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The Week in Social: Pinterest native video ads, Facebook carousel ads and Snapchat goes Hollywood

Twitter introduces ‘promoted stickers’ for brands, with Pepsi as first partner

In a follow-on from making stickers for photos available to everyone last month, Twitter has now launched its first branded stickers – officially called “promoted stickers.” Pepsi the first brand to jump on board, meaning the platform’s users can include stickers designed by the company onto their photos. Twitter have explained “promoted stickers” in a blog, as well as with a tweet stating: “#Stickers act as a visual hashtag, meaning that photos with your brand’s sticker will be connected and discoverable to anyone who taps your brand’s sticker.”

twitter pins

Read more on TechCrunch

Snapchat’s Discover redesign sees viewers grow but engagement drop

Just two weeks after Snapchat launched a redesigned Discover section, partners are noticing a significant spike in viewers, and yet a decline of 14% in total views, 32% in completion rates, and 6% in time spent per user. Another unintended side effect of the redesign is that viewers are opening editions just to check out the cover article, with a drop of 28% after the first snap, compared to 13% in the six weeks prior to the redesign. Fodder for amazing content, though – it all means publishers are now needing to work out to “give users a reason to go beyond the first snap.”

snapchat discover

Read more on Digiday

Snapchat entertains more than 50 million viewers in its first week of Rio 2016 coverage

Snapchat is well and truly going for gold when it comes to its coverage of Rio 2016 – with 49 million viewers tuning into its feed in the first seven days alone. Data published in the Financial Times shows that almost a third of the platform’s 150 million daily users viewed its Olympics clips within the Live Stories section of the app. Content has included video snippets of sporting action and crowd reaction, daily since the torch was lit on August 5th. Smart partnerships with global TV brands, and a special deal between NBC and BuzzFeed are what are behind the mammoth viewing figures.

snaphat rio

Read more on The Drum

Google is ditching ‘Hangouts On Air’ in favor of YouTube Live

The demise of Google+ continues, with Google now discontinuing its ‘Hangouts On Air’ feature in favor of YouTube Live. From September 12, users looking to start live broadcasts will need to use YouTube Live, with Google saying (rather sternly): “Events cannot be scheduled on Google+ after September 12 and you will need to move existing events scheduled to happen after September 12 to YouTube Live.” Hangouts On Air’s Q&A, Showcase and Applause features will not be carried over to YouTube, with Google encouraging broadcasters to use Google Slides for Q&A, and social media to gather questions ahead of the event.

google +

Read more on The Next Web

Instagram Stories shows little sign of hurting Snapchat just yet

Since Instagram launched its Snapchat clone, Stories, many have been waiting to see if Snapchat’s numbers and popularity decrease, and though many were quick to embrace Instagram Stories, it looks like Snapchat is still going strong. According to mobile app store marketing intelligence company Sensor Tower, iOS users in the U.S. still spend more minutes each day on Snapchat than on Instagram, and those numbers appear not to have been affected by the Stories launch. Though the offerings are all but identical, experts have suggested the numbers haven’t changed because the two platforms mostly cater to different demographics.

Read more on Business Insider

Snapchat is apparently acquiring mobile discover app Vurb

Word on the social street is that Snapchat is in the late stages of acquiring mobile search discover app Vurb, which will give Snapchat more resources to strengthen its messaging and search features. Vurb’s mission since its launch in 2011 has been to “create a smarter, more connected mobile world that empowers people to do more of what they want all in one app.” With the acquisition, it’s looking like Snapchat wants to follow what Facebook has done with Messenger and become more of a platform for all occasions.

Read more on VentureBeat

Pinterest starts rolling out native video ads

Good news! Advertisers in the U.S. and U.K. finally have a chance to run video ads on one of the most engaging discovery-driven platforms on the internet. Over the last few weeks, Pinterest has started rolling out a native video player, and now it comes with advertisements, which are open initially to its managed partners, but the rest of the advertising world will soon be invited to join in the fun. Once it’s all up and running, advertisers will get access to all the traditional metrics they can follow when they buy a video advertisement, as well as the option of sticking a few featured pins below the ad. Winners are pinners!

pinterest native vid ads

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Instagram’s Events channel brings users best videos from concerts and sporting events

As part of efforts to reinvigorate its Explore tab, Instagram has today launched a new video channel within the tab called Events. The channel will be personalized for each user (keeping in mind what types of live events they are interested in and the accounts they follow) and will feature videos from concerts, sports games and other live events around the word that might be of interest to them. Like the new Stories feature, it’s something of a rip off of Snapchat’s Discover stories, but the algorithm means it can be more personalized to each user.

Read more on TechCrunch

Facebook quietly ups its carousel ad image/video allowance from five to 10

Sneaky Facebook has quietly doubled the number of images and videos that can be included in its carousel ads, taking it from five to 10. Though the social network’s ad guides still specify that three to five images or videos can be used, advertisers have discovered that they can now include up to 10. A source close to Facebook confirmed to that the maximum number of photos and videos that can be included in carousel ads has, indeed, been doubled for all advertisers.

Read more on AdWeek

Twitter’s share of US social network users is dropping

eMarketer has recently downgraded its predictions of future Twitter usage, following the close to stagnant growth reported by the company in Q2. By the end of 2016, 52.2 million people in the US will access their Twitter accounts at least once a month – just a 2% increase over the last year. By 2020, Twitter will add just 3.6 million users, rather than the 13.9 million eMarketer previously forecast, meaning it will lag behind the growth of social network usage as a whole. Twitter’s declining social share is mostly due to social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, and messaging apps hurting its growth prospects more than expected.

Read more on eMarketer

Twitter rolls out quality filter setting to all users

With online harassment being a major soft spot for Twitter of late (especially after BuzzFeed’s recent report – ouch!), it’s taking another step forward to ensure harmony in its online aviary. The company has granted all users access to its quality filter (a feature that has previously only been available mostly to verified users), meaning tweets from dodgy accounts will be filtered out and, hopefully, abuse will come to a halt for all. In related news, users have also been given the power to limit which notifications they receive across both mobile and web platforms.

Read more on VentureBeat