The $20,000 Snapchat Geofilter

Be Careful of the $20,000 Snapchat Geofilter, a New Default Ad Cost for Special Events

Snapchat has introduced a new cost for certain types of Snapchat Geofilters. See the screenshot below and read on for more details as to when/where to expect these costs.

$20,000 snapchat geofilters

A $20,000 Snapchat Geofilter

That screenshot above is for a geofilter application in Salt Lake City, Utah. We wanted to sponsor the Silicon Slopes Summit conference with a filter at the convention center in the city. After we made our filter, we went to draw the fence around the convention center and saw that the price was $20,000. We were disappointed, but figured that the high cost was due to the fact that the convention center location was a popular venue, and perhaps Snapchat has tagged all similar venues around the country. That would make sense. So we decided to just sponsor the block next to the center – still $20k. We kept going farther and farther away, but it was always $20,000, even for just a one hour sponsorship. Then we remember, it’s the Sundance Film Festival. Snapchat must have tagged the entire downtown with this fee, regardless of area or duration. We confirmed this in other cities with events as well.

As new ad units from Snapchat become more rampant and available to all, we expect this to happen less. Nobody had any custom Snapchat filters downtown today, obviously due to the massive fee for such a small audience.

All this being said, a targeted Snapchat geofilter campaign still provides fantastic CPMs, as long as you carry out the campaign correctly.

Snapchat CPM Cost and Analysis

Snapchat CPM Cost and Analysis – A Full Breakdown

Snapchat has been quiet about their CPM costs thus far. So we have been aggregating our own data. This, for now, is specific to geofilters (which is the only ad offering from Snapchat currently available to everyone) and influencer sponsorships (something we manage here at Wallaroo Media). CPM geofilters range widely in cost (depending on the square footage you want the filter to cover, and the length of time).

snapchat CPM costs

CPM Rates for Snapchat Geofilters:

Below are some official numbers from different geofilter campaigns that have been done. Keep in mind a few things: a) If you do a filter in an area with a larger population, or where an event is going on, the views will be greater; b) The minimum area to cover is 200,000 square feet and the maximum is 5M square feet; c) The minimum cost for a geofilter is $5.

  • $66 for 19,486 views – CPM of $3.38
  • $62 for 229,713 views – CPM of $0.27
  • $6.49 for 23,871 views – CPM of $0.27
  • $11 for 226 views – CPM of $48.67
  • $5.59 for 1,154 views – CPM of $4.84

We have much more data than that, but that is just a sample to illustrate the variance that can occur with Snapchat geofilter CPMs. Now, here is some data for CPMs using influencer sponsorships through Snapchat:

  • $100 for 192,000 views – CPM of $0.52
  • $50 for 111,000 views – CPM of $0.45
  • $200 for 403,000 views – CPM of $0.49
  • $20 for 38,000 views – CPM of $0.52
  • $500 for 1,200,000 views – CPM of $0.41

As you can see, there is less variance when it comes to the CPM rates for influencers on Snapchat. The ROI is pretty fantastic here.

As we get more data, we will continue to update this piece! Need Snapchat geofilters or influencer sponsorship campaign? Contact us today!

Snapchat Advertising Costs – A Breakdown Of Each Offering

Want to advertise on Snapchat? Here’s a breakdown of Snapchat advertising costs at each level of their ad platform.

Last updated: January 19, 2016.

Snapchat advertising costs

image via wersm

Snapchat Discover

Snapchat Discover ads are the most expensive offering. Right now, Snapchat discover ads start at $50,000. Snapchat Discover ads get premium placement (at the very top of the app), and are usually reserved for publishers or big brands. And that $50,000 number? That’s a daily rate. Snapchat recently said that Cosmo, one of its leading publishers, gets several million views per day on it’s Snapchat Discover feed. At the top of the image below is where Snapchat Discover ads are featured.

Snapchat Discover ads

image via LA Times

Snapchat Discover ads used to start at $750,000 for one day, but a couple months ago Snapchat dropped those rates dramatically. To get the current $50,000 rate, you can do what is known as a “takeover” of a Snapchat Discover publisher channel. Getting inside of a “Live Story”, which are also featured in the Discover section, can cost around $250,000.

