Facebook Stories Available to Pages; Adds “Sets”; 3D and VR In the Newsfeed Too; TBH…

Facebook is Beefing Up Its Platform…

Facebook has been busy these last couple weeks. They made five large announcements. We’ll cover each, and why you should care, below.

  1. Facebook Stories for Pages
facebook stories for pages

Facebook Stories for Pages – Image via TechCrunch

People will officially be seeing Facebook Stories from Pages they follow or Like in the Stories section on mobile and desktop. Facebook announced last week that you can port over stories to FB from Instagram. Now, Page admins will see a “Create Story” button on the mobile app when viewing their Pages.

Facebook has yet to share a daily user metric for Facebook Stories, but we do know that Instagram Stories hit 100 million users just two months after launching.

We’ll see how Stories on Facebook performs, but what we do know is that Facebook is pushing it hard. That’s why, as a brand, you should be utilizing Facebook Stories in your own social strategy. That, and Groups of course (more to come on that in a future blog post).

2. Facebook 3D Posts – Virtual Reality in the News Feed

facebook 3d posts vr

Facebook 3D Posts – Image via TechCrunch

Facebook just announced 3D posts, a new type of News Feed post where users can grab, spin and interact with a 3D object to look at it from all angles. Facebook acquired Oculus a couple years ago and wants to push creators to make virtual objects using the Oculus platform. In the near future, Facebook is working on an API to let third-party VR app developers give users the option to share their creations to the News Feed. Take a look at the video below.

We’ve updated our Facebook Newsfeed algorithm piece with the change.

3. Facebook to Launch ‘Venues’ for VR Programming

facebook venues virtual reality

Facebook Venues for VR – Image via TechCrunch

Facebook also announced plans to launch a virtual reality “Venues” app next year that Zuckerberg said will allow people to “watch live concerts, and live sports, and premieres of movies and TV shows, all around the world with friends” and other people.

4. Facebook “Sets”

facebook sets

Facebook just announced that they are testing a feature called “Sets” that allows you select several status updates, photos or videos and share them as a themed collection to everyone or specific friends. Sound familiar, Pinterest?

It appears that links will be able to be included as well.

5. Facebook acquires popular teen app “TBH”

facebook acquires tbh

Facebook just bought the popular app “tbh” (slang for to be honest) for an undisclosed amount. Why is this important? Two primary reasons. One – Facebook’s weakness is teens, and tbh is extremely popular among teens. Two – tbh only launched a few months ago and is approaching 6 million loyal users. Check out the screenshot of the top App Store rankings below, courtesy of Product Hunt:

With all these announcements, Facebook is clearly looking to separate itself from their competitors and become the one-stop destination for social, content, video, and VR.

Brands – prepare accordingly.

Pinterest Makes HUGE Update to Its Advertising Offering

Pinterest opens up more than 5,000 interests for advertiser targeting through its Taste Graph

Everyone knows that Pinterest builds itself around visual discovery. Over the years, the company has gathered an incredible amount of data around how their users browse images, videos, and content. Now, the company is opening up that knowledge to advertisers, and it’s going to be huge.

Pinterest is unlocking more than 5,000 interests that advertisers can now target against using what the company is calling its “Taste Graph.” That’s what Pinterest calls its system that is able to figure out not only what users like, but also how what they like changes over time.

“One of the biggest difference with the Taste Graph compared to what we were doing before was really diving into understanding the nuances of how we relate Pinners to Interests based on the recency and frequency of their engagement,” John Milinovich, product manager for the Taste Graph, said. “We’re much smarter about how we decay interests from a user’s taste profile so that we can better personalize their recommendations. So, if you haven’t pinned about your wedding in a while, you will stop seeing wedding content.”

pinterest taste graph ads

Pinterest’s “Taste Graph” –
Image via CIO Bulletin

Pinterest is working hard on building an advertising model that touches users at each point of the buying lifecycle. In addition to that, Pinterest wants to be able to demonstrate to brands that ads seen at the beginning of the cycle led to a conversion at the end, even if it was months later.

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin that the company has only two objectives right now:

“One is growing the user base …. and the second, of course, is creating an advertising product that really works — to bring in new customers, that’s very measurable, that lets people see emerging consumer trends and merchandise against them.”

