30 Apr Digital Dash: Instagram could drop like count & more
1. New test could see likes disappearing from Instagram posts
This is an interesting one.
An Instagram test has been spotted by seasoned tipster Jane Manchun Wong, which would see the like count being removed from posts.
Just to clarify, you would still be able to like a post – but the actual result would only be visible to the publisher.
Instagram is testing hiding like count from audiences,
as stated in the app: “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get” pic.twitter.com/MN7woHowVN
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 18, 2019
As Instagram points out in the screenshot above, the purpose of this would be to increase focus on what you share, not how many likes you get.
The thing is, vanity metrics – such as likes, followers etc. – may look harmless but they can be really problematic.
Firstly, it’s common for businesses to over-focus on them as a KPI. And by doing this, they can easily lose sight of metrics that are much more strategically relevant.
Secondly – and more importantly – it’s been argued that these metrics turn the platform into a continuous popularity contest. This can make social media a very difficult place for teens seeking social validation.
Oh, and thirdly. On Instagram, the likes metric in particular is pretty redundant as a success gauge because all likes, even paid, are aggregated on the profile page. You have no idea if it’s been promoted or not (unless of course it’s your post).
Having said that, people are so familiar with using likes as criteria to judge popularity and often credibility too… it makes me wonder if Instagram might have some other kind of new indicator up its sleeve if this were to roll out.
2. Pinterest goes public, share price instantly soars
Talk relating to Pinterest’s potential IPO has been going around for a while now. But you might have noticed it intensify over the past few months. Why? Because last Thursday 18 April 2019 marked the day Pinterest officially became a public company.
And it made quite the first impression on the New York stock exchange, with shares rising 25% in the first few hours of trading.
Initially priced at $19, shares began trading at $23.75, which boosted the company value to over $15 billion.
All in all, Pinterest looks like a great prospect. Revenue is up, losses are down, advertisers are showing increasing interest. It’s all going in the right direction as far as traders are concerned.
It will be interesting to see what happens next. The cash influx might well see big changes/upgrades coming into play, but founders will be increasingly focused on shareholder concerns, which could potentially alter the fabric of the company.
3. Facebook makes status updates super fancy with new text effects
If you want to post a status update (minus photo, link or video) on Facebook – you can already jazz it up with a colourful background.
But what you couldn’t do – until now anyway – was change the font style.
Facebook is currently testing a new “text effects” feature, which lets you play around with a range of stylised text types in your update. These include:
New! Facebook is testing a ‘text effects’ feature for posts published via desktop (maybe mobile too).
You can select the following font styles (same as Facebook Stories font styles):
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) April 20, 2019
This new feature might seem to have fairly limited appeal at first glance – after all most brands do include some form of other media in their posts. But there could be a bigger agenda here…
Making status updates more visually interesting could be a ploy to get more users sharing them as Stories. Which, in case you hadn’t noticed, Facebook is currently OBSESSED with.
Personally, I’m just grumpy about them focusing on this before making basic formatting easier for longer-form captions (bold, italics, bullet points etc.). Only groups have access to this feature right now.
4. Facebook, Snap and Twitter release Q1 reports – here are the need-to-knows
Facebook, Twitter and Snap’s Q1 2019 performance reports all make for interesting reads.
Starting with Facebook, let’s take a look at the headlines:
- 26% YoY revenue increase, bringing the total to $15.08 billion (yes, billion) (note: down from Q4 2018)
- 39 million increase in DAUs (daily active users) since Q4 2018 bringing the total to 1.56 billion (yes, billion)
- 55 million increase in MAUs (monthly active users) since Q4 2018 bringing the total to 2.37 billion (yes, billion)
- 18% increase in total revenue YoY (note: down from Q4 2018)
- 11% YoY increase in mDAUs (monetisable daily active users)
- 9 million increase in MAUs since Q4 2018 (note: down YoY)
- 23% YoY increase in total ad engagements
- 39% YoY revenue increase ($320 million total)
- Slight drop (1 million) in DAUs YoY to 190 million (note: up from Q4 2018)
- However, Snapchat now reaches 90% of 13-24 year olds and 75% of all 13-34 year olds in the US
5. How to make better Facebook Stories, by Facebook
Facebook has released a new report and visual guide to help you optimise your stories content.
Believe it or not, 300 million people are now using Facebook Stories each day and 500 million over on Instagram. This is something most brands should be aiming to do, and do well.
Plus, it will be especially important to create great stories going forward if the rumour we heard about Facebook’s News Feed last week comes true…
Anyway, for now let’s take a look at the report and its suggestions.
As Facebook states:
“…Stories is the place for marketers to connect with their customers and communities in exciting and engaging ways. But connecting and driving business outcomes requires building creative that matches people’s expectations of the format – while inspiring them to take action.”
Of course, there’s a real art to this (give us a shout if you need a hand with that). But here are more useful tips to get you started.