Instagram Adds Hashtag Following; Facebook Opens Up AR Platform

Facebook/Instagram Make Big Changes (and What Those Mean for Marketers)

Facebook made three important announcements today…

  1. The Facebook AR Studio is now open to all

Facebook now has over 2,000 creators using AR Studio. They are using the platform to build fun, animated frames, masks, and interactive augmented reality experiences.

facebook ar studio

As of today, the AR Studio creative tools are open to everyone. In the next week or so, Facebook will also enable ‘world effect technology’ within AR Studio. Creators will soon be able to develop 3D digital objects for people to place onto surfaces and interact with in their physical space. This tech is akin to what Snapchat has been doing for quite a while now.

2. Hashtag followings on Instagram

Today Instagram introduced the ability to follow hashtags in the app. Below is a statement from the announcement:

“Now it’s even easier to stay connected with the interests, hobbies, passions and communities you care about. Every day, millions of people share photos and videos and tag them with relevant hashtags. #onthetable#slime and #floralnails are just a few examples of hashtags that represent the many interests and passions of our community. To make these posts even more discoverable, we’re introducing hashtags you can follow.

Following a hashtag is just like following a friend. To get started, search for a topic you’re interested in or tap on a hashtag from any post. You’ll see relevant hashtags displayed in your search results along with related accounts. When you find a hashtag you like, open the hashtag page and tap on the follow button. You’ll begin seeing top posts from that hashtag in your feed and some of the latest stories in your stories bar. You can always unfollow a hashtag at any time.”

instagram hashtag followings

To us, this is big news for Instagram. Incorporating hashtags has been crucial aspect of marketing strategy. They’ve been very effective for organically growing your following. With this new feature, that strategy can be accelerated if done correctly.

From an advertising perspective, expect to see ads in these hashtag sections by the end of 2018.

3. Update to the Facebook Newsfeed algorithm

According to Mashable, it was confirmed that Facebook quietly killed an old feature that gave users the choice to somewhat control the order of posts in the Newsfeed. News Ticker, the official feature introduced alongside Facebook’s algorithmic feed years ago, is no more. Get the full breakdown of Facebook’s latest Newsfeed algorithm changes here.

Snapchat Launches Huge Redesign; New Ad Units

Snapchat Separates the “Social” (friends) from the “Media” (publishers)

Snapchat just launched a huge redesign today. They officially, according to their CEO in the video below, separated “social” from “media”. Check out the video demo here:

Here’s an official statement from Snap:

Until now, social media has always mixed photos and videos from your friends with content from publishers and creators. While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves.

The new Snapchat separates the social from the media. This means that the Chats and Stories from your friends are on the left side of Snapchat, and the Stories from publishers, creators, and the community are on the right.

With this big change, Snapchat is simultaneously trying to appeal to its loyal users and newbies. We think that there is a lot of potential here. Snapchat may really be on to something…

Separately, Snap announced new filters based on what you’re snapping, promoted stories ad units, and long-form, hands-on AR ads. Keep an eye on their growth!

Snapchat Copycats Haven’t Copied One Thing: Snap’s Userbase

App Annie just released a report today around Snapchat’s user base and exclusivity. The numbers are very interesting. Here’s a quick graphic of the main highlight (we’ll explain why it matters to marketers/advertisers below):

snapchat userbase exclusivity

First off, that data proves that Snapchat users are extremely loyal to Snapchat itself. What does that mean for you? That means that reaching them outside of Snapchat requires working with multiple apps, which can add degrees of difficulty depending on the type of ads and/or content. Moving beyond “audience volume” and more towards factoring in metrics like “audience exclusivity” can help you more effectively and efficiently reach the audiences you want to target.

In short, Snapchat may be the place to be for your brand, depending on your audience and your daily goals.

Snap’s ad targeting capabilities are improving quickly as well. They are rolling out context cards and a new pixel. They are also moving towards a new algorithmic feed which should improve engagement and stimulate growth. CEO Evan Spiegel teased more interesting things in the pipeline as well.

