September 8, 2016 By FTI Consulting
(Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube)
Drum roll please… Normally accessible only to companies, Twitter has just opened up their pre-roll video advertising program (Amplify Publisher) to influencers so they can earn money from their content (and hopefully create more content for Twitter). Ads play before the videos that people + brands share on the platform and advertisers can set parameters for their ads to appear before certain types of videos. This builds on Twitter’s purchase of influencer network Niche last year – a community of 35,000 “creators” who can work with brands on sponsorships. With the recent announcement, creators who publish videos on Twitter will get about 70% of the ad revenue – that’s better than YouTube and Facebook’s revenue share, which is closer to a 50-50 split.
One of the best things about Twitter is also the worst: anyone can publicly say anything to anyone. This has led to numerous cases of abuse and personal attacks on the platform’s user base. The company recently announced that they have begun working on a keyword-based tool that will let people block any offensive tweets. The filtering tool could eventually become a moderator for any kind of content. For example, users could block a hashtag about an event they don’t care to read about… such as, oh, we don’t know, content related to the U.S. Presidential election?
Twitter has opened up the world of Direct Message (DM) with a new button that brands and companies can plug into their website. Why this matters? Per the note above, this could help take some of the complaints and harassment offline and into a secure message that companies can address directly.
To err is human? In response to accusations that Facebook’s News Feed team was regularly blocking politically conservative content the company has overhauled their trending topics module. As opposed to having humans write descriptions for trending topics, the algorithm will replace copywriting with auto-generated text pulled from the news stories themselves.
YouTube doesn’t want you to forget – they started this whole video thing, sheesh! The Google-owned platform claims live video views on the channel jumped by 80% over the last year, but content that is not live is still lucrative, adding that YouTube’s “creators” are paid “hundreds of millions of dollars” annually, with payouts rising by 50% every year.
#EpiGate: US pharma has been under fire for price gauging and the latest is Mylan’s EpiPen. Parents, patients and caregivers are mobilizing on social media to take action, launching campaigns utilizing petitions and spreading the word via Facebook and Twitter. One example – one social media user headed to Petition2Congress.com, a service that collects signatures and then sends them to designated lawmakers, and created the petition “Stop the EpiPen Price Gouging,” which went live on social in July.
Usually these campaigns perform best when it’s not a brand or “thought leader” forcing the conversation but when everyday people believe in a cause and then rally their peers to take action. People on social media are more swayed to get involved by seeing friends/family support something vs a brand.
#TurnTheTide: last week, for the first time in history, the US Surgeon General sent a letter to all clinicians to take action in the opioid epidemic. The letter is a part of an ongoing campaign that largely lives on digital and social to mobilize the healthcare community to mobilize against opioid abuse and overdose.
#EndTheStigma: This week, The World health Organization (WHO) hosted a live Facebook Q&A on suicide prevention with Dr. Shekhar Saxena, Director of WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. The numbers prove that users want and need this sort of content from healthcare companies – the video has over 16,000 views, 1,000 likes, 400 shares and almost 300 comments.
Less than a month after the launch of Instagram’s Snapchat-cloning “Stories” feature, the company has revealed that the new option is already being utilized by more than 100 million people every day. That’s a third of Instagram’s daily active user base, and a fifth of their overall network. Additionally, the tool is starting to recommend users to follow based on your interests – this will start to show up in the “Explore” tab soon.
Going where no man has gone before! You can now zoom in/out on Instagram photos and videos. Instagram rolled out a pinch-to-zoom feature to iOS users last week. The function could give brands and advertisers another layer of engagement with audiences and a new angle to consider when putting together content (i.e. Where’s Waldo?/I spy… inspired images and posts).
If it’s not on Snapchat it didn’t happen. Social’s fastest growing app, Snapchat, is looking for avenues to sustain its unprecedented growth. A recent report indicates that one of those avenues could be hardware – Snapchat augmented reality glasses? If so, what would they do? At this point it is all conjecture but some indicate that the glasses would allow you to leverage the app’s existing “lenses”, face-swapping and Bitmojis.
In the latest move to monetize their platform, Pinterest poached Google’s former Head of Image Search, Li Fan. Fan will work as Pinterest’s head of Engineering and will be tasked with formalizing the platform’s search function to help ensure that their users are seeing the most relevant content and their ad partners are reaching the appropriate audiences. This announcement comes on the heels of the rollout of their video ad tools last month.
What’s old is new again: AdWeek is calling podcasts the “new branded blog,” with major companies betting big on hosting their own podcast shows. Branded podcasts require big budgets and it makes sense why podcast companies including Gimlet, Panoply and Midroll Media are betting that sponsored content will be lucrative. There’s even a company – Pacific Content – that solely focuses on branded podcasts.
One example: GE’s science-fiction series The Message, which is a story about cryptographers who try to decipher a message from an alien, has been downloaded more than 5 million times. Experts agree high readership is thanks in large part to the series not focusing on marketing GE as a brand.
For those that brave the NYC subway, no doubt you’re excited about the upcoming launch of in-train Wi-Fi. However, New York MTA, Transit Wireless, and publisher Penguin Random House are going to do you one better – they’re grouping together to release free ebooks and articles timed to your commute. So lay off the email and Tinder for a hot sec and get lost in a good book!
Can’t catch em’ all? Don’t fear, the Pokemon Go wearable is here!