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The Week in Social: social balance, voice lenses, and digital ad spending

Facebook and Instagram want to help you manage your social/life balance

Facebook and Instagram’s newly launched activity-tracking tools are the platforms’ way of helping ensure their users stay ‘social’ outside of social media. In a time when Android P and iOS 12 will come with enhanced ‘Do Not Disturb’ and ‘Time Well Spent’ features, which give users a view of how much time they’re spending on certain apps, the social giants are keeping with the status quo with this latest feature.

Dubbed “Your Activity” on Instagram and “Your Time on Facebook” on Facebook, users will be able to see the average time they spent on the app that week, as well as how much time they spent that day. They’ll also be able to opt in to receive a reminder after they’ve been on the platform for a certain amount of time, which will encourage them to log off for the day and go outside and play! Users will be able to find the dashboards within the settings tab, so there won’t be any pesky social overuse shamers lurking in plain sight telling people to go live their lives when all they want to do is continue down their social rabbit hole. Unless that’s what they asked for.


Read more at VentureBeat

Snapchat launches voice-activated Lenses

As the world spins ever onward, so too does Snapchat stay quietly plugging away at the augmented reality Lenses space. Last week the photo-sharing platform launched a series of filters that will respond to a user’s voice. Some will ask users to say things like “hi,” “love,” or “wow,” which will launch animations within the lenses. While most lenses on the platform require users to make a specific face or tap the screen to animate the Lenses, these voice-activated offerings offer a little something different – and more vocal – to the space. LOVE!


Read more at The Verge

Facebook’s Playable Ads

Facebook has announced new advertising offerings for app marketers at the giant ChinaJoy gaming conference. Their new playable ads will allow users to demo gaming applications from within the ad. The new feature will be available globally in Facebook’s News Feed.

“With playable ads, advertisers can now give players a chance to experience a game in Feed before they install it, creating higher intent,” said Rick Kelley, VP of global gaming at Facebook. Minimum return on ad spend will become available over the next few weeks. Advertisers will be able to set a minimum spend to target those users most likely to make in-app purchases.


Read more at Marketing Land

Digital ad spends surpass TV

TV isn’t gone, but its place in marketing planning has changed significantly and commercials are a smaller piece of a digital multi-channel strategy than ever before. Intuit, a financial software company, recently used videos on multiple digital platforms to increase brand awareness. The success of the campaign led to a 17% increase in brand awareness and over 17 million video views. According to an eMarketer report, TV’s share of media spend in the U.S. is on track to drop from 33.9% in 2017 to 25% by 2022. Online advertising is more affordable, more targeted and proven more effective that traditional OTA broadcasts. It remains with the TV industry (and their regulators) to determine how to respond.

Read more at Adweek

Group voice and video calls for WhatsApp

Back at Facebook’s F8 developer conference in May, WhatsApp announced that it will introduce group voice and video calling for its iOS and Android apps later this year. Now the feature is available for all users around the globe. Users can start group calls and add up to four people by first starting a one-on-one voice or video call. After they start the call, they will have to tap the new “add participants” button in the upper-right corner to add the other two users. In addition, the company said its users spend more than 2 billion minutes on calls every day.


Read more at TechCrunch

WhatsApp automated messaging

WhatsApp recently announced the launch of its Business API, which allows large businesses to manage and send non-promotional messages to customers for a fixed rate. Covering everything from appointment reminders, to shipping info, to event tickets, WhatsApp’s Business API is initially being made available to just 90 companies, including Uber,, and KLM Airlines, and will gradually be offered to a larger group. Messages may only be sent to customers who have shared their phone number or who have initiated a conversation with the business. Businesses using the API will be able to respond to messages within 24 hours for free, and all messages sent after that will come with a charged fee.

Read more at VentureBeat

Overshooting natural resources

A farm in Ontario was forced to shut down all foot traffic to their property. Why? Several landscape shots of their farm went viral. Since the location was neatly tagged, eager ‘grammers from miles around began showing up to get their own shots of the farm. This resulted in a horde of visitors skipping the usual fee for visitor access, several traffic incidents, damage to the farm, and people generally being real jerks to the property owners. Come on, internet, we’re better than that!


Read more at TheVerge