We need to talk about Instagram’s curious new feature, which might feel familiar because it works exactly like Snapchat’s “Stories.” Unsurprisingly, Instagram calls it “Stories.” The history here is more interesting than the actual feature, because it’s the latest move by the Facebook Conglomerate to “own” video on social platforms. Remember three years ago when Facebook tried to buy Snapchat for $3 billion? Snapchat replied “Not interested,” and the platform is currently valued somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 billion. Meanwhile video content has become the thing to do, so Facebook/Instagram have been fighting YouTube and Snapchat for video supremacy for a while now. And if Facebook can’t buy its rivals’ platforms, it’ll copy their best features in hopes of maintaining its mega-grip on the social media market. All this history aside, Instagram’s Stories present a neat opportunity for marketers who feel wary of Snapchat. Sharing Stories updates on branded Instagram accounts is a baby step in that direction for little to no cost, without having to move existing followers to a different platform.
In other news, Instagram will soon allow users to delete, filter or completely disable comments on their posts. This is helpful for influencers and brands who struggle with trolls and badly-behaved users. On the flip side, it spelled the end of the sharing economy of likes that users have built by commenting on Kylie Jenner’s posts.
Speaking of ripping off Snapchat, Facebook attempted a similar feat by releasing a 24-hour Quick Updates feature to select users. (If you made the cut, you’ll see a small smiley face to the right of the top search bar when you open the mobile app.) Quick Updates can’t be viewed on the rest of Facebook, and they only appear in this section for 24 hours before they expire. You can share most any content, such as a photo from your camera roll, and add overlays like text, before sharing it with the Facebook friends of your choosing. Facebook knows you already have Snapchat for all of this, but it’s still hoping to win you over by putting every possible Snapchat-like feature on its own platform. But unlike “Stories” on Instagram, it remains to be seen whether this feature will have benefits for marketers, too.
New marketing opportunities are blossoming elsewhere on Facebook with the announcement that live broadcasts will soon include ads. We’ve been patiently waiting for Facebook to hand over live video streaming to advertisers, and that moment will soon be here. In the meantime, you can always let Facebook teach you how to grow your business by using Facebook and Instagram through their webinar series.
Snapchat recently launched Geostickers, which are location-enabled stickers that become active for users when they’re in specific cities. The marketing potential here is exciting because of the scale – Snapchat reports that “a single national sponsored Geofilter typically reaches 40% to 60% of daily Snapchatters.” Imagine the possibilities for marketers in hospitality and tourism industries…
Now the ripe old age of 10, Twitter is still struggling to find itself and bring in more advertising revenue. The platform is hoping to get a boost from live-streaming sports, and also by giving out awards for its top advertisers and campaigns. The #TwitterAwards are broken down into 6 categories for live tweeting, creativity and biggest ROI, etc., but you have to summarize your campaign in 140 characters to enter. If you’re already rocking advertising on Twitter, why not go for the gold? ?
LinkedIn is jumping on the native video bandwagon by inviting hundreds of its designated “Influencers” to post 30-second videos that answer viewers’ questions or share their thoughts on trending topics in their industry. These Influencers can create and post their videos through an exclusive new app called “Record,” which is currently only available to a limited number of LinkedIn members. Two words for marketers: Thought leadership. If you’re a power user on the platform, look for opportunities to make use of this new video feature once it becomes more available.
Reddit and Tumblr have both announced new plans to bring more advertisers onto their platforms. Reddit wants to jump on the user-generated-content train by letting advertisers ask users if they can sponsor their posts. The move allows Reddit to highlight great original content from its most enthusiastic users, while inviting advertisers to utilize the potential of viral content. But we’ll have to wait and see if many Reddit users resist the new influx of advertising.
Tumblr took a different approach by rolling out ads across all blogs starting last week. The ads will display for all users by default, but users can opt out of the program under Tumblr’s settings menu. Tumblr said there are more details to come, but at some point they’ll introduce a revenue split that will let users sign up for a cut of the revenue. Reddit and Tumblr aren’t the first platforms you think of for social media marketing, so it’ll be interesting to see which advertisers will stake a claim in these new markets.