So-Called Social: Week of
March 11

Your weekly dose of social news.

So-Called Social: Week of
March 11
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So, I don’t know if it’s Daylight Saving Time or Mercury in retrograde, but man, this week has been a doozy. At least it’s Friday, and I have loads of social news for you. We made it, y’all.

Social nets update stuff

Instagram is developing “Branded content ads,” a new offering that will provide more formal partnerships between advertisers and creators. Until now, influencers could partner with brands, but their posts would only reach followers of the influencer. With Branded content ads, IG is letting advertisers promote these posts to a wider audience just like any other targeted ad, which is a pretty big deal. Influencer marketing on Instagram is expected to be a $2 billion market this year. That’s a lot of dollars.

What’s better than watching videos on social media? Watching videos on social with friends, of course! Instagram’s code has revealed a “co-watch” feature hidden in Direct Messaging. The new feature could help give IGTV a much-needed boost, although it’s unclear what sort of content it will direct to yet. Facebook already has Watch Party for co-viewing, and it seems Messenger might be on the same track.

Zuckerberg has a thing for living rooms, apparently. In a recent post, the Facebook CEO explained that his vision for the future of FB will feature a shift away from public in-feed broadcasting, and towards intimate online chats, or “the digital equivalent of a living room.” A cozy, encrypted living room. Lovely. Will there be a fireplace?

Timing is everything. Or at least Twitter thinks so. The social network launched their new insights tool in Media Studio, which gives publishers access to data on when people are watching and engaging with video. The tool, aptly named “Timing Is Everything,” will help publishers maximize engagement and viewership on video content. Also, tweets can now be scheduled directly from the Insights page.

This week, Twitter launched their new prototype application “twttr.” The app, whose name pays homage to Twitter’s original name, offers a more experimental testing space where the company can test out new ideas and gain feedback to ultimately build new features. To begin with, twttr will focus on trying out new designs for conversations on the platform. Awsm.

Adobe does stuff

The Design team is partnering with Adobe Creative Resident Temi Coker and Musician Lake Stovall on an Album Art design challenge. Running until the 26th, the contest asks the community to design an original album art cover for a chance to win awesome prizes like Beats headphones, and possibly be featured on Lake Stovall’s new album.

Other brands do stuff

JetBlue’s latest contest requires you to wipe your entire Instagram feed. Woah there. The airline is offering a year of free flights if customers enter the sweepstakes by deleting (or archiving) all of their photos, post a picture promoting the airline, and use a hashtag. Interesting.

The internet spent a lot of time this week throwing their shoes in the air. We love the internet. The #VansChallenge was born when one Twitter user noted that their Vans always landed upright when thrown on the floor no matter how they tossed them. The original tweet now has 95k RTs and about 260k likes. Thousands joined in. Oh, and they found it works with Crocs too. Vans may not have capitalized on the trend, but Hostess sure did. Heh.

For Women’s Day, Budweiser brought back and redesigned three of its ads from the 1950’s, and it was really great. Let’s just say the older ads were a bit…sexist. The newer versions focus on female empowerment, eliminating the gender bias very prevalent in the old versions. The campaign promotes Budweiser’s partnership with #SeeHer, an industry effort to improve the portrayal of women across all advertising.

Interesting stuff

The world of kidfluencers is real. Yep, child influencers. Advertisers and brands are increasingly partnering with younger influencers (even toddlers!) to promote products like crayons and chicken nuggets. These brands are forming lucrative endorsement deals with the kids and their parents, but this kind of advertising raises questions about things like fair compensation, child labor, and federal privacy laws that protect children under 13 on social media platforms.

This yearly survey shows that social media usage by Americans is stalling in some cases, while ownership of tablets and smart speakers, as well as podcast engagement, has drastically increased. On the survey, Instagram was the only platform that saw an increase in usage, while FB and others are seeing a loss among the key demographic of ages 12-34.

Speaking of FB’s user drop off, the network has lost an estimated 15 million users in the U.S. during the last two years. Ouch. However, it seems advertisers are fairly unphased as they aren’t seeing an impact on campaigns. In general, studies show that people aren’t necessarily leaving social, but they are shifting platforms. Specifically, the younger folks have headed for IG and Snap, while the presence of users 55+ has increased on FB.

Snapchat went big at SXSW this year. As a first-time sponsor, the brand had a dedicated space, numerous speaking engagements, and some big AR activations including a Game of Thrones poster experience. Their global head of creative strategy mentioned that moving forward, the brand will be putting a big focus on providing scalable ROI for advertisers of all sizes.

Fun stuff

What happens to me when you take away a whole hour of sleep.

Kratu the rescue dog went for a run around a dog show course, and the pup had a wonderful time ignoring his entire routine.

Can you believe?! This video features every hair flip from Jonathan Van Ness in Queer Eye. Yas queen. This is the content we need.

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