social-shorts:-instagram-tests-web-dms,-tiktok-explores-curated-content-streams,-pinterest-passes-snapchat-in-users

This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Instagram DMs, Pinterest beats Snapchat and TikTok looks to change its content stream

Instagram tests DMs on the web. Instagram is finally testing the ability to direct message users on its desktop version. As of yesterday, Instagram began testing the feature on a small percentage of the platform’s global users, who are now able to access their DMs from Instagram’s website. The new feature could be a major win for businesses and influencers who already use Instagram’s desktop version during the workday, and will help round out the app’s experience across devices. While the feature is only a test for now, the company said it will provide more details on a potential wider rollout in the future.

Pinterest eclipses Snapchat in users. In 2019, Pinterest surpassed Snapchat as the third-biggest social media platform in the U.S. and will continue to stay ahead in the coming years, according to the latest estimates from eMarketer. In 2018, Snapchat barely edged Pinterest out with 75.8 million users (compared with Pinterest’s 75.5 million), despite the fact that Snapchat lost users after its major redesign. Snapchat rebounded last year with 80.2 million users, but was still surpassed by Pinterest, which claimed 82.4 million users at the end of 2019.

TikTok might be testing a curated content stream. As it works to address advertiser concerns around ad placement alongside controversial content, TikTok is exploring the idea of a curated content stream, similar to Snapchat’s Discover dashboard. The Financial Times reported that TikTok is looking at adding in a highlights ​stream, which would display curated, original videos from popular TikTok creators alongside content from publishers. The added curation could give businesses on TikTok more control over the viewing experience, ensuring that ads don’t get buried in controversial content streams.

Reddit issues its own anti-deepfake policy, Instagram adds new options to Boomerang

Reddit’s deepfake policy. Last week, Reddit joined the growing chorus of platforms pushing back on deepfakes and other forms of manipulated media. Reddit updated its community guidelines to ban the use of deceptive impersonation within its app, including the use of deepfake content. The update states, “Do not impersonate an individual or entity in a misleading or deceptive manner.” The policy goes on to explain that Reddit doesn’t allow content that aims to impersonate users or entities in a deceptive or misleading way. “While we permit satire and parody,” the policy states, “we will always take into account the context of any particular content.” 

More creative options in Boomerang. Instagram has added three new creative options to its Boomerang camera mode, including ‘SloMo’, ‘Echo’ and ‘Duo’ variants. The features can be accessed via Instagram Stories creation mode in the Boomerang tab, giving users more ways to create engaging experiences in Stories. Users can trim and tweak their Boomerang loops to better control the final clip.


On the move

Trustpilot gets a new marketing VP, Oracle recruits a former AWS exec

Trustpilot has named Lauren Lowman VP of global demand creation and Americas marketing. Lowman, who began her career with Trustpilot in product marketing before overseeing demand generation in North America, is the first to step into the newly-created role with the organization. “As we embark on an exciting new year and prepare to launch dozens of initiatives, it was crucial that we aligned our organization in a fashion that ensured the greatest success,” said Don Ross, President of the Americas for Trustpilot.

Oracle has hired the former VP of worldwide marketing for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Ariel Kelman, as its new CMO, reports CNBC. Kelman’s move to Oracle is a likely win for the company which has long been an AWS competitor. Kelman will be replacing Rupal Shah Hollenbeck who recently exited Oracle. According to Kelman’s LinkedIn profile, he was the co-founder and VP of marketing at Ventaso, a customer Message Management (CMM) solution, from 1998 through 2004. Prior to being with AWS, Kelman held roles at Salesforce and MicroStrategy. 

Ben Brewer has been named chief revenue officer for Nintex, a process management and automation solution. He will lead direct and partner sales for new and existing Nintex customers, as well as the company’s global sales organization which is comprised of teams within North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. “We can’t wait to see what Ben and his team will achieve across the global Nintex community in 2020,” said CEO Eric Johnson. Before joining Nintex, Brewer was with SAP Concur, overseeing its SMB division — a unit comprised of 1,100 employees and more than $200 million in annual bookings.

Lowe’s gets a new CMO, BuzzFeed hires Peter Wang as CTO, and Allocadia brings in a Chief Product Officer

Lowe’s has appointed Marisa Thalberg as executive vice president, chief brand and marketing officer, taking effect Feb. 10. Prior to joining Lowes, Thalberg served as global chief brand officer for Taco Bell, where she led the transformation of the company to become a culture-centric lifestyle brand, leading to sales growth and category share gains. Thalberg has also served as head of corporate digital and integrated marketing worldwide for Estée Lauder Companies, and before that held various senior leadership roles at Unilever Cosmetics International, Sure Fit Inc. and Revlon. 

Buzzfeed has hired Peter Wang as chief technology officer (CTO), the company announced last week. Formerly the CTO of healthcare community The Mighty, Wang joins BuzzFeed with a wealth of experience in the media industry, having held executive roles at Refinery29 and Narrativ (a startup for publishers). Wang is replacing BuzzFeed’s previous CTO, Todd Levy, who left to join a health startup last summer. Wang will oversee engineering, product, data, design and project management for the media company.

Marketing performance management (MPM) platform Allocadia has named Rahul Nirula as its new chief product officer. Nirula will work with the company’s CTO to drive innovation and expand growth for the MPM market. “As the former CPO, I’m excited to be handing over the reins to Nirula, whose expansive product expertise and focus on customer success is a strong addition to Allocadia as we continue to grow the executive team,” said Allocadia Co-founder Katherine Berry. Prior to joining Allocadia, Nirula was with the Volaris Group and has been part of the product teams for OpenText, Research in Motion and Polar.



About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.



social-shorts:-twitter-gets-rid-of-audience-insights,-facebook-updates-instant-articles,-youtube-enforces-policy-on-kids’-content

This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Facebook Shorts: New Page admin tools, update on political ad policies and the Teen Vogue gaffe

A Page Management History feature for admins. Social media consultant Matt Navarra spotted a new Facebook Pages feature called Page Management History that shows all actions taken on a Page, when they were made and who made them. The feature is only visible to people who help manage your Page. Admins can click on the “Settings” tab at the top of the Page and then click “Page Management History” link in the left column. The history goes back to Nov. 1, 2019, and can be downloaded to your business history in Business Manager. 

The latest iteration of Facebook’s political ad policies. Facebook has once again updated its stance on political ads. A new control will allow users to see fewer political and social issue ads in their Facebook and Instagram feeds. From their “Ad Preferences,” users can opt to see fewer ads on topics or interests. Facebook also updated search filters in Ad Library, making it possible to search for ads via exact phrases and adding several new filters to better analyze results (audience size, dates and regions reached). 

Teen Vogue and Facebook’s sponsored content fiasco. In case you missed it, Teen Vogue published a story titled “How Facebook Is Helping Ensure the Integrity of the 2020 Election” without a byline — or a sponsored content label. Criticism flooded in, and Teen Vogue added a “sponsored editorial content” label and byline from a Teen Vogue contributor who said she knew nothing about it. Facebook denied – then acknowledged – it was part of a sponsored package. Teen Vogue eventually removed the piece and issued a statement: “We made a series of errors labeling this piece, and we apologize for any confusion this may have caused. We don’t take our audience’s trust for granted, and ultimately decided that the piece should be taken down entirely to avoid further confusion.” 

