Instagram’s new security feature gives users control over which third-party apps can see their data and other information. 

Instagram users allow third-party apps to access their data when linking their accounts to other apps when importing or exporting photos. For Instance, apps that enable users to print their photos from Instagram or pull images to their personal websites will access the user’s data. When the access is given, these third-party apps can see users’ photos, contact details, and other information in the users’ profiles. 

Instagram recently changed this and added more security to its app and gave the users the ability to have better discretion on how they manage their information and with third-party apps they share it with.

Manage the information you share

Users can now manage their data by going to the app’s Settings panel. Select ‘Security’ and then tapping ‘Apps and Websites.’ users will be directed to the page where they can edit their security settings and remove the third-party app that they don’t want to access their information. 

When a new third-party app wants access to your information, you will be notified and an authorization page will be displayed. There will be options and a list of information that users can choose for the third-party service can access. Users can authorize an app or reject the apps’ request for accessing their data. 

The photo-sharing app wrote in their announcement update that the app aims to protect users’ data at all costs and one way of doing so is by letting the users in on the ways they can manage their information. All these features will be available over the next six months. 

This feature is very necessary. With all the websites and apps asking for access, it’s getting harder to track which apps have access to one’s data. Instagram has long battled against data abuse from third-party apps. It’s been a victim of analytic hijacking and hackers successfully hijacked location data of millions of its users. These new features are Instagram’s measure of helping users avoid privacy fiasco. 

Facebook is contemplating ads within the Groups Tab.

Groups are a great place to find individuals in specific individuals and demographics. Facebook might capitalize on this by permanently adding ad placements into the group tab. The select advertisers will be able to utilize the new features in the Ads Manager. 

Business 2 Community explained their thoughts on the increased focus on community in the platform. Facebook has poured into its campaign aimed at increasing group engagement, and an example of this is an ad created by Facebook called “‘Game Day’ Commercial – More Together.”

Facebook’s Product Manager, Melissa Tokmak explained in an email to Marketing Land, “We’re running a small test to place ads in the Groups tab and will evaluate whether these ads are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it further.”

Lately, Facebook has been making frequent updates to their ad platform, whether it’s to recoup ad dollars lost during the Cambridge Analytica breach or because users are becoming more aware of their privacy, Facebook wants to make their ad platform more attractive.  Updates have included increased transparency, tools to better track ROI, rebranded ad offerings, and integrations with Facebook Pixel.   

The social media superpower has also had increased competition from platforms like Microsoft Advertising, Amazon, and Google Ads. These preliminary Group Tab ad tests further prove Facebook’s need to grow and offer more personalized offerings that are competitive in the crowded ad competition.   

This ad offering could give users the ability to take in products and ads that line up with their sensibilities. Marketers being able to aim ads at a target market within a group could be a huge benefit to brands from large to small.  

Time hasn’t been kind to Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra, as it faces doubts one after another. 

Twenty-one organizations have confirmed and signed on the Libra Association charter while other companies withdrawal their support of the Libra project. Despite this, the board of directors and the executive team has also been formalized. 

The team is comprised of David Marcus, Calibra CEO, and the head of the board. The other four members are Katie Haunm a general partner with Andreesen Horowitz, Patrick Ellis, general counsel at PayU, Matthew Davie, CSO of Kiva, and Wences Casares, CEO of Xapo. 

The Libra project was announced on June 18, 2019, and has elicited both positive and negative feedback from many entities. It’s been confirmed that more than 1,500 organizations have shown interest in joining the project and 180 of these companies have passed the preliminary membership requirements. Each member of the organization is expected to invest $10 million to help fund the project. 

High-profile companies exit from Libra venture

Despite the buzz that it created in the early days of its announcement, several organizations backed out from the venture shortly before the official confirmation of Libra in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Companies that jumped ship include Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, eBay, Stripe, eBay, Mercado Pago, and Booking Holdings. Paypal withdrew its support from the project and the other companies followed suit. Marcus thanked Mastercard and Visa in his tweet for sticking with the Libra plans as long as they can. 

The spokesperson of eBay also released a statement regarding their departure. The online shopping company told Business Insider that they respect the Libra initiative and their decision to not push through with Libra is due to their plans of focusing more on eBay’s payment experience for their customers. 

There’s still no exact date for Libra’s launch, but the initial target was early next year. However, Zuckerberg said in September that it may take a longer time due to the regulators who need convincing. 

