The Latest Updates on Social Media Platforms - Edition Six

The Latest Updates on Social Media Platforms - Edition Six

The social media landscape is ever-evolving and marketers need to stay updated to get the best results. In order to help you stay on track, we’ve put together some of the latest updates to social media platforms in the past few weeks.

This edition focuses on TikTok's changing the way they attribute conversions on Ads, Instagram testing out new 3 and 10-minute reels formats, and updates to Meta’s introduction of new ad formats for the holiday seasons. Dive into the myriad of updates that are reshaping the way users and advertisers interact on these platforms.


TikTok Implements Self-Attributing Networks (SAN) to Improve Ad Performance  Tracking

Recent studies reveal that TikTok's ad campaign conversions are notably underrepresented due to last-click measurement shortfalls. The reason? Many TikTok users are there for entertainment, not immediate shopping. Thus, even if they're intrigued by an ad, they might not seek the product right away, leading to misattributed conversion credits.

TikTok's solution? They're ushering in advanced ad measurement tools and introducing Attribution Analytics in TikTok Ads Manager for more comprehensive ad performance insights. Moreover, they're prioritising "self-attributing networks (SAN)" for their ad partners. This innovative method syncs user IDs from advertisers with TikTok’s conversion metrics.

In a nutshell, the SAN:

  • Logs each user ID and app code upon app initiation.
  • Assesses ad activity against this user ID.
  • In a match scenario, ad interaction details are collaboratively exchanged.

The result? A safer and more encompassing view of ad engagements. TikTok believes in the power of this solution, transitioning all advertisers to self-attribution throughout 2023. As for its implications on you, it largely depends on your advertising arrangement and any MMP association. For most direct TikTok advertisers, the shift appears seamless. 

To delve deeper into SAN mechanics you can visit this link

TikTok Amplifies U.S. In-Stream Shopping Experience

Image Credit: TikTok

TikTok is expanding its in-stream shopping feature, inviting all U.S. businesses to join TikTok Shops. Initially piloted with select U.S. retailers, this move simplifies the platform's shopping experience, emphasizing native product listings.

TikTok shares, “With over 150 million U.S. users seeking inspiration and entertainment, TikTok Shop aims to blend shoppable videos and LIVE broadcasts into user feeds, offering brands a seamless sales integration.”

Enhancements include dynamic product displays, tailored shop ads, and streamlined checkouts through trusted payment platforms. The "Creative Challenge" program allows creators to earn by endorsing products. Meanwhile, the "Fulfilled by TikTok" initiative, tested successfully in the U.K., is now available in the U.S., offering brands an efficient order management system.

Inspired by the success of its counterpart, Douyin, in China, TikTok is keen to infuse shopping into its international streams. However, the reception of live-stream shopping by Western audiences remains uncertain.

With TikTok's vast influence, it’s hoped that U.S. retailers will embrace TikTok Shops, furthering its e-commerce ambitions.


Meta’s Expanding its Paid Verification Program to Business Accounts

Meta is expanding the availability of its paid verification programme.  After launching the Meta Verified program for creators, they're now introducing the Meta Verified for Business package.

Unveiled at the Conversations conference in Mumbai, this new package will allow brands to add some extra authority to their accounts with a verified checkmark. However, the more these checkmarks are sold, the more diluted their value may become – a sentiment echoed about X's similar 'X Premium' service.

The specifics? For individual creators, Meta Verified costs $US11.99/month per platform via the web or $US14.99 within the app. For businesses, it's priced at $US21.99 per month for an Instagram account or Facebook Page, or $US27.99 via mobile. But wait, there's more – a combo deal at $US34.99 for verifying both Facebook and IG business pages.

While this promises visibility – “Get discovered in new ways as a Meta Verified business” – remember when Meta removed the "increased reach" feature from the original package? This might be a rerun.

There are criticisms, though. Many aren't thrilled with the diminishing value of a verified checkmark, as it's now seen as a purchase rather than a badge of authenticity. And there have been whispers of sub-par customer support for those who have availed the package.

