Social Pulse: July’s Top 5 Social Stories

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The Social Pulse is your peek into the future of social media. Move your social strategy forward with the latest news and fresh insights from our +minded team.

Facebook’s 2 New Tools Make Advertisers More Agile

Facebook’s Creative Hub, unveiled last year, is a marketing suite that simplifies ad creation across the Facebook and Instagram platforms. Now, thanks to two new Creative Hub tools, Facebook is helping make advertisers faster and more agile on social media.

The first tool provides a snapshot of video results, giving advertisers the insights they need to optimize ads for mobile feeds. The second allows advertisers to create and deliver ads entirely within Creative Hub, streamlining the creation and delivery processes.

Will advertisers cheer for all the Creative Hub hubbub? It’s a little too early to tell. But some separate congratulations are already in order: Facebook recently passed an impressive popularity test, counting 2 billion monthly active users.

Instagram Updates: Favorites for Friends + Instructions for Influencers

A spate of recent updates for Instagram include a fresh feature for friends and a new rule for influencers.

Friends first! Instagram is testing a Favorites function that allows users to create a band of buddies to share posts and Stories with. Users simply designate a photo or video as a Favorite before uploading to share the post or Story with the private group. Posts shared as Favorites are then collected in their own tab in user profiles.

As for influencers? Months after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent letters to 90 influencers for neglecting to clearly mark their posts as paid for by brands, Instagram introduced a sponsorship tag to make relationships more transparent. The “paid partnership with” text appears above posts — to replace buried “#sp,” “#partner,” and other subtler nods to sponsors in captions. But don’t feel too sorry for influencers and their partners, as the tags will give them better access to measurable data, helping them both more easily track their posts’ performance.  

Snapchat’s Snap Map Keeps Friends Close at Hand

Now that its secret acquisition of social map app Zenly is complete, Snapchat is clearly excited to show off its new location-sharing capabilities with Snap Map. The goals? One: Get users to meet up with friends — and maybe snap some selfies along the way. And two: One-up Facebook Messenger’s recently unveiled Live Location feature — as well as Apple’s and Google’s map updates.

Here’s how Snap Map works: Users pinch the Snapchat camera button on the home screen to launch Snap Map, a map showing the location of their friends. “Heat” colors on the map act as a gauge for location activity, indicating where lots of Snapchat Stories are being added. By tapping on their friends’ avatars, users can see their Stories and send messages to them — which Snapchat hopes will spur in-real-life action. While Snapchat says the function is geared toward strengthening connections between close friends (60 percent of its current interactions), it’s also a clever way to get users to see more Stories. And with Snap Map available for both iOS and Android users around the world, that could mean many more Stories watched — and a lot more sociability.

YouTube’s Uptime Opens to Everyone But Where Is Everyone?

What’s up with Uptime, Google’s experimental YouTube app for communal video watching? A new update has opened the platform — invite-only until now — to all iOS users. (No luck for Android users yet.)

But aside from a few other small tweaks — such as a Facebook friend-finder and support for viewing music videos — the core of the product hasn’t changed much: Users join their friends to watch YouTube videos in real time and react with comments, emoji, and sparkles. Uptimers can also view the videos after their friends, experiencing their reactions throughout the playback. Both features are meant to entice younger viewers who crave social interaction while they watch. Yet without Google branding in the App Store (and curiously, no inclusion in the YouTube app), Uptime doesn’t seem to be winning over the masses yet. That’s got to mean a lot of downtime for Uptime, no?

A Catchy Spotify Remix for Facebook Messenger

Spotify first brought the beat to Facebook Messenger over a year ago, allowing Messenger users to quickly hop into Spotify to send playlists and individual songs to friends. But a new update adds a more collaborative twist: With Group Playlists for Messenger, users can create and share group playlists for their friends to edit within the app — even those who don’t have a Spotify account. Spotify says it’s pitch perfect for parties and road trips … as long as you’re all in sync.

Want more marketing insights? Check out our recent Industry Pulse post — you’ll explore the state of mobile marketing and discover Google’s new tools.

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