Libra cryptocurrency and advertiser empire

CEO of startup business Amino, Will Lutrell said that this digital currency will give Facebook the ability to compete against Amazon’s ad business. It’s also a direct competitor of Paypal’s Venmo. Libra allows Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp users to make instant purchases in the platforms directly and thus will further improve Facebook and its advertisers. With this digital currency, Facebook will house insights and metrics that many marketers crave.  

“Safe for Work” content can now be shared directly to Snapchat. 

After a recent Reddit update, the social platform now allowed iOS users to share content on Snapchat. Users can do so by selecting the ‘share’ icon and the ‘share to camera’ feature with Snapchat. 

Reddit’s blog post excitedly announced this integration with Snapchat last Monday to empower and encourage discovery among Reddit iOS users and foster discussion in their Snap posts. 

Shared content in Snap will have the special Reddit stickers and will redirect Snapchat views to the Reddit app. For those who have the Reddit app installed on their phone, they can just open the content directly from the shared Snap but for those who don’t, they’ll be directed to the App store. 

Android users can expect the same feature in the months to come. Vaibhav Sahgal, Reddit’s head of growth said that Snapchat is the first platform that Reddit is testing the content sharing integration with. This is expected to increase the sharing habits of the users and improve the experience of the users count for both apps. 

Reddit’s journey to digital advertising

Reddit isn’t the most mainstream of the social media platforms. It’s a little unconventional and it caters to older demographics. The Pew Research Center survey results show that the majority of Reddit users encompassing 34% are between 30-40 age brackets and 25% are between 50-64 age brackets. As opposed to the 22% of adults aged 18-29. Furthermore, new studies reveal that Reddit is one of the lesser-known and used social media platforms used in the U.S.

Despite the number, Reddit moves up with their plans of entering the digital advertising. Its advertising business is growing steadily and it’s expected to reach $100 million in revenues in 2019. Reddit keeps on updating and revamping its site to improve user experience and welcome brands to invest in its advertising platform. 

“The company has retooled its ad offerings over the past year, which included the launch of the new ad formats like autoplay in-stream video, cost-per-click, app install and Top Post Takeover which allows brands to have their ads appear on site’s front page,” says eMarketer Monica Peart. 

What does this mean for you?

Reddit users are mostly adults who are tech-savvy and highly engaged. This audience is an appealing target for many advertisers and brands. Aside from that, Reddit users are mostly focused on just one platform, Reddit, this means targeting campaigns work best for brands. 

This new Snapchat integration will also invite more users to the Reddit site and will widen further the brand reach.

For the first time, social media is surpassing print ads says Zenith Media. 

Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts announced that social media ad spend will increase to 20% this year reaching $84 billion as opposed to the $69 billion ads spend on magazines and newspapers combined. 

Social media will also be the third-largest means for advertising this year totaling 13% of all ad spend globally, paid search came in second with 17%, and television ads with 29%. Despite the TV ads’ biggest percentage, it’s expected to decrease in 2021 to $180 billion compared to the $182 billion this year due to the decreasing ratings in several industries. 

Digital brands and small businesses are taking the reigns 

The increased social media ad spend is attributed to small businesses putting their ad spend on digital advertising platforms such as Facebook. The social network offers targeting and localization capabilities that greatly help these businesses’ digital presence. 

Facebook reported that over 140 million businesses every month are now using Facebook family apps including Instagram Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp. The platforms offer businesses wider opportunities to find new customers and engage in communities related to their niche. Furthermore, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg stated that its company’s revenue is more diverse this year compared last year. 

This surge of ad spend on social media is expected to grow more in the coming years. According to Zenith’s report, this ad spend is predicted to increase to 17% in 2020 and 13% in 2021. 

Social media advertising helps out brands and small businesses 

“Social media advertising gives brands the opportunity to drive growth by using automated tools to optimize their campaigns for key business objectives,” said Zenith’s Global Brand President, Matt James. Businesses and brands identify potential customers on social media platforms and they can convert these potential customers to paying consumers. Their targeting ads are more effective in social media platforms. 

Paid search still leads the race in ad spend as it’s taking $107 billion this year and takes 17% of the whole ad spend budget. Although TV advertising is taking the sweet spot it’s losing its momentum due to the change of viewing culture amongst younger viewers. 

What does this mean for you?

Zenith’s predictions are based on client data and local media market conditions. This report shows how traditional advertising is losing against digital marketing. Brands and advertisers are now shifting their ad spend budget from traditional ads to digital platforms. Traditional ads have limited capabilities when it comes to targeting options and reaching wider audiences. 

The Q&A platform is bringing more targeting options for its advertisers. 