Despite the critiques, Meta is pushing forward, assuring current badge holders that they're safe from these changes. And yes, they're even hinting at bringing WhatsApp into the verification fold.

While selling these badges might seem a risky play in terms of their inherent value, the demand is undeniable. 

As for the future? Maybe a social media landscape where we're all shelling out for subscriptions? Or perhaps verification becomes essential for brands. Time will reveal how Meta's new move pans out. 

Meta Announces New Ad Tools for the Holidays

Meta has introduced a fresh suite of ad optimisation tools for the holiday season, with the platform giving you new options to boost your campaign with variable budgeting, spark purchasing decisions with attractive tools, and link product buying directly from ads.

Let's take a look at some of these new features in detail. 

  • Smart Budget Scheduling: Gone are the days of manual budget adjustments. With Meta's time-based budget option, ramp up your ad spend for specific high-traffic days, and the system will auto-revert to the standard budget post-promotion.

  • Promotional Ads Expansion: Ready to give your audience irresistible deals? Meta’s promotional ads, which integrate enticing discount codes, are rolling out to brands in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. The built-in offers make the shopping experience sweeter, guiding users right to checkout.

  • Reminder Ads Upgrade: Set and forget! Let Reminder ads notify your audience about events with three timely nudges: one day prior, 15 minutes before, and right at the event time. And good news – they’re now available as Stories placements.

  • Shops Ads on the Horizon: Think seamless shopping experiences. Meta's testing out Shops Ads, allowing users to effortlessly purchase directly from ads on Facebook and IG. Partnering up with Adobe Commerce, Magento Open Source, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud, this feature will integrate your ads smoothly into the purchasing process. And with existing collaborations like BigCommerce and Feedonomics, the shopping experience is bound to get even richer.

With Meta’s innovative ad tools, brands can not only amplify their reach but also bolster conversion rates and foster trust. It’s all about crafting a seamless and engaging shopping journey this holiday season. 

Navigating the Cookie-less Era: Top 5 Takeaways from Meta's Latest Report

In the digital age with changing data landscapes, how are marketers adjusting? Meta's latest research explores this, tapping into global marketing leaders’ insights on evolving privacy concerns. 

Here are the distilled five key takeaways:

  • Consumer-Centric Approach: Businesses must foster trust, with studies indicating 90% are ready to share info like emails for the right value exchange. Transparency in data collection is essential.

  • Data Ethics in Organisation: Redefine company structures focusing on data needs. Emphasising privacy in corporate values is the future.

  • Robust First-Party Data Strategies: Direct customer feedback is gold. With increased reliance on first-party data, it enhances customer loyalty and targeted outreach.

  • Pioneering Privacy-Compliant Marketing Techniques: Brands must innovate in their data strategies. Exploring new measurement tools and alternate data-collection methods is crucial.

  • Collaborative Future of Marketing: Dive into industry-wide initiatives. With innovations like Google’s Privacy Sandbox and Meta's AI tools, it's pivotal to stay updated on privacy-first marketing trends.

While the insights aren’t revolutionary, they offer a solid roadmap in the changing data environment.

Dive deeper into Meta's report for a comprehensive understanding, download the full Report Here.


Instagram Notes Gets Geographically Savvy!

Image Credit: Instagram

Instagram is enhancing its Notes feature, now trialing location tags with selected users. Through this, notes can seamlessly link to the respective IG location pages. Instagram's chief, Adam Mosseri, shares his enthusiasm, highlighting how Notes fosters connectivity over favorite locations.

Since its December launch, Notes has been a game-changer, allowing brief 60-character conversation starters. Its popularity, especially among the young, has spurred more innovations, aligning with the trend of more intimate sharing.

Instagram's move might seem minor, but it's strategic. Notes is bridging the gap with younger audiences, possibly swayed by platforms like TikTok. As the platform delves deeper into engagement tools, we might soon see IG's AI chatbot experience.

For IG fans, watch out! This location-tag test could be a sign of more advancements to come.

Instagram’s Trialling 3-Minute and 10-Minute Reels Uploads

Instagram is currently contemplating a significant modification to its platform. As revealed to Techcrunch, preliminary internal tests are underway to extend the duration of their Reels feature from the existing 3 minutes to a more comprehensive 10 minutes. 

