Facebook tightened the implementation of Special Ad Categories in housing, employment, or credit.

Facebook’s advertising policies have prohibited unlawful discrimination. To address this issue, Facebook released Special Ad Catagories set in place to fulfill its commitment to protecting users and advertisers from discrimination and to improve their ability to detect and deter potential abuse. 

The social network giant mandated that every user must indicate when their ads are promoting housing, employment or credit by selecting the special ad category in the Ads Manager. This is a must specifically for advertisers, developers, and other partners. Companies that fail to implement the special ad categories, starting this Wednesday, will be paused for non-compliance.

Ads about housing in the Ad Library

A new feature called the housing ad section will be incorporated in Facebook’s Ad Library starting Wednesday. It will provide details on all active housing opportunity ads targeted to U.S users. 

The housing information can be searched by page name, or the city or the state in which the ads are targeted. Facebook said that separate ads for employment or credit opportunities will be added to the Ad Library next year. The company is currently working with civil rights groups concerning the matter. 

Special Ad categories implemented on all Ad buying platforms

Facebook announced that advertisers must use new processes with restricted targeting options to buy ads that offer housing, employment, and credit. The enforcement is required for all the tools businesses use to buy ads including Ads Manager, Instagram Promote, the Marketing API (application-programing interface), and ads created from pages.

Facebook’s changes to its target policies

Facebook implemented several changes to its targeting policies for ads dealing with housing, employment, and credit. This is part of the company’s settlements of several class-action lawsuits and complaints in March. 

Facebook no longer allowed age, gender, and ZIP code as targeting policies. The interest segments for ads are down into a hundred from thousands due to the deletion of those targeting details. 

What does it mean for you? 

Advertisers and marketers need to comply with Facebook’s usage of special ad categories as it is essential in providing a safe and law-abiding promotion and advertisements. It’s required for marketers to submit to the social media giant’s new measures to continue using their ad services. 

U.S. advertisers invested more than $57 billion into the programmatic digital display advertising.

A significant portion (56.3%) of the $57.30 billion is being funneled into digital display ads will go to social networks. It will be utilized for banners, videos, and other display ad units across social platforms. As advertisers continue to prioritize the video and network ad formats, it is predicted that social shares of the programmatic ads will rise in 2021.

Programmatic advertising is defined as the use of automation for the buying, selling or fulfilling of digital ads. The report from eMarketer predicted that 83.5% of the total digital display ad will be spent this year. Continued investment in areas such as digital audio, social video, connected TV, and over-the-top (OTT) advertising will drive U.S. programmatic ad spending to approximately $80 billion for the next two years.

Why invest more in Social Networks

“Advertising in a cookie-free mobile app environment where users spend much of their digital time is complicated and difficult,” says Eric Haggstrom, the forecasting analyst at eMarketer. Social networks prove to be the major exception. He further added that “they have made it relatively easy to target audiences at scale in an in-app environment.” Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat proved to have a strong performance as forecasted. It has been expected that advertisers will continue to search for social networks for the upcoming months.

“These sites have the scale and identity capabilities that advertisers want,” says Lauren Fisher, principal analyst at eMarketer. She added that this matters because if advertisers are having a hard time tracking, targeting, and measuring due to privacy restrictions. Brands investing more in programmatic digital ads may want to increase the revenue of marketers across their social networks.

Impact of programmatic display ads in the future

The primary method of buying digital media in the U.S is made over automated media. Social networks have been categorized as programmatic and being known as dominating the display landscape. The report of eMarketer estimated that Facebook, in particular, will consume 83% of social ad spending. This enables marketers to make a decision about focusing more on social media platforms for their ads rather than another marketing strategy.

eMarketer also forecasted an increase of 57.6% social share by 2021. This kind of marketing has seen to be the future of advertising across websites. It is essential for marketers to have the knowledge and learn the processes involved with programmatic display advertising.

Pinterest is aiming to continue updating the Pinterest Shop with products from select businesses. 

Just like the other big giants in the advertising industry such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google, Pinterest is now joining in. The platform just announced its new feature on Monday that’s in preparation for the holiday seasons. 

The new Pinterest Shop feature added a new dashboard that shows the profiles and products for small businesses in an Etsy-style layout. Currently, it has 17 small businesses on board that trade and sell unique goods. Small businesses can also update and upload their catalogs on the platform. Products added to the profiles will automatically be converted into “product pins” where  Shoppers can click the pin with a shopping tag to see its up-to-date pricing and availability. 

Pinterest continues to tap into the e-commerce industry

Pinterest launched its “shopping hub” for retailers and marketers last August with aims to expand its audiences outside of ad campaigns. With their efforts, the platform has seen a 2x increase in their ad spend and a 1.3x higher return from traditional search. 

