In this week’s digital news, Instagram launches face filters, Snap Inc. announces Sponsored World Lenses, social media is deemed the top distribution channel for digital video, and more.
Social Media News
Instagram launches face filters, clickable hashtags, and Location Stories.
Instagram face filters work just like Snapchat Lenses which augment masks to people’s faces – a feature also now available on Facebook and Facebook Messenger. These filters are meant to subtly augment your face, unlike Snapchat’s more aggressive filters – making it more appealing to adults. Also, Instagram has added the option to play videos backwards and the ability to add clickable hashtags to your photos and videos. Lastly, Instagram has added Location Stories, which compiles publicly shared Stories that are tagged with a location sticker.
Facebook set to live-stream MLB games this season.
Facebook will broadcast 20 Major League Baseball games during this year’s regular season. The company will air one national MLB game per week on Friday nights starting with tonight’s game between the Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies. And anyone in the U.S. will be able the watch it through MLB’s Facebook Page. Unlike Twitter’s MLB streams, which started last year, Facebook will not be selling any ads against the broadcasts.
Snap Inc. announces Sponsored World Lenses and Smart Geofilters.
Snapchat is now offering Sponsored World Lenses, an AR lens tool they launched in November, that augments the world around you. Sponsored World Lenses are only available when bought in a bundle with standard Sponsored Lens. In addition, the company is adding more targeting options for their Lens and Sponsored Geofilters. Previously, Lenses were purchased nationally, but now Snap is letting advertisers target by age, gender, and engagement. Lastly, Snap is introducing Smart Geofilters which allow advertisers to customize their geofilters based on geographic details like state, city, school name, or zip code.
Facebook Messenger gets a new look.
Facebook’s latest Messenger update aims to make the app even easier to use. Messenger has new tabs at the top of the main screen for messages, active contacts, and groups. And at the bottom of the screen, Facebook added a new tab for Games. Another new feature in Messenger is the red dot that appears next to a section with new activity. The changes are being rolled out to Messenger worldwide on both iOS and Android starting this week.
New study shows the impact of video on online shoppers.
JLB Media Productions found that 44% of buyers viewed an online video while searching for local products or services. After viewing the video, 53% of respondents contacted the business, 51% visited the company website, and 33% visited the store. In addition, they found that four out of five shoppers say videos about how a product works are important. And 4x as many consumers would rather watch a product video than read about it.
Marketers prefer social platforms over video platforms for digital video.
Nearly two-thirds (68%) of digital marketers and advertisers say social platforms are their most important partners, up from 56% in a prior survey administered 10 months ago. Also, more than half of respondents saw social as delivering best on engagement, versus just 46% for video platforms such as YouTube and Vevo. Nevertheless, when planning pre-roll campaigns, 44% said video platforms deliver best on that feature, compared to 38% for social platforms. And 58% of respondents said they will definitely invest in short-form pre-roll ads in the next six months.