Social Media News Roundup: August 2016

In this post, the first in a new series, we take a look at this month’s top 5 social media news stories that you need to know about to stay ahead of the game.

Facebook Adblocking

This is something we’ve already written about here, but it’s worth highlighting again. Indeed, earlier this month Facebook announced that it would ‘begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad blocking software’.

But rather than ignore its users and subject them to unwelcome advertising, Facebook has put the power of dictating ad relevance in the hands of the public. By offering new ad preference options, users can now choose not to see advertising around a certain topic or interest and from specific companies.

Instagram Stories

It seems like an age ago, but at the very beginning of August Instagram launched its new ‘Instagram Stories’ feature. Almost identical to Snapchat’s core service, Instagram Stories enables users to maintain a feed of content separate from their main photos and videos.

Like Snapchat, these ‘stories’ are intended to be real-time updates, and they accordingly disappear after 24 hours. There’s a heavy focus on creativity here, and users can add drawings, images or words to their ‘stories’. If you use Instagram you can’t miss the ‘stories’ of those you follow; they appear in a bar just above the traditional content feed.

Twitter Instant Unlock Card

Designed to work in tandem with Twitter’s ‘Conversational Ads’, the new ‘Instant Unlock Card’ enables brands to incentivise engagement by ‘offering access to exclusive content… after the tweet is sent’. According to Twitter, ‘during the beta, brands saw an average 34% earned media rate.’

In the same post on its blog, Twitter also revealed new ‘advanced analytics’ to help brands track the success of their conversational ad units. These new insights can be found inside the Twitter Ads dashboard.

Pinterest Native Video

You’re probably aware that everything is heading towards video, with Facebook feeds inundated with video content and live streaming becoming increasingly popular. And, with its recent announcement of a native video player, Pinterest is clearly aware of the trend too.

Apparently, these changes will be rolled out by Pinterest ‘over the next few months’, and will also include improvements to video discovery. Stay tuned.

Facebook Reduces Clickbait, What Happens Next is Unbelievable…

In its ongoing quest to ‘show people the stories most relevant to them’, Facebook has announced an update to its News Feed ranking system. This system is able to identify ‘phrases that are commonly used in clickbait headlines.’ These are then categorised and reviewed to create a ‘spam filter’, which catches certain types of headlines and withholds them from users’ feeds.

Don’t worry, nothing happens next…