On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore new Instagram features and Facebook ads updates. Our special guests include Peg Fitzpatrick and Amanda Bond.
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If you’re new to the show, click on the green “Watch replay” button below and sign in or register to watch our latest episode from Friday, September 14, 2018. You can also listen to the show as an audio podcast, found on iTunes/Apple Podcast, Android, Google Play, Stitcher, and RSS.
For this week’s top stories, you’ll find timestamps below that allow you to fast-forward in the replay above.
Instagram Releases New Superzoom Features for Stories: Instagram released six new Superzoom effects for Stories. Mashable reports that among the new effects are a heart-filled fog with music, paparazzi-like camera flashes, flames, a big red X, and more. An Instagram spokesperson confirms this update isn’t yet available to all users, but it’s expected to roll out to everyone “at some point in the future.” (2:45)
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 6, 2018
Instagram Introduces New Emoji Shortcut Bar: After months of testing, Instagram introduced an emoji shortcut bar on Android and iOS. This new toolbar offers quick access to a user’s most-used icons when commenting on Instagram posts. (8:01)
That feeling when your favorite emojis are right in front of you 🙌😍 pic.twitter.com/QPF8eGc5yD
— Instagram (@instagram) September 6, 2018
Instagram Expands Verification and Other Security Features: Instagram is rolling out a new feature to help users evaluate the “authenticity of accounts with large followings” on Instagram. It’s also enabling a new way for accounts with large audiences to request verification through a form within the Instagram app and will soon allow the use of third-party authentication apps to log into an Instagram account. This form of two-factor authentication is easier and safer to securely log into Instagram. (12:23)
Instagram Adds Polls to Direct Messages: Instagram announced via tweet that users can now privately send a poll to their friends in Direct. According to Engadget, “Direct polls may represent an easy way to pose a question to a close-knit group without tallying a slew of text replies” and “could be more valuable than Story polls.” This new feature is available with the latest version of Instagram mobile apps for iOS and Android. (19:08)
Starting today, you can send a poll privately in Direct. Update your app to choose who you want to poll – whether it’s everyone in a big group thread or just your very best friend. Update your app now to try it! pic.twitter.com/Lfr6pwPDzI
— Instagram (@instagram) August 14, 2018
Instagram Tests Recommended Posts in Feed: Instagram is testing recommended posts in the feed. These recommendations are based “on the people you follow and photos and videos you like” and will be shown at the end of your feed “once you’ve seen everything new from people you follow.” The recommended posts will have a tag that reads, “Recommended For You.” (22:46)
Instagram Tests Tagging in Videos: Instagram is testing a new feature that allows users to tag their friends in videos, not just in photos. TechCrunch reports that “the option works similarly to tagging photos, but instead of pressing the small icon at the bottom left to see the list of tagged names appear over top of the content… the button links to a list of tagged people.” (27:43)
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) September 10, 2018
Instagram hasn’t provided much information about the test, nor discussed plans for a larger rollout of the feature. It’s currently being tested with a select group of Instagram users.
Facebook Renames Canvas Ads Instant Experiences and Rolls Out New Capabilities: Facebook canvas ads are now called “instant experiences” and come with a few more capabilities. Facebook offers ready-made template options including “Instant Storefront,” which presents products in a neat grid format; “Instant Lookbook,” which showcases products in a lifestyle setting; and more. The newest template is called “Instant Form,” and it allows users to share their contact info with a company and request more information from them. (34:45)
In addition, businesses can now integrate the Facebook pixel or any other third-party pixel into their instant experiences and capture valuable details and insights into their campaigns.
Facebook Introduces More Ways to Understand Customer Engagement: Facebook announced two updates aimed at giving businesses a better understanding of how people interact with their various platforms across the web. First, Facebook is adding eight new standard events or actions that happen on websites, in apps, or in person: Contact, Customize Product, Donate, Find Location, Schedule, Start Trial, Submit Application, and Subscribe. This update will be rolling out in “the coming weeks.” Second, Facebook is replacing cost metrics that only report on interactions on a single channel with metrics that report on the cost of these actions across the web, mobile, and offline. (45:48)
Facebook Provides More Visibility Into Ad Placements: Facebook added two new features across all ad placements in in-stream videos (including Watch videos), Instant Articles, and the Audience Network. In the past, Facebook has provided block lists, the ability to exclude “brand-sensitive content categories” from ads, and clear standards for publishers and creators. As of this week, all advertisers on Facebook will be able to see a full list of contextual placements where their ads might appear before a campaign starts and where they actually ran after a campaign ends. (49:39)
Facebook Extends Stories Ads to Facebook Marketing Partners: It was revealed in a tweet from Matt Navarra that Facebook is now inviting Facebook Marketing Partners to begin offering to their clients the opportunity to beta test Stories ads. It appears that Facebook is requesting Marketing Partners to run campaigns during the beta period and set Stories ads as the default opt-in for their ad management platforms. (52:55)
Facebook sent this note to official FB Marketing Partners about Stories Ads being tested in the Marketing API for 3rd party integrations pic.twitter.com/DHzwVLZHVy
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) September 6, 2018
According to a report from TechCrunch, Facebook began testing the Stories ads in the U.S., Mexico, and Brazil in May and has since given a limited number of global advertisers access to the new ad unit. This recent move is seen as another step toward releasing Stories ads to all Facebook advertisers “in the coming months.”
Facebook Tests Ability to Share Links in Stories: In late August, French digital news publication Siècle Digital tweeted an image showing the option to share links in a Facebook story. Facebook confirms it’s “testing the ability to share links in Stories, just like you can on News Feed” but hasn’t yet shared any details on when this feature will be widely released. (55:17)
— Siècle Digital (@Siecledigital) August 29, 2018