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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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.

Social Media Rundown: Original Tweeter Tag; Record-Setting Fine Against Facebook; Proactively Closing Nefarious Facebook Pages

Some interesting news out this week in the world of social media. First up: An op-ed in the New York Times describes Twitter as “the epicenter of a nonstop information war.” That description couldn’t be more accurate and the piece is worth a full read.

Also in Twitter news, the company is testing an ‘original tweeter’ tag to make it easier to tell who started a thread. Should be helpful.

And what week would be complete without some scandalous Facebook news? This time around, it seems the company may finally have to pay a price for its privacy practices related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal — by way of a record-setting FTC fine.

Finally, be sure to check out the learn section and the Chart of the Week to learn the secrets behind news feed algorithms, managing a Facebook Live, and a look at worldwide social media use.

Social Media News:

  • Opinion: Never Tweet (The New York Times). Twitter “is the epicenter of a nonstop information war, an almost comically undermanaged gladiatorial arena where activists and disinformation artists and politicians and marketers gather to target and influence the wider media world.” I’d say that is a pretty accurate description these days.
  • Twitter Testing ‘Original Tweeter’ Tag to Distinguish Who Started a Thread (TechCrunch). The new feature makes it easier to find posts from the original tweeter within a thread, but may also help curb abuse on the platform.
  • U.S. Regulators Have Met to Discuss Imposing a Record-Setting Fine Against Facebook for Privacy Violations (The Washington Post). The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly considering a “record-setting” fine as the result of its investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The penalty is expected to be much larger than the $22.5 million fine on Google in 2012.
  • Facebook Warns Groups and Pages It Could Proactively Shut Them down for Being Fake News Networks (Fortune). The move is designed to keep page managers from skirting Facebook bans by using pages they already manage to re-post the content Facebook removed from their shuttered pages and groups. The move comes one week after it announced the removal of 364 pages that originated in Russia and were engaged in “coordinated, inauthentic behavior.” Here’s the announcement from the Facebook Newsroom.

Learn:

  • A Marketer’s Guide to Decoding Social Media Algorithms in 2019 (Buffer). Here’s a good look at all the major social media platforms, that is, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Read the post or listen to the podcast.
Signals that affect Facebook News Feed content rankings.
There’s a lot to consider when crafting a Facebook post.
  • 5 Steps to Your First Facebook Live (The Social Shake-Up). If you’re planning to do a Facebook Live broadcast soon, here’s a quick and easy checklist to run through before you go live.

Social Media Chart of the Week:

Number of Social Media Users Worldwide from 2010 to 2021 (In Billions) (Statista). We’re getting close to 3 billion social media users worldwide.

Number of social media users worldwide from 2010 to 2021.
In just a couple years, some 3 billion people will be using some form of social media.

Thanks for reading! Did I miss anything? Please share in the comments or hit me up on Twitter: @eric_wheeler.

Social Media Rundown: Cultbook; New Twitter Tools; Politicians Cannot Block Social Media Followers

Another fairly slow week in the world of social media. But the scathing CNBC piece about Facebook’s ‘cult-like’ workplace is definitely worth calling out. The bad press for Facebook just keeps on coming. Also, Twitter announced a couple new tools for publishers — one focused on events and another on improving analytics. A new ‘ice breaker’ feature may also be rolling out to all users soon.

Be sure to check out the learn section for tips on increasing social media engagement and a fun idea for improving engagement in Facebook ads.

Social Media News:

  • Inside Facebook’s ‘Cult-Like’ Workplace, Where Dissent Is Discouraged and Employees Pretend to Be Happy All the Time (CNBC). At a company-wide town hall in early October, numerous Facebook employees got in line to speak about their experiences with sexual harassment.
  • Twitter Gives Events a Boost with New Publisher Tools (TechCrunch). At CES, Twitter announced a new analytics dashboard and a separate dashboard for tracking information around both real-time and upcoming events. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a major improvement with Twitter Analytics, which has been lacking since inception.
  • Politicians Cannot Block Social Media Foes: U.S. Appeals Court (Reuters). A federal appeals court has ruled that a Virginia politician violated the Constitution by temporarily blocking a critic from her Facebook page.
  • Twitter Will Begin Testing ‘Ice Breakers’ to Spark Healthy Conversation (The Next Web). I’m not sure how this will spark ‘healthy conversations,’ but the new features include a way to display when a user is online, canned messages, and a new take on threaded replies.

