Pressed for time this week? Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s going on in the world of social media:

  • Instagram is expanding the length of story ads, giving advertisers the opportunity to publish up to three pieces of creative.
  • Remember when it wasn’t an option to schedule Instagram posts in advance? Well, this change is coming.
  • Facebook is testing a “downvote” button. This is not to be confused with a dislike button, but instead a tool for the platform to filter negative comments.
  • Facebook officially rolled out dynamic creative across its platform. This is a tool that advertisers can use to test different variations of an ad so that the best performing combination of content is being served to the audience.
  • Historically, Facebook’s organic and paid reach was measured differently. Now, they’ve updated organic post reach to be measured in the same way as paid reach, incorporating viewability into the metric.
  • Pinterest is making an update to in platform search, specifically within the lens feature.

Instagram Expands Length of Story Ads

  • Paid Instagram Story ads are gaining pace among advertisers, and the platform is testing new ways for pages to optimize. The most recent update includes testing a carousel format for Story ads, which will triple the number of posts that advertisers can include in their ads. This new format was created to make paid stories seem more native and like organic stories for users. The parameters for advertising will remain the same as other ad units on the platform, with images staying on screen for 5 seconds and videos running for up to 15 seconds. Currently, this format is only available to 12 brands, including Netflix and California Pizza Kitchen.
  • What it means for brands: Here lies a new opportunity for brands to expand advertising on Instagram and become more interactive with users. Advertisers do not need an Instagram account to leverage Instagram Story advertising (they only need a Facebook page), so this can be an easy win for most advertisers to increase reach of their content. Here’s an example: Food Network could share a Story ad that shows users how to make a recipe, leveraging both video and static images, to make the content more interactive and exciting. With the right content, users can leave with a peaked interest in wanting to make that recipe themselves, and in return, will swipe up for the full link.

Additional Resources: Marketing Land, AdAge, TechCrunch

(via Instagram)

Scheduling Content on Instagram

  • To alleviate inefficiency and streamline the posting process, users can now schedule Instagram posts to go live at a later time; however, this cannot be done through the platform. Users must leverage third-party Instagram applications like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, of which Instagram has partnered with to make this happen. Upon initial roll-out, this option will only be available to large companies.
  • What it means for brands: Community managers with access to third party scheduling tools can now schedule content in advance, which is particularly helpful for weekend, late night, or event content. There are a few hesitations here, however – scheduling content, while a luxury, does come with potential malfunctions and this doesn’t mean that community managers are off the hook. It will still be wise to check that content has gone live when expected. This feature is also only available by leveraging third-party tools, which not all advertisers use. These tools typically cost money, depending on the type of subscription.

Additional Resources: TechCrunch, WERSM

(via WERSM)

Facebook Tests “Downvote” Button for Comments

  • Facebook confirmed that they are testing a “downvote” button in comments on posts. The downvote button could give users the power to flag comments to Facebook that they may find offensive or inappropriate. This is in tandem with their recent Newsfeed update of which the platform will optimize content that drives “meaningful interaction” between users. When users downvote a comment, that comment will be hidden from their feed and they can choose from the following reasons for flagging: offensive, misleading, and off-topic. This will give Facebook more control over comments and potentially remove “fake news” from feeds. If the comment is downvoted by many users, it may be removed from the post altogether by Facebook.
  • What it means for brands: This update may impact brand content if it is flagged as offensive or inappropriate to users. Something to keep in mind during the content development side to ensure that graphics and text do not spark downvotes from the community.

Additional Resources: TechCrunch, Social Media Today

(via Social Media Today)

Facebook Rolls Out Dynamic Creative

  • Facebook announced a new tool called Dynamic Creative to help with ad testing. The tool  will automatically generate and deliver different combinations of content that is uploaded in Ads Manager by taking the best combinations of creative assets and optimizing these assets across audiences. The process for setting up an ad in dynamic creative is like setting up a normal ad:
    • Create a campaign
    • Add all campaign details to the ad set (flight dates, budget, targeting, placements) then create a new ad.
    • At the ad level within Ads Manager, upload multiple assets to the ad. All of the assets within the campaign should align with the same messaging and be developed with the purpose of creative testing because Facebook will deliver multiple variations of the ad using these assets. The maximum number of assets a brand can add to this is 30.
  • What it means for brands: The ability to test ads is a great tool to gain insight into which pieces of creative are resonating most with a brand’s audience and it does the “dirty work” for advertisers that already plan to test and learn. However, where we see this being a concern is for highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance, where all content needs to be approved before it is posted. Advertisers will still have to get the possible combinations approved prior to upload, should Facebook optimize in a fashion that is not “approved” content. We’ll keep our eye on this as it rolls out.

Additional Resources: Facebook

(via Facebook)

Facebook Updates How Organic Reach is Calculated

  • Facebook reports the organic reach of a post within the page insights tab in Business Manager. Previously, the platform calculated reach based on how many times a post was delivered in the News Feed. For paid posts, reach was calculated differently, only counting reach when a post is seen by a person. To make metrics more consistent across the board, Facebook has updated organic reach to be measured using the same system as paid reach, counting a user as “reached” if a post appears on-screen.
  • What it means for brands: Brands may see their organic reach decrease due to the update, since the platform is now being more precise in its measurements and adding viewability as a metric. Additionally, organic and paid reach will be more comparable and consistent since they will be measured the same way, which is good because most brands are paying to play at this point anyways.

Additional Resources: Ad Age, Campaign

Pinterest Introduces Augment Text Searches

  • Launched one year ago, Pinterest’s lens feature has garnered more than 600M searches from users each month, and searches are up 140% since launch. Now, the app is taking the lens feature to the next level by introducing the ability to attach images AND text to search queries. Pinterest is trying to enhance the online shopping experience by allowing users to be more specific in their searches, optimizing for great results. For example, when shopping in a brick-and-mortar store there are sales associates to help shoppers. Now, the platform’s very specific search options will do this for users. Here’s how Pinterest explains it: “if a user is looking to buy an armchair to match a couch, the user can upload the picture of the couch and then type in “armchair” to make the search specific.”
  • What it means for brands: This is particularly beneficial to retailers that are steadily shifting from an in-store experience to a digital experience for shoppers. Adding value to users and enhancing the browsing experience on the platform could ensure that users continue using Pinterest for to shop and browse for new products and fashion or interior design ideas.

Additional Resources: Marketing Land, Digital Trends

(via Digital Trends)