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The week in social: Instagram growth, Facebook cover videos, and Snapchat API

Instagram grows to 700 million users

This week, Instagram announced another major milestone, reaching 700 million monthly active users, or users who log onto the service at least once a month. According to a post from the company, the last 100 million users joined faster than any previous group. The post goes on to mention other key features that have contributed to the growth, such as Stories, Live Video, and disappearing direct messages.

More information on Instagram Blog.

Twitter increases rate of growth in Q1 of 2017

According to its latest earnings report, Twitter has grown by 9 million users in the first three months of 2017, a significant increase over past similar time periods. With this growth, total users on the system are at 328 million. Further to the report, earnings of $548 million in revenue were shared, which is a decrease from the same period last year, meaning that while the service is growing at a faster rate, it is earning less per each registered user in ad revenue. CEO Jack Dorsey states that Twitter’s long term planning should result in positive revenue growth in the long term.

More information on AdWeek.

YouTube Kids is now available in more places and platforms

A version of the YouTube that is specifically created to serve kid-friendly content, YouTube Kids will now be available on Samsung, Sony, and LG smart TVs. YouTube announced the news in an official blog post, also sharing that the app has over 30 million views, and 8 million weekly active users. The Smart TV versions of the app will be available on TVs in any of the 26 markets that YouTube Kids has launched in.

More information on YouTube Blog.

Facebook is testing videos for Page cover media

The latest of new options for Pages to drive visitors on Facebook, videos are now available as cover photo replacements to add more interactivity to a Page. Facebook has confirmed that the new feature is in testing, and certain pages such as for the Netflix show Narcos, have videos in place of cover photos. There is presently no word on if or when this feature will roll out more widely to all Pages.


Read more on AdWeek.

Twitter makes plan to broadcast video 24/7

Twitter has been making deals with broadcasters and publishers to bring move live video to the platform in the face of increasing pressure from other core social networks like Facebook. Twitter’s plan is to have a mix of sports, news, entertainment and more. Anthony Noto, SOO and CFO of Twitter, said to Buzzfeed that it will take awhile for Twitter to get to full non-stop live streaming video. More video content provides the opportunity for more revenue generation for Twitter, where pre-roll ads can be shown, taking advertiser dollars away from traditional television video ads.

More information on BuzzFeed News.

LinkedIn reaches 500 million users

Another social network growth milestone for the week, LinkedIn on Monday announced that they had grown to 500 million users worldwide. LinkedIn announced the news in an official blog post along with other stats, including that they are active in 200 countries, have 10 million active jobs posted, and 100 thousand new articles published every week. The post went on to compare average connections, most connected industries, and connected job functions with a series of infographics.


Read more on LinkedIn Blog.

Pinterest adds more functionality to its Google Chrome extension for visual search

Pinterest has made some critical improvements in its visual search extension for the Chrome web browser in an attempt to make the feature more useful. Previously the feature would take screenshots of entire browser windows, capturing a large amount of unnecessary information. With the support from Pinterest engineers, a new feature called instant image feature detection has been created, which can isolate items on a webpage to share in a pin or search for in Pinterest’s network. As a result of the new change, re-pins of items have increased significantly according to Pinterest enginner Kent Brewster.


Read more on VentureBeat.

Snapchat opens its API further for advertisers

Snapchat is pushing to get more advertisers on board with sponsored geo-filters, by opening up its API a little bit more to ad-tech vendors, which will allow these partners of Snapchat to execute bigger, more complicated buys. The further opening of the API will allow creative agencies to build templates for geo-filters, making it easier for advertisers to get ads out the door more quickly. Prior to the API opening up, advertisers had to buy geo-filters through Snapchats self-service tool.

More information on AdWeek.

Facebook starts showing related articles on the News Feed

Related articles are nothing new for Facebook, with the feature being introduced in 2013 to show similar content once a user consumes an article on the Feed, but now related articles will be served in a unit below articles that are shown in the feed, even before the user clicks the article. The potential logic is that the Facebook algorithm serves content that the user is already likely to be interested in, and the new related articles are meant to just double down on the prediction made by the Feed. Facebook says it is running the test to figure out how to improve the product for all users.


Read more on Facebook News Room.