The company’s native visual platform served as the discovery engine for users to search for ideas. This is the reason users can view numbers of product pins and decide to make a purchase efficiently. Pinterest is proving to be a force in the advertising and e-commerce field and will be bigger in the years to come. 

What does this mean for you

Pinterest Shop lets brands and retailers promote their unique goods and products to millions of consumers. From home to fashion, marketers can put their collection of items to their improved visual search feature. The well-developed dashboard has become an easier way to make a purchase as well. Having the ability to connect with audiences on a more personal level will help drive sales. The easier purchasing will also be helpful for rush buyers. This opens opportunities to get a higher revenue, especially with the coming holidays. 

Pinterest gained more popularity while brands and marketers become more discoverable. The new feature increases the growth of revenue and continues to be more recognized as a raising e-commerce platform and a social networking site.

The Pinterest Shop is clearly targeting small businesses as it offers them a platform where they can promote their products and services in a much wider audience. Pinterest is turning its attention to small businesses akin to Instagram and Amazon. 

After testing, hiding replies is now possible on Twitter

Twitter is a great platform for most marketers. With over 313 million users monthly, businesses can grow their revenue by reaching out to Twitter diverse demographics. Advertisers can unlock a new feature, the ability to hide replies.

Twitter created the “hide replies” feature for brands and users so those who use the site could maintain more control over their tweets. “We learned that the feature is a useful new way to manage your conversations,” said Twitter. The new feature was released after months of testing in countries such as Canada and the U.S. 

Why release the new feature

Twitter found that the majority of their users hid replies because they believed the replies to be irrelevant, off-topic, or annoying. The ability to hide Tweet replies gives brands the ability to engage with other consumers better while also deleting irrelevant tweets. However, brands need to be careful not to “hide all replies.” Replies help users find more opinions and information on the brand’s topics.

How it works and how it is available

While users can hide replies on their tweets, they can still view and engage with the hidden replies by selecting the “View hidden replies” option in the Tweet’s dropdown. There is no notification to be sent when a user hides a reply. The hiding of reply can be done to all or a single reply at any time.“Currently, repliers can shift the topic or tone of a discussion and derail what you and your audience want to talk about,” says Twitter.

The new feature of Twitter is now available for all users. They can use it even on the Twitter desktop but not on Tweetdeck. This is a new step for the company’s clean-up-drive in its contents. It does not only help with the company’s integrity and data management but with businesses’ revenue growth as well.

Twitter’s future plan

The company is working on new controls and rules over their conversation spaces. Twitter will soon launch a new hide replies endpoint for their developers to build additional conversation management tools. With the release of the new feature, they are checking whether users wanted to block repliers. 

Twitter is testing options with “who can reply to” or “see specific conversation”. Its goal is to promote a safe and comfortable conversational environment between users and even brands and consumers.

What does it mean for you? 

Twitter’s platform has become more engaging with customers and consumers. The new feature provided a clean conversation between advertisers and consumers. It allows the tweet authors to show only positive feedback. This helps not only to retain customers but also to gain more clients.

Tidal and Snapchat members can now share music with friends around the world.

Snapchat invest in audio streaming

How music is enjoyed has drastically changed over time, and streaming has become a major piece of how music listened to. Brands and services advertise their catalogs through music streaming due to convenience and cheap price. Other platforms offer it for free allowing easy access compared to any physical format.

Due to the popularity of audio streaming, Snapchat takes its platform into another level by integrating the application called Tidal. Tidal is considered one of the best music streaming app, only third to Spotify and Apple Music. Tidal also revealed similar integrations in Instagram and Facebook stories too.

Teaming up with Tidal 

Tidal brings artists and fans closer together through unique original content and exclusive events. It is considered as an artist-owned global music and entertainment platform. Tidal’s streaming services houses more than 60 million songs and 250,000 high-quality videos. It also has a series of podcasts and original videos in its catalog as well. 

Tidal is committed to creating a more sustainable model for the music industry. It is available in premium and HiFi tiers which include the Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) recordings. It is available in 54 countries and compatible with Windows, iOS, and android.

How does it work

Snapchat users can use the new feature in three easy ways. While users have to be Tidal members to use the new feature, users can share their content via the messaging application by clicking the “three-dot menu” on their Tidal apps. Users can then share their music, videos, and podcasts to their Snapchat followers. It’s an integration of messaging and audio streaming applications.

Tidal allows 30-seconds playable preview for shared videos. Songs, artists, and playlists will be shared as still images. The integration of Tidal effectively boosts Snapchat’s revenue and users’ interest. 

