Facebook Tests Color Comments & Instagram Stories on Desktop: Reality Check Digital News

In this week’s digital news, teens love YouTube despite “too many ads,” LinkedIn launches an Audience Network, and Facebook considers getting more colorful.

Social Media News


Facebook tests colorful comments and Tinder-like meet-up.

Facebook users are used to seeing vivid, eye-catching posts as they scroll through their news feeds nowadays. The colored-post feature first came to screens last December. Now, Facebook is testing colored comments, which let users choose the hue of their replies to posts. The option is currently only available to a small number of users, though everyone can view these comments in full color. Also, users have spotted a new feature prompting you to catch up with friends. Like Tinder, a “match” only occurs if both friends say “yes” to an offline meet-up. Unlike Tinder, there’s no particular focus on dating — suggested meet-ups are friends you’ve already communicated with.

YouTube speeds up its livestream.

YouTube continues to refresh and revamp itself, this time by shortening the delay in livestreaming. Described by YouTube as “near real-time,” the new “ultra-low latency” option makes livestreaming more immediate. It comes along with the ability to livestream video within apps and games, in addition to enhanced messaging moderation.

LinkedIn’s Audience Network takes ads beyond the site.

If the LinkedIn Audience Network sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a lot like the Facebook Audience Network. LinkedIn now lets marketers buy ads outside of the platform, while still using LinkedIn’s demographic insights. Sponsored Content will be shared through ad exchanges and appear on sites and in apps affiliated with LinkedIn’s parent company Microsoft. Over 6,000 advertisers tested the Audience Network’s beta program, seeing up to 80% more clicks.

Instagram Stories pop up on Facebook.

Instagram Stories have wowed the social media world by overtaking Snapchat’s daily users in just one year. But Facebook Stories, introduced six months ago, have yet to take off in quite the same way. To bridge the gap, Facebook is testing an option to share your Instagram Stories directly to Facebook. Instagram Stories will appear at the top right of desktop screens, where Facebook Stories currently reside (for some users). Alongside its new Live Stories option, Facebook hopes to give its own Stories platform a popularity boost.

Abundant ads don’t keep teens away from YouTube.

In a recent Forrester study of advertising to teens via social media, YouTube got the harshest response from teens 12-17 in relation to showing “too many ads.” This might seem like bad news for marketers, but YouTube still pulled far ahead of the competition in daily usage for this age group, at 77% of responders (versus 55% for Facebook, 52% for Instagram, and 51% for Snapchat). This indicates that an abundance of advertising isn’t keeping teens away from YouTube, even if they do find the ad experience somewhat intrusive. Overall, 39% of teens surveyed felt YouTube had too many ads, followed by Facebook at 26%. Instagram and Snapchat both fared well with teens on the ad front — only 11% felt they saw too many ads on each platform.

Digital News


New study confirms that most marketers autoplay ads.

To autoplay or not to autoplay? A new study reveals that most marketers prefer autoplay. For more than 60% of advertisers, at least half of their video ads autoplay. Programmatic advertising tends to see a lot of autoplay as well, particularly on smaller sites with niche audiences. To gather this info, 63,000 video ads from 2017 were studied. The study also found that publishers tend to keep their autoplay strategies consistent throughout the year.

Hot product searches for back to school.

In the digital age, there’s more than pencils and glue on parents’ back-to-school shopping lists — tech items like tablets and Apple Watches appeared as some of the most in-demand items for 2017. HBO Now was another popular search item for college-bound students, alongside the Amazon Echo and Nintendo Switch. Polaroid cameras were more popular for elementary-aged students, while middle and high schoolers saw a boost in fashion items and Microsoft Surface tablets over the past year. One old-school back-to-school item remained popular for all three age groups, however — backpacks.




Published on September 8, 2017

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