Sponsored Lenses

Snapchat Sponsored Lenses are on the next tier of pricing for ads on the platform. The cost for Sponsored Lenses varies depending on the day of the week, holiday, trends, etc. A general rule of thumb for Snapchat Sponsored Lenses costs is this: $450,000 per day Sunday through Thursday, $500,000 for Fridays and Saturdays, and $700,000 plus for holidays or special events (like the Super Bowl).

taco-bell-snapchat

As has been reported many times, the Taco Bell Snapchat Sponsored Lens received over 224 million views. Also, Snapchatters tend to play with Sponsored Lenses for an average of 20 seconds. Think about that last sentence for a second. People on Snapchat “play” with ads. On most other platforms, people hate ads. On Snapchat, users play with them. So, on a bang for your buck level, Sponsored Lenses are cheaper than Discover ads.

Nationwide Sponsored Geofilter

Nationwide Sponsored Geofilters are a new offering from Snapchat. McDonald’s did the first one about a month ago. It is currently unknown exactly how much this ad offering costs, but our estimates peg the number at about a fifth of the cost of Sponsored Lenses.

Nationwide Sponsored Geofilter cost

image via JasonCohenCreative

VANS recently ran a campaign that included a nationwide sponsored geofilter. You can read more about that case study here. The campaign had over 98 million views.

Snap Ads

Snap Ads is another new offering from Snapchat. These are mobile video ads. You can also add the choice of an interactive element to the ads. The swipe-up rate for Snap Ads is 5X higher than the average click-through rate for other comparable social platforms. Here’s an example of a recent Snap Ad campaign from Gatorade:

snap ads campaign by Gatorade

That Gatorade Snap Ads campaign was actually a mini game within Snapchat. When the user swiped up, they were able to play an 8-bit version of a tennis game that celebrated Serena Williams’ 23rd Grand Slam victory. The average time spent in this ad was over 3 minutes (sidenote: that is an AMAZINGLY high level of engagement for an ad), and it was viewed almost 30 million times. Read more about that campaign here.

The cost for Snap Ads varies by campaign. The exact cost is still unknown, but the barrier to entry is much, much lower than the previously mentioned offerings. Our estimates peg the entry cost at about $1,000. Bare Minerals recently ran a Snap Ads campaign, read about that here.

Update in January 2017: Snapchat launched new ads allowing you to deeplink, which means you can send users from Snapchat to somewhere outside the app (i.e. you can drive users to download an app, go to a website, etc.). This is an extremely valuable new feature. This is crucial timing as Instagram Stories just launched ads within Stories a few days ago as well.

Snap to Unlock Filters

“Snap to Unlock” filters are one of Snapchat’s newest ad offerings. Recently, Kendall Jenner partnered with Garage Magazine to create a Snap to Unlock filter. There was a code in a Garage Magazine issue that, when snapped, would unlock a special filter. See the image below of it in action. The image below is being seen in subway stations in New York and DC, and in parts of Los Angeles. It’s a new “Snap to Unlock”

snap-to-unlock-filter secret-snapchat-filter-garage-magazine-snapcode-kendall-jenner-angel-devil-how-unlock_0

 

Snap to Unlock Codes

“Snap to Unlock” ads are the latest in Snapchat’s ad offering. The image below is being seen in subway stations in New York and DC, and in parts of Los Angeles. It’s a new “Snap to Unlock” ad promoting ‘The Girl On The Train’ movie. The cost structure for this ad is still unknown, but it’s believed to have the second lowest entry point, just after local geofilters.

snap to unlock snapchat ads

 

Sponsored Local Geofilters

Sponsored Local Geofilters are the cheapest of all Snapchat ad offerings. The cost for Local Geofilters can be as little as $5. Snapchat just inked a deal with Foursquare for their geofilters. Now, with Foursquare-powered data, the geofilters will be more accurate, and therefore more effective. (Learn more about how to use geofilters in our post about “Snaphacking“). The ROI on geofilters can be quite high. We ran a campaign the other day that got over 23,000 views and the cost was under $7.

Snapchat local geofilter cost

IMPORTANT NOTE: For special events, Snapchat sometimes will raise the cost for geofilters. We’ve seen this number to be as high as $20,000 for a one block by one block area for one hour. Read this piece for more details.

Snapchat Influencer Partnerships

This is not an official form of Snapchat Advertising through the company, but it’s a very effective ad format. Working with influencers to have them create content on your Snapchat account through a “Snapchat Takeover” works very well. You can also sponsor the snaps of influencers by way of product placements. Or you can get more blatant and hire an influencer for a series of Snapchat pictures and videos, promoting your brand. If you can get the right influencer with a targeted demographic following that matches that of your brand, it can be a great campaign. We’ve seen/done countless examples of this. If this is something you’re interested in, it’s one of our specialties  :).

 

Note on 7/24/16: Just last week it was discovered that Snapchat filed a patent to serve a new type of ads. This new system of advertising uses “object recognition” to serve users sponsored filters. Learn more about this new patent in our official post covering the development, Snapchat Files New Patent to Serve Ads Based on Objects in Your Snaps.