Quora may not be most advertisers’ top choice when it comes to marketing options, but with its new targeting options, you might as well look into what Quora can offer. The platform has over 300 million monthly visitors searching for answers to specific questions often related to companies, products, and solutions that businesses can provide. 

This week, Quora added 3 new targeting options to better help advertisers in its platform perform well. These are the keyword history, gender, and browser-specific targeting

Keyword History 

This new feature is a combination of the already existing keyword targeting and question targeting on Quora. This option enables advertisers to reach more people who have an interest in subjects and topics relating to your business based on the keywords they use. 

The ads target people who visited questions pertaining to their business. Quora’s Product Manager, Franklin Horn wrote that the keyword history targeting is a way to follow up people who have already shown that they are from the same niche as you. It will enable advertisers to increase their profitable conversions. 

Gender targeting

 Another option is gender targeting which advertisers can use to focus their ads specific to gender. This is helpful for brands and companies that produce products and services specific to either men and women. The messaging can also be changed to tailor the needs of each gender.  Advertisers can create two ad-sets and specific call-to-action for each gender. 

A study done by Tinuiti shows that men splurge more than women. Brands can capitalize on this and tailor their ads towards men’s tendency to spend more. Quora notes that the beta of this targeting option helped some businesses to increase their conversion to up to 4% compared to their campaigns without gender targeting. 

Browser targeting

This option is already offered mobile platform but it’s just now that it’s offered to specific desktop browsers too such as Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Platform and browser targeting allows advertisers to choose whether to target desktop and mobile devices individually or simultaneously. For mobile targeting, you can target users using iOs and Android devices. 

Quora says that making separate campaigns is more effective as it aids advertisers with their budget utilization and optimization. Budgets are determining at the campaign level so it’s not possible to put more ad spend to a device if you’re targeting both device and desktop in your campaign. 

Why does this mean for you?

Quora is slowly entering the advertising platform steadily and it’s been adding new options and updating its features to cater to the needs of advertisers and marketers. Its number of users comes close to Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit and it won’t be surprising to see it increasing. 

Mental Health Matters, says the Facebook slogan released today. 

The social media giant teamed up with the World Health Organization to address one of the most prevalent issues in society today: mental health. Facebook wants to raise awareness about mental health and wants people to talk about it by launching new face filters and stickers. 

The “Let’s Talk” filter was launched yesterday for its Facebook and Messenger stories, a feature that allows users to posts photos and video clips that are only visible for 24 hours. Along with the filter are 16 colorful stickers for Messenger, these are phrases to encourage mental health talks. 

Facebook says when users use each of the stickers, the social network will donate $1 to a group of 10 mental health organizations it partnered with such as The Trevor Project, Save.org., Caritas HongKong, Youthline, and more. 

Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety said that social media has been a platform for people and it’s been used in many ways. Davis further said that they want Facebook to be a platform where people are free to talk about mental health. Speaking about mental health problems to others is difficult and many are struggling to even start the conversation. They want to ease that with the use of the camera filter, Let’s Talk and the new stickers. 

Messenger encourages serious conversations 

Messenger conducted a study in the U.S., UK, and Australia and results have shown that people have an easier time to tackle serious subjected using messenger instead of face-to-face interaction. 80% of users said that using messaging apps make them more vulnerable and completely honest when they connect with people. It brings families together and it helps build relationships. 

This prompted the creation of the stickers and the new camera filter. 

Social media versus mental health 

Other efforts include the AI-based suicidal posts detection tool. Aside from that, Facebook also launched suicide prevention support on Facebook Live since several users have been using the feature to do live footage of their suicidal attempts. 

Why does this matter?

Facebook is the leader in social media users today with over 2 billion active monthly active users. That’s over 1.5 billion people who are using Facebook on a daily basis since June 2019. Any campaign by the network may have a global impact due to its sheer number of users worldwide. 

People suffering from mental health will be able to find his/her own community on Facebook and find solace. 

Stalkers around the world are now apprehended with the removal of the “Following” tab on Instagram. 

The Following tab looks fine on paper but there have been many reports that show how the tab was used for stalking activities. Instagram took action against stalkers and decided to remove the tab this week. The activity feed won’t be showing users’ activities including what the users like, comment, and follow. 

Instagram started removing the tab in August for some users but it’s just this week that it’s removing the tab for everyone. Vishal Shah, Instagram’s head of product said that removing the Following tab was done for the sake of simplicity and to cut down features that most users didn’t know about. Shah explained that many are often surprised when their activities are showing up and that the Following tab isn’t fulfilling the purpose it’s meant to serve. 

This tab made its debut back in 2011 and was the hippest feature in the platform. It was how users discover new content and would show you what your friends are liking on Instagram. Things took a turn when the Explore tab was launched. 

