Digital Dash: Facebook News Feed shocker & more

1. Facebook testing huge change to News Feed

As far as Facebook tests go, this one could be game-changing. It’s been revealed the platform is experimenting with a new-look News Feed, which would allow you to tap on a post and then sideways-swipe through others, Stories style.

And the link to Stories doesn’t stop there, because it looks like Stories will join regular posts in the News Feed too.

The test was revealed by code hacker Jane Manchun Wong.

This is big news.

Both Facebook’s and Instagram’s Stories have always lived in their own section of the app – to merge them into the main feed would potentially create tons more exposure.

For Facebook in particular – where Stories take-up has been relatively slow – it would also get more people familiar with the format.

A swipeable News Feed is also a major departure from the vertical scrolling that we’ve all been used to for well, ever.

While swiping through one post at a time would give each piece of content a better stage, I can imagine people might stop swiping sooner than they would have stopped scrolling. Especially if nothing catches their attention.

Having said that, it seems like the News Feed would appear as normal until a post is tapped – so you’ll have the option to stick with the traditional look if you prefer.

To be honest, I think this all makes sense. While I’m sure there would be some backlash if this rolled out (isn’t there always?) this seems like a natural progression in a world where Stories rule.

 

2. LinkedIn’s bumper update includes image tagging, stickers and its own version of Reactions

LinkedIn is working hard to become more engaging and entertaining while staying true to its core identity as a professional platform.

This week, three new features were announced – all designed to help people connect and communicate.

Here’s the lowdown.

Photo tagging: you can now tag other LinkedIn users in your photo, just like you can on Facebook. But here’s the twist… you don’t have to be connected to someone to tag them. This is quite surprising, and could potentially become annoying, but also opens up opportunities to get people’s attention in new ways. Tagging someone triggers a notification, and tags can be easily removed.

Photo: Yasser Masood via Social Media Today

Stickers: also new is a range of work-themed stickers, which can easily be added to photos. Again, this comes down to providing entertainment value and making content more fun to increase engagement. Also again, this could become annoying. Let’s wait and see.

Photo: Social Media Today

Reactions: users have been complaining that they need more ways to express how they feel about a post. A simple Like just doesn’t always cut it. So LinkedIn has done a Facebook and added four new Reactions, which can be easily accessed by pressing and holding the Like button.

Photo: LinkedIn

 

3. The Evolution of Video, by Snapchat

With more video content being consumed than ever before, Snap Inc recently commissioned a US-focused report looking at changes over the years in the way we’re watching.

The Evolution of Video reveals some pretty interesting insights, and I’ve rounded these up into the top 5 below.

1. First things first, we’ve come a helluva long way since the days when you had to tune in at a specific time to watch certain show. Baywatch, 6pm, Saturdays. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Anyway. The number of people watching live TV shows has declined significantly in the age of “whatever you want, whenever you want it” streaming.

2. Secondly, video now accounts for more than 50% of total media consumption, and time spent is growing faster than any other media type.

3. It’s predicted mobile video viewing will surpass traditional TV entirely this year (for entertainment minutes).

4. Adults spend more than an hour watching videos on mobile each day – a figure that’s increasing 10% year-on-year. Gen Z and Millenials spend a huge 37% of their time on mobiles (5 hours per day) watching video content.

5. Short-form video (10 mins or less) is already super popular, and predicted to dominate going forward.

Photos: Snapchat

 

4. Finally! Pinterest introduces conversion campaigns

If you’ve ever advertised on both Facebook and Pinterest, you’ll know one of the two ads managers kinda sucks.

It’s not Facebook’s.

Yes, it’s got to be said that Pinterest has a long way to go before impressing advertisers. The basic functionality is in place, but advanced marketers need way more.

One of the major features lacking up until now has been the ability to optimise ads for conversions, which is why we were VERY happy to hear that Pinterest is now launching conversion campaigns.

From now on you can request that Pinterest shows your ad to people most likely to take a specific action, e.g. sign-up or purchase.

You can use multiple ad formats to support your conversion campaign, including Promoted Videos, Promoted Posts and Carousels.

Let me tell you why this is so exciting.

Of all the platforms’ users, Pinterest’s are already in what’s known as “consideration mode”. This basically means they are there for the purpose of pre-purchase discovery and to buy. They are much more likely to become a lead or customer, and therefore conversion campaigns have the potential to be really successful.

 

5. Facebook’s redesigned Ads Manager rolls out, with bonus new bidding option

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we took a sneak peek at the new Facebook Ads Manager interface? Well now it’s rolling out to everyone. Oh, and Business Manager is getting in on the upgrade action too.

As expected, the new layout features simplified navigation, a more minimalist design and new campaign management experience.

You can look forward to:

  • Copy and paste functionality
  • More flexibility when building ads
  • Auto-naming feature
  • More intuitive ad-level creative and placement editing tools

A new bidding option “cost cap bidding” is also being introduced, designed to improve efficiency and results (always nice).

It will let you set a maximum cost per action, which Facebook will then optimise for. This will control both cost and volume.

Photos: Facebook

Business Manager will also be getting an update later this year, making it faster and easier to onboard clients and activate client campaigns.