Learn:

  • How to Increase Social Media Engagement: A Guide for Marketers (Hootsuite). This blog post has six ways to increase engagement, plus a simple definition of social media engagement, a few engagement tools, and how to measure engagement.
  • How to Use Quizzes in Facebook Lead Ads (Social Media Examiner). Seems like a neat way to create an engaging Facebook ad.

Chart of the Week:

Global Facebook Reach & Engagement (Smart Insights).

Although low, Facebook organic reach vs. page likes is not as bad as I might have guessed.

Social Media Rundown: Russia Disinformation Campaign Deeper Than Thought; Facebook Data Breach; Women and Abusive Tweets

In this week’s Rundown, Russia’s disinformation campaign and (even more) Facebook troubles dominate the news. Meanwhile, the businesses of influencer marketing and interior design are alive and well on Instagram. And be sure to check out the learn section for tips on making your social media marketing more personal and to learn how to set up and run an effective LinkedIn ad campaign.

Social Media News:

  • New Report on Russian Disinformation, Prepared for the Senate, Shows the Operation’s Scale and Sweep (The Washington Post). Russia used every major social media platform to support Trump. The same report finds Instagram played a much bigger role in Russia’s manipulation of U.S. voters than previously discussed and will be a key Russian tool in the 2020 elections. There were 187 million interactions with Instagram content, compared with 77 million on Facebook and 73 million on Twitter, according to a data set of posts between 2015 and 2018.
  • Facebook Exposed up to 6.8 Million Users’ Private Photos to Developers in Latest Leak (The Verge). Facebook continues losing consumer trust. The social networking company recently exposed private photos from up to 6.8 million users to apps that weren’t supposed to see them.
  • Study Finds Twitter Is a Toxic Place for Female Politicians and Journalists (Axios). The findings show abusive tweets were sent to all female members in U.S. Congress and U.K. parliament, as well as a number of other prominent female political journalists. Black women were 84% more likely than white women to be mentioned in abusive tweets.
  • Instagram Influencers Are Faking Sponsored Content Because They Think It Attracts Real Brand Deals (Insider). Fake it till you make, am I right? This is only further proof that influencer marketing is big business these days. Speaking of big business and Instagram, the photo-sharing app is also reshaping the $10B business of interior design.

Learn:

  • Why Personalization Is the Next Big Opportunity in Social Media Marketing (Buffer). Personalized social media is sort of the next frontier of social media marketing. It’s a step beyond standard customer service and is all about one-on-one communication between brands and customers. This article has a brief case study from Kimpton Hotels.
  • The Complete Guide to LinkedIn Ads: How to Run a Successful Campaign (Hootsuite). With this in-depth blog post from Hootsuite, you’ll learn how to use LinkedIn ads — from setting up your ads to tweaking and improving them over time.

Chart of the Week:

Social Media Outpaces Print Newspapers in the U.S. as a News Source (Pew Research). One-in-five U.S. adults say they often get news via social media, slightly higher than the share who often do so from print newspapers (16%).

More Americans get news from social media than print newspapers.
Where do you get your news?

Social Media Rundown: Facebook Data Privacy Saga; Giuliani Gets Pranked on Twitter; YouTube’s Story Feature Expands

As Trump’s cybersecurity adviser, you’d think he’d have some grasp of how the internet works.

