On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Erik Fisher and Kim Reynolds, we explore the Facebook “engagement bait” news feed updates, new fonts for Instagram Stories, and more breaking social media marketing news of the week!
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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, December 22, 2017. You can also listen to the show as an audio podcast, found on iTunes/Apple Podcast, Android, Google Play, Stitcher, and RSS.
The Social Media Marketing Talk show will be taking a break for the holidays. Our next show will be on Friday, January 5, 2018.
For this week’s top stories, you’ll find timestamps below that allow you to fast-forward in the replay above.
Facebook Penalizes “Engagement Bait” Posts in the News Feed: Facebook will now demote posts from people and pages that use “engagement bait,” which is the attempt to manipulate Facebook’s news feed algorithm by boosting engagement to achieve greater reach. Facebook has reviewed and categorized “hundreds of thousands of posts” to inform a machine learning model to detect different types of engagement bait. (5:17)
Facebook announced that individual posts that use this tactic will now be shown less in news feed. It will also enforce demotions for pages “that systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach in News Feed… over the coming weeks.”
Instagram Tests Five New Fonts for Instagram Stories: Instagram seems to be testing five new fonts for Instagram Stories with users in Japan. They are reportedly being called Modern, Neon, Typewriter, Strong, and Classic; however, Instagram hasn’t officially announced nor confirmed any details about these possible new fonts. These new fonts were discovered by Matt Navarra. (23:58)
Facebook Rolls Out Custom Audiences for Users Lingering on Ads: There appears to be a new option to target a list of people who have “spent more time than usual viewing your display ads on Facebook and Instagram” within Ads Manager. Simply called Dwell, this new audience targeting option is an expansion of Dwell Time, which rolled out a few months ago and targeted people who have spent any time viewing your display ads on these platforms. This possible new custom audience option was first discovered by Matt Navarra. (25:51)
Facebook Allows Users to React to Individual Parts of Videos: Facebook appears to be testing the ability to react to different parts of a video similarly to the way that reactions bubble up when rewatching Facebook Live videos. Facebook hasn’t officially rolled out this feature nor shared any details about it. This new feature was discovered by Matt Navarra. (28:25)
Facebook Tests Topics for Group Posts: Facebook is possibly testing the ability to add “topics” to group posts. Adding topics helps other members find the information they want and serves as a resource for the whole group. Per the screenshots provided, the list of topics can be found at the top of the Discussion tab in groups on mobile and on the right-hand column on the desktop. This new feature was discovered by Matt Navarra. (29:49)
NEW: Facebook is testing ‘topics’ for posts in Groups pic.twitter.com/7kmXkdVl2O
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) December 20, 2017
Facebook Adds “Green Dot” Alert to Post Comments: In May, Facebook debuted a new “green dot” that appeared next to users’ names as an indication of who’s active and online now within Messenger. It appears that Facebook might be expanding this notification to post comments as well. (31:30)
Facebook Page Messages Found Inside Messenger: Facebook page messages can now be managed from inside the Messenger app, as well as the Page Manager app on mobile. The inbox can be accessed by clicking on your profile image. Messenger displays all of the pages you manage and you can click on each one to see its messages. (33:22)
Facebook Rolls Out New Meetup Tools, Chat Features, and a Quick Way to Invite Friends to Groups: Facebook now encourages users in groups to plan in-person meetups with other members who are near them with a new Get Together button. Based on an image shared by Matt Navarra in a tweet, this new meetup option appears to be found in the text field for group posts along with the option to share a photo or video, create a poll, and more. (35:18)
NEW: Facebook is rolling out its Group Meet Up feature
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) December 14, 2017
Facebook may also be rolling out a button to quickly add friends and a number of new chat features to groups. These features were also discovered by Matt Navarra. Facebook hasn’t officially rolled out these possible new features nor shared any details about them.
