Facebook announced earlier this month that they will be changing the game it started by hiding likes on Instagram posts. Although removing likes rolled out in places like Australia and Japan over a year ago, U.S. residents have just started seeing their likes disappear. While this is mostly a move by Instagram to address the problem of people determining their worth based on the amount of likes they get on a post, brands and influencers alike are also going to have to rethink influencer marketing based on this major change. Below are a few ways we predict Instagram hiding likes can actually change influencer marketing for the better.
Better performance metrics
Brands have a habit of reaching out to influencers who simply receive a lot of likes on their photos, hoping that this ‘vanity metric’ will determine how well a campaign will perform with said influencer. However, likes can actually be more misleading than they seem. Many people who follow an influencer on social media will like a post simply because they want to support the influencer, not necessarily because they like the brand’s service or product. Now that this metric will no longer be accessible, brands may start focusing more on conversions (i.e. when a user clicks the product tag within a post or swipes up), video plays, and comments which are more useful than likes ever were.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen brands start working with a handful of microinfluencers that have around anywhere from 3,000 followers to 200K followers versus one influencer with 1 million. This is because it is found that microinfluencers really have a way of communicating with their audience on a deeper level since people find them more relatable and therefore trustworthy. As brands start to focus less on likes and more on engagement, they will likely start to work with more and more microinfluencers, propelling them in the industry.
Higher quality content
Without the pressure of likes, influencers may also feel more inclined to post more creative content. In the past year, we’ve seen influencers post more branded content on Stories and less in their feeds, since branded content may not get as many likes as their other posts. With more creative freedom to post what the influencer wants instead of obsessing over how many likes it will get, we may start to see more in-feed sponsored posts, which are more valuable to the brand since it doesn’t disappear in 24 hours.
While many people may be applauding Instagram’s effort to consider the mental health of its users, others are not so quick to accept that this is the sole purpose of the platform’s change. Some speculate that this is all Instagram’s way of trying to get people to engage and post more on the platform for the benefit of the business, not technically for the benefit of the user. Also, by hiding likes, brands who work with Instagram influencers as well as businesses who evaluate Instagram’s data will now have to go directly through Instagram to obtain users’ data, which is also a benefit to Instagram itself. While we will never know the true reasons behind Instagram making likes private, there are positives that can come out of this change for users, influencer marketing, and Instagram as a whole, so we’re excited to see how hiding likes impacts all parties in the coming months.
Pinterest is expanding its services for advertisers just before its Initial Public Offering (IPO) with the introduction of two new tools for Promoted Pins and Video. These tools are currently available for any brands that have a Pinterest business account, making advertising on the social media platform more effective than ever before.
One of Pinterest’s new tools is conversion optimization for Promoted Pins. With conversion optimization, advertisers have the ability to optimize their Promoted Pin campaigns for consumer actions including online checkout, email sign up, and more. Before this new tool, advertisers were only able to optimize for clicks, but now they have the ability to optimize their campaigns for more specific actions. This new tool makes it both easier and quicker for advertisers to reach their goals through Pinterest advertising by targeting people who are most likely to take specific actions.
Pinterest also unveiled that Promoted Video will now expand to serve advertisers who have traffic or conversion goals by taking users to a landing page with the advertiser’s website. This landing page will also have a close up of the video.
Pinterest building out its advertising offerings will give advertisers easier ways to connect with Pinners based on their individual goals. With 265 million users, Pinterest has quickly become an effective advertising platform over the years. Although Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram remain the social media advertising giants, Pinterest connects you with a different type of audience and is worth looking into for your marketing strategy.
Not long after Snapchat launched Stories and changed the way users share content, many other social media giants began to mimic its innovative format. First, we were introduced to Instagram Stories, then WhatsApp and Facebook followed in its footsteps, and now YouTube is jumping on the bandwagon with their own version of Stories.
Currently only available for creators with a following of 10,000 or more, YouTube is changing up the Stories format that we are familiar with by allowing content to be seen for up to seven days instead of the 24-hour period that we are used to on other platforms. Creators can add filters, stickers, and text to their Stories, and subscribers can interact with them by liking, disliking, or commenting on the posts just as they would be able to on a regular video.