The latest chapter in the Facebook data privacy saga reveals even more questionable business practices and leadership at the social media giant. I doubt anyone is surprised at this point, but I do find it fascinating how Facebook and its leaders keep digging themselves into an ever-deepening hole. Facebook continues to dominate the social media news cycle while companies like Snap and YouTube keep rolling out new features to try and stay relevant. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani seems to have no idea how the internet works, which is curious seeing as how he is Trump’s cybersecurity adviser.

In this week’s learn section, you can learn about the differences between Google Ads and Facebook Ads and also learn how to boost your Facebook ad relevancy score.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Used People’s Data to Favor Certain Partners and Punish Rivals, Documents Show (The New York Times). The Facebook data privacy saga continues on. In this chapter, unredacted documents show Facebook used data it collected on users to favor certain partners and punish rivals. The documents further illustrate how Facebook executives treated data as the company’s most valuable resource. Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg “were intimately involved in decisions aimed at benefiting the social network above all else and keeping users as engaged as possible on the site, according to emails that were part of the document trove.” You can go deeper with this story with the Axios AM newsletter.
  • Rudy Giuliani Is Trump’s Cybersecurity Adviser. He Might Want a Refresher (The Washington Post). Always remember to double check your tweets for possible typos, or in the case of Giuliani, to make sure you’ve added spaces between all your sentences. When text is butted up against a period without a space, Twitter assumes it’s a link and well, hyperlinks it. Click through to see his tweets. Direct quote from Giuliani: “Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message.” He clearly doesn’t understand how the internet works.
  • YouTube Is Rolling out Its Instagram-Like Stories Feature to More Creators (The Verge). YouTube Stories last for seven days on the mobile app, appearing for both subscribers and non-subscribers, and they’ll show up in YouTube’s “Up Next” sidebar beside a video. “The focus for YouTube Stories, which was first announced in November 2017, seems to be on community engagement and channel promotion more than day-to-day life updates.”

Learn:

  • Demystifying Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads (Angelic Digital via Medium). It’s basically a difference between paid social and paid search, but this short blog post gives a nice breakdown of the key differences.
  • 6 Ways to Achieve High Relevance Scores in Facebook Ads (Socialnomics). Higher ad relevance scores will lead to lower costs and better ad visibility leading. This article breaks down what the Facebook ad relevance score is, how it’s calculated, and ways to achieve a higher score.

Chart of the Week:

Social Platforms: Active Global Accounts (From Hootsuite’s Social MediaTrends Report 2019).

Social Platforms: Active Global Accounts
Facebook continues to dominate in the global monthly active user category.

Social Media Rundown: Facebook’s Data Dilemma; the Rise of Instagram Stories; A Twitter Edit Button?

FRONTLINE: The Facebook Dilemma
Watch the two-part series “The Facebook Dilemma” on PBS.

The New York Times published a rather scathing look inside the ongoing crisis at Facebook driven by privacy issues and the spread of disinformation. Although I haven’t read the full piece yet (it is quite long), it’s clear it takes particular aim at CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg for their negligence in allowing the company to get into this mess in the first place. If you find the NYT story of interesting, be sure to also watch the two-part documentary from PBS’s Frontline “The Facebook Dilemma.”

Instagram Stories have not only grown at an incredible pace (see chart below), it has also shown success in other ways, like the million-dollar business of designing people’s Stories. Some surprising news came from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey regarding a possible edit button for tweets. What might such an edit button look like? How many times could you edit a tweet? And for how long after it’s sent? That’s what the folks at Twitter need to figure out as they decide whether or not to roll out such a feature.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the Learn section for tips on building thought leadership and how to maximize your videos shared on social media.

