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Social Media Rundown: Snapchat+Amazon; Facebook Watch Struggles; Twitter Purge

Some interesting social media news headlines this week including a purge of suspended Twitter accounts, a rumored Snapchat-Amazon partnership, and Facebook Watch struggles for viewers. Also, here are some Facebook headlines that didn’t make the cut, but maybe should have been included with the main batch below:

A coder at Facebook.

Lots of Facebook news this week including more on the Cambridge Analytica saga, acquisition of Bloomsbury AI, and struggles with Facebook Watch.

Social Media News:

  • Snapchat Code Reveals Team-Up with Amazon for ‘Camera Search’ (TechCrunch). If the Snapchat-Amazon integration rumor is true, social media audiences will soon be able to point a smartphone at something and make a purchase directly through Amazon.
  • Facebook Watch Is Struggling to Win Fans (The Information). The number of people who visit the new section every day has disappointed some show creators. Ads that run in the middle of videos have alienated many users, according to Facebook’s own metrics. Some media partners have chosen not to renew their deals with Facebook. Meanwhile, Facebook Watch adds Bloomberg and BuzzFeed News to lineup.
  • Trump, Obama and Other High-Profile Twitter Users Could See a ‘Significant Drop’ in Followers. Here’s Why. (Washington Post). Twitter said the most popular accounts could experience a “significant drop” in followers over the next week. This news comes just a couple days after the Washington Post reported that the company has suspended more than 70 million accounts in May and June, and the pace has continued in July.

Learn:

  • The Basic Social Media Mistakes Companies Still Make (Harvard Business Review). “No matter what your social media strategy is, it’s always a good idea to go back and make sure you have the basics covered.”
  • The Simple Facebook Posting Strategy That Helped Us 3x Our Reach and Engagement (Buffer Blog). The basic lesson here is that with Facebook, less is more and quality content reigns supreme. Read on for some quick stats to see what I mean.

What social media news and social marketing tips did I leave out this week?

 

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Social Media Rundown: Facebook Bug Unblocks Messenger Users; Whatsapp Combats Fake News; Ads Transparency

Another typical week in social media news: Facebook admits to another privacy breach, Whatsapp combats fake news, and Twitter and Facebook work on ad transparency.

fake-news-stephen-cobert

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Launches Its Ads Transparency Center, Where You Can See Ads Bought by Any Account (TechCrunch). The company says you’ll be able to search for any Twitter handle and bring up all the ad campaigns from that account that have run for the past seven days. Meanwhile, Facebook says its users will soon see a new button called “info and ads” at the top of a Page belonging to a business, nonprofit, or other organization.
  • Whatsapp Will Pay Researchers to Study Its Fake News Epidemic (Mashable). The company is offering researchers as much as $50,000 in exchange for studying the spread of fake news on WhatsApp. The announcement comes after the Indian government criticized the messaging service for its role in spreading false information tied to a series of deadly instances of mob violence in the country.
  • A Bug Unblocked More Than 800,000 Facebook and Messenger Users (Fast Company). The bug meant that users could message people who had blocked them and see posts which had previously been hidden from view. Read more on the Facebook blog.

Learn:

  • How Vogue Diversified Away from Facebook (Digiday). In May, search traffic to Vogue was up 73 percent year over year. Newsletter traffic grew 32 percent, and Instagram traffic increased 139 percent. Facebook unique visits were down 30 percent on the same basis. “That diversification is the result of a long-term push to grow search traffic overall as Facebook has steadily cut back the amount of referral traffic it sends publishers.”
  • How to Combine Social Media and Email Marketing as the Perfect Lead-Generation Machine (ShortStack). This article has a full break down to using social media and email marketing in sync to build a lead-generation campaign.

What else happened this week in social media news?


Three Fitness Apps to Keep You in Shape

That's me, hitting it hard at a local track.

I’m mostly a marathon runner these days, but cross training is definitely important no matter your discipline. Photo by Kathryn Salvatore.

