Must-Know Social Media News Stories of February 2019

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The past month has seen plenty of changes to the social media landscape, particularly in the area of advertising opportunities. Here we give you the lowdown on the top social media news stories you need to know.

Facebook Launches Premium Video Ad Program

Advertisers will have the opportunity to promote their brand in conjunction with Facebook’s highest-quality video content as part of a premium video ad program announced this month.

Facebook Showcase program aims to target bigger advertisers wanting to enhance brand awareness alongside popular Watch shows and other video content from the most engaging, highest quality publishers and creators on the platform.

The announcement comes as Facebook grows its offering of Watch programs including Returning the Favor and Red Table Talk.

The Showcase program is currently available for campaigns aimed at US audiences with a number of options including ad placement in specific shows and the ability to reach people within targeted interest categories.

Facebook Launches Premium Video Ad Program

Updates to ‘Why Am I Seeing This’ Ad

In Facebook’s continued crackdown on non-consensual ad targeting, the social media platform this month offers more transparency in how advertisers have obtained a user’s information.

Techcrunch reported that starting 28 February, Facebook’s “Why am I seeing this?” button in posts will include more information about the source of contact info.

Previously, you could see basic information such as the brand that paid for the ad, biographical details the advertiser was targeting and if the brand uploaded the user’s info. The changes will show more detail such as when your info was uploaded. It can also show whether contact info was provided via the brand or one of their partners, as well as when access was shared between partners.

The update gives users greater ability to understand how a brand has obtained their information. It also aims to identify advertisers that are using contact information they may not have obtained in a legitimate manner.

The changes to “Why am I seeing this?” follows Facebook’s labeling of “paid for by” labels to political ads to counter election interference.

Updates to ‘Why Am I Seeing This’ Ad

Image via Techcrunch

Facebook Campaign Budget Optimization Migration

Lastly (since Facebook seems to dominate the social media news cycle) Facebook announced this month that its Facebook campaign budget optimization feature will be applied to all existing and new campaigns from this September.

Campaign budget optimization will see advertisers set a central campaign budget to optimize across ad sets, instead of specifying spend at an Ad Set level.

The optimization feature distributes budget to the top performing ad sets in real time. It was introduced as an optional feature in November 2017, but from September 2019 it will be automatically applied to all existing and new campaigns.

Advertisers have been assured by the social media platform, that campaign budget optimization is available for any campaign objective and they can still control their spend at the Ad Set level. Minimum and maximum spend limits will still be adhered to.

Facebook Campaign Budget Optimization Migration

Instagram Live Titles

Marketers would have more opportunities to include promotional messaging and context for video content via a title option for Instagram Live.

Social Media Today reported that the title option for Instagram Live appeared on the pre-launch screen for some users.

The change, albeit small, is another opportunity for brand content to be discovered and when used in conjunction with Live question stickers, could potentially boost engagement.

There has been no announcement yet on the full roll-out of this feature.

Instagram IGTV Previews Appear in Main Feed

You may have noticed this month IGTV previews showing up in your main feed – expanding the reach of Instagram’s vertical-video content.

The change means that when someone you follow publishes a new video, it will appear in your feed as a preview which you can, if you want to, watch in full in IGTV.

According to the Verge, it’s a push from Instagram to integrate IGTV, a standalone app launched last June, into the main Instagram platform to increase its popularity.

IGTV lets users upload videos up to 10 minutes long, putting it in the same space as YouTube and Twitch. Larger accounts can upload videos of up to one hour.

The Verge reports that adoption of IGTV by content creators has been hampered by the platform’s insistence on vertical video, as well as some user issues with the interface and search functionality.

Donation Stickers

It appears that Instagram may be testing a donation sticker for its Stories feature, after app researcher, Jane Manchun Wong spotted the feature.

Reports suggest the feature would be similar to what Facebook offers with its fundraising and donation tools, with users able to search a list of not-for-profits to link directly to their sticker.

It’s definitely a case of watch-this-space for marketers working with charities, fundraising events and non-profit organisations.

Instagram Donation Stickers

Pinterest Files for IPO

The Wall Street Journal reported this month that Pinterest Inc. had confidentially filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering (IPO).

The article went on to say that the IPO is expected to value the company at US$12 billion or more.

If other social media platform IPOs are any indication, going public could have a significant impact on how the organisation operates.

That being said, Pinterest continues to distance itself from the social network label, describing the platform as ‘a discovery engine’ and ‘a catalog of ideas’.

Shop the Look

Building on Pinterest’s focus on helping its users discover new ideas, the platform this month enhanced its Shop the Look feature.

Shop the Look was introduced in 2017, identifying matching products so users could buy them. The feature was largely managed in association with partner brands and via manual tagging.

This month’s update fully automates the process, with “Shop the Look” introduced for Home Decor on iOS.

Advanced image identification technology and other improvements means Pinterest can select products without much human supervision. The latest change to Shop the Look will rely on organically matching the products, but brands will be able link their products in pins Pinterest will be drawing on.

Pinterest Shop the Look

WhatsApp Turns 10

WhatsApp celebrated its 10th anniversary and continues to dominate message app usage.

With around 1.5 billion users, the Facebook-owned messaging app is the most used messaging platform in the world, ahead of Messenger and China’s WeChat.

Top Messenger Apps by Country

Image via MobileMonkey.


Snapchat Usage Remains Steady

Here’s some positive social media news (if you’re Snapchat) 😁

Snapchat usage is holding steady according to the social media platform’s most recent earnings report.

Snap’s Q4 and full-year report card gives some reason for optimism with daily users, while not increasing, not decreasing either.

Snap Lenses was flagged as a key driver of future growth with “70% of users (playing) with or view(ing) a Lens every day, while users played with or viewed Lenses 700 million times on New Year’s Eve, up nearly 40% year-over-year”.

Editable Tweets

Will they or won’t they? This month there has been a great deal of talk about whether we will ever get to edit tweets.

The topic was given air time during an interview between Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Joe Rogan.

Dorsey said the platform was looking at the ability to make edits in some circumstances and potentially within a certain timeframe such as a 5-second to 30-second delay in the sending.

“The issue with going longer than that is it takes that real-time nature of the conversational flow out of it,” Dorsey said.

So while there is no definitive answer to whether editable tweets will be introduced, it hasn’t been ruled out either.

Did we miss any important updates? Let us know on our Facebook Page!

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Kylie Fennell

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Kylie Fennell is a Marketer and Publisher of small business news and resource site She loves creating content and marketing strategies that will make your day.