Social Media Roundup: March 2019
Social media companies gave their platforms a spring clean last month, revising existing features and implementing new ones.
There was an abundance of small changes that can affect your social media marketing strategies, so without further ado, let’s dive in.
On March 13, Facebook experienced their worst disruption since 2008, where back then it only affected around 150 million users, compared to today’s 2.3 billion.
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were all left mostly inaccessible across the world, with users taking to Twitter to figure out what was going on. Users were unable to open apps, load pages, publish new posts and interact with others while the platforms were down.
A Facebook spokesman said to The New York Times: “Yesterday, we made a server configuration change that triggered a cascading series of issues. As a result, many people had difficulty accessing our apps and services. We have resolved the issues, and our systems have been recovering over the last few hours. We are very sorry for the inconvenience and we appreciate everyone’s patience.”
However, some users speculated that the crash was caused by Facebook’s push to integrate their messaging platforms into one. Plans were announced earlier this year to merge the Facebook-owned apps in order to create “the best messaging experiences” for its billions of users around the globe.
Plans to replace metrics to make ads more relevant
At the end of April, Facebook will be saying goodbye to its relevance score, and hello to three new metrics to measure relevance.
According to Facebook, the relevance score is being replaced by metrics that they believe will be “more actionable”. The current relevance score, which only singularly measures how relevant an ad was for your audience, will be splitting into three components. These new metrics are quality ranking, engagement rate ranking and conversion rate ranking.
Quality ranking: measures an ad’s perceived quality compared to ads competing for the same target audience.
Engagement rate: shows an ad’s expected engagement rate compared to ads competing for the same audience.
Conversion rate ranking: shows an ad’s expected conversion rate when compared to ads with the same optimisation goals and audience.
As with the original relevance score, these new metrics aren’t factored into an ad’s performance. Instead, these will provide users with insights into how changes to the ad’s content and targeting may impact the ads performance.
It’s not just the relevance score metrics that are changing. Facebook is switching up a bunch of other metrics related to ads’ performances too, such as:
- Messaging replies and Cost per messaging replies will be replaced by New messaging connections and Messaging conversations started. This will turn attention to new connections that can be potential leads
- Offers saved and Costs per offers saved metrics are brought together under the Post saves metric. This new metric measures the number of times your ad was saved, including any post saves that occurred on or after February 4, 2019
- Mobile app purchase ROAS and web purchase ROAS have combined into a generic Purchase ROAS metric
During March, Instagram rolled out a closed beta testing in the USA for a potential eCommerce feature titled ‘Checkout on Instagram’, which will allow brands to sell products directly from the app.
Essentially, users will see a ‘Checkout on Instagram’ button where they will then have the opportunity to select from various options such as size and colour, then proceed to checkout without having to leave Instagram. Details such as name, contact information, billing and shipping address will still need to be entered within the app.
Although in closed beta, this feature has become available for several big brands including Prada, Adidas and Zara amongst others.
Last autumn, rumours emerged about a potential separate eCommerce platform by Instagram, however, it looks like the Facebook-owned company has decided to implement an eCommerce feature into its platform instead.
Instagram is listening
To make it easier for users to find what they want, Instagram has tested out a few new features that will allow people to skip through a video.
Currently, video content is limited to sixty seconds meaning content creators are having to cut them down to comply. Instagram users have begged for the image and video sharing platform to have more controls for videos than the simple play and pause. It seems as if they have listened to users pleas, with a test feature of a slide bar that can be moved to allow users to skip through the video. If this feature is rolled out, it may also mean that Instagram will potentially extend the time limit for videos.
Titled TwitSnap, Twitter’s newest camera feature hopes to make sharing pictures, videos and live footage easier. This feature was also designed to connect to your media with global conversations.
Here’s what you can do with it:
- To access the camera just swipe left, you’ll no longer have to access the camera through the compose box
- Once you’ve taken a picture, you can add a description, hashtag or location tag
- If users have geolocating services turned on, Twitter will recommend hashtags based on nearby events
The way in which media will be shown on timelines also changed. Any media captured with the improved Twitter camera will be highlighted with text under the image – as opposed to above.
Facebook and Instagram have had in-app camera functions for a while, so why do this now? Maybe Twitter is trying to catch up with an increasingly visual-focused world.
Improved Ads targeting
Catching on to Facebook’s ad revamp, LinkedIn decided to give their ads a new spring look. Here’s the breakdown of the updates and additions they rolled out in March.
Lookalike audiences: you can now find the most suitable audience for your ads as this new targeting option combines the traits of your ideal customer, with data from LinkedIn. Lookalike audiences can discover audiences similar to those who have already expressed an interest in your business, i.e. engaged with your website or shared contact details.
Expanded interest targeting: interest targeting was implemented in January. However last month the social networking site for professionals added an integration with Bing search engine to target users “based on a combination of your audience’s professional interests on LinkedIn and the professional topics and content your audience engages with through Microsoft’s Bing search engine, in a way that respects member privacy”.
Audience templates: Templates provide a selection of over 20 predefined B2B audiences and include audience characteristics such as job titles, groups etc… A really useful metric for those who are new to LinkedIn ads.
Were you affected by the Facebook crash? Have you tried TwitSnap yet? Leave us a comment!