What does it mean for you

Snapchat becomes the frontrunner of the music industry because of its new feature. It attracts more users to come to the platform. Brands and services have begun to see the value in reaching these users. Many brands are incorporating their own catalogs in the application. This new feature is promising for content marketing and to raise brand awareness. Snapchat’s integration with Tidal audio streaming made listening even more convenient and cheaper. 

Snapchat is also less restrictive and more user-friendly. Advertisers capitalize on these features and are coming to invest in the integration of their advertisement with the application. Especially with Snapchat’s extended video ads, it’s becoming an advertiser-friendly platform as well. 

Tweeting within the Twitter Web app  

For those Twitter-savvy, businesses and brands that don’t want to pay for a third-party application, Twitter is testing native scheduling for posts. This addition to the microblog / social media platform could increase traction on with the site with the addition of this service.  

While there are other services that provide this functionality Twitter wants to add it directly into the platform. TweetDeck is Twitter’s scheduling, tracking, and multi-tool. On TweetDeck’s Twitter account they announced that Twitter is experimenting with adding the scheduling tool to the web features of Twitter.  

Some users already have access to the feature. From the desktop version of the site, users can decide the tweets the date and time that the post goes out. Though it isn’t clear how many users are part of the test, based on the test being rolled out to some of the general public that could bode well for the feature being released to everyone.  

After a tweet is drafted, tweet preppers can select the three dots and users will be given the scheduling options. For marketers who haven’t made the jump to subscribing to a paid scheduling service, this option could be a huge benefit. Additionally, for new businesses that don’t have an internal marketing agency this easily accessible feature. Those who do use scheduling apps could have the option to work within the platform.  

Most Twitter users don’t utilize scheduling apps, and opening scheduling opportunities makes it easy for those who aren’t familiar with social media scheduling to have access to a useful feature.    

Keeping users within the Twitter browser not only keeps them on the platform but also it makes scheduling even easier.  

The social media platform has made additions to its platform to protect brands

Facebook released the new brand safety tool in an interview in the 2019 Code Media conference in Los Angeles. The company has been facing an issue with its political ads policy. Facebook decided that the policy and the company have no plans to change it. The social media giant further added that it is the voters’ responsibility to decide whether to believe the message or not. 

Regardless of their defense, Facebook has been scrutinized and accused to be using the platform to spread disinformation, sabotage democracy, and influence politics. 

To segue the issues, Facebook launched a set of tools to bring transparency and brand safety to its users amidst allegations.

The new set of brand safety tools

The following are the tools Facebook have released: 

  • New brand safety partner Zefr is now Facebook’s brand safety partner. Its role is to create future brand safety control and tools.
  • Dynamic content sets –  Facebook uses whitelisting tools that allow brands to update and adjust videos available to advertisers. The company team up with Integral Ad Science, OpenSlate, Zefr to achieve this.
  • Account-level settings – sections such as Business Manager and Ads Manager can now create blocklists, obtain delivery reports, and set inventory filters at the account-level. This opposes in applying these settings one campaign at a time.
  • Publisher white lists – whitelist control for advertisers in Audience Network and in-stream ads. This allows advertisers to white-list certain publishers for ad placement.
  • Improved delivery reports – advertisers are now allowed to search by account ID or publisher without having to download it first. Content-level information will soon be added by Google for this report soon.

These new set of brand safety tools give advertisers controls to the placement and context in which their ads are delivered.  It could be in in-stream, Instant Articles, or via Audience network. These controls are the earlier brand safety initiatives Facebook has offered. 

What does this mean for you

This new set of tools is intended to give advertisers and marketers the edge to know over how, where, and in what publisher inventory their ads appear in. 

Facebook is making moves to keep its advertisers feeling safe despite the issues thrown at the social media company. Advertisers and brands are still keen on teaming up with Facebook as their advertising platform because the massive audience of almost 2.5 billion users can’t be dismissed.

Curated holiday shopping options for users

Instagram, with its shopping capabilities, has created a curated collection of items and products from their users’ nostalgic trends for the holiday season. The collections vary based on seven different types of consumers. They are categorized based on the use of Instagram’s well-known hashtags. “We’ve curated collections of products inspired by some of this year’s top trends on Instagram. Whether you’re a #NewParent or need a holiday #PartyLewk, we’ve got a collection for you,” says Instagram in a blog post.

The event has been successful due to its efficiency. Users no longer had to leave the platform when purchasing the products, everything is done within the application. Purchasing is done in two ways: through the platform’s checkout functionality. 

How does it work?

Instagram released three new features to keep its consumer scrolling and potentially completes a purchase. First, users can scroll to look for photos of the product that interests them. Second, users can save the selected products to their “personal shopping bag”, Instagram’s version of the add to cart. Third, once users have finalized their shopping bags, they can proceed to checkout and pay. The checkout process was powered by the parent company Facebook’s Spark AR unit.

