17 May Digital Dash: Instagram’s new @shop account & more
1. Instagram launches @shop account to showcase trending brands
I can confirm Instagram’s getting serious about shopping.
While we all know social commerce hasn’t properly exploded yet, I sense we could be starting to hit a turning point. Especially with Instagram.
First there was shoppable posts, then shoppable stories and the dedicated shopping channel in Explore.
And now there’s another new feature related to shopping – the @shop account.
In Instagram’s own words:
“@shop is a celebration of small businesses and the creators behind them. The content on this account is inspired by our community of shoppers – you. @shop is a real-time reflection of our community’s interests across top shopping categories like fashion, beauty, home decor and more.”
Every post featured on @shop is of course shoppable, meaning users can discover new brands and buy straight away.
The account is managed by an internal team at Instagram and as of right now has 57k followers.
I’d be interested to know how strictly this is limited or tailored to small businesses. And if so, what criteria determines that…
2. Top 10 stats from the 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report
Social Media Examiner just released its 11th annual Social Media Marketing Industry report. It surveyed 4,800 marketers, including a mix of both B2B and B2C, and professionals with various experience levels.
You can download the full report here. Or just take a look below at my summary of the top 10 findings:
- For the first time in 5 years, Facebook lost share in the “most important platform for marketers” category. It dropped from 67% last year to 61%
- Instagram is hot, hot, hot: the platform – which jumped into 2nd place in the “most important” charts – is used by 73% of marketers
- 69% of marketers plan on increasing their organic Instagram activities in the next 12 months
- However. Facebook clearly still dominates and is still a strong focus for 97% of B2C marketers and 91% of B2B
- 72% of marketers surveyed are using Facebook ads, and 59% plan on increasing their use of Facebook ads over the next 12 months
- Many marketers seem to be broadening their social media portfolio, with use of LinkedIn and YouTube also on the rise
- 95% want to know how they can better engage their audience
- 93% want to learn more about which social tactics are most effective
- Interest in learning more about bots dropped steeply to 45% from 70% in 2018
- 70% of marketers who have been using social media for more than 12 months report it helped them improve sales
Photos: Social Media Examiner
Massive thanks to Social Media Examiner for the study, and the team’s work in general. We’re big fans.
3. Have you updated yet? The one app you thought was safe just got hacked
After theming his entire F8 conference around privacy, one of the very last things Mark Zuckerberg wanted was a serious security breach.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happened. To possibly the least likely of platforms.
Earlier this week, WhatsApp users (of which there are 1.5 billion), were told to do an urgent upgrade. The call followed the discovery of a major security loophole, which it seems was already exploited, potentially by an Israeli-based group.
WhatsApp is known for its tight security, including end-to-end encryption, so it’s fair to say the news came as a bit of a surprise.
In a statement, WhatsApp said:
“WhatsApp encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices.”
Following up with:
“This attack has all the hallmarks of a private company known to work with governments to deliver spyware that reportedly takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems.”
The spyware was installed by simply placing a phone call to the user, and could be activated regardless of whether or not the call was picked up.
Within 10 days of discovering the security hole, WhatsApp was able to alter the app’s infrastructure to make the attack inoperable.
Are you at risk? Thankfully, probably not.
WhatsApp suspects that a relatively small number of users were affected, and those that were would likely work in sensitive industries and/or hold high profile positions.
Unless you fulfil the above profile and/or you’ve received any mysterious calls/drop calls recently, the best thing you can do is update WhatsApp and your phone’s software asap.
4. Facebook announces new live streaming restrictions
Facebook is imposing a “one strike” rule when it comes to live streaming eligibility. Users who violate the platform’s community standards, even once, won’t be able to go live for set period of time.
As Facebook explained in a blog post:
“Following the horrific terrorist attacks in New Zealand, we’ve been reviewing what more we can do to limit our services from being used to cause harm or spread hate. As a direct result, starting today, people who have broken certain rules on Facebook — including our Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy — will be restricted from using Facebook Live.”
Facebook also said it would be extending the restrictions to other areas in the coming week, starting with Facebook ads.
The ultimate goal with this is to reduce the risk of abuse while enabling people who use the platform in a positive way.
While we’re on the subject of Facebook and security, I should also mention that the “View As Public” feature is returning after being shut down due to a massive data breach a while back, which was executed using the feature’s code.
Today, we’re making it easier for people to manage their publicly visible information on Facebook with two updates: (1) we’re bringing back the “View As Public” feature and (2) we’re adding an “Edit Public Details” button directly to profiles. pic.twitter.com/zI5bVwodjp
— Facebook (@facebook) May 14, 2019
5. Pinterest adds new tools to make editing your pins easier than ever
While not as groundbreaking as some of its other features, a Pinterest update announced this week will surely prove popular.
The platform has added four quick edit tools to the pin creation section on its website. Included are:
- Insert logo
- Add colour
- Input text
To access the features, just hover over your uploaded image and click the pencil icon.
While most big brands will have a team of designers working on their content, these tools could be really valuable for smaller businesses without as much resource.