As you may or may not know, I’m a bit of a health and fitness nut. For the past few years, I’ve mainly been into running, cycling, and bouldering. But regardless of what activity I might be into, I try to maintain a certain level of overall fitness with a focus on core strength and flexibility. For that, I generally turn to a host of exercises from planks and crunches to yoga and pilates. Most of these exercises are stored in my head and used almost daily while others (namely yoga and pilates) are part of routines I do from Wellbeats, an on-demand fitness provider that my apartment complex subscribes to.  

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is another workout I do at least weekly (usually on my rest or easy running days). I find HIIT to be incredibly difficult to get through without the help of a coach to push me along and shout out the exercises. 

I’ve used many of different exercise apps over the years and have settled on three free apps I think are great for coaching you through the workouts. I’m sure there are 1,000s of fitness apps available, but these are the best for getting in a quick workout. These are different than fitness-tracking apps such as MapMyRun, Strava, and Runkeeper (Strava is my personal fave among this crowd, by the way). 

A few years ago, a study came up that claimed it had found the perfect 7-minute body workout that was enough to get your blood pumping and make you break out into a light sweat. The study was published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal and was popularized largely from an article in the New York Times. Dozens (100s?) of 7-minute workout apps soon surfaced on the App Store and on Google Play. To be honest, they’re all sort of the same, but I found these first two listed below ideal for their intuitive design, workout tracking, and no-frills approach to fitness. 

  1. J&J Official 7-Minute Workout. I hate to promote a branded app, but this really is fantastic. What makes it so great, is it has the 7-minute workout, but you also have the option to add a two-minute warm up and cool down. The audio cues are sufficient to learn the exercises without having to watch the video example and it doesn’t interrupt your music. What’s more, this app has a “smart workout” feature that allows you to select your fitness level and follow along to a HIIT circuit. I have it set to the max fitness level (level 5) for a mix of moderate and hard exercises. The smart workout is usually about 26 minutes in length before adding the short warm up and cool down. Finally, this app includes a library of all the exercises that you can easily browse to either learn the movements or create your own workout. 
  1. Quick Fit. Again, this features the 7-minute workout with video and verbal instruction. The iPhone-only app also features an intense abdominal workout (Quick Abs), 15-minute yoga routine (Quick Yoga), and a fat-burning workout (Quick 4).  
  2. Mammoth Hunters. Mammoth Hunters is more of a lifestyle app based on circuit training and the paleo diet. I’m mostly vegetarian so I’m not quite sold on the idea, but I do admit the workouts are tough and the exercises are unique (have you ever done reptile pushups?). Like the J&J app, this also has an extensive library of exercises to peruse so you can create your own workouts. 

Bonus: Not in the same category as the above-mentioned apps, but if you work a desk job like me, then you may want to download the Stand Up! app, which sends you alerts throughout the day to tell you to, you guessed it, stand up. I have reminders set for every 20 minutes. Although I usually just stand up and sit back down, I’ve found that’s just enough to give my eyes a break and keep my joints, back, and feet from getting stiff. It’s only available on iTunes, but I’m sure Google Play has plenty of similar apps. 

Do you use any free fitness apps I should check out? Please let me know.


Social Media Rundown: Instagram Hits 1 Billion Users, Lunches IGTV; Facebook Subscription Groups; LinkedIn Kudos

The new IGTV from Instagram in use.

Brands and individual creators jumped right into IGTV.

Big news coming from Instagramland: Not only has the photo-sharing platform surpassed 1 billion monthly active users, but it also just announced IGTV. Despite the unspectacular name, IGTV puts Instagram in direct competition with YouTube and further establishes the mobile platform as the ultimate social media platform for creatives.

Looking beyond the major Instagram news, Facebook ponders ‘subscription groups’ and rolls out an initiative to combat the opioid crisis. Meanwhile, LinkedIn is rolling out a new ‘kudos’ feature.

Be sure to check out the Learn section for social media success tips from National Geographic and all you could possibly want to know about IGTV.

