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The evolution of social media platforms: early bird gets... everything, really!

By Owais Tambe



The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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March 19, 2020 | 6 min read

In our fast-paced industry, keeping up with the ever-changing platforms, the features and updates consistently and then keeping track of new changes in order to implement or even consider them in your next campaign which goes live next week.... is probably one of the toughest asks for any social media manager.

Wilderness provide tips for marketeers looking to excel across different social media channels.

Wilderness provide tips for marketeers looking to excel across different social media channels.

A survey among The Drum's readers tells us that 44% are being kept awake at night by the need to ‘keep-up-to-date with changing channels?’

We’ve rounded up some key updates from the world of social media in the last few weeks with an aim to keep both marketers and brands up-to-date with social’s ever-changing landscape.

Facebook temporarily bans ads for medical face masks

Facebook is temporarily banning ads and commerce listings for medical face masks amid growing concern over coronavirus-related exploitation.

Coronavirus-themed social groups and pages also will be blocked from its algorithm, accoeidng to Facebook. The rules apply to Instagram as well. “Supplies are short, prices are up, and we’re against people exploiting this public health emergency,” tweeted Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram.

Twitter launches its own take on Stories with 'Fleets'

We all knew it was only a matter of time before Twitter got its own version of disappearing content.

Twitter has announced its own variation of Stories, known as ‘Fleets’ - which makes sense, given the rising popularity of Stories.

As Facebook has repeatedly mentioned, Stories are on track to overtake the newsfeed as the primary social sharing surface.

Users with Fleets available will see a new, rounded profile icon at the top of their Twitter feed. If your connections have posted Fleets, they'll appear in their own round bubbles, which is obviously very similar to the common Stories format on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and others.

At present, Fleets are being rolled out only in Brazil, where Twitter will conduct its initial testing.

Instagram prototypes IGTV monetization

As anticipated, Instagram may finally make use of its latest inventory and let IGTV video makers monetise 18 months after launching the longer-form content hub. Instagram has confirmed to TechCrunch that it has internally prototyped an Instagram Partner Program that would let creators earn money by showing advertisements alongside their videos.

The program could potentially work similarly to how monetisation on Facebook works, where video producers earn a 55% cut of revenue from ad breaks inserted in their video content.

The murky plight of social media regulation

Last week, Ofcom announced that it would be granted new powers to regulate advertising on social media. Considering the first Facebook ad went out in 2005, this has been a very long time coming. The government is planning to set the directions of the regulations and will allow Ofcom to adapt and draw up the details.

While this teething period may take time, it’s definitely a welcome change that these regulations around social advertising aren’t just being explored, but are on the road to being enforced. This will only mean that content creators and brands are going to be forced to be more mindful of the content they’re putting out and the negative impacts this content could have.

TikTok adds parental controls to monitor kid activity

TikTok has introduced a new set of parental controls, called “Family Safety Mode,” designed to let parents set limits on their teenage children’s use of the TikTok mobile app.

The suite of features includes screen-time management controls, limits on direct messages and a restricted mode that limits the appearance of inappropriate content. According to TikTok, parents who want to enable Family Safety Mode must first create their own account on the app, which is then linked to the teen’s account. Once enabled, parents will be able to control how long their teen can spend on the app every day; as well as turn off or limit who the teen can direct message; and choose to turn on TikTok’s “restricted” mode that will limit inappropriate content.

The new parental controls are available first in the U.K, but they’ll be rolled out in other markets in the weeks ahead.

Facebook is giving free ads to the World Health Organization

Facebook is providing the World Health Organization (WHO) with free ad space in response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social network is providing WHO with “as many free ads as they need” for outreach related to the outbreak. It’s also providing ad credits to other organizations and is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UNICEF, and national ministries of health.

Snapchat introduces swipe-up to call ad format in the US

After launching its new 'Swipe Up to Call' ad option in the Middle East last year, Snap has announced that it will now offer the same to US advertisers.

While phone calls are not a huge priority for modern phone users, we think driving direct calls could have specific benefits in certain sectors.

As per Snap's announcement, "This new ad product will allow automotive businesses to scale test drives and feed their leads funnel. Real estate companies will have another strong tool to increase the reach and prospect volume by getting consumers to immediately call their sales representative to book an apartment showing. Restaurants will be able to use Swipe Up to Call to drive reservations and food orders."

To use the 'Swipe Up to Call' prompt in your Snap ads, you'll soon be able to choose ‘Calls & Texts’ as your advertising objective in Snapchat's Ads Manager.

Owais Tambe, paid media lead at Wilderness.


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