Pinterest also just announced that Target’s app will use Pinterest’s “visual search” tool. In essence, it would let users who are out and about take a picture of any product and receive a list of similar items at Target. Here’s an excerpt from the press release on the partnership:

Visual search technology has been around for a while, but it’s starting to hit the mainstream in a big way—by 2020, image and speech search (think asking Siri) could make up 50% of all searches. It’s poised to change the way you shop so we’re tapping Pinterest, our long-time partner to bring their new “Pinterest Lens” tech to our Target guests.

Pinterest has been hard at work in 2017. They debuted “Lens”, a visual discovery tool, they rolled out Pinterest search ads, and they introduced live camera search. Now more than ever, Pinterest needs to be a crucial part of your organic marketing and advertising strategy.

Want to kickstart your Pinterest strategy? Contact us today!

Facebook Ads Targeting Offline Events Now Available

Facebook is finally releasing something advertisers have wanted for years…

The world’s largest social network is officially rolling out offline ad targeting options. This includes things like targeting ads to people who have visited brick-and-mortar locations, in-store purchases, and calls to a business’ office.

The new offline-to-online retargeting options are being added to Facebook’s Custom Audiences ad-targeting portfolio. Advertisers will also be able to retarget lookalike audiences of people who share similar characteristics to those who interact with the brand in the real world.

The Custom Audience list can be created using anyone that Facebook has tracked as having visited a brand’s location, such as a retail store, restaurant or auto dealership, within the past 30 days. For Facebook to get this data, the user needs to have the location tracking feature enabled through the app’s mobile settings.

In order for the location data to be as accurate as possible, Facebook will only include people in an in-store visitor audience when it has a “high confidence” that the person has visited that location, and not just passed it by.

A natural question is whether Facebook could consider a person as having visited a store when in reality that person only passed by the store or the phone’s GPS inaccurately pegged their location as being inside a store. To mitigate that risk, Facebook will only include people in a store visitor audience when it has a “high confidence” that a person visited a given location, Francis said.

The ability to create a Custom Audience of store visitors is only available to businesses that meet Facebook’s eligibility requirements. Among those requirements, a brand must operate at least 10 separate locations.

Need help running a Facebook Ads campaign? Contact us today!

Instagram Adds Polls to Stories – Big News for Ecommerce Brands

Instagram today launched Polls as a part of Instagram Stories, and it’s a huge new feature. Instagram also enabled the ability to port stories from Instagram over to your Facebook page.

You may have heard of Polly, which is an app that recently became popular (over 20 million users) by tacking on a polling feature to Snapchat. Instagram (and its parent-company Facebook) obviously noticed this (as they commonly do) and made its own polling function available to its 250 million Instagram Stories users (Instagram has 800 million active users in total).

Just like adding a location or a weather sticker, you can add a two-answer poll on top of your Stories that friends can answer with a tap (voting is anonymous).

Instagram lets you write your own question with any two answers you want. Friends will see results as soon as they answer, and you’ll find who voted for what in your Stories view count page. We assume that the next iteration of this feature will be multiple-choice answers.

If you run an ecommerce brand, this feature can be huge for your business. Stories tend to have high view counts but low engagement. Adding polls to your Stories strategy will increase engagement substantially. Let’s say you run a fashion company – adding polls related to things like ‘Who wore it best?’, ‘This or That?’, ‘Fave Dress for Fall?’, etc. will not only increase your following and engagement, but also your sales.

As for Facebook Stories, Instagram now has the option to syndicate your Instagram Stories to Facebook Stories for US users. “You now have the option to share your Instagram Stories to your Facebook Stories. We’re always working to make it easier to share any moment with the people who matter to you” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Any questions? Need help with an Instagram Stories strategy? Email us at info@wallaroomedia.com or contact us today!

 

Amazon is Opening Its Advertising Floodgates

Amazon is Exploding, and Finally Expanding its Advertising Offerings – Here’s Why That Matters

Amazon is officially expanding its ad product, and courting agencies and brands to spend big on the platform. Here’s why you should be allocating ad dollars towards Amazon.

First off, Amazon is massive. There are 181 million unique visitors that shop on Amazon every month – that’s more than the top 15 retail sites combined!

