To the dismay of Insta users, the chronological feed hasn’t been available for some time, but here’s hope for a return to form.

Instagram’s reverse-chronological feed has been gone for years and users have been vocal about its absence. With the possibility of a Latest Posts feature coming to Instagram. Users could soon be able to enjoy the app with classic functionality. The feature is a pop-up that appears on the users’ main feed. Once tapped, users are brought to a special area where the newest content from the people they follow are could be seen. 

Jane Manchun Wong discovered the prototype and tweeted about the feature in her Twitter account.

Facebook-owned Instagram didn’t comment on the said feature. However, the photo-sharing app has already confirmed the existence of Wong’s findings via a reply tweet. According to Instagram, the feature was from a recent hackathon which is a Facebook tradition.

In a reply to the tweet, Facebook EMEA communications manager, Alexandru Voica explained that the feature isn’t out for public use yet and Instagram has no plans of launching it at this time. 

Changes in Instagram’s feed

Instagram has explored many ways of presenting content to its users. In 2016, the company veered away from the reverse-chronological feed. Instead, Instagram opted for the automated that feed we’re now accustomed to. The content is now based on who and what users interact with. The switch to an algorithmic feed increased the engagement.

As of March 22, 2018, Instagram posted a blog explaining it is giving the users more control over their feed and see to it that they are seeing relevant and timely posts. The decision was due to the feedback from the users on the usage of the feedback algorithm. 

What does this mean for you? 

Instagram is a great platform for marketers and brands to increase their brand awareness and further expand their reach. Instagram works well for brands and other entrepreneurs when you create a cohesive Instagram feed. Users’ feed must be logical including its visual concept, captions, and hashtags. 

Posts on Instagram could reach a wider audience using the new feature if it goes live. Your posts will be visible according to the latest posts. Your new products will be seen by your target audience and will not be run over by older posts in their feeds. 

Spotify Acquires Ringer to Further its Podcast Lineup

Spotify has announced a new acquisition. The Ringer has over 30 podcasts in its network. With the addition of Ringer, Spotify is expecting to increase its number of users and explore investments in other podcast businesses.

Bill Simmons is a writer, entrepreneur, podcaster, and founded The Ringer in 2016. Simmons started the company when he left ESPN. While The Ringer was originally a digital platform, it eventually became a podcast platform that now houses more than 30 podcasts with 100 million downloads per month.

Some of the podcasts in the platform include The Bill Simmons Podcast, The Rewatchables, The Ryen Russillo Podcast, and more. Simmons said now that the site is profitable it will only grow with Spotify’s backing.

Podcasting Industry

The Ringer has capitalized on a preexisting audience. ESPN draws in a partial viewership through commentary shows. It only makes sense that, Simmons who came from a background at ESPN, created a platform with a similar format. Spotify now has over 700,000 podcasts and has grown 200% from the last quarter.

Danielle Lee Spotify’s global VP for Partner Solutions stated that acquiring The Ringer was part of their plan to expand their reach in the podcast space. This started with last year’s acquisition of Gimlet Media and Anchor for $340 million and Parcast for $55 million. They are now in the process of doubling their audio offerings and furthering their business beyond music. Part of their plan is to become the world’s leading audio platform for audio streaming.

The next ESPN

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek explained in a report last Wednesday that The Ringer is the updated ESPN. This new purchase will prove to be a valuable property for Spotify as it tries to venture into the development of sports audio content for the next decade. People who are into sports will be tuning into Spotify for their next dose of sports news and commentaries.

Ek is hoping for a healthy relationship with the new management for all their staff members. This acquisition has been in the rumor mill for weeks and has now been closed.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp reached another milestone by reaching over 2 billion users worldwide. 

Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, it was by far the largest buy-out that Facebook ever had. Facebook has 2.5 billion users. Instagram has more than 1 billion. Facebook surely is on a roll. The app is easy to use, reliable, and private and because of this WhatsApp’s now has 2 billion users.

WhatsApp capitalizes on end-to-end encryption 

In terms of the number of users and its system, WhatsApp is the messaging app to beat. Famous for enabling people from around the globe to connect to their families, loved ones, employees, and more. It allows for personal and face-to-face communication with people who are from great distances. 