Fun sidenote: Snap just announced the Snap Accelerate program. It’s a program for growth-stage mobile startups where if approved, the startup gets to ad spend, creative assistance, media coupons, and more. Apply here.

Snap Ads – The Complete Guide

The Complete Guide to Snap Ads

This is a concise, but complete, guide to the ins and out of Snap Ads. We share minimum ad spend numbers, fees, targeting, etc. If you have any questions, contact us.

Last updated: October 30, 2017.

snap ads management

Snap Ads Details:

  • Minimum Ad Spend – $3,000/month (month to month contract) [Note: Options available for budgets under $3k – contact us to learn more]
  • Snap Ads Management Fee – 20% of total ad spend (lower if spend is $30k+)
  • Countries Available – United States, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Austria, Chile, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Belgium, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, and Switzerland
  • Demographic Targeting Options – Location, Gender, Age, Interests (See full list of current interest targeting options below)
  • Targeting Options – Goal-based bidding for app installs, Lookalike audiences, Customer match (by email or mobile IDs), Retargeting (only retargeting based on actions within Snapchat), “Snap to Store” (offline conversions)
  • Ad Reporting Metrics – Impressions, click rate, swipe-up rate, video views (reporting views to 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%)
  • Tracking Options – Vanity URLs, UTM tags, mobile-friendly landing page
  • Destination Options – Video views, App installs (swipe-up leads to app install page), Web views (swipe-up leads to landing page of your choice)
  • Ad Creative Options – Video only for now (click here for video specs)
  • Snapchat recently opened up programmatic advertising to fill space inside the content sections of the app (not available to the public yet)

Are you interested in starting a campaign on Snapchat? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’re your team from creative and strategy, to execution and management. Click the the link below and let’s get you started on making more money. It’s a snap!

Snap Ad interest targeting options:

“Activities/Sports”
Adventure Sports, Fitness, Snow Sports, Running, Sports, Motor Sports, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Golf, College Football, Hockey, Combat Sports, Soccer, Tennis, Beach & Watersports, Skates/Bikes/Boards
“Lifestyles/Hobbies”
Arts & Culture, Beauty, Reading, Fashion & Style, Autos & Vehicles, Nightlife, Investing & Entrepreneurship, Food, Technology & Gadgets, Travel, Women’s Lifestyle, Math & Science, Home Decor, Men’s Lifestyle, Outdoors & Nature, College Life, Streaming Video, DIY, Hip Trends, Pets & Animals, Fast Food Junkies, Cooking, Parenting & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Green Living, Photography
“Music”
Music, Country Music, Concerts & Festivals, Indie Music, Dance & EDM Music, Pop Music, Urban & Hip-Hop Music
“News/Entertainment”
Film & TV, Comedy, Reality TV, News, Business News, Celebrity News, Political News, Video Games, Console Games
More on Snap Ads types:
“Snap to Store” offline conversions: The new ad format is performing very well. Wendy’s used these new ads in their U.S. stores and promoted the Jalapeño Fresco Chicken Sandwich. The ads drove 42,000 visitors to a Wendy’s within seven days of viewing it. “Foot traffic into our restaurants is the best measurement of short-term sales success for any program. ‘Snap to Store’ is a big win for Wendy’s for this reason — we want more ad tech like this,” Brandon Rhoten, Wendy’s head of advertising, digital/social and media, said in a statement to Mashable.
Snapchat recently introduced ‘Max Reach’ as a new ad unit within Snap Ads campaigns. Max Reach is a way to basically do a full ad takeover of an entire country, ensuring that anyone who logs in to Snapchat on a given day would see your ad. To learn more about Max Reach click here.
snap to store snapchat ads

New ads dashboard from Snapchat

Check out two Snap Ads case studies below!

snap ads case studies

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!

Why You Should Be Running Instagram Stories Ads

Instagram Stories Are Exploding, And You Need to Be Advertising On Them

Instagram Stories is growing extremely fast, like hockey stick fast. They recently announced that they have 250 Million daily users. The company just announced the ability to run ads inside of Instagram Stories. Here are the details…

To start, the ads are unclickable. You can do 5-second image ads and 15-second video ads. As a business, you will get analytics on reach, impressions, replies, and exits. These will be viewable in the Insights section of the business profile.