The new features have the potential to boost Instagram’s revenue and user interests. It effectively improves the platform’s online shopping with easy “swipe, adds, and check” options. Instagram’s new features have enabled other competing online shops with the ability to increase their online sales.

Competition with online sales

Businesses are investing in the E-commerce industry due to the increasing demand for online buying and selling. The virtual stores allow consumers to shop from the comfort of their homes which made the purchasing process easier.

Regardless of business size, the primary goal here is to increase online sales. Due to the competition, marketers are building and creating tools to help them attract more consumers. Instagram isn’t the only looking for more avenues to increase their revenue. Many brands and businesses are using the holidays to increase their sales.

What does this mean for you?

The holidays are the ultimate time for businesses to increase their revenue. Just like Facebook-owned Instagram, brands and advertisers are now planning their eCommerce goals with social media sales methods in mind.

“Snapchat is promising $750,000 to its top augmented reality stars in 2020, triple its commitment from this year,” announced by Snapchat’s executives.

Snapchat announced the financial support for the virtual lenses popularized on the app during the annual Lens Fest. The cash is a symbol of the company’s commitment to building the future of its high-end platform for next-generation influencers. 

More than 100 lens makers were brought, by Snapchat, to their headquarters in Santa Monica, California. The event featured the appearances of Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, the chief technology officer, and co-founder of the company.

According to Snapchat’s spokeswoman, the number of creators in attendance has doubled from last year. 

What did the Event cover?

Snapchat is keen on promoting the use of AR which is a blend of the virtual and the real world. The social media platform sold Spectacle 3, the third version of the digital video glasses. Lens creators saw the product first during the launch, and where the glasses went for $380 a pair. Users can shoot video using 3D technology that is specifically designed for reality effects. 

the glasses do not project augmented reality as the user wears them, but Snapchat Lens creator Clay Weishaar said that AR in glasses are definitely moving in a new direction. Snapchat emphasized the benefits and advantages of using AR in its ever-growing community. The company is widely considered to have the most advanced AR technology, and when compared to other social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. 

Is the project augmented reality feasible?

“Snapchat is taking a little bit of a risk,” Weishaar says. “AR creators are not traditional storytellers… but with a bigger fund, maybe we can do more,” says Frank Shi, director of Paper Triangles, a boutique digital agency. Shi added that there are more opportunities for collaborations in the future. This means that collaborative projects and more interesting ideas might be coming to Snapchat very soon. 

Snapchat teamed up with influencers and celebrities to promote its AR feature. Lens creators are encouraged to put more stories behind their creations with the help of augmented effects to attract more consumers. The Snapchat lens community gets stronger as more members cross-promote each other’s Lenses and trade tips on how to develop and use the technology. 

What does this mean for you?

Augmented reality’s popularity is highly increasing, and brands have been incorporating lenses into their ad campaigns through Snapchat and many more are still investing in it. 

To comply with COPPA YouTube is requiring content creators to disclose if their content is for younger audiences

As mediums change and it’s important to safeguard the impressions that ads can leave on children. Youtube channels like Ryan’s World, ToyTocToc, and Come Play with Me, are immensely popular with younger audiences. These channels heavily feature children’s toys and can contain paid sponsorship intended to influence a younger audience. To combat this and comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) creators now must state whether their content is created for kids.  

While despite that in the past marketing to a younger audience has been looked down on it has become an undeniable part of adolescence. From creating TV shows to sell action figures to creating channels built around unboxing these toys, creating methods to reach younger audiences is constant. As of last week, YouTube added a new feature shift on how adolescents receive content. The audience setting feature in the YouTube studio is intended to identify what content is made for kids and what content isn’t.  

“Each year, enormous sums of money are spent to reach this valuable audience because children and adolescents spend billions on their own purchases, influence family decisions about what to buy, and promise a potential lifetime of brand loyalty,” as stated in Pediatrics, the official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  

Additionally starting at the beginning of 2020 YouTube will then decrease that data that is collected on content that is made for kids. This is important to note because it will nix ads that are personalized towards young viewers. To put the kid’s content market into perspective one of the highest-grossing Youtube Channels is Ryan’s World, a channel that in 2018 made $22 million.  

In YouTube’s post about the change the platform added no matter the location, YouTube is required to ask creators to disclose the intended audience for their content. In addition to having creators signify the intended audiences, YouTube will be adding specified systems to weed out what content is for younger audiences. The repercussion for creators who abuse the system will be that YouTube sets the channel’s audience. This could also lead to issues with the FTC.  

For those who are in the business of selling to younger audiences, this could indeed be a shock.  YouTube noted that this is a process and it could “take some getting used to.” For additional information on COPPA, laws follow this link.