Need to be convinced on what advertising on Snapchat is crucial? Read this. Have any questions or want to get started on a Snapchat campaign? Contact us today! And go here if you want custom Snapchat geofilters!

Snapchat Acquires An Augmented Reality Startup for $40 Million

A couple weeks ago Snapchat made a very intriguing acquisition that went quite unnoticed (since the news drop landed on Christmas). They bought Israel-based Cimagine for about $40 Million. This is an important purchase because Cimagine created an augmented reality platform that lets consumers instantly visualize products they want to buy. Take a look at the image below that illustrates how it works.

snapchat AR

 

We are speculating that Snapchat will use this new technology to initially enhance their brand partnerships. They can partner up with big ecommerce brands and allow users to visualize the products before buying them. Then, down the road, Snapchat can work in the ability to checkout right through their app, and take an affiliate cut of the order (or at least run AR ads in-app).

This purchase piggybacks off Snap’s recent acquisitions of ad-tech and mobile-related startups like Flite, Vurb, Bitmoji, and others. Stay tuned…

New Instagram Ads Feature

Instagram is testing a new ad feature to help improve its platform and ad ROI. Take a look at the screenshots below.

instagram ad test

That prompt at the top is the first thing you see. It says “Personalize What You See”, followed by “Quickly compare what you see on Instagram to help us know what you like.”

When you click that Get Started button, you see a series of ad comparisons where you are required to click on the one that appeals to you the most. Here are some examples:

instagram ad example

instagram ads testing

new instagram ads test

Then after you finish indicating which ads you like better, you see one final screen:

instagram thank you page

A simple message stating “We’ll use your responses to help improve Instagram”.

It will be interesting to see how the ads change going forward? Need help running your own Instagram ad campaigns? Contact us today!

Disney and ABC Form Original Content Partnership with Snapchat

Disney and ABC have announced a partnership with Snapchat to create original content for the social platform, beginning in January. This marks the first instance of an official partnership for original content creation on Snapchat. The initial series will be called “Watch Party: The Bachelor”, a complement to ABC’s popular franchise that will kick off on January 3. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The original programming will feature comedians, celebrities, super fans, and former show alumni discussing the latest episodes. There will be 10 Snapchat episodes and one Live Story.

Future shows based on other Disney/ABC properties will roll out later in the year. Earlier this year they collaborated on a live story for the Oscars, which performed extremely well.

Snapchat Introduces “Snapchat Filter Games”

Snapchat Continues to Evolve…

Snapchat introduced “Snapchat Filter Games” today for the first time (screenshots below). I guess Snapchat wants you to play with your face, not just take pics of it.

snapchat filter games

These games are appearing within the filtering options. Surely this is part of greater future plans for these games to become large revenue drivers for the company (through ads/sponsored games/etc.). Snapchat officially confirmed the launch of their new native games feature.

The Snapchat Filter Game launched today is called “Santa’s Helper”. The game places your face into an elf body, then you tilt your device back & forth to steer yourself down a ski slope as you collect presents & avoid obstacles. You can snap a picture along the way at any time and share it with your friends.

snapchat filter games example

That’s my face 🙂

Recently, some of Snapchat’s influencers have tried creating their own DIY games on the platform. These includes things like prompting the viewers to take a screenshot at the right time (like when parts of an image line up in a fast-moving video).

As you can imagine – engagement levels are extremely high for content like this, which will make it very valuable when it comes to advertising.

Any questions? Contact us about Snapchat campaigns today!

Facebook Algorithm Change History

Facebook
Algorithm Changes

Facebook’s News Feed algorithm is in a constant state of flux. In the below timeline, we mark the major changes both marketers and businesses need to be aware of. With Facebook’s 1.71 billion monthly active users, it continues to be critical for businesses to have a presence on the platform.

If your company needs help staying up to date with the newest Facebook trends or maximizing its reach on the network, give us a call and we can schedule a no-cost consultation!

Last Updated: December 22, 2016

December
2016

Share “Moments” at Top of News Feed

Shareable moments and cards on Facebook

Facebook will begin placing messages at the top of the News Feed to encourage user engagement, such as sharing a holiday-themed card with friends and followers. This update has already been seen in the past but will become more prevalent in the future. These messages and cards may promote a holiday, a historical or cultural event, or even the change of seasons. Time will tell if this new feature will become a marketing tool for brands and advertisers, but as of now, advertisers cannot sponsor these messages.

