April Social Media News: AR on Facebook, Ads on Snapchat& More

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April showers bring May flowers( depending on where you live ). This April also brought an onslaught of augmented reality, or AR, from a few of your favorite social media apps.

Just like last month, Facebook and Instagram continued to compete with Snap Inc. in April, with all three apps launching new products and features to keep more users and marketers expending their hour there.

This is good news for marketers: Social media platforms are constructing it easier to do your job well. The tricky proportion will be figuring out where your audience wants to hear from you most, and where to best expend your time and resources producing and promoting content.

We’re here to help. The list isnat exhaustive, but you can expect to learn the major highlightings in the social media space this month — what was launched, what changed, and what these stories could mean for marketers. And if you’re too busy to read the full roundup, here’s a quick video recap 😛 TAGEND

10 of the Biggest Social Media News Stories This Month

1) Facebook announced new AR, VR, and AI initiatives at F8 2017.

Source: Facebook

At the annual F8 Facebook Developers Conference, CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s next act would be farther steps into the worlds of augmented reality( AR ), virtual reality( VR ), and artificial intelligence( AI ). With the launch of new products like the Camera Effects Studio, the AR Studio, and Facebook Spaces, Zuckerberg hopes to attain the Facebook camera “the first augmented reality platform.”

Down the line, Facebook plans to launch AR glass and new 360 -degree capable cameras, in addition to some truly mind-bending Constructing 8 initiatives, such as technology to type with your brain and hear with your skin. These proclamations caught most of the headlines, but we think what was left off of the F8 agenda is just as important.

With almost no mention of Facebook Instant Articles, publishers, or Pages, it’s clear that Facebook is doubling down on high-tech visual content. So what does this means for marketers? It’s tough to outwit the News Feed algorithm and to drive content views and participation. Our advice is to publish no more than 3X per day, to invest in live and native video content, and to connect with your audience and clients on Facebook Messenger( but more on that afterward ).

2) Facebook surpassed 5 million monthly advertisers.

Source: VentureBeat

Facebook also announced this month that it had achieved more than 5 million monthly advertisers — 75% of which came from outside of the United States. Excavating into this massive number discloses even more interesting insights: 50% of these advertisers are mobile advertisers, and Facebook amassed more than 1 million new advertisers in less than one year.

These advertisers only represent about 8% of businesses with Pages, so it’s likely that Facebook will keep updating its Ads Manager to make advertising on Facebook more entice, especially on mobile. Read our ebook for ideas on how to optimize your brand’s Facebook Page for more effective ad on the mega-popular platform.

3) One in five Facebook videos are broadcast live.

Facebook’s head of video, Fidji Simo, shared a video announcing just how rapidly Facebook Live had grown in popularity — both among publishers and among spectators. One in five videos on Facebook is a Facebook Live broadcast. What’s more, Facebook Live watch time has increased more than than 4X longer over the last year.

Last year, Facebook announced it would start giving Facebook Live broadcasts greater weight in the News Feed algorithm as a result of its popularity. This increase in watch time could precede another algorithm adjustment favoring live broadcasts, so if you aren’t already doing so, recording Facebook Live videos could help your content earn more participation and discovery in the News Feed. Read our guide for going live on Facebook here.

4) There are 100 K active bots on Facebook Messenger.

Source: CNBC

Facebook Messenger was another hot topic at the F8 conference, and one of the biggest proclamations about the messaging app was that there are now 100,000 active bots deployed on the platform every month. Furthermore, Facebook announced that 2 billion messages per month were shared between Messenger users and businesses.

Messenger is becoming popular for customer service and content distribution, so Facebook announced changes to the platform to make it more discoverable and easy to use as a standalone product. These changes include a Discover tab on the home screen of Messenger and “smart replies” businesses can use to auto-answer frequently asked questions.

Marketers might consider using Messenger as part of their customer service or content distribution strategies — especially if their audiences are already highly engaged on Facebook. You can subscribe to HubSpot content using Messenger here.

5) Apple Clips achieved 1 million downloads in four days.

Source: TechCrunch

Apple launched Clips, a media editing app designed to create photos and videos specifically for social sharing, and it rapidly achieved up to 1 million downloads in the four days after its launch in the App Store.