Twitter is getting rid of its Audience Insights tab, Facebook reminds API advertisers of Special Ad Category

Twitter says goodbye to Audience Insights. Twitter has confirmed that it will be removing the Audience Insights tab from Twitter Analytics at the end of January. Audience Insights initially launched back in 2015 to give users more in-depth data about their followers, including demographic profiles, purchase behavior insights, mobile device usage stats and more. Now, when users go to view Insights in Twitter Analytics, they will see a notification that the feature is being removed. For now, Twitter has yet to provide further information about a possible tool alternative, though it’s worth noting that Twitter added a new ‘Conversation Insights’ feature to Media Studio in November last year.

Facebook’s gentle ad policies reminder. Last year, Facebook introduced a new policy for U.S.-based advertisers running ads in its “Special Ad Category,” which includes housing, employment or credit opportunities. By February 11, 2020, Facebook will require all U.S. advertisers to identify any active campaigns that belong to a Special Ad Category that were created before Dec. 4, 2019. Advertisers will also need to update targeting settings for such campaigns or the ads will no longer be allowed to run. By March 31, all U.S. businesses creating new ads in the housing, employment, or credit categories must specify the Special Ad Category and update targeting settings to comply with restrictions for Special Ad Category campaigns. All businesses creating ads that do not offer housing, employment, or credit opportunities must indicate “None” in the Special Ad Category field for all campaigns, or the ads will no longer be allowed to run.

Facebook takes action against manipulated media, YouTube issues a policy reminder

Facebook policies on manipulated media. Amid growing concerns around deepfake technology, Facebook is formally taking steps to address and combat manipulated media with a new policy framework. Facebook’s approach has several components, including investigating AI-generated content for deceptive behaviors and teaming up with government and industry partners to expose people behind malicious efforts. Going forward, Facebook will remove misleading manipulated media if it meets the following criteria: Media has been edited or synthesized (beyond adjustments for clarity or quality) in ways that aren’t apparent and could mislead someone into thinking that a subject said words that they did not actually say; or, that the media is driven by AI or machine learning technology that “merges, replaces or superimposes content onto a video” in an attempt to make the final video appear original. 

YouTube’s data collection policy on kids’ content. On Monday, YouTube reminded creators that its new restrictions on data collection on kids’ videos is now coming into effect. The policy was initially announced in September, outlining measures that include removing data targeting from videos identified as being directed at children. In addition to adding a new audience setting in YouTube Studio to help creators indicate whether or not their content is made for kids, YouTube said it will “treat data from anyone watching children’s content on YouTube as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user.” Essentially, YouTube will limit data collection on children’s content to the bare minimum needed to support “the operation of the service.” YouTube said it will also stop serving personalized ads on videos made for kids and will remove some of the features on kids’ content – such as comments and notifications.

Facebook adds new features to Instant Articles, Twitter rolls out a new research data hub

Facebook Instant Articles. Facebook has rolled out updates to Instant Articles for publishers, including a new recirculation and navigation surface, smarter CTA and ad placements, and support for Facebook Stories. Instant Articles first opened to publishers in 2016 to enable content to load quickly and be monetized within Facebook. The company said Monday Instant Articles have 3x faster load times and 30% more time spent than mobile web articles.

Twitter launches a research hub. Twitter has launched a new hub for academic researchers in an effort to provide more access to information and support around its APIs. The new page, dubbed “Twitter data for academic researchers,” is part of Twitter’s response based on feedback from the research community. The hub includes links to apply for a developer account to access Twitter’s different APIs with additional tools for researchers that cover data integration, analysis and hosting.

Snap buys the AI company it partnered with on Cameos, Facebook launches deepfake challenge

Snap acquires AI factory. Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, has quietly scooped up AI Factory – the computer vision startup that Snapchat collaborated with on its recently launched ‘Cameos’ video mode, according to a new report from TechCrunch. Snap confirmed the news but has not provided further comment on the financial terms, though Snap is believed to have closed the deal for around $166 million. While the details are still fuzzy, it’s likely that AI Factory will have a hand in expanding Snap’s AI investment with more interactive features and creative tools for Snapchat users. Stay tuned, marketers. 

Facebook’s deepfake detection challenge. In mid-December, Facebook launched a Deepfake Detection Challenge (DFDC) – an open initiative aimed at accelerating the development of new technologies for detecting deepfakes and manipulated media. In partnership with leaders in the industry and in academia, Facebook launched the challenge at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), providing entrants with a unique data set of 100,000-plus videos specially created to aid research on deepfakes. The goal of the challenge is to spur researchers around the world to build innovative new technologies that can help detect deepfakes and manipulated media, and results will be scored for effectiveness. Facebook is offering $500,000 as a first-place prize. The challenge is ongoing through March 2020. 

YouTube creators see drop in subscriber count. YouTube has confirmed that beginning around December 25 – 26, some YouTube Studio creators experienced a significant drop in subscribers and view counts, with one creator claiming 50% fewer views than average during the December timeframe. The video platform has since resolved the issue, citing a YouTube Analytics bug. Now, the subscriber count reflected in the YouTube Studio (on snapshot cards, reports, etc) has been corrected. According to YouTube, only the YouTube Studio dashboard was impacted by the issue, while channel pages remained unaffected.



About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.



social-media-2020:-the-top-features,-formats-and-trends-to-get-familiar-with-this-year

Last year saw continued growth and innovation in social media opportunities for brands with new features, content formats and dynamic creative capabilities designed to bring brands closer to their customers. For social marketers, a successful strategy involves tapping into audiences in compelling ways that can grab attention in passing moments.

Facebook and Snapchat launched new immersive formats, including augmented reality. Pinterest and Instagram ramped up shoppable post capabilities. Machine learning powers an ever-growing slate of platform functions. Here’s the rundown of top features and formats social marketers should explore in 2020.

Facebook

Groups. Over the last few years, Facebook has been pushing hard to beef up its community-driven Groups feature, opening it to brands and publishers in 2017 and with a suite of settings and tools specifically for Groups creators. By July 2018, Facebook rolled out Watch Party for all Groups, a video feature that allows multiple users to watch and comment on the same video in a Facebook Group simultaneously. The following month, Facebook opened up its ads pixel to a limited number of Groups, and said it was planning a broader roll-out in the coming weeks.

It didn’t come as a surprise when, in early 2019, Facebook announced that it would make “Groups” a central focus of its platform. After overhauling the Groups tab with a redesign and a new slate of features, Facebook Groups saw tremendous growth in 2019, with users able to discover more relevant content, more easily. The Groups tab now shows a personalized feed of activity across all of your groups, and the discovery tool touts improved recommendations to let users quickly find groups of interest.

Facebook Groups offer an opportunity for brands willing to put the time and effort into building out a community via the platform. Not only do Facebook Groups provide direct engagement with followers, but they give brands using them more exposure on the app with posts and discussions from Groups visible in News Feed.

Messenger ads. Facebook originally launched Messenger ads in 2016, but the ad product has since undergone a series of upgrades and improvements that will make it a valuable channel in 2020. Messenger ads work like ads across other Facebook platforms to automatically deliver ads to the placement most likely to drive campaign results at the lowest cost. The best part? Advertisers can use the same creative for Messenger that’s already being used for Facebook and Instagram. Audiences will see these ads in the Chats tab in their Messenger app. When they tap on an ad, they’ll be sent to a detailed view within Messenger with a call-to-action that will take them to the destination you chose during ads creation—whether that’s your site, app, or a conversation with your business.

Click to Messenger ads. In October, Facebook released a new feature that allows advertisers to use Stories ads to start conversations in Messenger. Users can swipe up on Stories ads that have a “Send Message” call to action to start a conversation with the business in Messenger without leaving the app they’re in. And for businesses with multiple Facebook apps connected to the Messenger platform, the company is made it easier to select which app they want to use for their Click to Messenger ads. As social platforms and usage patterns trend to a more personalized, messaging experience, brands focused on one-on-one communication with consumers will have an advantage over the competition and a better chance at attracting a loyal following.

