Facebook has been busy these last few weeks making many changes across the platform, including updates to their Messenger app and updates to their new Instant Articles feature. Snapchat still hasn’t sat still since the announcement of their API, recently launching Memories, and we’re having flashbacks to the 90’s, with Pokémon GO topping the charts as the hottest game. Let’s take a deeper dive and find out what this means for brands.
Facebook Users to Restrict Live Audiences
- Facebook’s API will soon allow users to restrict who gets to view Live Broadcasters can restrict by age, time zone, location, and gender. Not all Facebook users are privy to this new tool, only the broadcasters that share via Facebook’s API (content creators, media companies, & brands using specific software) have this privilege – not everyday users. Additionally, Facebook is also looking into introducing long-sharing live steams where broadcasters can post day or even week-long videos. More to come on this as the story develops.
- What it means for brands: Now brands will have more flexibility when broadcasting live video from Facebook Live. They’ll be able to target more specific audiences by excluding certain demographics, that is, if they are using the proper tools that comply with the API.
Additional resources: Facebook for Developers
(via Marketing Land)
Facebook Updated their App-Install Ads
- Facebook updated its app-install ads with the ability to target certain audiences based on the likelihood of users actually using the app, not just downloading it and never opening it again. The product being used to calculate these audiences is called App Event Optimization. It uses 14 different user actions that could signify if a user is willing to download an app. Some of these actions include how likely a user is using a shopping cart/wish list, using the check out, actually buying that product, rating the app from which the product was purchased from, and viewing content or searching for a specific app.
- What it means for brands: Brands will now be able to understand who is actually using their app and who they should properly be targeting to download their app. Brands often have an inaccurate read of who is actually using their app, and this new feature will provide the data they need to find out if their goals are truly being met (versus “guessing”).
Additional resources: Marketing Land
(via Marketing Land)
Facebook Now Has 11,000 Chatbots
- Back in April, Facebook announced that they would be launching chatbots in Messenger. These chatbots are digital customer service representatives for businesses. When a customer asks a question, they’re receive quick support. Since its inception, more than 11,000 chatbots have been added to Messenger, with over 23,000 people having signed up through ai, a Facebook service for developers. With the increase of chatbots, there has also been an improvement in these chatbots capability. For example, instead of replying just with text, the chatbots can now reply using GIFs, videos, and audio clips, among other files.
- What it means for brands: Instead of manually replying to every message a brand receives on Facebook, these chatbots will make it easier to respond to everyone in a fast and efficient way. Also, less time can be allocated to responding to messages of customers, if a bot is doing this automatically, of course using approved messaging. This many not work for all brands, especially those that require stricter legal processes and those that need a personalized response.
Facebook Testing Offline Video Access in India
- Due to poor mobile connectivity and streaming capabilities overseas, Facebook is testing offline video access in India. The platform is testing out a video download option that will allow users to download a video when connected to WiFi, which can then be viewed in Facebook when later offline.
- What it means for brands: Efforts to expand video reach to offline users (especially overseas) provides advertisers with more targeting capabilities and a wider range of audience to reach. The real test to Facebook is how they will measure video views, impressions and more after the video has been downloaded since it is off the platform.
Additional resources: CNET
(via Digital Trends)
Facebook Introduces Instant Articles on Messenger
- Facebook enabled Instant Articles for Android users, which will load within the Messenger app. The feature started softly rolling out last year, and is not yet available for iOS users, but this is coming soon. Just like on desktop, posts that are Instant Articles will include a lightning bolt in the preview.
- What it means for brands: Instant Articles present the opportunity for brands to share full-length stories, blog posts, articles, etc. directly from the Facebook app, as opposed to users have to take the next step to click-out to a website. Bringing Instant Articles to Messenger is a smart move, because brands can expand the reach of their content to mobile users and streamline into sharing opportunities from mobile to mobile.
