Video continues to be a social media staple that brands need to keep up with! With updates from Facebook and Instagram all about video capabilities, it’s clear that the social landscape isn’t moving away from video any time soon. Facebook expands on their video capabilities by offering a new way to watch pre-recorded content and by implementing new AR video experiences for consumers on Facebook Messenger. Instagram has created a new way to group call in direct message streams, further encouraging users to want immediate video interaction. Instagram also quietly expanded their in-app purchase feature to more users late last week. Learn more below about these video and payment updates in the social sphere!

Facebook Adds New AR Business Tools to Messenger

  • Mid-last week, Facebook announced that they are expanding their AR capabilities to allow brands to build their own digital AR experiences in the Facebook messenger application. This new tool allows businesses to fully immerse their consumers in their brand and available products, while utilizing interactive AR capabilities. Though Messenger may not seem like the ideal place to host this feature, research shows that interest is growing on Messenger for brands to expand their product promotions on. With messaging apps seeing more users than other social media platforms, brands need to consider all available platforms and apps to promote their products.
  • What it means for brands: With the introduction of yet another way to promote brand identity, businesses need to consider if this will be a viable option for them. Determining if your audience is on Facebook messenger, as well as what the potential ROI could be, are both questions brands will need to consider before investing in this AR experience. With the future of social media platforms moving towards AR, this could be an interesting way for brands to update their marketing strategies and encourage engagement.

Additional Resources: Variety, The Verge

(via Social Media Today)

Facebook Tests Out New Video Format for Communal Viewing

  • Facebook has been testing out a new video feature to increase engagement and video views by allowing creators to publish pre-recorded videos within the Facebook Live environment. This new capability called ‘Premieres’ gives brands the opportunity to upload pre-recorded content through Facebook Live. The videos would be seen as ‘Premiere’ as they played, as opposed to ‘Live.’ Facebooks VP of Product describes this new feature as a way for users to “experience Premieres of videos like movie trailers, new episodes of Facebook Watch shows, or new content from their favorite creators, alongside other fans together in real time – just like watching a Facebook Live video.” These videos will look similar to Facebook Live, offering the same formatting for engagement and views, the addition of the ‘Premiere’ stamp will conveys to users that the video is not live.
  • What it means for brands: As users shift their viewing mentality to wanting more live content, healthcare brands can offer its audiences that authentic look and feel, without having the worry of an actual live video. Though this new feature may seem a little deceptive due to how similar its appearance is to the Facebook Live video feature, it allows brands to provide pre-recorded videos with increased engagements.

Additional Resources: MarketingLand

(Social Media Today)

Instagram Adds Group Video Calling Within Direct Messages

  • At Facebook’s annual conference, the company announced that they will be expanding Instagram’s capabilities by offering a group calling feature within messaging streams. Currently, Instagram has the “live video” capability where a user can live broadcast what they are doing, which is available for their followers to watch. Now, users can utilize direct message streams with multiple people and group call within the direct message. To start a video call, users will tap the camera icon in the top right corner of any direct message to chat with someone one-on-one or with a small group, with no limit to how long the call can go for.
  • What this means for brands: With video capabilities continuing to dominate social media networks, brands will need to continue to find relevant ways to keep up with the trends. Healthcare brands can consider tapping into this feature through the implementation of real-time video customer service support. As customer service evolves from call centers and emails, to chatbots and Messenger support, brands now have the opportunity to provide personal support exchange through one-on-one direct video calls.

Additional Resources: The Verge, The Next Web

(via Social Media Today)

Instagram Slyly Introduced In-App Payment Capabilities

  • Instagram introduced in-app payments in a quiet fashion. This new feature lets users add their credit/debit card to their Instagram account, allowing for direct purchases within the app. Some users were already able to use the app Resy to directly book appointments within Instagram, but now the feature seems to be spreading to more and more users. Given the number of influencers and brands on Instagram looking to share and promote their products, this feature could completely change how Instagram is used as a platform.
  • What this means for brands: Instead of brands or influencers posting photos of their advertised products and saying “swipe-up to buy,” users could simply swipe up to purchase within the app. Though healthcare brands will not be able to use this feature for prescription treatments, beauty and health brands with over-the-counter products will be able to promote a seamless user experience from advertisement to purchase. With this additional feature, brands will need to update their marketing strategy to include in-app purchases as a relevant KPI.

Additional Resources: TechCrunch

(via The Verge)