The past week has been a hotbed for updates to social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+ all released updates to their existing platforms ranging from advertising, to insights, to video and more. Rather than having to scour the Internet for information on each announcement, we’ve put together a quick summary of each one with links to external resources for more information.
Facebook Trims Advertising Options
Facebook announced that it will be simplifying their ad products, with the goal of making it easier for businesses to advertise their brand or products on the platform. Over the next six months, they plan to streamline the number of available ad units from 27 to fewer than half of that. Advertisers should start looking out for these changes, as they have already started implementing them.
The major implication is that Promoted Page Posts will now automatically include social context, eliminating the need for advertisers to set-up a Sponsored Story in addition to a Promoted Page Post. As a result, Sponsored Stories will no longer be available. If you’d like to read more about the changes, check out Facebook’s blog. We will also be updating our Guide to Facebook Advertising to reflect the changes.
Facebook Improves Page Analytics
In conjunction with the changes in their ad policies, Facebook announced that they’ll be rolling out updates to Pages Insights, with the goal of improving and organizing the way they report metrics. Updates include:
- People Talking About This: Facebook used to report TAT as one number. Moving forward, they will be breaking out TAT into separate elements (including page likes, people engaged, page tags/mentions, check-ins, etc.)
- Virality: Facebook will now include clicks in the virality metric and plan to rename it to ‘engagement rate’
- Post Performance: Post performance, reach and engagement will now be aggregated into a post-specific scorecard
- Demographics: Facebook will now allow you to see the demographics of who’ve you’ve reached and who’ve you’ve engaged with
Read more about the changes on Facebook’s blog.
Google just released Google+ Dashboard, which will make it easier for businesses to manage their online presence. The biggest result of this change is that businesses with Google+ pages will now have access to page insights. In addition to this, businesses will easily be able to:
- Update your info across maps, search and Google+ from the overview tab
- One place to monitor your Google+ notifications, assign page managers, share photos and videos and start a Hangout
- Insights that include top searches for your business
Read more about Google+ dashboard from a Google employee.
Twitter Extends Tweet Performance Analytics
Twitter has extended access to performance data for Twitter accounts. The platform is an easy way to view engagement levels of tweets (faves, retweets, replies) and breaks down the top performing tweets. The platform also allows you to look at follower growth over time, learn more about followers’ interests and the distribution of their location and gender. The analytics dashboard is available within Twitter’s advertising platform.
The only downside to all of this is that this isn’t available to all users. If you don’t have access to it, or want to learn how to use the platform, read our blog post about Twitter Analytics.
Video for Instagram
This week, Facebook-owned Instagram released news that the social media photo platform now has the ability to post videos. Many are viewing the decision as a response to Twitter’s Vine application that first began in October of last year and currently has over 13 million users. The new video features include:
- Video length is 15 second max (but it can be any length under the limit)
- Ability to delete and re-record individual video clip segments
- 13 brand new filters (exclusively for video)
- Option to choose exactly which frame you’d like to show as the cover image for the video
- Video stabilization technology (called “cinema”)
The Instagram update is already available and is most likely being explored by its 130 million users. One major difference between the video feature on Instagram and the Vine application is that Instagram’s films do not loop. For a video demonstration, check out Instagram’s video.