Although YouTube Stories were launched with creators in mind, marketers are also given yet another channel to reach consumers. If a brand has 10,000 or more subscribers, using YouTube Stories to feature day-to-day activities, generate excitement in product launches or events, show behind-the-scenes content, and more can allow the brand to capture the attention of consumers who might not have time to watch a full video. Also, since Stories stay at the top of users’ news feeds for up to seven days, brands that have relationships with YouTube influencers can promote products on their Stories in addition to long-form videos at a more frequent rate.
YouTube creators often spend hours upon hours filming and editing videos, but with YouTube Stories, creators as well as brands can connect with subscribers on a more casual basis. Benefiting both creators and marketers, this content format is likely to continue to develop and spread across other social media platforms.
Google announced earlier this week that it will be shutting down its social network, Google Plus (Google+). According to Google, Google+ for consumers will be sunsetting over the next 10 months, and will officially close in August 2019, meeting the same fate as other abandoned Google platforms such as Google Reader, Wave, and Buzz. The demise of Google+ is no shock, but what finally made it official was none other than a privacy breach.
What started as a way for Google to compete with Facebook, Google+ is now facing a similar situation to Facebook’s biggest issue to date, the Cambridge Analytica Scandal. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on Google+’s data breach, saying that a bug exposed the personal information of up to 500,000 users to 438 third-party apps. This bug was active from 2015 up until March 2018 when Google discovered the problem and solved it.
Google’s decision to stay quiet about this privacy issue for over six months was likely due to the fact that Facebook was experiencing catastrophic backlash during the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, and Google did not want to join Facebook in the spotlight. Their silence is now raising eyebrows from its consumers who use other Google products such as Gmail, Google Chrome, and YouTube.
Although the privacy breach made for its official demise, Google+ had been facing a long, slow death for years after never really taking off when it launched in June 2011. The idea of Google+ was to create a new way of sharing information by organizing friends into groups and choosing who gets to see what, instead of blasting people with every piece of information someone shares. When it was first launched, Google+ had over 10 million users in just two weeks, but now, according to Google, 90% of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds long.
Some people believe Google+ failed because it was too late to the social platform market, while others believe its way of sharing information was just not up to par with consumers wanted, but no matter what the case, it is still shocking to see yet another platform born from such a powerful company fail in such a huge way. Although Google+ did not get as much engagement from consumers as expected, Google will be reinventing the platform for businesses to use for internal communication between coworkers.
Last week, Google launched its new video format, Outstream Ads, designed for the mobile environment and created to present your ads to audiences beyond YouTube.
What is different about Outstream Ads is that you do not need to have a YouTube video present to run your video ad campaigns, unlike TrueView or Bumper ads. Because of this function, you are now able to run your video ads on different platforms to reach more potential customers.
Outstream Ads is built exclusively for Google video partners, which include publisher websites and mobile apps, so yes, this new format is mobile-only. As users are scrolling on their mobile device, your video will begin to play with the sound off, and then the user can tap the ad to unmute it. Conveniently, the user also has the option to restart the ad.
Marketers can now purchase Outstream ads on a viewable CPM basis. The format is similar to Responsive ads, with Google enhancing the look of the ad with a message, logo, and link. All you need to provide to start your Outstream video campaign is a logo, video, headline, description, and destination link.
The social media giant Facebook recently published a blog post announcing an algorithm that will shake up how certain posts are displayed in a user’s newsfeed.
Over the next few months, Facebook will measure how long it takes for a webpage to load on its mobile app and compare it to different online websites. If the site takes a long time to load, the page may move down a user’s feed or disappear altogether. Many factors are being considered, such as current network connection and general speed of corresponding web pages. If signals indicate that a page will load faster than others, the link to that page will appear higher on your Facebook feed. But for those worried about Facebook hurting their website’s chances of being seen, Facebook has already released a “best practices” guideto assist companies on how to speed up their web pages and how to make their websites more mobile friendly.
Not sure how fast your website is loading and/or how your site’s speed stacks up against competitors’ sites? Google offers a free tool to help test how quickly your website is loading. To test your website’s load time, click here.