Instagram Makes Storytelling Easy with Extended Carousel Format

In this week’s digital news, Instagram updates its carousel format, YouTube removes 30-second pre-roll ads, and a new survey shows consumers want more personalized digital experiences.

Social Media News


Instagram updates carousel format.

Instagram has expanded its carousel format to include up to 10 photos or videos in a single post. The app is also opening up the format to organic posts. Users can choose the order of the photos and videos and tag friends in each photo. At the same time, advertisers can enable Instagram to sort the content based on performance, with high-performers appearing first. A single location and caption, as well as likes and comments, will apply to the entire post. This feature gives marketers the opportunity to tell their story without using Stories. Instagram will roll the format out globally on iOS and Android over the next few weeks.

YouTube removes 30-second non-skippable pre-roll ads.

Google, which owns YouTube, has decided to stop supporting 30-second pre-roll ads as of 2018. YouTube will still run non-skippable ads that are under 30 seconds and six-second bumper ads.The move is meant to improve the ad experience for users. However, sources say Google might also be ditching these ads to better compete with Facebook. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg does not support pre-roll ads. Instead, his company has bet on mid-roll ads, a format also deployed by YouTube.

Facebook adds Stories to WhatsApp.

WhatsApp users can now share photos, GIFs and videos in a Stories-like format called Status that will disappear after 24 hours. There are a variety of tools, like stickers, emojis, and text – all similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories.WhatsApp is more popular in Europe and Asia than in western markets. And this new feature will give Facebook an advantage over Snapchat, which has shown little international growth.

Snapchat Spectacles available for purchase online.

When Snap Inc. launched Spectacles, the only way to get your hands on them was through Snapbot vending machines and pop-up stores. Now you can order the glasses online through the Spectacles website. Snapchat is also reportedly working on image-recognition triggered ads based on real-world objects.

Facebook opens up mid-roll ads to more broadcasters.

Facebook has been testing mid-roll ads in Live videos since last August. Now the company is opening it to more broadcasters who will get a cut of revenue from these ads. The ads are available in the U.S. for Pages and Profiles with at least 2,000 followers and 300 concurrent viewers in a single live stream. Broadcasters will be able to insert an ad break after four minutes of being live and only once they have reached 300 viewers at any given point. They will then have to wait five minutes before they can insert another ad break. Also, the ads are limited to 15 seconds. More on the update here.

Facebook Live mid-roll ads are available for accounts with 2,000 followers and 300 viewers in a single live stream.


Digital News


Survey shows consumers want more personalization.

A survey of more than 1,100 consumers found that 28% of shoppers chose personalized content as one of the top three contributors to a great digital user experience. However, 35% of shoppers feel brands do a poor job of customizing the online shopping experience. And only 7% believe brands personalize the experience very well. The study also found that 43% are open to personalized in-store experiences.

Marketers report their top account-based marketing tactics and goals.

A survey of 305 marketers (43% B2B, 27% B2C, and 30% hybrid B2B-B2C) found that personalizing content is one of the most effective account-based marketing tactics. The next most effective tactic is identifying high-value existing accounts, as cited by 45% of respondents. Additionally, the top account-based marketing objectives are growing revenue per existing account (56%), followed by increasing the number of new accounts (48%), and unifying marketing and sales team (46%). Marketers also reported their top objectives as their most critical challenges to achieving account-based marketing success. More on the report here.



Published on February 24, 2017

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