Social Media News:

  • With IGTV, Instagram Takes Aim at YouTube (Wired). On IGTV, long-form vertical videos can go as long as 10 minutes (in-feed videos are still limited to one minute). Some creators with large audiences can post up to 60 minutes of video — National Geographic, for example, used its first episode of “One Strange Rock” for its first video on IGTV, all 47 minutes of it. IGTV videos are all prerecorded, but live video could come later. By the way, the app now has more than 1 billion monthly active users. Read all about IGTV and its user growth in the official announcement on the Instagram info center.
  • Facebook Tests ‘Subscription Groups’ That Charge for Exclusive Content (TechCrunch). I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine ever paying to access a special Facebook sub-group — especially $30 bucks a month. But Facebook has apparently already started to letting Group admins charge $4.99 to $29.99 per month for access to special sub-Groups full of exclusive posts.
  • Facebook to Redirect Users Searching for Opioids to Federal Crisis Help Line (STAT). Facebook users attempting to purchase opioids or seeking out addiction treatment will be instead redirected to info about a federal crisis help line.
  • LinkedIn Adds new ‘Kudos’ Feature to Acknowledge the Contributions of Connections (Social Media Today). Despite the negativity from the article’s author, this seems like a nice new feature for giving public praise to a colleague. LinkedIn Kudos is rolling out now globally in the LinkedIn iOS app, and coming soon to Android and desktop.

Learn:

  • The 4 Lessons Any Brand Can Learn from Nat Geo’s Social Media Success (Hootsuite). As it turns out, National Geographic is the largest non-celebrity brand on Instagram so they’re clearly doing something right. National Geographic’s social strategy is based on four core guiding principles: Stay true to your brand, go immediate (or live), harness the power of “wow,” and embrace new technology.
  • IGTV: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram’s New Video Platform (Later). This article from Later (the company that provides NEJM’s Instagram landing page) has the main points you need to know about IGTV. If you need to go deeper and enjoy a tidy list, Hootsuite has a nice roundup of the technical aspects and more.

What do you think of IGTV? Seen any good ‘shows’ yet?


Social Media Rundown: Social as a News Source Falls; Facebook Demands Consent for Email/Phone Ad Targeting; IHOP Pulls a Social Media Stunt

It’s been an exciting week in the world of social media, from IHOP flipping the ‘P’ in its name to a ‘B’ in the name of burgers to the harrowing trip of a brave little raccoon to the top of a 23-story building in St. Paul, Minn.

The MPRraccoon scales the 23-story UBS building.

The MPRraccoon was the hero no one expected.

Besides all that, there’s a new report out that says people are turning to social media — specifically Facebook — as a news source considerably less than in the past. Read on for more news in this week’s Rundown.

Social Media News:

  • After Years of Growth, the Use of Social Media for News Is Falling across the World (NiemanLab). People are turning away from Facebook for news. In the U.S., 39 percent of people said they used Facebook as a source of news in 2018, down 9 percentage points from 2017. But messaging apps are picking up the slack. This article is a nice breakdown of a new Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
  • Facebook Demands Advertisers Have Consent for Email/Phone-Based Targeting (TechCrunch). “Starting July 2nd, advertisers will have to declare whether contact info uploaded for ad targeting was collected with proper user consent by them, one of their partners or both. Users will be able to see this info if they opt to block future ads from that business. Facebook had always technically required consent, but it hadn’t previously done much to enforce those rules.”
  • Twitter Wants to Send You Personalized News Notifications (The Next Web). The mobile notifications will be personalized based on user interests. You know, just in case you’re not currently getting enough notifications on your phone.
  • LinkedIn Improves the Relevance of Its Feed with Hashtags (We Are Social Media). You can now personalize your LinkedIn feed with the hashtags you’re most interested in following. This small change should make hashtags more important to include in LinkedIn updates. Hopefully people — and brands — don’t go overboard.