December
2016

Facebook Adds Color Backgrounds to Text-Only Posts

Facebook Colored Background

Facebook announced that it will roll out a new update that will allow some mobile users to add a colored background to their text-only status updates and posts. The update is only available for use on Android devices; however, all mobile users (including iOS users) will be able to see the colored backgrounds when they are posted. With this update, many text-only posts will be as eye-catching as photos.

November
2016

Facebook Bans Fake News Sites from Using Ads

facebook-logo

Following Google’s lead, Facebook announced that fake news sites will now be banned from using the platform’s Audience Network ads. Facebook recently came under fire with users perpetuating fake news stories regarding this year’s presidential candidates, so this update is a step towards diminishing these fake news publishers’ ability to advertise their posts. While this will not completely eliminate fake stories from the News Feed, it does mean users will see fewer ads promoting stories from fake news sites.

October
2016

News Feed Improves with Slow Connections

Facebook instant articles

In Facebook’s ongoing effort to reach that “next billion users,” News Feed will now display pre-cached stories as well as new stories straight from Facebook’s servers for users with slow network connections. This update will not only help improve the user’s experience in areas where network connection may be sparse, but it will also incentivize users who live in such areas to sign up for, and more regularly use, Facebook.

August
2016

News Feed to Predict & Highlight Informative Posts

Facebook Engage thumbs up

This latest update is a small change to the algorithm after Facebook surveyed many users. Based on this survey, Facebook will now predict which posts a user may find “informative” and prioritize said posts in the user’s News Feed. “Informative” could relate to a variety of posts based on the user’s likes and engagement with other posts, in addition to the results found in this recent survey. For one user, this could mean more posts that are news-related or that feature recipes. For others, it could be news about a favorite celebrity or a movie review. Facebook does not anticipate much change in post distribution from Pages, though some could see slight increases or decreases in referral traffic.

August
2016

News Feed to Show Fewer Clickbait Headlines

scam2

Facebook receives thousands of complaints everyday regarding “clickbait” links and headlines. Previous changes in the News Feed algorithm have attempted to reduce the number of clickbait posts that appear on users’ News Feeds. This newest update allows Facebook to recognize and classify clickbait-like headlines, much like a spam filter in email. This system update will also help Facebook identify Pages and accounts that regularly post clickbait links and headlines, reducing their rankings in the News Feed.

June
2016

Algorithm Prioritizes Friends, Family, & Other Core Values

Facebook instant articles

The secret behind Facebook’s News Feed algorithm has been guessed at for years, with published algorithm updates that help support the various theories out there. However, Facebook recently opened the curtain on the “core values” it uses when determining what shows up in a user’s feed. Facebook became known as the social platform to connect friends and family, which is why most of the News Feed is filled with posts from those users care about most. Now, Facebook states that posts from friends and family will get top priority on users’ News Feeds. After posts from friends and family, Facebook prioritizes posts that “inform” and posts that “entertain.” Other core values include posts that represent all ideas and posts with “authentic communication.” Facebook also emphasized the user’s ability to hide posts, unfollow other users and Pages, and the user’s ability to prioritize their own feed with the “See First” function. Lastly, Facebook reiterated the goal to always improve the News Feed and user experience.

April
2016

Facebook to Fight Clickbait Links

facebook-logo

Facebook has been known to be filled with clickbait links to articles and websites, but thanks to Facebook’s intent to improve the type of content being shared on its platform, this may slowly come to an end. There are sites out there who only care about clicks on their links, even if it the user leaves the page immediately after clicking the link. Now, Facebook will measure how much time you spend on a shared link, whether it’s an Instant Article or on another site. This should begin to filter out clickbait links that don’t actually provide useful content. In addition, Facebook is also looking to penalize Pages that post too often. This will be useful for marketers when creating their Facebook posting strategies.

April
2016

News Feed to Highlight Links You’re Actually Interested In

Facebook instant articles

Yet another update to the News Feed that’ll change the prioritization of what you see at
the top of your News Feed. Interacting with a post (liking, commenting, or sharing) is a good indicator for what users are interested in; however, it is not the only way of gauging interest. Users are less likely to interact with a sad news-related post or a serious current event, but that does not mean they do not want these stories in their News Feeds. Facebook will now measure the potential interest in a post based on the following criteria: user interest in the creator, post performance among other users, past content performance of the creator, type of post the user prefers, and how recent the post is. When you click on a post or link, Facebook will measure how much time you spend on post, even if you don’t like, comment, or share. This will help Facebook in its algorithm when predicting and prioritizing which posts you are most interested in.