Social Media News:

  • Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis (The New York Times). This is a long read that I’m planning to take on this weekend, but the key point is that both CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg bear direct responsibility for the company’s woes: “Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view. At critical moments over the last three years, they were distracted by personal projects, and passed off security and policy decisions to subordinates, according to current and former executives.” On Sandberg: “While Mr. Zuckerberg has conducted a public apology tour in the last year, Ms. Sandberg has overseen an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat Facebook’s critics, shift public anger toward rival companies and ward off damaging regulation.” So, Facebook is not exactly showing expertise in crisis communication. If you do read the full piece, be sure to also read Facebook’s response.
  • Facebook and “The Data Dilemma” (PBS Frontline). Speaking of Facebook, this is a nice video overview of what Facebook knows about you, and how it knows it – from the use of “shadow profiles,” to the main ways Facebook tracks you on the web, even when you’re not on Facebook. This is a companion video to the much longer two-part investigation of Facebook’s privacy controversy that you should definitely watch. It’s also on YouTube.
  • Designing People’s Instagram Stories Is Now a Million-Dollar Business (Fast Company). With 11 million users, at a rate of 100,000 app downloads per day, Unfold, the Instagram story template app, is set to bring in $2.6 million in revenue for 2018.
  • Dorsey Says Twitter Is Thinking About an Edit Button to Fix Typos in Tweets (The Next Web). Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company has to carefully consider use cases for the edit button before making it a reality – and it could potentially be tooled to help fix typos. In my opinion, this would be the biggest change in the company’s history; even bigger than increasing the character count to 280.
  • LinkedIn Expects Media Biz to Bring in $2 Billion in 2018 (Axios). LinkedIn’s increased ad revenue can be attributed to higher user engagement on the site, driven by recent changes to pages and the LinkedIn news feed.

Learn:

  • How to Use Social Media to Build Thought Leadership (Social Media Today). From sharing quality content and knowing your audience to providing original research and building a professional profile, this is a nice listicle of how to position yourself or your brand as a thought leader.
  • How to Maximize the Exposure of Your Videos: A Strategic Plan (Social Media Examiner). This blog post has a list of five ways to post, promote, and distribute videos more effectively.

Chart of the Week:

We Analyzed 15,000 Instagram Stories from 200 of the World’s Top Brands (Buffer). 400 million people around the world use Instagram Stories on a daily basis (with that number rapidly growing). Click the image for more stats and strategic insight into Instagram Stories.

Growth of the Stories Format from 2014-2018.
As Snapchat’s growth has been nearly stagnant for the past three years, Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp have seen explosive growth.

What are the top social media news stories and learnings that I missed this week?

Social Media Rundown: Midterm Social Media Trap; Ability to Delete Sent Facebook Messages; Top Video Trends

The 2018 midterm elections have come and gone without any evidence of significant foreign interference. Attempts to undermine the U.S. election process was limited to attempts at spreading disinformation and fear by an infamous Russian troll farm. It seems the efforts from Facebook, Twitter, and the like were mostly successful in their attempts to tighten up security on their platforms. However, Facebook’s ad screeners seem to have gone a bit too far in what ads were rejected, and a path to government regulation of social media platforms seems somewhat imminent.

Midterms aside, be sure to read on for a new Facebook Messenger feature that allows users to delete sent messages up to 10 minutes after they’ve been sent. This week’s learn section includes a Hootsuite blog post with everything you need to know about LinkedIn videos. Plus, four shifts at Facebook and how to work the changes into your social media marketing strategy.

Social Media News:

  • You’ll Soon Be Able to Delete a Facebook Message up to 10 Minutes After It’s Already Been Sent (Business Insider). The ability to unsend a private message is in addition to the app’s “secret conversations” feature, where users can have their messages expire after a set amount of time.
  • We Tested Facebook’s Ad Screeners and Some Were Too Strict (The Atlantic). Facebook has some kinks to iron out in its pledge to make advertising more transparent and to protect American elections from unlawful influence. “Facebook prohibited 5 percent of our ads for Veterans Day gatherings. Facebook also prohibited 18 percent of national park ads linking to government websites.”
  • Trump Says He’s Open to Working with Democrats in Regulating Social Media Companies like Facebook and Twitter (CNBC). Some options to regulate social media companies include enacting privacy regulations, similar to those being imposed in Europe. Trump warned it would be a balancing act between protecting free speech and finding adequate legal boundaries.
  • A Russian Troll Farm Set an Elaborate Social Media Trap for the Midterms — and No One Bit (NBC News). A website claiming to be run by an infamous troll farm tried to tip journalists and spread fear of election meddling, but failed to generate any serious attention. While social media companies have gotten more serious about preventing the spread of disinformation, hate speech, propaganda, and foreign election interference, some say the issue will never be fixed.

