Social Web Recap 04.12.17
A weekly annotated short summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.
A survey of 270 marketing executives in the U.K. reveals that celebrities have been a large part of their marketing strategies for more than five years. In general the study concludes that "Digital influencers are the most popular choice for brand endorsements." And interestingly there is an expectation that female niche influencers are "set to rise in popularity over the next 12 months, for approximately three quarters of respondents."
Now this is an update that business will like. Facebook launched Customer Chat which lets businesses and users chat to each other both on the business's own website and within Facebook Messenger. The Verge calls it "essentially a website plugin that brings the Facebook Messenger experience to any retailer’s website, which lets the customer support representatives then converse with customers as if they were chatting with a friend on Facebook."
This one maybe not so much . . . Facebook is investigating ways to ensure advertisers don't discriminate by race in selecting target audiences for their campaigns. TechCrunch reports that "Facebook will temporarily disable the option that lets advertisers exclude multicultural affinity groups from their audience."
Good news for business; bad news for users? According to TechCrunch, "Facebook may soon be ready to squeeze more money out of its 1.3 billion-user chat app. The company has internally developed 'Messenger Broadcast,' a self-serve mass-messaging interface that lets businesses send marketing messages to users. Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s testing the feature internally, but hadn’t trialed it to the public or with businesses as of late last month."
And not leave publishers out of the holiday gift-giving, Recode reports that "Facebook will now let some publishers add a “breaking” tag to news stories, making it easier for readers to identify news while scrolling through their feed. The new label is part of a test, and publishers will have the option to leave the tag on a story for as little as 15 minutes or as long as six hours. Publishers can use the tag once in a 24-hour period."
First announced a couple of weeks ago, Snapchat's redesign was launched last week and it's getting favorable reviews. Comments focus in particular on the sorting of friends from publishers,. Pete Pachal in Mashable says "With the revamp, the app is more clearly separating your interactions with friends from the things you read: Your snap conversations and your friends' Stories will be on the left, and publisher content (like Mashable's Discover channel) and public, curated Stories are over on the right." Evan Spiegel's argument for doing so, also reported in Pachal's article is that "The combination of social and media has yielded incredible business results, but has ultimately undermined our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media. We believe that the best path forward is disentangling the two by providing a personalized content feed based on what you want to watch, not what your friends post."
The Verge reports (with thanks to The Next Web) that Instagram is testing a bunch of new features, most of which from a user's perspective should be keepers, including the ability to search for GIFs to upload in your stories. Others include "a close friends list to share with only a small group of people, an automatic archiving option for all your stories, hashtag and emoji search options, and the ability to follow hashtags to get top posts and stories on a particular trend."
YouTube has opened up its 'Community' platform for 'creators' (can't we find a better word?) to anyone with more than 10,000 subscribers. 'Community' is a place for them to share ways to "connect with fans in-between uploads with polls, pictures, text, GIFs, and more." Of broader interest, though, YouTube also released a new feature called 'Reels', its spin on the popular stories format on the likes of Instagram and Snapchat, "but designed specifically for YouTube creators."
Video on Mobile
And because the social platform update news was a little thin last week, below is a chart that shows "Three quarters of all mobile traffic will be used for video in 2023, according to a new report by telecommunications equipment company Ericsson. That’s up from just over half of all traffic today."