It’s still early to tell how the app will continue to perform, but App Annie noted that Clips was beating out Instagram’s own photo editing app, Layout, in the App Store during that period. This data is merely based on United States numbers, but remain tuned for more coverage from us on media editing apps you should be using for easy social media sharing.

6) Pinterest kills the Like button

Source: Pinterest Blog

In a blog post published this month, Pinterest announced it would be removing the Like button from the visual search platform and sticking with the Save button as an indicator of Pins’ popularity. Pinterest set this change into practice with an email to Recode : It stated, in no uncertain terms, that Pinterest isn’t about virtual reality or connecting with friends. Instead, it’s about visual content discovery.

If marketers are spending a ton of hour using Pinterest as a social networking tool, they might want to rethink their strategy and metrics now. Instead, consider shoppable Pins if you sell products as a better use of Pinterest’s discoverability capabilities.

7) Snapchat added Geofilters to its ads API.

Source: MarketingLand

Snapchat announced it would be adding Sponsored Geofilters to its ads API this month, constructing it easier for brands to customize and launch Geofilters for specific locations and events.

This is a big win for Snapchat. Now, advertisers can track the capabilities of Sponsored Geofilters within the Snapchat Ads API and get more insight into advertising ROI on the platform. We’ve talked before about how Snapchat’s analytics aren’t as robust as the other social media platforms it’s competing with, so this change makes almost all Snapchat advertising options available within the API for easy customization and performance analysis. Now, only Sponsored Lenses aren’t available in the API, and we’ll maintain you posted if and when that changes as Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc ., grows.

8) Snapchat started measuring foot traffic to brick-and-mortar locations.

Source: MarketingLand

Snapchat has started using a Snap to Store measurement tool that lets advertisers see how much foot traffic to physical places was generated by Snapchat ad opinions. The measurement shows which guests employed Snapchat while in the brick-and-mortar place, how many people who visited had ensure the ad on Snapchat, and certain differences in foot traffic between guests who considered the ad on Snapchat and guests who hadn’t.

The Snap to Store measurement tool is still in the experiment phase with a few large brands for now, but we’ll maintain you posted when it rolls out to all users. The measurement doesn’t is the difference between different locations if your brand has a chain of stores, so this might be a better fit for smaller businesses to test out.

9) Snapchat launched AR world lenses.

On the first day of Facebook’s F8 conference, Snapchat announced new AR lenses users could start adding to their photos and videos. With world lenses, users can add 3-D moving shapes and images to content to add another layer of fun and assortment to their Snaps.

AR and VR features are the next logical step for Snap Inc ., Snapchat’s parent company that rebranded itself as a camera company back in 2016. The announcement of world lenses just before Facebook announced its own AR camera abilities at F8 was smart( and sneaky) timing, as marketers around the world start to consider how to incorporate AR into their visual content efforts.

Our advice — as always — is to experimentation and iterate based on results. Ensure if your audience answers and engages with world lenses on Snapchat and AR filters on Facebook, figure out what works, and replicate it in future posts.

10) Instagram Stories beat Snapchat’s user numbers.

Source: Instagram

Instagram Stories have officially attracted more users than Snapchat’s entire user base, making 200 million users this month. With roughly 161 million users to its name, Snapchat continues to face increased competition from its virtual replica on Instagram.

Case in point: In the same blog post announcing the user milestone, Instagram also demonstrated its new Selfie Sticker feature, which lets users take a mini-selfie that they are capable of attach to images and videos in other Stories. If this sounds familiar, you’re right on the money — Snapchat introduced Scissors, which do the exact same thing, in December 2016.

More advertisers and marketers are turning to Instagram over Snapchat for their ephemeral marketing endeavors. We suggesting focus your efforts on which platforms audiences are most engaged on, while still keeping a pulse on other platforms that might experience a resurgence if new tools or products are announced.

It’s not exactly a news story, but we wanted to attain you aware of a new social media content creation tool, too. This month, HubSpot and Shakr teamed up to create StoriesAds.com, a platform to easily create videos for Instagram’s horizontal format. Utilizing StoriesAds.com, brands can easily create horizontal videos for Instagram Stories and ads directly in a browser, so check out the tool the next time you plan to launch an Instagram campaign to make better content, more easily.

Did we miss any big social media stories? Share with us in the comments below .

Read more: blog.hubspot.com

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