In recent months, we’ve reported on how digital outlets are working hard to improve transparency to win back user trust, and June was no exception to that trend. This month, both Facebook and Twitter announced redesigns that will make Breaking News more prominent and accessible on the social networks. Furthermore, Facebook announced a new feature that will allow users to provide feedback on brands whose ads they interacted with on the network, with the goal of preventing and shutting down misleading advertisers that may tarnish user experience. Meanwhile, Instagram celebrated reaching 1 billion users with the announcement of its new platform, Instagram Television or IGTV, which will allow users to upload videos up to 60 minutes long.
Keep reading to catch up on all the industry news you may have missed in June!
Instagram celebrated the news of reaching 1 billion users by launching its newest feature: Instagram Television, also known as IGTV. IGTV will be available both in-app through Instagram and as a standalone app, and it will have dedicated areas for videos from accounts that users already follow as well as popular videos for easy discovery. The platform will allow users to upload vertical videos for easy viewing on mobile devices and increase the time limit from 60 seconds in the Instagram feed to up to 60 minutes when published to IGTV.
Facebook users will soon have to say goodbye to Trending Topics, as the network has decided to retire the feature showing popular topics at the top of desktop browsers. Taking its place and now also extending to mobile applications will be a section for Breaking News, which will focus on timely news and news videos in particular. The move comes as Facebook continues to work to earn back the trust of its users following the Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal in March. According to the social network, the current Trending Topics feature accounted for less than 1.5% of clicks to news publishers on average, and the new Breaking News feature is designed to keep users more informed about current events from trustworthy sources.
Following in Facebook’s footsteps, Twitter is redesigning its app to focus on Breaking News. The social network announced a series of new changes to come that include “happening now” and “personalized news” modules at the top of users’ timelines, which will feature timely and Breaking News. Additionally, Twitter is introducing Breaking News push notifications on users’ smart phones. These changes will be rolled out gradually over the next few weeks, according to Twitter.
In an effort to improve user experience on the social network, Facebook announced new features that will allow consumers to provide feedback and, if necessary, file complaints against misleading advertisers they engage with on the website. Users will begin to see prompts in the social network to provide feedback after clicking on a brand’s ad and will also have the option to submit complaints about poor customer service, product quality, or shipping times. Facebook said that if it receives a high number of complaints against a brand, it will serve the company a warning and possibly limit the number of ads they can run or ban their ad account entirely.
Building on its signature face filters, Snapchat released its first-ever filter that reacts to sound. When using the new Snapchat Lens, users will see glowing ears on their heads in response to their voices. The newest update comes on the heels of Snapchat’s last major Lenses update, which was the introduction of Snappables, or interactive augmented reality games. The new sound-activated lens indicates that the social app is working toward adding even more diversity to its filters, the feature that defined Snapchat from the start and remains one of its core components.
Pinterest is partnering with several platforms to provide better and more accessible creative elements for advertisers on the social network. With updates to its Pinterest Marketing Partner program, advertisers will now have access to creative asset developers, including Vidmob, Shutterstock Custom, and QuickFrame. These partnerships will give brands access to thousands of designers, editors, copywriters, photographers, videographers, and more, and is designed to help advertisers create better-performing promoted pins.
Facebook will soon be launching its own influencer marketplace platform to help brands discover relevant influencers and organize promotions – all in one dashboard. The new dashboard, called Brand Collabs Manager, will include the ability to find influencers based on location, age, gender, education, interests, and more. Brands will be able to connect, work with, and promote influencer posts from right within the platform. With continual changes to the News Feed algorithm, influencer marketing could become even more important in helping brands reach consumers on Facebook, highlighting the value of the new influencer marketplace platform.
Instagram is testing a new feature with select advertisers, which will allow them to add shoppable product links to their Instagram Stories videos or photos. Adidas and Louis Vuitton are just two brands that are currently testing the new feature, with additional brands gaining access in coming weeks. While shoppable posts were previously available in traditional Instagram posts, the Instagram Stories format has become increasingly popular and provides new ways for brands to reach consumers.
Taking inspiration from Facebook’s well-known carousel ads, LinkedIn is rolling out its own version of multi-card Sponsored Content formats that will allow advertisers to include up to 10 customized cards in an ad. According to LinkedIn, the new format will allow brands to offer more eye-catching and interactive visuals in the feed to help them stand out and improve performance. In addition to traditional metrics available for Sponsored Content, the carousel ads will also provide data on card clicks and impressions.
A new report indicates that Amazon’s eCommerce market share is growing at a rapid rate, showing that the online retailer currently owns more than 90% of the market share in five product categories. In Q1, Amazon dominated the market share for online purchases of home improvement tools, skin care, batteries, golf, and kitchen and dining accessories. In the skin care market, Amazon had a 91% share of product purchases, indicating that even mass retailers of these products like Target, Walmart, and Sephora combined only accounted for 9% of that market share. As Amazon continues to overtake eCommerce market share, the combined gross merchandise value of other retailers is shrinking, and brands will be forced to adjust.
What did you think of our June industry roundup? Let us know in the comments below!