While there are other messaging apps available, an appeal to WhatsApp is its end-to-end encryption. This acts like a secure digital lock that ensures your messages and attachments sent over WhatsApp are safe from hacking and other cybercrimes. Users are assured that the messages sent using WhatsApp stay between the sender and the recipient. Not even the creators of the app have access to the messages and calls.

With privacy being such an issue, lawmakers are imposing the importance of digital security.

The call to remove encryption 

WhatsApp’s tagline is to promote security using encryption. Though many are against the idea and want to exploit the said system. The Indian government is trying to create regulations that would give them access to the encrypted messages in the app. The same is true for Australia and the UK.

Citing reasons that subjects relating to sex trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism, and others can be hidden via encrypted means. Many lawmakers are strongly suggesting for encryption to be taken down. 

WhatsApp, on the other hand, is adamant in its position on its end-to-end encryption. Facebook, wrote a response explaining that giving the backdoor access could create more issues. Opening that door would give criminals and hackers the chance to enter the system and exploit peoples’ privacy who are using the platform. 

What does this mean for you?

Just recently, WhatsApp recently launched a new feature that allows brands and businesses to create product catalogs in their WhatsApp profiles. Having more users would mean that brands now have over 2 billion people to market to and target. Depending on what your target audience is, WhatsApp is a great platform to increase brand awareness and increase revenue.

What started as a partnership Over and GoDaddy, that turned into an acquisition

GoDaddy Inc helps startup entrepreneurs with their social media presence. Just recently, it announced its acquisition of the company Over. Over is an app that helps entrepreneurs in creating visual content for social media platforms. 

What does it do?

Over enables users to make content through their mobile devices and post the content across social platforms including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and more. The content can also be used for websites and email marketing campaigns. The app has several features, templates, and layout for customizations to catch peoples’ attention.

With more than a million users and of the many users, there are Over 22,000 active projects every day. The app is being used in more than 150 countries worldwide and has earned a Net Promoter Score of 80. Apple awarded the app as the Best of 2019 App Trend of the Year. 

Collaboration led to an acquisition 

Justin Tsai, GoDaddy’s Vice-President of Growth and Product said, “Over’s capabilities really target those set of people, who may have an Instagram profile where they need to post visually engaging content but have never gone to GoDaddy.” Using Over’s capabilities, businesses can target specific people with profiles across channels. 

What began as a collaboration between Over and GoDaddy, turned into an acquisition. The combined efforts of both companies beneficial look to be mutually beneficial. 

Over will improve GoDaddy’s aim of helping entrepreneurs with their online presence by increasing their engagement with their customers and potential clients. 

What does this mean for you?

Many startup businesses don’t have the budget to hire creative directors for their company. While others have the skills for it, many are still struggling with how to create visual content for their products and campaigns. 

Free apps and tools like Canva are great but having different tools in your arsenal can always help. Using Over, startups don’t need to worry about their visual content and how they can improve their online presence. Entrepreneurs can use Over to build their business while also attracting potential customers using engaging content. 

Businesses can make websites via GoDaddy and then use Over to make the content for their sites. Brands now have better chances in making and competing against companies that have their designers and content creators.

The new ‘Story’ format allows influencers to introduce video snippets of songs and albums to their followers.

Spotify introduces the Story feature to its music streaming platform for influencers. The new feature allows influencers to integrate video components into their public playlist. Like other Story features on other social media platforms, Spotify’s story will also feature short video clips that users can tap to see the next video. 

The new feature isn’t available for all users yet, and there is currently only a select number of influencers who are part of the test. The basis of selection isn’t disclosed but it’s assumed that the number of followers, the amount of user activity in the platform, and the users’ engagement with his/her followers. 

Among the influencers tapped by Spotify to participate in the test is the fashion star and YouTuber Summer Mckeen. She currently has 2.33 million subscribers on YouTube, 2.1 million followers on Instagram, and 126, 455 followers on Spotify. She’s been using the new feature to introduce her favorite songs and playlists to her followers. 

Spotify is using what they know and using songs to elevate its style amongst competitors. This new addition to the platform isn’t created solely for product promotion and related purposes. The new story feature is for discovery and to let influencers get out the word and share their favorite music with their followers. 

What’s in it for marketers?