Learn:

  • Internet Flips out after IHOP Turns the Letter ‘P’ to a ‘B’ for Burgers (ABC News). IHOP officially announced the limited-time name change Monday morning after teasing it on social media asking users to guess what they thought the name would “b”-come. IHOP’s peers were quick to poke fun at the stunt with perhaps the best zinger, of course, coming from Wendy’. As with any social media or PR stunt such as this, there are always lessons to be learned.
  • How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy in 8 Easy Steps (Hootsuite). This Hootsuite post takes you through an eight-step plan to create a social media strategy. From setting goals to running a social media audit, this is a pretty comprehensive blog post, but without being overwhelming.

What social media news caught your eye this week?


Social Media Rundown: Lots of Facebook Headlines; Instagram Algorithm, Explained; Building Social Proof

Another week of news regarding Facebook privacy concerns and other negative headlines for the battered social media giant. It’s OK though, I’m sure we’ll all keep using the social networking site like nothing’s wrong.

Mark Zuckerberg takes a sip of water before Congressional questioning.

Also, be sure to check out the learn section to see how the new Instagram algorithm works, ways to build social proof, and how to make sure your social media marketing is in line with Facebook’s priority of making sure time spent on Facebook is time well spent.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Says It Accidentally Let Anybody Read Private Posts From 14 Million Users (Business Insider). Facebook discovered a “software bug” that caused millions of status updates that were intended to be posted privately among friends to be public. The bug affected 14 million users, between May 18-27. Affected users will be notified and asked to review their posts from that period.
  • Facebook Will Remove the Trending Topics Section Next Week (The Verge). After a couple years of controversy due to Facebook editors curating the headlines, the company has decided to ditch the trending section. Other ways to deliver news, including breaking news labels and a section that collects local stories, are currently being tested.
  • A New Privacy Problem Could Deepen Facebook’s Legal Trouble (Wired). A New York Times article revealed that Facebook had deals with phone manufacturers that gave them access to personal data about users and their friends in order to re-create a mobile version of Facebook on their devices. Information included relationship status, religion, political leaning, events they planned to attend, and whether the user was online. Facebook disagrees with The New York Times.

Learn:

  • The New Instagram Algorithm Has Arrived – Here’s How it Works (Later). This could also go in the news section; Instagram recently invited a group of reporters to explain how the feed algorithm works (TechCrunch among that group). The short version is that the algorithm focuses on three core areas: interest, timeliness, and relationship. Secondary factors include frequency, following, and usage. If you’re an IG user, you probably won’t see any posts from several weeks in the past anymore.
  • Why You Should Be Using Your Content to Build Social Proof (Convince & Convert). In this blog post, the author outlines three ways to build social proof: release content consistently, create incentives for people to share, and measure success.
  • How Facebook Marketing is Changing (And How to Be Prepared) (Buffer App Blog). Rather than prioritizing content that might grab a user’s attention, but drive little interaction, Facebook favors the content that sparks conversations and brings people closer together. This helpful chart sums up what Facebook is prioritizing:
Signals that affect Facebook News Feed rankings.

Facebook wants more ‘meaningful interactions,’ as this chart outlines. Image: Buffer.


Social Media Rundown: Teens Flee Facebook; Twitter Bans Teens; Use Instagram Stories Like a Teen

Not a whole lot of major social media news this week, but it’s definitely worth pointing out the recent Pew Research survey that shows just how quickly teens are fleeing Facebook for other social media platforms. I wonder, as these teens get older will they start using Facebook more frequently?

YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens.

Facebook is losing the teen audience at a quicker than thought pace.

Also, Snap’s CEO Evan Spiegel defends his platform and Twitter has started completely banning some of its youngest users.

This week’s learn section has some cool tips on using GIFs in Instagram Stories and how to be a real social media marketer using the power of Google Analytics. Read on to learn with me.