Learn:

  • Everything You Need to Know About LinkedIn Video in 2019 (Hootsuite Blog). LinkedIn has been putting more emphasis on video. This in-depth article tells you everything you need to know, from the video specifications to how to set up video ads. Plus, a nice list of video content ideas.
  • How 4 Shifts at Facebook Will Affect Communicators (PR News). The skinny: ‘Facebook Zero’ is here, Stories gain popularity, video ads could be a better buy than News Feed, and Messenger has become the private news feed for users. Read on to see how to take advantage of these trends.

Chart of the Week:

Top 10 Video Trends [Infographic] (MarketingProfs). Also from the infographic: Video is becoming more search-friendly; thanks to AI and closed captions.

Live streaming is the top video trend for 2018.
The top video trend for 2018 is live streaming.

Social Media Rundown: Twitter Fights Bots; Facebook Shows Decline in Europe; Gab is the Fringe Forum of Choice for Extremists

The top social media stories of the week focus on two familiar social networking giants (Facebook and Twitter) and one that is likely only familiar to a few (Gab). For the unfamiliar, Gab is a fringe social networking site that promises a guarantee of free speech, no matter how offensive. Robert D. Bowers, the suspect who allegedly opened fire on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh grew a large following on Gab — where he had a verified account — by sharing a steady stream of anti-Semitic statements.

As the major social media companies make important changes in their platforms to curtail the spread of fake news and limit hate speech by banning users who violate their self-set community standards, new platforms like Gab will continue to crop up. When extremists are banned from one social networking site, they usually just move to another platform, which is often a fringe forum, “where there is far less content to counter many of the false conspiracy claims that people being radicalized are likely to see.”

On that note, Twitter is busy making it easier to report fake accounts; although I remain skeptical that adding the reporting option “the account tweeting this is fake” will have much of an impact. Meanwhile, despite its good intentions, the Twitter Midterms Page was flooded with hyperpartisan and false news shortly after launch.

Be sure to check out the two charts below to see how ubiquitous Facebook has become. And don’t skip the learn section for an inside look at the social media strategy of the Financial Times and how to combine email and social ads for better conversions.

Social Media News:

  • Twitter Now Lets You Report Accounts That You Suspect Are Bots (The Verge). In Twitter’s ongoing fight against spammers and fake accounts, you can now select “it’s suspicious or spam” on a tweet to see the option “the account tweeting this is fake.”
  • Zuckerberg Says the Future Is Sharing via 100b Messages & 1b Stories/Day (TechCrunch). Stories are where the majority of Facebook sharing growth is happening, and Facebook Stories are gaining momentum after a slow and buggy start. Look no further than these stats to see just how popular Messenger has become:

Facebook Messenger is now the company's most popular product with 1.3 billion monthly active users and 10 billion messages sent each month.
Facebook Messenger is becoming more and more popular with 1.3 billion people using the service each month.

  • Twitter Just Launched a Midterms Page and It’s Already Surfacing Trolls and False, Hyperpartisan News (BuzzFeed News). Just hours into its rollout, the ‘latest’ tab on the Midterms Page was promoting hyperpartisan and false news, as well as tweets from seemingly automated accounts.
  • The Pittsburgh Suspect Lived in the Web’s Darkest Corners (The Atlantic). Robert Bowers was an avid user of Gab, a social network popular among white nationalists and the alt-right. Gab allows users to say pretty much anything they want. The social networking site’s maximalist approach to free speech has made it the de facto home of extremist figures who have been banned from mainstream social networks for making threats, inciting violence, or promoting racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic ideas.