Secondly, their ad product is much more robust than it used to be. Now, on Amazon ads, you can target by behavior, contextual search, lookalike audiences, remarketing to lost customers, people who viewed similar products to yours, demographics, geographic, lifestyle interests, and more. Below is the pitch deck Amazon has been using.

These ads have proven to be extremely effective in beta testing. The Return On Ad Spend lift has been between 100% and 700% over campaign averages. Here are some more insights:

amazon ads case study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazon historically has kept all this data close to their chest, but now it’s available to advertisers.

Another reason to advertise on Amazon? They’re not afraid to push the ads. Take a look at the screenshot below from theNextCorner.net:

amazon ads above fold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s the size of a regular laptop, and all you can see are advertisements.

Amazon, the Holiday Season, and Influencers

It’s no secret that Amazon dominates holiday season shopping. Here are some quick stats (gathered from SimilarWeb) from the 2016 holiday season:

  • Total visits to Amazon.com during the holiday season = 3 Billion
  • 1.1 Billion of those visits included searches
  • 18% resulted in purchases

Incredible numbers.

Just a couple months ago Amazon introduced a new publisher and influencer program. Amazon is paying publishers and influencers to post to Spark, their new commerce-oriented social network modeled after Pinterest. Spark encourages users to share images and videos and to follow other people’s posts, with content displayed in an Instagram/Pinterest-like feed.

Spark users are also encouraged to tag products featured in their posts if they are available for sale via Amazon, and customers can easily tap through from Spark to purchase those products.

amazon spark discover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In short, Amazon ads are going to be bigger in Q4 than ever before. If you need assistance with becoming an Amazon Seller or setting up and running an Amazon Ads campaign, contact us today!

Facebook Debuts “Watch”, a New Platform for Shows on Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg has been predicting the video boom for years. Today, he launches “Watch”, a new platform on Facebook for shows.

Facebook will debut original shows made by media partners exclusively for the social network. Amazon, Netflix, Google, Snapchat, and Apple are all also beefing up their original video content. Now Facebook gets into the game. Online video, especially on mobile, is here to stay.

The video tab in Facebook’s mobile app will feature a new section called “Watch” to highlight the initiative. “Watch” will also appear on desktop and Facebook’s TV apps. Facebook will roll out “Watch” to a small group of users today before expanding it more widely in the weeks to come.

From the Facebook Newsroom:

“We’re introducing Watch, a new platform for shows on Facebook. Watch will be available on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and in our TV apps. Shows are made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow a theme or storyline. To help you keep up with the shows you follow, Watch has a Watchlist so you never miss out on the latest episodes.

Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching. For example, you’ll find sections like “Most Talked About,” which highlights shows that spark conversation, “What’s Making People Laugh,” which includes shows where many people have used the “Haha” reaction, and “What Friends Are Watching,” which helps you connect with friends about shows they too are following.”

facebook debuts shows in watch

Facebook debuts “Watch”, for shows

Here’s a list of some of the original programming that will be available on “Watch”:

  • Tastemade’s Kitchen Little – This cooking show sees kids watch a how-to recipe video, then instruct a pro chef how to make the dish with comedic results
  • Major League Baseball – The MLB will broadcast one game a week live on Facebook
  • Major League Baseball “12:25 Live” –  A comedic look at baseball with help from the fans
  • Mike Rowe – Rowe finds people who’ve done great things for their community and gives them a special experience in return
  • Nas Daily – Vlogger Nas (Correction: Not the rapper) makes videos with his biggest friends each day
  • Gabby Bernstein – Motivational speaker and author answers fans’ life questions in live and recorded segments
  • A&E’s “Bae or Bail:” – Reality TV game show where couples face their fears and see who runs
  • All Def Digital’s “Inside the Office” – A look inside the office life at Russel Simmons’ hip-hop media empire
  • Billboard’s “How it Went Down” – A documentary series of musicians sharing crazy stories
  • David Lopez’s “My Social Media Life”  – A reality show about the social media star’s life
  • Golden State Warriors’ “Championship Rewind”  – A behind-the-scenes look at the Bay Area’s NBA championship 2016-2017 season
  • Univision Deportes’ “Liga MX” – Live coverage of LigaMX soccer matches
  • National Geographic’s “We’re Wired that Way:” – Mini-documentaries about weird quirks of humanity like songs you can’t get out of your head
  • National Geographic’s “Safari Live” – Watch live safaris led by National Geographic’s guides
  • NASA’s “Science @ NASA” – Explore science topics in quick four to five-minute episodes
  • NBA’s “WNBA All-Access” – A behind the scenes show with women’s basketball stars
  • The Dodo’s “Comeback Kids: Animal Edition” features determined animals facing difficult conditions or challenges meet people who refuse to give up on them.
  • Tommy Mac – A master woodworker gives live tutorials on how to make furniture

We think this is going to be HUGE. If you are not creating video content for your brand, you need to be. Need help? Contact us today.