March
2016

Facebook Prioritizes Live Videos In News Feed

expanded criteria for movies in Facebook

Facebook has been paying attention to how much longer users watch live streaming videos in their News Feeds, and it turns out live videos are viewed 3x longer than a previously recorded and uploaded video. Based on this information, Facebook will begin prioritizing live video in users’ News Feeds. Facebook previously prioritized stories that it deemed “best,” not necessarily the most current. This live video update changes that. This update helps Facebook keep up with Twitter’s real-time posts, including Periscope videos.

February
2016

High Ranking Posts and Engagement Probability

Facebook Engage thumbs up

This update proves that Facebook is continually listening to its users and attempting to improve the user experience by prioritizing and improving News Feed. With this latest update, Facebook will gauge the likelihood that users will highly rate a post or the probability that users will interact with a post by liking, commenting, or sharing. These posts will then be placed at the top of the user’s News Feed. These two criteria were discovered after Facebook conducted an extensive survey in which users indicated what they prefer to see at the top of their News Feeds. The update should have little impact on Pages; however, some Pages may notice a slight increase in referral traffic while other Pages may experience a decrease in referral traffic. How this update affects the majority of Pages in the long run will be better measured over time.

January
2016

Organic Audience Optimization

audience optimization for engagement on Facebook

Historically, publishers on Facebook struggled to organically reach their target audience, mostly due to Facebook’s algorithm. Known as the Audience Optimization tool, this new update allows publishers to set preferences to target a specific audience based on interests, demographics, and geographic location. Using this new tool, publishers and marketers on Facebook can organically reach their intended audience and then see how well their posts perform.

October
2015

Real-Time News Search Expanded

real time search in Facebook

In an effort to rival Google and Twitter with trending news stories, you can now search any news story through Facebook and access a variety of search results, including posts from other users not on your Friends lists and Pages that you haven’t liked. The search results will pull information from Facebook’s 2 trillion posts. This update will likely encourage users to post more frequently about human and world events, much like on Twitter.

October
2015

Facebook Improves News Feed for Slower Connections

Facebook improved for slower connections

In many parts of the world, mobile users still use a 2G connection for their internet use. In the attempt to reach millions more users worldwide, Facebook is improving the News Feed load time for mobile users with a slower connection. If your connection is extremely weak, Facebook will bring up your previously loaded News Feed or cached stories. With a limited connection, Facebook will now focus on stories and posts you’re actively looking at, as opposed to simultaneously loading multiple stories all at once. Lastly, Facebook will avoid showing content that is too much for your connection to handle, which includes video playback among other types of interactive or media-heavy content. For now, this update only applies to those on mobile devices.

October
2015

How “See First” Affects Pages

Facebook Video Changes

When Facebook updated its News Feed Preferences with See First, they claimed the update would have little impact on marketers, which may not be entirely true. If Pages can somehow be selected in a user’s See First preferences, then there’s enormous potential for increased sales, site traffic and activity, and brand awareness. However, for mid-level Pages who employ paid ad campaigns in the quest for more Likes, there may be some damage. The value of a Like for Pages may be diminishing, especially if those Pages are not frequently prioritized in users’ See First. Marketers will most likely need to revamp their strategies in order to make it into more users’ See First preferences.

June
2015

Facebook Updates User Preferences on See First

Facebook for business page

Facebook is keenly aware that their News Feed algorithm isn’t perfect. In an attempt to give users more control over who appears atop their News Feeds, Facebook has updated its settings, allowing the user to select who they’d prefer to “See First.” This new setting, found under News Feed Preferences, is broken up into four sections: Prioritize Who to See First, Unfollow People to Hide Their Posts, Reconnect with People You Unfollowed, and Discover New Pages. These new sections allow the user to easily select who should and should not get priority in their News Feed.

June
2015

Expanded Criteria for Video Rankings

expanded criteria for movies in Facebook

Over the next few weeks, Facebook will roll out this new update that will account for videos being viewed with audio or in full-screen mode. After a recent survey, Facebook learned that many users will find a video of interest without liking, commenting, or sharing with their friends. Therefore, Facebook will monitor other forms of video engagement, such as turning on the audio or switching to full-screen. There is no indication that Pages will “see significant changes in distribution as a result of this update.” Also, this update does not mean that users will see more videos in their News Feed, only those who already engage more with video-related content.

June
2015

Prioritize News Feed with See First

prioritize see first in Facebook news feeds

Facebook is continually working to improve its News Feed, allowing the user more control over the types of posts that appear at the top. Until now, Facebook has only granted options for users to filter out posts they do not want to see. With the introduction of See First, users can now choose which accounts, whether friends or followed Pages, they wish to see first at the top of their News Feeds. Once on the account’s page, the user can select “See First” under the Following button. The account that you follow will not be notified if the user has selected them for See First. This update is yet another example of Facebook listening to its users and their desires to have more control over the types of posts they see.