Learn:

  • Inside the Social Media Strategy at the Financial Times (Simon Owens via Medium). The Financial Times is projected to hit 1 million paying digital subscribers by next year, and has done so while maintaining a hard paywall. According to FT’s head of social media, their strategy is not all that different than if they were operating without a paywall. “Putting this stuff on social in a compelling way, a shareable way, in a way people like and want to engage with, is a good practice for us. It gets our journalism out in front of more people than it would otherwise. And also, it helps us reach audiences we wouldn’t otherwise.”
  • How to Combine Facebook Ads and Email Marketing for Better Conversions (Social Media Examiner). Read on to learn how to use Facebook ads with email marketing to improve conversions in three steps.

Chart of the Week:

Facebook’s User Base Is Declining in Europe, and That Ought to Terrify Its American Bosses (BusinessInsider). Facebook has more users in Europe than it does in the US. The downshift comes after the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal and the implementation of GDPR.

Facebook Monthly Active Users in Europe has shown a decline in the first three quarter of 2018.
Monthly Active Users on Facebook has shown a drop in growth in Europe for the first time in the company’s history.

Social Media Rundown: Facebook Messenger Update; New ‘Thumb Stopping’ Facebook Feature; Political Ad Spend; New LinkedIn Algorithm

Screen shots of Facebook Messenger 4.
Facebook Messenger 4 promises a simpler design.

If you’re a heavy Facebook Messenger user, you know how cluttered the app has become. Messenger 4 promises a simpler layout with fewer tabs and an overall cleaner interface. Also in the world of Facebook, the ‘thumb stopping’ 3D photos feature is slowly being rolled out, and the company has revealed its biggest political ad spenders on its platform.

Lastly, be sure to learn about the new LinkedIn algorithm, how to get the most of LinkedIn hashtags, and how to make the most of quotes in Instagram.

Social Media News:

  • Facebook Is Finally Decluttering Messenger (Engadget). Facebook is making things simpler with Messenger, going from nine tabs to three. There’s the Chats tab (conversations), the People tab (who’s online), and the Discover tab (discover businesses). The latter will give you access to the platform’s Instant Games feature as well.
  • ‘Inherently Thumb Stopping’: Engagement-Thirsty Marketers Try out Facebook 3D Photos (DigiDay). I’ve seen these in my feed and they definitely catch your eye and almost force you to engage with the content. “Long-form video has been declining as attention span [in News Feed declines]. 3D photos are the logical next step as a format that grabs your attention.” I’m looking forward to this feature being rolled out to everyone soon.
  • Facebook Reveals Its Biggest Political Ad Spenders (AdAge). Some major ad dollars — $256 million on 1.7 million ads — being spent by politicians on Facebook. Beto O’Rourke is the top spender at $5.3 million on 6,000 ads. Donald Trump is not far behind with $4.8 million spent since May, buying more than 100,000 ads.
  • LinkedIn Adds a New Algorithm to Generate More Engagement from the Users (Digital Information World). The social network recently updated its algorithm in order to generate more engagement on the user’s posts. Learn more about these changes on the HubSpot blog.

Learn:

  • The Complete Guide to Using LinkedIn Hashtags (Hootsuite Blog). Hashtags are new to LinkedIn, and the company seems to be going all in with the new feature. Adding hashtags to updates and articles gives them a higher chance of being discovered by users who follow or search for the hashtag you’ve used. But how hashtags are used on LinkedIn are a bit different than on other social media platforms. This article has some helpful tips and tricks to make the most of the new feature.
  • How to Create and Use Instagram Quotes in Your Strategy (Later blog). This article has some good ways to use quotes in Instagram to increase engagement. These can mostly be applied to other social media platforms as well. The article also has a couple handy apps for creating quote images such as canva and AdobeSpark.

Chart of the Week:

Around two-thirds (68%) of U.S. adults use Facebook. With the exception of YouTube, no other major social media platform comes close to Facebook in terms of usage. Around a third of U.S. adults (35%) say they use Instagram.

Majority of Americans now use Facebook and YouTube.
Facebook continues to dominate among all social media sites.