This proposed alteration closely resembles a decision made by TikTok in 2022, when they too augmented their video limit to 10 minutes. Strategically, this extension positions Instagram's Reels to compete more directly with the long-established video platform, YouTube.

For content creators, this potential extension provides a substantial benefit. A longer timeframe would afford them the opportunity to produce more detailed content, such as comprehensive culinary guides, thorough beauty tutorials, in-depth educational segments, and extended comedic sketches.

 Moreover, this eliminates the logistical challenge for viewers who, under the current time restriction, often have to search for subsequent parts of a video to get the full narrative.

In contrast to Instagram and TikTok's apparent pivot towards lengthier content, YouTube is adopting a different trajectory. The platform has recently accentuated its commitment to short-form videos with the introduction of the "Samples" feed and enhanced functionalities for its Shorts feature. 

This divergence in strategy underscores the dynamic nature of the digital content industry, wherein platforms continually evolve to cater to diverse audience preferences.

X (Twitter) 

X Experiments With Improved Discovery for Video Live-Streams

X is shifting its focus towards video content in a bid to enhance user engagement. The current challenge lies in the efficient discovery of live video content. If followers overlook the initial notification of a live stream, there is an absence of subsequent reminders or alerts for these live broadcasts.

To mitigate this, X plans to introduce a notification system similar to Spaces for real-time video streams. Andrea Conway, a designer at X, showcased a potential feature where live streams could be prominently displayed on users' main feeds, reminiscent of the Spaces layout. This is intended to increase the visibility of ongoing broadcasts.

From a technological standpoint, this modification is straightforward. However, it might lead to potential confusion as some users might perceive these notifications as indicators of audio streams. While this change highlights X's commitment to live video content, its overall impact remains uncertain.

This incremental step may seem modest, especially when compared to potential larger shifts, like a dedicated video feed interface. If X's goal is to maximise video engagement, directing users more effectively towards its video segments is essential. The efficacy of this specific tweak, however, is yet to be validated.

It’s also worth noting that X's developmental pace and priorities may be influenced by its operational dynamics. Even though X has announced numerous innovations under Elon Musk’s leadership, a significant portion of these initiatives were underway long before his tenure. Therefore, while new functionalities have been introduced, creating fresh and innovative features could be a challenge, especially if operating with a streamlined team. The primary focus might be on maintaining the platform's stability, which could hinder expansive development.

Furthermore, X's decision to implement a subscription model, especially in the absence of drastic improvements, raises questions. Nevertheless, the allure of post monetisation remains a potent draw, especially for supporters who resonate with Musk's vision of open discourse on the platform.

To conclude, X's tentative steps toward improving live video discoverability may not be transformative, but they signify the platform's intentions. The effectiveness of this approach, given the current operational parameters, remains to be seen.

X Adds Streamlined Reply Option for DMs, Shares Details of Coming Audio and Video Calls

Image Credit: X

X has introduced a swipe-right feature for direct message (DM) replies. This streamlined reply mechanism complements a similar update from May, further enhancing user experience in DM interactions. Users can still send general replies without utilising the swipe feature, offering more versatility in chat dynamics.

Recent DM enhancements include default settings where only verified users can send messages to non-followers. Interestingly, this swipe-to-reply feature is accessible to non-paying users, despite X's ongoing emphasis on its premium offerings.

Elon Musk's team is emphasising group chats and aims to accentuate DMs. X also anticipates launching audio and video call functionalities, potentially available across Android, iOS, and web platforms. Musk envisions X as a global address book, despite its audience size in comparison to giants like Facebook. Initially, these calls won't be encrypted.

Historically, X has aimed to promote DMs, even before Musk's acquisition. With the impending addition of audio and video calls, the DM platform's trajectory might shift considerably. As X enhances its messaging tools, even minor features like the swipe-to-reply could gain prominence. It's evident that X DMs are undergoing significant transformations, and it's crucial to monitor their effect on overall platform engagement.

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