Twitter Shows Hashtag Insights in Real Time: Twitter hashtags may now show insights as you type. It appears that Twitter will suggest variations on hashtags and reveal which versions are trending and how many people have shared the hashtag within the past hour. This new tool was discovered by Matt Navarra, but hasn’t yet been officially announced by Twitter. (37:50)
Twitter Rolls Out Account Activity API for Powering Customer Service and Chatbots: Twitter launched a new enterprise-level API that will offer developers access to real-time activities such as tweets, @mentions, replies, and much more and help them power customer service tools, chatbots, and other brand engagement vehicles for Twitter. While the existing Twitter Account API also grants access to real-time Twitter activities, this new version is expanded to handle data from a larger number of accounts, multiple URLs, and support.
Facebook Officially Rolls Out Snooze for News Feed Posts: Facebook will launch a new Snooze feature, which gives users the option to “temporarily unfollow a person, Page or group for 30 days” over the next week. This feature was initially being tested in the U.S. earlier this year with different lengths of time and it will now be widely available.
Snapchat Launches Augmented Reality Developer Platform, Lens Studio: Snapchat’s new Lens Studio offers “a new way for anyone to create Lenses for the Snapchat community.” It’s a free desktop app for Windows and Mac and offers easy-to-use guides and tools.
Snapchat Debuts Branded Filters With Animated Graphics: Snapchat is rolling out a new type of branded filter that features moving text and graphics that can be overlaid on photos and videos. These new “animated filters” were introduced to users earlier this month and are now available to all advertisers in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France, and Australia for their sponsored snap ads. Adweek reports that “in the coming months,” this feature will also include targeting by age, gender, time of day, and interest.
— Adweek (@Adweek) December 20, 2017
Twitter Displays Video Counts on All Video Tweets: Twitter announced that video counts will now be publicly displayed on both organic videos and video ads in tweets, but not on pre-roll ads. Marketing Land reports that Twitter counts a view once the video has played for at least 2 seconds while at least 50% is in view, in accordance with the Media Rating Council’s video viewability standard and notes that Twitter will combine earned and paid views in the overall view count for brand videos that run both organically and as a promoted video ad.
👀 👀 👀
We’re adding view counts to videos on Twitter! 👇 pic.twitter.com/uSP85SgZOK
— Twitter Video (@TwitterVideo) December 11, 2017
Facebook Introduces New Facial Recognition Tools: Facebook debuted new facial recognition tools “to help people better manage their identity on Facebook” and “help you detect when others might be attempting to use your image as their profile picture.” Using the same technology that automatically tags users in photos, Facebook will now notify users if their face is being used as someone else’s profile photo or found in any other images that have been uploaded to the site.
Facebook is also using this new facial recognition software to improve the alt-text tool for visually impaired users. Facebook will now include names when it describes what’s in a photo for people who use screen readers.
Instagram Launches Alpha Testing Program for iOS and Android Users: Instagram has been running a beta testing program open to Android users for the past few years and just announced the rollout of a new alpha testing program for both iOS and Android users. TechCrunch reports that this new program will offer “a different version of the app to testers than [the one that] is available to Beta testers” which means that users will get early access to experimental features that may never be released to the wider public.
Instagram launches an alpha testing program on iOS and Android https://t.co/N4wyqfHQ1E
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) December 20, 2017
Facebook Announces Updates to Video Distribution and Monetization: Facebook news feed ranking will give priority to video posts that have a strong repeat viewership and Watch Show pages that are linked to existing pages. In a Newsroom post, Facebook specified that videos from pages that people “proactively seek out” with search or directly going to a page week after week should expect to see greater distribution on the news feed.
Facebook is also rolling out more ways for larger publishers to monetize their video posts with new guidelines and limits around ad breaks rolling out in January and the adoption of pre-roll ads being tested in the Watch tab. To help creators and publishers, Facebook added a dedicated Ad Break Insights tab with two new metrics: Ad Break impressions at the video level and Ad Break CPMs at the video level.
Twitter Adds Support for App-Based Two-Factor Authentication: Twitter updated its platform security to allow users to use third-party authentication apps such as Google Authenticator, Authy, and 1Password instead of SMS to establish a two-factor login authentication for their Twitter account. TechCrunch reports that “all you need to get set up is a one-time verification from within your logged in about on the desktop using your mobile Twitter app, your phone’s camera, and a uniquely generated QR code to establish the connection between app and Twitter.”
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) December 20, 2017