Additional resources: The Verge;
Brands Can Block Their Ads from Reaching Certain Apps/Websites
- Facebook will soon allow brands to block [their] ads from appearing on certain websites or applications when those advertisements are extended to Facebook’s Audience Network. This will be available in Business Manager via a new feature called Block List. Although not all users of Business Manager can use this feature yet, the social media platform intends on integrating it into all brand’s/agencies’ Business Managers gradually.
- What it means for brands: Advertisers can make sure their content is not being served to the wrong audiences, but more importantly, their content will not be mixed into association with “un-branded” 3rd party sites. Brands do not always want to have a presence in a space that does not properly represent their brand.
Additional resources: Facebook
Facebook Messenger Introduces Support for More Than 1 Account
- Messenger will now allow users to sign into multiple accounts while using the iOS app. Users/community managers can easily navigate different accounts without having to sign in and out of each account. Within the app’s setting, users can go into ‘Switch Accounts’ to use another account.
- What it means for brands: Advertisers that manage multiple Facebook accounts and/or have multiple accounts for one brand will be able to easily navigate between accounts without having to logout. Brands use Messenger to provide customer service, and if they have multiple accounts for their one brand, this new feature will make it easier and more efficient to respond to all of their customers. One caveat is to make sure to double check what brand the communication is coming from. Community managers can more easily mix-up the brands and respond from the wrong brand name, which is not best practice and presents confusion for consumers.
Additional resources: TheNextWeb
Pokémon GO Will Soon Partner with Brands for Sponsored Ads
- In case you missed the biggest news in the social world, Pokémon is making a comeback, this time as a mobile app. With Pokémon GO being Nintendo’s most successful mobile endeavor to date, the app will soon be partnering with brands for promotional ads within the app – WELL, that was fast. There will be sponsored locations within the app that advertisers can buy, on a cost-per-visit basis. More people are playing Pokémon GO than using Twitter and time spent on the app has surpassed time spent on both Facebook
- What it means for brands: The Pokémon GO audience spans across a large range of targets, and presents a large audience that is interested in the content. The game won’t be popular forever, so while it’s hot, it’s a great time for brands to get some “play” time within the app.
(via Digital Trends)
Twitter Uses Can Now Apply for Their Account to Be Verified
- Twitter users will now be able fill out an application to become a verified account. In order for Twitter to accept a user’s application, they will need to ensure the authenticity of the account and will take a close look at the information provided on the application, which is fairly basic information that they will confirm before verifying the account. More information on the applications and next steps can be found here.
- What it means for brands: Users are more inclined to trust a brand that is verified because the verification provides a sense of “Twitter” authenticity and credibility. This update helps users find real accounts to connect with a broader audience of real users. Twitter tends to favor verified accounts and a verified account presents additional privileges as a user, so it will be interesting to see how Twitter manages/treats verified accounts moving forward if it’s no longer “special.”
Additional resources: Twitter Blogs
Snapchat Introduces New ‘Memories’ Feature
- Snapchat introduced a new Memories feature that allows users to save their snaps in a Snapchat camera roll, search for them later, edit them, and re-share as a snap. This change questions Snapchats brand messaging, which has always been focused on quick, real-time content that disappears in seconds, but this new archive feature stirs the pot a bit. While it makes sense since users were saving their snaps as screenshots, or more recently to their camera role, this is a big change for the brand overall. With these changes, Snapchat expects users to spend more time using the app.
- What it means for brands: With Memories, brands can save snaps that have been used on the brand’s Snapchat. These snaps can contribute to an asset library of photo and video that can used later in a Snapchat story or shared across other social networks and branded sites. This is especially great for brands that have slower approval processes than just real-time sharing, because now they can back and share the content on Snapchat that is not timely (but they’re still engaging with their audience on the platform). On the consumer front, users can save more of their photos that have brand filters on them and reuse at a later time, increasing the longevity of the branded filter and contributing to raising brand awareness across social media and beyond.