We take a look at last month’s top 5 social media news stories, offering you a glimpse at what you need to know to stay ahead of the game.

Instagram Hits 700 Million

Instagram has added 100 million monthly users in the past 6 months. That means the Facebook-owned photos (and now video) sharing app is sitting pretty on 700 million users. That’s twice as many as it had two years ago. Sure, it’s a relatively small number compared to Facebook’s eye-watering 2 billion (!), but also eclipses Snapchat’s paltry growth. Clearly, the poaching of Snap-esque features is doing Instagram the world of good.

Twitter In-stream Video Ads

If Twitter were an emoji, there’s every chance it’d be a sad face next to a dwindling pile of cash. It’s no secret that that platform’s ad revenues have done little to set the world on fire, and memory of previous successes fading fast. So, in an attempt to claw back long forgotten success, Twitter is now allowing brands to run in-stream video advertising.

Twitter is home to brand-safe video from hundreds of the world’s top publishers. That means brands can now run in-stream video ads to align with videos—highlights, clips and livestreams—from Amplify partners including top TV networks, major sports leagues, major publishing houses and magazines and professional news outlets. This includes pre-roll and mid-roll ads.

In recent experiments, we’ve been automatically promoting videos with high engagement from select publishers. Not only does this drive more views for the publisher, it also allows advertisers to get their message in front of a larger target audience. We have seen early success in the U.S. and look forward to rolling this out more widely in the year ahead.

Mo Al Adham Senior Product Manager, Twitter

The Facebook Rocket

We’ve not yet seen it in person, but there are reports coming in of a mysterious rocket icon appearing next to Facebook’s main newsfeed icon. But what does it do? Well, it’s remarkably similar to Instagram’s ‘explore’ tab, somewhat unsurprisingly. Clicking on the little rocket takes you to an alternative news feed populated by content you’re not already receiving. But it’s not randomly generated, oh no. The content here, like with Instagram, is based around your likes, interests and geographic location.

Dynamic Ads for Travel now for Flights

One of the early complaints about social media advertising centered around how little as formats sought to differentiate themselves from traditional digital advertising. The idea being that surely platforms like Facebook and Twitter could do more to take advantage of their unique software and display options.

In recent years, Facebook has taken that criticism onboard somewhat, unleashing all manner of ad units and styles on consumers and users. Last year it unveiled its Dynamic Ads for Travel, and these are now available for flights.

Flight advertisers can now promote flight inventory by route and schedule based on when and where people want to go. For example, a travel business can show people an advert featuring the specific flight they viewed to remind them to complete their booking. This new capability allows flight advertisers to optimise their campaigns for travel planners on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network – both this summer and beyond.

Facebook Facebook Blog

LinkedIn Grows

Instagram isn’t the only social media network to be doing something right. LinkedIn, everyone’s favourite professional network, has announced that it has surpassed the 500 million users barrier. Now covering 200 countries globally, the network represents over 10 million active jobs and 100,000 news articles every week.

The impact of half a billion professionals connecting and communicating is very real and very accessible to anyone who wants to take part today. We’re excited to think about the potential of what a highly connected global community of professionals can do, and the value that is created for every member of the global workforce.

So you can start learning more about the top connections you’ve already made, and how each person can help you work toward your career goals, we’ll be adding personalized insights in your My Network tab. Stay tuned for more details.