Social Media Rundown: Twitter Daily Active Users; Unsend Facebook Messages; New Facebook Fact-Checking Partner; Facebook Turns 15

As the lowest-scoring Super Bowl game in history played out in Atlanta, viewers got a little bored and turned to social media to make fun of Adam Levine’s lackluster halftime performance and the oddly familiar pattern of his tank top.  And one Fox News anchor took to Twitter to boast about her beautifully made queso dish, not thinking she’d become a viral sensation.

Considering Super Bowl ads were costing brands some $5.2 million for a :30 spot, hopefully the slow game meant viewers who stuck around for the full game were also paying more attention to the ads. Maybe not, but there were some good Super Bowl commercials this year. You can see my top five Super Bowl ads on my blog.

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Discloses Daily Active User Count for First Time (Axios). Twitter has 126 million daily active users — 60 million fewer than Snapchat, and less than a tenth of Facebook’s main app. Twitter also reported it has 321 million monthly active users, down from 330 million a year ago.
  • You Can Now Unsend Your Facebook Messages If You’re Quick Enough (Mashable). You now have a 10-minute window to delete sent Facebook messages.
  • Facebook Adds New Fact-Checking Partner (Axios). Shortly after Snopes, one of the first online fact-checking websites, announced it is reevaluating its relationship with Facebook, the social network has added Lead Stories as a new fact-checking partner that specializes in hoax debunking as well as fact-checking.
  • Happy Birthday, Facebook! These Are the 10 Most Important Moments in Your Not-So-Great Relationship with the News Industry (NiemanLab) The sub-heading to this article says a lot about where the company stands today: Why only 10 on its 15th birthday? Recently, we discovered an error in our internal metrics that may have overstated the number of items on this list. We are very sorry for anyone affected; we take any mistake seriously. Also, be sure to check out the special birthday video for Facebook from The New York Times.

Learn:

  • How to Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences: The Complete Guide (Hootsuite). Facebook Lookalike Audiences are used to reach people similar to your current customers, offering more value on ad spend. Read on to learn all about this Facebook Ads tool.
  • 7 Proven Tactics to Boost Your Customer Engagement on Social Media (Social Bakers). See how learning about your audience, replying to messages, and showing brand personality can help you establish a connection with your community and encourage brand engagement.

Chart of the Week:

Instagram Engagement: Everything You Need to Know [Exclusive Stats] (Social Bakers). Instagram maintains higher user engagement as compared to Twitter and Facebook.

Instagram engagement chart from Socialbakers.
Instagram might not have the biggest audience size or the highest activity volume, but it is clearly the most engaging.
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My Top 5 Super Bowl Ads of 2019

I didn’t know Luke Wilson was a ‘close talker.’

It’s that time of year again! Well, actually… I guess I skipped the past couple Super Bowls. But I’m back for my kinda, sorta, almost annual list of my top five favorite Super Bowl ads from the big game, as advertisers refer to it (side note: I think a Super Bowl spot making fun of advertisers using ‘the big game’ instead of ‘Super Bowl’ would be quite funny). You can view previous top five Super Bowl lists by clicking the ‘Super Bowl Ads‘ category. I feel like I’m keyword stuffing my blog now. On with the show…

5. Stella Artois — Change Up The Usual

The Big Lebowski and Sex and the City in the same ad? Brilliant! There’s something for everyone here. The Dude’s pronunciation of Stella Artois is what put this in the top five for me.

4. Washington Post — Democracy Dies in Darkness

With Tom Hanks narrating, this one grabbed my attention right away. But regardless of the narrator, this is a powerful spot championing journalism with many memorable moments and a touching tribute to journalists who have have been murdered. The ad ends with it’s famed Democracy Dies in Darkness tagline.

3. Colgate — Close Talker

With its extreme close-up of Luke Wilson and the fast-paced cuts, this one feels like a throwback to the hilarious Super Bowl ads from the ’90s. It would maybe be my No. 1 ad this year, but it was lacking a strong punch at the end. Also, this ad got me more excited to watch Seinfeld reruns (there’s that ’90s throwback again) than to run out and buy toothpaste.

2. Amazon — Not Everything Makes the Cut

This ad already had me roped in with Forest Whitaker trying to brush his teeth with his Alexa-connected toothbrush, but it kept my attention with Harrison Ford’s dog ordering and reordering tons of dog food. Closing the ad with a Queen hit was a timely, solid choice. At 90-seconds, it’s amazing to think Amazon spent some $15.6 million on this single spot; it could definitely be trimmed my :30 seconds.

1. DEVOUR — Food Porn

It was only a matter of time before some food brand came along and took advantage of the internet phenom known as ‘food porn.’ This ad is a cleaned up version of the original banned-from-the-big-game spot. I admit, the uncensored version definitely went too far. The :30 second spot is in much better taste.

Honorable Mentions:

Olay Killer: Skin — great play on the rise of facial recognition software, but lacking in execution.
bubly: “Can I have a bublé?” — this one had people talking at work, but it was a little too drawn out to make the cut.
Burger King: #EatLikeAndy — Here’s another one that got people talking. Overheard at work: “It was some guy dressed like Andy Warhol, but he looked weird.” I assure it was Andy Warhol.
Michelob Ultra: The Pure Experience — Makes the ‘honorable mentions’ list because ASMR.
T-Mobile — This was a series of cute, but all-too-true spots about how people communicate via text messaging.

What was your favorite Super Bowl ad of 2019?

Social Media Rundown: Facebook Research (er, Spy) App; EU: Combat Fake News, or Else; YouTube Cracks down on Toxic Videos

As usual, there’s plenty of negative Facebook news this week. Also in the news section, YouTube takes measures to crack down on toxic videos. And the biggest news might be the Chart of the Week showing that Instagram Stories now has 500 million daily active users; that’s way more than Snapchat.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Pays Teenagers $20 a Month to Monitor What They Do Online (Vice News). Facebook bought access to teenagers’ and young adults’ data by paying them to install an app that reveals everything they do online, paying up to $20 a month for installation of the Facebook Research App. Seems totally ethical. Axios has more insight into this news. And in related news, Facebook shares shot up after strong Q4 earnings despite numerous data scandals.
  • Google, Facebook, Twitter Must Do More Against Fake News: EU (Reuters). Failure to do more to combat fake news and disinformation in the run-up to European elections could mean the companies will face regulatory action, the European Commission said.
  • Facebook Roadblocks ProPublica’s Ad Transparency Tool (Nieman Lab). ProPublica collected 100,000 Facebook ads — and to whom they were targeted — through a browser extension installed by 16,000 volunteers. Its reporters used the tool to report on the targeting strategies of politicians and political groups, misleading tactics, and the fact that Facebook’s ad archive kept missing the very ads it was supposed to openly store. Meanwhile, the company is giving some power back to its users — but very slowly.
  • YouTube Will Crack down on Toxic Videos, but It Won’t Be Easy (Wired). The video-sharing platform plans to reduce the spread of toxic videos by limiting how often they appear in users’ recommendations. I’m not holding my breath.

Learn:

Chart of the Week:

Facebook Plans New Products as Instagram Stories Hits 500m Users/Day (TechCrunch). Roughly half of Instagram’s 1 billion users now use Instagram Stories every day. By the way, Snapchat is on the decline and now has about 186 million daily active users.

Instagram Stories has left Snapchat in the dust.