June
2015

Buy Button for Shopify Merchants

buy button for shopify merchants in Facebook

Facebook announced that it will be attaching a Buy Button to merchants who utilize Shopify’s ecommerce platform. This means that users will be able to purchase an item directly from the Facebook News Feed without having to open a different app or webpage. Those who run their ecommerce through Shopify will have the option of sharing their merchandise organically through their Facebook Pages or through a paid ad campaign. The inclusion of a Buy Button should entice Shopify merchants with a quick and simple way for their customers to buy a product within Facebook. Users can pay using the same payment method already filed with Facebook or they can enter their payment information during checkout. The Buy Button now places Facebook in competition with Pinterest and Google who are already offering similar features for their pins and ads, respectively.

June
2015

Time Spent on Story

time spent on a Facebook story

Historically, Facebook has formatted users’ News Feeds based on the likes, comments, and shares of others. However, Facebook recently learned through a study that many users would like to see current news stories that may not necessarily receive likes, comments, or shares from the users’ friends. Now, Facebook will also be monitoring how much time is spent viewing certain stories. Though time spent on a story can have various factors (internet speed, length of post, etc.), Facebook will gauge how much time you spend on story compared to other stories you view within your News Feed. If you spend more time on a particular story or post, then Facebook will likely show this story on your friends’ News Feeds.

June
2015

Support for GIFs

Facebook support for GIFs

Facebook has officially confirmed that the News Feed will now support GIFs. Originally, Facebook made a strong effort to avoid GIF support as they felt it would clutter the News Feed page. Now, users can paste a GIF link from external sites (Giphy, Imgur, Tumblr, and others) in their post, and Facebook will animate the GIF once the post has been published in the News Feed. GIFs will automatically play in the News Feed according to your current video playback settings. Though this announcement was made near the end of May, the update will not be immediately available to all users and Pages. Instead, the update is still slowly rolling out throughout June.

May
2015

Instant Articles

Facebook instant articles

Beginning in May, iPhone users will see a new feature from Facebook: Instant Articles. Popular publishers like BuzzFeed, New York Times, National Geographic, and others will have their articles visible and mobile-friendly within the Facebook app. This means that users will no longer have to follow a link to these articles while waiting for the site to load. Instant Articles will be instantly accessed once the user clicks the post. The article will be completely coded and formatted for mobile devices. Publishers will also have the ability to create their own cover for their articles that will appear in News Feeds. Facebook will not favor Instant Article publishers over other posts and articles; however, these articles are more likely to get shares and interaction due to their easy access and mobile compatibility.

May
2015

Search and Add Shareable Links in Your Posts

Facebook Video Changes

Facebook is now implementing a new function that allows users to quickly and easily share links in their posts and status updates, particularly on mobile devices. This new addition is currently only available for a small number of users, but it is expected to roll out for all users very soon. Instead of copying and pasting a link, users can now select the “Add Link” button and then search keywords to find the article or post they wish to share. Results are listed based on popularity of the article or post on Facebook, which incorporates data not used by Google in their search results. Facebook is now a major influence in referral traffic, so it only makes sense that the social media juggernaut would simplify its link sharing process.

April
2015

News Feed Prioritizes Friends

Facebook Video Changes

In 2015, Facebook has made an effort to listen to its users who prefer seeing their friends’ posts over Pages or promotional posts. In January, Facebook began cracking down on Pages who publish “click-bait” posts or posts with the sole intent of selling a product. Now, Facebook is focusing on giving priority to the posts from the friends you care about the most. Simply put, users will now see more posts from close friends in their News Feed than posts made from the Pages they follow.
There are some who believe Facebook is making these changes to encourage businesses to use paid ads on Facebook as opposed to just the free Pages accounts. However, Facebook users have been vocal about their disdain for the priority given to posts from Pages. Facebook understands that if its users are dissatisfied, then it is unlikely there will be any users in the future. In order to retain users and continue to grow, this change was inevitable.

January
2015

Fewer Hoaxes

Facebook Video Changes

Facebook has now implemented a strong effort to reduce the number of hoax links that appear in your News Feed. This includes posts you make yourself or links you share that appear to be a scam. When you see a questionable post you now have the option to report that post or link as “a false news story.” Once a post has been reported by many users as being “false,” then its distribution will be significantly reduced. Facebook will not attempt to delete false posts or evaluate the veracity of their content; however, a frequently false-reported post will come with an annotation at the top indicating that many users have reported that the post is false.
This update should not affect most publishers on Facebook. If you tend to publish or share satirical articles, most users will not report such posts as “false news.” However, those accounts that frequently use hoax or scam posts to increase their traffic will see a strong decrease in their post distribution.