Instant Experience ads. Formerly known as Canvas ads, these full-screen takeover ads load instantly and are mobile-optimized, designed to capture the full attention of the audience. Within Instant Experience, users can watch engaging videos and photos, swipe through carousels, tilt to pan, and explore lifestyle images with tagged products all in a single ad experience. Facebook last year also added new metrics for Instant Experiences in Ads Manager: Instant Experiences Clicks to Open, Instant Experiences Clicks to Start and Instant Experiences Outbound Clicks. The new metrics give advertisers more insight into the key “drop-off” points within an ad and are available to campaigns implementing Instant Experiences and Lead Ads.

Dynamic ad formats. Dynamic Ads, launched in 2019, are Facebook’s machine-learning ad unit that delivers a personalized version of the ad to everyone who sees it, based on which ad types they are most likely to respond to. The format is available for any campaign that uses objectives for catalog sales, traffic, and conversions. According to a Facebook test, Dynamic Ads delivered an average of 34% improvement in incremental ROAS, 10% improvement in lift, and 6% lower cost per incremental purchase compared to carousel-only ads.

Creator Studio. Facebook originally launched the Creator Studio in 2018 as a centralized hub for publishers and creators managing video content. In 2019, the tool underwent a series of updates and improvements to help support brand and partnered monetization efforts. Enhancements to the Creator Studio included a dedicated Monetization Overview section, new audience and retention insights, and the ability to now manage Instagram posts and IGTV from within the Creator Studio. The tool itself gives marketers a one-stop-shop to post, schedule posts, manage, monetize, and measure content across Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts. Page admins will be able to schedule video content on the Instagram platforms up to six months in advance via the Creator Studio, and Facebook reports it is working on new drafting features for videos published to the Instagram Feed and IGTV. It’s likely that the Creator Studio will continue rolling out updates to support individuals and brands managing content video across Facebook properties.

Instagram

Story ads. It’s been more than two years since Instagram first rolled out Story Ads, and the ad format has been a big win for the company, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claiming that more than three million advertisers were running Story Ads across Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. And, according to a report from Kenshoo, Instagram Story Ads accounted for nearly 20% of ad spend on the platform during the second quarter of 2019. It’s no surprise Story Ads are performing well — Instagram reports 500 million accounts are using Stories on its platform. One-third of the most viewed Stories come from businesses, while 1 in 5 Stories are generated via direct message from viewers. In October 2019, Instagram confirmed it was experimenting with increasing the ad load in Stories, not surprising considering the activity Stories are generating.

Shoppable posts. Instagram first debuted its Checkout feature in March 2019, giving online retailers a more seamless way to connect with customers. The feature allows users to make purchases from in-feed or Story content without leaving the app. It works with Shopping on Instagram, enabling businesses to tag up to five products per image (or twenty products per carousel). The tags contain product details and pricing, giving shoppers a smoother path to purchase, and brands the ability to creatively showcase shoppable products. To create shoppable posts, businesses will need to create a Facebook Shop account to link to Instagram.

IGTV. In 2018, Instagram launched IGTV as a hub for watching and creating long-form video content, with a direct connection to the Instagram platform. Unlike Instagram Stories, which disappear after 24 hours, IGTV content occupies a permanent home on the platform, offering the ability to record videos up to an hour long. IGTV videos are largely vertical – and watching them feels similar to watching a Stories feed, giving video creators more opportunities to capture engaged audiences.

While there is a standalone app for IGTV, the majority of users access it on Instagram through either the IGTV tab or the “Explore” tab, which more than half a billion users visit every month, according to Instagram.

Twitter

Hide replies to tweets. In November, Twitter began testing the ability for users to hide tweet replies – an effort to provide users with more control over managing conversations. Users can opt to hide replies to the tweets they create. However, users can still see and engage with hidden replies by selecting the “View hidden replies” option in the Tweet’s dropdown. For brands, the ability to hide Tweet replies could help give them more control over the context of their engagements – such as weeding out spam replies. On the other hand, hiding all replies could have a negative impact for users who rely on replies to find out more information about the product or topic discussed.

Revival of Lists. The longstanding Twitter feature underwent a series of upgrades in 2019, including a new Lists look (courtesy of the platform’s redesign in July), the option to follow specific topics as Lists, and the addition of a shortcut tab for Lists on the mobile app. Twitter said it plans to continue improving Lists in 2020 – an indication that the feature is becoming a core component of Twitter’s social offering. For marketers, the revamped Lists feature offers the ability to build and engage with a curated feed of content, created from specific topics or interests. Brands on Twitter can use Lists to curate community-driven conversations, keep tabs on competitors and stay up-to-date on industry trends.

Video focus. In April 2018, Twitter attributed more than half of its ad revenue to video ads. In 2019, Twitter reported that video ad formats continue to be its fastest-growing ad format. Twitter rolled out a new video ad bidding option in August, giving advertisers the option to run video ads up to 15-seconds long and only pay for ads viewed for a full six-seconds with pixels at 50% in-view. Twitter calls it a “flexible option for advertisers who care about the completed view metric, but are ready to… develop short-form assets optimized for in-feed viewing.”

The platform has also made sure creators and publishers are able to maximize video efforts with new tools and offerings to help drive performance. The “Timing is Everything” tool, launched in March, shows an aggregate view of when users are watching an account’s videos. In April, Twitter announced exclusive media partnerships with a handful of news and entertainment organizations (Univision, MTV, Wall Street Journal – among others) to bring more video content to the platform and attract video advertisers. The media partners were hard at work on Twitter in 2019, creating video content for news, tech, politics, music and sports – all aimed at appealing to a wide spectrum of brands.

Snapchat

Augmented reality (AR). Snap has been an AR leader among social platforms, getting marketers to consider AR in their strategies. At its annual partner summit in April, Snapchat rolled out significant creative updates to support new AR experiences. The company introduced enhanced AR capabilities, including dynamic scanning, improved movement tracking, interactive templates via Lens Studio, landmark manipulation, and object scanning. By October 2019, the company reported that its daily active users (DAU) interact with AR features nearly 30 times every day, on average.

If that isn’t enough to pique your interest in the platform’s AR capabilities, Snapchat has acquired AI Factory – the computer vision startup that Snapchat collaborated with on its recently launched ‘Cameos’ video mode. It’s likely AI Factory technology will be used in developing more interactive features and creative tools for Snapchat users and marketers.

Paramount Picture recently created an AR-driven UGC campaign with Snapchat’s Cameos feature. As AR becomes more established, first-mover brands will be a step ahead in driving deeper engagements with audiences.

Dynamic ads. As with the dynamic ad capabilities of Facebook, Google, and Pinterest, Snapchat’s Dynamic Ads option reduces the amount of time and effort it takes to create and maintain product ads. In October 2019, Snapchat began testing the dynamic format, which automatically creates and updates product ads to run on the app. Dynamic ads are available in a wide array of templates for retail, e-commerce and DTC brands to upload their product catalogs to the platform. As product details such as price or availability are updated, Dynamic Ads adjust accordingly. Snapchat’s Dynamic Ads give the platform room to elbow its way into social commerce ad budgets that are largely allocated to Facebook and Instagram. For commerce advertisers targeting younger audiences, Snapchat’s dynamic ads are particularly appealing, as Gen Z and Millennials account for more than 75% of users aged 13 to 34.

