As October marks the beginning of Q4 and the busiest time of the year for most companies, social media and digital marketing efforts are just as active across a variety of platforms. Pinterest is especially gearing up for Q4 with the launch of Product Pins, a newly created e-commerce tool. However, with every beginning also comes an end, as Google announced that the company plans to officially pull the plug on Google Plus by August 2019. Lastly, with October being the final full month before the midterm elections, an unexpected celebrity made a tremendous impact on younger voters via Instagram. Continue reading to catch up on all the industry news you may have missed in October!
Launched in the summer of 2011, Google Plus had high ambitions of being the next greatest social media platform. At one point the site had over 500 million active users, but in recent years Google Plus has been swept under the rug by its competitors and practically forgotten by the general public. After a security breach earlier this year that leaked over 500,000 users’ personal information, Google decided to throw in the towel. Google has announced that it will be shutting the site down over the course of the next 10 months, with the site slated to be completely offline by August 2019.
For the first time in reported history, Instagram has surpassed Snapchat as the most used app among American teens. In a report released by Piper Jaffary, surveying 8,600 teenagers, Instagram has proven to resonate with younger users, especially through influencer marketing. It is said that Generation Z contributes over $830 billion to U.S. retail sales annually, proving to marketers that Instagram is the route to take to place their brands in the hands of younger decision makers.
Pinterest has implemented ‘Product Pins,’ a new e-commerce feature to its site, making it easier than ever for users to shop their feed. Tim Weingarten, the company’s head of shopping product, stated, “Today we’re making hundreds of millions of Pins shoppable with up-to-date pricing and stock information, with links that go directly to the checkout page on the retailer’s site where you can buy in a few clicks.” Product Pins provide information such as inventory, pricing, and a link to the brand’s website for purchase. As Pinterest has been a source of inspiration across everything from DIY projects to wedding dresses, the site seems to want to jump on board with Amazon’s growing e-commerce capabilities.
With another month passing, another Facebook executive has left Mark Zuckerberg’s billion-dollar company. This month co-founder of Oculus, Brendan Iribe, took to Twitter to announce his departure from Facebook. Zuckerberg acquired the virtual reality technology company back in 2014 for $2 billion, but recently decided to cancel the launch of the ‘Rift 2’ PC powered headset that Iribe was developing. In the same vein, Instagram’s former CEO, Kevin Systrom, who left Facebook in September, spoke publically about his departure this month stating, “No one ever leaves a job because everything’s awesome.” Systrom did go on to say that there are no hard feelings involved, but Facebook seems to be in turmoil as its executives are continuing to pack up their desks this year.
Although micro-influencers are proven to generate more engagement than those with larger followings, Taylor Swift’s recent political statement on her Instagram this month sent tens of thousands of people between the ages 18-29 in Tennessee to register to vote the following day after her public post. Her post emphasized, “So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count.” As marketers have been looking for ways to encourage the younger generation to vote through push notifications on Snapchat and Instagram, Swift’s unsolicited post may have just been a step in the right direction.