January
2015

Promotional Posts

Facebook Video Changes

Facebook recently surveyed 500,000 users and discovered that the vast majority of those users wished to see more posts from friends and family as opposed to promotional posts, even if they originate from a Page the user likes. As of January, Facebook will begin cracking down on Pages who publish posts that push followers to either buy a product or download an app, enter a contest or sweepstakes with no context, or publish posts that use the same wording as published ads. Facebook said the following about the change, “While Pages that post a lot of the content we mention above will see a significant decrease in distribution, the majority of Pages will not be impacted by this change.”
Facebook remained fairly vague about which kind of Pages this will affect the most, but marketers would be wise to reevaluate their posting strategy so that they will not be punished by Facebook with a significant fall in organic distribution. The good news is that this change does not affect paid ads.

December
2014

App Ad Feed

Facebook Video Changes

Facebook introduces a new search function specifically for finding the apps you want. In the mobile navigation menu there is now a “Find Apps” bookmark that presents a special feed of paid app advertisements. App stores, such as Apple and Google, have failed to provide a feed of apps that is catered to the interests of the user. Facebook’s new App Ad Feed displays ads that are targeted towards Facebook users based on their habits, likes, and activity. App discovery in most app stores is extremely flawed. With Facebook’s new App Ad Feed you can now search through apps that have been selected with you in mind.

December
2014

Keyword Search

Keyword Search

Facebook implements a keyword search that allows users to search for previous posts using keywords and names of friends. Now users can access old archived posts that were previously shared with them through a simple search. The search results will only display posts and photos that have been shared with you, for example, on your News Feed. Likewise, only posts you’ve shared with friends will be displayed in their searches. You can select your audience with any post you make; if your post is set to be Public then anyone who searches for it can find it. If only your friends can see your posts then only your friends can find your posts with general searches. You can also be found if others have tagged you in their posts and photos. If you wish to remove yourself from another’s post you can edit the post and request to remove your tag or that the post be removed from Facebook altogether.

September
2014

Video Updates

Facebook Video Changes

Facebook announces that view counts will now be posted with their videos. Facebook wants the world to know that YouTube is not the only dominant presence in online videos. The video views on Facebook have been growing over the years, now reaching 1 billion views per day. The recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge trend has also contributed immensely to Facebook’s video views. Facebook hopes to show digital video advertisers that Facebook is a great place to run video ads. Videos on Facebook come from a variety of sources: users, pages, and public figures.
Facebook also announced that in addition to adding view counts to their videos, recommended videos will now appear once a user has finished watching a video. This will only help increase the amount of video views on Facebook further establishing the social media platform as one of the premiere destinations for online videos.

August
2014

Clickbait Control

click bait

Once again, Facebook listened to complaints from users and created this update that made a substantial effort to eliminate “click-bait” posts as well as help users to see shared links in the best format. “Click baiting” involves posts that feature a headline made to get the user to click on the link. A common headline found on “click baiting” links may sound like “You won’t believe what happens next!” Users have quickly become annoyed by such obvious schemes to increase web traffic. Facebook now analyzes how much time a user spends on a link they click. If the user quickly returns to Facebook after clicking a link, this tells Facebook that the link was not what the user wanted, which is frequently the case with “clickbait” links. The weeding of these links will also be aided by how much a link is liked and shared on Facebook. Liked and shared links are typically not “clickbait” links.
Shared links will now be displayed in the traditional link format, instead of being buried in photo captions or status updates. This link format will also preview the beginning of the article that will better inform users if they want to click the link.

April
2014

Instagram

Instagram-logo

Instagram (owned by Facebook) had its first algorithm update this month. The “Explore” (or “Popular”) tab was tweaked to display photos and videos specifically tailored for each user. Previously the tab only showed the most popular posts across all Instagram users.

August
2013

News Feed Update

algorithm

Facebook announced new changes to the News Feed ranking algorithm. One key change gave posts not seen by users a second chance at being viewed. Another important update gave more weight to each user’s most 50 interactions on the network in determining what they see in their feed.

March
2013

Design

FB-Cover-Template-2014

Facebook changed the design of the News Feed to improve its visual appearance for the purpose of increasing user engagement.