YouTube

Original content. YouTube lifted its Premium paywall on original content in May, making YouTube Original series, movies, and live events free with ads to all viewers. Soon after, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that more than half of digital video ad spend in 2019 would come from video ads featuring original content. While video is, without question, a highly effective format, advertisers should also embrace the idea of creating original video content that caters to the varied interests of their brand’s audience. YouTube aside, the industry’s continued investment in original content proves that it can do what stock or mass-produced content can’t – which is deliver deeper value for engaged consumers interested in the brand’s offering.

15-second non-skippable ads. YouTube made its 15-second non-skippable video ads available to all advertisers at the beginning of 2019. Before that, the ad unit was only open to advertisers buying through the YouTube reservation process and its premium Google Preferred network. In addition to the classic TruView ad unit, the option to buy traditional, non-skippable ads can be valuable for branding and reach and for advertisers who want to re-purpose existing creative designed for television and other non-skippable environments. With more viewers turning to the big screen TV to stream content through YouTube and other services, the non-skippable ad unit gives advertisers a simple path to target eyeballs at home from the living room.

Intelligent ad tools. In an effort to make advertising easier and more accessible to a broader range of advertisers, YouTube last year rolled out a range of machine learning-powered tools to do just that. Google made Discovery ad inventory (the native ads that appear in Google feed environments) available to advertisers on YouTube. With the Discovery ad unit, advertisers can upload individual creative assets, which Google then uses to churn out ad combinations based on the desired outcome.

YouTube also put machine learning to the test with an intelligent video ad editing tool dubbed the Bumper Machine. The tool automatically creates six-second bumper ads from existing video ads that run 90-seconds or less. It identifies well-structured clips in longer videos and converts them into multiple six-second video ads. For advertisers with limited resources, YouTube’s continued investment in intuitive, self-serve ad tools makes it easier to create and deploy visual campaigns across the platform.

Pinterest

Visual search. Pinterest has been on a slow journey to bring more e-commerce capabilities to its platform, but its new deep learning-powered visual search tool, launched in June, gives brands a major opportunity to be seen by consumers on their discovery journey. Dubbed “Complete The Look,” the tool makes it possible for the platform to recommend fashion and home decor products based on the context and attributes of all objects within an image a user searches for or saves. As a result, retail brands can gain more exposure on Pinterest as users browse for looks to aesthetically complement their initial search.

Catalogs. In March, Pinterest announced a new way to showcase products with the launch of Catalogs, allowing brands to upload multiple product images, organize the products by category and turn the images into dynamic Product Pins. ‘Catalogs’ makes it possible for merchants to create a full product catalog on the site as long as they have claimed a domain on Pinterest. Catalogs can then be used to generate product Pins in bulk and organize the Pins by product groups. After the launch of Catalogs, Pinterest added dedicated sections for products from specific retailers, giving shoppers the opportunity to see more from certain brands.

Self-serve shopping ads. Pinterest made Shopping Ads available via Ads Manager in August, giving advertisers the ability to launch Shopping campaigns via the self-serve interface. With shopping ads, marketers are also able to tag products from ‘Shop the Look‘ posts to create shoppable Product Pins. The company said the ad format was inspired by its organic Shop the Look pins, which rolled out in 2018 to give businesses the ability to tag up to 25 items in a single image.

TikTok

E-commerce capabilities. The short-form video app started testing shoppable video posts in 2019, making it possible for influencers on the platform to place social commerce URLs within posts. TikTok officially confirmed the test to Adweek in November, but did not disclose details on when it would receive a wider roll-out. In 2020, advertisers should be aware that e-commerce opportunities will be coming to TikTok, and should consider if the platform’s short-lived content model could be valuable to the brand’s retail consumers. TikTok entering the social commerce space proves the platform is entertaining more ways to appeal to the commercial interests of creators and potential advertisers. With more than 500 million global users, TikTok is still largely an untapped e-commerce market of Gen Z shoppers – but likely won’t be for long.

Ephemeral video content. On the note of TikTok’s content model: Creating snackable, short-form content doesn’t mean recycling campaign video assets and uploading them to the platform. Where traditional video content uses a heavy production hand, ephemeral forms of video don’t have that requirement – meaning brands can readily create low-budget, high-value content with an entertainment angle for younger audiences. While TikTok isn’t the first app to make a successful business model from short-lived video creations, the app has seen enormous growth over the last year – exceeding more than 1.5 billion downloads globally. That makes TikTok the third most downloaded non-gaming app of the year, behind WhatsApp (707 million installs) and Messenger (636 million). It ranks just above Facebook, which claims 587 million downloads, and Instagram, with 376 million. As TikTok continues to grow its presence in the U.S. market, social media marketers should be prepared for the next wave of ephemeral content.

More ways to share video. TikTok released its first software development kit (SDK) in November, allowing users to upload video content to the TikTok platform through third-party apps. The “Share to TikTok” SDK i’s the first kit the company introduced in its TikTok for Developers program. The SDK includes tools to help third-party apps and developers integrate with TikTok, allowing users to simply “Share to TikTok” from the editing panel of their favorite apps. TikTok named Adobe Premiere Rush as an initial integration partner, giving users the ability to edit using Adobe’s rich features and share instantly to TikTok. For marketers, the SDK brings more engagement to the video-sharing platform with a more accessible, one-click posting experience.



About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.



5-things-every-social-media-manager-should-be-doing-in-2020

A lot happened in social media in 2019 – from the continued influence of President Trump’s Twitter feed to Miller Lite’s “Unfollow” campaign to the increased power of social media to drive action and public perception in political, economic and world theaters. However, now that the holidays are firmly behind us, I wanted to highlight five big themes in the social media world that we’re already starting to see emerge, which are certainly worth a look.

1. Privacy, privacy, privacy

Stealing from the old real estate adage, yes privacy is not only not going away, it will roar back in 2020 with vigor, but in a slightly different way. We’ve all seen platforms under fire for consumer privacy and Congressional hearings but look to platforms like Instagram as harbingers of things to come. The platform is rolling out a feature that prevents you from seeing what your followers like. Other indicators include TikTok, which has already killed the cult of the follower count, and newer platforms like VSCO (while not technically a social platform – it’s more of a creative community), which is devoid of all likes and comments, a move intended to promote creativity without societal pressure. Thankfully, these shifts mean social media will become more about quality content for engaged folks.

2. Tighter focus on child safety

Perhaps the only silver lining to all of the horrific things that are happening throughout the country with respect to our nation’s children is the renewed attention on how we must keep them safe at school, in shopping malls and of course where they spend a humungous amount of time – online, on apps, on their phones and in online games. Sure, YouTube was again thrust into the spotlight and made some changes, but with more Millennials (who are firmly digital natives themselves) marching toward parenthood and their hyper-awareness of all things marketing, expect child safety to be a big part of the continuing conversation. YouTube’s issues are still not entirely resolved nor forgotten, and kids spend way more time there than any other streaming platform. Expect young parents to expect more from the brands they allow into their lives.

3. Targeting and regulation join hands

A lot of factors at play here. Marketers continue to struggle with targeting. At the same time, some studies show that social media platforms may only be accurate about 30% of the time in pinpointing consumer decision-making. However, a more intense level of regulation, related to the 2020 US Elections, a renewed, intensified focus on fake news on social, as well as hyper targeting with bias, may draw targeting and regulation into the same sphere for useful collaboration, and actually emerge as a positive. Platforms with micro demographic targeting options have lulled marketers into ignoring offline behavior. Successful brands in 2020 will look beyond simply refining audience targeting and rather view social media targeting as one small part of the whole, regard new regulations as not a limitation, but a benefit.

