairy tale but within just 96 hours, the price had dropped to $21.44. The truth is, Snapchat’s early promising results were mainly driven by speculation. The share price is now stagnating at around $22.
Do LinkedIn endorsements really mean something? Apparently, no. According to the author of that study, endorsements are just a nice and easy way for recruiters to source candidates – but endorsements do not reflect well users’ real expertise and skillset. Additionally, more endorsements do not equal to better performance in job interviews, so if you think you’re running very low on endorsements, don’t panic!
LinkedIn is preparing to roll out Trending Storylines on the platform – what this does is surface hot news from the world of business, tailored to different industries through algorithms and a manned editorial team. The new feature promises to “include multiple perspectives, ranging from relevant Influencers and news publishers to people in your network, so you can quickly access diverse opinions, find new voices to follow and join the conversation.” Trending Storylines is already available to US users and will be launched to other major markets imminently.
Pinterest President Tim Kendall is keen to grow revenue by attracting advertisers on the platform. "Because it's a platform based around discovery, people are in an open mindset […] They're here with the intention of finding something new." he said. Therefore, it’s a fertile soil for marketers willing to push in front of receptive eyeballs.
In other news...
When analysing social media performance, many are tempted to track quantitative metrics only. However, to get the full picture, marketers should also track emotions as well as sentiment – as the author puts it, “people don’t make buying choices based on how many of their friends mention a brand; they make them based on what their friends say when they mention those brands.” Here at Jellyfish, we use Brandwatch to track sentiment around brands and we can confirm that tracking just volume of conversations is a good first step but sentiment analysis is just as important.
Remember Foursquare and its check-ins and swarms? The platform may have somewhat vanished from the social media landscape, but it’s doing very well. In recent months, it has repositioned itself as a location intelligence company able to deliver insights about real world movement. And the future looks bright for Foursquare because as its CEO Jeff Glueck says, “the places you go is perhaps the best indicator of who you are.”
Which video format works best on social? There is now a definitive answer, thanks to the guys at Buffer. After running extensive research, they found that square videos outperform landscape videos on each social media platform for video views, engagement and completion rate.
There are nearly 3 billion social media users worldwide. But from one platform to the other, demographics vary greatly and there are a lot of urban myths about which age groups hang out where. The article and the infographic that goes with it are packed full of stats – here are a few:
- 75% of users spend more than 20 minutes daily on Facebook
- 90% of Instagram users are under 35
- YouTube reaches more Millennials than any cable network in the US
- 53% of Twitter users never post any updates (Argh!)
- Pinterest is the best platform for long-term results and evergreen content
- Nearly half of people who make more than $75k/year are on LinkedIn
That’s a wrap! If you have any more articles to add to the list, add the link in the comments below or give me a shout.
Until next month!