September
2011

Combined News Feed

Scrollable-News-Feed1

Facebook responds to users’ outcries about the 2009 update and instead of separating the two types of News Feeds, both are consolidated into one News Feed. Facebook wanted its users to be able to see exactly what they logged on to see. Facebook themselves stated at the time: “When you visit Facebook, you should see the things you’re most interested in, like status updates from your family and closest friends.” They knew that people didn’t log in all the time, so they adjusted their News Feed accordingly. Using an updated News Feed algorithm, they aimed to show all people the most relevant posts at all times. Users, having somewhat acclimated to the last update, had some difficulty adjusting once again to the new update. The changes were pretty complicated for the average user and only computer-savvy users fully understood the changes. The News Ticker is also introduced on the right side-bar which was meant to display other friends’ activity on Facebook such as likes, comments, and so on.

October
2009

News Feed Prioritizes Popular Posts

Facebook-Engagement

This update marked the largest change to date. Facebook debuted a new type of default sorting order. Previously, it had been a reverse chronological listing of updates/photos. The new order was based on popularity. Popularity was quantified by engagement on each post. The more engaging the post, the higher it appeared in the News Feed. This update did create some backlash from users who preferred the original chronological default and for those not wanting their relationship status updates to be cycled through multiple News Feeds based on the growing popularity of the post.

March
2009

News Feed Filters

edit-news-feed

Facebook introduced filters into their platform. This allowed people to have more control over what they saw. The filters were new and slightly complicated which led to many users neglecting to use them, although gradual adoption of use of the filters took place over the next several months. . This update also included the ability to make fine tunes to your status updates and include multimedia with your posts. You could also makes specific lists of friends that would allow you to only see updates from certain friends.

November
2007

The “Like” Button Is Introduced

facebook_like

The Like Button feature is added. This is the first time that Facebook started experimenting with an algorithm. With the introduction of the “Like” button, users have a simplified way of interacting with others’ posts. Prior to the addition of the “Like” button, users had to comment on a status or post to interact with the other user. Also, with the inclusion of the X out feature, Facebook could evolve according to what you “like” and what you X out. This algorithm made it so your News Feed would eventually highlight posts that Facebook thinks would interest the individual user.

September
2006

News Feed Launch & Status Updates

Facebook-News-Feed

Facebook officially launches News Feed, and with it, status updates. Prior to the News Feed, logging in to Facebook would solely access your profile page which you could update and personalize, but in order to see others’ pages, you had to manually search for those profiles. With the introduction of the News Feed, the homepage was redesigned to show you others’ status updates and uploaded photos. The profile page would also show a mini-feed of updates and became known as “the wall.”

February
2004

Launch

Facebook launches as a directory of individual profile pages that users could update. No News Feed yet.

How Facebook Algorithm Changes Affect Marketers

Along with Facebook’s ever-evolving algorithm changes, the digital marketing opportunities have increased as well. As the News Feed was introduced and updated, advertising increasingly found its way into users’ News Feeds. Now, whenever a user brings up their News Feed, Facebook’s algorithm determines which advertisements are best catered to the user based on their likes, listed interests, and interaction with other pages. This means that in order to fully take advantage of advertising through Facebook, marketers must create their ads with a focused and targeted audience campaign. Marketers will also determine the amount they are willing to spend on their ads which will directly affect the probability that their ad will reach the intended audiences.

Users are now able to dictate which ads they want to see on their News Feed. If a user hides an ad from their feed, they are essentially telling Facebook that that ad does not apply to them. Facebook is more engaged to considering user feedback concerning ads which will ultimately lead to more ads users want to see and less ads that are not applicable. What this means for marketers is that their ads will more likely reach the audience that wants to see those types of ads, which should inevitably lead to more interaction and conversion rates.

What Marketers Need To Know About Advertising Through Facebook In 2014

Advertising through Facebook will continue to evolve just as it always has in the past. What marketers need to know going forward in 2014 is that engaged conversations will get their posts and advertisements shown more regularly in others’ News Feeds. This increases the need for quality content that will make users want to engage in the conversation. Your post has the ability to recycle through News Feeds as users comment and interact causing more and more users and friends of friends to see the post.

Mobile devices are now becoming more popular than ever, especially when it comes to interacting on Facebook. Marketers not only need to worry about producing quality content, but they must make sure that anything they post (including links to articles) must be optimized for mobile devices.

One of the most important things marketers must do is stay up-to-date with every algorithm change. What worked in the past does not necessarily work now, and what works now may not work in the future. Stay current on how social media evolves and be prepared to evolve with it.

Sources

  1. Facebook – How Newsfeed Works
  2. Facebook – Newsfeed FYI
  3. EdgeRank.net