Snapchat Adds Links, Voice Filters, & Backdrops to Snaps

Snapchat added some key new features to its app. The features are already rolled out globally. The new features are titled “Paperclip”, “Backdrops”, and “Voice Filters”. Below is a video tutorial from TechCrunch on how to use them. Here’s an explanation of the new creative tools:

  • Paperclip: Paperclip lets you attach a website to a Snap that friends can swipe up to open in Snapchat’s internal browser. Previously only ad campaigns and Discover content could include links. Just tap the Paperclip button in the Vertical Toolkit and enter your link. Snap will use its own automated trust and safety tools, as well as information from Google’s Safe Browsing service, to warn users about potential phishing scams, malware or other dangerous sites.
  • Backdrops: Backdrops allow you to cut out an object from your Snap and put a colorful or artsy pattern behind it to make it stick out. First tap the Scissors in the Vertical Toolkit and then the Backdrop icon. Trace around the object, select one of the Backdrop designs that rotate daily, and you’ll be able give a certain part of your snap the spotlight.
  • Voice Filters: Voice Filters let you remix the sound of voices in your Snaps. Previously, voice filters were only part of visual augmented reality lenses. Now you can tap the speaker icon at the bottom of the screen and select from a range of character voices to give your Snaps some extra humor or style.

We’re really excited for these new features. The enhanced ability to storytell on the platform will be fun for users and brands alike.

How long before Instagram copies these new Snapchat features? We give it a month  :).

In other news, Snapchat just said that every minute, geofilters are viewed over 1.5 million times by message and Story viewers. That equals 2.16 billion views per day. Crazy numbers!

Snapchat Introduces “Snap Maps”

This New Feature Looks Pretty Cool

Snapchat just introduced “Snap Maps”, and the new feature looks pretty cool. Here is the intro video:

According to Snap’s blog, they said “We’ve built a whole new way to explore the world! See what’s happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!”

Snap Maps let you share your current location with your friends. Your friends can then see what you’re doing in real time and, if they’re near you, join in on the fun.

Snap PR said that there will not be ads running in Stories seen through Snap Maps.

Refinery29 got early access to the feature. “In a lot of ways, we’re taking what a map is and turning it upside down,” Jack Brody, a product designer at Snap, told Refinery29. “This map isn’t about where am I, it’s about where are my friends and what are they up to? It’s not about figuring out how to get to your destination, but about discovering where you want to go.”

Instagram Stories is Growing Extremely Fast, Outpacing Snapchat

New Data Shows Instagram Stories’ Incredible Growth

Delmondo, a social media analytics firm, released new data around Instagram and Snapchat Stories. Instagram Stories now has 250 million daily active users, up from 200 million in April.

During the month of June, Snapchat Stories (according to Delmondo) saw a decline of 50 percent in average unique views per story from the same period in 2016. Delmondo analyzed 50,000 Snapchat Stories from brands, influencers, and publishers to acquire this data.

instagram stories snapchat growth

Image courtesy of TechCrunch

Things are still looking up for Snapchat, though. They are playing the long game, and pushing original content. Just this week they announced a $100 Million deal with Time Warner for a 2 year partnership centered around HBO and Turner content. Time Warner is committing to creating around 10 original shows for Snap.

As we’ve also recently reported, Snapchat’s “audience exclusivity” is still very real, with about 46% of Snapchat’s daily users not using Instagram on a given day.

All that being said, Instagram Stories is obviously growing incredibly fast and should be a focus for all social media marketers. Instagram also just added a new feature to Stories. Now, when creating Live video on Instagram Stories, you’ll have the option to share it on your story for 24 hours, instead of just letting it disappear immediately.

If you’re not running Instagram Stories ads right now, you should be.