Instagram Stories ad example

Currently, Instagram Stories ads will be sold on a CPM basis, and priced via auction. Also, at launch, the ads will not have the ability to click through to a website. That will be introduced in the near future, according to Instagram’s VP of Business James Quarles.

As a user, the following is nice: we won’t see ads until you start cycling through multiple stories from friends.

As we get more information about new Instagram Stories Ad formats and details, we will update this post. If you’re interested in an ad campaign, contact us today!

Snapchat Acquires “Placed” to Enhance Its Location Advertising

Snapchat is Upping its Ads Game Once Again…

Snapchat just acquired Placed, a startup focused on tracking and measuring consumers’ locations on their smartphones, and using that information to serve up more targeted mobile ads.

Snapchat released its “Snap to Store” ad product a few months ago. That product allows advertisers to track online to offline sales. But with the acquisition of Placed, Snapchat appears to be putting more of an effort on taking the local ad dollars.

 

snapchat placed advertising

As Mashable explains, Placed offers analysis on other third-party platforms like Facebook and Instagram and websites, so that an advertiser or a publisher can compare the outcome of each of them. Placed also reportedly measures billions of locations.

Snap makes the majority of its revenue from mobile advertising (just as Facebook, Google, and Twitter do). With the addition of Placed, Snapchat is looking to become a bigger player in that space. The location tracking is all opt-in. Snap also will put in place data-sharing, privacy, and security guidelines so that advertising data is not shared between Snap’s own services like “Snap to Store” and the company Placed.

Snapchat Introduces Three New Advertising Products

Snapchat Rolls Out 3 New Ad Units Related to its Lenses and Geofilters



First reported by TechCrunch, Snapchat introduced three new advertising offerings today, its largest update since 2015. For a full rundown of Snapchat advertising options, click here.

World Lenses

Snapchat’s creative tools are extremely popular with its users, which makes them appealing to potential advertisers. 33% of users play with Snapchat Lenses every day, and snaps with Geofilters are viewed over 1 billion times per day.

snapchat world lenses ads

Image courtesy of TechCrunch

World Lenses are an extension of Snapchat’s Sponsored Lens. With Sponsored World Lenses, advertisers can create content for the rest of the photo beyond the face, including floating 2D or 3D objects, interactive content, and other items. This is arguably the most innovative and unique form of advertising out there right now.

There are 4 types of World Lenses: ones where you can place a 2D or 3D film character or product into the photo (for those photos snapped with the outward-facing camera); action-based lenses where you look at or tap an augmented reality object to trigger something to happen; an “interaction” World Lens (like an in-app game); and environmental lenses which can be used to add floating lights or ambiance.

Audience Lenses

Snapchat is also rolling out Audience Lenses, which allow advertisers to buy regionally targeted Lenses for the first time. Previously, advertisers could only be purchased on a nationwide basis.

Audience Lenses allow advertisers buy a guaranteed number of Lens impressions for a specific audience. This includes those that are targeted by demographics like age and gender, as well as those identified as falling in one of Snapchat’s “Lifestyle Categories” (see more on those in our Snap Ads article)

smart geofilters snapchat ads

Image courtesy of TechCrunch

Smart Geofilters

Snapchat’s third new advertising offering is a new take on its Geofilters product. These new Smart Geofilters automatically add location information or other real-time information to a nationwide or chain Geofilter. For example, these could be updated automatically to include things like a high school or college name, airport name, state, city, neighborhood or zip code.

Warner Bros. ran Smart Geofilter ads for its movie “Everything, Everything,” in order to target high school users by featuring the name of the school in its ad (see image above).

snap ads management

Snapchat recently announced that its daily users launch the app over 18 times per day, on average. Snapchat’s daily users now spend over 30 minutes on Snapchat each day. More than 3 billion Snaps are created every day — up from more than 2.5 billion in Q3 2016. And over 60 % of Snapchat’s daily users create content every day.

Want to run Snapchat ads? Contact us today!