4. Social finally embraces brand experience

For several years now, D2C brands have wholeheartedly embraced the concept of “brand experience” – more so than staid consumer brands have. Now look for social media to recognize the importance of well-integrated channels, starting with social customer experience at the core. Look for the focus to shift to ensuring brands are using social in meaningful ways to finally talk with consumers, versus simply talking to them. In the new year, we’ll see brands who are wildly successful at digital overall, start to address the bigger consumer experience and how they can extend digital success to the offline world.

5. Nano influencers

We’ve already seen a bit of this in 2019 but look for it to explode in 2020. Influencer marketing has made its mark on the industry – a recent study found a full 22% of internet users aged 18-34 purchase products after seeing influencers endorse it. Now, nano influencers, the smallest following of all tiers of influencers, roughly defined as social media influencers with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers, begin to fill in the long-tail portion of the much-discussed long-tail. It was bound to happen and for good reason. As markets become more and more splintered every day, nano influencers fill that need for marketers – their audiences are very small, niche, but very highly engaged, and brands start to capture the value of true engagement and genuine human connections.

Here’s wishing you health, wealth and prosperity in 2020, as well as meaningful connections on social!

More predictions for 2020


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.



About The Author

Ashley Cooksley is a sales and marketing professional with more than 20 years in the digital industry and a proven track record, providing smart solutions to clients. As a member of the Social Element’s Executive team, Ashley handles everything from business development, sales, marketing, editorial management, creative development, strategic analysis, social media management and online community strategy.



social-shorts:-facebook-tests-brand-collabs-tool-on-ig,-twitter-beefs-up-safety-council,-youtube-creators-protest-censorship

This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Facebook tests Brand Collabs tool on Instagram creators, Snapchat launches new ad format

Instagram brand collabs. Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, wants to better support collaboration between brands and influencers. The company announced a new test that extends the Brand Collabs tool – which has only been available to Facebook creators – to a select group of Instagram creators. The tool is designed to help businesses connect with relevant influencers for branded content partnerships. Brands can indicate the type of audience they want to work with, including country, gender, age, number of followers, and interests. When brand collaboration campaigns are running, Instagram will provide performance metrics while giving brands the option to promote influencer content in the feed like an ad. 

Snapchat unveils interactive ad format. In partnership with Paramount Pictures for the 2020 release of “Top Gun: Maverick,” Snapchat has launched a new interactive movie preview ad format dubbed the “trailer reaction lens.” These AR lenses allow Snapchat users to participate in the campaign by creating their own content in a split-screen format, capturing both the movie trailer and the user’s reaction. Users can add creative elements to their reaction shots with digital overlays used to promote the film. The move adds Snapchat to the growing list of platforms attempting to encourage real-time interaction from users.

Instagram to cover misinformation with overlay warnings, Facebook launches automated approvals for Groups

Combatting misinformation on Instagram. In an announcement from parent company Facebook this week, Instagram is expanding its fact-checking program globally to allow third-party fact-checking companies around the world to assess misinformation on the platform. Instagram will partner with 45 different fact-checking organizations to rate the truthfulness of photo and video content on the app. Media that’s found to contain misinformation or untruthful content will be hidden from the Explore and hashtag pages, with a warning overlay blocking the content in the feed and Stories until users tap again to see the post. To determine which content should be sent to fact-checkers for review, Instagram will use a combination of platform data and feedback from users. 

Automated approval for Facebook Groups. In an effort to help Facebook group admins better manage new member requests, the social giant has launched a feature that automatically approves new members based on requirements set by Groups admins. Admins are able to turn the feature on in the group settings, allowing anyone who meets all of the membership requirements to automatically be added to the group when they submit a membership request. The automation feature is optional but could be especially useful for businesses that manage a number of large groups with varying levels of membership requirements.

Twitter beefs up safety council, Facebook predicts content trends for 2020

Twitter expands Trust and Safety council. Twitter is making changes to its Trust and Safety Council — an in-house committee Twitter formed in 2016 to help advise on the platform’s products, programs, and policies. According to the company, Twitter is adding more members to the Council to help connect with the perspectives of a broader cross-section of society when establishing platform rules and policies. Going forward, the Council will be made up of several groups, each focused on advising on important issues that contribute to real-world harm. Beginning in 2020, Twitter will initially set up groups focused on: Safety and online harassment, human and digital rights, child sexual exploitation, and suicide prevention and mental health.

Facebook content trends for 2020. The social network has released a new report on the key topics and trends that will inform social predictions for users and marketers going into 2020. Unlike past reports that only analyzed U.S. trends, this year’s report is split into global regions with predictions for each location. The report forecasts trends across a wide range of topic areas, including art and design, beauty and fashion, entertainment, food and drink, mind and body, and travel and leisure. In the North America section, Facebook predicts that a sense of individualism will continue to drive people’s choices with hot-ticket trends like flexitarian diets, indoor gardens, and custom combinations that give people more control over their day-to-day actions.

Facebook braces for privacy laws, #YouTubeIsOverParty calls out platform for censorship 

Facebook counts down to CCPA. With mere weeks to go before the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) takes effect, the social giant last week posted a statement that boiled down to one message: Facebook is ready. “We are ready for its arrival in part because we’ve made many long-term investments across our products to help people everywhere easily manage their privacy and understand their choices,” Facebook wrote. CCPA will be enforced starting January 1, 2020, giving internet users the right to see what data big tech companies collect about them and with whom it is shared. In preparation for the law, the California-based social network has been busy adding new tools to support CCPA compliance, including a new privacy hub that outlines Facebook’s data policies for collection and usage. The company has also added a range of self-serve tools that allow Facebook users to download or delete data.

#YouTubeIsOverParty. Earlier this month, YouTube announced updates to its harassment policy, resulting in a number of creators voicing concerns and frustrations over the stricter new guidelines. Over the last several days, creators and users alike have posted notifications showing content that’s been flagged or entirely removed from the video-sharing platform – a clear indication that the company is moving swiftly to enforce its updated policies. YouTubers have taken to Twitter with #YouTubeIsOverParty in a protest against the new guidelines, which are impeding the monetization efforts of some creators. To make matters worse, many of the videos flagged or removed included explanations that appear unclear and unreasonable, prompting cries of censorship on Twitter.


On the move

Pinterest hires head of monetization engineering, Twitter gets a new director of platform, HubSpot expands its C-suite

Pinterest has announced Waleed Ojeil as the company’s new head of monetization engineering. Waleed joins Pinterest from Google, where he spent 14 years leading teams in analytics, attribution, and measurement products. While at Google, Ojeil also oversaw the unification of web and application analytics. At Pinterest, he will report to the head of engineering, Jeremy King, and run the company’s ads engineering teams.

Greg Lieber, VidMob’s head of partnerships and business development, is joining Twitter as its new director of platform, according to Adweek. At Twitter, Lieber will be responsible for developing strategies that connect the company’s products to the market, as well as identifying strategic opportunities for the social network to grow and evolve its ads ecosystem.

HubSpot has named Yamini Rangan as its first-ever chief customer officer, tasked with uniting the company’s marketing, sales, and services teams. HubSpot says Rangan will be a key member of its executive leadership team, overseeing teams charged with accelerating the company’s business goals. Prior to joining HubSpot, Rangan was chief customer officer for Dropbox and spent time at Workday as its VP of sales strategy and operations.



About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.



social-media-advertising-woes:-where-do-brands-fall-short?

Social platforms and third-party apps seemingly rise and fall overnight, making it difficult for brands to adapt to the evolving landscape and develop targeted, platform-specific content. Consequently, brands often struggle to allocate their resources strategically and purposefully. Strategies that may have been successful in 2018 are already obsolete for 2019. The same will be said for 2020 and beyond.

