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The week in social: Snapchat store ads, Facebook Messenger grows, and Mastodon

Snapchat releases new location based ad offering

A new offering from Snapchat will allow advertisers who buy an ad to see how many people who viewed it actually walk into a brick and mortar store. Going by the name Snap to Store, the ad will measure how many people go to a store within a space of one week from seeing the ad. Snapchat ran a test program with Wendy’s, and any company that uses the new unit will have access to a dashboard that compares store visits from people who see the ad, to people who do not. Additional information that is shown by the dashboard includes demographics such as age and gender.


Read more on AdWeek.

Facebook Ads Manager sees new improvements

Positioned as a tool for small businesses, Facebook has updated its mobile ads manager app to make it easier to optimize advertisements on the go. Advertisers can now see performance statistic highlights, week on week performance, comparison of individual ads side by side, and more. As part of the introduction of the new features, Facebook also shared stats on advertising businesses; there are over 5 million active advertisers on Facebook, with 65 million business having Facebook Pages, and 5 million having profiles on Instagram.

More information on Facebook Business.

Facebook adds calls to action units to Instant Article options

As a way of getting more publishers on board with the Instant Articles feature, Facebook is introducing two call to action units that can be placed directly within the article; email sign-up and Page like. These units are meant as ways to create leads for the business, either through capturing user data, or adding them as a captive audience on the Page. In addition this these options, Facebook is also testing ‘Free Trial’ and ‘App Install’ call to action buttons, but these are not widely available yet.


Read more on Facebook Media.

Instagram Stories hits milestone with 200 million daily active users

Instagram introduced a Stories feature as a way to compete with the popular function on Snapchat, and the company has hit a milestone, surpassing 200 million daily active users. In part to celebrate the occasion, Instagram has introduced new stickers. First, users can now create a sticker out of a selfie they take, and pin it to anywhere on a photo or video, with a set of unique effects. Instagram is also rolling out geo-specific stickers for additional cities including Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid and London.


Read more on Instagram Blog.

New social network Mastodon takes aim at Twitter

Mastodon is a new open-source social network that mirrors Twitter in quite a few ways, but also differs in a couple. For starters, the service is open source, and content posts can be made private. In one of the biggest departures, posts can be up to 500 characters in length, instead of Twitter’s general maximum of 140. Because user response has been so high, Mastodon has actually had to shut down new signups until they can ensure the server and service is stable enough for all current users.

More information on The Verge.

Facebook offers refinements to video metrics

In a Facebook Media post, product management and software engineering introduces several new statistics that would be tracked for videos now; aggregate viewed minutes of videos, sorting videos by most views or total aggregate minutes viewed, making it easier to analyze specific metrics over a date range, and more. As more and more video gets uploaded to Facebook, publishers will, and do demand additional ways to track the effectiveness of what they are publishing.


Read more on Facebook Media.

LinkedIn updates the messaging experience for desktop

As a way of driving more desktop users to try LinkedIn messaging, the company has introduced new features to make it simpler for users. Now, instant conversations can be started from anywhere that a user is navigating, such as a job search page, or a user profile page. In addition, now when messages are opened, additional context will be provided such as job history and related experiences to provide context to the outreach. In addition, there are now one-tap replies on mobile, to allow a user to say ‘thanks’, or ‘I’ll get back to you’, when a message cannot be fully answered at the moment.

More information on LinkedIn Blog.

Instagram redesigns Direct

Instagram is redesigning its direct messaging service, Direct, to enable conversations to be more visual in nature. To start, text and visual content shared with exist in the same threads as disappearing content, so conversations with a single group or friend can remain in one place. Disappearing content will be highlighted in the inbox in blue, and the sender gets a notification if the content is replayed or a snapshot is taken.


Instagram Blog.

Facebook Messenger reaches 1.2 million users

A new milestone for the increasingly popular messaging app, Facebook Messenger has reached 1.2 billion monthyl active users. Based on previous reports, this means the service has grown by 200 million users in 8 months. Part of teh growth is attributed to the wide range of services that available, including payments, games, ride sharing apps, and more. Facebook is looking to replace traditional SMS as one of the most popular methods of communication, and new features such as Messenger Day are helping to win users over from popular competitors like Snapchat.

More information on TechCrunch.