Spotify’s new ‘Story’ feature has the potential to be even more powerful due to its ability to be shared across platforms. This cross-platform integration strengthens its service to more apps. It also gives creators the opportunity to reach more customers within their community.

McKeen uses the same strategy as she promotes the playlist across another platform such as Instagram, reaching millions of people in just one click. Spotify is searching for more influencers in the lifestyle and entertainment field at present.

The new feature is now available for iOS and Android devices. It’s still not available for Spotify desktop/PC. The new feature is currently in the testing phase but Spotify considers to launch it on a wider scale in the future.

Spotify tried a similar format last year with Storyline. It worked akin to Behind the Lyrics option where artists could share their experiences, inspirations, insights, and thoughts while making their songs. 

The feature is still available today but only on select songs. This update is a good way for artists to engage with their followers more and to give the listeners a sneak peek of the song process. Similar to video streaming, the playing field for music is crowded. Spotify is setting itself apart from other music streaming services by adding more social interaction features. 

Disney+ app wins against rivals with 41 million downloads. 

Two months after its release, Disney+ reached a high-time download. For the PlayStore and Appstore, the app has been downloaded 41 million times in the US and has generated about $100 million in user spend. That’s four times more downloads than HBO has currently.

Sensor Tower released its data on the app trends for the last quarter of 2019 and based on the reports, Disney+ was downloaded 30 million times in the 4th quarter of 2019 beating other big-name apps such as TikTok, Messengers, YouTube and other apps in the process. 

Disney+ beats other SVOD in terms of revenue

The new TV streaming platform was able to gross over $50 million for the first 30 days of release defeating HBO Now and Showtime. In Q4, Disney+ took 16% of the total SVOD revenue in the U.S. despite launching very late into the game. By its second month, it reached 71% of Netflix’s peak revenue. As of now, it’s now able to generate about $97.2 million in consumer spending. 

What makes Disney+ different?

Disney+ launched its service at a time where people are already into the online streaming service. Disney+ took advantage of that. There’s also the international market that Disney included, this is something that its competitors did not have. 

Netflix Inc. remains at the top of the streaming chain 

Despite the growing streaming platforms in the industry today, Netflix still reigns as the top player among the streaming platforms. Netflix has the most number of subscribers at 150 million globally. 

Netflix’s success is different from that of Disney+ despite the latter’s impressive metrics. Netflix and Hulu were pioneers in streaming, and new services will be following the paths they’ve paved. Disney+ success can also be attributed due to what they’ve learned from Netflix and Hulu’s success. For instance, Netflix only offers some of its content for download; while Disney+ offers downloads of all its content.  

What does this mean for you?

Marketers go where people are and the online streaming service is where the people are. Brands want to reach their niche and these streaming platforms are one good way to do it. Ad placements will be something to look forward to and look into if marketers want to spread their reach. 

The company has also secured $150 million in income prior to launch.  

Quibi’s CEO Meg Whitman and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and suggested an initial appearance of its incoming product, a streaming service at CES electronics expo on Wednesday. Prior to the event, the two execs, together with their colleagues shared their future plans for its business in their site. 

Quibi, the mobile-video startup company was established in 2018. It is scheduled to launch a new feature this year, on April 6.

Quibi is new but not a novice in the field

The company has raised a total of  $1.4 billion funds before it presents its new streaming service called “quick bites” or “quibis” for short. It is a 10-minute installment ($8/month or $5 with ads) approach that is programmed exclusively for smartphones.

Quibi’s strategic plan starts with advertising the service through social media and the digital industry. Most of the ads are for digital, which allows the company to target the millennials, the ones who spend most of their time glued to their smartphones. This is part of its “fishing” strategy, where they focus on where people gather most of the time.

However, it is still a big challenge for the company to introduce its name and how it works to its target audience of 25-35 years old. Quibi is still perplexed as to how it will be able to step up to the plate against its competitors or at least break the attention away from the market. 

Many are committed with ‘Quick Bites’

Quibis excite numerous advertisers even when it not out in the market yet. In fact, Quibi reported that it already hit its $150 million inventory for the first year. More and more advertisers are interested in the idea of being able to watch and stream videos exclusively on their mobile phones. 

T-mobile, Taco Bell, and Discover are some of the partners acquired by Quibi. Whitman also said that its company is partnering partnered with top ad techs such as Procter & Gamble and Pepsi to persuade millennials.