So exactly where are social ad initiatives falling short? And what can brands do to address these shortcomings? Here are a few common pitfalls we see across channels.

Targeting in all the wrong ways

Brands often overlap their prospecting and retargeting efforts, delivering irrelevant messages for new and existing customers alike. This wastes dollars and delivers messages to the wrong consumers at the wrong time. Conversely, some campaigns don’t have a targeted audience at all. Without a clear sense of their audience or objectives, brands tend to struggle with purposeful targeting. In one audit of a new partner, we observed a previous campaign where ads were served to over 240 million people without any identified target audience.

We’ve seen brands also target such a small audience they cannot reach their campaign target goals. Striking a balance between strategic targeting and audience size is a critical skill that brands need to master in order to optimize the reach and ROI of any social campaign.

Creating and delivering content

Creating the right, engaging content can be a hurdle. For example, an outdoor cooking equipment manufacturer posted social ads that showcase food instead of actual products. While food is an engaging image – especially for people scrolling Pinterest – it’s ineffective in establishing a brand identity or product portfolio with potential prospects.

Social video content is often a compelling and effective sales and engagement driver. Despite that, we often find video content is often low quality or even non-existent. In 2019 we saw an explosion in video performance, even with the decline in Facebook’s accessible inventory. There are ways to reduce production costs and still develop high-quality content. Consider free creative services platforms that produce fantastic results or minimize the length of higher-budget videos to reduce production costs.

With the total number of global social platform users to rise to over 3.09 billion by 2021, and with an average of 136 minutes spent on social each day in 2018, advertising success is dependent upon strategic social investment.

Brands will continue to miss significant opportunities unless they look ahead to the emerging trends and technologies that will drive social success in the future. Regardless of which platform becomes the next big thing, remember to always target with purpose, define audiences strategically and develop impactful content.

Pro Tip is a special feature for marketers in our community to share a specific tactic others can use to elevate their performance. You can submit your own here.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.



About The Author

As Head of Social Advertising, Andy Hardman oversees Rakuten Marketing’s social advertising offerings, platform relationships and client success, helping brands test and identify best practices for social that fit the needs of their consumers. He has spent the better part of the last decade specializing in paid social strategy and optimization, leading a team responsible for establishing and maintaining best practices for brands by research and testing ideas across creative formats and audiences. Through this experience, Andy has become an expert in how select audiences react to customized video and static creative assets across social platforms. Wise to the ever-changing best practices of major social platforms, Andy regularly oversees extensive audits of brands’ social campaigns to advise on how they can more strategically optimize their strategies, and achieve higher ROIs.



social-shorts:-facebook-braces-for-privacy-laws,-snapchat-tests-new-mode,-instagram-to-verify-user-ages

This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Facebook braces for privacy laws, #YouTubeIsOverParty accuses YouTube of censorship

Facebook counts down to CCPA. With mere weeks to go before the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) takes effect, the social giant last week posted a statement that boiled down to one message: Facebook is ready. “We are ready for its arrival in part because we’ve made many long-term investments across our products to help people everywhere easily manage their privacy and understand their choices,” Facebook wrote. CCPA will be enforced starting January 1, 2020, giving internet users the right to see what data big tech companies collect about them and with whom it is shared. In preparation for the law, the California-based social network has been busy adding new tools to support CCPA compliance, including a new privacy hub that outlines Facebook’s data policies for collection and usage. The company has also added a range of self-serve tools that allow Facebook users to download or delete data.

#YouTubeIsOverParty. Last week, YouTube announced updates to its harassment policy, resulting in a number of creators voicing concerns and frustrations over the stricter new guidelines. Over the last several days, creators and users alike have posted notifications showing content that’s been flagged or entirely removed from the video-sharing platform – a clear indication that the company is moving swiftly to enforce its updated policies. YouTubers have taken to Twitter with #YouTubeIsOverParty in a protest against the new guidelines, which are impeding the monetization efforts of some creators. To make matters worse, many of the videos flagged or removed included explanations that appear unclear and unreasonable – prompting cries of censorship on Twitter.

Facebook fires contractor over bribes, Instagram tests new Stories layouts

Facebook contractor tied to ad-related bribery. A Facebook contractor was fired after being paid thousands of dollars in bribes to reactivate banned ad accounts, according to a BuzzFeed News investigation. The Facebook contractor in question was allegedly paid to reactivate ad accounts connected to Ads Inc. – a marketing firm based in San Diego (which BuzzFeed News previously found was running a Facebook scam involving ads that made false claims about celebrities). “This behavior is absolutely prohibited under our policies and the individual is no longer working with Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson wrote in a statement. “We’re continuing to investigate the allegations and will take any further necessary action.” Ads Inc. announced it was shutting down in October as a result of the BuzzFeed News investigation. According to BuzzFeed, the Facebook contractor was based in the company’s Austin office. 

Instagram tests new Stories layout. Instagram may soon rollout new grid layouts for Stories, according to a recent discovery by social media commentator Matt Navarra. Navarra shared a video on his Twitter account showing a new Layout mode, which includes six different grid layouts from which users can insert two, three, four, or six media files. The video also shows options with grids placed vertically and horizontally. The Layout grid was initially spotted in testing by Jane Manchun Wong back in August, which means the feature has likely evolved to the next stage of beta testing.

Snapchat tests new mode, Instagram to verify ages of new users

Snapchat tests ‘Cameo’ mode. The image and video sharing app has started testing ‘Cameo’ – a new mode that lets users insert their faces into GIFs to add their own spin to a range of short clips. With the new mode, users can take a selfie and choose a body type to help Snapchat identify how a user looks. From there, users can use the Bitmoji button in the Snapchat messaging keyboard to access Cameo GIFs that include the user’s face. According to TechCrunch, which first announced the news this week, Snap said it plans to launch the new feature on December 18th with a global rollout on iOS and Android.

Instagram begins verifying age for new users. Almost a decade after its launch, Instagram will finally start asking new users to provide their age in an attempt to better protect younger users. The new requirement started earlier this week, with the photo-sharing app prompting new users for their date of birth when an account is created. Up until now, Instagram users simply had to confirm that they were older than 13 when signing up, but weren’t required to provide a birthday. Instagram said it would use age information to recommend younger people opt for more privacy settings, such as allowing new message requests only from people they follow.

ON THE MOVE

C-suite transitions at the Academy of Country Music, Schwan’s Co., Google and JP Morgan

The Academy of Country Music (ACM) has promoted its CMO, Damon Whiteside, to CEO. After serving in the CMO role for six years now, he will take over as the organization’s lead on January 6, splitting his time between Los Angeles and Nashville. “His experience, commitment and enthusiasm in the Country Music world are well documented and we are confident that he will enhance the Academy’s ability to bring together fans, artists and the industry,” said Ed Warm, chairman of the board for the ACM. During his tenure as CMO, Whiteside is credited with overseeing the development of ACM’s multimillion-dollar marketing and media campaigns and building strategic partnerships with media partners, digital companies and Fortune 500 brands. 

Schwan’s Co., a food services business, has named Robert Rios chief marketing officer. He will serve as Schwan’s first-ever CMO and be part of the company’s executive leadership committee. “As the food industry continues to rapidly change, we are particularly excited about the role Roberto will play in accelerating our company’s digital transformation, building on the strength of our brands, catching trends and meeting evolving consumer preferences and customer needs,” said CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios. With more than 25 years’ experience in the consumer goods industry, Rios most recently served as the CMO for beverages at PepsiCo’s world headquarters, overseeing the company’s Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, 7UP and LifeWater brands. 