Social Media News:

  • Teens are Breaking Up with Facebook Faster Than We Thought, Says Study (Mashable). YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are now more popular among younger users than Facebook.
  • Snap Is No Facebook, and Spiegel Insists He Wants It That Way (Wired). Facebook’s Instagram is projected to surpass one billion users this year, while Snapchat has 191 million daily users. Its stock price is half what it was in February, when it redesigned the app. Further, Facebook seems to just wait for new Snapchat features to roll out and then copy them.
  • Why Twitter Started Banning Some of Its Youngest Users (Gizmodo). The minimum age to use Twitter is 13, though it doesn’t require users enter a birth date when signing up. If a user later enters a birthday indicating they were under 13 when they began tweeting, it presents a problem.

Learn:

  • 7 Creative Ways to Use GIFs on Instagram Stories (Later). Read this one if you’re on Instagram and want to use Stories like a pro (and impress all your teenage followers). In all seriousness, I’m on Instagram everyday (both personally and professionally) and I learned a few things from this helpful article. Did you know you can pin GIFs to appear at a certain point in a video? Or that you can actually create your own branded GIFs?
  • How to Use Google Analytics for Social Media: A Beginner’s Guide (Sprout Social). This article gets into the nitty gritty of how to use Google Analytics to create, optimize, and improve your social media marketing strategies.

Lastly, a little GDPR humor:

Tweet about GDPR.

A nice jab at all the companies sending emails regarding their updated privacy policies in light of GDPR.


Social Media Rundown: Trump Violates 1st Amendment; Zuck’s Apology Tour Continues; Brands on Reddit?

Whelp, it’s official: Trump’s practice of blocking people he doesn’t like on Twitter has been deemed a violation of the First Amendment. This is an interesting take on how the Constitution applies to social media platforms and public officials; it’s worth a full reading of the New York Times’ article.

In Facebook news, Stories has hit 150 million daily viewers and the social networking site is opening up the Snapchat rip off to advertisers.

Facebook Stories continues making gains on Snapchat.

Facebook Stories continues making gains on Snapchat.

Meanwhile, ol’ Zuck was across the pond as his world apology tour continues. He left of lot of questions unanswered.

And don’t miss this week’s learning section for how to incorporate social media into the customer journey and an interesting case study on how the Washington Post is gaining traction on Reddit of all places.

Social Media News:

  • Trump’s Blocking of Twitter Users Is Unconstitutional, Judge Says (The New York Times). Trump’s practice of blocking critics on Twitter, preventing them from engaging with his account — was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in Manhattan. The judge, addressing a novel issue about how the Constitution applies to social media platforms and public officials, found that the president’s Twitter feed is a public forum. Thus, violating the First Amendment.
  • Facebook Stories Reveals 150M Daily Viewers and Here Come Ads (Tech Crunch). Facebook Stories has announced a 150 million daily active user count for its Snapchat Stories clone. Ads will be 5- to 15-second videos users can skip, with call-to-action buttons coming soon. Advertisers can easily extend their Instagram Stories ads to this new surface, or have Facebook automatically reformat their News Feed ads to Stories.
  • Mark Zuckerberg Failed to Address European Concerns about Facebook (CNN). Zuckerberg failed to answer many of the questions and instead apologized and promised to investigate the breaches and harvesting of EU citizens’ data, the infiltration of dark ads, and fake accounts sowing discord online.

Learn:

  • Social Connections: Weaving Social Media into the Customer Journey (Marketing Week). Consider this: A typical customer journey may begin with a brand’s Facebook post, then move on through marketing emails and an ecommerce purchase to a customer service issue resolved in Twitter. Learn how companies are using social media in the customer journey, including one using artificial intelligence to let customers book flights on Facebook Messenger.
  • Digital Publishing: Now That Reddit is Welcoming Brands to its Platform, How Will Publishers Use It? (Editor & Publisher). In a under a year, a sole social media editor at the Washington Post has basically created his own subreddit of Post content that’s followed by more than 40,000 users, more than many of the 138,000 or so active communities on the platform. While it’s a catchy headline, I’d be extra cautious to any brands wanting to dip their toes into the complex world of Reddit.

Social Media Rundown: Cleanup on Facebook & Twitter; Klout Dies; the Ideal Post Length

Let’s all take a moment of silence to remember Klout… OK, that’s enough. Well not quite; it’s worth noting I’ve written about Klout a couple times in the past.