From Following tab to the Explore tab 

The Following tab was supposedly a feature to help users discover the people and brands they want to follow. But in reality, people are using it with the wrong intentions. Aside from that, many Instagram users now go to the Explore tab when they want to find new people, places, and hashtags. These reasons prompted Instagram to remove the Following tab altogether. 

What was the Following tab for?

The Following tab raised privacy concerns for many people as it was used for sharing other users’ actions within Instagram. Most often than not, it was a way for others to micro-cheat, For example, people in a relationship use the feature to keep tabs on their significant other. 

Often, the Following tab causes a rift between friends and relationships. Others are also using the tab to see who celebrities are following and unfollowing. With the number of people now on Instagram, the tool has become a method for others use to exploit the users’ privacy. 

Shah said that now many people are aware that the Following tab exists, this would mean that it’s unlikely that the removal would affect how things work on Instagram. Rather, this removal will prove to be elemental in improving their privacy settings. 

The Following tab was gone as of yesterday but will take the rest of the week to be implemented for all its users. 

No political ads allowed, says Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s VP of global business solutions. 

TikTok is putting space between itself and other giant social platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. As announced by the company, they have chosen to now allot political ads on their app. 

Chandlee further explained, the paid ads are in the TikTok community adhere to certain standards and political ads do not fit the platform and its community. Ads that promote or oppose candidates, political leaders, political parties, political issues from local to federal levels, and other election-related ads are not allowed. 

Focused on its roots 

Video-app, TikTok, is a platform that fosters creativity among its diverse users. Since its launched, the app has been focused on increasing its user growth. One of the most effective ways to do that is to improve its advertising offering. This includes in-feed video ads, launch-screen ads, sponsored hashtags challenges, and many others. It also launched a beta version of Creator Marketplace to connect brands with creators for their marketing campaigns. This could open opportunities for both brands and creators. 

Despite all these ad advancements, the app is adamant in its stance against political ads. In the post, Chandlee wrote that they are focused on creating an entertaining and authentic experience for the users. The company goes back to its mission of inspiring creativity and building joy among its users. 

Challenges in political ads

Other social platforms are facing significant challenges with political ads. Facebook created a system to check the credentials of political advertisers, and advertisers are asked to submit sensitive identification information including:

  • Phone number
  • Street address
  • Tax ID number
  • US Federal Election Commission ID number

Facebook also launched a transparency ad tool in its policy to limit and hopefully eradicate the spread misinformation. Twitter also requires a certification process and plans on creating operational and tooling support for its political advertising policies. Snapchat imposed transparency too and requires political ads to have a “paid for by” tag for the ads. 

TikTok’s decision of banning political ads isn’t new, it’s more of a reminder to political advertisers about its existing policy. This statement shows its strong stance against political manipulation and misleading content. 

TikTok is a community where users, creators, and brands can come together to build trends while having fun in the process. Chandlee also stated that the app is a free zone and for people from many places who just want a positive and refreshing environment. 

Snapchat isn’t just for sharing your short videos, it’s also a platform for achieving business goals.

Snapchat has 200 million daily users worldwide making it one of the biggest digital platforms around. Despite Snap having a massive number of users, marketers have been hesitant to use a portion of their ad spend due to the misconception that reaching an audience can be difficult. Brands reservations also stem from the platform’s lack of ability to track conversion but that’s changed now. 

However, some big brands were able to break through the barrier such as Gatorade and Warby Parker. These brands are now making an excellent return due to their Snapchat marketing campaigns. 

Here are some suggestions –  

Invest in branded lenses and filters

Snapchat lenses and filters build hype and increase engagement. The filters are premade and are added to your Snapchat photo while the lenses are AR to change one’s appearance and voice. 

Using filters and lenses make your posts funnier and more in the loop. It’s a great way for brands to invite and users to check out your brand thus improving brand awareness and presence. 

One great example of this is Gatorade’s use of geo-filter that enabled users to pour drinks of their heads. The Superbowl fans enjoyed their game experience and built up more excitement due to that branded geo-filter. The excitement was apparent with over 160  million impressions on Snapchat. 

Track Your Insights

Its Snapchat Insights, which is fairly new, is a huge help for brands to check how their ads and contents are doing. Users have access to detailed information about their content. 

Always check the metrics that matter:

  • Number of story views
  • Length of time that viewers watched your content
  • Daily numbers of users reached
  • The age range of the target audience 

The results of these analytics will help you refine your marketing strategy and reach your niche audience. It’s also a huge help when making targeting campaigns.