PayPal’s former COO Bill Ready is moving to Google at the start of the year as the new head of commerce, reports TechCrunch. Ready will report directly to Google’s SVP of Ads, Commerce and Payments Prabhakar Raghavan and focus on bringing Google’s “vision, strategy and delivery” to its commerce products. “Bill’s exceptional track record building great experiences for consumers and deeply strategic partnerships makes him a powerful addition to our team. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of commerce at Google,” said Raghavan in a statement shared with TechCrunch. Ready was the founder of the tech startup of Braintree which was acquired by PayPal in 2013. He has been part of PayPal’s leadership team since the acquisition.  

JP Morgan’s CMO Kristin Lemkau is transitioning to a new role within the company, serving as the head of the U.S. wealth management division, according to The Drum. The wealth management division is a new business unit launched by JP Morgan, reports the Wall Street Journal, catering to clients with up to $25 million in assets. There has been no official announcement about who will take over the role of CMO for JP Morgan per The Drum’s coverage. Lemkau, who started with JP Morgan within its PR department, was named CMO in 2014. Earlier this year, Ad Club of New York named Lemkau marketer of the year.

Bezos adds 6 more execs to his S-team, Foursquare and Episerver get new CEOs

Jeff Bezos has added six new members to Amazon’s senior executive team, including two women – bringing the total number of women on the team to three. Known as the “S-team,” the elite, 22-member group is made up of senior-most leaders who head various divisions of the company with direct communication to Bezos. The newest additions have all been promoted from within the company, including Christine Beauchamp as Amazon Fashion Vice President, and Colleen Aubrey as Amazon Advertising Vice President. The new faces of the S-team also include Rohit Prasad, Alexa Vice President; Neil Lindsey, Amazon Prime chief; and Peter Krawiec, Corporate Development Vice President, who was a central figure in the company’s 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods.

Location-based platform Foursquare has promoted David Shim to the role of CEO and added his name to the board of directors. Shim, who joined the location-based technology platform Foursquare as president in June, was previously the founder and CEO of Placed, which provides ad-to-store attribution services for brands. Foursquare’s current CEO, Jeff Glueck, will be leaving Foursquare at the end of the year to explore new opportunities, reports Adweek.

Episerver, a digital experience platform, has named Alex Atzberger as its new CEO. With more than 15 years of experience at SAP, most recently as president of SAP Customer Experience, Atzberger was chosen after the company’s board interviewed many highly qualified candidates, according to Episerver’s Executive Chairman Adam Berger, who recently served as the company’s interim CEO. “When we dreamed up the perfect candidate it was him. Alex is entirely additive to this all-star Episerver team who welcomes his leadership to hit our customer-centricity strategy out of the park for the betterment of our customers, their respective customers and our partners,” said Berger. Episerver announced last month its acquisition of the content intelligence and analytics platform Idio.



About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.



social-shorts:-tiktok-under-fire-for-discrimination,-facebook-enforces-special-ads-restrictions,-twitter-expands-brand-surveys

This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Facebook’s anti-ad-fraud efforts, Twitter expands surveys

Facebook takes action against ad fraud. The social media giant filed a lawsuit Wednesday against one entity and two individuals for allegedly operating a hacking campaign targeting accounts on the social network. The alleged hackers are being accused of taking over their victims’ accounts to use their money to buy ads and fraudulent products, according to the lawsuit. Facebook said it’s paid more than $4 million in reimbursements to victims of these hacks. The company said it will continue to work toward mitigating malicious behavior on the platform, adding, “Creating real-world consequences for those who deceive users and engage in cloaking schemes is important in maintaining the integrity of our platform.”

Twitter expands access to Brand Surveys. In a play to give marketers more ways to measure campaign lift, Twitter announced this week the general availability of Brand Surveys for all managed accounts in the U.S., UK, Canada, Japan and Brazil. According to Twitter, the tool can be used to help inform and improve campaigns with the added benefit of being a first-party solution, which Twitter says allows the platform to offer “a low minimum media spend requirement while still delivering statistically significant results.”

Facebook now enforces restrictions for special ad categories on all platforms

This week, Facebook announced it will be officially enforcing audience targeting restrictions for ‘Special Ad Categories’ across all of its ad management tools, including Ads Manager, Instagram Promote, the Facebook Marketing API, and ads created within Facebook Pages.

The special ad category requirement is used for ads related to housing, employment, or credit opportunities, prohibiting these advertisers from targeting ads based on age, gender, ZIP code or multicultural affinity. The effort is a move on Facebook’s part to curb discrimination by advertisers. The ‘Special Ads Category’ was first introduced earlier this year for U.S. advertisers running housing, employment, and credit ad campaigns via Facebook’s Ads Manager. Starting this week, Facebook is expanding the requirements to all of its ad buying platforms, including Ads Manager app, Instagram Promote and the Facebook Marketing API.

Facebook said it’s also making these ads available to view and search in the platform’s Ad Archive – an effort to deliver further transparency. Users will be able to view all active housing opportunity ads in the U.S. that started running on or after December 4, 2019, regardless of whether the user is part of the target audience. Users will also be able to search the Ad Archive by the name of the Page running an ad, or by the city or state where the ad is targeted. 

Facebook’s efforts to remove ad targeting options for housing, employment and credit advertisers are the result of a settlement the company reached with civil rights groups earlier this year, which charged Facebook with allowing discriminatory ads on its platform. Facebook first began rolling out the restrictions in March.

TikTok admits to taking the “wrong approach” to combat cyberbullying

TikTok faces discrimination backlash. The popular video-sharing app has admitted to censoring posts from users it identified as disabled, fat or LGBTQ as part of a misguided effort to mitigate cyberbullying. The revelation was made public by Netzpolitik.org, which spoke to a source inside the company and obtained private documents from the platform. The findings revealed that TikTok applied automatic restrictions to users who were “susceptible to bullying or harassment based on their physical or mental condition,” including, “facial disfigurement, autism, Down syndrome, or disabled people or people with some facial problems.” In a follow-up statement, TikTok said, “Early on, in response to an increase in bullying on the app, we implemented a blunt and temporary policy. While the intention was good, the approach was wrong and we have long since changed the earlier policy in favor of more nuanced anti-bullying policies and in-app protections.” According to Netzpolitik.org, the rules were implemented as recently as September of this year.

Twitter rolls out a privacy hub. Twitter launched the Twitter Privacy Center – a centralized resource that advertisers and users can use to quickly and easily access the platform’s rules and policies – as well as personal data settings and privacy tools. The new site will contain information about Twitter’s initiatives, announcements, and privacy products, in addition to status updates on security-related incidents. “It should be easier to find and learn more about the work we’re doing to keep your data secure, including what data we collect, how we use it, and the controls you have,” the company wrote in a blog post.

Chrome extension shows Instagram Likes, Facebook tests “Favorites,” Snapchat couples up with Verizon

Return of the Like? Instagram is still testing hiding Likes – but a new Chrome extension from SocialInsider wants to give users the ability to view them again. Once added to your Chrome browser, the extension displays the number of likes and comments for any post on Instagram. The installation terms state that user data is not shared with Socialinsider servers.

Facebook tests a feature similar to ‘Close Friends.’ Rumor has it the social network is experimenting with a new option that allows users to share their Facebook and Messenger Stories with a “Favorite” group of friends – rather than sharing with everyone. The feature bears a striking resemblance to Instagram’s ‘Close Friends’ feature, which adds a layer of privacy and speed for users who choose to share content with only a select group. 

