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.
Facebook Smashes Q1 Forecasts
Facebook is killing it right now. On top of its above-estimate $8.03bn in revenue, the leading social media giant has put itself in a position to hit the 2 billion total users mark as soon as Q2 of this year. Indeed, Facebook now boasts a whopping 1.94bn-strong user base, growing at a faster-than-expected 4.3%, up from 1.86bn in Q4 of last year.
Instagram (Or Was it Snapchat’s?) Selfie Filters
Instagram has launched a new selfie filter feature. But don’t worry, we won’t talk about that. What’s more interesting is it’s continued copying of bonafide Snapchat features…
Man with easiest job in the world and Instagram’s VP of Product, Kevin Weil spoke to Tech Crunch:
“If we’re being honest with ourselves, this is the way the tech industry works and frankly it’s how all industries work. Good ideas start in one place, and they spread across the entire industry. Kudos to Snapchat for being the first to Stories, but it’s a format and it’s going to be adopted widely across a lot of different platforms.”
Ok. So, the man’s probably right, but we can’t help but feel that such blatant imitation must be a little frustrating for Snapchat as it grows at an ever-slowing pace.
Snapchat Hits Back
Not to be outdone, Snapchat has announced the launch of its own self-serve ads manager. Though, to be honest, this isn’t really a blatant rip-off of a Facebook-only feature. But still.
What this announcement means is that from June, all businesses – large and small – will be able to roll out their own Snapchat advertising campaigns. The feature will initially be launched across the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany and Australia, but will likely reach all before the year’s out. Interestingly, this move should help Snapchat bolster its earnings before its first earnings call in March.
But Fails to Set the World On Fire
Snapchat, once lauded for its impressive growth figures, has been struggling somewhat of late. Its revenue stands at an underwhelming $149.6 million for the quarter, under the expected $159 million and far short of 2016’s Q4 figure of $165.7 million.
Clearly, it’s not all bad for Snapchat, but it’ll be growing increasingly concerned about Facebook/Instagram’s continual copycatting of its products:
“The expectations of a company like Snapchat are really high because they’re looked at against Facebook in terms of a similar play—that puts them at a disadvantage versus other B2B tech companies that have IPOed during the same period,”
Facebook Offline Conversion Tool Launches
One of the major challenges facing social media marketing over the years has been the difficulty of attributing value to its results. While we have seen developments in this area progress, ROI figures aren’t always accurate or forthcoming. With that in mind, Facebook has introduced Offline Conversions Solution specifically for lead ads.
According to Facebook, users will now be able to:
- create direct connections between adverts and results – whether a sale in a store, a booking over the phone or an in-person meeting, they can see, measure and adjust their campaigns based on real downstream metrics that matter to their business;
- create campaigns based on offline successes by targeting high-value customers from the prior month using Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences and excluding in-store purchasers to find new, local prospects;
- gain insights and build campaigns based on actual transactions by retargeting buyers of a certain category with the next product or service you’d like them to buy.