Introducing Turnstyle

Quibi also presented another new feature during the CES aside from quick bites. The company called it “turnstyle”, it’s a two-way option for viewers to watch movies. Turnstyle allows viewers to watch between landscape or portrait screen orientation through rotating the screen of their phones. The company also believes that the future of video streaming and entertainment lies in smartphones. It is the main reason why the startup is committed to invest and program various solutions that work solely for mobile phones.

TikTok deals with the inevitable big demands that come with big budgets.

ByteDance owned TikTok will be the center of attraction in 2020 as various marketers and publishers envelop its billion-plus users. While most of its are from Gen Z, TikTok gained inevitable investors. While the increasing demand is a good thing, the downside to that is how the budget tends to increase and hike up as well. 

Demand will be could be overwhelming for TikTok this 2020 and so will TikToks’s budget. The video-sharing app will have to be extra careful in picking its marketing partners. 

The rapid rise of TikTok 

TikTok has risen in popularity over the last year and has explored the ad-supported industry. It ran its first official ad campaign just a year ago and since then, ads came flocking to the platform over the last six months. This happened while TikTok is testing features designed to make things easier for advertisers.

Sensor Tower also reported in November that the video-sharing social networking service surpassed more than 1.5 billion app downloads on the App Store and Google Play. TikTok hit 655.8 million unique installs making it the fourth most downloaded non-gaming app in the world last year.

TikTok in 2020

TikTok is expected to launch a self-serve ad model (that is currently in beta testing) this year. This will make it much easier for marketers to buy ads without going through the app’s sales team, similar to what is currently going on.

The director of social for OMG, Carly Carson said that the self-serve platform of TikTok is a good start. But it is better with more advanced targeting opportunities such as to target outside audiences of age and demographic. Built-in and integrated customer relationship management (CRM) is also expected by Carson this year.

TikTok also needs to rush ads API  (application programming interface) if it wants to attract SMB advertisers. The API, along with adding third-party partners will please advertisers as it helps in measurement and brand safety. Carson further added that “having additional brand safety levers in reporting and measurement on TikTok’s side for monitoring will also be very important”.

Another expected addition to the platform is “meeting the needs of advertisers without diluting its creative appeal to users.” TikTok’s content is great and authentic to the platform that it attracts billion of users. Adding too much ad inventory may cause its original content to be washed out. The social media sensation continues to strive and rise to set the platform apart from its social network rivals amidst the higher expectations this year 2020.

This partnership is expected to improve TripAdvisor’s personalized experience and deepen its connection with travelers. 

The world’s biggest travel guide platform announced its partnership with Mother,  the independent creative company based in New York but with offices in London, Los Angeles, and Shanghai. This is the first media agency that TripAdvisor teamed up with since its founding. 

Traveling is one of the biggest industry there is and it’s not surprising to say so due to the unifying effect it has on people. It has the power of bringing individuals of different races, cultures, and beliefs. TripAdvisor is one of the pioneering applications that enabled people to see the best places to go and the best things to do in every place they go to. It capitalizes on the experience is gives to the users. With Mother on its side, TripAdvisor aims to bring that experience even further. 

TripAdvisor in the future 

The partnership is set to coincide with TripAdvisor’s 20th anniversary next year. This is the beginning of the travel guide platform which is expected to build a much better guide for users. It will have new updates and features to allow users to have more personalized recommendations and advice from other travelers who share the same interest.

TripAdvisor also teamed up with Havas Media as the company’s global media agency and made them responsible for creating an integrated approach for its offline and digital brand building. The partnership is to improve TripAdvisor’s reach among millennial travelers by offering membership opportunities and sponsorship experiences. 

Havas Media will help TripAdvisor to tighten its connection with the younger generation and its existing members. It will give the younger generation an avenue for a unique travel experience and amazing story to tell. 

TripAdvisor and Mother 

Included in future plans is an emphasis on building the brand as the best guide for planning an adventure for travelers. “Brilliant creativity and smart, savvy communications planning and behaviors have the ability to drive business impact and change the course of a company’s history,” said Lindsay Nelson, TripAdvisor’s President of the core experience business unit. 

TripAdvisor has been tight-lipped with all the plans they have for next year. However, they have hinted on how much of their plans will focus on attracting young travelers. 

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.