Snapchat to be preloaded on some Verizon phones. Last week, Verizon and Snap announced a partnership that involves Verizon preloading the Snapchat app onto some of its 5G phones as part of a campaign promoting the 5G network. Snap will give Verizon ad placement in its Snap Originals programming, and it will also work with Verizon’s 5G Labs to build augmented reality experiences for live events and Verizon marketing activations. As Snapchat makes efforts to ramp up its AR capabilities (with plans to eventually roll out a wearable component), Verizon’s 5G speeds coupled with Snapchat’s audience reach could make the brand’s AR aspirations a reality. Get ready, advertisers.



About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.



the-power-of-social-proofing

A weekly reflection of what I have learnt this week as a Digital Product Designer

Liz Hamburger

3 females pointing at a laptop screen

3 females pointing at a laptop screen

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Recently I was lucky enough to go to the Mobile UX London conference. This full-day conference had a range of speakers from companies such as Google, Uber, and Fitbit with topics that focused on the evolution and future of UX design.

There were so many thought-provoking and interesting presentations and I feel that I learned so much in such a short space of time. Though I’d love to cover everything I learnt, I’m going to focus on one concept presented to us by David Teodorescu who is a Senior Product Designer from Fitbit. David spoke to us about how our decisions are influenced by other people’s choice and how this herd behaviour has been used by tech companies to push people into making decisions.


Social Proofing is a term used to describe how people, when making decisions prefer to follow other’s previous decisions. The idea is that people do this because they are looking to others who they think have already made the correct decision so why risk making a mistake. Humans do not like to make mistakes or fail, so looking at what others have done already is a natural instinct.

This Social Proofing manifests itself in a variety of ways, such people picking a restaurant as they can see that it is full of people. With Social Proofing, people are picking that restaurant as they are naturally making the connection that it must be serving good food for so many people to be there.

Social Proofing is part of our everyday communication. When we say what a great time we had visiting a country we are putting out information to our friends or wider community that we’ve done something and it’s safe even beneficial for others to do the same.


There are a variety of ways that we can use Social Proofing in our design work and this can range from case studies, testimonials and company logos. However, the focus of David’s presentation was not to tell us how to use Social Proofing in our design work but to explain that there are multiple levels of Social Proofing strength which will impact the effectiveness of this technique.

The most basic level of Social Proofing is that we see someone has done something similar to what we want to do already.

For example, we see that lots of people have bought an iPhone, it makes sense to us that this should be a good purchase as if it wasn’t 36.4 Million iPhones Worldwide people wouldn’t have bought it.

In product design, a basic level of social proofing would be that we see on Instagram that an image have 1000 likes, therefore it either must be a good image or interesting content that we should also like.

A screenshot of a instagram post that has over 1000 likes

A screenshot of a instagram post that has over 1000 likes

Lot’s of likes — so this must be a great Instagram post!

The next level of Social Proofing would be that we see people similar to ourselves and we can associate more so to their decision making. This differs from the first level as there is more relatability between us and the person we are seeking proof from therefor reinforcing that we can trust their judgement.

An illustration of this in product design would be where we know the demographics or other traits that we have in common with those we are seeing proof from. For example, a testimonial from someone we can connect with such as this Figma testimonial. This testimonial feels far more relevant to me as I am also a designer, therefore I can base my trust that this individual knows what they are talking about.

Image of a woman, saying how figma has replaced white boarding for them.

Image of a woman, saying how figma has replaced white boarding for them.

Also seeing people’s faces makes social proofing even more effective

This is the strongest level of Social Proofing — looking to people you know personally for proof.

As mentioned earlier, if your friends think something is a good choice then it’s very likely that you’d agree with them. Your friends are individuals you have the most similar values to or at least agree with a lot of the time.

Back to Instagram and product design, this element of Social Proofing can be seen in image Likes. In 2019 Instagram removed the following tab, where you could see what your friends had liked. They have maintained the strong element of Social Proofing through the main feed instead as you can see which of the people you follow like an image. This is a subtle use of social proofing but no doubt very effective.

Image of an instagram post that shows one of my friends liking apple’s photo

Image of an instagram post that shows one of my friends liking apple’s photo

Hey! I know you!

Social Proofing is a psychology method that can be used throughout product design and naturally it lends itself to eCommerce or other platforms where we want users to make a decision between a variety of products.

That said it can work on social media but not for the users themselves but for the customers — those who pay money to Instagram for extra services. Instagram wants more users to like a post so that they can shout about how great their platforms engagement is to potential advertisers, the Social Proofing benefit to the user isn’t really there. Instagram will lead us to believe that us seeing what our friends have liked on is important so we can discover more content relevant to us — though in terms of social proofing, the decision to like an Instagram post isn’t that important and we can easily change our mind.


Any way that we can influence users decision making, as product designers, we must be ethical about it. There has been a lot resentment towards this kind of psychology being used against the users from both the user and designers alike. Using psychology against a user in design has been coined as Dark UX in the industry.

As most of us know Social Proofing should only be used to really help users make a genuine decision that is best for them and not to push them into making a decision that is best solely for the client’s pockets.


As well as ethics we should consider how this kind of Social Proofing can make people feel. While working on a project for a major bank there was the suggestion of using Social Proofing to encourage customers to save more money or at least as a minimum stay on track.

Think of how many people want to connect their banking to their friends or even random strangers to see whether they are as good as others at saving their money. As you can imagine this idea never went any further as there is a time and place for Social Proofing, and with regards to personal subjects such as money or health users aren’t so keen on this community approach.


As product designer’s we work for clients, therefore Social Proofing won’t work if the community isn’t engaging in providing information about a product or service. For example if you have a hotel comparison website and every result has a no star rating this Social Proofing isn’t going to help you sell those hotel rooms as you are signalling to potential customers that people have the option to leave a review but no one has, and this is where we start getting sceptical as users.


I’ve found Social Proofing absolutely fascinating to research and understand and I hope you’ve found this concept interesting too. As I said at the beginning David Teodorescu introduced me to this concept while listening to his talk. As I’m now understanding more and more the impact that psychology has on user behaviour, I’m interested to look at other ways we make decisions and how this can influence Digital Product Design — so if you have any resources or interesting articles please share them with me!

Have you used the this method before? Do you think social proofing works?

Let me know! If you want get in touch you can find me on Twitter as @LizHamburger

#WhatLizLearnt

Social is accounting for a higher-than-expected share of programmatic display ad spending. Advertisers in the U.S. will spend more than $57 billion on programmatic digital display by the end of 2019, with 56.3% of that going to ad units on social platforms, a new report from eMarketer predicts.

Social’s share of programmatic display spending is expected to increase to 57.6% by 2021, according to the report. That’s up from eMarketer’s April estimate of 52%.

Note that eMarketer defines programmatic display advertising as “the use of automation in the buying, selling or fulfilling of digital ads,” which includes display ads served through both publisher APIs and impression-based bidding platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Overall, eMarketer predicts that programmatic display advertising will account for 83.5% of total digital display ad spend this year – and could reach nearly $80 billion by 2021 as technologies evolve. Overall, growth in programmatic display has been steadily slowing as technologies mature.

Why we should care. Automated media buying now represents the primary method of buying digital display media in the U.S. While we may quibble with social being categorized as programmatic, eMarketer’s latest forecast shows just how much social (with Facebook, in particular) is dominating the display landscape. Facebook consumes 83% of social ad spending, eMarketer estimated earlier this year.

Chalk that up, in large part, to the ability to deterministically target based on logged-in user IDs while deteriorating support for third-party cookies has made programmatic targeting on the open web more challenging.

“Advertising in a cookie-free mobile app environment where users spend much of their digital time is complicated and difficult,” said Eric Haggstrom, forecasting analyst at eMarketer. “Social networks prove to be the major exception. They’ve made it relatively easy to target audiences at scale in an in-app environment.”



About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.