The Rock rolls his eyes at the death of Klout.

Did The Rock ever care about Klout? I think not.

In this week’s edition of the Social Media Rundown, Facebook and Twitter take further action to remove bad actors from their platforms and improve the user experience.

Lastly, be sure to check out the learning section for a handy tool on creating the ideal post lengths across a number of social networking sites. Also, have you felt like a victim of an Instagram ‘shadowbad?’ Relax, it’s not what you think.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Says It Deleted 865 Million Posts, Mostly Spam (The New York Times). The cleanup came in the first quarter of this year, the vast majority of which were spam, with a minority of posts related to nudity, graphic violence, hate speech and terrorism. Meanwhile, Facebook has already investigated thousands of potential apps that may have leaked data. 200 have been suspended.
  • Twitter is Going to Limit the Visibility of Tweets from People Behaving Badly (BuzzFeed News). The changes apparently led to an 8% drop in abuse reports on conversations and a 4% drop in abuse reports in search. But do we really want Twitter searches and replies further filtered?
  • Klout, the $200 Million Website that Measured How Important You are on Social Media with One Number, is Shutting Down (Business Insider). This news is hardly important, but for a short time, Klout was a big deal and many brands used Klout scores of individuals to determine how influential people were. Hootsuite even displayed Klout scores on profiles within its platform for a while. I think Justin Bieber’s Klout score was always the highest at 100 or so (apparently making him more influential than Barack Obama and any other world leader) while mine usually sat around 55, I think.

Learn:

  • Know Your Limit: The Ideal Length of Every Social Media Post (Sprout Social). This post outlines not only the ideal post length for the major social networking sites, it also has a handy character counter tool you can use for help in crafting your posts.
  • Instagram Shadowban? What Marketers Need to Know (Social Media Examiner). Wait. What’s a shadowban? Don’t worry about it, because it’s not really a thing. This article can basically be summed up as such: Don’t be a spammer. But there’s plenty of Instagram algorithmic insight to read the full thing and get a better understanding of how to be successful on Instagram.

 


Social Media Rundown: Twitter to Add Encrypted DMs & GIFs in Quote RTs; Tips on Growing Your Instagram Following

A bit of a slow week in social media news, but there are some new features being rolled out from both Facebook and Twitter that’s worth noting. I’m particularly excited about being able to send GIFs in quote tweets soon.

Jonah Hill Excited GIF

Are you excited about GIFs in quote retweets?

Oh, and those big changes coming to Facebook News Feed? Yeah, not much has changed.

Lastly, be sure to check the learning section for tips on growing your Instagram account and what GDPR is all about.

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Tests Two New Interactive Options, Including Encrypted DMs (Social Media Today). Not sure I’d ever need encrypted direct messages, but you never know. Being a GIF fanatic, I’m more excited at the second feature: the ability to add GIFs to quote retweets. I’ve wanted to do this many times.
  • Twitter Urges its Users to Change Their Passwords due to a Bug (Digital Trends). If you’ve used Twitter in the past week or so, you were likely greeted with a message about a bug in which the passwords of all of its 320 million users were exposed as plain text. Some of you have changed your password already; that was probably a good idea.
  • Despite Facebook News Feed Algorithm Changes, Fake News Still Thrives (Mashable). Did you notice that big change in the Facebook News Feed algorithm? Neither did I. “Despite what was categorized by the company as sweeping updates, the state of the News Feed remains just as rotten as always: Fake news still thrives, and that old Facebook favorite Fox News is king once again.”

Learn:

  • How to Get Your First 1000 Followers for Instagram (Later). The “CHECT” system is a nice cheat sheet on things to consider with each in-feed Instagram post. CHECT = Content, Hashtags, Engaging, Captions, Tagging.
  • What the GDPR Means to Social Media Marketers (Buffer Blog). This helpful breakdown of the new GDPR outlines how the new data privacy regulations should be beneficial to both businesses and consumers.

What did I miss this week?


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